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Old Jun 10, 2010, 7:44 PM   #1
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Default 35mm film cameras?

whats a good 35mm film camera that will have enough features on it to teach me how to take good photos but be cheap enough not to hurt my pocket book?

PS. The camera doesn't have to be new. Could be old as dirt.
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Old Jun 10, 2010, 7:47 PM   #2
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do you want auto focus or not

Canon AE1 program no AF
Canon eos 630 with AF.

But you will be paying allot of development of the film. With a dslr, you can take as many shots and all you do is reformat the card if it is full.
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Old Jun 10, 2010, 11:22 PM   #3
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I still love to shoot film from time to time. It's just a whole lot of fun and there are plenty of options.

Manual focus:

Canon AE-1 Program
Minolta x700, x570 series (My personal favorites)
Nikon FE series
Pentax K1000
Olympus OM-10
Ricoh RS series

All of these are from the late 70s and early 80s and can be had for less than $50. They're all awesome. Plus you can build a nice set of outstanding manual focus lenses equally as cheap. Actual aperture rings, mechanical shutter releases, this stuff all feels wonderful in your hands. Be patient and look for low mileage specimens. They're out there. Buy a light seal kid for about $10 on ebay and follow the instructions on how to replace them.

Autofocus:

Nikon N-series. N75 might be the best of the bunch. I wish I'd have kept mine.
Minolta Maxxum 5
Canon EOS series

These are from the late 90s and early 2000s. They can be found with a decent kit lens for < $100. Many of the AF lenses can be used on digital SLRs. Do your homework.

Yes, you still have to pay for film and processing, but consider this. The money you save vs. a Nikon D90 DSLR or even a Sony a230 will pay for a whole lot of film. If you enjoy your film experience, you'll probably get one eventually.

I buy Fuji film at walmart in 4-packs for a little over $1 per roll. I take the exposed film back to walmart for processing. I tell them I want negatives and scans (photo-CD) only. No prints. In an hour I get a CD with roughly 5 megapixel images, with a thumbnail of each frame printed on the CD for less than $5.

If I want higher res scans I can send the negatives to a better photo lab. I understand they can go as high as 20 or 25 MP. But the reason anybody needs higher res scans is to get quality larger prints. Nobody needs 10MP images for a 1600 x 900 computer monitor. But, if I decide I want 8 x 10 or larger prints, which I rarely do, I'll take the negative--not the digital image--to a local photo shop, and get a high quality print made.

I have a Minolta x570 manual focus SLR with a handful of sweet Rokkor lenses. I also have a Minolta Maxxum 5 autofocus SLR with an 28-80mm kit lens. The full-frame Sony 75-300mm lens I bought for my a200 DSLR also works with the Maxxum 5.

Do it. Have fun!

--Ron

Last edited by 3puttpar; Jun 10, 2010 at 11:27 PM.
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Old Jun 10, 2010, 11:30 PM   #4
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The op is considering a k-x or epl-1, not to pricey. And at development and printing at 14 buck for 36 photo. It can add up very quickly. Plus you need to factor in the price of the film. Even at bulk, you are still talking about 16 dollar with film and development. It is not like 10 years ago, when film was cheap to develop at 6 dollars a roll. making the total cost 9 dollar for 36 photos.

PS when learn you will go through allot of film, so the cost is much higher. The op can easily go through 250 dollars in the first year in development and film cost.

I still shoot film also, but it is expensive. And you really do not know how your setting did till you get them developed.
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Last edited by shoturtle; Jun 10, 2010 at 11:39 PM.
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Old Jun 10, 2010, 11:38 PM   #5
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With all due respect, I beg to differ on film and processing. My comments above stand. I'm sure Ritz Camera might ring you up $9 or $10 for processing, and Velvia 50 slide film will cost $5 or $6 per roll. But there are more sensible options for somebody who is learning and just having fun.

Again. Film, processing, scans, no prints = appx $6.00 per roll.

I'll scan an post a receipt from last month if I can find one.
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Old Jun 10, 2010, 11:43 PM   #6
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Also it depends on the film you use. Certain films are more expensive and they are better suited for certain type of shooting.

Also if you are shooting 400asa, and do not use it up during the day, and it is night, and you want to shoot, you have 2 choice, burn them up for bad results or end the roll early to switch to a 1600 speed film.

fuji is good for good lighting and relatively cheap. But if you need high speed film like 1600 or 3200. It gets expensive.
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Old Jun 11, 2010, 12:25 AM   #7
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I've never felt the urge to shoot 3200 speed film, but I'm not sure I'd recommend regular use of ISO3200 on most APS-C or smaller sensors either.

I will make this concession on digital vs. film. After having shot digital for a few years, I miss having EXIF data available with the film scans. This is an often overlooked benefit of shooting digital. If you're learning (and even if you're not), it's a good idea to keep good notes on the settings you used per frame when shooting film.

I'll always have a DSLR, or whatever the technology du jour happens to be. But I think most people, once they've squeezed off a few frames with a Nikon FE, will understand what I'm talking about.

Both mediums certainly have their strengths and weaknesses. And ownership of one doesn't imply that one shouldn't have the other. The OP asked for suggestions on film cameras. I provided a few and made some suggestions on how not to get fleeced on processing. He's welcome to take it or leave it. For the few bucks it takes to get started, I'd never recommend against anybody having the pleasure of experiencing some of this quality old-school gear.

There's a whole generation of young baseball players who have never felt the sensation--and the occasional sting--of hitting a ball with a wooden bat. That's a shame. That's all I'm saying.
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Old Jun 11, 2010, 12:40 AM   #8
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I shoot at 3200iso allot, and the more current aps-c camera can shot there like the canon t1i and t2i, pentax k-x, the nikon d90 and d5000, sony a550 and a500.

I enjoy shooting film, but I have to say for someone learning it is better and more cost effective to shoot digital then move to film. I have 2 great film bodies, eos 630 and a eos 1. I will never get rid of them. But when I use my eos 1. It is a very well plan shot.

I believe one should start with a dslr, and move to a slr, when they understand photography better. Less money wasted
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Last edited by shoturtle; Jun 11, 2010 at 1:01 AM.
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Old Jun 11, 2010, 1:04 AM   #9
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I have to admit, when I signed onto the forum this evening this was the first thread I saw. It wasn't until a couple of posts in that I realized this was an either/or proposition. I thought the OP was just somebody who wanted to some recommendations film cameras. Later, I was just stubbornly holding my ground.

So... OK. Film is obsolete and causes intestinal discomfort and acne. More cool toys for me.

Whatever you decide, let us know. Stick around and enjoy the forum. I'm a new guy here, but I'm finding the people on this forum are great source of information and lively discussion.

Have fun.

--Ron
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Old Jun 11, 2010, 9:56 AM   #10
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so processing may be expencive the more in depth you go but I can't afford a digital camera right now and I don't want to spend a few hundered on one that can't perform. I want the E-P2 and i have alot of money comming to me in the didstant future and thats where I will afford a 4000 dollar setup. But until then I am sitting here researching and learning theory and terms and its driving me crazy cause i can't actually get out there and apply these theorys to actually photography. I wish I had a camera that could perform and maybe film cameras will be my ticket in my current position. I do have, however, a canon powershot S3 IS... and in my opinion it sucks. I take pictures and they are so noisy its not even funny. I have tried to change ISO settings on it and everything else. Yesterday I actually took some pictures that were a little better then what the camera had always produced for me in the past but I still hate the camera. Shouldn't the camera be able to produce good pictures at least sometimes in auto mode? I thought that I could learn from the camera by taking the settings that the camera used to produce a good image and learning what the difference was between different shutter speeds and ISO settings. Man I really don't know what to do with that camera but anyway thats why I want a film camera. well that and the fact that everyone refers everything to the 35mm and I have no idea what that is either so I figure I can learn 35mm settings if I buy a 35mm camera and I could kill two birds with one stone. What do you guys think?
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