How to buy a film camera
A film camera buying guide
When looking for a film camera to suit your particular tastes and needs, you will find many film camera brands to choose from. With this film camera buying guide, you will have a number of pointers to help you decide how to choose a film camera that's right for you.
>> Choose your shooting mode
The first consideration in determining which film camera to buy is the shooting mode you will use. You might like one of many point-and-click film cameras. They are the easiest option and allow you to find your subject and snap a picture quickly.
You might prefer to have some control over your photos. If this is the case, you can choose a rangefinder or SLR camera. A rangefinder camera has a mechanism that helps you to determine the range to your subject and assists in focusing.
An SLR camera is a single lens reflex camera, and it allows you to look in the viewfinder and see your subject exactly as it will appear in the photo. It uses a mirror to provide the reflection. This is different from rangefinder cameras where the image may be different from what you see in the viewfinder. Rangefinder cameras, however, tend to have better image quality.
>> Consider the zoom
Another thing you want to look at when deciding which film camera to buy is the amount of zoom the camera has. The zoom refers to how much magnification the camera has. Many cameras have a range of 3-7x, while some professional grade ultra zoom cameras can have much more. The number represents how many hundred millimeters in focal length the zoom is. For instance, a 3x zoom has a focal length of 300mm. This just means that you can bring a distant subject in closer with a higher zoom. SLR cameras can have an optical zoom up to 18x, which allows you to capture vivid details even if your subject is several hundred feet away from you.
>> Consider the shutter speed
Different types of film cameras have different shutter speeds. The shutter speed determines how fast the camera shutter opens and closes. This affects the amount of light that is allowed in. Shutter speed also affects how clear moving objects appear in your photos. If you are shooting subjects that are moving quickly or in plenty of light, you will tend to want a fast shutter speed. On the other hand, if you are shooting in low light conditions, a slower shutter speed is usually more desirable to ensure that the film is properly exposed.
>> Consider the ISO speed
The ISO speed is the speed of the film that your film camera can handle. Most cameras can take a range of sizes of film, but they may have limitations. The speed of the film measures the sensitivity to light. A lower ISO is generally better for daylight pictures, while a high ISO can capture clear images after dark.
>> What other features and options do you want?
As you shop, you should also look at optional features when making a film camera comparison. These features can often affect which film camera to buy for many people. For example, a self-timer is one of the standard film camera features that many photographers enjoy. It allows the taking of the photo to be delayed. You may also have the option of an automatic rewind as one of your film camera features. Others require you to manually rewind the film before you can remove it. Lastly, some cameras allow you to save a variety of custom settings.
>> Consider the benefits of an instant camera
One type of film camera that is popular is the instant camera. It includes a film cartridge that you place inside the camera before taking pictures. Once you snap a photo, the cartridge ejects the photo as it develops. When you are deciding how to choose a film camera, you may want to consider instant cameras if you want to see your pictures right away.
>> Consider disposable cameras
For some occasions, the best film camera to buy is the disposable kind. It contains one roll of film. Once it is used, you take the entire camera to be developed. Disposable cameras are convenient for traveling and also make excellent choices for party favors.
>> Accessories for your camera
When you are deciding how to buy a film camera, you want to think about the camera accessories you might need. A bag or hard case will protect your camera, and you can often find a wide selection with film and digital camera accessories. You also want to keep extra rolls of film on hand. If you like to experiment with images, you can purchase additional lenses. If this sounds like something you might want to do, be sure that the film camera you buy is able to swap out lenses, and make a note of which kinds of lenses are compatible with it. Lastly, many photographers like to use tripods for extra stability. If this is something you might like to use now or in the future, make sure the camera you are looking at can use one.
>> Caring for your camera
All of the different types of film cameras require some care. Be sure to keep them in a bag or case when not in use. Protect the lens from scratches. You also want to clean your camera occasionally to remove any exterior dust with a lint-free cloth. For in-depth cleaning, you can take the camera to a professional.
Lastly, when thinking about which film camera to buy, research each individual camera you are considering in order to make an informed decision.