My film camera kit

Barry D. Hunt

New Member
I have used 35mm format film cameras for the last forty years. I started with an old second hand Russian FED3 fitted with an f2.8 52mm lens. It was a sort of Russian copy of a Leica rangefinder. The engineering was 'agricultural' but the optics were good. I took many good photos with it using Agfa CT-18 slide film.

I then replaced the FED with an Exa 250 SLR, initially fitted with a 50mm lens. Shortly after whilst buying some Exacta/Exa bayonet fit lenses, I aquired an Exacta Varex IIa camera body, that had a greater range of facitities than the Exa. A Varex IIb was soon added as I quickly learnt that for travel photography it is very useful to have two camera bodies with different lenses. Later still, a bought a couple of VX1000 bodies and have now amassed a large collection of Exacta equipment.

To date I have 5 Exacta bodies and one Exa body, to which I can fit lenses varying in focal length from 20mm to 400mm, plus all the neccessary paraphenalia to do macro photography: extension tubes, bellows etc. The Exactas have exchangeable viewfinders: waist level, eye level pentaprism and TTL metering, all with interchangable viewing screens: plain; frosted; Fresnel and 'rangefinder'.

Thirty years ago I bought my first Leica second hand, an M3. This was joined by an M4 two years later. These two cameras and three lenses (35mm, 50mm and 90mm, occasionally a 280mm for wildlife photography) formed the basis of my travelling cameras and they have been with me all over the world and have never let me down. They have worked at the top of Kilimanjaro when other cameras have frozen with the cold; worked in the desert of Mauritania when others were affected by dust and fine sand, and wave worked in the blistering heat of southern Iran, where it was so hot the metal work of the camera was almost too hot to hold. As you can imagine I have a lot of respect for Leicas.

I have now, yesterday in fact, at long last bought a compact digital camera. It's a Panasonic DMC-FS15, bought to introduce me to digital photography. I'll post details in another thread, then you can tell me if I've bought a 'complete dog' or not!

My wife still uses the nikon film . I prefer the digital , I can print shots with in minutes of taking it / them .
It is hard / out of the way to buy the film and then have it developed .
As far as a good camera — play with what you have for a few months - then decide on a camera by the type of shots you take .
Decisions you will have to make
Full frame or crop
type of memory card - CF or SD
body IS or lens IS
Are you going to try to use the lenses you already have ? Make sure there is an adapter available .
Great history there Barry - and some interesting locations on your travels.

Do you have an shots to share from these exotic locations?

Regarding the move to digital - no right or wrong answers, completely depends how you feel as you get into it.

Will be interested to see what you think as you explore the new camera
Panasonic DMC-FS15 - DEF not a dog. Nothing with an Elmarit on the front can be a dog...I think you'll have a lot of fun with it.