Types of 35mm Cameras – Fast Guide

Last Updated on January 23, 2022

Types of 35mm Cameras Guide

Types of 35mm Cameras

Types of 35mm Cameras Zeiss Ikon

During the last quarter-century, the 35mm camera has become the most popular choice of both professional and serious amateur photographers.

It’s versatility coupled with its ability to capture many high-quality images on a compact roll of film recommend it for a variety of uses. Developed in the 1920s by the E.Leitz Optical the 35mm cameras today come in models ranging from simple, pocket cameras to complex instruments that can be used with a wide array of auxiliary equipment.

Types of 35mm Cameras

Types of 35mm Cameras

There are two types of 35mm cameras:

1. Rangefinders Cameras

The simplest, smallest, and usually least expensive 35mm cameras are the rangefinder, often called compacts. The chief distinguishing characteristic of these cameras is that the viewfinder optics, used for framing and focusing, are separate from the lens.

For most pictures, the image you see through the viewfinder is the image being recorded on film. When you move in for a close-up, however, the rangefinder lens and viewfinder do not see the same area.

This is called parallax. Although most rangefinders have parallax marks to guide you in this situation, extra caution is needed to avoid inadvertently cropping any part of your subject. Also, since this viewfinder cannot show the effect of changing lenses most rangefinders cameras are designed with a permanently mounted lens.

Types of 35mm Cameras

Types of 35mm Cameras Halina 35X

2. Single-Lens Reflex Cameras (SLR)

The single-lens reflect camera, on the other hand, solves these problems by incorporating a mirror and prism that allows you to view a subject through the same lens that takes the picture. Although this addition makes the camera heavier, more complicated, and as a result, more expensive.

With an SLR, you can use auxiliary wide-angle lenses to encompass large scenes and telephoto lenses to bring distant objects near. Most SLR cameras accept a myriad of accessories for any number of specialized applications, and with each lens or filter, the viewfinder will show you exactly what will be recorded on film.

Both rangefinders and SLRs are available in automatic as well as manual models. Nearly all modern 35mm cameras have a built-in light meter. This device measures the intensity of the light in a scene and indicates when the two exposures variables the shutter speed and the aperture opening, have been adjusted properly for light and for the film you are using.

Types of 35mm Cameras

Ricoh Super KR-10

On a manually operated camera, you must adjust both controls. On most automatics, you set only one and the camera calculates the other and sets it for you.

On the models are known as:

  • Shutter-priority automatics, you set only the shutter speed.
  • Aperture-priority automatics, you adjust only the aperture.

Many automatic also have an override feature that permits you to switch to manual operation. This gives you the freedom to deviate from the meter reading to achieve a special effect or to compensate for an unusual lighting situation.

Types of 35mm Cameras

Zenit EM


Compact Cameras / Point and Shoot camera is basically a basic SLR level camera for passionate non-professional photographers. It has simple functions compared to professional cameras. Most such SLR camera has autofocus feature. Which automatically sets the exposure, aperture and shutter speed. It is usually used for taking snapshots in various functions, events, etc.

Point and Shoot 35mm Film Cameras-Complete Beginners Guide-Visit photoandtips.com

Learn more: How to Load 35mm Film Into an SLR Manual Camera

This camera has zoom lenses fixed with it. These cameras are simply light in weight and are very easy to use. Recently these cameras have been replaced by a smartphone but, according to other pro-level photographers and me suggests a dedicated camera for these type of simple level photography. 

If you are interested in buying a DSLR or searching about mirrorless cameras we have some guides to read and help you to make the right decision.

Buying a 35mm Film Camera Tips & Tricks

When you buy a camera, here are some things to keep in mind:

1 – Do you want the compactness and convenience of a rangefinder or the grater picture-taking potential of a single-lens reflex?

Both use the same films and can give virtually identical results in normal situations. If you shoot only a few rolls a year on vacations and at family gatherings, an inexpensive rangefinder may suit your needs. If you want to experiment with lenses, you should have an SLR.

2 – Do you want an automatics or manually operated model?

Automatics leave you free to concentrate on the subject and composition, while manuals give you more control.

3 – Research what models are available. Talk to other photographers, read photo magazines. Additional features usually cost more. Decide whether you need a top shutter speed of 1/1000 second instead of 1/500 or a maximum lens aperture of 1/2, 1/4 instead of f/2.

4 – If you are getting an SLR you’ll probably want to add lenses and other accessories. Although you may find some good “bargain” prices, the model in question may be phased out and may be incompatible with new gear.

5 – When you’ve narrowed the field to a few models, take ample time to check out the cameras themselves. Are the controls easy for you to operate?

How about with gloves on? Is the viewfinder sufficiently bright for easy focusing? Is the light meter display clearly discernible?

35mm Film Size:

  • 35mm (image size
  • Medium format
  • Large format
  • 127 (image size 40 x 40)
  • 120
  • 110( image size 13 x 17)
  • 220 (for Kodak Brownie)
  • APS (Advanced Photography System) 17 x 30
  • Instant
  • Polaroid Instant
  • Fuji Instax
  • Disc film (made by Kodak)

ISO aka ASA is the sensitivity of the film. ISO starts from 50, 100, 200, 400, 800 or higher.

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