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Celebrating the art, process, and gear of the film photography community!

06 Nov '19

The Ultimate Gift Guide for Film Photographers - UPDATED FOR 2019

Posted by Mike mike@mikepadua.com in christmas, gift guide

Updated for 2019

***This list is still growing and constantly evolving, so bookmark it and keep checking back for new ideas and discounts.

Struggling for gift ideas for the film photographer in your life? Need some ideas for some new film photography goodies for yourself? You're in luck, once again I've compiled some choice goods from the film photography world!

Generally, items are sorted from least to most expensive, to help you stay within a budget. Let's get started!

FILM: The most important thing (price range: $4 to $15/per roll) 

For a film photographer, you can't go wrong with film as a gift! Just in the last few years, there have been an influx of new films that have hit the market from various companies, such as black and white offerings from Japan Camera Hunter, Kosmo Foto, and Bergger, and Lomography's many creative color options. Luckily, many of these options can be purchased at some great online retailers that specialize in film.

In the USA, check out the Film Photography Project

In the UK/EU, check out Analogue Wonderland

Japan Camera Hunter Film Cases

Japan Camera Hunter Film Cases on ShootFilmCo

The famous JCH film cases.

The cases do exactly what they say, hold films. Each case holds ten films and is made from tough plastic to keep the weather out and your films safe. Made from tough hi grade plastic.

Buy JCH film cases here.

PhotoMemo Film Photographer's Notebook - starting at $4.99 USD)

PhotoMemo by ShootFilmCo

The PhotoMemo is a notebook designed for film photographers, by a film photographer. Disclaimer--the designer behind these notebooks is me and this is an item that I sell here at ShootFilmCo! It is by far the most popular item I sell. Great stocking stuffer for those who love the analog experience.

Buy PhotoMemo here.

Kosmo Foto Kosmik Film Box (price range: $35)

Kosmo Foto Kosmik Film Box Featured on ShootFilmCo

Luxury designer film box featuring art inspired by the Kosmo Foto Mono film packaging.

Comes complete with four (4) rolls of Kosmo Foto Mono 100-ISO black-and-white film.

The perfect Christmas gift for film photographers.

Buy the Kosmik Film Box here.

Solar Can - Long Exposure Solargraphic Camera In a CAN! (price range starting at $20 USD).

Solar Can at ShootFilmCo

If you're looking for something fun and unique, this might be the thing for you. Solar Can is literally a camera in a can. Designed for very-long-exposure solargraphy--taking long exposures of the sun's trail.

Buy it here.

Beers & Cameras X ShootFilmCo Lapel Pin

Beers & Cameras X ShootFilmCo

When passions collide! The gang at Beers & Cameras have been hosting events for photographers at breweries, and with chapters sprouting up across the world, we had to collab on something cool, and this pin is the result. Coming in two different colors, you can buy them from Beers and Cameras here.

Polaroid Originals Instant Film and Cameras - starting at $16.99 USD

Polaroid Originals on ShootFilmCo

Precision Screwdriver Kit

If you’ve noticed your film-shooting loved one is always buying, taking apart, tinkering with, and fixing old cameras, then this is the perfect inexpensive gift. Precision screwdrivers are a necessity for taking apart cameras and the many other things that need repairing and tinkering around the house. Many sets can be had for only a few dollars, but those are usually of low quality and break or wear down quickly. This set is high quality, yet still very economical, and sure to last much longer than cheaper sets.

Consider this a personal recommendation: I’ve been using my set for years now!

Buy it here.

ONDU - Handmade Wooden Pinhole Camera (price range: $150 to $300)

Ondu Pinhole Camera - ShootFilmco Ultimate Gift Guide for Film Photographers

"ONDU is a family of creators making photographic instruments from premium natural materials at our workshop on the sunny side of Alps, Slovenia. We believe that there is a future in products that are made to last a lifetime. With the advent of cheap replaceable goods there's not much real craftsmanship around these days. A product made by hands has a special kind of feel to it, combine that with natural materials you will surely feel all the thought and work that has gone into each and every ONDU camera." Shop ONDU here.

Lomography LomoMod - DIY Camera with Liquid Filled Lens (price range: $59 to $207, depending on kit)

A flat-packed, customizable medium-format cardboard camera to build from the bottom up, plus a lens you can fill with liquid alongside a shutter; aperture module for endless experimentation - let your creative spirit run wild! Shipping now in Hong Kong, Europe & Japan, or early November in the USA. Buy it from Lomography here.

BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS

Together Forever: The Run-DMC and Beastie Boys Photographs by Glen E. Friedman

A photographer I've looked up to for literally decades cracked open the archives to put together a collection of two of the most influential acts in hip hop history:

Glen E. Friedman / ShootFilmCo

https://www.amazon.com/Together-Forever-Run-DMC-Beastie-Photographs/dp/0847866475

Mary Ellen Mark: On the Portrait and the Moment

A recommendation from Matt Day: "This has been one of the most insightful books I've ever owned."

https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Ellen-Mark-Portrait-Moment/dp/1597113166

Prologue: Hong Kong Street by Menos 

Recommended by Take Kayo of BigHeadTaco: Prologue features work from 11 members of the group from Hong Kong, and is the first publication by the organization.

Prologue: Hong Kong Street by Menos

Buy Prologue: Hong Kong Street here.

ANALOG FOREVER MAGAZINE

"Analog Forever Magazine is an online and print publisher of contemporary analog photography. Our mission is simple: we want to provide a global audience to photographers who use analog processes and techniques for their photographic work by giving them a voice via a biannual print photography journal, online features and interviews, monthly online exhibitions, and a community calendar. Our goal is to highlight the best of the best from the analog industry including artists, projects, galleries, and curators." Buy it here.

Analog Forever Magazine / ShootFilmCo

 

Photoklassik International

Photoklassik International is a new print magazine, published quarterly and shipping internationally all about analog photography. Buy it here.

Photoklassik International / ShootFilmCo

Jobo CPP-3 Film Processing Machine

Jobo CPP-3

Okay, we might be getting to the high end of the budget range here, but one of the ultimate gifts you can give a film photographer is the ability to process their own film. YES--there are many less expensive alternatives, but I figured it would be fun to share something on the high end: the Job CPP-3.

The Jobo CPP-3 Processor offers repeatable, high quality film processing, using the tried and tested technology of rotary processing, including automatic agitation, automatic temperature control, one shot processing and processing time control.

Buy it here: https://www.freestylephoto.biz/4083-Jobo-CPP-3-Film-and-Print-Processor-and-Lift-Kit

 

 

 

08 Dec '18

Gift Guide Update: ONA Bags and Accessories DISCOUNT

Posted by Mike Padua in camera bags, gift guide, Ona

ONA is a purveyor of fine bags and accessories. Designed for and inspired by creative professionals, each ONA product is handcrafted using premium materials. Founded in 2010 and based in New York City, they take great pride in crafting timeless designs that protect your essentials while complementing your style.

They have kindly offered us a 10% discount, good through December 15h, 2018!

08 Dec '18

Gift Guide Update: Polaroid Originals DISCOUNT!

Posted by Mike Padua in gift guide, instant film, polaroid

Easily the most recognizable name in instant cameras and film, we've watched Polaroid make a glorious return at Polaroid Originals. As a brand we love their story, and they've brought back some modern iterations of classic cameras and film.

They have kindly offered us a coupon code for 10% off your entire order, valid in their US, UK, and EU shops!

15 Nov '17

The Ultimate Film Photographer's Gift Guide - Updated for 2017

Posted by Mike Padua in gift guide
***This list is still growing and constantly evolving, so bookmark it and keep checking back.

Gift giving seems to be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it feels good to give a loved one something they need, want, and appreciate. On the other hand, one can potentially give a gift that the recipient simply doesn’t like. I’m here to help you, the gift giver, with a guide that looks into what photographers, and more specifically, photographers who shoot with film, might be hoping to get as a gift.

To begin my research, I did an informal poll of several active Facebook groups that deal with film photography. I started by asking the groups what they want in a gift. The items listed here are simply the most popular answers, along with a price range and a description of the gift. I’ve sorted the items from least to most expensive, in hopes to help those of us on a budget. All prices are in USD. Let’s get started!

FILM, FILM, AND MORE FILM

Price range: $4.00 to $15.00 (per roll)

Here’s the biggest no-brainer on the list, and one of the least expensive, too: Film! While there are many, many different types of film, let’s take a look at the most popular variations that you can’t go wrong with.

For those who shoot high volume, general scenes, and don’t mind the “cheap” stuff: Kodak Gold 200, Kodak Ultramax 400, or Fujifilm Superia 400.

For those who shoot a lot outdoor scenes in bright light: Kodak Ektar 100, Fujichrome Provia 100F

For those who shoot people/portraits: Kodak Portra, Fujifilm PRO400H,

For those who shoot Black & White: Kodak Tri-X or T-Max, Ilford HP5 or Delta, and a newcomer onto the scene from Japan Camera Hunter: JCH StreetPan 400, which has recently been made available  in 120 medium format.

For night and long exposure photography: Fujifilm Neopan Acros or Provia 100F

Hand-rolled, experimental, and other unique films:

Sunstroke and Moonstruck films by dubblefilm feature effects and tonalities you don't see in other films. Perfect for the artist who loves to experiment and stand out!

TIP: Film comes in different formats/sizes. The most common ones are 35mm and 120 (known as medium format); find out which size you need to get before buying!

JAPAN CAMERA HUNTER FILM CASES

Price starts at $9.00

Simple and handy, these film cases hold rolls of film in a compact space. Available in 10- and 5-space versions, these inexpensive cases will be useful to most any film photographer. He even has a version filled with a “Surprise” — a case filled with various types of surprise film.

Click here to buy Japan Camera Hunter Film Cases

SHOOT FILM CO. PATCHES, PINS, AND APPAREL

Price range: $2 to $38

Okay, full disclosure: I design, create, these patches over at Shoot Film Co. The film photography community has really taken to the message and they have been super popular with film shooters that want to adorn their jackets, hats, and bags with the message that film is alive and well. The stickers are made from durable vinyl outdoor usage like cars, and the patches are custom embroidered and made in the USA.

Click here to shop Shoot Film Co.

ILFORD SINGLE USE BLACK & WHITE CAMERAS

Price: $10

Fun to use, readily available and easily processed, Ilford offers single use cameras loaded with 27 exposures of their HP5 or XP2 film.

Click here to buy Ilford Single Use cameras

PHOTOMEMO FILM PHOTOGRAPHER’S NOTEBOOK

Price: $9.99

The PhotoMemo Photographer’s film photographer’s notebook gives the film photographer a versatile, easy to use, and inexpensive way to keep organized notes and technical data for your film exposures.

Each two-page spread is designed as a “roll journal,” which has space to notate data such as camera/lens choice, film type, and more. It also offers ample area for free notes, sketches, lists, and anything else.

Buy PhotoMemo here.

CAMERA STRAPS BY DOMKE

Price range: $13 to $40

Domke camera straps and bags have long been the standard bearer for photojournalists. Unpretentious, well built and inexpensive. They just work.

Click here to buy Domke Straps.

HIGH QUALITY PRECISION SCREWDRIVER SET

Precision Screwdriver Set

Price: $13.50

If you’ve noticed your film-shooting loved one is always buying, taking apart, tinkering with, and fixing old cameras, then this is the perfect inexpensive gift. Precision screwdrivers are a necessity for taking apart cameras and the many other things that need repairing and tinkering around the house. Many sets can be had for only a few dollars, but those are usually of low quality and break or wear down quickly. This set is high quality, yet still very economical, and sure to last much longer than cheaper sets.

Consider this a personal recommendation: I’ve been using my set for over a year now!

Click here to buy the precision screwdriver set

SELF PUBLISHED BLURB BOOK

Price range: $14.99 and up — the bigger the book, the more expensive it gets.

Using Blurb, you can create, publish, and sell your own collection of works in a book. Few things are as satisfying for a photographer as seeing their work printed. This is a fun way to be able to get pictures from a negative to a printed page. They offer options for direct sales, sales through Amazon, and even eBook sales.

Check out Blurb here.

SOLARCAN SOLARGRAPHY CAMERA

Solarcan

Solarcan is a unique camera designed to produce extreme time exposures that capture the Sun's path through the sky over many months. Inventor Sam Cornwell lauched this product using Kickstarter and exceeded his funding goal by more than 10 times! Truly a unique gift item for scientists and artists alike!

Buy Solarcan here.

BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS

To a photographer, (especially a film photographer), there is nothing quite like a printed photo. Seeing photos by the masters in books is one of the most satisfying and engrossing ways a photographer can spend their time. They can enjoy, learn, and get lost in the images. Here are some suggestions that come the most highly recommended by film photographers:

Let's Explore Magazine - $22

The Film Photography Handbook — $26

Magnum Contact Sheets — $54

Dennis Hopper: Photographs 1961–1967 — $229

Vivian Maier: Street Photographer — $27

Peter Lindbergh: A Different Vision on Fashion Photography — $69.99

500 Cameras — $22

Instant: The Story of Polaroid — $15

The Polaroid Book — $12

DOMKE PROTECTIVE WRAPS

Price: $20

These versatile and protective wraps can be used for lenses, cameras, tools, or anything else that needs protection. Come in a variety of sizes different colors for quick visual identification and organization. They are made from a padded velcro-compatible knit with a non-scratch nylon backing.

Click here to buy Domke Protective Wraps.

NEOPRENE LENS POUCHES

Price: $20

These lens pouches are inexpensive and help protect the multiple lenses one might have. The belt loops and clips will help you to attach the pouches anywhere you want. They can be purchased individually in different sizes, or an an economical 4-pack for only $20.

Click here to buy Neoprene Lens Pouches

EMULSIVE APPAREL AND ACCESSORIES

EMULSIVE

Starting at $24.00

A well-known and respected resource for all things film, EMULSIVE not only features artists, reviews, and education, but also offers a full line of sleek merchandise, from framed art prints, to totebags and t-shirts  with ever-evolving designs.

Check out EMULSIVE here.

595STRAPCO LEATHER STRAPS AND ACCESSORIES (U.K.)

Price Range: $20 to $50

***COUPON CODE: use SFC2017 to get 20% off your purchase!

For those in the UK: 595strapco specializes in making leather camera straps and other leather goods using traditional leather working methods for photographers looking for something a little different to the standard strap their camera ships with.

Each strap is made by hand to order in the UK. Their range of camera straps are hand cut from a single hide, hand dyed where required and finished with a combination of natural oils and wax to help preserve and protect. This means each strap is unique, no two are ever quite the same.

They use premium quality leather for all of our products, always of the highest grade and sourced within the UK. These are married together with high quality components and thread together with pure natural beeswax and oils for finishing and protection.

Shop now at https://595strapco.com/

CAMERA BAG/CASE

Billingham

Price range: $50 to $500

Here’s where you’re going to start getting into some deep thought/research. A camera bag can be a very personal thing for a photographer. They come in many styles, shapes, and sizes. Does the photographer like sleek and modern? Or maybe vintage and military-inspired? Messenger-bag style or backpack? There are enough options to make your head spin, but a little bit of observation on your part will go a long way into the type of camera bag they might like. Here are a few suggestions:

Domke — The longtime workhorse for journalists, Domke bags and accessories (like the straps I mentioned earlier) are of excellent quality, simply designed, and unpretentious. Function definitely precedes form in their design, though that’s not to say the design is at all lacking. The Domke design aesthetic sits somewhere in between vintage and modern, and they definitely don’t cry “I’m a camera bag, steal me!”

Billingham — Gorgeous, vintage styled bags designed and made in Britain. Famous for being sturdy and long lasting, these bags have a legacy dating back to the 70’s and retain their quality and heritage to this day. They offer a number of different sizes but each version retains the look of a Billingham.

Filson — U.S.A.-made bags that are classic in style and have a long heritage of fine craftsmanship and quality. They have lines that are “designed” in part by famed photographers Steve McCurry and David Allan Harvey (they have pictures on the website with these photographers pointing at fabric samples!), so expect to pay a bit more to have those names attached. The bags certainly are beautiful.

Think Tank — Lots of gear to cart around from job to job, location to location? Think Tank is the preference of many professionals that have an abundance of equipment to be carried and moved safely. The Airport series is classically and simply styled as rolling luggage, with lots of room, compartments, and padded dividers to keep equipment safe.

HOME DEVELOPMENT SUPPLIES

If you’ve got a darkroom nut on your hands that likes to develop at home, home development supplies are always handy, and always needed. Freestyle Photographic has the entire range of supplies needed to stock a darkroom, or to get a novice started on developing their own film. There are lots of pieces involved, but Freestyle Photographic Supplies has created a guide to all the essential equipment needed for a darkroom in the handy list below. All the tools and chemicals can get confusing, so a gift certificate might be in order. Freestyle Photographic offers certificates that you can order by phone.

Shop home development supplies from Freestyle Photographic

FILM FRIDGE/FREEZER

Price range: $130 and up

You’ve probably noticed that your film-shooting loved one has claimed a good portion of real estate in the refrigerator for something other than food — precious, precious film. That’s right, film expires — it must be refrigerated, or even better, frozen to keep the emulsion from losing sensitivity and causing colors shifts. If you find yourself running out of space for food because of a freezer or refrigerator full of film, this is the gift you’re looking for. These are not specialized refrigerators — they’re the same kind you put your sodas and beer in when you were in college, but one you can dedicate solely for the storage of film!

Click here to shop for personal refrigerators

LUMU LIGHT METER

Price: $99

Many old film cameras don’t have a light meter. Remedy that for your film shooter using a small, relatively inexpensive light meter that attaches to a smartphone. Companies like Sekonic have made standalone handheld light meters for years, but for those who like to travel light, the Lumu is a great solution since the smartphone will be pulling double duty as a light meter and most everybody will be carrying a phone anyway. TIP: make sure the smartphone being used is compatible with the Lumu!

Click here to buy a Lumu Light Meter

ONDU HANDCRAFTED WOODEN PINHOLE CAMERA

Starting at $140

ONDU are creators making premium, hand crafted photographic products that are meant to last a lifetime. Their pinhole cameras launched with a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2013 and they have since grown enough to move into a workshop equipped specifically for camera production. They even offer engraving and customization for a truly one-of-a-kind gift.

Shop ONDU here.

POLAROID SX-70 FROM BROOKLYN FILM CAMERA

Brooklyn Film Camera

Starting at $275

Brooklyn Film Camera are former employess and camera technicians of The Impossible Project, and they expertly repair and refurbish Polaroid cameras. If you're looking for a classic Polaroid from a trusted source that you can rely on, Brooklyn Film Camera is that source.

Shop Brooklyn Film Camera here.

7ARTISANS AND VOIGTLANDER LENSES

Voigtlander from 35mmc.com

 Starting at $375

35MMC.com is a well-respected blog dedicated to 35mm compact cameras, rangefinders, and lenses. Extensive write ups on gear new and old fill out the site, but they recently started offering exciting new M-mount lenses from 7Artisans and Voigtlander.

Check out the 35MMC Shop here.

LEICA M6 + 50MM SUMMICRON

Price range: $1,600 to $2,800

We’re getting up there in price range, and this item is definitely a luxury, though likely to last a lifetime. Considered one of the finest rangefinders ever, and what many believe is Leica’s finest iteration of their M line of film rangefinders. Operates mechanically and still fires without batteries. While you can find bargains on auction sites such as Ebay for a price at the lower end of the spectrum, I suggest sourcing yours from Bellamy at JapanCameraHunter.com because he can find you a clean, working model that he can guarantee amongst a vast used market. You don’t always know what you’re getting into with an Ebay auction unless the seller is very knowledgeable and reputable, so working with a reputable dealer like Japan Camera Hunter is highly recommended for extra piece of mind. It might take him some time to source the perfect combo, so contact him early!

Click here to get in touch with Japan Camera Hunter


The following ideas can vary in price widely, and will require more involved and extensive research.

PRINT FROM A FAVORITE PHOTOGRAPHER

Very few things are as important to a film photographer as the final print. Many photographers don’t consider a photo finished until it’s printed. Thus, a print from a favorite photographer is sure to warm the heart and bring years of joy. If you already know who some favorite photographers are, then finding out if prints are available are an internet search away. You might also ask in casual conversation who some favorites are if you don’t already know.

PHOTOGRAPHY CLASS/WORKSHOP

Learning from those with more experience, and learning alongside other like-minded people can be a very motivating and fulfilling experience for any artist. Photography classes and workshops are a great way to quickly advance one’s knowledge and ability in a fun and challenging way. There are literally hundreds of workshops held all over the world, so you’ll have to do the legwork on finding something suitable.

TRIP/ VACATION

This could be as good for you as it is for the recipient of the gift! Taking a trip to a new destination with the focus being on photography can help to rejuvenate a photographer with a change of scenery. Is there a place you’ve both dreamed of going? Then this can be a gift for both you! Just be prepared to stop more often when the photographer sees a beautiful scene and needs to get the tripod set up.

14 Nov '16

The Ultimate Gift Guide for Film Photographers - Updated for 2016

Posted by Mike Padua in Gear, gift guide

EDIT: We're keeping the updated version of this article on MEDIUM.COM

Okay, so maybe “ultimate” might be a bit of hyperbole. The fact is, this list is still growing and constantly evolving, so bookmark it and keep checking back. And some of the fine companies listed have been nice enough to offer my readers coupon codes, so be sure to take advantage of those discounts!

Gift giving seems to be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it feels good to give a loved one something they need, want, and appreciate. On the other hand, one can potentially give a gift that the recipient simply doesn’t like. I’m here to help you, the gift giver, with a guide that looks into what photographers, and more specifically, photographers who shoot with film, might be hoping to get as a gift.

To begin my research, I did an informal poll of several active Facebook groups that deal with film photography. I started by asking the groups what they want in a gift. The items listed here are simply the most popular answers, along with a price range and a description of the gift. I’ve sorted the items from least to most expensive, in hopes to help those of us on a budget. All prices are USD. Let’s get started!

FILM, FILM, AND MORE FILM

Price range: $4.00 to $9.00 (per roll)

Here’s the biggest no-brainer on the list, and one of the least expensive, too: Film! While there are many, many different types of film, let’s take a look at the most popular variations that you can’t go wrong with.

For those who shoot high volume, general scenes, and don’t mind the “cheap” stuff: Kodak Gold 200, Kodak Ultramax 400, or Fujifilm Superia 400.

For those who shoot a lot outdoor scenes in bright light: Kodak Ektar 100, Fujichrome Provia 100F

For those who shoot people/portraits: Kodak Portra, Fujifilm PRO400H,

JCH StreetPan 400 from Japan Camera Hunter

For those who shoot Black & White: Kodak Tri-X or T-Max, Ilford HP5 or Delta, and a newcomer onto the scene from Japan Camera Hunter: JCH StreetPan 400.

For night and long exposure photography: Fujifilm Neopan Acros or Provia 100F

Hand-rolled, experimental, and other unique films: Film Photography Project Store

TIP: Film comes in different formats/sizes. The most common ones are 35mm and 120 (known as medium format); find out which size you need to get before buying!

JAPAN CAMERA HUNTER FILM CASES

Price: Starts at $9.00

Simple and handy, these film cases hold rolls of film in a compact space. Available in 10- and 5-space versions, these inexpensive cases will be useful to most any film photographer. He even has a version filled with a “Surprise” — a case filled with various types of surprise film.

Click here to buy Japan Camera Hunter Film Cases

PATCHES, STICKERS, AND LAPEL PINS FROM SHOOT FILM CO.

Price range: $2 to $10

Okay, full disclosure: I design, create, these patches over at Shoot Film Co. The film photography community has really taken to the message and they have been super popular with film shooters that want to adorn their jackets, hats, and bags with the message that film is alive and well. The stickers are made from durable vinyl outdoor usage like cars, and the patches are custom embroidered and made in the USA.

Click here to shop patches and stickers from Shoot Film Co.

ILFORD SINGLE USE BLACK & WHITE CAMERAS

Price: $10

Fun to use, readily available and easily processed, Ilford offers single use cameras loaded with 27 exposures of their HP5 or XP2 film.

Click here to buy Ilford Single Use cameras

HOYA FILTERS

Price range: $10.00 to $30.00

Filters can range from protective (clear/UV) to having special purposes, such as neutral density or color balancing. They come in different sizes so make sure to get the right size for your photographer’s lenses. Hoya is a great brand that is a great balance of price and performance.

Click here to buy Hoya Filters.

PHOTOMEMO FILM PHOTOGRAPHER’S NOTEBOOK

Price: $9.99

The PhotoMemo Photographer’s film photographer’s notebook gives the film photographer a versatile, easy to use, and inexpensive way to keep organized notes and technical data for your film exposures.

Each two-page spread is designed as a “roll journal,” which has space to notate data such as camera/lens choice, film type, and more. It also offers ample area for free notes, sketches, lists, and anything else.

Buy PhotoMemo here.

CAMERA STRAPS BY DOMKE

Price range: $13 to $40

Domke camera straps and bags have long been the standard bearer for photojournalists. Unpretentious, well built and inexpensive. They just work.

Click here to buy Domke Straps.

SELF PUBLISHED BLURB BOOK

Price range: $14.99 and up — the bigger the book, the more expensive it gets.

Using Blurb, you can create, publish, and sell your own collection of works in a book. Few things are as satisfying for a photographer as seeing their work printed. This is a fun way to be able to get pictures from a negative to a printed page. They offer options for direct sales, sales through Amazon, and even eBook sales.

Check out Blurb here.

HIGH QUALITY PRECISION SCREWDRIVER SET

Price: $18.50

If you’ve noticed your film-shooting loved one is always buying, taking apart, tinkering with, and fixing old cameras, then this is the perfect inexpensive gift. Precision screwdrivers are a necessity for taking apart cameras and the many other things that need repairing and tinkering around the house. Many sets can be had for only a few dollars, but those are usually of low quality and break or wear down quickly. This set is high quality, yet still very economical, and sure to last much longer than cheaper sets.

Consider this a personal recommendation: I’ve been using my set for over a year now!

Click here to buy the precision screwdriver set

FINDING VIVIAN MAIER (DOCUMENTARY FILM)

Price: $19.49
Vivan Maier worked as a nanny and was known to be socially reclusive. After she died, it was also discovered that she was a inexplicably talented street photographer that had thousands upon thousands of negatives discovered by people in her storage locker. Curated exhibits, books, and even a documentary have been created about her discovery and her beautiful work.

Click here to buy Finding Vivian Maier.

BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS!

To a photographer, (especially a film photographer), there is nothing quite like a printed photo. Seeing photos by the masters in books is one of the most satisfying and engrossing ways a photographer can spend their time. They can enjoy, learn, and get lost in the images. Here are some suggestions that come the most highly recommended by film photographers:

The Film Photography Handbook — $26

Magnum Contact Sheets — $54

Dennis Hopper: Photographs 1961–1967 — $229

Vivian Maier: Street Photographer — $27

Peter Lindbergh: A Different Vision on Fashion Photography — $69.99

500 Cameras — $22

Instant: The Story of Polaroid — $15

The Polaroid Book — $12

DOMKE PROTECTIVE WRAPS

Price: $20

These versatile and protective wraps can be used for lenses, cameras, tools, or anything else that needs protection. Come in a variety of sizes different colors for quick visual identification and organization. They are made from a padded velcro-compatible knit with a non-scratch nylon backing.

Click here to buy Domke Protective Wraps.

NEOPRENE LENS POUCHES

Price: $20

These lens pouches are inexpensive and help protect the multiple lenses one might have. The belt loops and clips will help you to attach the pouches anywhere you want. They can be purchased individually in different sizes, or an an economical 4-pack for only $20.

Click here to buy Neoprene Lens Pouches

FILM PROCESSING

Gift certificates starting at $25

Any film photographer will naturally need their film processed. Luckily, the folks at Old School Photo Lab have made it easy to give film processing as a gift with prepaid film development packages and gift certificates. The folks at Old School will develop your film, and even have the ability to scan and upload digital images to a secure website for download, so you can view your photos quickly — and they ALWAYS mail back your negatives.

Click here to buy gift certificates from Old School Photo Lab

595STRAPCO LEATHER STRAPS AND ACCESSORIES (U.K.)

Price Range: $20 to $50; use code “ SFC20” to get 20% off your order (Expires January 1, 2017)

For those in the UK: 595strapco specializes in making leather camera straps and other leather goods using traditional leather working methods for photographers looking for something a little different to the standard strap their camera ships with.

Each strap is made by hand to order in the UK. Their range of camera straps are hand cut from a single hide, hand dyed where required and finished with a combination of natural oils and wax to help preserve and protect. This means each strap is unique, no two are ever quite the same.

They use premium quality leather for all of our products, always of the highest grade and sourced within the UK. These are married together with high quality components and thread together with pure natural beeswax and oils for finishing and protection.

Shop now at https://595strapco.com/

FPP INFRARED ULTRA WIDE AND SLIM CAMERA GIFT BOX

Price: $99

This is going to be the quirkiest gift for the photographer that has everything. This cult-status camera has been modified to shoot infrared film, and packaged in the box are two rolls of color infrared and one roll of black & white infrared film. Check out the samples in the FPP shop for the unique results this combo can get.

Shop FPP Infrared Ultra Wide and Slim Camera

CAMERA BAG/CASE

Price range: $50 to $500

Here’s where you’re going to start getting into some deep thought/research. A camera bag can be a very personal thing for a photographer. They come in many styles, shapes, and sizes. Does the photographer like sleek and modern? Or maybe vintage and military-inspired? Messenger-bag style or backpack? There are enough options to make your head spin, but a little bit of observation on your part will go a long way into the type of camera bag they might like. Here are a few suggestions:

Domke — The longtime workhorse for journalists, Domke bags and accessories (like the straps I mentioned earlier) are of excellent quality, simply designed, and unpretentious. Function definitely precedes form in their design, though that’s not to say the design is at all lacking. The Domke design aesthetic sits somewhere in between vintage and modern, and they definitely don’t cry “I’m a camera bag, steal me!”

Billingham — Gorgeous, vintage styled bags designed and made in Britain. Famous for being sturdy and long lasting, these bags have a legacy dating back to the 70’s and retain their quality and heritage to this day. They offer a number of different sizes but each version retains the look of a Billingham.

Filson — U.S.A.-made bags that are classic in style and have a long heritage of fine craftsmanship and quality. They have lines that are “designed” in part by famed photographers Steve McCurry and David Allan Harvey (they have pictures on the website with these photographers pointing at fabric samples!), so expect to pay a bit more to have those names attached. The bags certainly are beautiful.

Think Tank — Lots of gear to cart around from job to job, location to location? Think Tank is the preference of many professionals that have an abundance of equipment to be carried and moved safely. The Airport series is classically and simply styled as rolling luggage, with lots of room, compartments, and padded dividers to keep equipment safe.

HOME DEVELOPMENT SUPPLIES

If you’ve got a darkroom nut on your hands that likes to develop at home, home development supplies are always handy, and always needed. Freestyle Photographic has the entire range of supplies needed to stock a darkroom, or to get a novice started on developing their own film. There are lots of pieces involved, but Freestyle Photographic Supplies has created a guide to all the essential equipment needed for a darkroom in the handy list below. All the tools and chemicals can get confusing, so a gift certificate might be in order. Freestyle Photographic offers certificates that you can order by phone.

Shop home development supplies from Freestyle Photographic

FILM FRIDGE/FREEZER

Price range: $130 and up

You’ve probably noticed that your film-shooting loved one has claimed a good portion of real estate in the refrigerator for something other than food — precious, precious film. That’s right, film expires — it must be refrigerated, or even better, frozen to keep the emulsion from losing sensitivity and causing colors shifts. If you find yourself running out of space for food because of a freezer or refrigerator full of film, this is the gift you’re looking for. These are not specialized refrigerators — they’re the same kind you put your sodas and beer in when you were in college, but one you can dedicate solely for the storage of film!

Click here to shop for personal refrigerators

LUMU LIGHT METER

Price: $99

Many old film cameras don’t have a light meter. Remedy that for your film shooter using a small, relatively inexpensive light meter that attaches to a smartphone. Companies like Sekonic have made standalone handheld light meters for years, but for those who like to travel light, the Lumu is a great solution since the smartphone will be pulling double duty as a light meter and most everybody will be carrying a phone anyway. TIP: make sure the smartphone being used is compatible with the Lumu!

Click here to buy a Lumu Light Meter

MiNT Instant Flex L70 Twin Lens Instant Camera

Price: $389

A twin-lens camera that uses Fujifilm Instax instant film. Stylish, and attention-getting, it looks like a classic camera. It’s a new concept and it looks like a lot of fun to shoot, and has recently gotten a 2.0 upgrade.

Click here to buy the MiNT InstantFlex TL70

LEICA M6 + 50MM SUMMICRON

Price range: $1,600 to $2,800

We’re getting up there in price range, and this item is definitely a luxury, though likely to last a lifetime. Considered one of the finest rangefinders ever, and what many believe is Leica’s finest iteration of their M line of film rangefinders. Operates mechanically and still fires without batteries. While you can find bargains on auction sites such as Ebay for a price at the lower end of the spectrum, I suggest sourcing yours from Bellamy at JapanCameraHunter.com because he can find you a clean, working model that he can guarantee amongst a vast used market. You don’t always know what you’re getting into with an Ebay auction unless the seller is very knowledgeable and reputable, so working with a reputable dealer like Japan Camera Hunter is highly recommended for extra piece of mind. It might take him some time to source the perfect combo, so contact him early!

Click here to get in touch with Japan Camera Hunter


The following ideas can vary in price widely, and will require a bit more involved and extensive research.

PRINT FROM A FAVORITE PHOTOGRAPHER

Very few things are as important to a film photographer as the final print. Many photographers don’t consider a photo finished until it’s printed. Thus, a print from a favorite photographer is sure to warm the heart and bring years of joy. If you already know who some favorite photographers are, then finding out if prints are available are an internet search away. You might also ask in casual conversation who some favorites are if you don’t already know.

PHOTOGRAPHY CLASS/WORKSHOP

Learning from those with more experience, and learning alongside other like-minded people can be a very motivating and fulfilling experience for any artist. Photography classes and workshops are a great way to quickly advance one’s knowledge and ability in a fun and challenging way. There are literally hundreds of workshops held all over the world, so you’ll have to do the legwork on finding something suitable.

TRIP/ VACATION

This could be as good for you as it is for the recipient of the gift! Taking a trip to a new destination with the focus being on photography can help to rejuvenate a photographer with a change of scenery. Is there a place you’ve both dreamed of going? Then this can be a gift for both you! Just be prepared to stop more often when the photographer sees a beautiful scene and needs to get the tripod set up.