I got my first film SLR on 13th September 2016, second one a Rangefinder Rollei B35 on 13th November 2016 and the third one, a point-and-shoot semi-manual Contax TVS on 5th Jan 2017. Oh my gawd, shame on me for posting about Gear Acquisition Syndrome. But there’s a difference, I buy analogue cameras because they are valuable. Hehe… (excuses).
In this post, let me write down about each camera:
Nikon FM2 is a tank-like super heavy Single Lens Reflex (SLR) film camera. Basically, Nikon was one of the kings during the film era for their SLR. I am not a pro and don’t remember all their models, but I can assure you FM2 is worth investing. It is fully manual (thus the ‘M’), and feel very sturdy. I can use this camera to do both serious and leisure photographing because the sharpness is great! It is the most reliable film camera I have so far. I currently only have 50mm f1.8 lens and intend to stick with one focal length for a long long time.
I got this on impulse and didn’t know about all the difference between each model (B35, LED, S, etc). If I could choose again, I would definitely get the Rollei S. The outlook is cool and it uses Sonnar lens which is the best of this series. Unfortunately, B35 uses Tessar which is like a basic but I think the image quality is not bad. Imagine Sonnar O.O
Anyway, I got this at SGD $399, which is severely overpriced. Don’t buy it if the price hits $300, it doesn’t worth this much. Also, don’t buy from Black Market Camera if you have a choice, their cameras are more expensive. The good things about this Rollei B35 is the size. It’s so small hence ideal for travel. This camera is also fully manual, with maximum aperture at f3.5, 40mm focal length and manual focusing. Because of this, I can say I am now quite good with gauging distance 🙂 Film photography really forces me to learn more.
Well, my ideal Contax is the Contax T2 or T3. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to hunt for them. I can’t even find it in Hong Kong. Or maybe they just don’t have it in store when I was there. They are so good that many people are looking for them as well. Furthermore, their price is very high. As Contax TVS also rarely pops up in Singapore so when I see one, I just bought it. No regret. It costs me SGD $450.
Contax TVS is a semi-manual point-and-shoot camera. You can adjust aperture (ranging from f3.5-16) and manual focus (0.5m- infinity) but it doesn’t allow you to adjust shutter speed. It is good for traveling, even though it is bigger and heavier than the Rollei B35. When I feel lazy to fidget with settings, I just use Contax and shoot in P mode and Auto Focus. What I like about this camera is the built-in flash. Sometimes I just need flash when shooting indoor or for an aesthetic flash look. Watch my Youtube video about Contax TVS.
Lomography La Sardina
I bought La Sardina when I was interning in USA in year 2012. It was an impulsive purchase haha! It costs me about USD $100+ with many boxes of films. La Sardina is a point-and-shoot flash camera, manual film loading and wind it after every shot. At that time I don’t know how film works, I don’t know much about photography. So, many of my shots were black and underexposed because I didn’t want to use flash. Such a waste as I had shot quite many in USA. grrrrrr…And I think I checked-in my films, thus all the films were in very bad conditions. I gave up using this and it sat in cupboard for a good 3 years before seeing light again. LOL. Such a pity I didn’t bring it with me to the UK. What I like about this camera is the ultra wide angle and the flash, and the fact that it’s a point-and-shoot with double-exposure function. I mainly use this camera for random fun shots.
Instax Mini 90
I bought this when I was in the UK. To be honest, buying this in Singapore is cheaper but I had no choice. I wanted to document my life in the UK :p One 10-exposures Instax film in Urban Outfitters cost £30!! Luckily I have friend that gave me her spare. Then when my family came to attend my graduation, they brought more films but THEY PUT THEM IN CHECK-IN LUGGAGE. But the films weren’t damaged. haha! Anyway, I love this Instax Mini 90, it has many modes, and allows me to set the intensity of the flash so human faces won’t always be overexposed. It also come with double-exposure function. The only downside of this Instax Mini camera is the film size. My parents have been saying they can’t really see the images clearly due to long-sightedness. That makes me realise it’s gonna be the same for me when I grow older. Hence, Instax Mini might not be a good gear to document life.
Kodak Trimlite Instamatic 18
I got this Kodak Trimlite Instamatic 18 when I was walking around Srinakarin Railway Market in Bangkok on 15th Jan 2017. There’s a section in this market that specially sells vintage and second hand items. It’s surprisingly that this camera is looking as clean as new. I think it’s not an easy find so the 900Baht is worth it. This Kodak Instamatic 18 uses 110 films and as far as I know, only Lomography has the films. Sadly the Lomography store in Singapore has closed permanently. Luckily there are a few film stores in Bangkok that is the official distributor for Lomography. It doesn’t really look like a camera so I suspect it might be good for street photography but note that there’s only one shutter speed at 1/90 in day time hence higher chance of a shaky moving subjects.
This is the functional film cameras collection I have with me as of January 2017. I foresee myself adding more to the collections, especially the medium format camera, which is my aim for this year to learn how to use a Twin Lens Reflex properly. Thanks for reading! Feel free to tell me which cameras you have and let me know which camera(s) is a must-have in my collection! 🙂 Happy hunting!