When I was a teenager, the best 35mm camera available was the Nikon F3. If you had the money, that was the camera to buy. I didn’t have the money ($1700) but I dreamed about having one and a bag full of lenses (primes because the according to the magazines, the telephotos weren’t as good).
With the mass migration to digital, prices for film cameras have dropped. Prices for used cameras have dropped even faster. An F3 in good condition today is only $250-$350.
I’ve had an itch for a while to shoot black and white film again. A gentleman at work had a bunch of film gear he wanted to sell and voila! instant opportunity. While I didn’t buy all of it, I did get a good film kit.
- Nikon F3 HP – The F3 HP was an F3 body with the High Eyepoint DE-3 view finder
- NIKKOR 55mm f/2.8 macro
- NIKKOR 200mm f/4 macro
- NIKKOR 400mm f/5.6
There were some odds-n-ends in the bags too. A second focusing screen, a second view finder, a Nikon PB-4 bellows unit, some adaptor rings (BR-2, BR-3, BR-4), some small flash units, and the like.
I stopped by the local Ritz camera to get some black and white film. You used to walk into a camera store and they had a wall of film: Kodak, Ilford, Fuji, Polaroid, and a bunch of others. Now? Not so much in the way of selection. This store had Kodak 125PX and 400TX, and Ilford FP4+ and HP5+. A quick check of both Kodak’s and Ilford’s web sites show both manufacturer’s have several black and white films but Fuji doesn’t.
I got some 400TX and HP5+ to try out, probably next weekend. I’ll have to check out Photomark, a large photo store in downtown Phoenix. They have a larger film selection, though again smaller than they used to.
See? Dreams really do come true.