Best Film Cameras for Beginners

There are several distinct types of 35mm film cameras. This list will go over the pros and cons of each camera.

These cameras are great because they give you full control over the photography process. Not only do you have to set the exposure, but you also have to focus.

To use any of these cameras correctly, you will need to know the fundamentals of photography.

The Pentax K1000 is based off of the earlier Pentax Spotmatic. The K1000 actually has fewer features than the Spotmatic. The biggest change is that the K1000 uses the Pentax K-Mount instead of the M42 screwmount that was on the Spotmatic.

Fewer features created a very robust and durable camera. The Pentax K1000 was known as a workhorse camera.

It is a mechanical camera. A battery is not required for the shutter to fire. A battery is needed for the built in light meter to work.

The Pentax K1000 was sold over 3 million copies from 1976 until 1997. It is very easy to find used camera bodies in good condition. Additionally, there is a full catalog of Pentax K-mount lenses available.

Great durable camera. My one issue with the camera is that it is slightly and noticably heavier that other comparable cameras.

Minolta made lots of great K-mount lenses. Lots of interesting focal lengths such as the 45mm f/2 and 58mm f/1.4.

This is a great choice because of how much thought Olympus put into lens design. The lenses are small and compact, and the same can be said of the camera body.

Canon EOS 300V in Europe. Kiss 5 in Japan.

Canon EOS 300X in Europe. Kiss 7 in Japan. Canon Camera Museum

The “newer” the better. Their autofocus systems will be better. They will also be less likely to have electrical problems.

Generally people find having a wider angle on a zoom lens better than additional telephoto range. The smaller the first number of a zoom range, for instance 24mm-80mm, the better.

Smaller aperture numbers, for example f/2.8, will tend to be higher quality. They will make shooting in low light easier, though a built-in flash can also help with that.