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  1. #1

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    What 35MM cameras will still work in 2038?

    Hi All,

    This is of course a highly speculative thought, but if I am lucky enough to make it for another 30 years and am still able to use a camera, which of those available now would most likely still be fully functional?
    Right now I mostly use a Canon T90 and Elan 7n but I have a variety of other brands and models as well. I am a light user, shooting approximately 30 rolls a year, but enjoy the process of shooting and developing my own film ( since 1966) so much that I well may do it as long as I live.
    The specific issues I wonder about are deterioration of the camera through aging alone ( I have seen shutters and LCD displays die on little used cameras) and battery availability. I am sure there a number of other issues that could be problematical, but these are two that come immediately to mind.
    I do want built in autoexposure and autofocus even though I currently can use manual focusing adequately well.
    I am confident some sort of B&W 35MM film will be available three decades from now, but I wonder how many cameras (other than fully mechanical ones that have been vacuum sealed for longevity) there will be around that will be able to use it.

    I look foward to your ideas on this,

    Jay L.

  2. #2
    BradS's Avatar
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    oh, and I thought this was going to be a thread about the "year 2037" bug....
    Last edited by BradS; 12-09-2008 at 11:25 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: hmmm, I think I was supposed to suggest a 35mm body.

  3. #3

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    An intresting question, I had have not thought that far in advance. In the all micro circuit auto focus camera world I would guess an F6 or F5 would hold up. I have Sigma SA 7 and a SA 9, both use lithum batteries, as new digital cameras are moving towards rechargable batteries I wounder how long these batteries will be avilable. On the other hand my Spots and Mirandas can be used without any modern batteries with a hand held meter, or just guessing.

  4. #4
    Colin Corneau's Avatar
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    I've always found Nikon cameras are very durable, reliable and relatively trouble-free. (Note: I don't want to get into any Nikon-Canon wars...I'm merely stating my experience from the past 20 years)

    Nikon strikes me as a company that will be around for a while. And considering you can still get Nikon F's fixed (or buy them relatively easily) I think you're on solid ground with them. I would stay away from the pro-sumer bodies if you're thinking of the long haul...stick with cameras like the F5, F4s, F100 or F-90x. Weather-sealing, solid metal bodies and the like help increase your odds for longevity.

  5. #5
    jmcd's Avatar
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    I think that my Canon F1 will be operating well in 2038. I hope it will be me using it!

    I think that a Nikon Fm2n will be working that long.

  6. #6

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    For every little add on that you want--- Auto-focus, Auto-Exposure, Auto-photographer, you have to add in a bit of failure possibility. With LESS electronics or mechanics, the possibility of the camera working right the first time and every time goes up.

    I shoot on a daily basis with two cameras, each over 65 years old. One has had an extensive CLA and the other has had a cursory air blow out every year or so. Neither has foam to deal with, neither has a very complex transport mechanism. While they are Medium format, I think that the idea is translatable. And yes, both cameras work right all the time and every time.

    I have used both for news stringer work, and within the last 2 months had a scanned image in the local paper of a body being pulled out of a lake. My pix scanned from chrome film were way beyond what the paper had, and I was able to get closer with a simple folding MF camera rather than lugging 30 pounds of digital camera and lenses and bags.

    Less technology ---> works longer and easier to maintain
    More technology ---> greater chance of failure and more difficult to maintain
    * Just because your eyes are closed, doesn't mean the lights in the darkroom are off. *
    * When the film you put in the camera is worth more than the camera you put the film in... *
    * When I started using 8x10, it amazed me how many shots were close to the car. *

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer Jay View Post
    I do want built in autoexposure and autofocus .
    Then don't you need working autofocus lenses to? Don't some have motors in the lenses?

    Even a brandnew F6 would be 30 years old then. Would the meter cell still work?

    I think I'd trust my 30 year old Cosina 4000s. The meter hasn't worked in 15 years but the rest is perfectly happy. But then so is my 40 year old Spotmatic.

  8. #8
    jmcd's Avatar
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    I think now is a good time to get that body serviced properly!

  9. #9

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    My Zeiss-Ikon from 1938 works perfectly, and supposedly everything on it is original, and I expect it to work the same in 2038; however, that is a 120 format camera. As for 35mm cameras, my Canon AT-1 from 1978 also works perfectly, although I did redo the foam mirror bumper and light seals, and I would hope that it lasts another 30 years.

  10. #10

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    Well, the world is supposed to end in 2012, so my guess would be "none"
    i can't wait to take a picture of my thumb with this beautiful camera.

    - phirehouse, after buying a camera in the classifieds

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