The digital revolution has seen exponential improvement in the quality of cameras. For many of us, the days of film are all but a distant memory. The ease, accessibility, and effectiveness of digital has made film cameras feel like no more than a piece of nostalgia. However, there is, in fact, a lot to be gained from mastering the use of film. Using them is not only fun, but also a good way to improve your photography skills in general. As such, here are 4 vintage cameras you need to try.
The Best Vintage Film Cameras
Manufactured from 1976 to 1984, the Canon AE-1 was a stunningly successful and popular camera. In the 1970s Canon led the point and shoot market, but the Canon AE-1 marked the company’s first major success in the SLR space, selling over 1 million units. The AE-1’s success was well deserved. It was the first microprocessor equipped SLR in history. While it was widely used by professional photographers, it was, because of the camera’s straight forward and easy to grasp design, one of the first SLRs that was also popular with amateurs. There are tons of accessories available for the camera, and, most importantly, it takes great shots.
The Yashica T4 was discontinued in 2002, around the same time that digital cameras began to become popular. As a simple point and shoot, the T4 does not look like it would take anything nearing a quality photograph. The plastic casing and zoom-less lens might remind some people why digital cameras are considered superior to film. However, despite its unassuming shell, the T4 has gained cult status as one of the best point and shoot film cameras ever made. The 35mm f/3.5 Zeiss Tessar lens is, quite simply, outstanding. In fact, it is of higher quality than most of today’s top digital point and shoot cameras. In fact, the T4 is used by famous photographer Terry Richardson. It is certainly worth a try.
Released in 1957, the Hasselblad 500C was an immediate game changer in the world of photography. The beautiful and robust Scandinavian crafting, combined with the amazing Zeiss lens, make the 500C a great camera choice even 60 years after its creation. The 500C (although modified) was the camera of choice for NASA in the 1960s. The 500C is a small camera with fast shutter speeds. All in all, the camera simply takes great photographs.
The Leica IIIC was manufactured from 1940 to 1951 and has remained in the photography world’s collective consciousness ever since. The IIIC’s looks are, in a word, iconic. The chrome plating adds durability as well as style, and the overall usability is great. As for the quality of the pictures, the camera still holds up. In the words of one reviewer, the Leica IIIC embodies: “history, class, and sophistication. Combine these superlatives with the camera’s unique shooting style, its impeccable build quality, and its undeniable street cred, and the IIIc becomes nearly irresistible.” If you needed any more convincing, Robert Frank took all of the photographs in his ground-breaking book, The Americans, on a Leica IIIC.
Rent on BorrowFox
While BorrowFox does not necessarily carry these specific film cameras, there are film cameras available to rent for inexpensive prices. If you rent first, you might find yourself falling in love with the simplicity and nostalgic grace of film based cameras.