Frugal film photography: How to get into medium format film photography without breaking the bank


posted Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at 7:11 AM EST

Many photographers, including Chris Gampat at The Phoblographer, suggest that shooting with film forces photographers to slow down and consider every shot they take. Unlike with a digital camera, there is a very real cost to every image you capture, and this careful consideration can help vastly improve your work.

That cost doesn't have to be high, however, even if you want to shoot medium format film photography.

As Chris says, you might be interested in a Contax 645, but you'll be looking at shelling out anywhere from $1,500 to 4,000 for one. (You can read a review of this camera here.) This is about getting into medium format film photography without having to spend a ton of money, so what other options are there? Chris recommends a Mamiya RB67, which can be found on eBay for a few hundred dollars. For a couple of other options, check out the full article. There are also point and shoot options, including the Lomography LCA 120 and Diana F+.

Once you've got a camera, you're going to need film, and this is where the cost can very quickly skyrocket if you're not careful. You need to be deliberate with every capture. Chris recommends a few different films to try, but it is important to find one that offers the look you're after and not burn through it too quickly.

If you're interested in medium format photography, watch Ted Forbes' video below.

For more general information on medium format film photography, check out Jason Row's article for Light Stalking and Josh Taylor's guide to black and white medium format film photography for B&H.

(Seen via The Phoblographer. Index image by Instagram user instaholste)