I used a Canonet GIII QL17 for a couple years and liked it a lot. Below are three images from the excellent 40mm fixed lens. Film was Neopan 400 (day) and 1600 (night). Great little camera! :)
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I suppose it depends if you are processing it yourself or not. As others have said, the chromogenic black and white films, which can be developed at an ordinary mini-lab in colour chemistry are excellent. XP2 has great exposure latitude, so you can rate it a bit faster or a bit slower and get good usable images, which makes it versatile. XP2 also has the advantage that it can be printed normally using an enlarger. It scans well, too, if you are into that. :)
I used to travel quite a bit with just a compact rangefinder [I use an interchangeable lens rangefinder these days] or with a good quality autofocus compact, and I'd second other people's recommendations of a good quality 400 ASA film like HP5+ [although as it happens I tend to shoot slower films more myself]. I have a preference for Ilford which seems more consistent than some other brands for quality, and it's easy to get here in the UK.
Well thank you all for the excellent advice, something I'm quickly learning to appreciate on this forum. In no particular order, my responses:
- I'm in India at the moment as that's where I live but I will be back in the UK for the summer, where my various rangefinders are waiting for me in unopened boxes! I'm not sure if film is any cheaper here, or what the range of film is like.
- I see some cheap deals on ebay/internet. I read somewhere of a photographer who purposely spreads his purchases around different vendors in order to keep them in business (and therefore indirectly supporting film as a format), which I like the idea of.
- @Peter - those images are gorgeous, especially that last one. I assume that was sans flash?
- Yes, more than likely I'll be scanning them
- Yes, I'll be getting them printed in Boots or wherever, not processing them myself.
On the back of those responses, a couple more questions:
1) Any recommended places online I can purchase film for UK delivery?
2) How do you contend with different film speeds for different occasions? I mean, if you've put a roll of Neopan 1600 in your camera then that means only night shots until the film has run out. It's been years since I shot film, I forget how quickly you can work your way through a film. Fortunately with a bunch of rangefinders to play with I can experiment. Any tips on this?
7dayshop tend to be very competitive due to free delivery, but their prices are less competitive than they once were. Sometimes there are sellers on Amazon UK, and also there is an ebay seller called jaz-uk who sometimes offers competitive prices on film. Lots of variation on pricing and, depending on the emulsion, one place can be cheap for one film and another place cheapest for another emulsion - there isn't a place that is single handedly cheaper than anywhere else, so it pays to do some price research first.
Peter, hopefully by July I'll have a number of bodies to play with too.
@freecom2: I know 7dayshop and have used them many times. Very good resource. I don't know the others though, I'll take a peak. Of course I have no problem Googling and price hunting but I wondered if UK analogue photographers had a preferred independent vendor I could support.
Why does it matter what film you use just because you shoot with a rangefinder?
Just use what you normally like.
I generally use AG Photographic. They have a good range, don't charge until they post the order and are very clear on the state of your order (whether items are in stock, likely delivery date and as on).
What does choice of film have to do with rangefinders?
mmm..almost all of the photos i have taken with a rangefinder have been from 80/100asa. Admittedly i also use a lot of HP5 plus.Don`t really see any connection with rangefinders and any one particular film.A rangefinder is after all just a light proof box that you can attach a lens to.