10 christmas gift ideas for film photographers

The holidays are around the corner. This means peace on earth, joy in heaven, and of course, presents!

For that (analog) photographer in your life, what do you get them for Christmas that they would appreciate a great deal?  Here are some ideas;

[This blog post, as usual, contains affiliate links to Amazon.  I may be compensated if you make a purchase via a link I've provided.]

1. Film

This is the obvious one. If your loved one is an analog photographer, or enthusiast, one thing they're constantly buying is film. Find out what camera he/she uses and figure out what film format it takes. The most likely formats are 35mm or 120 (medium format).

You can probably find film at any local camera store - if you're in the UK, at Boots, Snappy Snaps or at a supermarket like Asda. Otherwise you can buy them online like on Amazon or eBay.

2. Polaroid Camera

Unless your loved one develops their own film at home, they would usually have to wait for a period of time for the lab to send them the photos. In this day and age of instant gratification, a Polaroid camera is the perfect compromise.  There are two ways to go about this; you can grab an actual vintage one from KEH, eBay or Lomography. Alternatively you can grab the new OneStep 2 from Polaroid Originals.

3. Lens Adaptor

Chances are, your film shooting loved one also owns a digital camera.  If he/she owns an interchangeable lens camera like a DSLR or Mirrorless camera, then they will be able to use most of their existing analog lenses with the help of an adapter. Find out what lens mount their camera uses, what lens mount their existing lens(es) use and you can often find a converter from one to the other. For example, if they own a Helios-44-2 lens, that is an M42 mount lens. If they own a Fujifilm XPro-2 camera, then that's a Fuji X mount.  The required converter would be an M42-to-FujiX adapter.

4. Negative organiser

If they shoot film, especially if they shoot a lot of it, they'd need a way to store and archive the negatives. A film negative organiser is a tidy and organised way to store, label and archive developed negatives. Even if your loved one already has some, more are always welcome.

5. Film Scanner

If you want to splash out a bit, you can buy your film photographer loved one a film scanner. There are many options ranging from cheap, to very expensive. You don't want to go too cheap though because most of the cheapest film negative scanners produce really low quality digital scans. Perhaps go for something middle-of-the-range from Plustek or Epson.

6. Home Development Kit

If your loved one currently has their photos developed by a lab, they may be interested in developing by themselves at home for several reasons; it's cheaper, and a whole load of fun. Many photographers also enjoy the feeling that they've had creative control of the entire process from beginning to end. You can purchase a full home development kit from Amazon or eBay.

7. Neck Strap / Wrist Strap

Camera straps make particularly great gifts. Be the neck or wrist variety, there are so many to chose from and are widely available. You can choose something affordable without being tacky, or you can go all in on some artisan brands. Leather or woven chord straps are a particular hit with analog photographers.

8. Photo Book

Many photographers love looking at photo books by other photographers either for inspiration, or just for fun. You can find out which photographers they admire, or what style of photography they are into and grab them a photo book from that photographer or style of photography.  That is bound to put a smile on their face.

9. Tripod

A good Tripod is always desired by any photographer. If they don't already have one, then why not grab one for them for the holidays. Tripods are available in most tech or camera shops, or even in the tech department of supermarkets. Otherwise you can always by them online from a place like KEH or Amazon.

10. Gift Cards

If non of the options above is appealing to you, or if your loved one already has everything, then you can go the super generic option. Giving someone cash, while could be the most practical gift, is usually seen as not being thoughtful. The next best thing is to give the money in the form of a gift card for where they usually shop for photography stuff. Most brick-and-mortar tech and photography shops today have gift cards you can buy and pre-load with the desired amount of money. Otherwise, there's always KEH or Amazon.

What ever you get your loved one this holiday season, remember, it really is the thought that counts.


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