Happy New Year, everybody!
In 2021, more than 3 million of you visited my little website. That’s wild. We wrote dozens of camera reviews, interviewed dozens of photographers, shined a light on traditionally under-represented photographers, published plenty of opinion pieces, launched a few new article features, and went a little crazy at times. Throughout all of these posts, your engagement and comments have been wonderful – helping other readers find new ideas and products, and giving me and my writers plenty to think about. Thank you again.
I like to think that my website and all of my amazing writers are helping our readers enjoy the hobby more than they would if we didn’t exist, but it goes both ways. You’ve all kept me going through a pretty difficult 365 days.
Anyway, I wanted to round up the year that we just went through with some of the most popular posts that we’ve published over that time. Here they are. I hope you like them.
The Ten Best Mechanical 35mm Film SLRs Ever Made
I remember when I asked Josh to write this article. He was excited to do it, but we both knew that he had a pretty daunting task ahead of him - to come up with a list of the absolute best all mechanical 35mm film SLRs. Wow, what a task, but he did a great job!
Here's a lovely list of the ten best mechanical SLRs ever made (plus three honorable mentions).
Plaubel Makina 67 Review
Aaron reviewed the Plaubel Makina 67, a medium format rangefinder film camera with a beautiful, fixed Nikkor lens. This is one of our standard camera reviews, but it hit pretty hard (I think) because the Makina is a legend, and it looks gorgeous, and Aaron's photos do a great job of showing how this camera will behave in the hands of the everyday photo geek.
If you've ever wondered about the Makina 67, this article is a good place to start.
Rediscovering Film Photography with a Minolta X-370s – Camera Review
Sroyon's review of the Minolta X-370 is everything that I intended when I started this site in 2014. More than just a camera review, it's part technical examination, part history lesson, part personal essay.
Sroyon doesn't just tell us about the camera - he tells us why the camera matters.
TTArtisan 50mm f/0.95 Lens Review - Ultra-fast, Ultra-affordable
Nicholas reviews the supposed Noctilux-killer; the ultra-fast and ultra-affordable TTArtisan 50mm F/0.95 Leica M mount fast prime lens. And it's no surprise that this article was popular. It combines eye-catching specs with budget-friendly cost, something all of us can appreciate.
The only question to answer is this - can an ultra-fast, ultra-cheap lens from China compete with the eye-wateringly pricey lenses from Germany? And does that matter?
Finding Joy Through Shedding Camera Gear
With spring in the air, Jeb took a look at his collection of camera gear and realized things were getting out of hand. He spent some time trimming the fat with some motivation from Marie Kondo, and offers advice to any of you who (like him) might be feeling the pressure of an overwhelming collection.
(Pardon the blasphemy...)
Leica M Film Cameras Too Expensive? Here are Five Alternatives
When I wrote this article I knew that it would be popular, but it kind of blew up bigger than I thought. I guess people love Leicas, obviously, but really hate how much Leicas cost (maybe even more obviously!).
But again, this is the kind of article that I founded this site to publish. It should help people find their way to a camera that they'll absolutely love, and save them some money in the process.
You don't need a Leica to enjoy photography (I think I wrote THAT article in 2014) and this one proves the point once again.
Worried About the Rising Cost of Film Photography? Here Are Some Ways to Cope
Film prices have risen year on year, and they're set to rise again in 2022. Not one to let the hobby die a miserable death as people are priced out, I wrote this article to help people find ways to still shoot film amidst the rising costs.
And hey, if it helps anyone discover the Olympus Pen, that's a win!
Agfa Optima 1035 Sensor Review
Two years and four countries after he first shot it, Connor realized that the Agfa Optima 1035 Sensor is his ideal everyday camera. In his article from early in the year, he tells us everything we need to know about this peculiar pocket wonder with the big, red button.
Some amazing sample photos in this one!
Re-evaluating the Cost of Film Cameras (And Offering Some Alternatives)
Another great article questioning the belief that price equates to quality, Jeb investigated the current going rate for twelve cameras in different formats and levels of popularity and then determines whether or not they're worth their average price.
It's a good look into the current market of classic cameras, and a great guide for buyers.
What I Learned Shooting My Vacation on Film
Maaaaaan, 2020 was brutal. So in 2021 my family and I waited for the safest time of year to travel and we took a trip. It was an absolute blast and I'm so happy we did it. What I wasn't so happy about was deciding to shoot the entire vacation on expired film...
Some lessons are learned the easy way and some are a bit more painful. Here's everything that I learned shooting my vacation on film.
Many thanks, once again, to all of you who visit this site. I appreciate you, and I hope you’ll look forward to a great upcoming year.
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All the best to you in 2022. May you all be healthy, happy, and fulfilled. Happy shooting.
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Thanks for all you do James, have a happy and healthy 2022.