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Showing 101 posts tagged camera

Which Film Cameras Are Still Being Made Today: A Comprehensive List

Any photographer who still shoots film today knows all too well the meaning of the phrase “slim pickings,” whether it be in regards to film, developing labs, chemistry, darkroom equipment and even cameras. Sure, we all rely on a stock pile of vintage cameras that the majority of the world doesn’t care about, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt each time a film camera is discontinued by a manufacturer. Many people are mistakenly under the impression that there are no more film cameras being manufactured today, but that would be wrong.

As many people are aware, Lomography offers a huge selection of film cameras, many vintage and many which are directly manufactured by Lomography itself. Fuji has also had large success with its Instax line of instant film and cameras in multiple formats, and the Impossible Project managed to raise Polaroid film from the dead so we can all keep using our old cameras.

But what about Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus… and many of the other camera giants? We did a lot of research and figured out exactly which companies are making which cameras as of the end of 2013.

Die-hard film users might be pleasantly surprised that some classics never change:

(All prices listed are for new cameras in USD)

PART I: 35MM

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Fujifilm is a Japanese company, so I guess we technically shouldn’t complain - but for film lovers worldwide it stings a little to know they only consider their own to be hard-core film users. Beyond the Instax line and photographic film, Fujifilm outside of Japan manufactures zero film cameras today. In Japan they manufacture two. For now.

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Fuji Natura Classica - $400-$450

The Fuji Natura Classica is a high-end, compact 35mm camera designed for natural light use, and more specifically low-light situations. Fuji’s Natura 1600 film complements the cameras NP (natural photo) mode. The Natura Classica comes equipped with a f/2.8-5.4 28-56mm lens and, oddly enough, an integrated pop-up flash.

As previously mentioned, Fuji manufactured the Natura Classica exclusively for Japan, but they can readily be found online. For more on the Natura Classica, check out our review on how it performs in low-light situations.

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Fuji Klasse W - $550-$700++

Another “premium” compact 35mm camera and Japan-only exclusive, The Fuji Klasse W is like the Natura Classica with a major upgrade. With an f/2.8-16 28mm lens, it provides a far more profound depth of field and also offers fully manual functions. The Natura Classica is to an automatic SLR as the Klasse W is to a fully manual SLR, in compact camera form. The price ranges quite a bit on this little guy, as it can be difficult to find online - particularly if you don’t read Japanese.

For more info on comparing and purchasing, check out Japan Camera Hunter’s Buyer’s Guide to Premium Compact Cameras.

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Here’s where we talk about quality classics. Personally, I have never been a rangefinder girl, but no one can argue with the fact that Leica’s are a) known for their exceptional image and mechanical quality and b) a ridiculously loyal following. An iconic brand in and of itself and renowned as the camera for street photography, some famous photographers who shot with Leica cameras include Man Ray, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, Helmut Newton and Diane Arbus.

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A Complete History of Canon Film Cameras at the Canon Camera Museum Online

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{Canon Canonet Junior, 1963 (image via Wikimedia Commons)}

DSLRs may be obsolete every few months, but that still pales in comparison to the quantity of film cameras manufactured since the mid-19th century. For all you Canon fans out there, the Canon Camera Museum Online Hall of Fame for Film Cameras provides info on every camera it ever manufactured:

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Yashica-Mat 124G: Medium Format TLR Camera Review

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Guest Post by Daniel Sawyer Schaefer. Daniel is a photographer and filmmaker based out of New York City and Los Angeles, currently spending time abroad in Florence, Italy. Find more of his work at his online portfolio, and connect with him on Flickr, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr.

OVERVIEW   

    My beloved tank of a camera and constant companion for the past few years is my beloved Yashicamat 124G. She is by no means shiny - her last owner left her in the bottom of a closet for nearly a decade before she met my palm - but the moment I blew the dust from her eyes, I knew I was holding something truly solid.  

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(Photo: Daniel Schaefer)

    The Yashicamat 124G is medium format at its most effective, with an 80mm f/3.5 lens fixed to the body and a 6x6 setup. The 80mm is phenomenal as a portrait lens but still has enough breadth in frame to rock some street photography or even landscapes.

    The 124G also offers the convenience of 120 and 220 compatibility in-body with a simple sliding of the pressure plate, so the few of us left using Kodak Portra 220 can shoot without worry. Make sure to load the rolls tightly because a loose load can lead to light leaks, especially with 220.

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(Photo: Nick Parker)

ADAPTING TO THE TLR


    For those who are not familiar with the TLR (Twin Lens Reflex) the viewfinder can take some getting used to; images flip right to left and, as you pan, the mirror effect can be a bit disconcerting. Luckily it takes only a day or two to get used to the drift.

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(Photo: Daniel Schaefer)

    The focus pull on the throw wheel is very smooth, making accurate focus a breeze. If you happen to pick up a model with a sticky throw wheel, you can easily loosen it up by applying some alcohol with an eye-dropper.  Minimum focus is a tad more sensitive than the typical SLR user might be used to, but this will be true of any TLR system.

STREET & PORTRAIT SHOOTING


    For the portrait shooter, the square format is well worth exploring. Resolving the subject in a square frame offers both benefits and challenges; for inspiration on square framing and composition, check out the work of Richard Avedon - a master of the TLR portrait.

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(Photo: Daniel Schaefer)

    For the street shooter, the TLR setup will be a revelation. Between the waist-level finder and near-silent shutter which syncs effectively with flash through the whole range, you can get close enough for your subjects to fog the lens with their breath and not have them notice you shooting. Vivian Maier made phenomenal use of her TLR on the streets of Chicago and New York.

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(Photo: Aldo Altamirano)


    For the casual shooter, the large but lightweight body allows for a setup that is incredibly solid in-hand. The shutter speed and aperture dials fall comfortably under the fingers, making shooting with this camera a real pleasure.

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(Photo: Daniel Schaefer)

PURCHASING & POSSIBLE CONCERNS


    Selling used for between $125 - $250, this camera is a great candidate for a reasonably-priced medium format starting kit. The most common problem with the Yashicamat 124G is an inoperative light-meter, which, even when operable isn’t the most accurate option. Personally, I use my forever-trusted Sekonic L-308s pocket meter, which at $200 is well worth the charge for any photographer. I purchased mine three years ago, and it has literally not left my pocket since.

    Another problem which can occur frequently in either under-used or neglected models of the Yashicamat 124G is a lagging shutter. I’ve noticed this in three out of the ten models I’ve handled (my own and those of my friends) and in all cases, 1/8th of a second acts more like a full second. All other shutter speeds were unaffected on all tested models.

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(Photo Patrick Joust)
    

    All in all, the Yashicamat 124G is phenomenal camera for nearly any use. Paired with any medium format film, the camera offers a fantastic shooting experience for anyone who is lucky enough to have one slung over their shoulder.

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(Photo: Xavier Aragonès)


Pros

  • Good price
  • Solid build
  • Sharp lens
  • 120 and 220 compatible

Cons

  • Difficult to clean
  • Potentially Gummy setting dials
  • Inoperative meter

Base statistics:

  • 6x6 Twin Lens Reflex, Medium format film camera
  • Viewing lens -  80mm f/2.8 tessar
  • Taking lens -  80mm f/3.5 yashinon tessar
  • F-stop range -  f/3.5 — f/32
  • Shutter Speed range - 1 second — 1/500th & bulb
  • Shots per roll - 120 = 12, 220 = 24

See more photos shot with Yashica cameras