the sweet light » Film photography and natural light.

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what’s in my camera bag, part 1

Azzari Jarrett Film Cameras

I love to see what other photographers and creatives have in their bags, so here is my first installment – all about my film cameras.

I’ve collected all of these cameras over the last 4 years – beginning with the manual, 35mm Pentax K1000 (read the post here).   And I guess it is obvious that I became hooked!  Below, I’ve grouped my cameras by film type.

A. Jarrett Instant Film Cameras

Let’s get started with the instant film cameras.

1.  Polaroid Land Camera 250 – I love this camera.  I use Fuji Fp 100c  peel apart color film (mostly for shooting outdoors) or Fuji FP 3000b for black and white photographs, which I mainly use indoors.  I love the results of this camera – the pictures are always beautiful.  It took practice to learn how to focus correctly.  Also, when I take the land camera out in public for a shoot, it is definitely a conversation starter.  People are always interested and love to share their memories of their grandmother/grandfather using this camera.  Images that I have taken with the polaroid land camera are here.

2.  Polaroid Land Camera 660 – This camera takes traditional Polaroid 600 film, which is no longer available.  I still have a few packs left that I am hoarding which I purchased from ebay over a year ago.  The Impossible Project now makes polaroid film, but I have to admit that I haven’t experimented with their film extensively.  I bought one pack and did not get good results, but I may have to give it another try!  I almost always shoot outdoors with this camera since I never use the flash.  Images I have taken with my polaroid are here.

3.  Fuji Instax 210 – Definitely a fun camera – bright, bold images.  I always shoot outdoors with this camera, since the flash automatically fires indoors.  Images I have taken with the Instax 210 here.

4.  Fuji Instax Mini – Another fun camera that I don’t use as often as I should!  Mini version of the Fuji Instax 210, and cute, small pictures.

A. Jarrett 35mm cameras

Next up, the 35mm lineup.

5. Nikon F100 – Definitely my go-to camera.  I purchased this camera used from ebay, and I absolutely love it.  An automatic 35mm camera, it fits in my hand perfectly.  Great for shooting with a baby on my hip!  The F100 takes traditional 35mm film – my favorites are Kodak Ektar 100 , Kodak Portra 400 , and Fuji Pro 400H.  Images I have taken with the F100 here.

6. Pentax K1000 – My first film camera, and it definitely has my heart.  It is a heavy camera, completely manual.  I can honestly say that shooting with this camera really taught me how to adjust my settings and focus manually.  As with the Nikon 35mm, it takes all traditional 35mm film. Images I have taken with the Pentax here.

AJarrett Medium Format Cameras

Finally, my medium format cameras.

7. Contax 645 – I don’t use this camera nearly as much as I should!  I have found that the battery is not as reliable as I would like.  Love the feel of the Contax 645 in my hands – and the resulting images are beautiful.  Takes 120/220 film, and I also have a polaroid back for this camera.  Images I have taken with the Contax here.

8. Hasselblad 500c– I purchased this camera on a whim from a camera shop during a visit to San Francisco a couple of years ago.  I saw it, took one look through the viewfinder, pressed the shutter, and took it home with me that very day.  It takes 120/220  film – although here, it is outfitted with a polaroid back.  I should also note that I use a light meter to help me set the exposure.  I made a short film with this camera to demonstrate what it is like to shoot with instant film.  Images that I have taken with this camera here.

And there you have it – my film cameras.  I use each in a different way.  Mostly, I pick up what is closest and has film loaded!

In my next installment of What’s In My Bag, I’ll share a bit more about the digital cameras I use.

Feel free to ask me questions regarding any of these cameras, and I’ll answer in the comments below.

  • maica - June 2, 2014 - 4:13 am

    whew, so many of them! i wonder how you decide on what particular type of camera you’ll use on taking a snapshot? does it depend on the mood, subject? what you do take into consideration?ReplyCancel

    • Azzari - June 2, 2014 - 12:02 pm

      hi maica,

      great question!

      there are a few things that i take into consideration when determining which camera i pick up. first and foremost is indoors vs outdoor photography. the instant film cameras require a great deal of natural light – i’ll usually grab one when heading out on trips. indoors, i will grab one of the 35mm or medium format cameras. and of course, whatever film i have on hand is a determining factor.

      overall, i usually pick the camera/film that conveys the mood i am trying to capture. and there will be periods of time when i solely use one camera since that is what i am feeling at the moment!ReplyCancel

  • Birgitte - June 2, 2014 - 4:36 am

    I love this! So inspiring to see what’s in your camera bag. I have only experienced once with film (the impossibile film and a polaroid) but it wasn’t a huge success. Once I get some time I will get myself a film camera and start experimenting…ReplyCancel

    • Azzari - June 2, 2014 - 12:03 pm

      sounds great birgitte! i can’t wait to see your results.

      i’m also planning on writing a post on how to get started/experiment with film.ReplyCancel

  • Traci - June 2, 2014 - 10:40 am

    Those are some great cameras. Just wanted to say hi. i really enjoy your blog.ReplyCancel

    • Azzari - June 2, 2014 - 12:03 pm

      thanks for following my work, Traci!ReplyCancel

  • patricia - June 2, 2014 - 11:17 am

    An excellent post – interesting and informative. I liked seeing your collection of beauties. I would like to experiment with manual film cameras sometime. My research so far has favoured the Pentax K1000, so I am happy to see it in your bag. I also like your photos with the Nikon F100. Do you have any advice/tips on choosing a manual film camera? If they are used, do they require frequent servicing? Many thanks for this post.ReplyCancel

    • Azzari - June 2, 2014 - 12:11 pm

      hi patricia,

      thanks for your kind words. yes, i would definitely recommend starting out with the pentax k1000 – you will definitely learn the in’s and out’s of film photography by experimentation with a manual camera. i am planning a post on how to get started/experiment with film – look out for that.

      i purchased both the pentax k1000 and my nikon f100 used from ebay. they were both in excellent condition – i haven’t had to service either one of them. that being said, if you buy used (and on ebay), it is extremely important to communicate with the seller to make sure the camera is in working condition and the pictures accurately show the camera being purchased. you might also check out which sells used film cameras. They give you an accurate description of condition. so much more to say on this, i think another post is in order!ReplyCancel

      • patricia - June 2, 2014 - 1:55 pm

        I appreciate your reply, Azzari. I will check out the site you suggested. Will definitely be looking forward to your planned posts on beginning with film. Kind regards,ReplyCancel

  • line - June 4, 2014 - 8:03 am

    wow great review on film camera…with the Fuji Instax 210 to avoid flash you can put duck tape ….great pictures …..we love filmReplyCancel

  • Morgan - June 12, 2014 - 11:20 pm

    Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. I am new to photography and enjoyed learning what your favorite cameras are to use. It was very insightful and I am hoping to start using film cameras more often!ReplyCancel

    • Azzari - June 13, 2014 - 7:13 am

      thank you, Morgan! I’m glad you enjoyed this post.ReplyCancel

  • […] Today I’m finishing up my round up of cameras with my (small) digital collection.  You can read more about my film cameras here – what’s in my camera bag, part 1. […]ReplyCancel