Anyway, this is my pick of the 5 best film camera’s in history. Some of them I’ve owned, used and there is always a moment of sadness when you realize you probably will never purchase those camera’s again. Merely because they are getting much more expensive these days and are getting more difficult to find.
1) Rolleiflex 2.8 F Zeiss Planar 80mm F/2.8
Were talking about 120 mm, 6 x 6 cm film. The Rolleiflex TLR film cameras were known for their exceptional build quality, compact size, modest weight, superior optics, durability, simplicity, reliable mechanics and bright viewfinders.
The later f2.8 and f3.5 letter models (Planar or Xenotar lens) are highly sought after in the used market, and command the greatest price. Especially in Japan there is a great group of enthousiast photographers still interested in using the Rolleiflex.
2) Mamiya 7
The Mamiya 7 is an amazing camera. It’s a lightweight rangefinder and the lenses are ultra sharp. It’s also a 120 mm filmcamera, but it shoots images 7 x 6 cm. The technical image quality is unmatched. The lenses (43 mm, 80 mm, 150 mm) are extremely good, but the minimal F stop is F4, so not directly suited for great separation in your file. The 43 mm is perfect for shooting high quality landscape shots. Prices are going up each year, so if you want a secure investment, buy a pristine Mamiya 7.
3) Pentax 67
The Pentax 67 is also a 120 film, 6 x 7 film camera. Coupled with the magnificent 105 mm F2.4 lens it makes beautiful portraits. It is ultra heavy and has a big mirror which produces a big slap when you press the release button. There are a lot of very excellent lenses for the camera system which seemed to me rather affordable if you are want to get into film photography.
4) Leica M6
This was mine Leica M6 Classic rangefinder camera which I’ve used for quite a while. Pared with a 35 mm Summicron it worked like a charm. It’s a 35 mm film camera so image quality is not at the same level as the first three camera’s, so you need a perfect route to scan your film. It’s in the list, because a Leica M6 just operates buttersmooth. It’s a bit heavy for the size it is, but feels great in your hands and just goes.
5) Ricoh GR1
The Ricoh GR1 is just a fantastic little compact 35 mm film camera. It has a ultra sharp 28mm F2.8 lens and its very minimalistic and stealthy. It’s super light so you can take it everywhere. It does not have the same durability as a Leica M6 (which will last forever). It will get wear out if you use it intensively.