Which film camera should I buy?

Started 2 months ago | Questions thread
Michael Firstlight Veteran Member • Posts: 4,454
Re: Which film camera should I buy?

You didn't provide much info to help make some recommendations. What is your budget? How do you plan to process your film? Do you plan to scan? And if so, do you have a scanner? What kind of quality are you after? Do you want small and light (convenience - 35mm), or higher quality (larger format film - like medium format)? It sounds like AF is a requirement, true?

In 35mm format, I'm a lifetime Nikon fan, so a very inexpensive entry into Nikon 35mm AF would be something like a Nikon 8008/8008s off of eBay for under $50. If you want a newer late-model 35mm then I'd look for a Nikon F100 or even a higher-end D4 in good shape off of eBay (both range from around $150-$250 used).  One reason I would recommend Nikon is if you ever tire of film you can always sell off your camera and lenses and get most of your investment back quickly -  maybe even make a few bucks profit as Nikon gear really holds its value.

In medium format AF, great systems include the Mamiya 645AF  - but again, the cost goes up substantially.

Most enthusiasts entering film for the first time are best off with 35mm format and a Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera. However, once someone gets a taste of medium format quality (120 films) it's difficult to ever be satisfied with 35mm again other than for camera size and convenience (then there's large format 4x5" and up - and you are hopelessly lost to the film Gods).

As one said, whatever you get you are buying into a lens system - so pick your lens system first. Nikon and Canon lenses are plentiful. Note that didn't recommend any manual cameras as you indicated AF might be a requirement.


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The one thing everyone can agree on is that film photography has its negatives. It even has its positives and internegatives.

 Michael Firstlight's gear list:Michael Firstlight's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon D850 Nikon Z9 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +30 more
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