Tech 

A Beginner's Guide to 35mm Film Cameras

Explore photography with analog models from Canon, Nikon and more.

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A Beginner's Guide to 35mm Film Cameras

Explore photography with analog models from Canon, Nikon and more.

For those looking to explore their creativity and develop their photographer‘s eye, consider picking up a 35mm camera. The Analog Club gives us the lowdown on this specific type of film camera.

According to the photography community’s founder Mathis Clamens, when shopping for a film camera online, it is crucial to check the seller’s reputation first. This can be done by looking at their ranking and reviews from previous customers. Additionally, do your own research on how cameras age over time to determine which model suits your lifestyle best. “Electronic cameras have more issues than mechanical ones due to the fragility of the electronic components,” Clamens tells us. “If you purchase a camera in person, be sure to check if the foams of the camera are of quality, and if it can prevent light from passing through the case.”

Below, Clamens rounds up some of the best 35mm cameras and films for beginners.

For more camera recommendations, here’s list of the best point and shoot models.

Best 35mm cameras for beginners

Canon A-1

This mechanical camera is very simple to use and it’s durable. It has speed priority, aperture priority and an automatic mode. It also has a great range of lenses, and you can capture great double exposures with it.

Average price range: $150 to $350 USD
Where to buy: Sellers on eBayAmazon and Etsy.

Nikon F2

Just like the Canon A-1, this beast is very simple to use and almost immortal.

Average price range: $199 to $375 USD
Where to buy: Sellers on eBayAmazon and Etsy.

Olympus MJU ii

The Olympus MJU ii is very small and compact. It features a quality lens, but comes at a hefty price point nowadays.

Average price range: $170 to $545 USD
Where to buy: Sellers on Etsy.

Rollei 35

Capturing images with this model will produce content with a vintage look. Compared to other compacts on the market, the Rollei 35 is the most affordable.

Average price range: $120 to $395 USD
Where to buy: Sellers on eBay.

Best 35mm films for beginners

Kodak Portra 400

This film is great for portrait and skin colors.

Average price range: $14 to $95 USD
Where to buy: Sellers on eBay, Amazon and Etsy.

Kodak T-Max 400

The T-Max 400 is great for contrast in black-and-white.

Average price range: $14 to $60 USD
Where to buy: Sellers on Amazon and Etsy.

CineStill 800T

The CineStill 800T is ideal for cinematographic shots at night.

Average price range: $16 to $55 USD
Where to buy: Sellers on eBay, Amazon and Etsy.

How to maintain the condition of a film camera

It’s important to clean your camera from the dust quite often. Also, one of the biggest issues is that few brands don’t offer cleaning services anymore. Brands like Nikon, Leica or Canon can still repair your gear and provide spare parts.

Photography tips 

Take the time to observe and be present with your surroundings. At some point, you will feel this magical moment where you’ll have the urge to capture what you’re witnessing.

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