Film photography may be an old-fashioned way of taking photographs, but there are still plenty of reasons to shoot the old school. Whether you are on the hunt for a 35mm film camera as your very first camera or some nostalgic reasons; you will find that shooting film photography can be a very rewarding experience.
In this article, we take a quick look at some of the best 35mm cameras you can make your choice from. Enjoy reading!
1. Konica Hexar AF
The Hexar AF’s secret lies in its lens. Although it has been rumored that the camera’s autofocus rangefinder’s 35mm f/2 is a replica of the Leica 35mm Summicron, though not as pricey as the latter.
The Hexar AF comes with great autofocus, and a compact body, quiet shutter, and film set-up, which is perfect for the street photography enthusiast.
Although its manual controls can present a bit of challenge, it, however, gives experienced photographers complete control over their shots. However, these cameras can come at a bit of a high price as a result of their popularity; but they are still cheaper than the comparative Leica.
2. Nikon L35AF
With fully automatic exposure and an integrated flash and a solid 35mm f/2.8 lens; this Nikon point-and-shoot camera is a natural first-film camera option for anyone who is probably more familiar with taking photographs with an iPhone. Besides, the Nikon L35AF is a lot more affordable option to the trendier and usually more overpriced alternatives like the Yashica T4 or Contax T2. And believe it or not, it runs on AA batteries too.
3. Yashica T4
If you are probably wondering why the Yashica T4 is so trendy and in high demand despite its high price tag; it is probably because it is fitted with a fantastic 35mm f/3.5 Zeiss Tessar lens that is sharper than many of the lenses found in modern digital compact cameras.
The T4’s lens transforms its otherwise simple point-and-shoot feature into a tool that is capable of some really amazing photography. This has made the camera very popular and also quite expensive as a result; although they are no longer making any more of them.
4. Olympus XA2
This camera comes as an alternative to autofocus options. The Olympus XA2 has a simple “zone focus” that allows you to adjust the focus switch to any one of three settings from “1 meter” to “infinity” once you determine the distance.
Although it requires a little bit of experience to work it properly, however, its simple operation and very compact clamshell design make it extremely handy and ready to fire off a shot, making sure that you can get shots you probably would never have had otherwise, even if you might risk missing the focus.
5. Canon AE-1
The Canon AE-1 operated on a complete auto mode that gave photographers only the task of deciding on what to shoot and then focusing the camera lens on it. It was one of the first film SLRs to make photography relatively more accessible to a wide range of photographers.
As an added advantage to being simple, the Canon AE-1 comes with a wide range of accessories and lenses, several of which you can likely still find today if you look around carefully enough. It also has outstanding FD mount lenses, like the 50mm f1.2, which makes the Canon AE-1 an excellent camera choice for the modern-day.
6. Leica M6
Owning a Leica is a dream for most shooters. In fact, Leicas are desired by many but owned by a proud few. When the Leica M6 camera first appeared, it was heralded as the most perfect M camera ever made. It quickly became one of the first full M cameras to incorporate a functional built-in light meter while retaining its compact body size.
The Leica M6 also comes with frame lines for lenses as wide as 28mm, desired by many rangefinder aficionados. The camera is designed primarily for making documentary and photojournalistic work, and most shooters don’t aim for lengths beyond 50mm.
However, a Leica M6 will still cost a pile of money in 2021, and the lenses are also quite expensive. Nevertheless, the M6 is a very capable rangefinder that will only appreciate while it continues to take outstanding photos.
7. Nikon FE
The Nikon FE is an exceptional choice for a blend of cheap, high reliability, and compact size. The camera offers precision manufacturing and alloy body which indicates that it is not easily disposable no matter how cheap a price you manage to acquire one for.
Designed for a more advanced group of film photography enthusiasts; the FE’s design is made on the assumption that you already know how to use its manual settings. Its rugged simplicity, in addition to its compatibility with Nikon’s numerous suites of F-mount lenses, makes it worth learning to use.
There you have a look at 7 of the best 35mm film cameras that can make for a first camera for shooting old-fashioned photography.
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