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Top 10 Film Cameras of 2019 [Most Popular]

How does one begin to find out the top 10 film cameras of the year among thousands and thousands of film cameras? Between our showroom, stockroom, repair center, and spare parts warehouse, we house thousands of cameras, and use them to serve hundreds of customers a month. We do a lot of research here at kamerastore to keep up with the industry trends, make improvements to our website, and market ourselves efficiently. 

With access to gear and data not everybody has, we sometimes like to share our interesting conclusions with you. Today we are happy to present the top 10 film camera of 2019! “Top” meaning popular based on google search and click activity. We have built this list based on our own google ads data, google trends cross referencing, and a little common sense. 

Specifically, the main data we used to create this list is from 40 000 interactions with our ads which were seen over 10 million times in 2019.


 

Top 10 Film Cameras by Search Popularity in 2019

Keep in mind as you browse not to confuse this as a Best Film Cameras of 2019 list, that’s highly subjective and difficult to quantify, though we can say we’d rate most of the cameras on this list as 9/10 shooter. All these cameras are good. Just keep in mind our data tells us that these are the Top 10 film cameras of 2019 – but not why. 

Let’s take a look into each film camera to hopefully understand why these are the top 10 film cameras of 2019. Additionally after each one we will list alternative film camera options. The alternative camera mentioned either offer similar features, a similar look / user experience, or both. We will detail each alternative in the near future.

 

[BONUS]
#11: Rolleicord

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The Rolleicord is a slightly cheaper medium format TLR family made by Rollei in Germany, just like the better Rolleiflex line.
[SHOP all TLR cameras]

 

Pictured: Rolleiflex

Starting off with a bonus, here is the 11th of the most popular film cameras of 2019. The reasons one might look for Rolleicord when looking for a TLR (Twin Lens Reflex) is because they want a cheaper option than the Rolleiflex. Rolleicord cameras were made as a simpler more affordable alternative to the popular Rolleiflex cameras. There are multiple models under the Rolleicord name, first versions were very simple and later models had more functions and today its these later models that are a bit more desirable.  

Staring with the Rolleicord I (the art deco version) the most searched for are the Rolleicord V, Va or Vb. Fitted with a more simple 75mm lens and a 3,5 aperture (Rolleiflex’s came in 2.8 and 3.5) they are solid performers for a fraction of the price. Do be aware they stopped making them in seventies so you might want to look for one that has recently been fixed or checked. 

One small issue with most old TLR’s is that the focusing screen is usually quite dim, so if you have the chance try to upgrade it to a Maxwell or Beattie screen. Also film transport operation was always fitted with a knob and not with a crank, so slightly using it is slightly slower than the bigger brother the Rolleiflex. 

They are all medium format cameras that take 6×6 shots on 120 format film, never 220, but some had adapters to load 35mm film and because of that they have 24 exposure counter. Focusing is done by a knob and the whole front of the camera moves forward as you focus closer. As you are looking through the taking lens (the one on top) and shooting on the lower lens you need to be aware when focusing close up and remember to take off the lens cap or filters. These filters are all a specific bayonet mount, depending on the model you will have to research, but you can buy adapters to screw mount filters. Another cool option is the Rolleinar close up adapters, that will enable closer focusing with different filters. 

Some notable features of these cameras are:

  • Small and lightweight bodies for a TLR
  • Quality german lenses
  • Rollei manufacturing (famous for the Rolleiflex)
  • Ease of use
  • 75mm lens

Rolleicord alternatives:


#10: Nikon FE2 (1983 – 1987)

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The Nikon FE2 is a professional manual focus SLR 35mm film camera with a built in light meter, aperture priority, and a shutter speed up to 1/4000th of a second.
[SHOP all Nikon F cameras]

Pictured: Nikon FE2 (Chrome) with Nikon Nikkor 45mm f2.8 P Lens

When talking about the Nikon FE2 there are three other cameras that should be mentioned as well. Those would be the Nikon FE, Nikon FM, and the Nikon FM2. The Nikon FE and FE2 are the electronic versions of the mechanical Nikon FM and FM2, or visa versa. The FE and the FM cameras came first, and then the FE2 and FM2. 

The Nikon FE and FE2 has a built in light meter and requires batteries to operate. While the Nikon FM and FM2 also have a built in light meter, they do not require batteries to operate. This means the shutter speeds are mechanically driven. 

The Nikon FE2 has an aperture priority mode. Simply turn to the “A” on the shutter speed dial and the camera will automatically choose the best shutter speed for your image. 

The maximum shutter speed of the FE2 is 1/4000th of a second, a remarkable feature at the time and still highly uncommon today on any past film cameras. The build quality, massive amount of available lenses, and high shutter speed ability are all good reasons that the Nikon FE2 is one of the top 10 film cameras of 2019.

Some notable features of this camera include a:

  • 1/4000th of a second maximum shutter speed
  • Aperture priority mode
  • Full manual mode
  • Built-in light meter
  • Self timer
  • Depth of field preview lever
  • Dedicated double exposure lever

Nikon FE2 alternatives:


#9: Leica M4 (1966 – 1975)

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The Leica M4 is a mechanically powered interchangeable lens 35mm rangefinder film camera typically meant for use with 35mm to 135mm lenses.
[SHOP all Leica M mount rangefinders]

Pictured: Leica M4-2, a variant of the Leica M4

The Leica M4 came out in the late 1960’s after the Leica M3, and Leica M2. The Leica M4 has a smaller viewfinder magnification allowing the inclusion of 35mm framelines. With the Leica M4 shooting 35mm, 50mm, 90mm, and 135mm all have frame lines built in natively to the viewfinder.

The Leica M4 adopts the design styling of the Leica M2, straying away from the raised edge, or picture frame, accents around the viewfinder. 

Much like both of the previous models, the Leica M4 offers basic features and no electronics, but with an improved film loading mechanism than removes the need for a take-up spool. 

The Leica M4 also came with a new film rewind crank instead of a knob which made for faster film rewinding, a self-timer, frame selector preview lever, and a new more angular styled film advance lever with a plastic tip. Most of these upgrades are still seen as beneficial today, though many prefer the older all-metal film advance lever of the Leica M3 and M2.

If you are looking for a Leica M mount camera you don’t require and internal light meter then this is one of your best choices. 

Some notable features of this camera include a:

  • Improved film loading system (over previous models)
  • Fully mechanical operation (no batteries needed)
  • 1/1000th of a second maximum shutter speed
  • Popular and repairable (many cameras are not repairable!)
  • 0.72x viewfinder magnification for shooting as wide as 28mm with no external finder

Leica M4 alternatives:

  • Less expensive:
    • Leica M4-2
    • Leica M4-P
    • Any fixed lens rangefinder (super budget option)
      • Look for either a 35mm, 40mm or 45mm fixed lens with an big aperture (f1.4, f1.7, f1.8, f1.9) for something in between 150€ and 400€
      • f2.8 and f3.5 versions can be had for even under 100€

#8: Hasselblad 500 CM (1970 – 1994)

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The Hasselblad 500CM is the most famous modular medium format camera, plus it uses the great Carl Zeiss lenses.
[SHOP all medium format cameras]

 

Pictured: Hasselblad 500cm with 80mm Lens

Nobody can deny that the king of medium format SLRs is the Hasselblad system, not only is it a beautiful piece of engineering but also comes in a relatively small size for a big 6×6 negative. Most other cameras that built a similar system are bigger from the Bronica S2 to their SQ line, or the not so known Rolleiflex SL66. 

The fact that the Hasselblad 500cm is an all modular design makes it so much more desirable. You can pick from their vast array of Carl Zeiss lenses that range from 30mm fisheye to a 500mm for the longer shots. You can change the backs from 120 to 220 (RIP) or Instant backs for studio work (RIP Fp100C). In addition to interchangeable backs you can also change aspect ratios, from 35mm film to 6×4,5 or 4×4 shots for superslides (go check this out!). You can change the viewfinders to pentaprisms, with or without a meter, and ones at 45 or 90 degree; also bubble levels, cold shoe dongle or many other parts of this huge ecosystem. And don’t forget the focusing screens, there are plenty of those to choose from as well.

Most will go for the classic 80mm f/2.8 and A12 back with a waist level finder but do research a bit to find your perfect fit, or just start with that if you’re ready to buy but need some more experience first to understand what will be perfect for you. The lack of electronics of the 500CM make it an instant classic, looking for the two triangular notches left in the side of each shot you take. Do note that all lenses have built in shutters that sync at all speeds (max 1/500) with strobes. 

As the Hasselblad 500cm cameras were made for many decades, most are good to go today after a good CLA. The Hasselblad 500cm is still plentiful and very reliable and available in the market. Just mind you dont jam the lens and need to use their specific uncocking screwdriver (they made one). 

When looking for a Hasselblad 500cm or just a Hasselblad in general, check out the more modern 501C, 503CX, 503CW or more. Also beware of the F line that uses a focal plane shutter and lenses without shutters, the V series mentioned about lenses will work on the F but not vice versa. 

Some notable features of this camera include a:

  • Carl Zeiss glass
  • Leaf shutter flash sync at all speeds
  • Modular design
  • Small footprint
  • Easily repairable (CLA)
  • Long run

Hasselblad 500cm alternatives:


#7: Mamiya 7 (1995 – 2014)

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The Mamiya 7 is a medium format rangefinder camera that has the added benefit of using some of the sharpest interchangeable lenses ever made for film cameras.
[SHOP all medium format cameras]

 

Pictured: Mamiya 7II with 65mm f4 Lens

Nobody can deny the king of medium format documentary camera is the Mamiya 7, the camera system since it came out has been the most used gear by photojournalists that practice slow documentary photography. The quality of these Mamiya lenses has been known to surpass anything else in the medium format market. And all this in a lightweight and compact package. 

Starting in the Biogon style 43mm and finishing with the non rangefinder coupled 210mm you can almost shoot anything with the setup. The leaf shutter lenses will sync with strobes at all speeds and the inner darkslide will let you change lenses mid roll without having the problems of cloth shutters from cameras like the Pentax 6×7 or Mamiya RZ67. 

Plastic but quality built has been a strong point for the camera for years but the fact that is requires batteries and electronics to control the lenses and lightmeter make it a higher risk purchase than an all mechanical camera. If you are unlucky enough to have any problems with the aging electronic components, the camera would be nothing more than a brick with gorgeous glass. Still though, many photographers buy and use this camera for years and resell it at a profit without any malfunctions or unlucky-ness.

The rangefinder is clear and easy to focus with added diopters if needed, it can be calibrated easily by a technician as it can misalling overtime (like all rangefinders) or if you bump the camera hard. Also the fact that its not a SLR means you need to compose with extra care and it wont focus really close so closeups are not possible unless you purchase the add-on that is not easy to find in the market. 

Some notable features of this camera include a:

  • Great lens lineup
  • Good light meter
  • Internal darkslide
  • Interchangeable lenses
  • Flash sync at all speeds

Mamiya 7 alternatives:


#6: Olympus mju II (1997 ~ 2001)

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Marketed as the Olympus Stylus Epic in the United States, the Olympus mju II is an automatic point and shoot 35mm camera with a weatherproof clamshell design, autofocus, and a 35mm f2.8 lens.
[SHOP all compact cameras]

Pictured: Olympus [mju:]-II (black)

It is among some of the smallest 35mm film camera, though not the smallest. But with its size, clamshell design, and autofocus features it makes for easy one-handed use taking straight from a coat pocket or back pocket. 

In the last few years the Olympus mju II has skyrocketed into popularity largely in part to a myriad of positive Youtube reviews and celebrity owners. It is fair for the mju II to be popular though as its 35mm f2.8 spec lens is very good and not common on a compact point and shoot. At the moment I can think of 12 other cameras in this category with lenses to match, and all together there are probably less than less than 25 autofocus, point and shoot, 35mm f2.8 cameras ever made. It may sound like a lot but with over 25,000 different camera models ever made, 25 is a very slim subset.

Some people complain that the camera sometimes misses focus, a few out of every roll. Though this is usually true for most cameras as they work best in ideal lighting situations. Even with the precision of a rangefinder camera most photographers get a few out of focus on every roll. If you like the Olympus mju ii the percent-of-shots-in-focus is not really something worth worrying about. 

One gripe people have with this camera is the price. Over the last 6 years these cameras have seen a dramatic price increase due to the high demand. Although if you really took the time to look at directly comparable spec cameras, the current price of the mju II is exactly in line with the others. It might be more accurate to say that in the past the camera was much less than it should have been, and today the price has raised to a place more fitting for what the camera offers. 

Why is the Olympus mju II so popular? Well much like in the case of the Leica M6 and the Contax T2, it’s actually a great camera with a beautifully performing lens, and perhaps it was inevitable that the word got out. Also like the Leica M6 and the Contax T2, there are other good (sometimes even less expensive) options if you take the time to look. Actually we’ve already looked for you, so just ready below!

Some notable features of this camera include:

  • Spot metering mode
  • All-weather body
  • Large aperture f2.8 lens (large for a compact camera)
  • 1/1000th of a second max shutter speed

Olympus mju II alternatives:


 

#5: Leica M3 (1954 – 1967)

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The Leica M3 is a mechanically powered interchangeable lens 35mm rangefinder film camera typically meant for use with 50mm to 135mm lenses.
[SHOP all Leica M mount rangefinders]

Pictured: Leica M3 (chrome) with 5cm f2 Summicron Lens

The Leica M3 was the first M-mount camera produced by leica, following the last Leica thread mount (also referred to as M39, Leica screw mount, and LTM) camera, the Leica IIIg. Many photographers consider it the best Leica M mount camera. And many still consider it the most pure or authentic Leica. That’s up to you but we could say it is the most original Leica M mount camera as it was the first. 

It is a very simple camera in terms of what it offers, you can load the film, advance the film, change the shutter speed, and focus the lens. No meter, no battery, no electronics. It has other functions but they are all passive, such as the automatic frame counter and automatic frame line selector. And when talking about what you need on a camera body to take pictures, that’s really it.

The 3 in M3 represents the 3 available framelines that automatically appear in the viewfinder to show you the correct area that will be captured based on the lens attached to it – as long as it is a 50mm, 90mm, and 135mm. This means two things and both are important today in considering buying the M3. 

You cannot see an accurate representation of what your image will be while shooting lenses wider than 50mm without the use of accessories (an external viewfinder). And second, if you like shooting 50mm then the Leica M3 is a good choice. While shooting 50mm on a Leica M3 nearly the entire field of view seen through the viewfinder is the image that you will capture. In most other Leica cameras and viewfinders, the image area that will be captured with a 50mm lens appears smaller than the total area of the viewfinder. 

The Leica M3 is easily identifiable compared to other seemingly similar Leicas, just look at the front of it, around the viewfinder, rangefinder window, and light gathering windows. Basically the 3 little windows on the upper front of the camera. All three have a raised border like a picture frame around them. The Leica M2, M4, and non-special edition models thereafter do not have this framed picture design accent. 

It’s quite amazing considering the age and popularity of the Leica M3 that you can still easily find them in excellent cosmetic condition, and though there is likely a long wait list, there are enough capable freelance-Leica-technicians that you can get yours back up to full working order. 

Buying a Leica M3 is a good investment, excellent tool for photography, and a purchase you would not regret making. 

Some notable features of this camera include a:

  • 0.91x viewfinder magnification (good for 50mm photography)
  • Fully mechanical operation (no batteries needed)
  • 1/1000th of a second maximum shutter speed
  • Popular and repairable (many cameras are not repairable!)

Leica M3 alternatives:


#4: Pentax 67 (1989 ~ 1998)

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The Pentax 67 is an interchangeable medium format SLR that shoots 6×7 negatives that looks like a 35mm SLR on protein shakes.
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Pictured: Pentax 6×7 (1969) with Takumar 6×7 200m f4 Lens

 

The Pentax 67 (1989) is a descendent of the Asahi Pentax 6×7 (1969). It’s possible many people searching the term “Pentax 67” are actually looking for the Pentax 6×7, but don’t know the difference at the time they are searching for it. So for now in terms of popularity we will say that the Pentax 67 and Pentax 6×7 get the number 4 spot on our list. But lets talk about the Pentax 67.

Well-fed, strong-in-the-wind, or big-boned, call it what you will, the Pentax 67 looks like an enlarged version of any classic 35mm SLR camera design. The highly approachable appearance of the Pentax 67 might be one of the reasons so many people have given it a chance in their collection. At 2.4kg / 5.4 lbs though (with a standard TTL prism and 105mm lens) you better have a good tripod or strong arms. 

It doesn’t only look like a big SLR, but acts like one too. Unlike many other medium format bodies the Pentax 67 has no reversed image when looking through the standard viewfinder, and as you look through the lens there’s no need to concern yourself with any parallax compensation. 

While you won’t find any electronic assistance from the Pentax 67 unless you have the TTL metered prism, the camera’s shutter speeds are electronically controlled – so if your battery dies or malfunctions you won’t be able to shoot. This is a negative specification for many shooters, though one benefit in this area is the 1/1000th of a second maximum shutter speed which is uncommon for 6×7 and 6×8 cameras. 

You can use 120 or 220 film simply by changing the setting on the film pressure plate and the switch on the right side of the body. Easier than other cameras that require special film holders or inserts.

The Pentax 67 has around 20 lenses available from a 35mm fisheye to a 1000mm telephoto lens, even macro, soft focus, and shift lenses. The most common combination is the 105mm f/2.4 as its background separation and bokeh makes it a very desirable camera to shoot on location. But don’t forget the 90mm f/2.8 or the 150mm f/2.8 as cheaper alternatives to the 105mm. The Pentax 67 has a full arsenal of add-ons and accessories. More than one probably needs in modern digital times. 

Slow to focus, load, and very bulky, it’s still a medium format camera even though it resembles an SLR. One thing to bear in mind is the slow 1/30th flash sync due to the big cloth shutter, if you want leaf shutter sync 1/500 you will need the 90mm LS and 165 LS (Leaf Shutter).

Some non-standard features of this camera include:

Pros:

  • Shutter lock
  • Interchangeable Viewfinders
  • Battery-check LED
  • Depth of field preview lever
  • 120/220 exposure counter
  • Wooden handle

Cons:

  • No cold shoe or hot shoe (only with wooden handle)
  • 1/30 Flash sync with non LS lenses
  • Heavy mirror slap
  • No interchangeable backs or inserts
  • Chain in TTL can break easily

Pentax 67 alternatives:


#3:  Contax T2 (1991 – 2000)

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The Contax T2 is a premium compact 35mm film camera with a retractable built in Carl Zeiss 38mm f2.8 autofocus lens and a built in flash.
[SHOP all compact cameras]

Pictured: Contax T2

The Contax T2 is small, easy to use, and can create beautiful images with its high quality lens, impressive and uncommon for a camera of its size. It is easy to fit it into a jacket pocket and use it in basic operation with just one hand. 

It has become very trendy over the last few years which has raised the prices considerably. The T2 and many camera like it are almost non-repairable, and so as time goes on the number of cameras available to buy only gets smaller. That imbalance in supply and demand also has and will continue to contribute to the price changes. 

Some notable features of this camera include:

  • An outstanding Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 38mm lens
  • Built-in flash
  • Autofocus
  • Manual focus knob
  • Exposure compensation
  • DX coded (no need to set ISO manually)

Contax T2 alternatives:


#2: Canon AE-1 (1976 – 1984)

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The Canon AE-1 is a 35mm film SLR camera with an interchangeable lens system using the Canon FD mount.
[SHOP all Canon FD mount cameras]

Pictured: Canon AE-1 (chrome) with Canon FD 24mm f2.8

The Canon AE-1 was released in 1976 as a non-professional affordable and easy to use SLR. Its shell is plastic disguised and finished with black enamel or chrome. Additionally it was one of the first cameras to successfully make the transition from fully manual operations, to electronically assisted operations. The Canon AE-1 has the ability to shoot in Aperture Priority mode – meaning you choose the aperture and the camera can (when possible) choose the correct shutter speed for the photo. This good-offering at a low price combined with a massive marketing campaign at the time helped the camera become very popular and mass produced. It uses the Canon FD mount which has one of the largest selections of available lenses to date. You can shoot fisheye to super tele-photo, tilt-shift, macro, and all normal focal lengths with the available lenses for the FD system.

In any kind of top film camera list the Canon AE-1 always seems to appear. Why is that? Is it possible that the Canon AE-1 is one of the best film cameras of all time? No we don’t think so, but it is a very great camera, among hundreds of other equally great cameras, that has over time stood out from the rest of the crowd. Imagine a popular band, or clothing company, are they the best? No, they are simply popular.

The Canon AE-1 is likely capable of any type of photography you want to do, and for many people it was or is their only camera. Many of these people overtime have spoken truths about how the camera is great, but without extraneous knowledge of other cameras that are equally great. This pattern repeated, and in the age of the internet and article spinning this praise has amplified dramatically. 

And because it is now more desirable over other equally capable cameras, people are more likely to be able to resell it over those others. This makes more of them accessible on the second hand market, increasing their availability and perpetuating the ease of recommending it to someone as they can easily buy it. 

Something perhaps not so known about the Canon AE-1 is about the cameras light meter problems due to aging electronics. Most of these cameras have light meters which are no longer reading correct exposure correctly. Most of them vary 1 to 2 stops over or underexposed. So when the camera shows that it has achieved correct exposure it’s probably [for example] going to underexpose by two stops or over expose by one stop. It’s a little frustrating because everything works and feels right during use, its only after you develop your negatives you may see the problem.

Although overexposing looks quite good when doing it on film, and many of these slightly faulty Canon AE-1s over exposed and produce images that are preferable to many over a correctly exposed image. This fault is something that might have contributed to its popularity. But over exposing can be done on most cameras with a few minutes of research on how to achieve it.

The Canon AE-1 and AE-1 Program also have a squeaky shutter problem. Many cameras have this issue where the shutter squeaks like a toy sci-fi gun low on batteries. It’s a little tricky to fix but can be done at home with some patience and tools.

So yes the Canon AE-1 is great and we would recommend it, and if you have the time look into some of our other recommendations as you may find something more suitable for you. For the same price as an AE-1 you can get and A-1 or even an ugly F-1. If you do want and AE-1 though we would recommend buying one from our shop as our camera technicians inspect all our cameras and only give us the fully working ones to sell in the shop. 

Some notable features of this camera include a:

  • Shutter priority mode
  • Full manual mode
  • 1/1000th of a second maximum shutter speed
  • Meter range of ISO 25 to 3200
  • FD lens mount – huge selection of lenses to choose from

Canon AE-1 alternatives:


#1:  Leica M6 (1984 – 1998)

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The Leica M6 is an interchangeable lens rangefinder 35mm film camera with a classic Leica rangefinder look, a built in light meter and typically meant for use with 28 to 135mm lenses.
[Shop all Leica M mount rangefinders]

Pictured: Leica M6 (Black) with Leica Summicron 35mm f2

For most people looking to buy their first Leica, the decision of which to get usually comes down to 2 features / questions. 

  • (Do I need a light meter) Does it have a light meter?
  • (Viewfinder magnification) What lens focal lengths can I use it with?

The answers to these two questions is what makes the Leica M6 so popular today. First it has a built in light meter. The only other mass produced Leica rangefinders with a built in light meter are the Leica M7, Leica CL, and Leica M5. The Leica CL and M5 don’t have the classic Leica rangefinder look. Presumably this is why the Leica M6 is more popular. The Leica M7 is a good choice, even having a few extra features, but is more expensive than the Leica M6 and requires batteries to shoot.

Secondly magnification on the viewfinder of the Leica M6 enables shooting of lenses as wide as 28mm without any additional accessories. It includes built-in framelines for shooting 28mm* (except for some M6 cameras with 0.85x magnification finder) , 35mm, 50mm, 75mm, 90mm, and 135mm. There was also some Leica M6 versions with 0.85x and 0.52x magnification finders but 0.72x was standard and likely what you will find today. This is the other thing that makes it so popular as shooting 28 or 35mm is the preferred focal length for a large number of photographers. Back in the early Leica days 50mm was the standard focal length. Just take a look at how many 28mm lenses Leica made before 1954 – I can think of just two at the moment!

Compare all of that to a Leica M3 which has no light meter and allows for shooting no wider than 50mm (without accessories). Of course the M3 is not a worse camera, it’s just that it’s possible the majority of the preferences by film photographers today can only be met with the Leica M6 (in relation to other Leicas). Of course (with those same preferences) ones choices could expand into the hundreds if one wanted an SLR, but those who are buying Leicas probably wanted only a Leica to begin with. 

Most people, even non-photographers, have one thing that comes to mind when they think Leica, and that thing is “expensive”. On average the price of a Leica is higher than that of most any other 35mm camera brand. Therefore the idea that the Leica M6 as the number one of the top film cameras of 2019 might seem surprising. Especially considering that film photography to capture an image is a choice and not a need. Once you know a bit more about the M6 and Leica cameras in general, you’ll see why it’s number one on this list and that it a very good value for the money. 

Firstly a Leica is expensive because it is extremely well-engineered, and built by highly skilled laborers, both of which come at a cost. Secondly let’s look at the value of the camera. A fair guess could be that the average prosumer mirrorless digital camera might cost about 500€ to 1000€. The Leica M6 for example could cost around 1200€ to 2200€ depending on the condition. So which is a better value? How many people do you know shooting with a digital camera that’s 5 years old? Or even 3? The point is that digital cameras always seem to somehow get outdated and near useless every few years. A Leica M6 is a camera that has been relevant and working for decades and will continue to be for decades more.

Looking at the per-year cost of owning a Leica M6 it is surely a great value. Not only that but we would say it’s a good investment. As prices of used digital gear continue to fall, used film gear has continued to increase. If you don’t pass your camera onto someone else when you’re older, you can surely get your money back when you sell the camera. The cost of film and processing hasn’t been factored in but you get the idea. 

Some notable features of this camera include:

  • Built-in light meter
  • All-mechanical shutter speeds
  • 28mm*, 35mm, 50mm, 75mm, 90mm, and 135mm framelines
  • Easy loading (compared to the M2 and M3)
  • Full line of quality lenses 

Leica M6 alternatives:


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