The One’s That Got Away

I have a checkered past with film cameras. Since getting back into film a few years ago now I’ve bought and sold quite a few cameras that looking back I should have kept.

I have a checkered past with film cameras. Since getting back into film a few years ago now I’ve bought and sold quite a few cameras that looking back I should have kept. 

Some have gone as I’ve evolved with the type of camera I wanted, a couple were sold on for a small profit and a couple even sold when a large unscheduled bill dropped upon us. 

Film cameras I’ve loved and owned

Olympus OM10
Olympus OM1 x2
Olympus OM2
Bronica ETRS
Minolta AL-F
Nikon f80
Leica M2
Nikon EM

Nikon F3
Olympus X-A2
Canon Sureshot Supreme
Yashica Electro GTN
Holga 120N
Olympus Trip 35
Leica M6

The One’s That Got Away
Of the 14 film cameras I’ve had over the recent time, there are just four in some ways I wish I’d kept hold of.  In no particular order other than a chronicle timeline of which came first here’s the ones that got away list. 

Olympus OM1
With a second OM1 and an OM2 already in the bag, the decision to eventually sell both OM1’s was in hindsight a big mistake. 

My original OM1 was sent for a CLA with a reputable repairer and ended up coming back worse than when it went away!  I sold that on eBay as untested, and at the same time as disenchantment set in I sold the remaining OM1 as I felt I had what I wanted in an OM2. 

Olympus Trip 35
Bought for stupid (low) money in very good condition and despite it being a later black shutter button example sold for a nice profit thanks to Trips becoming more sought after. 

Leica M2
Aaaargh!  Probably the defining camera that made me think WTF are you doing. Originally bought as ‘the’ film camera for me the call of a really expensive digital lens became too much.

I sold the M2 on to help fund a move to a Nikon DSLR system and set of fancy primes. At the time it made sense, when I look back now I realise what a dick I was!

Nikon F3
What I felt was ‘the’ SLR camera for me soon became a camera to make way for a new clutch in my car!  I wanted a solid reliable, mechanical camera and the F3 was that camera. 

I made the mistake of thinking too much about the body and not the lens and ended up using a pretty poor example of a Nikon 50mm af-d on it as a make weight.  In truth I should have bought a better lens for it as I felt the af-d was always a compromise to an other wise superb camera body. 

The Keepers
Out of all the film cameras I’ve had just three remain.

Nikon F80
One of those absolute no-frills cameras when film and digital overlapped each other. My thinking is the F80 is a much under valued camera both in terms of its abilities and the monetary value attached to them at this moment in time. It’s almost hybrid the way it works, it really does get out of the way and lets you shoot without drama.

Olympus X-A2
I had high hopes for the X-A2, a small compact point and shoot camera. In essence I don’t really need it and the initial excitement of owning one has waned. Definitely on its way out the door.

Leica M6 Classic
My classic M6 isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon, that’s for sure! It’s a joy to use and makes me want to go out and make photographs all day, every day. From a romantic point of view, I’ll be buried with this camera.

It’s been a long and interesting journey to end up where I am today, which I am pretty happy about. Hopefully going forward to can stick to just one (or maybe two) film cameras and worry more about my abilities to get the best from it than what I think is ‘the next must have, best thing’.


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