35mm camera for shooting slides? What do you use?

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)

#1
So before it's gone completely, I would like to shoot some slide film. It seems good 35mm cameras are dirt cheap anymore as everyone has gone digital. So what kind of camera do you all use/recommend? Will any 35mm film camera shoot slide film? I have a Cannon EOS digital camera that I shoot with now, and am thinking that Cannon is where I would like to stay with, but I don't know, you tell me.

Thanks for the input!:)
 
#2
Newer EOS lenses will work on Canon film bodies...you can find high end cameras with lots of features like the EOS 3 (kind of the equivalent to today's 5D) for under $200. If you don't mind things like a piss-poor focusing system and screen, the old rebel series is quite cheap - it doesn't make any difference to the image quality, but I didn't enjoy using my rebel G for the few rolls I put through it. Looked great, but using it wasn't. Another option are the Elan series, I have used an Elan 7 for a number of years before selling it (to get an EOS 3) and it's a great midrange camera.

Hell, I still have the rebel G if you'll pay shipping plus $40 :p
 

Sinamox

loading...please wait.
#3
With slides it's all about the film and lens. Camera features and build quality help with faster drives, better metering, focusing, etc. But the cheapest camera body can still take equally good photos. The only requirement is full manual control of shutter speed and aperture.

With print film, the lab corrects minor exposure errors when they make your prints. But with slide film, if you want it to look perfect you need to get the exposure correct in the camera. Auto exposure is often wrong and you will have to learn to control it manually. If you currently rely on auto exposure and/or have to check your shots to set the exposure you may have disappointing initial results. Spend some time shooting your digital in manual mode to learn exposure times. You’ll find shooting trains in direct sun is easy because it’s always the same subject with the same light source. With ASA 100 film in full daylight you can just set 1/500 f7.1 and go.

Since you’re a Cannon EOS digi guy then get a Cannon EOS film body. But if your current lenses are designed for use only with (APS-C) 24mm sensor cameras they will not have the coverage for full frame 36mm film. You’ll need to get lenses, at least a 50mm “normal” lens. The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 is good and cheap. Any full frame lens you purchase will add to the capabilities of your digi camera system as well. Alternately you can look for a deal on a full kit of camera and lenses in one of the systems that never went digital. Such as the Minolta or Canon manual focus. The Minolta Rokkor lenses are awesome, but the camera bodies are often cheap junk.

If this is just for fun, than pick up some Sensia or an Extachrome and have fun. If you’re serious, the best option still available is Fuji Provia 100F. It has good color fidelity and resolves finer than any of Canon’s digital cameras. It has been my replacement for Kodachrome 25. It lacks the dynamic range and sharpness of the Kodachrome but Kodachrome is dead. Fuji Velvia is very fine and very popular with landscape film shooters but its dramatic high saturation make it look odd and fake for traditional rail photos.

People say film is too expensive. If you shoot dozens of rolls of crap than yes, but shoot conservatively and it’s vastly cheaper than spending thousands on high-end digi bodies. That being said, I think I’m done with film in 35mm. I finally pulled my Nikon F5 out of the camera bag. It has been displaced by a couple of those expensive digi things. In medium and of course large format sizes, film is still King. Medium format digitals are tens of thousands and still inferior to a $4 roll of film. Today you can still get Provia and Velvia in 8x10” sheets at $10 a shot. When film production is no longer economically viable we will have to wait for a 20gigapixel camera to catch up.

Ok, sorry for the rant. Digital is great but there’s a reason high-end film is still hanging on. Go shoot some and help keep it in production.

-----
 
#4
With print film, the lab corrects minor exposure errors when they make your prints. But with slide film, if you want it to look perfect you need to get the exposure correct in the camera.
This is very important. Slide film is the least forgiving format there is. If you don't expose it perfectly, it's extremely difficult to recover - print film (C-41 process) can be off by up to a couple stops and still look great. True black and white film can be off even further. E-6 process slides, though...learn to meter and don't expect to fix it up later!

Since you’re a Cannon EOS digi guy then get a Cannon EOS film body. But if your current lenses are designed for use only with (APS-C) 24mm sensor cameras they will not have the coverage for full frame 36mm film.
D'oh! As someone who has a full frame camera, I often forget this when giving advice. It's easy to tell, though - an EF lens will fit any camera, and an EF-S lens will only fit cropped sensor digital bodies, such as a rebel or 60D. If you're not sure, check the dot that you line up when mounting the lens - if it's a red circle, it's EF, if it's a white square, it's EF-S.
 

Pat

Photo Critiques Welcome
#5
I started shooting with a Minolta Hi-Matic 7 which was a mid-60’s range finder 35mm with a 45mm f2 lens, manual focus and the choice of manual or one automatic exposure mode. From there to a used Nikon FM, an SLR with manual focus, manual exposure but with built in light meter. Then a used FG, again manual focus, but with both auto or manual exposure.

I was still shooting the FG when I made the transition into digital. Looking back at what I shot 20 years ago I can say the advanced features of the modern camera are certainly great to have. But I had as much fun 20 years ago with used manual focus bodies as I can today with far more money tied up in the camera bag. Find something in decent shape with decent glass and give slides a go. You’ll find slides a tighter on correct exposure than digital.

If you’re after the full film experience, see if you can find a school or art center that has photography classes and a darkroom. Processing your own film and making your own prints is worth doing, even if only for the experience.
 



RailroadForums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

Top