Since this is the digital era, using a 35mm camera sounds old-school. However, many professional photographers believe otherwise. Although the idea is old-fashioned, this is how you start your professional photography career. There are still plenty of best 35mm cameras for vintage shooters in 2019.
Why the 35mm camera? Many pros believe that it still produces the best pictures. It is true that digital cameras can have a lot of quick-fix features. However, first-time photographers need to start from the very basic. If you are into retro-style pictures, here are the six (6) best 35mm cameras for vintage shooters in 2019.
1. Canon AE-1
With the method focusing on SRL, this camera is user-friendly to all. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced enthusiast, Canon AE-1 is the one for you. It is simple, classic, and lightweight. The features include shutter priority mode and manual mode. The lenses are also interchangeable.
The weak parts of Canon AE-1 are the easily breakable battery door, the wear and tear of the mechanical shutter, and the rare spare parts. Basically, this 35mm camera is fragile and repairing this can be a hassle. It is hard to find spare parts. However, this camera is perfect for those keen on slow process instead of quick shots.
You can buy this online for $168.
2. Asahi Pentax K1000
This SLR, 35mm camera is really simple. Fully manual, Asahi Pentax K1000 is also good for kids wanting to learn photography from the basic. Another great thing is its ability to operate with or without a battery. This camera is fully mechanical. The power light meter is labeled with a +/- on the camera body.
As one of the best 35mm cameras for vintage shooters, Asahi Pentax K1000 can be purchased online with less than $150. For an additional tip: choose the LR-44 battery when you buy the camera. Use sunny 16 rule as the norm, since the camera is fully mechanical.
3. Minolta X-700
This camera was first released and reached its success in the late 1970s and early 1980s. During those two decades, Minolta X-700 had stood out because of its bright viewfinder, TTL flash metering, and multiple auto exposure modes. Just because it is lightweight does not mean its quality is also low, thanks to its plastic body construction.
The problem with this camera is its rare spare parts. Minolta X-700 stopped their mass production in 1999. You might need to get in touch with fellow collectors and other vintage shooters for them.
Minolta X-700 is also user-friendly for beginners and serious enthusiasts. The lenses are also interchangeable with an SR mount. To buy this online, you need $113.95. If you use a fully-manual mode, take your eye off the viewfinder to check the shutter speed setting. Compare that with the reading in the viewfinder.
4. Nikon FM2
Before the digital era, Nikon had ruled the photography world. FM2 is more solid than Asahi Pentax K1000 and Canon AE-1. Its appearance is better too. This camera uses a feature called the legendary F Mount. It is called ‘legendary’ because it has a 50+ year legacy of world-class optics.
Just like Asahi Pentax K1000, Nikon FM2 also requires an LR-44 battery. Although this 35mm camera is rather expensive ($389 when purchased online), it is super solid. This is why Nikon FM2 is one of the best 35mm cameras for vintage shooters.
5. Olympus OM-1
This 35mm camera has got good quality. Olympus OM-1 is also compact, easy to carry around. Often labeled as the “Leica for working class”, this SLR camera may still work for beginners. Olympus OM-1 is perfect for serious hobbyists and professional photographers, especially for vintage shots.
Unfortunately, this camera does not offer you an automatic feature. This means, you need to lower your camera as you check the settings. For beginners, this camera is good to help them to test their patience. This is why the professionals believe that 35mm cameras are perfect for learning from scratch.
Another problem is the light meter set on a discontinued battery. When the voltage is out, the meter becomes unstable. Loading the film also requires patience, because you cannot do it fast. If you still want to buy this, Olympus OM-1 can be purchased online with $144.95.
6. Nikon F6
Despite being an old-fashioned camera, this Nikon version still exists today. As one of the best 35mm cameras for vintage shooters in 2019, this SLR camera is highly durable and equipped with high-grade lenses. All serious hobbyists and professional photographers will feel satisfied using Nikon F6.
For some people, the changing of the dial and button positions can be a drag (compared to the previous models). The LCD might also give you a hassle in a low-light environment. Since this is relatively new for a 35mm camera, the price is quite hefty online – which is $2.999.
These are the six (6) best 35mm cameras for vintage shooters in 2019. If you miss old-fashioned style shots, you can choose one of them.