The Ultimate Gift Guide for Film Photographers - UPDATED FOR 2019
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
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.
PhotoMemo Film Photographer's Notebook - starting at $4.99 USD)
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.
CineStill DF96 Monobath Single-Step Film Developer
CineStill's DF96 Monobath is a single solution, single step film developer, making home film development of all black and white films easier than ever. It's available in both powder and liquid forms. Buy DF96 Monobath here.
Kosmo Foto Kosmik Film Box (price range: $35)
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).
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.
Beers & Cameras X ShootFilmCo Lapel Pin
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
Instant film for your new and vintage Polaroid cameras. Instant photos are especially fun during the holidays when you're with friends and family.
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!
Cool Film Club Film Subscription Service
A gift that keeps on giving: Cool Film Club offers two mystery rolls of film, delivered to your doorstep, every month. Delivery is available Worldwide. Go here for more information and to subscribe.
Negative Supply Film Carrier MK1
Negative Supply's first product, the Film Carrier MK1 (pictured here is the Pro Riser and Film Carrier kit), allows you to digitize a whole strip of film using your digital camera and a macro lens in as little as 5 minutes with tools you likely already have. It features a knob-controlled feed mechanism and is easier to control and feed than the terrible film carriers (let's be honest here) that come default with most flatbed scanners. To really get a feel for the Film Carrier's workflow, Matt Day made a video about it that you should definitely check out. Definitely a "you gotta see it in action" piece of gear. Shop Negative Supply here.
ONDU - Handmade Wooden Pinhole Camera (price range: $150 to $300)
"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.
Lab-Box Daylight Developing Tank by Ars-Imago
LAB-BOX is a multi-format tank that allows to develop film from start to end, in full day light, bypassing the need to load the rolls in the dark. Thanks to the two interchangeable modules and its multi-format reel, the tank can be used for both 135mm and 120mm. Buy Labo-Box 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:
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."
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.
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.
Photoklassik International is a new print magazine, published quarterly and shipping internationally all about analog photography. Buy it here.
Chroma 4x5 Large Format Camera
Chroma is a brand new large format technical field camera, assembled from laser cut acrylic and available in a selection of colors to suit your own personal style. NOTE: Chroma cameras are made to order and current wait time as of this writing is 12-14 weeks, so your gift recipient likely wont' receive their Chroma until after the holidays. Shop Chroma here.
Jobo CPP-3 Film Processing Machine
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.