JIN 晉 LI CloverGallery 3:00am, 24 October 2012
As entry-level photographer, I just started shooting with my yashica electro 35 gsn, and i have my dad's old minolta x700.

The other day, my friend wanted to shoot film as well, and asked me, "What is the best 35mm film camera for beginner with a low price?"

My answers were canonet ql17 g iii and pentax k1000.
I wanna buy another film camera that produce awesome photo too.

Any suggestions?
fanatical approval [deleted] 6 years ago
It's hard to go wrong with a Canonet QL17 and the Pentax. I would suggest a Nikon FM as a good alternative camera as well.
what do u think about minolta x700 n yashica electro 35?
The Canon AE-1 Program, Pentax K1000, Minolta x700 are awesome "staple" cameras. (I started with the AE-1 in the 80s and still shoot with it today!)
other than the leicas and contax, are there any great rangefinder cameras with a decent price?
fanatical approval [deleted] Posted 6 years ago. Edited by fanatical approval (member) 6 years ago
You mean without a fixed lens? Canon 7, in fact the whole line of Canon rangefinders were quite serviceable. Not all of them are fully compatible with Leica screw mount, so you just have to be careful that you know what lenses mount on which bodies. IIRC, Yashica had some quality RF gear that you can probably pick up on the cheap today. Nikon and Minolta RFs are probably going to be too expensive, but they are great too.

If you want something more recent, the Cosina made Voigtlander RF and scale focus bodies can be had cheaply too. I picked up a Bessa T for about $50, and found a screw-mount lens / finder set for about the same amount. They aren't durable cameras for the future, but they are fun to carry around.

There were also tons of Leica copied, including those famed ones from the FSU.
william.olive 6 years ago
what do u think about minolta x700 n yashica electro 35?

Both good cameras.

The Minolta X-700 was marketed as a beginners camera, with its program system anybody could take properly exposed pictures. Of course you can use it fully manual too. The Rokkor lenses are as good as any from the era.

Downside is that the Minolta will not work at all without batteries.
photogreuhphies 6 years ago
I'd say an EOS. Nice and lenses are compatible with digital EOS (the reverse is not always true). A EOS30 is cheaply available and a good nice workhorse. EOS 5, also. Easy to find, cheaper. Less good than the 30 but a good beginner choice.
dkirk79 6 years ago
Same goes for Nikon - you can use the G lenses, however be prepared to accept the aperture will stay fully open and you can not do anything about it.
My best advice however would be to go round the second hand places and try them out - see which camera 'feels right' in yor hand.
teepee_uk 6 years ago
I'd actually steer away from the K1000 and put a vote towards the Pentax P30T. They've lighter, easier to use, better viewfinder, better metering, and have A setting for lenses. They rate DX as well, which takes a little bit more hassle away from the novice.

And they're about a third of the price. With a good A F1/7 lens, they're still cheaper, with the added advantage of the A lenses gaining value over the years as more people shoot manually on Pentax DSLRs.
Big Little Dan 6 years ago
I picked up a Konica EEmatic a while back, it broke when I loaned it to a friend, but that thing was gold! Set exposures, simple mechanics and pretty foolsafe (except for the cat who broke it). It's got a fixed 40mm/2.8 lens, and I'm sure you could bag one for about 10$ somewhere
tasteful hose [deleted] 6 years ago
The X700 is great - reliable, you can shoot in whetever mode you like, and the MD manual focus lenses are excellent, plentiful and inexpensive. Has TTL flash with a MInolta PX280 or PX360 flash (PX360 is the best). I have two X700s and for each one, after shooting the first roll of film and seeing no problems, I sent them off to Garry's Camera for a CLA for $45 (around $65-70 including all shipping) - well worth it to have everything cleaned, lubricated and adjusted and seals and mirror bumper replaced. Enjoy it, just carry extra SR44 batteries with you.

For an inexpensive rangefinder, if you can find a MInolta Himatic 7S or Konica Auto S2 in good mechanical condition, they are very nice. It can be hard to find themin good mechanical condition as they are from the late 1960s and typically have never been cleaned. They took the old mercury batteries but inexpensive 675 hearing aid batteries in an adapter provides the 1.35 volts of the old mercury batteries. Contact Jon Goodman - JGood21967@aol.com - $14, including mailing and one 675 battery. I use one in my Minolta SRT201, another great, older, mechanical camera that can use all the Minolta MD and MC lenses for your X700.
Simon_Bates PRO 6 years ago
I would say a Pentax ME Super or a Nikon FM2. both great cameras with a great selection of good glass, and both are cameras that you can continue to use as you develop. Nikon FM2 is a bit more expensive. The Pentax is widely available and is a very nice design with solid reliable construction.
Greyscale3 PRO 6 years ago
Canon T50 or Minolta Qtsi, unless the user actually wants to learn about photography.
Dismayed & Perplexed 6 years ago
"The other day, my friend wanted to shoot film as well, and asked me, "What is the best 35mm film camera for beginner with a low price?""

What kind of beginner? Some folks want auto-everything cameras. Some want to control DOF. And others like to control everything.
periodic argument [deleted] 6 years ago
I'd say the best 35mm for beginners it the one your gonna get or the one you already owned cause it's always the photographer not the camera. :)
how about olympus om series? any thought?
ad hoc drop [deleted] 6 years ago
Asahi Pentáx Mx. Still in love with this litle camera !!!

Leslie Lazenby PRO 6 years ago
My weapon of choice is the Olympus OM-1. Works with or without the battery. I can give these to teenagers and along with 15 minutes of instruction we are on our way to a photo walk. Also like the Pentax K1000s but find the OMs to be lots tougher.
Chris Protopapas PRO 6 years ago
I would second the suggestion of the Pentax P30t over the K-1000. It's a really user-friendly and good-handling camera, lightweight and sturdy. The only downside is the lack of auto-override (you need to go to manual mode) and the fact that it will not work without a battery. The big plus is that the original Pentax "A" lenses will work very nicely on a modern Pentax DSLR, aside from the lack of autofocus of course.
Dirk Vreugdenhil 6 years ago
The Olumpus Mju II !

Cool pointandshoot for 25 euro.

Fit in your pocked and have epic 2.8/35mm lens. Wat do you want more ??
All those SLRs and RFs for a beginner? I would go completely the other way! ANY good P&S like the mju II as suggested above, or the Oly Trip 35 to get him to appreciate vintage cameras. The rest will come.
careful question [deleted] 6 years ago
I use Olympus OM 35mm systems. OM10 and OM40. Hugely recommended.
breakable dog [deleted] 6 years ago
nikon fm
Daniel Smukalla 6 years ago
Canon AE-1 Program has always done me well. Straight forward.
CactusJuice 6 years ago
Olympus OM-1 or OM-2, great cameras for any skill level. One thing I like about the OM line is they are smaller, less bulky than some of the other SLR brands of that time.

Easy to operate. Easy battery replacement. Easy to change out the focusing screen. OM-2 is my favorite.


[- - -] 6 years ago
Canon AE-1, Nikon FM, FM2, FE or FE2, Minolta X-700, Olympus OM-1, Pentax K1000 or MX. I would choose from there.

Then, you can look for set of lenses able to be used in digital. Canon EF mount allows to use almost any lens with adaptors. Nikon and Pentax use the same mount in modern and old cameras.
skippymarv PRO 6 years ago
K-1000 for sure. Old school manual everything.
gbmcinephoto 6 years ago
I'd like to give another vote for the Pentax K-1000. It's built like a tank and will last for years! It was my first and I still shoot with it 25 years later.
bnzai9 PRO 6 years ago
Pentax Spotmatic. Cheap, durable, and easy to use with great results.
gumanow PRO 6 years ago
Hening Stepfield Posted 6 years ago. Edited by Hening Stepfield (member) 6 years ago
a really really really easy camer to use is the Canon EOS 620

it is an excellent camera even if you are way beyond a beginner

perfect for street...quick controls...I use it with canon L glass often on the street (as well as using my fantastich plastic 50mm)

I'm simply never dissapointed...I generally keep it in auto mode (P)..pointing and shooting...but if there is a need to tweak..your options are fast to adjust

you can snag one of these on ebay for $25
Nestor Aguirre 6 years ago
Pentax K1000!!!
Rollei35fan 6 years ago
Pentax ME Super or for a little more money Pentax MX. Stick to metal and manual focus for durability. Avoid the later plastic autofocus wonders.
Dismayed & Perplexed 6 years ago
"We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true."
~Robert Wilensky
Experience* 6 years ago
canon eos 50E
Austin Beeman PRO 6 years ago
Canon Rebel 2000 with the Canon 50mm f1.8.
six floor [deleted] 6 years ago
I'd say a Canon AT1 if you can find one.
The reason being the AT1 is fully manual with no program's so it makes you think the shots more. I bought mine in 1977 and its still doing the biz.
shawn9146 Posted 6 years ago. Edited by shawn9146 (member) 6 years ago
And the quest begins...

I would suggest if you already have the Minolta then use it…The X-700 is an amazing camera and it will do whatever you tell it to do. It does have a program mode that makes it very easy to take excellent photo's. It is able to be used in full manual mode as well. If you go the route of Minolta stick with the Rokkor lenses!!! Plus the additional equipment is endless… www.rokkorfiles.com/equipment.htm

Now If you want to force/discipline yourself into using just full manual mode to better understand why speed and aperture are so important- (X-700 is very tempting to keep it in "P" mode). Then go with something like a Minolta SRT-101 or any SRT. Same Rokkor lenses, does not need batteries to function, it is heavy and made of metal & it will out live us all!

Have fun on your new endeavor and we will see you in 5 years with a $10,000+ new digi system and an old camera collection that you will use and cherish like the rest of us on here. :)
first carpenter [deleted] Posted 6 years ago. Edited by first carpenter (member) 6 years ago

other than the leicas and contax, are there any great rangefinder cameras with a decent price?

Kodak Retina III S !
You will find a good one with 3 Lenses for 2-300,-€
or without interchaable lenses - Voigtländer Vito CLR or CRS for around 50-100,-€
inetjoker PRO 6 years ago
Buy more than you need then grow into it. It will prevent you from getting GAS and always wanting a new camera.
Richard Wintle PRO Posted 6 years ago. Edited by Richard Wintle (member) 6 years ago
Wee bit late to this, but we used to own a Pentax MZ-50. Cheap 'n cheerful, worked beautifully. As a beginner's 35mm film camera, it was perfect for us. They're cheap on eBay but maybe not as cheap as they should be.

The "kit" 35-80mm lens was not up to much, unfortunately...
CallumPainter 6 years ago
I would say every time a PRAKTICA BCA
its simple and easy to use, cheap too!! you can get body and lens from my local camera shops from abound £20-£30
plus they are brilliant quality!
Altamont by CallumPainter
Johnny Martyr PRO 6 years ago
K1000 is the way to go. With a 50mm lens.

These cameras are readily available, relatively cheap and very reliable. Many other cameras mentioned here don't meet these basic points that make purchasing and using a first 35mm camera seamless so that the new photog can concentrate on photography instead of equipment issues.

Furthermore, of course the K1000's feature set only includes what the student photographer needs to make an image and learn the basics, no other distracting or timely, model-specific features. This again, allows the new photog to concentrate only only basic photography instead of equipment issues.

On what others base their reasons for suggesting much less available or complicated/quirky cameras is a mystery to me beyond personal tastes.
any 35mm slr camera that has a manual setting and a manual control over ISO speed (some films are not DX coded anymore, so take note of that)

Pentax, Nikon and Canon EOS being popular choices

Minolta, Konica, Canon FD mount, and others should also suffice.
Theis Kofoed Hjorth 6 years ago
I'd say buy an Olympus OM-1. I have loads one cameras these days, but I keep getting back to that one. It's completely out of my way, and it's so easy to work with - smooth shutter, incredibly large and bright viewfinder, delicate shutter sound, comfortable size, not to heavy while build like a tank. I love it to death, and I can only recommend it.

It's more or less always in the hands on my girlfriend these days. She wanted to start shooting film, and I told her to start with it. She is used to the Canon G10, but seams rather ecstatic with the OM-1 :)

Good luck!

Note: I have a Canon A-1 as well - but I'll still recommend the OM-1.
Johnny Martyr PRO Posted 6 years ago. Edited by Johnny Martyr (member) 6 years ago
I have to admit, the OM-1 meets my standards for a student camera that I'd recommend. That and the Nikon FM.
cheap wilderness [deleted] 6 years ago
I decided to get into film photography yesterday, and after a rapid/large amount of searching bought a Spotmatic F. Trying to not be discouraged after reading this thread, because it seems in general to be a decent starter camera. Hope so anyway.
inetjoker PRO 6 years ago
Have fun just make sure you use the right battery. Have fun and don't be afraid to ask any questions.
Johnny Martyr PRO 6 years ago
petoctopus, no need to be discouraged! It's not so much about the camera as how much work you put into using it. So long as you have a camera that works, does full manual and are reading a basic 35mm photography guide, you are in great shape! Besides, the Spotmatic F and K1000 share much of their design and internal mechanisms.

Here's a link to a to a really great basic film photo website. Read it "cover to cover" and you will return great photos!

cheap wilderness [deleted] 6 years ago
Thank you so much! I appreciate the encouragement ^_^
Coneheadkeef PRO 6 years ago
/ The camera is merely a tool. The images whether awesome or otherwise are made by the user.

Of course this is a simplistic statement and we all have our favourite cameras based on preference/experience, but ultimately, the results are more to do with the ability of the person than the camera itself.

I also have the Minolta X-700, in fact I have 2 of them and very good they are as well, especially when teamed with Rokkor MC/MD lenses.

[https://www.flickr.com/photos/petoctopus/] Congrats on the Spotmatic F and no need to be discouraged. It's a fine manual camera. Shoot plenty of film and just enjoy using a classic film camera.
gumanow PRO 6 years ago
Get a camera that takes good pictures. Stay away from those that don't.
Gabain 6 years ago
X-700 is a great and easy to handle camera. I have three and the rokkor glas is great. Additional gear to extend is cheaply available at ebay. With the programmable back you can do exposure up to 8 hours long. You will see a lot of pictures taken with the X700 in my stream. Happy shooting.
ToBo32 PRO 6 years ago
Have just purchased a secondhand Spotmatic II.
I bought my original SII in 1972 and used it steadily for the next 16 years on babies, children, teenagers, all those things parents do. Sold it in 1988 for a Canon EOS650.
When I put a film in and started shooting, it was OOOh so easy. It felt great to have the Spotmatic in my hands again.
Earvin Quero 6 years ago

Im into digital. But when I went to some garage sale I found a minolta srt100 in a box with complete accesories asking for $20 but she gave me for $10! Fucking great deal! But at that time I have no idea that this camera is working so I went to a camera store and they said it works like a horse,it shoots like butter! Now Im enjoying shooting film for about 4 months now. Now I have a canon ae1, pentax p3n and my new baby the yashica mat 124g. Kinda expesive shooting film in California but fuck I enjoy a lot! Check my profile page!
inetjoker PRO 6 years ago
I know how to drive prices down.... I shoot film almost everyday and I have not spent one dime on my hobby in 6 months.
jameswashing10's photo dumping ground... Posted 6 years ago. Edited by jameswashing10's photo dumping ground... (member) 6 years ago
Silver Shade Productions: I'm in California and I don't find shooting film expensive at all. I develop and scan my own black & white film at home, but send color to Samy's to process for $4-$5 then I scan it myself. Film is another thing all together. I keep it cheap by buying Arista for my 35mm and Tri-x and Acros are really cheap in 120. Color film is expensive in comparison. I only shoot 120 color because it is cheaper, but don't use it often because i like developing on my own.
Earvin Quero 6 years ago

Show me the ropes men!
Earvin Quero 6 years ago
jameswashing10's photo dumping ground...:

Where in cali are you?
Silver Shade Productions:

Los Angeles.
Reid, David PRO 6 years ago

I'll answer this because I am a beginner. I shot a little with an old Pentax K1000 that I had inherited. It was fun and got me interested but I couldn't see very well to focus it. I now have a pair of Nikon FEs and I am thoroughly infatuated with them. That said, I'll bet that there are lots of other neat cameras out there to be had and enjoyed.
Gar_Mc PRO 6 years ago
Pentax K1000 is probably the best hands on 35mm SLR and it is all basic in operation. Simple needle type meter and full mechanical control, plus they are very rugged. I've used mine for over 20 years.
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