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Archiver 10-05-2019 04:52

What is your longest and most used camera? Film and digital
Of all your cameras, which have you used for the longest, and the most?

If film, how many rolls have you put through it? How often do you use it?

If digital, about how many images has it taken? How often do you use it?

I'm curious about this because the concepts of longevity and reliability are things I mull over with gear.

My longest running and most used film camera is my Contax T3. It came in 2006 and I've put less than 20 rolls through it. I don't shoot it that often; in the first three years, I shot about three rolls a year. I thought I'd used it a lot, but not really.

Digital is a different story. I use my digital cameras like nuts. My longest running digital camera is the Leica M9. I bought it in 2010, making it nine and a half years old. It's shot at least 44,000 images. In the first few years, I shot thousands of images with it; on a three week trip to Japan in the first year, it was churning out at least 300 pictures a day.

I've had my Sony RX0 1" sensor camera for over a year, and it's taken about 9300 images so far. And hasn't skipped a beat.

Dogman 10-05-2019 05:05

I still own the first Nikon I ever bought new. It's a black F2 with a plain prism. I bought it in 1974, used it throughout my newspaper career into 1991 and then used it as my vacation/snapshot camera until 1998/99 when I switched to AF Canons. I haven't used it since then. How many rolls? No idea.

My oldest digital is not very old. It's a Canon Rebel T2i(?). I bought it as a back up for a 50D but I never used it very much. It has been carried a lot, however, backing up the 50D and later a 7D. It's in nearly new condition with 18-55 kit lens. The digital I've used the most is my first Fuji X-Pro1 bought in 2016. Again, not an old camera. When I started using the X-Pro2, the XP1 hasn't seen much use. Again, no idea how many shots have been taken by these cameras.

Archiver 10-05-2019 05:11


Originally Posted by Dogman (Post 2916373)
I still own the first Nikon I ever bought new. It's a black F2 with a plain prism. I bought it in 1974, used it throughout my newspaper career into 1991 and then used it as my vacation/snapshot camera until 1998/99 when I switched to AF Canons. I haven't used it since then. How many rolls? No idea.

Wow, that's impressive. 1974-1991 and used for newspaper work. Would you have shot a roll a week when working? More, less? Did the Nikon F2 need any major repairs from heavy use?

sepiareverb 10-05-2019 05:12

At this point, an M7 I’ve had since 2005 or so. It has had less than twenty rolls through it in the past year. Less than most years. Can’t begin to guess how many rolls it has had since I got it. Maybe an average of 30 a year? I use the M10 and X1D far more these days.

css9450 10-05-2019 07:39

I've had my FM2 since 1985 and my F2 since 1995 but have only used them sporadically in the last decade (particularly the F2 which has only seen a half-dozen or so rolls total). But my N90s dates from 1996 and has had numerous hundreds or thousands of rolls run through it, including recently.

For digital, my D80 will be twelve years old in a few months and I still use it regularly. I have a P&S that's older but I haven't used it lately.

davidnewtonguitars 10-05-2019 07:49

When I rejoined the film resurgence in 2015 I bought a Zorki I, it is still clacking, but I don't run as many rolls thru it as I used to.

rbsinto 10-05-2019 07:57

Motorized Nikon F2 purchased used in 1985, and quickly converted to an F2AS by swapping the finder for a DP-12. After all these years it is still one of my two favorite SLRs (the other being my motorized F with meterless prism).
How many rolls? No idea.

farlymac 10-05-2019 09:00

My longest owned camera is a Yashica Electro 35 GTN, but it no longer works. The next longest owned one is a Nikon N90s, but I don't use it since I got an F100. I got the N90s back in '94 when they were newly out, and it was my main camera till I got an F2 about ten years ago. I own enough cameras now that most don't get any work now days (the cull is coming soon), as I go back and forth between a few favorites.

Wish I had some of the cameras that I had to let go of back in 2005, and some that I traded in or sold to friends back in the '70s and '80s, like my first Nikkormat. But most of what I do have are usable. I've got a little Paxette that I used one day when the temps were 20F/-7C because I could keep my gloves on to operate it. It worked like a charm, never skipping a beat. A lot of non-battery dependent cameras are like that.


B-9 10-05-2019 09:00

I’ve had a Contax SL300R T* for about 10-11 years.

Needs a new battery and I lost the charger. So not many shots with it lately.

Mine is silver... wanted the black.

Ambro51 10-05-2019 09:03

Welllll.....way back in 1975 I bought my first Leica, a IIIc postwar from a hole in the wall camera shop in Philadelphia. That camera was my One camera for decades. The Vulcanite cracked off in large pieces, a few hard falls gave it bad dents. Pretty much retired I had it hooked to a PLOOT for close up macro. THEN I discovered the UR Leica Replica and that it was possible to have it professionally modified to be a fully useable camera. A lot of internal parts from a “donor” camera. Sooo, over to Korea goes my ‘ol IIIc, And well, a good deal of it lives on in working UR #80. That sweet little camera, with its 42mm Leitz Summar, is pure silk smooth, whisper quiet and is awesomely precise. Images are Fantastic!

Dogman 10-05-2019 09:50


Originally Posted by Archiver (Post 2916374)
Wow, that's impressive. 1974-1991 and used for newspaper work. Would you have shot a roll a week when working? More, less? Did the Nikon F2 need any major repairs from heavy use?

The F2 was used with a pair of F's for the first few years and later with a pair of F2's and an FM and then I added an F3 (which I hated) and another F2. So I didn't use just the one camera over those years. Usually I carried two cameras, sometimes a third. Something was always breaking. A couple got stolen. One of the F2's was destroyed during a high school football game (!). Yep, a high school kid slammed into the big tough photographer and smashed the camera. That original F2 body was dropped one time and my insurance company totaled it and paid me for it. I bought it back from them because I thought it could be repaired if someone really wanted to give it a try. Some months later I sent it to NPS and they got it working perfectly again. Ugly but working.

As to how many rolls a week. Hard to say. Some weeks were routine "grip and grins", mug shots, interview pix and civic club/governmental body meetings. Some weeks would be massive with assignments, features, sports and news. I've shot as many as 26 rolls in one day, as many as 40+ rolls during a long week of a single news/feature assignment that covered three states and very little sleeping.

This was a medium sized daily, not a big city paper. There were only 7-8 photographers full time. It was pretty normal for newspapers of the time--you didn't get paid much but you had to work hard most of the time.

CharlesDAMorgan 10-05-2019 11:17

Of my return to film cameras my Rolleiflex 3.5F has had the most consistent use followed by my Leica M3. Of my lenses, I have owned my Zuiko 50mm f1.8 and my Zuiko 28mm f2.8 for 36 years, and they are as good today as they were when new. The filters that protected the glass though not...

No idea how many rolls I've put through each camera. Both the above have been consistently reliable, the least, sadly my Nikon FE which just keeps having issues in auto mode. End time for that I think.

Bingley 10-05-2019 11:57

I’m the original owner of an Olympus XA, bought new at the old 47th Street Photo in NYC in the early 1980s. For most of the 1990s it was my only film camera, after a Nikon F I got in the late 1960s was stolen. The little XA has had several hundred rolls of film through it, and is still going strong. I dropped it a couple of years ago and sent it off to John Hermanson for repair. It works like new now. I still use it a lot particularly as a backup camera on trips.

After the XA, my most used cameras would be a tie between a Leica IIIc and an M2. I haven’t had either camera nearly as long as the XA, but they’re now my principal cameras. I’ve probably shot a couple hundred rolls of film through each. I got the M2 in 2008 and the IIIc a year or so later.

I still have an Olympus EPL1, my first digital camera, but I haven’t used it since 2013. The Olympus Pen F is a much more capable digicam and that’s what I’ve used a lot since in 2017.

Ko.Fe. 10-05-2019 11:59

2009 Canon 500D - over 100K exposures. In use since then. No maintenance cost.
M4-2. I don't count in rolls, sorry, rolls are for random shooters :), I purchase in bulks and use about four bulks per year. Nice camera as everyday, everywhere, but expensive on maintenance.

Pl_K 10-05-2019 12:59

Pentax SP500 - bought new in 1971 with a 55/2 Super Takumar and used as my only camera and lens for 15 years. I still use it regularly despite having many more cameras. Too many rolls through it to guess.

Digital is the opposite: a new Fuji X-Pro1 (2012) has only a few hundred images, a new-to-me D700 that I bought with maybe 40k images, I've since added only a few hundred more in the last few years.

fadedpastels 10-05-2019 13:03

I have a Hasselblad 500C/M I got in 2008. Only reason I keep it around is because I've had it for so "long" I really don't enjoy the handling, but figured I'd regret selling it. Recently my most used is a Rolleiflex 3.5F I got earlier this year. I get along better with this one and is what I most reach for on the fly. How many rolls? not as much as they deserve, perhaps a roll or two a month if I'm lucky.

charjohncarter 10-05-2019 13:08

I bought my IIIf in 1964 and used it last month. What a great camera.

Jamie123 10-05-2019 13:24

Longest and most used film camera is my Mamiya RZ67II that I got maybe 4 years ago and it probably goes through 200-300 rolls of film a year on average. That being said, I was using a Hasselblad for years before and after I sold it I ended up getting another one which I still use. So I've been using a Hasselblad since 2005 but technically it's not the same camera.

I also have a digital Canon 5Dii that I've had for 10 years now and I probably shot most frames on that one just because it's digital but I almost never use it unless I have an assignment where film doesn't make sense.

james.liam 10-05-2019 13:40

Would be an FM2-T bought new in 1995. It seems built to tighter specs than the standard FM2. Less play, more solid feel. Maybe it’s my imagination but like to think it’s better.

johannielscom 10-05-2019 14:07

Longest: Chinon Memotron CE-II. Bought around 2002 and still have it.
Most used: probably the Horseman Convertible 842. Bought around 2010, sold it and had three chances of buying it back and the 3rd time I did. No use in telling you how many film rolls it took, since it has removable backs and I've owned a few over time...

Alfasud 10-05-2019 14:52

My Zeiss Ikon Nettar 510/2 was purchased used in 1940. My dad used it until 1958 when he moved to 35mm. I have used the camera off and on since then. It currently has film in it. It has been CLAed only once in it life time. Great pictures! It will probably out live me! I have hope that my grandsons (7&4) may take up photography.

Michael Markey 10-05-2019 14:59

Longest : Chinon CX with 50 and 135 lenses .
Bought in the early `70s .

Most used ….. that varies

Rob-F 10-05-2019 15:05

My Leica M2, purchased new about 1960, with a 35mm Summaron f/2.8. Faithful companion!

Darthfeeble 10-05-2019 15:24

Probably my X100, bought it new shortly after they came out. Had to search like crazy to see who had one and got it from Crutchfields of all places. Recently converted it to IR and carry it and my X-E3 in a small Domke every where.

jsrockit 10-05-2019 15:30

Right now, my Fujifilm X-Pro2... I've had it since day 1. So maybe 3.5 years old. Maybe 35,000 actuations on it. I use other cameras too...

oftheherd 10-05-2019 17:15

My oldest used film camera would be my Fujica ST 901. I got it new about 1975 and I can't guess how many rolls of film have been through it. I would not be able to guess how many rolls I have put through it, but a lot. Color, B/W, and lots of slides. I have a Yashica TL Super I got in Vietnam, but I really never used it that much until I got to Korea. I used it in conjunction with my Fuji 901 after I got it, until the meter got a little wonky and the mirror stopped returning reliably. It was not a problem since the 901 has never stopped working reliably.

Speaking of German reliability mentioned above, I replaced my fathers Welta Welti which is of the same vintage as my father's. Those things just don't quit working. I used my father's in Vietnam as a crime scene camera at times.

Archiver 10-05-2019 17:28

I have numerous cameras which I bought in earlier years, but I stopped using them, or only use them sporadically, after the first two or three years until I upgraded. My Canon 5D Mark II got a lot of use from 2009 to 2011, but I pretty much stopped using it for personal work after I bought my M9 in 2010. Now, it only comes out for jobs or very occasional personal use. It's taken tens of thousands of images but no way near as much as the M9.

I absolutely love the stories that are emerging here. Buying a film camera from some legendary shop and using it for years and years, it shows a lot about film camera longevity. Nikons, Leicas, Canons, Olympusususus.

cary 10-05-2019 17:35

Mine is a black Nikon F from 1972. Used the camera in high school as a yearbook photographer, in college at Brooks Institute of Photography and for a couple of assignments at Sandia National Labs. Still works well, just used it last week at a baby party.

Event though I have other cameras I always use the F for important shoots.

shimokita 10-05-2019 17:40

Shot with a Pentax SPF for years when it was first released... it was stolen...

Can't count the number of cameras nor number of rolls.

Not counting some P&S digitals in storage, the oldest digital is the Canon 30D, now on loan to a friend. The 5DII was the replacement. Longest used film camera is a Leica IIIf followed by the Nikon F3 & F3P... the F3P is my most used camera 90% with the Ai-S 50 1.2

Since retirement ten years ago I do 2-3 camera shoots a year, up to one month per shoot in different parts of Japan... mostly Tōhoku and Hokkaido. The winter is my favorite season for traveling north. Strictly for fun ; )

Currently taking photos every week... x100t for social media and family updates.

vagab0nd 10-05-2019 21:46

My grandfather passed away about 20 years ago and I've been using his Rolleicord IV since 2009. Not counting that, it would have to be the XA I've been shooting off and on for 7 years.

Guth 10-06-2019 01:48

My oldest film camera and the one that has seen the most use is my Minolta XD-11 that I bought in 1978. I have no idea how many rolls of film have passed through it. I haven't used it in quite some time. As far as digital goes, I've owned a Canon SD880 IS since 2009(?). I'm not sure how many images I've taken with it. For that matter I'm not even sure where I've stashed it away at the moment as my iPhone has more or less taken it's place.

Ambro51 10-06-2019 05:53

I DO have my very first camera, probably got it about 1962 or so when I was 7. It’s a Herco Imperial 620 plastic box camera. Carrying that thing by its little strap always seemed awkward to me. Best photo.....1968 class trip to NYC. . We were waiting to board a boat to go to the Statue of Liberty on a rainy day inside a building. I noticed the brilliant reflection of the lights on the bald head of Mr. Spragg, the principle of the school. Great Photo!!

besk 10-06-2019 06:00

My longest owned camera that I still use is my Bush Pressman 4x5. But other than that one I have changed cameras so many times that I have lost count.

narsuitus 10-06-2019 06:16


Originally Posted by Archiver (Post 2916372)
Of all your cameras, which have you used for the longest, and the most?

The Argus C3 35mm rangefinder is the oldest film camera that I still own and use.

The Nikon F2 is the oldest film SLR that I still own and use. I bought it new in 1971.

I own and use a variety of Canon (G5, G11, and G15), Olympus (Ep1 and Ep3), and Fuji (X-Pro1, X-Pro2, S5) digital cameras. The Fuji X-Pro2 is the one I use the most.

The Mamiya RB67 SLR and the 6x7 and the 6x9cm Fuji rangefinders are the medium format film cameras that I still own and use; however, the Mamiya TLR cameras were the ones that I used the longest and the most but I no longer own or use them.

Peter_S 10-06-2019 06:49

Contax T3. In use since 2010, with a TVS III prior to that.
Has a broken tooth on the film spool - fixed with plastic piece and super glue. On we go. Marvelous addition to any kit. While all other cameras have seen digital replacements, in that size digital has no equivalent to the T3.

Phil_F_NM 10-06-2019 08:10

I shift around a bit with these but my longest owned and used is my Leica M4. Most frequently used though is my Nikon F2, it comes in second place.
Phil Forrest

DennisM 10-06-2019 08:33

In my case, the camera I used the most was a Minolta XD-11 with a 35mm f/2.8 Vivitar; this was in the late 70's, 80's and 90's. It's been retired now for some time in favor of Leica M's, Konica Hexar RF, Zeiss Ikon ZM, CLE, Mamiya 6 and several others.

nickthetasmaniac 10-06-2019 09:26

The camera I’ve owned the longest is a Spotmatic F. It was bought new by my parents, and I ‘inherited’ it (ie. put my first roll through it) around 2004. I don’t use it much, perhaps a roll a year.

The camera I’ve had the longest that actually gets heavy use would be my M2. Perhaps ~100 rolls since 2014.

I don’t keep track on my digital shutter counts, but I suspect the camera I’ve use for the most frames would be my old Olympus E-3. Maybe 30,000 shots?

Ambro51 10-06-2019 09:28

My Most Used...at least 7000 images in about 17 years, is a bit unusual. I was a traveling Wet Plate Photographer doing ambros and tins. The second camera I built, an English Style Sliding Box Camera with a Holmes Booth and Haydens (1857) radial drive brass lens. It does 1/2, 1/4 and 1/6 plate images. Usually I shoot at about F8 at four second. Superb Camera!!

Guth 10-06-2019 12:41


Originally Posted by Ambro51 (Post 2916554)
I DO have my very first camera, probably got it about 1962 or so when I was 7.

Now that you mention it, I also still have my first camera a Kodak Instamatic X-15. I was either 8 or 9 at the time ('70 or '71) and received the little Kodak as a birthday gift after pestering my parents for a camera of my own. I'm fortunate that I also still have the first photograph that I ever took with it a picture of my brother and our dog. The photos bring back fond memories and the camera now sits in it's box on a shelf in my home office.

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