please advise; film/digital for street photography


New Member
Sep 3, 2009
hey all. i've been thinking hard and long on this and i know that there will not be a better place to ask this.

should i get myself a 5dmk1 or a konica hexar af/rf? (any good rangefinder with lens <1k)
i am an avid street photographer so i am torn between digital or film. i've always been interested in rangefinders but i find digital much more convenient. and yes i do know there are digital rangefinders but they're way outta budget. the fujix100 will prolly have a drop in price at around end next year?
and the lenses i have are mostly mf lenses. so the tediousness of mf sorta counters the convenience of digital.

so do advise and help me out cs-ers! :)


Senior Member
Oct 19, 2009

I am now a both Film and Digital user.

My advise for you is to go Digital. Let's not talk about the money to develop films or CD. But now, digital is free and allows you to do more post processing on your PC.

Let me share with you how I started into photography.

I acquired a Nikon F70 Film Body with a Tokina 28-80mm lens. At that time, I did not know what is the ISO/ Shutter Speed/ Aperture about. I knew nuts about it. Sometimes my rolls came out nothing as I shot with very high shutter speed [I did not knew about it last time]

Through shooting film, after spending $10 on developing and scanning, I made the effort to consult people and read on Shutter/ ISO/ Aperture on the net to find out more about it. I begin to explore my curiosity and started to read and read...

Next, my friend acquired me a Olympus Trip 35 rangefinder with Zuiko 40mm f/2.8. I stopped using the Nikon F70 for awhile. And used my knowledge of the rules of thirds into this camera. I finally know how to expose my pictures correctly. I was happy.. I spend the next 4-7 months playing this camera and i think i spent around $300-500 on developing and scanning.

After my dad saw me saving recess money for films, he decided that i should go for digital, which he acquired me a Canon 550D DSLR. I shot mostly on Manual mode as I was used to manual settings. And I felt shiok as I did not have to worry for money for films and developing. I shot landscapes and I felt happy after looking at the pictures. But then again, the accessories and gadgets and lenses caused me to have a Buy Buy Buy syndrome.

Till now, I still shoot films. My parents scolded for shooting films even though they acquired me a Digital. Well, reason why I occasionally shoot films is because I would like to try some special effect films like lomo 25th anniversary, Kodak Chrome for cross processing and last but not least, the black and white films by Ilford which allows me to have cheaper film developing outside. It also allows me to train and push my limits to excel as I do use a Sekonic Light meter for shooting Film cameras.

A Konica Hezar body has a solid feel, heavy and with a motor drive. I handled one and the camera seems like it is a old MG, or would I say its like a BMW. It has M mount which allows most of the leica lenses and Voigtlander lenses. Lenses are mostly primes and freaking fast ! Such as f/1.1 or f/0.95. It is usually manual focus which you need to get use to rangefinder focusing, kinda different from SLR, DSLR. You would have to worry about money on films and developing.

Other than that, you might wanna consider a digital rangefinder, other than the Fuji. Its the Epson R-D1 ! I handled once and it feel shiok too!

Also, you might wanna consider micro 4/3 bodies like the Panasonic Lumix GF1 or Olympus EP2.

Wish you all the best for choosing your camera. Feel free to ask any questions if in doubt, as in a photography forum, I'm sure many would help you !


Staff member
Jul 23, 2007
Just look at the photos taken in the Street Photography sub-forum. Good shots taken by both film and digital. Many different lens and cameras used as well (from 35mm, 50mm to much larger zooms and 85mm, 135mm short/mid telephoto). MHO is that an eye this type of photography is more important and the camera used.


Senior Member
Jan 1, 2009
Telok Blangah
Digital, ...... Till some day you appreciate analog.

Cost is not the point, because digital gear is much more expensive and may not be any better than the old stuff. :)


Staff member
Sep 17, 2009
I would suggest getting both... get a digital body and then use the remaining $200 for a cheaper rangefinder. Probably not the hexar rf / af but maybe a konica auto s or a yashica gsn or even a russian zorki. :D


Senior Member
Sep 19, 2003
In this small world
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Questions for your thought:

1. What have you used so far?
2. Whose money are you spending?
3. What existing gear do you have that allow you to use rangefinder or DSLR?
4. Can a DSLR do what you want from a rangefinder?
5. Is the feel you want from a rangefinder that DSLR cannot give you?

Film is not for everyone. There will always be criticism from people (old tech, expensive, lousy, antique, not user friendly). If you do not love film (colour negative, colour slides or black and white), you will not last using it as one day you will ask yourself, why are you scanning this to digital. Film is not for scanning generally unless you get the high end drum scanner (costs $20k and above?).


Senior Member
Jun 25, 2009
Toronto, Canada
Go digital.... less head-aches. The only alternative (to save on-going costs) is to go film and develop your own. But then again, there is still the on-going cost of chemicals and photo paper. Go digital.... less head-aches.