Using 35mm Film from a (somewhat) Beginners Perspective.

Using 35mm Film from a (somewhat) Beginners Perspective.

By Emily Richardson

35mm film is the new craze and I have jumped onto the bandwagon. I have no shame and definitely no regrets for following the ‘trend’. After switching to a 35mm film camera almost full-time it only seems right for me to talk about my transition and how easy it was so the next wannabe-film-user reading this can get to know the ropes. 

Taken on my very first roll of Kodak Colourplus 200 – Berlin, January 2020.

First things first, it is so easy to use. Yes, it may be on the expensive side now, but the results are worth it. As a relatively new beginner to analogue photography, I was recommended to look for a significantly more modern 35mm camera that had an automatic feature to it. The automatic setting is helpful for those who struggle using the manual setting. This can be quite tricky at first but having the automatic as a backup is a lot more reliable for a new learner. For myself, when I first began, I found using the manual setting quite hard to get right. Nevertheless, I still use the automatic setting most days. 

After browsing online and speaking to my fellow photography friends, I decided to buy a Canon EOS 300. Luckily, I was able to locate one second-hand, on Depop. In my opinion, Depop is the best place to look for film cameras for a decent price. I bought mine for £40 and it arrived with a camera bag too. Ever since this purchase, I have only picked up my digital camera on rare occasions nor have I felt the need to upgrade to a different film camera. I have included a couple of Depop shops below that I have purchased from before and recommend.

@loafcameras –

@filmcamerastore –

Choosing the right film for your camera is easy enough and I would encourage to experiment with different brands, but I also recommend watching videos and read reviews online about the different brands to see which you like the best. I suggest subscribing to ‘Negative Feedback’ on YouTube as his content is incredibly reliable, informative and all about using film. Personally, I like using Kodak Colourplus 200 or 400. As a student I have found that it is affordable, and I also like the warm tones it adds to the frame once developed. As for black and white film, a classic Ilford HP5 Plus 400 is my go-to as I now know how to develop it myself. However, I much prefer colour film, but each to their own.

Negative Feedback YouTube link –

If you are located in Manchester and looking for a place that develops film, you must visit Advanced Photo found along John Dalton Street – a short walk from St Peter’s Square. The tiny shop offers a friendly face and 1-hour processing. Lately, Advanced Photo has become my second home as I seem to revisit the familiar shopfront a lot more than before. With multiple different ways to receive developed film, the scans and service are amazing. Advanced Photo also offers many other facilities such as printing on numerous different objects as well as selling film and do not hesitate to ask for help and advice as they are always willing to be of assistance. 

Advanced Photo – 25 John Dalton St, Manchester M2 6FW

Taken with my Canon EOS 300 on Kodak Colourplus 200 – Manchester, April 2021.

To conclude, 35mm film is a lot easier to get into than it appears to be. Get yourself on Depop, buy a couple rolls of film and just go out and fun with your mates. In my opinion, the best kind of photos are the ones taken in the moment and there is no screen to see if your hair looked alright. Film is for the unexpected nights and the anticipation to see the developed images a few days later is exhilarating. It forces you to live in the present without the unnecessary need to see the images straightaway. I was sceptical at first, and even though my bank account is slightly suffering, it is 100% worth it. Have fun with film, you don’t need to be a stuck-up photographer to get involved.