Written by Christian Hopewell
Over the last 9 months Camera Ventures has been researching the current state of analog photography around the world, interviewing hundreds of people from CEOs integral to the industry, to upcoming young enthusiasts. We have gone on to undertake a survey of over 7500 analog enthusiasts from around the globe so that we can see how vibrant, varied and ultimately how healthy the analog camera scene is. This all with the hope that we can answer whether analog photography has what it takes to survive and be appreciated by the generations to come. If you’ve already taken part in our survey then we’d like to thank you for helping with this project, and if you’re yet to do so you can still take part here.
The internet can truly be an amazing tool when it comes to sharing information. The internet allows people from all over the world to come together and share information, such as in this article. As analog photography becomes more and more of a specialist interest, finding other analog photographers within daily life can become more of a rare occurrence. However, through specialist websites, blogs and forums photographers have more access to analog photography information than ever before.
We asked our Cameraventures survey participants to list their top recommendations for online analog photography information. These are the top 20 suggestions:
There’s a reason that 35mmc tops this list – if you’re interested in analog photography, checking it out is almost a must. It’s front page operates like an analog photography dedicated magazine. They have a constant stream of excellent articles on different pieces of equipment from a wide range of authors. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find archived reviews and tutorials.
The Analog Photography Users Group, or APUG as it’s more commonly known is a forum dedicated to all things analog. There are discussions on cameras, lenses and darkroom techniques, as well as a member’s classifieds section. Most importantly, it’s got an active user base so you’re sure to be able to find a current topic to join.
Reddit is a little harder to describe, users start topics and those topics are able to be moved up or down the page through a voting system. Reddit itself is huge with subsections, or ‘sub-Reddits’ dedicated to almost any topic you can think of. The analog sub-Reddit is all about analog photography and so provides an active page for contemporary analog discussion.
When it comes to film stock information, Emulsive is the place to go. Emulsive has news, reviews and interviews on everything film related. Of particular interest may be their “… and this is why I shoot film” interview series.
If you want a camera, if no one else can help, and if you can find him, maybe you can hire The Japan Camera Hunter. Well, he’s not too difficult to find, Bellamy Hunt is the Japan Camera Hunter and he tracks down specific cameras to order. Aside from offering this camera sourcing service, his website offers some great articles which get published regularly.
Like the name implies, the Rangefinder Forum is a message board dedicated to all things rangefinder. The forum has an active community and a huge wealth of knowledge when it comes to analog cameras.
At this point I’m not sure there’s many cameras or lenses that Ken Rockwell hasn’t reviewed for his site. If you create a Google search for a particular piece of equipment, more often than not you’ll find a Ken Rockwell review within the first page of results. Ken’s site can be very helpful when it comes to researching individual bits of gear.
One of the few companies still producing analog cameras today, Lomography resurrect old designs through their Lomo range of cameras. Heavily into encouraging the retro aesthetic Lomography have brought back a number of quirky cameras and lenses, produce their own line of film and also offer film processing by mail. Their magazine section features some of the best work produced by photographerswho use Lomography equipment.
While not analog-exclusive, Flickr can still be an excellent resource. On Flickr you’re able to upload your photos, arrange them into galleries and connect with other users. Unlike uploading to other social media sites, Flickr organises photos so they’re searchable by camera make, model, lens and film stock. This organisation makes it excellent for researching the results produced by different pieces of equipment or for finding user groups dedicated to specific cameras, lenses or film types.
The Casual Photophile site produces some excellent articles on analog cameras and film. Definitely worth checking out is their Top Fives section which has some really interesting reads covering a wide range of different cameras.
Our own page made the list! If you’re reading this article now then you’ll no doubt be familiar with Cameraventures. We provide an online store connecting people to a range of different independent analog camera stores in Europe and North America. Oh, and we also have the Cameraventures survey!
The Film Photography Project site hosts news and reviews, but is best known for its bi-weekly analog photography internet radio show, The Film Photography Podcast. They also have their own YouTube channel, Twitter feed, Flickr forum, Facebook page, Instagram page, and online shop.
I Still Shoot Film is an excellent resource for anyone looking to get into analog photography. The I Still Shoot Film site is jam packed with guides on all approaches of shooting film. If there’s an aspect to film photography that you’re struggling with, or you’re just looking to find where to start, I Still Shoot Film has got you covered.
While not dedicated to analog photography, Petapixel is probably the best known photography news page. They provide a look at what’s going on in the photography world: covering new releases, publishing reviews and publishing industry rumours for those that can’t wait for official announcements!
The Film Shooters Collective is, well, a collective of film shooters. Their website provides a look into the work of their members and their journal contains reviews and photostreams. The Film Shooters collective have published photo books and organised events.
The Large Format Photography website is a no-frills, bare-bones page that contains an archive of large format guides. Large format information is no where near as widespread as medium format or 35mm, so this site dedicated to all things 4×5 or larger can really be invaluable.
MF Lenses publishes lens reviews for manual focus glass. Their reviews look at manual focus lenses from the point of view of adapting them to modern digital cameras – hence their motto “a new life in a digital age”. Their website contains a lens database, a used lens price guide, a forum and an eBay store with some very interesting items!
The Pentax Forum is a meeting point to discuss all things Pentax, past or present. It’s highly active, so if you have a Pentax related query you can be sure to find someone to help you out. While definitely Pentax orientated they also have subforms for specific types of photography, as well as for developing and scanning.
Digital Truth is probably the ultimate resource for film developing. Famed for its Massive Dev Chart, Digital Truth has lookup tables for developing different film stocks, temperature conversion tools, and multipliers for pushing and pulling.
Negative Feedback is the homepage for the Negative Feedback YouTube channel. They create videos following the process of shooting analog with different cameras and films. Their website contains a directory of all the videos they have created to date along with a store where you can buy their zines.
While we usually keep our lists to top 10s, this one just had to be stretched out to 20. We had such a wealth of suggestions sent in, we really didn’t want to edit them down. The suggestions include sites dedicated to news and reviews, photography discussions, blogs and photo critiques. No matter what your analog interest, you’re no doubt going to find some interesting material in our recommended sites list.