The world as seen through 35mm squares.

Photography is such a powerful thing. Everyone has stared a little too much at some favorite black and white photo. It has the permanence that film or video could never have, it just doesn't move on. It sticks.

Today instagram can quickly capture and share a classic b&w in seconds. Sites like shutterfly allow you to print almost anything 'photo quality'. But there is more to an image other then what it is printed on.

Analog cameras slow things down, they force you to look and actually see what it is you are taking a picture of. You only have so many shots to make one count. You have to know what it is that you are doing, what lense what ISO, speed, etc. You actually have to make the photo, its work but a very rewarding art. You cannot instantly filter, crop, tag, and share. But that is part of the fun, you never know how your negatives are going to turn out. Over time you become a better photographer, not just a lucky one.

I found some interesting analog cameras in an Urban Outfitters once. I quick trip to showed the same cameras I had seen years ago. It turns out the cameras are reproductions from  So far the most popular one on lomography is the Diana F+.

Diana F+

The Diana F+ is a medium format (120mm film) analog camera. There is a mini version that rolls with 35mm film and is a cheaper version. For a plastic camera it has quite a few options. It shoots two shutter speeds, has the ability to take pinhole photos and can shoot either 12 or 16 photos on one roll of film. There are a ton of accessories for it, allowing even the newest photog to grow and experiment for a long, long time.

Of course there are always the regular online sources, used 35mm cameras have the durability, advanced capabilities, and overall steez that would attract more experianced digital photographers back to film. They usually come with plenty of lenses, attachments, bags and parts to pay for themselves several times over. My favorite is the Voigtlander Vito B. This little camera looks the part, shoots great photos, and can be found at great prices. It is completely manual, so lacks some analog technology such as SLR or a rangefinder, but if you want to be as intimate as possible with the photography experience there is no better way to start.

Vito B by Voigtlander

I will say, most of my photos are shot with a taped and spraypainted Nikon Collpix S550. The ten megapixel (MP) camera will allow for 322 dots per inch (dpi) on an 8"x10" print. That 20MP digital SLR monster that cost you over a grand only spits out 468dpi. Really? $900 and you only get 146dpi?  Believe it or not a 35mm puts down 590dpi for the same size print. In fact, unless you're printing posters, you only need a 6MP camera, which can print a respectable image at 11"x16".  These 6-10MP point and shoots only run for a couple of tenners for a used one and most often you can get them even cheaper. Just remember, sensor size also has a lot to do with the quality of the image.

No matter how sharp an image your camera can capture, there is a lot to be said about what it will capture. We've already established that an anlog camera is the most bang for the buck resolution wise but you have to get the image, in the form of light, to the sensor, film or digital. Using quality lenses and a tripod is the easiest way to ensure the best chance for getting the sharpest image possible. Obviously a person can pay thousands in analog cameras and gear, almost just as easily as they would for digital equipment. But on the experience and cool factor...analog cannot be beat.