We’ve heard that it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Whether or not you’re big on the holidays, the end of any year is a great opportunity to spend time with loved ones and reflect on the last 12 months.
If you’re looking to express your love with something you can wrap and put a bow on, we’ve got some great suggestions – we’ve gathered over 25 great gifts for film photographers, for any budget.
And don’t get us wrong, nobody’s saying that these need to be gifts for someone else. Take a peek and if you see anything you like…treat yo self. You deserve it.
Gifts Under $25
If you’re looking for a stocking stuffer or a small gift for a film photographer, we’ve got a handful of great options all ringing in under $25. Who said you need to break the bank to find a great gift?
Possibly the easiest, yet most beloved gift for any film photographer, there’s nothing better than getting more rolls of film. If you’re not sure what kind of film your person likes, here are some beloved options that most anyone would be pleased to receive.
For color film, we’d recommend Kodak Portra 400, Kodak Portra 160, and Kodak Ektar 100. If you’re looking for black and white film, you can’t go wrong with Ilford HP5+ 400, Kodak Tri-X 400, or Fujifilm Neopan 100.
Shutter Release Cable
Whether used for self portraits or long exposures, a good shutter release cable belongs in every film photographers bag. This one will work for any camera with a threaded shutter release button.
Film Photography Socks
Do you know someone whose interested in film photography and also wears funky, patterned socks? Great, you’ve found their gift.
Most film photographers are guilty of keeping a box/bag/pile of disorganized negatives somewhere in their homes. Help them find peace with these negative preservers, available for 35mm and medium format film. This storage box will keep everything safe and sound.
These colored gels can be used to correct colors when shooting particular types of film. They’re also fun to use in creative ways to create unique looking photos.
Vintage Kodak T-Shirt
Kodak has released an entire line of t-shirts celebrating their iconic film stocks. As one of the most (if not the most) important film makers of all time, most photographers have a soft spot for the classic logo.
Camera / Lens Protective Storage
While dedicated photo bags are helpful to carry a lot of gear, they aren’t always the most practical choice. We love these camera wraps and inserts that can fit anything you want protected – plus, you can use them with your regular backpack or bag.
Who doesn’t love receiving mail from a friend or family member? This set of 100 postcards features 50 different polaroid photos covering the entire color spectrum. While they might be a tad small for writing a full letter, these would be great to keep on hand for thank you notes and such.
35mm Film Case
This film case by Kodak holds 5 rolls of 35mm film. Made of steel, the case is nice looking, and more importantly, keeps film organized and safe in a bag.
If you’re willing to increase your budget a bit, you’ll have even more great gift options. Here are some of our favorite accessories and other photo related items that come in under $50.
One of the best gifts for a photographer (or anyone else, for that matter) is a photo book. There are endless options available and art books are always a great place to find inspiration. If you need suggestions on some of the best, we’ve got a list of our 25 favorites that are available to buy now.
Film Guard Lead Lined Bag
You’ve probably seen the signs at the airport, warning of X-Ray damage to undeveloped film. Make sure that film makes it home safely with this lead lined bag. Perfect for the film photographer who likes to travel.
You may have seen photos with a star filter and thought, “How did they get the photo to look like that?!” Star filters take light sources in a photo and turn them into a star, with a set number of points. This filter is available in a variety of filter sizes – often marked on the front of the lens, or found with a quick google search.
Peak Design Camera Strap
This is, hands down, the best camera strap we’ve ever used. It has a quick release capability and includes multiple “anchors” so that you only need one strap for multiple cameras. It also has a quick adjustment points that make changing the length a breeze, even with the camera hanging around your neck.
The Film Developing Cookbook
Anyone interested in developing their own black and white film should have a copy of this book. A fantastic resource that has been updated to maintain relevancy.
Cinestill C41 Film Developing Kit
This kit from Cinestill simplifies the process of developing color film at home. Pair this kit with a developing tank and a film changing bag, and you’ve got all of the basic gear needed to dive into DIY film developing.
If you’re willing to drop $50-$100 on a gift for a film photographer, you can get something that they’ll find truly useful. We know that we’d be excited to receive any of the gifts below.
This lightweight tripod is small enough to strap onto a backpack and doesn’t break the bank (professional tripods can run you thousands of dollars). While it may not be the best choice for heavy medium format cameras or super long lenses, it should be perfectly adequate for most 35mm shooters.
Peak Design Camera Clip
A sleek alternative to a camera bag and/or strap, this contraption turns any backpack into a great way to securely carry your camera. The quick release plate means no more missing the shot while fumbling to get your camera out.
Widely regarded as the one of the best magazines covering photographic art, Aperture offers subscriptions for physical copies as well as a digital version. The physical editions are large and printed on thick, high quality paper, making them closer to art books than magazines. Both versions are filled with photo essays, writing on photography, and plenty of interesting photos by some of the worlds most exciting photographers.
Mini Fridge for Film Storage
Do you know someone with more film than food in their fridge? The ultimate storage solution, a separate mini fridge will keep all of those valuable rolls safe and organized for years to come. If you really want to go the extra mile, fill it up with some fresh rolls of film.
Gifts Over $100
Want to go all out this year? If keeping a tight budget isn’t a concern, these are the gifts we’d most likely choose for a fellow film photographer.
External Hard Drive
While film is an analog format, the accompanying digital files are just as important to most people in 2021. Every photographer could use a good external hard drive (or a backup) and LaCie products are beloved by many, many creative professionals.
Sekonic Light Meter
Beginners in film photography are usually content using their cameras built-in meter, but more serious film shooters may be interested in the precision of a dedicated light meter. Sekonic makes some of the most popular handheld light meters available.
Epson Film Scanner
As the prices of film, developing, and scanning continue to rise, a lot of photographers are looking to DIY some part of the process. Flatbed scanning is becoming quite common because of its affordability and ease. Epson’s film scanners have quickly become the standard.
ONA Camera Bag
If you’re looking to go all out on a gift for a photographer , ONA makes beautiful, durable camera bags that are built to last. Crafted with premium waxed canvas, this is one of the nicest bags that you can find.
We hope this list gave you some good ideas of gifts for the film photographer in your life! Don’t forget to take some photos this holiday season – regardless of what you do to celebrate, we could all use more photos of ourselves and our loved ones. See you next year!