What makes a good film camera? – words Al Woods
If you are a lover of photography yearning to try something new and exciting, you should definitely take up film photography. Yes, it’s probably high time you went analog and did it in the authentic way they did it in the past when digital photos were still years away.
Who knows, you could discover a new way of seeing things and open yourself up for new, interesting photographic possibilities. But first, you will need to be fully equipped to take up the refreshing analog photograph. That’s where the right film camera comes in. Here is what makes a good film camera.
For the smoothest entry into the world of film, you should pick a versatile camera. Sure, there are different film cameras for different needs and situations, but the perfect beginner film camera should be simple and easy to use across a full range of situations. While professionals love the medium (6×4) and large (3×4 Instant) formats, a basic 35mm film stock camera is easy to use and will suffice for everyday photography needs. Unless you are a professional shooting portraits, you will not even think about the need for larger formats.
2. Shutter Priority
If you are a first starting out on film photography, you will want a film camera that has a shutter priority feature. Otherwise, you will have to select both the shutter speed and adjust the aperture manually. That can be hectic for people new to film and might take the fun away. With a shutter priority feature, you will only need to choose your preferred shutter speed while your camera does the hard work of adjusting the aperture for the right exposure. To make things easier for yourself, go for a camera with a shutter priority until you are confident enough to manually select the shutter speed and adjust the aperture for perfect photos.
All experienced photographers, both professionals, and hobbyists will agree that reliability is one of the most important qualities that every good film camera should have. While you are taking a break from the digital world and going analog, you still want something you can count on to capture moments that only a photo can capture best. So don’t compromise on quality. Opt for brands that have been around for years. Brands that have satisfied the needs of photographers all through history. If you are not sure what to choose, ask other photographers what brands they use. Choosing the right brand will save you money and the frustration that comes with awful photos.
You may be tempted to go for the highest priced film camera in pursuit of quality, but anyone with experience will tell you that the right camera should be affordable. Go for a budget-friendly option and experiment with it till you know exactly what you want in your film camera. You needn’t spend a fortune on a camera, especially if you are just starting out. The world’s most famous and reliable brands have a full range of inexpensive film cameras you can pick from to suit your unique needs.
Film photography is about adventure and you should look for a camera that can handle your adventurous lifestyle. A camera that will remain in good condition, no matter where your photographic spirit takes you. That’s why you need a camera that is sturdy and that can take a good deal of rough handling. There a lot of sturdy metallic cameras for anyone looking for an item that will stand the test of time and if you take your time you can even find bulletproof options. But being metallic isn’t enough, it should also have a minimalist design to curtail the risk of damages. Fancy and unnecessary extras may look great, but can get damaged in a second. After all, isn’t film photography about reliving the good old days of simplicity?
6. Availability of Lenses
It’s hectic living with a camera whose lenses you will need to travel miles away to find. Photography should be an exciting way of life. You want to spend more time capturing your favorite scenes and less time worrying about where to find a replacement for your old camera lenses. Good film cameras have lenses that are easy to find at any photography store. That’s why you should choose a camera brand that has stood the test of time. Renowned brands have invested heavily in after-sale services over the years and that’s why it is so easy to find replacement parts for their cameras whenever the need arises.
The Bottomline on What Makes a Good Film Camera
There you have it. It may perhaps be your first time in film photography, but you are definitely set for a good start now. Picking the right film camera shouldn’t be an uphill task. Armed with the above things to consider you will undoubtedly know a good camera when you see it. Just like choosing any other item, reliability, durability, and affordability should always be at the top of your list when choosing a film camera. Here is to the timeless art of film photography…