We’re all seeing the film camera trend slowly but steadily making a comeback and is bringing us more into the moment instead of firing hundreds of images in couple of minutes.
It’s great news for all of us who are longing for the old days in photography; where the passing by moment was the essence of the picture and how it would be gone just in an instant.
Whether you’re coming back to film photography or getting into it for the first time, we will take you through the main reasons why 35mm film cameras were, and still very much are, a thing.
What’s to love in 35mm camera?
Film photography might nowadays be more expensive, has always been risky and time consuming and almost literally going extinct. Simply put it, the reason being interested and totally consumed by film photography is because it’s fun.
For the other reasons, everyone has their own. The appeal is different for everyone. Nostalgia is a big part of it. But the timeless, authentic aesthetic is probably what draws most in.
It has become clear that there is something special in a physical image, it feels more worth something than the digital file. A lot to do with it is the time you put in each and every frame to come out successful.
Great qualities for beginners are definitely the ability to automate certain core settings like aperture and shutter speed.
This way you are able to learn one thing at a time without having to learn every aspect in full manual mode.
Also pay attention to the cameras’ built-in metering; this will make it easier and you can trust that the camera will adjust to the right exposure.
The more control you’re looking for over the captured image, the more manual camera you want to look out for.
When it comes to ease of use, 35mm film cameras are the gold standard.
What Should You Have In Your 35mm Film Camera?
Disposable cameras and point-and-shoot cameras are almost always 35mm.
Medium format film cameras have a bigger frame and usually maximum amount of frames are 10 to 12 per film.
While you can get larger and sharper images with more detail with a medium format film camera, the best option for beginners is first to master the more automatic version 35mm.
As the name 35mm camera refers to – you will need 35mm film for the camera. There are multitude of different films to try out to really capture the nuances of your subjects.
The first thing to pay attention when buying film is the ISO number. This will tell you how sensitive the film is. Unlike in digital cameras, you won’t be able to adjust the ISO on the go, but some of the mechanical 35mm cameras will let you adjust it, because they’re more manual in their settings.
Common ISO numbers for film are 200, 400, and 800. The latter two are preferred for anything done indoor or in lower light, but they will result in more granier images.
Aim for 400 ISO if you want to be able to adapt to different lighting environments.
The different types of 35mm cameras
Point and shoot
Like the name obviously suggests, these are mostly automatic, compact cameras that require minimal expertise for the images to come out well.
Think of these as the absolute greatest and reusable version of a disposable camera. And they’re light to carry too.
A perfect combination of user involvement and compactness of a point-and-shoot camera. When you want to be more involved in setting the settings like aperture, and focus, this is the camera for you.
As classic as it gets. Interchangeable lenses and a viewfinder where you’re looking directly through the lens.
These tend to be bigger than rangefinders or point and shoots, but they’re less complicated, easier to shoot, cheaper, and have a much broader selection of lenses.
If you’re getting into film photography and are interested in having lots of control over your image: this is the play.
How much do 35mm cameras cost?
Long are the days when film cameras were fairly cheap.
Now, there are a small handful that — through the hype, celebrity endorsement, or general excellence – have become quite expensive.
Sometimes, the price is still affordable and feels a rational amount to pay for your first film camera. The reason some of them got expensive is that either influencers or high end film photographers had said that they were excellent. Also, it’s not like they’re making any more of them.