Good starter film camera?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Pedro_lopez, Oct 30, 2018.

  1. Pedro_lopez

    Pedro_lopez No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I want to dabble in film photography and was wondering what is a good starter? The most recognizable camera I've found is the canon ae-1 and was wondering if that is a good go to? Not that it makes a difference in compatibility since its film but I do prefer canon. Not that I'm not open to other brands.


     
  2. zulu42

    zulu42 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I have an AE-1 and like it very much. Affordable, simple. There are millions of them for good reason. If you need some specific features for your film work, like a removable prism or autofocus or something, keep looking. But if you just want a nice good quality basic slr I don't think you can go wrong with a clean AE-1.
     
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  3. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    What is the purpose?
    Just any film camera like a rangefinder ... or SLR ... or TLR ? One very old school with no meter, or automatic, or more modern electronic ?
     
  4. Pedro_lopez

    Pedro_lopez No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I’d say anyone would work, old school manual is fine too. I already have my digital camera so less tech would be an experience I’m interested in. As long as the photos come out good and there isn’t a whole set of features to learn.


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  5. Pedro_lopez

    Pedro_lopez No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What is a removable prism?


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  6. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Some pro film SLR cameras had interchangeable View Finders.
     
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  7. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    On older film cameras there are a few things to look out for
    • What battery does it use? Many older cameras used mercury batteries, which are no longer available. But this is not fatal, as there is an air/zinc battery replacement. But you will have to change it every 3 months vs. 1 to 2 years for the mercury battery. Alkaline batteries are not a substitute for mercury batteries in some/many cameras. This depends entirely on the meter circuit.
    • Does the meter still work properly? Some older cameras have non functional or flaky meters. And the replacement parts may or may not be available. Remember the camera is LONG out of production and there is no factory spare parts bin.
    • Get the camera CLAed (Clean, Lubricate and Adjust) by a shop, then you can rely on it for the next 10 years. It stinks to have your supposedly correct exposure result in under or over exposed film because the grease inside the shutter was dry, and the shutter slit was to narrow or wide.
    • Foam
      • Old foam turns sticky (yuk!) or to dust. Either way not good.
      • Very important to replace the foam that the mirror hits when it goes up, or you could damage/crack the mirror.
      • Also the foam light seal around the back film door.
      • Get this done when you take it in for a CLA.
    • USE the shutter at least once a month, at all shutter speeds. When left idle for a long period, the grease may dry and get stiff.
     
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  8. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Hmm, less tech ... mechanical shutter, manual exposure ... possibly built in light meter ... fixed lens or interchangeable.
    There are lots you can choose from ... I would even suggest skipping an SLR and going for a pocket rangefinder type.
     
  9. Pedro_lopez

    Pedro_lopez No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Any pocket rangefinder suggestions?


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  10. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  11. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You can also go older with a viewfinder range focus folder like this: Balda Baldinette
    Too bad you are in FL
     
  12. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Here are some options that came to my head. I am not familiar with the later film cameras.
    • Canon FTb (this used the older breach lock mount) (mercury battery)
    • Mamiya/Sekor; 500 or 1000, TL or DTL (this used the Pentax thread mount) (silver oxide battery)
    • Minolta SRT 101, 102 and later models (101, 102, 20x use mercury battery)
    • Nikkormat FTn (mercury battery)
    • Nikon FM series (FM uses silver oxide battery)
    • Olympus OM (OM-1 = mercury battery, OM-2, 3 and 4 = silver oxide batteries)
    • Pentax Spotmatic (this used the Pentax thread mount, and had some great lenses) (mercury battery)
    • Pentax K1000 (this used a bayonet mount) (silver oxide battery)
    > updated with type of battery used
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
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