#104 – Film Cameras

It’s almost scandalous now how cheap film cameras have become. I have a few old film cameras, including the awesome Nikon F100. One of these with an MB15 grip was over £800  in 2004. I paid I think £160 for my F100 (in near mint condition), and £25 for the MB-15.


 When I got back into film photography in 2004, I bought a brand new Nikon F75 kit for £250, and then got a £50 rebate. I later sold it for £120. They now go for about £40.

The Nikon F80 was the model above the F75 and in a 2004 copy of Amateur Photographer magazine, these cameras were being advertised £300-340 body only. I’ve just bought one on Ebay, in superb condition, with an MB-16 grip for £40. I wanted something small, light and cheap to use when a big / expensive camera was either a liability or too conspicuous, and this fit the bill. I’ve partnered it with an old 28-80 kit lens that I’ve had lying round for years, this is similarly small and light (and free), and have got a perfectly capable outfit for very little cash.

Of course, as fewer people shoot film, fewer people want film cameras, which means they are very cheap, but the knock on effect is that, fewer people need film developing, which means fewer places process it, and even fewer process it well (especially on the high street / supermarkets). This means that if you want a good job doing, you have to send it away (I normally use Metro Colour Labs) who turn it round reasonably quick but it’s still several days from posting to receiving it back. It’s also not the cheapest way of doing things. Good film is also becoming harder to find on the high street (Boots are good as they do a 3 for 2 offer, and they have a small but reasonable selection), so you need to be looking at mail order from the like of 7dayshop, MX2, Mailshots or Mathers in Bolton and buy a big batch of a good selection.

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