Film is dead. It’s a pain in the ass. It’s expensive. It’s a mess. And nobody likes it. But, ya know what? I kind of miss some aspects of the grainy stuff… Mostly, I miss that anxious feeling I used to get when I finished a roll and just knew there was going to be great surprises waiting for me once the film was developed. The instant gratification of the digital camera killed that excitement.

Admittedly and obviously, it’s a worthy trade off. Digital cameras are just so damned convenient. Film is dead.

Even so, you know what I like to do? Keep a loaded film camera around… I keep it my bag and every now and then, when the opportunity arises, I pull it out and fire a few shots. The moment and the light has to be perfect, but sometimes the moons line up. It might take me three months to go through a roll, but who cares? I’m savoring the anxiety.

Of course, this presents another opportunity. Gear research… What’s the best pocket 35mm camera ever made?

The Rollei 35 (1966) is on the short list. It’s a tiny compact camera that retains full manual controls and features a gorgeous little lens. Pop in a small battery and you can even use the inboard light meter to judge your environment. Really, the only feature this minute gem lacks is a rangefinder… but give it some time and zone focusing will grow on you. Honestly.

You can find learn more about the specifics of the Rollei here. Keep your eye open on eBay – you can find them starting at around $100 and going for as high as $350 depending on where the specific camera was made (Singapore or Germany) and what lens it came equipped with (non interchangeable).