The Most Notable Film Cameras That Have Appeared in Cinema

Photographers get a kick when a character in a movie starts taking pictures, but film shooter Jason Kummerfeldt is overcome with excitement when a 35mm camera shows up on screen.

In a recent video posted to his YouTube channel grainydays, Kummerfeldt lists notable examples of analog cameras showing up in blockbusters.

Spider-Man (2002)

Peter Parker is famously a photographer, and in 2002’s Spider-Man movie starring Toby Maguire and Kirsten Dunst, Parker is seen with a Canon F-1 — although the Canon logo is taped over.

Peter Parker

There are two versions of this camera. The original F-1, released in 1971, and the new version, released in 1981. There are many ways to tell them apart, most of them subtle. The most obvious though, is that the New F-1 has a hotshoe.

The Canon F-1 was a legend of the time and regularly made top-recommended camera lists. A couple of years ago, PetaPixel ran an in-depth article looking at all of the cameras used by the various Spider-Mans over the years.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

In 2013’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, an outrageous scene featuring Sean Penn shows him with a Nikon F3/T looking at a snow leopard but not actually taking the photo.

Walter Mitty

Kummerfeldt notes that the F3/T is “rare” because it’s a special edition camera; the “T” stands for titanium which was supposed to make the camera lighter and more durable.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)

The Pentax 69 makes a very brief appearance in the sixth Harry Potter film. Kummerfeldt notes that it could be the Pentax 6×7 which is a medium format camera that shoots 120mm film.

Harry Potter

“The Pentax 6×7 itself is a highly-regarded camera because it is one of the few SLR cameras that can do [120mm] effectively,” he says.

Asteroid City (2023)

In last year’s Wes Anderson film Asteroid City, a character takes out what Kummerfeldt believes is a Kiev 4. Amusingly, the film’s set designers rebadged the camera to call it “Muller Schmid” which is a made-up brand.

Asteroid City

The YouTuber also points out an inconsistency in the movie when a character takes a photo which is later shown printed out and the lighting is totally different. Things only a photographer would notice.

The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)

In the 1997 Jurassic Park movie, Vince Vaughan and Julianne Moore are seen using a Nikon F5 which Kummerfeldt calls “one of the greatest 35mm cameras ever made.”

Jurrasic Park

He points out that the F5 was made just before digital came in therefore has features rarely seen on film cameras such as 1/8000 shutter speed and matrix metering. He adds that if you were shooting dinosaurs, then the F5 is a great camera to use.

Kong: Skull Island (2017)

In 2017’s Kong, Brie Larson is using a Leica M3 which Kummerfeldt says is one of the “best-feeling cameras out there.”


“The M3 is famous because it’s the first of the Leica M line and still goes to this day,” he says.

Apocalypse Now (1979)

In the iconic Vietnam War movie Apocalypse Now, Dennis Hopper, who is a real-life photographer, is seen wearing a host of analog cameras.

Apocalypse Now

Kummerfeldt believes they are all Nikons — probably Nikon Fs because they were the go-to camera for photojournalists covering the Vietnam War; including Don McCullin whose Nikon F famously stopped a bullet.

Oppenheimer (2023)

Summer blockbuster Oppenheimer was famed for shooting on large format film, but in the movie itself there is a scene where Cillian Murphy walks down a crowded hall filled with press photographers.


Kummerfeldt reckons that they are using Graflex Speed Graphic 4×5 and Graflex Century Graphic 2×3.

Check out his Instagram page for Kummerfeldt’s film photography.