Ten Christmas Gifts for the Traditional Analogue Photographer

If you want to buy a Christmas gift for a loved one whose passion is film or tradional photography who find we have many suggestions at Firstcall. However, to make life a little easier for you we’ve listed our Top 10 gift suggestions to help with useful suggestions from our range.

For the new film photographer, you go very far without a camera. We recommend using a Single Lens Reflex camera and one of the best value models is the Vivitar 3800N model. This manual SLR with a Pentax PK mount comes with a versatile 28-70mm zoom lens and is an ideal camera for learning photography or the first time SLR user. A free £10 case is included with the camera which costs £179.99.

If you don’t have a camera but still want to get into the world of “artistic” black and white photography, you can get started for under £6. The Rollei Black and White Single Use Camera comes preloaded with high- quality ISO 400 film, has 27 pictures, and the film can be processed at home or in a minilab. You also get a built-in flash option and the camera sells for £5.92.  

Taking pictures need not involve buying a camera if you think Pinhole. This traditional form of recoding photographic images onto film or paper is experiencing a renaissance right now. Our own Complete Pinhole Photography Starter Kit gives you everything needed for the first time pinhole photographic student. Consisting of a wooden pinhole camera, black and white chemicals plus photographic paper, safelight, trays, gloves, tweezers and a pin all you need to do is add light and water! The wooden camera needs assembly but is great value at only £24.99.

So you’ve got your camera and you now want to process your own film (and maybe print your images too). We have put together an 'essentials' AP Darkroom Film and Print Kit for beginners who want to get started in processing their films and printing their images without having to choose the individual items. It contains all the individual components needed to process black and white (or colour) film and paper prints saving £30 on the component parts. At only £59.99 it’s great for any student who is starting his or her own darkroom work.


Now you’ve processed your film maybe you want to print it too? Although you could scan the images and print via your computer, there is no substitute for enlarging images in the darkroom. LPL's 3301D model offers a good beginner’s compact 35mm condenser enlarger which is ideal for darkrooms with limited space or temporary darkrooms. A lamphouse filter drawer is provided to accommodate variable contrast B&W or colour printing filters. The enlarger comes complete with 35mm negative carrier and Firstcall 50mm f4.5 Enlarging Lens for £267.99.    

A really handy accessory that film users will love, particularly if they don’t have a proper darkroom, is a changing bag. You need a changing bag to transfer your film from the camera to a developing reel as this has to be done in complete darkness before you can process your film. Our own large Changing Bag, in black nylon/ed nylon/cotton blend is double-lined and double zippered and guaranteed light-tight. Only £23.99.


You’ve mastered black and white film processing but what about colour? Most film photographer’s shy away from trying colour because they think it’s too difficult. Admittedly, processing does have to be undertaken at 38 degrees C but we can still make it simple. Our Pre-Diluted C41 Kit takes all the mixing and irrelevant stages out of the process. It’s simple a three part kit - developer, bleach and fix in pre-diluted in 385ml packs which are ready for immediate use and come in a unique air-tight pack. This lengthens the life of the chemical and means they can be re-used on multiple occasions. It’ll process an individual film or up to a total of 10 in any combination. Processing can take place at any temperature between 20 and 45 degrees C making this the most versatile (and cheapest) film processing kit ever. Great to experiment with for only £15.99 and fully explained in our video on the website.

For the creative photographer without a darkroom we suggest Lumi or Tilano. Both produce unique and fun products for analogue photographer’s presents. Lumi’s Inkodyes are photo sensitive VAT dyes which can be coated onto cotton, silk, suede, paper, wood, leather or just about any natural any porous material. Just There are three colours to choose from - blue, red or orange. Each one comes in a 118ml and come as a complete kit that makes both everything needed to print straight from the box: 118ml Inkodye, 118ml Inkowash, Inkocap Roller (screws on the top of the bottle for easy application), test negative, fabric swatch, and full instructions. Only £24.99.


Tilano makes transfer media that allows you to transfer a laser copied image (colour or black and white) on to any receptor - wood, paper, stone or glass etc. You simply copy, apply, transfer and fix in six easy steps. We have selected all the ingredients you need to complete the process in a low cost Tilano Transfer Kit which includes everything you need to transfer any image - art, photos (conventional or digital), and text - onto any surface. It is a fun and easy way to be creative and makes an ideal gift for any photographer for only £19.99.

Our last gift is technically not from Firstcall or an analogue photographer’s gift. This is our top recommendation from our sister company, OnPoint. Instant Lab from Impossible transforms any digital image into a real, unique analogue instant photo via your iPhone or iPod touch so that now your phone images can be printed and saved in a truly magical way. It works by taking an instant photo of your iPhone screen. The design of the lab includes a cradle that holds your iPhone or iPod while focussing the Retina display onto the film plane. It also has an extendable bellows which keeps the exact distance between the phone, the optical system and the film. To make the system work you also need the free iPhone app (from iTunes store) that will allow Instant Lab users to select and crop an image, and start a countdown timer. This app will then do all the necessary calculations to create proper exposure. Only £209.99. This is just our Sataff Picks for your Christmas present ideas. Many more suggestions are on offer from our full site or you can call us on 01823 413007 for indiviual shopper guidance.

28th November 2013

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