What's in Your Camera Bags?
Since we shoot with both film and digital cameras, we're considered hybrid shooters, the best of both mediums. Our camera bags are pretty heavy but we love what we can create using different types of cameras. I thought it might be fun to share what equipment we use to create the images we make. We use both film and digital cameras on most of our shoots, we love and understand them inside and out. The film cameras we shoot with are for the most part the Contax 645, Hasselblad 500CM, Rolleiflex, Widelux F7 and Holga. We also love and embrace digital as an important tool and photographic advancement. The digital cameras we use are the Canon R6 and the 5D’s.
Please take a look at the different cameras we use below to learn more about the gear we use and the images we create. After all, it isn’t the camera, it’s the photographer, but having really great equipment helps! The film cameras listed here are no longer produced, and are therefore even more special. Film and film cameras can still be purchased at camera stores. Give them a try! If you have any questions about film cameras, feel free to ask, I may know the answer! You can also follow us on IG at @karenhillweddings.
Medium Format Film Cameras:
Contax 645, with an 80mm f2 and a 45mm f2.8 Carl Zeiss Lenses
This camera is one of my favorites and in my opinion, is the best camera ever made. This auto focus camera shoots a rectangle, an actual 6x4.5 negative size. There are 32 images per roll on 220 film and 16 images per roll on 120 film. I use Kodak Portra 400 or 800 ISO film or Ilford Delta 3200 ISO film.
Rolleiflex, with an 80mm 2.8 Carl Zeiss Optics Twin Lens
This twin lens camera is a vintage gem from the 1960's. The first Rolleiflex was produced in 1929. It shoots a square, 6x6 negative, with 12 images per roll of 120 film. It's super Carl Ziess lens produces images that are a little bit dreamy. I use Kodak Portra 400 or 800 ISO film or Ilford Delta 3200 ISO film. I love this camera.
The Holga has a plastic lens and one exposure, f8 at a 60th of a second. This camera loves light as much as I do. It shoots a square 6x6 negative, with 12 images per roll of 120 film. Since the lens is plastic, two things happen when you shoot with it, first, the plastic lens makes the image a bit blurry and secondly, when light hits the lens, it causes refraction. Refraction essentially means that when light hits the lens, the light wave is changed and causes light to record in the most curious ways. I find this "accidental light" rendering to be lovely, quirky, dreamy and poignant. The images look like they were shot 100 years ago! I use Kodak Portra 400 ISO film.
Hasselblad 500CM, with an 80mm f2.8 Carl Zeiss Optics Lens
This Swedish made camera is a vintage beauty from around the 1960's. It's shutter makes a specific loud "kerrrplunk" sound, music to my ears. It shoots a square 6x6 negative, with 12 images per roll of 120 film. This is a completely manual camera, there is no battery which means no light meter. A hand held light meter is a must. It's Carl Zeiss lens renders images that are extremely sharp and at the same time, a little dreamy. I use Kodak Portra 400 or 800 ISO film or Ilford Delta 3200 ISO film. I adore this camera.
Fun fact, in 1969, a slightly modified Hasselbald went to the moon on the Lunar space shuttle Apollo 11 when astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin became the first people to reach the moon. A little history side note.
Below is a photo I took of the actual Hasselbald that went to the moon at the National Air & Space Museum in DC I shot in 2016. A pretty cool geek out moment, (see the image below).
35mm Film Camera:
This panoramic camera shoots 180 degrees with a barrel, rotating lens, which I love because as it makes the exposure, it distorts and bends the image. This camera takes in the whole scene! It has three shutter speeds and is a completely manual camera. No battery means no light meter. There are 20 images on each roll of 35mm film. One of my favorites for it's specific fun style. I use Kodak Portra 400 or 800 ISO film or Ilford Delta 3200 ISO film.
High Resolution Digital Cameras:
Canon 5D Mark III & IV, with the 24-70mm f2.8 ll, a 50mm f2.0, a 17-40mm f4.5 and a 35mm f1.4 lenses
Super flexible in all types of light, sharp and fast with tons of exposure latitude. We shoot in RAW. Black and White is achieved in post processing. These cameras and lenses are great additions to our camera bags!
We use two Think Tank Rolling Airport Navigators and love them!
This is a top loading rolling camera bag that allows easy access to three cameras on the top with additional storage under each camera, it has a front, padded sleeve for a laptop, hat, reflector and paperwork. This bag fits in the overhead compartment of an aircraft so we're good to go.
I also carry an additional tote bag that piggy backs on the Navigator, and a shoulder bag for film, film inserts and cards.
This is the photo I took at the National Air & Space Museum in Washington DC, it shows the modified Hasselblad that went to the moon on the Lunar space shuttle Apollo 11 in 1969.