Buying my first film camera

Inlights

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I've been shooting digital for 3 yrs. I think I'm finally ready for film. I just cant decide on 35mm, medium format, and brand. I'm a fine art photographer if that helps.
 
35mm is great for the large range of lenses ... especially in extra wide and long focal lengths.
Medium format is great for some nice large prints ... but tends to costs more.

I always like 6x6, especially in slides.
 
I have been shooting film for over 40 years.
In my opinion medium format is the way to got.
It requires you to think and plan (it is expensive not to).
I use only two cameras. First is my Sinar F monorail view camera which I use with a Graphlex"23" roll film adapter. Second is my Mamiya RB67. The reason I chose that over Hasselblad was because I like to shoot rectangle format and the Mamiya back rotates between landscape and portrait with a revolving back. Thus the name RB.
I do not like the 35mm format. The exposure is too small. But that is a different discussion.
Good luck with you fim adventure!
 
Don't spend a lot of money until you figure out whether you are really interested in it after you dabble a bit.
35mm cameras can be bought used for a fraction of what they cost new.
I have an f100 and an f5. I really enjoy shooting them both, you can probably find either for somewhere between 150 to 450 used.
 
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Film cameras are so cheap now, I don't see any reason to limit yourself to a format. I like 35mm and medium format. As far as brand, judging from your sig, you shoot nikon digitally? If you're going recent (F100/F5) on 35mm film cameras, then the controls will be similar, plus any lenses you have that aren't G or DX will work on the old cameras.
 
For many years photo instructors have recommended a simple, manual-mode-only 35mm camera such as the Pentax K-1000. Countless photographers cut their teeth on cameras like this. It was a good idea then and now IMO.
 
...If you're going recent (F100/F5) on 35mm film cameras, then the controls will be similar, plus any lenses you have that aren't G or DX will work on the old cameras.

G lenses will work on the later film bodies like the F100, F4, F5 and F6, and a few others.

There is such a wide variety of film cameras available now, at low prices, that it is difficult to give a recommendation other than one of the later Nikon bodies because you have the D7000.

Do you want a camera with interchangeable lenses? Do you prefer square or rectangular? Would you prefer a reflex camera or a viewfinder/rangefinder type? Do you intend to scan, or print traditionally?
 
...If you're going recent (F100/F5) on 35mm film cameras, then the controls will be similar, plus any lenses you have that aren't G or DX will work on the old cameras.

G lenses will work on the later film bodies like the F100, F4, F5 and F6, and a few others.

Oh yeah, I wasn't thinking properly when I typed that. I've even used G lenses with my F100.. duh.. *facepalm
 
I love the idea of bigger prints with a medium format. But I don't ever seeing myself printing bigger than 32x40. Is 35mm sufficient at this siZe? Also is there a big difference between the F100/f5?
 
Not sure about print size, i've never printed anything that big, although close, at 20x30. I think they looked great, but it was also 1600 speed film so there's quite a bit of grain at that size, which I don't mind in b&w prints. The F100 and F5.. well, the F100 is basically a baby F5. The F5 is a little more rugged (only a little) and has slightly faster AF motors inside. It's a pro camera, while the F100 is prosumer. Kinda like modern D3 vs D700 comparisons. I have an F100 and it's pretty nice. It basically feels exactly like my d200/d300 cameras when it's in my hand, minus the rear lcd.
 
I'm always amused by the DSLR arguments on this site; Canon vs Nikon, pro vs prosumer, this lens vs that, etc. Big differences in quality and ability to be sure, but the market is very homogeneous compared to choices in classic film cameras. Rangefinders, folders, TLRs, press cameras, classic 35mms,monorails, the list goes on. There are so many choices that offer radically different shooting experiences. The good news is that almost all of them are dirt cheap. You can buy 5 or 20 cameras for the price of a Pro DSLR and get your money back out of them when you decide to move on. The weak link in your image quality chain is almost never going to be your camera and your major expense will be film and processing/scanning/printing. Don't blow your budget on what you think should be your perfect camera right out of the gate. Spend some time thinking about how you will put your images on paper.
 
bhop said:
Not sure about print size, i've never printed anything that big, although close, at 20x30. I think they looked great, but it was also 1600 speed film so there's quite a bit of grain at that size, which I don't mind in b&w prints. The F100 and F5.. well, the F100 is basically a baby F5. The F5 is a little more rugged (only a little) and has slightly faster AF motors inside. It's a pro camera, while the F100 is prosumer. Kinda like modern D3 vs D700 comparisons. I have an F100 and it's pretty nice. It basically feels exactly like my d200/d300 cameras when it's in my hand, minus the rear lcd.

The f100 also has autofocus points that are easy to see--they're nearly invisible in the f5. A gripped f100 cost less then an f5, and has a aperture control wheel on the vertical grip--something the f5 is lacking as well.

You might also consider a n90s, which is dirt cheap these days ($30-50 on ebay). Basically a plastic version of the f100.

For medium format, try a yashica tlr 6x6.
 
bhop said:
Not sure about print size, i've never printed anything that big, although close, at 20x30. I think they looked great, but it was also 1600 speed film so there's quite a bit of grain at that size, which I don't mind in b&w prints. The F100 and F5.. well, the F100 is basically a baby F5. The F5 is a little more rugged (only a little) and has slightly faster AF motors inside. It's a pro camera, while the F100 is prosumer. Kinda like modern D3 vs D700 comparisons. I have an F100 and it's pretty nice. It basically feels exactly like my d200/d300 cameras when it's in my hand, minus the rear lcd.

The f100 also has autofocus points that are easy to see--they're nearly invisible in the f5. A gripped f100 cost less then an f5, and has a aperture control wheel on the vertical grip--something the f5 is lacking as well.

You might also consider a n90s, which is dirt cheap these days ($30-50 on ebay). Basically a plastic version of the f100.

For medium format, try a yashica tlr 6x6.

Good advice. I also have a Yashica TLR.. a Yashica D to be precise.. it's fun to use.
 
I love the idea of bigger prints with a medium format. But I don't ever seeing myself printing bigger than 32x40. Is 35mm sufficient at this siZe?

Without knowing your criteria for judging 'sufficient' it's difficult to give a definitive answer. If you don't mind the graininess then the answer is probably yes. I often get 35 mm printed at 24 x 36 and if the original is sharp (you need to have good technique) the results are usually good. I have had 35 mm blown up to 36 x 54 and it worked very well. These prints were intended for viewing up close.

If you are blowing up to that size the method of enlargement is very important - the enlarger lens must be a good, high magnification lens or the scan must be very high resolution (high true resolution, not high manufacturer's claim).
 
do not claim to be an expert....
From my experience and from what I have found in my research, if you want to print big skip 35mm.... scanning is the weak link.
 

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