Essentials: The Analog Street Photographer

Essentials is a series where we round up specially curated kits for different photographers in different situations. Other items could surely be substituted, but these are what we personally recommend.

Lots of street photographers tend to reach for film these days simply for the aesthetic look and the overall experience of working with it. Plus when you ask a lot of street photographers why they choose to go analog, they tell you that digital just doesn’t do it for them. In some ways you can’t blame them: they’ll play the gear game but they won’t sit there going super crazy over it the way digital photographers do.

If you’re looking to give it a shot, analog street photography is very much a road worth going down. Here’s a kit that we highly recommend.

FUJIFILM X Series Domke F-5XB

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This is a special edition of the popular Domke camera bag. It’s thin, small, lightweight, and able to hold just enough gear. Want to stuff a small paperback book in there? Or film, or other things? This bag will ensure that you take just the necessities for when you go out to shoot.

Buy Now $134.98: Amazon

Hexar AF

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There are many incredible reasons to reach for a Hexar AF. But let’s get the bad out of the way first. To start, its maximum shutter speed is 1/250th. So that means that if you’re shooting Sunny 16 style with ISO 400 film, then you’re going to need to really stop down. The other issue is that it can sometimes be tough to use because in order to activate a number of functions, you have to press a combination of buttons.

Now for the good stuff: the ergonomics are wonderful. It’s got a super silent shooting mode that puts most digital cameras to shame. It can autofocus very well and almost never misses. The manual mode is fairly simple to use. There is a built in lens hood. And essentially, I just blurted out a whole lot of stuff that’s amazing about this camera.

Buy Now: eBay

Hexar HX-14 Auto Flash

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The Hexar HX-14 flash is a very compact flash that in many ways is perfect for street photographers. On the back it gives you all the recommended power settings for use. Granted, it burns through batteries and can sometimes be switched on in your bag by accident. Additionally, I really wish that it were able to lock into the hot shoe a bit better.

Either way, if you’re shooting street then this is probably the best you can go for.

Buy Now: eBay

Pro Tip: Small flashes don't have a lot of power. So you'll need to get close or open up your aperture setting.

Pro Tip: Small flashes don’t have a lot of power. So you’ll need to get close or open up your aperture setting.

MOO Business Cards

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Lots of photographers are in love with MOO business cards for great reasons. They’re affordable and allow photographers to have a lot of creativity when it comes to creating the cards. That way, they can stand out from all the rest out there. They’re best known for their half-sized cards though they’re becoming better known for their square cards and their Polaroid style cards.

Trust us, you’ll need these when you go out on the streets and try to build your name.

Buy Now: Moo

Japan Camera Hunter Street Pan 400 Film

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While films like Kodak Tri-X, Ilford Delta, and Agfa APX-400 tend to be very popular with lots of street photographers, the new Japan Camera Hunter Street Pan is also highly capable. It’s a high contrast, super detailed film, and offers a look that many digital cameras try to mimic but don’t quite get right.

If you’re looking to just try something new, this is the film to do it with.

Buy Now: Japan Camera Hunter

Microfiber Cloth

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Lastly, you need a Microfiber cloth in your bag to ensure that your camera and lens stay totally clean. They’re also just great when it comes to cleaning your phone’s screen, etc. It doesn’t hurt to have one.

Buy Now: Amazon