Decent film camera?

Started Jan 5, 2013 | Questions thread
Wayne Larmon Veteran Member • Posts: 9,797
Canon Sure Shot Or Canon Elan. Cheap and plentiful

skpman wrote:

The objective isn't really for FB or anything... I'm mainly thinking I'll take some photos of friends for them. There's a Samy's Camera and Pro Photo Connection locally that can develop photos.

I got into film cameras for the first time several months ago. Because I have been scanning my family's old film negatives and I wanted some new negatives that were taken of known subjects. So I could get a better handle on converting negatives.

I ended up getting a Canon Sure Shot because my brother-in-law told me this is what he used to take a lot of the original images in the early 1980s through the early 1990s. And it gave real good pictures.

I posted about this several months ago:

(This was my first post on the revamped DPReview, so it was mostly written to see how the editing worked.)

I got the Elan SLR because I already have Canon DSLRs. But I didn't have any EF lenses that would work on FF, so I got the new(ish) Canon EF-40mm pancake lens, because it would work on my DSLRs. And was comparable to the 38mm lens that is on the Sure Shot.

I did confirm that the Sure Shot does take good pictures. Pictures that I took with the Sure Shot are comparable in quality to pictures I took with the Elan + 40mm pancake lens (which is *very* sharp--I tested it on my Canon 60D.)

Actually, I ended up getting two Sure Shots and two Elans on eBay. None of them cost more than $30 ea. I wanted multiples of everything so I could cross compare. I did take pains to only buy from sellers that indicated that they had tested the cameras and they were functional. Which was the case--I didn't get any duds.

The Elan + 40mm lens is attractive if you ever plan on getting a Canon DSLR--that lens is very nice. But a $20 Sure Shot is good if you want to keep it cheap. Note that the Sure Shots are 100% automatic--they don't let you set the shutter speed or aperture. But they do have real auto-focus.

The Sure Shot takes regular AA batteries. The Elan takes a 2CR5 battery that is easy to find (WalMarts has them, but they are cheaper online.)

Handy links:

Canon "Museum" of all the cameras they ever made:

Source of camera manuals in PDF

Note that Canon made a lot of Sure Shots. The ones I got have a 38mm f/2.8 lens. A lot of the later Sure Shots had inferior lenses. This is the one I got:

I've mostly completed my film tests, but I like the Sure Shot and still keep one in my coat pocket. I don't have any illusions that it produces better pictures than any of my digital cameras, but I like it.


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