Written by Jess Hobbs
That’s right, it’s that time of year again! If you’re into photography as much as we are (as we suspect you might be, given that you are reading our blog), then the following scenario might sound familiar:
The holidays roll around and a family member, friend, or significant other asks what you would like as a present. As you quickly run through a list of film photography items that you’ve been dreaming about all year, you notice their eyes glaze over with confusion as it becomes apparent that they have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Maybe you even send a link to your favorite film shop, or let the other person know that literally ANYTHING film-related will do, only to get the same old sweater or department store gift card.
Well then, the good news is that our team have compiled a handy shopping list just for the occasion! Don’t get me wrong, we could all use a nice sweater from time to time, but that’s not why we’re here, is it? Whether a link to this blog should “mysteriously” find its way into the inbox of the gift-givers in your life, or if you’re here to get ideas for a special little treat for yourself, here are 9 suggestions to help make holiday shopping as stress-free as possible!
1) A Gift For All Photographers: Film
We know, this is kind of an obvious one, but a little goes a long way with this classic gift!
Whether it’s a roll of classics like Kodak Ultramax 400 or Fujicolor 200, any of the beautiful black and white emulsions Ilford has to offer, or specialty films from companies like Lomography or Cinestill, film has a place in any holiday tradition.
What’s great about film is that it is very accessible, whether through a traditional brick-and-mortar shop, or through one of the carious online retailers who offer international shipping. A quick Google search will get you where you need to go, all you have to do is decide on the format (35mm, 120, or sheet film), and you’ll be set!
We have a sweet tradition in Hungary called “szaloncukor”, which translates to “parlour candy”. On Christmas Eve trees are decorated with brightly colored, beautifully wrapped sweet treats that can be enjoyed throughout the holiday season. The best part is discovering what flavor you unwrap, and trying to find all the different ones!
This year, why not continue the tradition by taking it one step further.
Imagine your Christmas tree decorated with our brand-new film canisters, each containing a mystery roll of 35mm or 120 film, and the excitement in opening each one to reveal the surprise within!
Of course, the possibilities extend far beyond the tree, so have fun with it.
Host a film-inspired holiday party and adorn your table setting with this modern take on szaloncukor. Start a new tradition by giving our film canisters as individual gifts by having one made with a personal inscription to mark the occasion.
We highly encourage you to check out our product page for more on this seemingly simple accessory, as these little guys have a few tricks up their sleeves. For example, not only can you store your favorite film in them, but they can also double as a smartphone grip, a gimbal, or even a mini tripod for a small camera.
What’s that… did someone say “camera”? That’s right, get ready for the next item on our list!
Great for beginners and professionals alike, a pinhole camera gives the photographer a chance to break free of constraints and let the creativity flow. While pinhole cameras can seem incredibly simplistic, they are fantastic tools to teach yourself new tricks regardless of your skill level, and there is so much joy in getting that perfect shot!
Capable of producing lovely ethereal but sharp images, the Scura is available either as a 35mm panoramic option or in 6×6 medium format, and is an excellent addition to anyone’s collection. For an extra unique experience, you can even offer the camera as a DIY kit to give someone the added gift of the excitement of building their very own camera! The camera is also available pre-assembled and ready-to-shoot, so pair it up with some film and let the experimental times roll!
Lightweight, affordable, and with a large negative size… what more is there to love?? With a slew of fun accessories to choose from, this camera is definitely a must-have for those who dream of travelling with a medium format camera. Enjoy full manual control over your exposures, swap between 6×6 and 6×7 backs, and explore the world to your heart’s content!
Like the Scura, the Goodman Zone body is available in either a DIY kit or pre-assembled, but for a more complete option, we highly recommend you check out the full setups; ready to use with backs and lenses included. And don’t forget to add a few extras, like a strap holder, laser distance measurer, or smartphone holder, all highly useful in helping to give the adventurer in your life a special way to record their precious memories!
No doubt popularized by the highly coveted and extremely expensive Hasselblad XPan, panoramic photography offers a unique and beautiful way of documenting the world around you. Whether it’s for capturing vast landscapes or creating cinematic images, the aspect ratio offered by the Goodman 6×12 is not only panoramic, but it also benefits from the larger 120 negative, offering more detail and a finer grain than the 35mm equivalent… a win/win in our book!
This camera is also available as a DIY kit or fully assembled, although the DIY kit is recommended for more advanced builders/photographers. There are also many accessories to choose from, as well as veneers/skins to add a personal touch, and is sure to delight any photographer who wants to capture a wider view of the world around them!
If you’re looking for an extra-special, one-of-a-kind, mark the occasion kind of gift, then look no further than the beautiful Goodman Zone Special Editions. Each one has been hand-crafted to perfection, with little added touches that make each version stand out from the next, and only one of each will ever be made. From beautiful high-end wood veneers or classy skins, to specifically designed accessories, these cameras are definite showstoppers.
Be warned though: these cameras don’t stay in stock for long, so if you like one get it before it’s too late! Of course, we do release new editions regularly, so be sure to check our shop often if you miss out on one, because you might still have a chance to find another stunning beauty that will make a perfect gift for that special someone.
Before Dora was building cameras from her own designs, she started off by giving a new look to the classic film cameras we know and love by re-skinning them in gorgeous wood veneer inlays. Always chosen with care, and cut to precision, the high-end exotic woods add such an elegant touch to these fan-favorites.
However, like the Goodman 6×12, these beauties move fast, so don’t wait too long and be sure to the shop often. Also, if you don’t find the right camera in our shop, you can also reach out to the team and send us a camera to have it re-skinned in the wood of your choice. Whether it’s a family heirloom, an every-day work horse, or a thrift-store treasure, be assured that we will give your camera the love and care it deserves, and send it home looking better than ever!
8) For the Mobile Cinematographer: Not A Bottle Gimbal and the Cinezone
When it comes to creating movie magic on a smartphone, both of these accessories are great additions to any gear bag!
Nothing can ruin a video quicker than poor image stabilization, and this is where the Not A Bottle Gimbal fits in to keep things running smoothly. Using recyclable plastic bottles to help keep your camera steady, this is a great alternative to more traditional—and pricier—gimbals.
The Cinezone is an adapter that allows you to use your smartphone as a digital back by mounting it to a Goodman Zone or Mamiya RB67 to capture beautiful stills or videos. Even if smartphone sensors have come a long way, there is something so special about being able to film through the legendary lenses that are compatible with either camera… plus, you can still carry a film back and swap between the two on a shoot, making it even easier to enjoy a hybrid film/digital experience!
To keep those holiday vibes all year long, consider signing yourself up, or someone on their behalf, for a monthly contribution to the Dora Goodman Patreon. Not only can you receive really cool exclusive monthly rewards depending on the tier you choose, but your contribution will ensure that efforts in research and development can continue, and help the team release more fun and exciting products for the film photography community.
Whether it’s the innovative, 3-D printing savvy photographer, or the art-loving interior designer in your life, our tiers have your bases covered.
Becoming a Patron will help carry the spirit of the holiday season throughout the entire year, as each month we will release new and exclusive rewards to our Patrons, and what could be more heart-warming than that?!
So, no matter what type of photographer you have in your life, there truly is a gift for everyone! We hope this list helps to ease some of the holiday shopping stress, and don’t worry if you decide to buy yourself a little treat at the same time…we promise we won’t tell!
From all of us at Dora Goodman Cameras, we wish you all a very Happy Holiday Season, and we look forward to bringing you many more exciting products in the New Year!