Classic Cameras

by Cory Rice ·Posted 06/29/2023
My grandfather bought a Pentax P3 the week I was born. A year of tenuous exposures later, he replaced it with a more automated Pentax SF1. And so, the camera used to take the photos in this article spent the next three and a half decades in a shoebox in Pittsburgh. During my last visit back home, my grandfather pulled me into his kitchen. “Whaduya think I can get for these?” He dropped a stack of dusty magazines, a half-evaporated snow globe, and the well-worn P3 on his kitchen table. After breaking the disappointing news that none of his
by Cory Rice ·Posted 06/28/2023
We write about a broad range of cameras on B&H Explora. But which ones do we have at home and use regularly? Read on to find out. Cory Rice: FUJIFILM GFX 50S II After testing, renting, and dreaming about FUJIFILM’s GFX cameras for the past three years, I finally took the plunge and bought a GFX 50S II two months ago. I have no regrets. Paired with the
0 Plays ·Posted 06/22/2023
“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.” There is no better role model for this Thomas Edison quote than Steve Sasson, the electrical engineer fresh out of grad school who was hired to work in a Kodak research lab in 1973. With a passion for scavenging parts and a penchant for invention, he developed the world’s first self-contained digital camera just two years after his arrival in the lab. In honor of National Camera Day, we invited Sasson to the podcast for an in-depth discussion about his invention of this revolutionary
0 Plays ·Posted 02/11/2021
When we started the B&H Photography Podcast more than six years ago, the concept was “watercooler conversations” with photographers, about gear. Well, honestly, it hasn’t always turned out that way, but this episode with famed photojournalist David Burnett comes as close to that idea as any we have done; there’s barely an edit in the whole episode. Burnett joins us, and we just talk. We begin with his coverage of the recent presidential
by Cory Rice ·Posted 02/10/2021
The years between the mid-19th and mid-20th centuries were some of the most inventive for photographic processes. As the camera began to be taken seriously as an expressive tool, photographers started exploring the creative possibilities offered by various printing processes, including pigment-based printing techniques such as carbon printing and later carbro printing. Above photograph: Harry Warnecke, Inauguration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1937, 1937, carbro print. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution The
by Allan Weitz ·Posted 02/10/2021
In addition to its innovative image-processing abilities, the recently introduced Zeiss ZX1 is also notable as being the first camera to wear the Zeiss nameplate in five decades. This Classic Camera review is about the last camera to wear the Zeiss nameplate—the Zeiss Ikon Hologon Ultrawide (1969-71), which was as technically remarkable as its 21st-century follow-up act. Although this article is a classic “camera” review, the story is really about
by Shawn C. Steiner ·Posted 02/05/2021
Welcome to B&H's Film Photo Week! Running from February 7-12, 2021 across all of B&H's channels will be loads of new content and events about film photography. You'll find invigorating chats with working photographers who still haven't put away their film cameras, tutorials to make the most of that camera in your closet, and even some opinions on how film works in contemporary photography workflows. Find us on social media at #BHFilmPhotoWeek to talk about all things
by Berty and Emily Mandagie ·Posted 02/09/2021
Ready to take your film camera on your next epic summer road trip? Shooting film outside can be a grand adventure, full of future nostalgic moments, incredible landscapes, and a way to savor the rich colors of the world around you. There are so many film stocks available, which should you buy? That's where we come in! We're Berty and Emily Mandagie, Pacific Northwest photographers who capture travel and landscape imagery. We spend our careers outside capturing our beautiful corner of the world, and
by Allan Weitz ·Posted 10/01/2020
How “good” are vintage lenses when used on modern digital cameras? In a word, vintage lenses are “fine,” though I would have to immediately follow that statement by adding, “It depends,” because there are always exceptions to the rules, though even in these cases, the lens in question often works fine albeit with a technical or optical shortcoming of sorts. Original photographs © Allan Weitz 2020 When adapting older-generation film camera lenses to DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, most perform well in terms of sharpness, color fidelity, color
by Allan Weitz ·Posted 08/26/2020
In the early and mid-1970s, I often prowled the various neighborhoods of my native Brooklyn with my camera in tow. Coney Island was one of my favorite haunts and, despite the fact Coney wasn’t the safest of places at the time, I managed to wander the boardwalk and alleyways with a 4 x 5 field camera and a bag of Nikons slung over my shoulder without incident. In a bid to lower my visual profile—and maybe shake up my shooting habits in the process—I started looking for a camera that was smaller and stealthier than the gear I was currently using
by Bjorn Petersen ·Posted 05/31/2020
Over the years, I’ve dabbled with many cameras and many film formats. I’ve used pretty much everything from 8 x 10" view cameras to half-frame 35mm cameras and ended up settling on 6 x 7 for the majority of my work. Somehow, though, after all of this time, I managed to skip the 645 format entirely. I didn’t do this intentionally; it just never seemed to fall into place. The cameras and lenses are larger than those for 35mm, but the film format is smaller than 6 x 7. It’s either a happy medium or an awkward compromise, depending on how you look
by Allan Weitz ·Posted 05/22/2020
My first autofocus camera, and what turned out to be my last film camera, was a Nikon N90 35mm single lens reflex (1992–2001). I needed to replace one of my Nikon F3 bodies and I got tired of waiting forever for the long-rumored Nikon F5 film camera to become available. (Sound familiar?) The F3’s replacement camera, the Nikon F4, was readily available but the F4’s autofocus and metering systems were woefully behind the times, and if you turned the camera from vertical to horizontal or vice-versa, the meter would often get confused. And no,
by Allan Weitz ·Posted 04/02/2020
Digital cameras dedicated specifically to capturing black-and-white photographs are rare birds. With the exception of the recently released Leica M10 Monochrom, its predecessors—the Leica Monochrom M (2012) and Leica Monochrom M Typ 246 (2015)—and a small handful of other niche cameras, one other digital camera stands out in the black-and-white market: the Kodak DCS 760M, which made its debut in 2001. It’s important to keep in
by Allan Weitz ·Posted 02/11/2020
If you’re into analog film cameras, by extension you’re also into light meters. This is because while most modern cameras contain excellent TTL metering systems, if you use film cameras made prior to the 1970s and ’80s chances are: A. the camera has a meter but it doesn’t work anymore; B. the meter works but it’s no longer accurate; C. they stopped making batteries for your meter when Jimmy Carter was President; or D. the camera never had a light meter in the first place. If you resonate with any of the above and your film camera has an
by Boyd Hagen ·Posted 09/20/2019
If you wanted to be considered a professional photographer in 1979, the year the Olympus XA was released, your choice of cameras was limited. For some in the upper reaches of the profession, Leica was still the only option. For the rest of us, there were large, solid machines like the Nikon F2 and the Hasselblad 500C/M. But I also wanted something smaller and easier to use when I didn’t have a paying client to impress. Above photograph: Luxor, Egypt 1982 The Olympus XA is a low-profile camera that doesn’t call attention to itself. Ektachrome