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I want to buy a used 35 mm camara so what type of camera do I need for learning the basics of photography?

I know cannon and nikon are good brands but I don't know anything else. Also what type of lenses should I get. I have never owned a 35mm and I don't know much about them except I love to take pictures with them.


I know I want a manual ( thank you to answer number 1) but what do I need on it. (metering meter) i mean really just don't know.

Update 2:

also maybe a sugestion of the type on model would be nice.

Update 3:

Its called a SLR camera that I'm interested in.

16 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    get one with manual focus and manual exposure. you cant learn photography with an automatic camera. i decent 30-200 or similar zoom would be good for a start since lenses are expensive.

  • Ara57
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    The price for used 35mm bodies has really plummeted, so this is a great time to get your setup.

    Canon or Nikon are the obvious choices, not only for their overall quality, but also for the vast array of lenses and accessories. I am a Nikon user, so I would recommend a Nikon F100 body, with a 50mm 1.8 lens to start. The F100 can be found in mint condition for around $400, maybe less. Check for used equipment of all sorts.

    And the 50mm lens new is about $100, maybe the best bargain in any camera lens anywhere!

    The F100 does not have a built in flash, so a used SB28 or maybe an SB600. (I use the SB600 and a 50DX on my F100, they are also fully compatible with the Nikon DSLRs.)

    There are many other good models to choose from, the F100 is a pro level camera, it is heavier than some because it is built like a tank. You might also consider an F90, F80, N6006 or N8008.

    These are all autofocus, but you can use them manually if desired. And the settings can be all automatic or completely manual, which you want for learning photography. If you want a manual camera, the FM3a is the latest model, now discontinued and getting rather pricey. Nikon has several older FM camera lines that are also manual.

    Many people started with a Pentax K1000 or Canon A1 or AE-1. Those cameras are well aged now, I think I would try for something a little newer.

    The now discontinued F4 and F5 are professional cameras with oodles of features.

    Good luck!

  • 1 decade ago

    1. If I were you I would by a digital camera. Good digital reflex cameras are Nikon, Canon, Sony etc. but you should be aware of the technology. Canon cameras use CMOS technology, which produces by all means the best sensor and image processor. Personally I own a Canon EOS 350D, the quality of the image and the colours is amazing!

    2. What about features ? Well, they all have everything that can be of use. Artist and automatic modes, bracking modes for white balance, cascade (3 to 5 shots per second) etc...

    3. Optics is a difficult choice but, unless you are a pro 'in which case you wouldn't ask this question anyway) the standard Canon 28-70 mm zoom does it very well (don't forget: you multiply by 1.4 to get the equivalent focals for argentic cameras).

    Personally I bought a kit with a 28-70 zoom and a 70-200 zoom. I sold the latter on eBay because I never got any use of it. Unless you are a bird watcher, of course.

    Buy it yourself for Christmas, and good photography !

    P.S. With the Canon camera you get a free copy of Photoshop.

  • Tony
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    A whole generation of us learned on a Pentax K1000..but to be honest, these days I would buy a Canon digital rebel or one of the low number Nikon D's (D40 or D50). You can get used ones from or on ebay. Learning on a digital SLR will speed up the learning curve.

    If you really want to start with film, than I would go for the venerable completely manual K1000 which can still be found used for a little over $100.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Look for a nice used Canon AE1, it is a workhorse of a camera and had the manual settings you are looking for. You don't need any fancy lenses, a 50mm lens is good, and maybe something like an 85-135 or so which gives you some depth options.

    You can buy used at a photo store, those usually have been cleaned and any repairs and/or adjustments. or something like on

    ebay with a flash and some accessories:

    that one looks good, but you can check a local photo store as well.

    but like i said, buy used as you will soon find out you might want to move onto something else. Oh-and you will find a huge group of photographers who swear by Nikon and another huge group that are Canon people. You will have to figure that out for yourself as to what you like.

  • 1 decade ago

    Out come the NIkon and Canon brigade in force, but they ignore the fact that the asker is a novice and most Nikon and Canon cameras (even film!) are to advanced to learn on! I would suggest you look for a used Pentax, K1000, P30 or similiar. They are totally basic, manual cameras but ones which will allow you control as you learn. There are also literally 1000s of used lenses out there for sale very cheaply. Don't forget all Pentax lenses fit all Pentax cameras - even the old screw mount lenses can be used with adapters

  • Bob
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    For a nice viewpoint check out this link:


    My favorite is the OM-1 though. You've got to handle one to truly appreciate what a landmark camera it was. Start with a 28mm ,50mm, and a 85-100mm range of lenses. If you go the zoom route the old Kiron 28-85mm is a fantastic yet affordable lens. Hard to beat in the price quality range.

  • 1 decade ago

    I would go for a Nikon F 100.They will take older manual focus Nikkor AI,AI-S lens, and if want a Digital camera latter, they too will take the same lens.

    These so call advance camera that rdeng_ma are referring to are just as easy to operate as Pentax K cameras, but have more features then the K

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Go to the web and look up photography and learn from the pros. There are articles on the subject from professional photographers. There is a learning site as well, just search through the web and find some of those sites and you should find it. Or go to ebay and look up used cameras and see what they show you as an offer. The 70 to one zoom lens is especially nice. The macro ability as well, and then make sure you have pixel abilities too.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If you’re looking for the best SLR 35mm film camera money can buy for learning purposes and you're also looking for a very reliable and versatile film camera, nothing beats a Nikon N80 with the Nikkor AF 28-105mm f/3.5-5.6D lens for beginners and advanced beginners and semi-pros (great and reliable back-up camera, too). You won't find another camera with the same features and robust build for the price as the Nikon N80 SLR film camera.

    Once you set the Nikon N80 on manual mode, it is no different than those older manual cameras but once you learn how to operate a manual camera, you may also want to move up to a little automation... and the camera will perform to its well known excellent standards, too.

    I've found a few N80 cameras and the suggested lenses at the best prices at: and my friends and relatives who are all still using film, NOT digital cameras. The prices are the most competitive, the ratings very conservative and the personnel is very courteous

    The N80 is also very popular amongst those taking formal photography classes because it can be used manually (you set the aperture and the shutter speed with either auto-focus or manual focus), semi-automatic (either in aperture priority or shutter speed priority; with manual focus OR auto-focus), or in total automatic mode where it sets the aperture and shutter speed, either auto-focus or manual focus. The N80 sets the film's ISO for you automatically, and advance the film as you take an image and rewind the roll as you take the last image. The N80 is ergonomically made and is a sturdy camera with a no-nonsense feel and also has three metering modes (center-weighted, spot metering as well as 3-D matrix metering). The options and features are similar to the more expensive pro-level camera, Nikon F100, but at a much more affordable price tag for a sturdy and ergonomically built camera.

    I recommend the Nikkor AF 28-105mm f/3.5-5.6D zoom lens, the most versatile lenses put out by Nikon, which can be used as a wide angle, a regular lens, a portrait lens, a short telephoto lens and as a macro-lens, too. Nikkor lenses are known for their superior build and superior glass formula. An alternative lens is the Nikkor AF 35-105mm f/3.5-5.6D(macro) lens, a bit older, more affordable but equally as good.

    If, you can also afford to get the Nikkor AF 50mm f/1.8D lens (about $70-$75 used), you will also have an excellent emergency lens for low-light situations that is easy to carry and will save the day when you most need a fast lens; this lens is also good for portraits and yields tremendous image detail quality.

    You will NOT outgrow this camera nor the recommended lenses anytime soon. The features are there to help you, not to confuse you and they are easy to find and use; an additional feature is the on-demand grid lines to help you keep the horizon level when shooting landscapes and/or seascapes (I keep the grid lines on at all times on both of my N80 camera bodies).

    Be sure to also get the instructions manual and Hogan's book on the N80, which is also very, very handy and most helpful. Check out this site:

    When you buy a camera, you're buying into a lens system for future purchases, and some camera brands change their lens mount every few years, which limits the camera owner and his/her creative needs; Nikon has NOT changed its lens mount since 1959 and has no plans on changing it, either. So, you can, basically, mount any lens made since 1959 and those to be made in the future, with the only restrictions that you cannot get auto-focus from manual lenses or metering from those without the contacts to send info back and forth to the camera. The importance of some camera brands is the availability of lenses for future creative needs, and both Canon and Nikon have a huge selection of lenses for you to buy either new or used. You will want or need other lenses as you learn and develop your skills.

    Lenses normally outlast cameras unless submerged in water or dropped on a hard surface or deliberately abused/misused; so, don't hesitate to buy a used if the lens is good quality (no dents or obvious signs of abuse/misuse) from a reputable place.

    If you're not sure on what camera to get, go to any camera shop and ask to see the N80 and compare it with any other camera brand/model you may be considering; hold them both in your hands and look through the viewfinder and see which feels more comfortable in your hands. Then, go to and see what you find there and be ready to buy the minute you see what you like because their merchandise doesn't stay on their shelves very long. If you don't see what you like, go back every few days until you find it (they get new merchandise every day).

    Some people hear "Nikon" or "Canon" and immediately think, "Expensive camera." Well, yes, both of these companies DO make a few expensive professional level cameras but they also make affordable consumer level cameras, like the inexpensive point-and-shoot pocket cameras, as well as affordable cameras for the avid, discriminating amateur enthusiasts with limited resources, and a few cameras for the advanced or semi-pro photographers and a few professional level cameras that do cost considerably more.

    I own two Nikon N80 camera bodies which I use for everyday walking around purposes, and I have many friends and relatives that also use the same N80 camera bodies with the Nikkor AF 28-105mm lens or the Nikkor AF 28-80mm lens or the Nikkor AF 35-105mm lens and I also own two pro-level Nikon F5 camera bodies.

    Good luck and best wishes. Happy holidays!

  • 1 decade ago

    Why 35mm? You have to keep paying and paying for development of film. I have a Nikon N90 in excellent condition which you may have very cheaply. The reason is that I have not used it for years.

    One photo from my Nikon D50 DSLR has been blown up almost 4' wide and it looks fabulous!

    I am digital only these days.

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