Film If you could only have one (film) camera for the rest of your life?

If you could only have one camera for the rest of your life, which one would you choose?

  • Leica M6

    Votes: 8 27.6%
  • Leica M5

    Votes: 1 3.4%
  • Hasselblad 500 C/M (any one of the 500 series)

    Votes: 2 6.9%
  • Hasselblad Xpan

    Votes: 2 6.9%
  • Widelux (35mm)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Widelux 1500

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Rolleiflex TLR 2.8

    Votes: 5 17.2%
  • Any one large format camera (which one?)

    Votes: 1 3.4%
  • Any one SLR (which one?)

    Votes: 10 34.5%

  • Total voters
    29

theoldsmithy

Hall of Famer
Location
Cheshire, England
Name
Martin Connolly
I hoped that advances and accessibility with home 3D printing technology would make it easier to replace little parts like these.
Yeah...I think the little mushroom-shaped piece was intact, but something had broken below it, and trying to dismantle the camera to figure out the problem was really fiddly. I gave up, reluctantly.
 

Bart J D

Hall of Famer
Pentax SP500 - but it would need to be serviced.
I used it - almost - exclusively for about 30 years.
In that time I also used an Agfa 110 compact and a polaroid (don't remember the exact type of either one)
 
Location
Seattle
Name
Andrew
I said the M6 before, but I've still never touched one. Every time this thread pops backup I ask myself the question again, and really maybe I haven't come across a film camera I've bonded with quite enough to answer this question. Which is too bad, as I love shooting film.

1. It needs to be small, easily carried.
2. It needs to have a large and bright viewfinder.
3. It needs a focusing mechanism, no scale focus for a one-and-only camera.
4. Either interchangeable lenses or something close to 40mm.
5. Wide exposure parameters with settings.

That's all I can think of right now. I have had some SLRs, but I should really try some of the relatively tiny Pentax models, maybe there's an SLR out there that's small and light enough, with a good enough viewfinder, to fit my requirements.
 
Pentax SP500 - but it would need to be serviced.
I used it - almost - exclusively for about 30 years.
In that time I also used an Agfa 110 compact and a polaroid (don't remember the exact type of either one)

I just looked it up and found this amusing:

"The “500” in the name is a reference to its highest shutter speed, which is 1/500 of a second…or is it? Instead of re-designing a whole new shutter system to drop off at 1/500, they just changed out the shutter speed knob to one painted up to 1/500. You can turn the knob past 1/500 and you have 1/1000 just like the legendary SP1000. So, it’s like a SP1000, but at a cheaper price. Not bad huh?"

 
I said the M6 before, but I've still never touched one. Every time this thread pops backup I ask myself the question again, and really maybe I haven't come across a film camera I've bonded with quite enough to answer this question. Which is too bad, as I love shooting film.

1. It needs to be small, easily carried.
2. It needs to have a large and bright viewfinder.
3. It needs a focusing mechanism, no scale focus for a one-and-only camera.
4. Either interchangeable lenses or something close to 40mm.
5. Wide exposure parameters with settings.

That's all I can think of right now. I have had some SLRs, but I should really try some of the relatively tiny Pentax models, maybe there's an SLR out there that's small and light enough, with a good enough viewfinder, to fit my requirements.

What is your current go-to?
 
Location
Seattle
Name
Andrew
What is your current go-to?
The Voïgtlander Bessa-T with 35mm f2.5 and a Ricoh 500G are my current film shooters. I really enjoy both of them, but wouldn't call either one perfect. The 500G doesn't have a focus tab and the focus ring is small and just a little stiff, and the VF isn't very bright if the light drops. The Bessa-T has a separate rangefinder window and requires you add accessory finders for your lenses. On the positive side, the rangefinder is without doubt the best I've ever seen - it's a whole dedicated, 1.5x magnified window you can use in nearly any light with no problem. But accessory finders are expensive.

The Bessa is so fast and easy to use, especially when zone focusing on the street, that I don't think I want to part with it. The meter is mounted on the back, visible from the top, so you can survey the shutter dial, the aperture, the focus scale and the meter all at a glance. So handy! Then just bring the finder to my eye and shoot. It's discreet, except the shutter is quite loud, so there's always a chance someone will take offense, though no one has yet. It's charming looking, so it's non-threatening.

If someone took away all cameras and lenses forever, though, I could get by with the Bessa-T and the 35 Skopar.
 
The Voïgtlander Bessa-T with 35mm f2.5 and a Ricoh 500G are my current film shooters. I really enjoy both of them, but wouldn't call either one perfect. The 500G doesn't have a focus tab and the focus ring is small and just a little stiff, and the VF isn't very bright if the light drops. The Bessa-T has a separate rangefinder window and requires you add accessory finders for your lenses. On the positive side, the rangefinder is without doubt the best I've ever seen - it's a whole dedicated, 1.5x magnified window you can use in nearly any light with no problem. But accessory finders are expensive.

The Bessa is so fast and easy to use, especially when zone focusing on the street, that I don't think I want to part with it. The meter is mounted on the back, visible from the top, so you can survey the shutter dial, the aperture, the focus scale and the meter all at a glance. So handy! Then just bring the finder to my eye and shoot. It's discreet, except the shutter is quite loud, so there's always a chance someone will take offense, though no one has yet. It's charming looking, so it's non-threatening.

If someone took away all cameras and lenses forever, though, I could get by with the Bessa-T and the 35 Skopar.

The way you described it, it sounds like the Bessa is already your desert island camera. But I wish you were able to spend some time with the M6 to see whether it changes your position somewhat.

I'm just a little surprised that, with all the talk of GAS and deference to medium format, that the medium format cameras aren't a bit more dominant in this survey. But I can also understand that the 'regular' SLRs or other regular 35mm cameras may be more versatile or easier to use.
 
Location
Seattle
Name
Andrew
I think one of the other Bessa models might be better for an everything camera by reason of the rangefinder being integrated into the viewfinder... The T is excellent for the purpose to which I usually apply it - street photography in daylight - but slows down considerably when you want to focus each shot, since you have to move up and to the right to frame after focusing. Actually the Cosina made Zeiss Ikon M-mount body might be perfect. It's beautiful as well.

I haven't been able to get my hands on a Hassie with a waist-level finder, but one of those might well charm the socks off me if I were to try it out.
 
I think one of the other Bessa models might be better for an everything camera by reason of the rangefinder being integrated into the viewfinder... The T is excellent for the purpose to which I usually apply it - street photography in daylight - but slows down considerably when you want to focus each shot, since you have to move up and to the right to frame after focusing. Actually the Cosina made Zeiss Ikon M-mount body might be perfect. It's beautiful as well.

I haven't been able to get my hands on a Hassie with a waist-level finder, but one of those might well charm the socks off me if I were to try it out.

I've used the Leicas in extremely dark circumstances, the viewfinder/rangefinder is absolutely useable. It became my 'normal', until one time I decided to pull out my Canon 7D to use in the dark and was surprised that it could not even function in the same circumstances.

The reason why I keep returning to GAS for the Hasselblads is because I keep watching clips of photographers doing fantasic things with them on netflix and youtube. And I am curious as to any visible differences in what I might be able to achieve when compared to my usual cameras.
 

ac12

Regular
Toss up between my old Nikon F2 and a Hasselblad 501 C/M.
Although as I get older, I really should be looking at a smaller/lighter kit.
Maybe an Olympus OM1.
 

ac12

Regular
I tried the light meter app on my phone but it just runs down my phone battery so last week I bought a vintage Sekonic light meter from the camera shop. Gotta learn how to use it. But it's still a big step to independently meter the light and then pick up the camera to take a shot. I think this is going to have to be something I need to get used to.

That is good to know about film being forgiving.
I am currently sending my film away to be developed. I'm trying to learn how to scan and post-process them myself. I have a ton of developed film that I haven't figured out how to scan yet.

That unfortunately is the problem with some phone apps.
The app is NICE to have, but if it DRAINS the battery, you could be left with a DEAD phone when you need a LIVE one.

I was on a trip once, and a couple was having someone take their pic, and the guy said, "your phone is dead." And this was in the morning, so many more hours before they get to their hotel, to charge the phone. :(
 

Brian

Product of the Fifties
I bought an auxiliary Battery with a USB outlet for my Wife- allows you to charge the phone, she can keep in her purse.

I turn my Cellular Telephony Device on when I need to make an outgoing phone call. Have never had the battery run down in 7 years of owning it. Too bad the 3G network is going off-line. The phone company sent me a new Flip-Phone.
 

ac12

Regular
I bought an auxiliary Battery with a USB outlet for my Wife- allows you to charge the phone, she can keep in her purse.

I turn my Cellular Telephony Device on when I need to make an outgoing phone call. Have never had the battery run down in 7 years of owning it. Too bad the 3G network is going off-line. The phone company sent me a new Flip-Phone.

Small battery in a sealed phone (cannot change battery), so the aux battery pack to power your phone will become a required accessory soon, if not already.
 
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