The hype of film photography has come back in recent times due to a sudden increase in content creators. Older still cameras have also come back in fashion and demand.
People are searching for classic film cameras because of the nostalgia and aesthetics attached to them. These classic film cameras provide vast learning exposure to beginners and unique photography features.
This is why professional and beginner shooters prefer to take urban and studio shots using classic or 35mm films. Film Cameras provide a more aesthetic and natural look that digital cameras can’t beat or replicate. These reasons reawakened the charm of classic film cameras and made them hard to afford.
Let’s look at a few of these expensive and worth-buying classic film cameras.
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- Leica M6
- Canon AE-1
- Pentax K1000
- Nikon F2
- Hasselblad 500 C/M
- Contax T3
- Yashica MAT 124G
- Rolleiflex 2.8D
- Contax 645
- Nikon FE
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Leica is one of the first launched camera brands that gained popularity among collectors. It is now one of the most valuable vintage camera brands. They produced delicate and high-quality cameras for a very long time, making their vintage cameras even more valuable in price.
The Leica M6 can be considered a Porsche or Rolex of cameras. Leica M6 has around 28mm wide frame lines for its lenses, which many camera experts scream for.
This specific model of Leica is still expensive, and there are a lot more chances for the price of its lenses to get even higher in the future. If you own a Leica M6, you own a part of history that will last longer.
The Canon AE-1 counts among the first few film cameras that made photography more accessible and manageable, especially for beginners. Canon AE-1 has manual capabilites and it is the first SLR camera of 35mm with a CPU. This CPU is the control center for self-timer, aperture value control, and exposure memory.
The biggest plus point for photographers who are required to keep their cameras with them for long hours is the plastic that Canon AE-1 contains, which makes it easy to handle and light in weight.
Many professional photographers prefer using this model of Canon because of the fantastic FD mount lenses. The Canon AE-1 is a pretty well-built camera, and this model’s current selling price is around $700-$800.
Pentax K1000 is a camera genuinely designed for learners or beginners, as it is the easiest SLR with minimal setting options, preventing the user from confusion. If you want to learn the fundamentals of photography, this camera is for you, as it is entirely manual and requires you to understand how it works before taking pictures.
People use Pentax K1000 for both personal and professional use. It became a goldmine for students because of its small size, amazingly light meter, and sturdy body. The Pentax K1000 has a leather and chrome-covered body, which makes its appearance vintage appeal. Additionally, the K1000 doesn’t require any batteries while using it, and there is no need for a separate flash unit for this model.
Nikon built this last mechanical SLR, Nikon F2, also known as “Perfectionist’s Nikon.” This model of Nikon has a 1/4000 shutter speed and flash sync up to 1/200 per second. These are standards in today’s camera world, but these two settings were considered the fastest.
There is still hype for Nikon because of their never-changed lens mount, which allows us to use older lenses on new camera bodies.
Nikon F2 is a simple fixed camera due to its interchangeable viewfinder feature. So, if you are looking for a 35mm camera, you will have nothing better than a Nikon F2.
Hasselblad 500 C/M
Hasselblad 500 C/M is a classic film camera introduced back in 1970. It is still a frequently sought-after camera among professional photographers. Hasselblad 500 C/M has an entire aperture viewing diaphragm and interchangeable film magazines.
You don’t have to switch the cameras; you can change the mid-run film roll. People often view this company as the Rolls Royce of the camera world. The model comes with 120 films with a size of 35mm, which provides a more bokeh effect, that nice blur that we see in photographs these days. In short, the Hasselblad 500 C/M is a classic film camera worth investing in.
The Contax T3 is one of the better cameras for the novice. It can be used in auto and manual modes and has a durable titanium body and built-in flash. It generally has all the features that an SLR contains.
This camera became popular because of its f2.8 Zeiss lens that provides excellent color and contrast reproduction and a smooth and fast f-stop range. It gives detailed, sharp photographs even when working in dim lights. The Contax T3 has an exemplary auto-focus system as well. The current price of this classic film camera is around $3000.
Yashica MAT 124G
This camera belongs to the TLR family of cameras. These cameras are slightly similar to today’s DSLR or SLR cameras. It is a medium-format film camera. Yashica MAT 124G had a long-run market from 1970 to 1986. The camera has a light meter and an 80mm f/3.5 lens on the front, providing quality photographs.
It provides greater precision when it comes to focus, as the focusing nob works a little slower than other cameras. This antique camera is a true nostalgia for camera lovers due to its crisp photographs and the plus point of seeing the actual version of your shot from the viewfinder even before capturing it.
Rolleiflex was released first in the early 1950s; out of all its models, the Rolleiflex 2,8D became the most admired camera in medium format photography. It is a high-end twin lens reflex camera (TLR) with a beautiful and vintage box design, comprised of a few dials and knobs to adjust focus, aperture, and speed.
The Rolleiflex 2.8D provides vintage nostalgia and is an intuitive, fun-shooting camera. This antique beauty accepts 120mm film. This camera is perfect for those trying to have a unique and quality photography experience.
Before mainstreaming digital cameras, Contax 645 was the beast in the market of portrait shooters and wedding photographers. It is a medium film format camera with a feature of autofocus along with lenses like f2, which is extremely rare for this negatively sized camera.
The Contax 645 is among the rarest and most highly sought-after classic cameras. This camera has a modular system, meaning it has some interchangeable parts. In short, Contax 645 is indeed a medium film format camera that works like a 35mm camera.
Nikon FE 35mm SLR is a must in this list, as it’s one of everyone’s favorites due to its promising reliability, compact size, and low cost, especially compared with its F2 and F3 versions. Additionally, it’s an f-mount camera, which allows you to use even older Nikon lenses.
If you are in retro cameras, then Nikon FE is definitely for you, as it has a faux leather exterior.
In short, classic film cameras are still worth the investment, as they gained popularity due to the recent comeback of film photography, mainly aesthetic and vintage photography.
Film cameras are better than digital ones in many aspects, including higher resolution, greater flexibility, and the natural look it provides.
It’s not about investment only; if you have old and rare cameras of your parents or grandparents, you may take advantage of selling those high-end cameras and earn well.
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