I need your feedback: Analog Camera and Film Website/App

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by shootfilm, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. shootfilm

    shootfilm TPF Noob!

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    Hey, film photography lovers!
    I need your help for an analog photography related side project of mine.

    I am a freelance web-developer and currently working on a website/web application that conveniently shows all available analog cameras out there and additionally provides detailed information about a camera's specification. The goal is to make the entry to analog photography easier by showing what's out there and informing people on what kind of camera they should buy or not. The same concept will be applied for photographic film. I have always been a film photography fan, in fact even though I grew up with digital cameras, the first camera I picked up was a Canon AE 1 Program and I still only shoot film.

    I want to make this website as awesome as it gets and that's where I need you!
    What do you think of this idea? And more importantly, which camera specifications (e.g., ISO, Shutter Speed, Filmtype, etc.) and which features (essentially things/functions you can perform on the website) would you like to see?

    Would love to hear from you.

    Perhaps the best way to structure the comments would be to follow the following scheme. Feel free to comment without it, though.

    1) My opinion about the idea:

    2) Camera specifications:

    3) Website features:

    4) More:


     
  2. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Ehhh, what do you mean by "... all available analog cameras out there ..."?
     
  3. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    Holy cow!!!!! That's one helluva goal! [​IMG]

    Unless you're referring to merely the models currently being produced.
     
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  4. snowbear

    snowbear fuzzy-wuzzy Supporting Member

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    There is decent documentation on Wikipedia for Nikon, both film and digital; the articles also cover Nikkormat.
     
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  5. Dave Colangelo

    Dave Colangelo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ISO is not a feature on film cameras... Although meter capable ISO range may be...

    You may want to pick a hard stop date for historical reasons. Maybe say 1920 or so. There have been a lot of cameras produced through out history and some are better documented than others. If you include some of the old stuff you may be chasing ghosts in some regards.

    What would be a huge help is lens compatibility information. Especially crossing over from the film to the digital and even in the film world. An app that has images of lenses, mounts and identifying marks would be pretty useful when buying third party lenses, looking for strange stuff for strange cameras and mating old lenses to new cameras. Knowing image fields for plate mounted large format lenses would be helpful when trying to match stuff for you camera.

    Its not a bad idea but some of the info is out there. It tends to be brand-centric i.e. Nikon info is in one place, cannon in another etc.

    Its also worth noting that this information, to some extent has been compiled over the years in various books. I have various editions of the Hasselblad Manual the Leica Manual and The Rollei Book all which have what you describe for their respective brands. I would try and get the newest edition if you go to get the book as it will have the most historical info in it. These might be a good reference/starting point.
     
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  6. Tim Tucker 2

    Tim Tucker 2 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think you may need to re-think the idea after considering why it is people choose to shoot film in a digital age. Back in the day it was the only option and the commercial race to provide the most specification laden camera was still relevant.

    But is the same true today? If you are after the most technically capable camera then you choose digital, the features of modern digital and it's precision are what makes it attractive to a tech driven market. Is comparing specs to find the best film camera really what drives film shooters today? We are talking about a market where people choose to buy old cameras, ones that are old technology so you need to ask if technology and specifications are really important.

    Then we get to obsolescence. How many of these technology laden cameras are still working today, how many are repairable and viable propositions, how many have lenses that are both compatible with the tech and still functioning?

    If I expand on why I do it, and what cameras I choose then it might give an idea as to what people looking to go back to film are really looking for.

    I shot 35mm with a Nikon F2 for over 30 years. It still works, I can still buy compatible lenses for it that work. It's a fully mechanical camera and is really a transport system with an accurate shutter that allows you to attach a lens. It has a meter in it but I stopped using it and removed that batteries back in the early 1980's and have used a hand held meter ever since. With film understanding how your medium reacts to light is important not how the camera automates that process so you don't need to understand. It is also relatively easy to determine exposure once you understand how film reacts to light, it's a lot easier than the complexity of automated systems tend to suggest.

    I shoot film today for much the same reasons as I shot it in the *film era*, because it has within it an element of chance. You can't control it to the n'th degree with technology. Once you set the shutter speed, aperture and press the button you are at the mercy of how the film reacts to the light, understanding this is the key to film photography. I shoot film today because I want to get away from photography that's defined by digital algorithms/camera automation/AI defined goals.

    Film lends itself to this, your image is a product of the light and the way the film reacts to it, it takes an understanding on your part of both and not a technical understanding of automated camera systems, (the camera is a film transport with shutter, lens and aperture, nothing more). It requires you not only to look and understand what you see but also relies on an element of chance because you can't control everything. The images produced are then a product of your *human* understanding of the scene and the process rather than being driven by the assumptions and goals of the people who designed the camera, an understanding of the automation of your camera. Sure you can digitalise the results and process with the same goals of digital, contrast and detail, but then you end up with an inferior version of a digital shot because you make it look like a digital shot. What's the point? If you shoot film you shoot it for the film look, that element of chance and that more elusive quality where you feel the image was made by human hand rather than a computer.

    I shoot film mainly on a 1958 Linhof today, but it is still the same purely mechanical system and a hand held meter. Look at the preferred cameras of those that shoot film on this site, be it 35mm, medium format or large. Technology might have driven the market when it was current as it drives the current market today. But are you correct in your assumptions that what drives the current market is relevant to those who choose to return to film? Perhaps we are returning to film to escape a technology driven process and trying to return to one that implies a more human touch and a more human understanding in the results.

    If this is true then a site which concentrates on camera automation will be of little interest. I for one would have zero interest in such a site as I think it misses the point of why I shoot film. Perhaps you should narrow it down to budget, format and a selection of viable and worthwhile cameras that are worth buying instead of a glorified spec sheet. Then expand on available film types, ease of processing and characteristics of various film stocks.

    Just my opinion. ;);););)
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
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  7. webestang64

    webestang64 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Here is the list of Kodak cameras (1999), of course none are being made today. Kodak Camera List.pdf
     

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  8. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It seems like that would be an enormous database and probably impractical. Maybe narrow it down to common and readily available entry level SLRs that would be recommended as good starter cameras. Or common viewfinder cameras (although Kodak alone made a lot of plastic/bakelite midcentury cameras). Or common 'classic' cameras like the Pentax K1000 that were always considered to be good student cameras.

    The specs you list tell me you probably need to do more learning and research on film cameras. It doesn't seem workable for someone to search a database looking for cameras that for example have an ISO/ASA/DIN feature, or shutter speed settings, because that would be any/all SLRs and rangefinders.

    It could maybe be searched by decade, or by manufacturer (Kodak, Pentax, Nikon, Canon, etc.). Or someone could look for SLRs or rangefinders or basic viewfinder cameras (although I don't know if many people start out with rangefinders), or for cameras that use 35mm or 120mm film.

    Much of this info. is already available on sites like Lomography and the Film Photography Project. Although they may not have an app.

    You might need to gear it for people new to shooting film. Those of us who collect cameras and/or have been shooting film for a long time probably already know this and if anything would be looking for more historic or unusual cameras.
     
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  9. shootfilm

    shootfilm TPF Noob!

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    Thank you so much guys! You were absolutely right. There are already a lot of wikis etc. out there and also the amount of cameras is unbearable in a short time frame...

    I shifted my focus now on solely analog film and you can find the forum thread here:
    I need your feedback for my film exploring website
     

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