the simplest film camera

This is a discussion on the simplest film camera within the Film Photography Equipment forums, part of the FILM PHOTOGRAPHY FORUM category; Hi, usually i use a canon 350D, which is amazing. however, i'm about to embark upon some travelling which could be a bit rough and ...


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  1. #1

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    Hi,

    usually i use a canon 350D, which is amazing. however, i'm about to embark upon some travelling which could be a bit rough and am looking for the simplest film camera possible.

    i'm talking mechanical wind, no flash, no batteries, manual focus if possible. does such a thing exist?

    thanks


  • #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by elbmek View Post
    Hi,

    usually i use a canon 350D, which is amazing. however, i'm about to embark upon some travelling which could be a bit rough and am looking for [b]the simplest film camera possible.

    i'm talking mechanical wind, no flash, no batteries, manual focus if possible. does such a thing exist?

    thanks
    I'm not too sure about the "No battery" part because a usual film camera would require some source of power for the light meter. I use a Nikon F1 and it is as simple as it gets. Manual focus, no flash mechanical wind, but does require two small cell batteries for the light meter. Unless of course you shoot with a handheld light meter or an EV Chart. Which I do from time to time. It's quite fun.

  • #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by elbmek View Post
    i'm talking mechanical wind, no flash, no batteries, manual focus if possible. does such a thing exist?
    Sure. There are lots of them. Almost every camera I used for the 15 years before trying digital fit this description. Most of the cameras I used pre-DSLR didn't even have built in meters. I like simple, medium format folders like the Ansco Titan. http://www.butkus.org/chinon/ansco/ansco_t...co_titan_20.htm


    You have to remember to wind it, and watch the little red window. It has an old style flash post, but you'd have to find an adapter to use anything from the last 30 or 40 years. Manual focus with no focus assist of any kind other than a square hole cut in the body as a viewfinder. You set the aperture and shutter speed. The shutter has to be cocked every shot. No meter; use sunny 16. It's one high tech feature is a sweet color coded DOF scale. It folds up and fits in my pocket like a fat wallet. They range in price from $20 for pretty bad shape, and $90 for mint condition.

    Here is a triptych I shot with an Ansco Titan.

    "The Mushroom Hunter"

    "I donít use an exposure meter. My personal advice is: Spend the money you would put into such an instrument for film. Buy yards of film, miles of it. Buy all the film you can get your hands on. And then experiment with it. That is the only way to be successful in photography. Test, try, experiment, feel your way along. It is the experience, not technique, which counts in camera work first of all. If you get the feel of photography, you can take fifteen pictures while one of your opponents is trying out his exposure meter." -Alfred Eisenstaedt

  • #4

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    great pix Henry

    if you wanna go completely "batteryless", you will need a camera with built-in Selenium cell lightmeter - it's a battery that uses chemical reaction from sun (or light) to power up your meter - similarly to solar panels.

    I have only seen those in Russian cameras, such as Zenit:

    but I'm sure western manufacturers had those as well.

  • #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Henry Peach View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by elbmek View Post
    i'm talking mechanical wind, no flash, no batteries, manual focus if possible. does such a thing exist?
    Sure. There are lots of them. Almost every camera I used for the 15 years before trying digital fit this description. Most of the cameras I used pre-DSLR didn't even have built in meters. I like simple, medium format folders like the Ansco Titan. http://www.butkus.org/chinon/ansco/ansco_t...co_titan_20.htm


    You have to remember to wind it, and watch the little red window. It has an old style flash post, but you'd have to find an adapter to use anything from the last 30 or 40 years. Manual focus with no focus assist of any kind other than a square hole cut in the body as a viewfinder. You set the aperture and shutter speed. The shutter has to be cocked every shot. No meter; use sunny 16. It's one high tech feature is a sweet color coded DOF scale. It folds up and fits in my pocket like a fat wallet. They range in price from for pretty bad shape, and for mint condition.

    Here is a triptych I shot with an Ansco Titan.

    "The Mushroom Hunter"




    Hey Henry - Great set - I especially like the exposed negative borders framing the pics. How did you accomplish this if you don't mind my asking?

  • #6
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    Canonette is a great little camera, bright rangefinder, relatively sharp 40mm fixed lens, easy to operate. Prob the best deal of the fixed focal length rangefinders. Built in lightmeter, but finding batteries is difficult/impossible, though I have heard you can use tin foil to make a shim.

    Pm me if you'd like to buy mine. I have no use for it.
    bear with me. i don't have an escape button...

  • #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by algalkin View Post
    if you wanna go completely "batteryless", you will need a camera with built-in Selenium cell lightmeter
    "Use the force, Luke." -Obi Wan

    We don't need no stinking meters! All we need is the way of Sunny 16, and master Fred Parker's Ultimate Exposure Computer. If you get a kick out of getting rid of the gizmos wait until you start shooting without a meter and calculating exposure with only your eyes and mind. It's like being a Shaolin Monk of photography. (and actually it's really easy to learn with a little practice)



    "I donít use an exposure meter. My personal advice is: Spend the money you would put into such an instrument for film. Buy yards of film, miles of it. Buy all the film you can get your hands on. And then experiment with it. That is the only way to be successful in photography. Test, try, experiment, feel your way along. It is the experience, not technique, which counts in camera work first of all. If you get the feel of photography, you can take fifteen pictures while one of your opponents is trying out his exposure meter." -Alfred Eisenstaedt

  • #8

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    I especially like the exposed negative borders framing the pics. How did you accomplish this if you don't mind my asking?
    I cut my own neg carrier with a slightly over sized opening out of mat board. I've got Omega DII and Beseler 23C enlargers. Their neg carriers just lay flat, and have a couple of guide posts. I lay the aluminum carrier on some mat board, trace around it, then cut it out (2 pieces: 1 top, 1 bottom), and I can make the opening however I want. It works great, and no sharp, freshly filed aluminum to scratch the film.
    "I donít use an exposure meter. My personal advice is: Spend the money you would put into such an instrument for film. Buy yards of film, miles of it. Buy all the film you can get your hands on. And then experiment with it. That is the only way to be successful in photography. Test, try, experiment, feel your way along. It is the experience, not technique, which counts in camera work first of all. If you get the feel of photography, you can take fifteen pictures while one of your opponents is trying out his exposure meter." -Alfred Eisenstaedt

  • #9
    R0B
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    I have an olympus om10, it does the trick pretty much everything you wanted except from the battery part, but the battery lasts for ages...
    500px.com/robellis
    http://facebook.com/robellisphotography

    Sony A77, A200, Grips for both, 16-50 f/2.8, 50mm f/1.8, 18-70 f/3.5-5.6, 70-210 f/4-5.6, 2 flashguns.

    NME Under 21's music photographer of the year runner up.

  • #10

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    Simplest is a pinhole in a biscuit tin, by far.

    Manual aperture: pinhole size
    Manual shutter: gaffer tape
    Flash: None, but possible
    Winding: Manual, blackout bag


    Currently playing with my EOS 1V & 5D MkII + various L-Series, Minolta MC/MD, M39 RFs, assorted 70-80's fixed lens RFs and occasional MF TLRs


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