By Johnny Martyr
You may have noticed that all of your favorite film bloggers closed out the year with their list of the top three film cameras of 2022.
Even though I was late getting out of the gate, I didn’t want to miss it! I think there’s still time to contribute to this fun meeting of minds. Make sure to stick around to the end where I’ll link to everyone’s Favorite Triple Camera entry. And hey, since I’m late, maybe I’ll have the most links for you!
Camera Numéro Un: Kodak Ektar H35
During the summer of 2022, Reto released a new Kodak-licensed half-frame 35mm p&s film camera that was an unexpected success. I excitedly pre-ordered the Ektar H35 and had the camera in hand the second week of July. I shot a long exposure roll of 72 on the Kodak TMAX 100 and published my first photo and review on Petapixel. Just a few days later, I took the H35 on vacation and ended up taking more photos compared to my M6.
It can be a relief as well as a means of freeing your creativity to use a cheap and simple camera. The half frame aspect is great for getting photographers to shoot movies when prices are high and people might be reaching for the iPhone. This small vertical frame can be used to create multiple interacting shots in the final image and print as I tried here with an old Studebaker I gave him on my way to work. Why stop at a diptych when you can get a triptych?
Anyway, if you’re looking to pick up the Kodak Ektar H35, I’m not sure what you’re waiting for. It’s all about cheesy fun and who doesn’t appreciate a bit of that?!
Numéro Deux camera: 1930 Leica I/III aka The 1930
I’m celebrating the 92nd birthday of my Leica 1930 this year. His five-digit serial number reveals a note that he left the Leica factory in Wetzlar, Germany on December 8, 1936, but no earlier historical records can be found on Leica.
So what happened to The 1930 for the first six years of its life is a bit of a mystery. But I believe that the 1936 date may reflect when it was upgraded from the Ic to III models and potentially received the 5cm nickel Summar lens I brought with me.
In July just before our 90th birthday, we shot fireworks and wrote an article about them for Petapixel.
For the 91, my wife gave The 1930 a nickel Elmar 5cm from 1933 which has no serial number because it is also a convertible, and therefore seems the perfect match.
For 92, I gave The 1930 the cover of the new black Moroccan leather sold by Hugo Studios to replace its stinky, brittle volcanicite original. Then we vacationed in Paris, France where I thought my little Leica fit in perfectly.
Soon I will be trying out the new DOOMO Meter S OLED accessory light meter with a black and brass body that is sure to match the beautiful patina and grade of a 1930 Leica in no time! Check out my take on these cool accessories for The 1930 in 2023.
Numéro Trois camera: Leica M6 TTL 0.85
2022 was my 12th year with my 1999 Leica M6 TTL and 2022 was also the year that Leica surprised and delighted the photographic community with a re-release of the M6.
Since I use the M6 TTL for much of my paid work, it’s necessary to have a spare body when shooting and to protect me during service life. But if you’ve been following Leica’s prices over the past few years, you probably know they’re a bargain. This stops me from pulling the backup trigger. But I decided that the prices would probably only get worse in the future. So this year, I finally relented. I put out the GAS and bought a second 1999 black chrome 0.85 Leica M6 TTL.
I’ve only had the chance to use both M6s together for two shots so far and it’s been great to be able to quickly switch from 50 Cron to 90 Cron as well as change ISO seamlessly. Soon I’ll be bringing the dynamic duo to Italy for full effect, so stay tuned for those shots. I hope to have a smooth ride through airport X-rays like I did in France.
For now, here’s a snapshot from one of my last family sessions for the year, shot with my Summicron and Tri-X 1979 50mm film.
So there you have it – my trois camera of 2022; The new Kodak Ektar H35, my historic 1930 Leica I/III and the latest addition, the 1999 M6 TTL 0.85 twin.
Needless to say, it’s been a very good year. I don’t expect to buy another camera in 2023 or for some time. I will definitely burn a lot of movies through these guys! My plan is to write more about engineering and less about technology in 2023.
Please be sure and check out all the other Top Three Camera Blogs of 2022 by a star-studded cast of camera crazies!
Thanks for reading, happy shooting, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Alyssa Chiarello – 3 Cameras from 2022
Alan Duncan – THREE TO GO – 3 VERY DIFFERENT TRAVEL MOVIE CAMERA
Mike Eckman – 3 Amazing Cameras from 2022
Jim Grey – Three cameras shipped to me in 2022
Eric Jason – Three More Cameras in 2022
Alex Luyckx – NEW FOR 2022
Peggy Mars – New for 2022 – My Favorite Film Camera Experience of the Year
Theo Panagopolus – Triple Camera 2022 for 2023
And thanks to Stephen Dowling from Kosmo Foto for the Triple Camera idea!
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