Budget SLR Camera Portraits! (Nikon F80 + Minolta X300) (Polish Girls 2020)(x40)
Here I share images taken with a budget SLR camera – Minolta X300 and Nikon F80, next to a few portraits with rangefinder cameras. (You can find the Minolta X300 review and Nikon F80 review linked below). I know this blog is Leica-centric but this is proof that I use other film cameras too!
You don’t need a Leica to make nice photos!
Stating the obvious I know but it’s always good to remind ourselves occasionally, especially when suffering from severe photography GAS! We don’t need expensive Leica M cameras to take nice photos. You can use any film camera! (Film for me, adds 50% of the magic to the final image so you just need a camera/ lens that works for your needs/ taste).
Polish Models, 2020 Photoshoots
Despite the lockdowns and travel restrictions through much of 2020, I still managed two model photography trips in Poland. During those two visits I used a selection of 35mm film cameras and below are the resulting photos. Despite me often using Leica cameras, you can see from the results that the stars of these trips were in fact Nikon and Minolta SLR cameras! Let me know in the comments which camera captured the best images!?
Minolta X300 vs Nikon F80
Budget SLR Camera or Rangefinder for Portraits?
I like old manual everything cameras like the little Leica Barnacks (Leica iii cameras) BUT sometimes it is selecting the best tool for the job. I think the results speak for themselves in terms of which cameras I used the most in Poland. SLR cameras are very well suited to portraits and many rangefinder cameras are much less so. (I will share my current Leica R6 SLR camera portraits in a separate post when I get chance! See a preview on YouTube).
Nikon F80 Portraits / Sample photos
First we have a series of Nikon F80 portraits captured with the Nikkor 50mm f1.8G lens (Camera review linked below these images). This is the only auto focus lens camera I used in this article. Most images were shot at around f2 and at 1/60 or 1/125 shutter speed.
Nikon F80 Review (Low cost alternative to a Nikon F100)
Learn more about the budget friendly auto focus SLR camera in this Nikon F80 review. It offers a great low cost alternative to the popular Nikon F100 camera.
Minolta X300 Portraits / Sample Photos
A selection of Minolta X300 film portraits shot with the Minolta 45mm f2 lens. I was more than happy with this one lens setup. Amazing little lens and my favourite for this system. Most photos taken at f2 or f2.8.
Minolta X300 Review (Cheap SLR camera but an amazing lens!)
The Minolta X300 is another amazing budget SLR camera. (It is closer to my Nikon FG-20 camera than the Nikon F80). Very affordable, lightweight and compact. Perfect for me as a light camera to travel with. Manual focus lenses only so a different shooting experience verses the Nikon F80 above.
Portraits shot with Leica + Voigtlander Film Cameras
In addition to the Nikon F80 and Minolta X300 I also used my usual Leica and Voigtlander film cameras. Cameras I used in Poland included the Leica M4-P, Leica IIF, Voigtlander Bessa R and Voigtlander Bessa T. Unlike the Nikon and Minolta cameras shared, these are all 35mm film rangefinder cameras.
Leica M4-P Portrait
Colour film portrait shot with a Leica M4-P film camera and Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f1.7 ASPH lens. I need to scan more of this roll of film to share! (See the Kodak Vision3 YouTube video below for more about this amazing film and how to develop it). (See the review of this amazing 35mm lens too – lots of digital example portraits here – Voigtlander 35mm f1.7 Ultron Review).
Leica iif Portraits
Here are a few Leica iif portraits before the camera died. (See the black shutter on some of the images. As a 1950s camera it just needed some TLC (CLA to be more precise!). It is now back fully serviced and ready to go! This little Barnack Leica impressed me so much it was my favourite camera of 2020! YouTube review linked below).
Voigtlander Bessa T Portrait
Example portrait shot with the amazing Voigtlander Bessa T camera. It is an unusual camera in that it has no viewfinder! See the review below for a visual of how this camera looks.
Voigtlander Bessa R Portraits
A few Voigtlander Bessa R portraits to finish. Of the cameras featured in this article the Bessa R is the least suited to portraits. It has a lower magnification viewfinder making it more difficult for precision shallow depth of field portraits with fast lenses. That said, it is still very capable of taking a nice photo and is a nice small size and weight for travel (Overseas photoshoots in this case).
Subscribe to receive more posts like this
Like what you see here? Sign up below to receive future blog posts via email and get a free copy of my new YouTube video search tool too!
Looking for more photography-related content?
You might also enjoy my Patreon posts. I try to publish 3-5 times a week on Patreon and there are 150+ posts on there to view currently. Unseen videos including BTS (behind the scenes) with models and or on location, tutorials, tip and tricks, editing, portrait lighting, photobooks, zoom call helpline access and anything else I think people might find useful.
If you just want to support the MrLeica blog and YouTube you can now also donate via PayPal
Polish Models Photoshoots – More Photos!
- 2017-2019 Hasselblad Portrait Photos x30 (All FILM!)
- Mar19 – Leica CL, M2, Nikon F5, Hasselblad 501C, iPhone5
- Sep18 – Leica CL, M240, Hasselblad H3D
- Oct17 – Leica M240, M3, Hasselblad 500CM
- Mar17 – Leica M240, M4P, Hasselblad 500CM
- Dec16 – Leica M240, M4P (x2)
- Sep16 – Leica M240, M6, Olympus Pen F
- Jun16 – Mamiya 6 Photos (All FILM!)
- 2015 – Hasselblad 501C Portraits x30 (All FILM!)