I went to a local swap meet today, it’s one I’ve been to in the past and seen old cameras at so I thought I’d go see what I can find to play with. Swap meets are also a great place to take pictures of interesting things, I took the Pentax Spotmatic with the 50 mm 1.4 and snapped about half a roll. Using the Spotmatic was certainly a learning experience, it requires a much longer process to get everything setup than I am used to with my DSLRs or with the Elan 7ne. To take a photo I would open the aperture all the way which makes it easier to focus, once focused then I would turn on the meter and adjust my shutter and aperture, then make sure the composition looks good and release the shutter. I definitely spent more time thinking about composition knowing each frame was time and money and I only took one shot of every subject. Once I get the film processed I’ll be making a post to talk more about the results of my first few rolls of film.
I picked up five new cameras today and one lens, the first five cameras were only $1 each! I have no idea if they work but it is an interesting selection. I will be making a separate post for each one once I have used them and have photos to go along with my impressions. The one I am most excited about is this Canon Canonet QL17 rangefinder.
I’ve been interested in getting a rangefinder to try the focusing system and I have read good things about this camera, I was actually looking to buy one on ebay but did not want to shell out what they go for on there so it was quite a lucky find. It features a 40mm f1.7 fixed lens that is supposed to be very high quality, the light seals have completely disintegrated so I am going to have to fix that before I can use it.
The next camera is Canon Rebel K2, I don’t really need it but I grabbed it for the purpose of this blog to show what can be done with a cheap SLR you can get for just about nothing. If you are already a Cannon DSLR shooter you can pick up a camera like this and use all your existing high quality lenses, this route is probably going to produce the best quality and the lowest cost for someone wanting to shoot on film. It has auto focus, exposure, shutter, aperture, etc. plus the modes we are used to on our DSLRs like Av, Tv, etc. which makes shooting much easier. Now on the other hand part of shooting film to me is the manual aspect, this camera absolutely can be shot manual but you have the option.
I also picked up a point and shoot camera, this is one like my parents used in my childhood, I can’t remember exactly what cameras they had but I do remember they used point and shoots like this Ricoh F-33 AF Super.
It has a fixed 35mm f3.2 lens, nothing super exciting but it is a nice compact package and the point and shoot aspect of it is something I wanted to have, I can just toss it in a backpack or leave it in my glove compartment, it will make a fun camera for shooting friends when a full SLR is just too much to carry around. I also like that it takes standard AA batteries unlike so many other cameras.
The oldest camera I got today is a Kodak Instamatic x-35, it was produced from 1970-1976. I picked it up thinking it was 35mm, it is not it uses 126 film which I had never heard of, it is sort of a reel to reel cartage and is not readily available anymore. But the camera was $1 and I like how it looks so I’ll find something to do with it if only for decoration.
I got a Kodak Tele Ektralite 40 that takes 110 film which is smaller than 35mm and costs more but is still available and since the camera was $1 I figured why not, I’ll give it a shot, even if I only ever run a few rolls though it I’ll be happy. One interesting thing is it has a zoom by way of a switch that moves a magnifying lens in front of the regular lens.
The last camera but certainly not least is this Nishika N8000 that takes 4 photos at once and can be used to create a 3D effect.
I’m not sure why it takes 4 photos, I would think two is all that’s needed but In a brief internet search I found that people take the four photos and create a GIF that has an interesting 3D effect so I plan to give that a shot. This camera was $10, I had hoped to get it for less but the lady would not go any lower and I am super curious to try it out so I went for it.
The one lens I got today is a Asanuma 90mm-230mm f4.5 M48 screw mount, cost me $10. I’m not really sure what I’ll shoot with it, it might make a good portrait lens but other normal things to shoot with a long lens like wildlife and sports would be very difficult with manual focus.
I’m going to work on a post talking about using old lenses on current DSLRs, I want to collect a few more first but this one will be part of the lineup.
To conclude: Go checkout your local swap meet, do some haggling and you will have what you need to start shooting on film for as little as $1 (film not included).