Pdexposures Podcast Episode 61 – The Future of Cameras

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With Cosina announcing the end of new camera production, Nate and Simon sat down to discuss the future of New Camera Production in the modern era of film photography.

Simon thinks the future is bright in the world of boutique camera and lens manufacturing and that intrepid DIY’ers will kickstart the future with frankencameras.

Nate on the other hand is a bit of a gloomy gus.

What do you think?

Questions from this episode:

How much would you pay for a new camera? Your dream camera…

How much for a small boutique camera?

Do you see more batch lenses coming in the future, how much will they cost and what are you willing to pay?

Comments

  1. says

    How much would I pay for my dream camera? Me personally, that would mean a medium format camera that is relatively small, with aperture priority, that shoots 6×6 and ideally has a waist level finder. I would personally pay upward of $2,000 for that.

    However, if you take away the aperture priority bit (since it has to be all mechanical) then my dream camera already exists and I didn’t pay anything close to two grand for it. It also happens to be about thirty years older than I am and will probably still work after I am dead.

    The unfortunate truth of the matter (or very FORTUNATE truth depending on how you look at it) is that higher quality film cameras will always be the victims of their own success. If a film camera sells well it won’t be long until it is on the used market for half the original cost, and since it is a product that will last and last and last there is absolutely no reason as a consumer not to buy it used.

    You are actually starting to see this is the digital market too. Now that digital technology isn’t changing very rapidly there isn’t a lot of reason to go new anymore. I bought a Fuji X100s for example just this year because I couldn’t see any logical reason to pay new prices on a X100T when the new camera model isn’t all that different or improved.

    But hey, I’m a guy a who actually bought a Bessa R3A brand new and I did so purely for the novelty of buying a film camera brand new, not because I didn’t have other choices. I doubt most people would do the same. I wanted to be able to say once in my life that I was the first owner of something that I feel pretty confident will pass on to multiple hands before its time is over. The incredible irony there is that it is one of the cameras I use the least. Go figure…

  2. adam says

    Get that english arse back here again. PDE doesn’t exist without Tony, sorry guys with all symphony for both of you.

  3. says

    hiya guys.
    was listening to this discussion on the bus into work this morning.

    I believe that we have seen the end of the road of ‘classic’ film cameras (with regard to new ones being made). I do not want a ‘new’ film camera with all the bells and whistles of modern technology. I use a 80yr old Leica iii(a), Bessa R and the babies, an Olympus mju ii (and sometimes a Trip 35) for 35mm.

    The fact that there are no bells and whistles is one of the key motivations for using a vintage camera. Finding a newly manufactured camera (film) would be strange. Digital technology and the philosophy that goes along with it, is the way of the future. I am not interested in 3D printed cameras, or Frankencameras, beyond the novelty (for me that is)

    However, I am not all gloom and doom. I think there will always be film cameras available. I have tried a lot and I guess I am one of the lucky ones who has found what makes sense and works (for me). I am not some Luddite how hates anything modern, but somethings in my life puts the rat race in perspective. One of those things is using an old fully mechanical film camera and going home and mixing a soup to develop those images.

    The Ferrari 250 GTO (circa 1962) is the most expensive car in the world not only because there are so few of them around. It is valued for the craftsmanship and excellence of design and function. Luckily vintage cameras are not in that range, and we can still enjoy a very nice well manufactured camera that will last you a lifetime.

    I am happy this is the case

  4. Nick Marshall says

    At this time I don’t think I could afford a well made, new film camera. There are too many affordable used cameras out there. New film cameras and lenses seem to be just in niche areas like the new Lomo Instant Wide and Petzval lenses. If I had the money and a camera to use with it I would have gotten the Petzvar Pentacon 6 lens on Kickstarter:
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1162663202/the-petzvar-f-38-120-mm-medium-format-petzval-port/description

    My dream camera is an SLR that is able to shoot full frame instant pack film. The only ones I know of are the Graflex RB Series D and Super D. I’ve never seen one in person so I don’t know if I would really like them though. I’ve just gotten a used Mamiya RB67 and a used Mamiya Universal is on the way so those may be close enough.

    If you’re interested in making and hacking lenses check out this Flickr group:
    https://www.flickr.com/groups/homemadelens/

    Another good group is the Polaroid Conversions group:
    https://www.flickr.com/groups/polaroidconversions/

    You might have been thinking of Miroslav Tichý, who ground his own lenses:
    http://www.messynessychic.com/2013/06/06/the-reclusive-peeping-tom-photographer-and-his-cardboard-camera/

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