Hunting for the film camera of my dreams

by W. Andrew Powell

Rolleiflex 2.8D TLR camera

Rolleiflex 2.8D TLR camera

As I type this note I’m sitting at my desk eyeing the clock. It’s just before 8:00 PM and in two hours my latest dreams of owning a (second) medium format camera will be shot.

I’ve had my eye on picking up a twin-lens reflex (TLR) camera off of eBay for weeks now, and I found the perfect one a couple of days ago, but the problem is it’s now ridiculously over-priced thanks to one person’s bid. There are a few others I like, but this one came with a pile of goodies, and it was located here in Ontario.

Of course, I can’t whine too much about not getting a second camera. The only reason I want another one is because the first one I bought is huge, and weighs a ton (it’s the awesome Mamiya RZ67 though), so it’s not ideal for travel.

There are some amazing medium format cameras coming up on eBay these days, but it seems to take a lot of patience to find one that isn’t getting heavy bids, and yet still comes from a reputable seller.

What’s funny is that I still get a lot of funny questions when I say I shoot film. It’s not like I’m only shooting film, my main camera is digital, but there is something very rewarding about shooting on film. It feels right, it even sounds right when you hear the shutter.

Medium format also offers a huge amount of resolution with the right scanner, and if I shoot black and white film, I also develop my own negatives.

Anyway, I’m going to keep hunting for a new camera, and see what comes up. My only other complaint is that I wish there was a store in Toronto that I could walk in to and look at these cameras before I buy one. Since these TLR cameras are getting scarce as collectors pick them up though, that seems fairly unlikely.

Wish me luck! If I find the right one I’m going to be taking it to this year’s Toronto International Film Festival to get snapshots and hopefully a few portraits.

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1 comment

Robert July 17, 2010 - 9:28 am

If you haven’t already try B&H Photo, Adorama or I’ve used them all and they’ve very reputable. Keh has tons of medium format.

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