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Thread: Ebay for film cameras

  1. #1

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    Ebay for film cameras

    While waiting for lunch earlier, i spent the time on Ebay looking at the prices film cameras are now fetching, cameras that were selling for hundreds of pounds in the nineties cant achieve more than 5 to 10 I checked the price of an EOS10 which I have, starting price of 99p for what was then a semi pro camera ,feel kinda sad that they are somewhat reduntant now except for the diehards who still use film over digital, of whom I have a lot of respect , I might even brush of the cobwebs and have another go myself.

  2. #2

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    Re: Ebay for film cameras

    I have a few SLRs One being a Canon EOS10s $25 (15 I think), Canon AE-1, Two Pentax cameras K1000 & SP2, an old Nikomat EL.

    Until I can get some decent photos with my digital, I think I will keep them shelfed for now. My plan is to develop my own film, (A small Dark bag will do for developing) And just get a film scanner instead of making prints.

    Form my SP2 it uses the M42 mount and I picked up form ebay, an adapter to fit my 40D and 10s.

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    Re: Ebay for film cameras

    Not too long ago, one of the premiere camera stores/processing labs went all digital and gave me (my school's photo program) everything they had film related...trays, cameras, film, paper, chemicals, enlargers..all added up, approximately $81,000 US. Film, to most young people today is a dead art which they feel should "just go away."

    I teach both now, as well as some of the really old processes: albumen, platinum/palladium, salt, cyanotype, and some limited wet plate. If you have ever held an interest in this type of photography, now's the time to scarf up some really good deals in cameras, especially large format.

  4. #4
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    Re: Ebay for film cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by MiniChris View Post
    Not too long ago, one of the premiere camera stores/processing labs went all digital and gave me (my school's photo program) everything they had film related...trays, cameras, film, paper, chemicals, enlargers..all added up, approximately $81,000 US. Film, to most young people today is a dead art which they feel should "just go away."

    I teach both now, as well as some of the really old processes: albumen, platinum/palladium, salt, cyanotype, and some limited wet plate. If you have ever held an interest in this type of photography, now's the time to scarf up some really good deals in cameras, especially large format.
    Hi Chris,
    You got a result there!
    The old 'wet' systems are still taught in our universities as part of any degree in photography. How much longer this will continue I don't know, but I think it's important for people to understand the way systems have developed.

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    Re: Ebay for film cameras

    As an old photographer who began his professional career with cut film and press and view cameras, I consider teaching film photography totally redundant and a complete waste of time.

    As an example of wasteful education time, when I attended Navy Basic Photography School in 1958, we spent an inordinate amount of time studying chemical mixing. I am not talking about the "just add water" type of chemical mixing but, the mixing of our various processing chemicals from their basic components such as sodium thoisulfate and several othetr ingredients for film fixer. We memorized the formulas for the various chemistry including the differences in the amount (by weight) of various components if they were desicated or contained more moisture. I am thinking back and suspect that we spent 10% or 15% of our school program learning the old style of chemical mixing which no one ever used.

    WHAT A TOTAL WASTE OF TIME... The Navy had switched over from mixing chemicals from scratch to the "just add water" chemistry from Kodak and other manufacturers. Other than in that school, I never mixed chemistry from scratch again!

    School time is finite not infinite. If the student had an infinite time to attend any school, then film photography might be an interesting sideroad to study or perhaps a total elective; while some of the really old processes: albumen, platinum/palladium, salt, cyanotype, and some limited wet plate might be also be fun but are completely irrelevant for today's photography.

    IMO, a far better use of time in any photo course would be to increase the student's ability to post process using Photoshop for courses aimed at advanced photography and perhaps Photoshop Elements for adult education courses in community college environments. Of course, I suspect that there are many instructors out there who have a far better handle on film photography than they have of digital work and prefer to teach what is comfortable to them. This is an example of the old adage "Those who can, do; and those who can't do, teach. While those who can neither do nor teach, administrate.

    We in America are in an economic bind and from what I read in the news or watch on television, this is true for both the UK and the rest of the world! Using film in school is a costly endeavor; buying film, processing chemicals and photo paper is expensive. Add to that expense the extra money (although film cameras are dirt cheap) of buying a film camera and lenses for their courses! This is a waste of cash. Fine if we are independently wealthy but, pretty hard for a struggling student (anyone remember those days in school when a Big Mac seemed to be a culinary luxury?)
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 12th December 2011 at 04:16 PM.

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    Re: Ebay for film cameras

    The old 'wet' systems are still taught in our universities as part of any degree in photography. How much longer this will continue I don't know, but I think it's important for people to understand the way systems have developed.
    Agreed.

    School time is finite not infinite. If the student had an infinite time to attend any school, then film photography might be an interesting sideroad to study or perhaps a total elective; while some of the really old processes: albumen, platinum/palladium, salt, cyanotype, and some limited wet plate might be also be fun but are completely irrelevant for today's photography.
    Have to disagree with you here Richard. I've got four friends currently doing their BA's in photography in Newport, Wales (considered by many to be the best place to get it) and whilst two of them were quite profficient in their own right digitally, they'd never picked up a film camera. One of them has bought a huge medium format camera and swears he'll never go back.

    I think the majority of the regulars here have had at least some experience of film and some of developing their own prints. I think it's forged a really strong understanding of the basics. Well for me it has.

    Ask most digital "enthusiasts" about settings such as aperture and shutters speeds and the majority will say "I just let the camera sort it out".

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    Re: Ebay for film cameras

    I think the funnest time I had in high school was in the darkroom, I would have all the equipment if I had the space for it. I don't see film going completely away, just harder to get it developed, unless you do it yourself..

    I don't see it as irrelevant at all for today's photography, comparing the two "Digital and Film" I don't see much of a difference other then they way you control your camera and process your images.

    I know wedding photographers who still use film!

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    Re: Ebay for film cameras

    "while some of the really old processes: albumen, platinum/palladium, salt, cyanotype, and some limited wet plate might be also be fun but are completely irrelevant for today's photography."

    I regularly get between $800 and $1,000 for a 16x20 Platinum print. I do enough each year to augment my income quite profundly. I get four to six times what I get for a digital print if it is platium/palladium or albumen and in some cases this still holds true for salt or kallitypes.

    I teach both formats for two reasons. One, I have tons of photo equipment, paper and chems which are readily available and I have over 75 students in any one term...it helps to keep things moving, but IMO, it also helps them to really get a good grasp on shutter/aperture workings. If you compare the photographs made in film today to the absolute best digital, film still wins out. Just ask Clyde Butcher, who is a master in both mediums...but sells far more film prints than digital.

    As far as I am concerned, there are far more hacks with digital cameras than there ever was with film cameras...time, I suspect will even out the playing field, but until then, I will continue to teach both. Oh, by the by, my photo students love B&W film more than any other class taught at this high school...to me, that says everything.

  9. #9
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    Re: Ebay for film cameras

    I didn't mean to insult you Chris.

    However, IMO, there aren't too many film photographers left in this world. If there were, the "Yellow Box People" would still be producing loads of film. I certainly would not buy stock in that company now...

  10. #10
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    Re: Ebay for film cameras

    I don't think it is all that cheap

    I did wet black and white at school and the school camera was a Hasselblad, only simple stuff though, I think.



    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Hasselblad...item20bef75fee

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    Re: Ebay for film cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    I didn't mean to insult you Chris.

    However, IMO, there aren't too many film photographers left in this world. If there were, the "Yellow Box People" would still be producing loads of film. I certainly would not buy stock in that company now...
    No-no...didn't feel insulted, though perhaps a bit misunderstood... I know these are numbered days we live in when it comes to film in the classroom...besides the cost, there is always a chemical danger, increased for risk, ingestion issues, etc. As to film photographer numbers...me thinks you might have a closer look. Almost every undergraduate and graduate photography program in this country and the UK has a film requirement. I attened an alternative processes workshop for art educators this summer and it filled so quickly they had to add another session...then another and another and yet one more. Film is still an exciting medium to both teachers and students....and who cares about the yellow box peeps when you still have Ilford? Whoohoo, long live FILM!

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    Re: Ebay for film cameras

    I can say this about film vs. digital photography. I certainly wish there had been professional digital video cameras instead of film based motion picture equipment when I tromped the boonies in Vietnam. When I had to make a choice between carrying the weight of rolls of 16mm film and carrying C-rations, the film always won and I would survive on one pack of C-rations a day.

    I even cut down on ammunition in order to carry more film...

    It would have been luxurious to be able to carry all recording media I wanted plus be able to eat a little more. I guess that is why in those days I was so lean and trim. Of course tromping around in 100+ degree farenheit heat at close to 100% humidity had something to do with that also. It was like working in a sauna without the relexation.

    The CF cards of todays digital SLR and video cameras will certainly beat the pants off of film in that type of environment...

    Along that line, I certainly could not afford to shoot 16mm film without making a living doing so (which a student doesn't do). According th the Arnold and Richter (producers of Arriflex cameras) the latest cost of 16mm color raw stock (including processing and a work print) for an hour's worth of shooting is about $1350 USD. Estimating a 3:1 shooting ratio, the cost of shooting stock plus processing for a 90 minute feature is about $6075.00 without the final print. Editing equipment is another big ticket item. I don't have the actual weight of this film at my fingertips but it is certainly not light.
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 13th December 2011 at 12:10 AM.

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    Re: Ebay for film cameras

    Well, given an Arri over a Nikon F1, I would certainly agree...I shot film in college and never even got close to 3;1...6 or 7:1 was much closer...digital filmmaking is superior in every way to film...except the quality of the master. Technicolor films are so much like Kodachromes...they'll alway be superior to anything made up of tiny squares, no matter the quantity or density...and we could argue the merits and cons from now until doomsday...

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    Re: Ebay for film cameras

    Hello,

    This is a very interesting debate.

    I thought that I might be able to offer my thoughts from the perspective of someone who is getting back into photography. Currently my only option is to use a film camera.

    My camera is fully manual so everything from aperture, shutter speed etc. has to be set. For me it has been a good way to go. As it has made me go and discover more about the way these should be used. It also fed into digital as I began to understand what aperture priority etc. meant. It also suggested to me that using a digital camera in manual mode could offer more creative opportunities. Would I have done this if I had gone straight to a digital camera? That's an interesting question?

    The biggest downside for me has been not being able to see the results until the film has been processed. Processing the film has been the most frustrating part. As stores that do it are not local to me, there machines are being serviced etc. This is the area that digital wins easily. Firstly, you can get feedback when shooting and also you have an opportunity to process the pictures yourself.

    I think the film vs digital debate is similar to the audio one of digital vs vinyl. I guess to a certain extent it depends on what you have lived with. One of the issues that I have with digital photography or audio is that sometimes I feel that the search is for a 'perfect' image or sound. In a way that leads to thoughts that I have about technology in general. Sometimes, I feel that you are not allowed 'breathing space' to appreciate the advances as manufacturers seem to be continually superseeding models with 'the best ever'. I do wonder if we allow the technology to control us rather than controlling it? Maybe that leads back nicely to the digital vs film debate? Perhaps, taking a more 'manual' approach to things leads to more creativity and control of what you are doing. That argument probably applies to both digital and film?

    Cheers for now

    Gary

  15. #15

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    Re: Ebay for film cameras

    Gary: I can process a roll of film in about the same amount of time it takes to do a decent PP on a digital image. 1.5 to 2 min developer, 30 sec stop, 5 min fix at which point I can have a looksee at the negatives before my final wash. Of course, I've been doing it so long, I can load a roll of film in less than a minute. Give or take, ten minutes plus a 25 minute archival wash (during which time I am doing some other darkroom function). The same goes for a paper print.

    Here's the catch to shooting film. To really become proficient, you must shoot large format and you must shoot Zone. I like 35mm and medium format as much as the next guy, but there is so little control in exposure compensation and that's the real reason why people compare digital to film and say film is dead. When I shoot film, I know pretty much what I'm going to get before it ever sees the first chemical. So, for me, that "unknown" factor really doesn't exist.

    If you want the best of both worlds, there is a publication called Mastering Exposure and Zone for Digital Photographers and learn digital through an understanding of how one exposes in a digital format. It is not at all the same as shooting in a film environment, but if you understand film zones, it is infinitely easier to understand. Mastery is a lot harder.

    The greatest advantage to digital over film is the number of crappy exposures one can make until they finally hit a decent one and not spend a nickel on film, chemistry or paper. But, keep in mind, a hack with a D3 is still a hack with a D3; he just looks better than the hack with the D90. 95% (maybe 99%) of what is posted on the internet in digital format is crap. Most monkeys can shoot at the same level, given the time and card capacity.

    I have been in film most of my life and feel I am in that 5% category of good film photographers, but I've only been at digital for a year and while I feel like I've improved considerably, I am still so far away from where I want to be, and need to be before I can say I fit into that 5% margin...and so that goes. Either medium requires oodles of work, experimentation, study-study-study, and then back to a lot of work.

    Good Luck!

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    Re: Ebay for film cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by MiniChris View Post
    now's the time to scarf up some really good deals in cameras, especially large format.
    A friend got a great deal on a Toyo view camera body for just $100US

    But, you do need to be careful, In trying to find a replacement for my first medium format camera a Yashica Mat that died when a Dog knocked a leg from under a table, the seller had no clue about evaluating the condition of a camera handed down from an elderly family member. What I got was in worse condition than what I had originally lost.

    My Sigma SA9 was a great ebay buy, $35US for the camera body and two SA Mount Zoom lenses compatible with my SD14, the condition was near new.
    Last edited by Steaphany; 13th December 2011 at 02:21 PM.

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    Re: Ebay for film cameras

    I'm really impressed with universities teaching wet photography; but I can't even get on a university course and are very jealous. I wished I did photography instead of pure maths, not least since pure maths and I'm sure most basic topics give me a headache.
    At my local college I'm pretty sure they don't do wet photography further than to say before digital, photographers used to have to work in the dark, and in any case, the tutor wouldn't even look at any of my prints instead insisting I have to start with point and shoot, and I haven't got time to mess about.
    If there wasn't digital, I would not be doing photography now; because I gave up after leaving school and not having access to a darkroom, instead having to put up with the infuriating idiot who used to throw my work away because it was too dark. I used to like doing night shots.

  18. #18
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    Re: Ebay for film cameras

    I enjoy a debate like this and hope that folks are not getting tired of our comments. If anyone is, please mention it and I will stop immediately.

    Of course film photography was responsible for wonderful photojournalistic and artistic coverage. It was the only game in town for a hundred and fifty years. However, there is a new kid on the block now, digital, and that kid is also, in a very short time, able to hold his head up tall. I shot film for over fifty-years, enjoyed it and became quite proficient at it. However, when the new digital technology evolved, I embraced it.

    A good photographer is going to produce good images with whatever technology he or she uses. A poor photographer will produce lousy images despite the best technology. However, I don't think that it is either fair or accurate to try to paint digital photographers as hacks ind infer that film photographers were superior craftsmen and artists. Perhaps that is not what you intended to do but that is what I took from your statements like. "Most monkeys can shoot at the same level, given the time and card capacity." when referring to digital images posted on the Internet.

    I agree that much of the imagery posted on the Internet is not particularly good but, remember; the photographers who are now shooting with entry level DSLR cameras were shooting film with Instamatic, Box Brownie, Polaroid and the ubiquqous Kodak disk cameras in the days of film. The difference is that their results are kept hidden in family albums and in shoe boxes rather than being posted on the Internet for the world to see and comment on. The quality level I have seen in many family albums as also on the par with monkey talent.

    You posted, "I have been in film most of my life and feel I am in that 5% category of good film photographers, but I've only been at digital for a year and while I feel like I've improved considerably, I am still so far away from where I want to be, and need to be before I can say I fit into that 5% margin...and so that goes. Either medium requires oodles of work, experimentation, study-study-study, and then back to a lot of work."

    Doesn't your statement validate what I mentioned when I posted earlier, "Of course, I suspect that there are many instructors out there who have a far better handle on film photography than they have of digital work and prefer to teach what is comfortable to them."?
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 13th December 2011 at 03:37 PM.

  19. #19

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    Re: Ebay for film cameras

    It was my contention and I will hold to that for a while longer...until some of the "hacks" quit posting and start putting their images in a showbox under the bed...oh prig that I am. I guess I am in overload mode..too much of not a good thing as opposed to a nice amount of a good thing...it was rare (in dem olden days) that an image ever got published which basically, in every aspect of photography was out of focus, over saturated, under exposed, etc. That is more to what I was referencing.

    I no longer know what is a good thing for the industry or art when speaking in terms of a digital world. A bad photo is a bad photo, no matter the medium and I will continue to contend, there are far more visably out there now, than before.

  20. #20
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    Re: Ebay for film cameras

    Rj Kern just published his writeup on Family Photos with D700 vs F100 {film vs digital} where he presents side by side comparisons along with his observations.

    A key point made for anyone contemplating a venture into film photography is not only are the equipment prices low, they hold their value and are very stable, which means if you later decide to sell that camera, you can come close to what you invested into it.

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