What Have Been Your Favorite Film Cameras?

During a late night Skype conference call the conversation drifted to film photography. One of the members of our group of four raised a question regarding how many different film-based cameras had we used.

Looking back it might surprise some to discover that my own personal introduction to photography came via a Three Stooges camera constructed of cardboard. The flap camera was unique in that it came with preprocessed 35mm black-and-white negatives of the Three Stooges themselves. Included was a packet of printout papers (POP) and chemical packets of stop bath and fixer. A negative fit inside the camera next to the punched out lens or exposure area. These miniature sized photo paper, sized slightly larger than the 35mm film was placed behind. This was pointed towards the sun. As per the instructions a specified amount of time was counted. At that point the paper was removed with a small contact image of the negative. Dipping it in stop bath brought the exposure to a halt. Then it was swirling in the fixer and then removed to dry. For a five-year-old who revered the Three Stooges creating photographs this way was nothing short of a miracle. Fortunately, the rule was that this camera required the presence of an adult ensuring that both sight and health would stay intact without incident.

After the Three Stooges came a Kodak Instamatic. After that it was the family Kodak Bantam that used the 828 roll film format. Shortly thereafter came a rather extensive succession of photo gear, listed below. Each one has held a special meaning. Should you have an interesting film camera(s) that have special meaning for you be sure to drop us a line.

-Kodak Instamatic 126 cartridge
-Canon FTB-N 35mm SLR
-Canon Demi 35mm half-frame rangefinder
-Nikon S2 35mm rangefinder
-Graflex Speed Graphic 4”x5” sheet film with Polaroid film attachment
-Polaroid SX-70
-Leica M3 double-stroke 35mm rangefinder
-Leica M3 single-stroke 35mm rangefinder
-Leica M4 35mm rangefinder
-8”x10” View Camera
-Pinhole Camera 120mm
-Horizant 35mm Panorma
-Calypso Underwater 35mm (precursor to Nikonous)
-Rollei A110 – 110 cartridge
-Pentax 110 SLR – 110 cartridge
-Pentax ME 35mm SLR
-Canon F-1 SLR 35mm
-Canon A-1 SLR 35mm
-Canon EOS-1 SLR 35mm
-Olympus XA 35mm rangefinder
-Contax RTS 35mm SLR
-Timex Nimslo 35mm 3-D rangefinder
-Hulk 35mm
-Franka Solida 120 roll
-Coronet 3-D 35mm


-Kodak APS
-Pentax A100
-Spiderman 35mm
-And, of course, The Three Stooges Camera!

One Response to “What Have Been Your Favorite Film Cameras?”

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  1. Jonathan says:

    Two of them. My 8×10 Deardorff and my Nikon F2 with pentaprism finder. Both still working fine and both still in regular use in my work.