Film Photography For Dummies

In a world of Facetune and Instagram filters, many people have found themselves wanting to revert back to the natural, special look and feel of film photography.

The most popular choices for film camera nowadays are the classic polaroid or disposable camera. These are easy to use and a great way to get started.

Advanced Film Photography

To learn about more advanced film photography, we met up with Brazilian photographer Theo Paul in Shanghai. Theo has been shooting film since 2011 and has traveled to and photographed over 100 countries. Scroll down to see some of his top recommendations and see some of his work with film.

Olympus Mju II

"This is one of the best point and shoot film cameras on the market. The price just keeps going up because they aren't producing it anymore."

Contax T2 & T3

"This is another good option for an automatic film camera that you can start using right away."

Nikon F80 With 35-70mm Lens (Secondhand)

"Alternatively, you can find yourself a cheap camera body with interchangeable lenses and splurge on a nicer lens."

Nikon FM II Semi-Automatic Camera

"When you feel more confident with color, processing and how your photos look after they are developed, you can move on to a semi-automatic camera. Study the speed, aperture, and develop a basic understanding of how to use the camera. These skills won't come quickly!"

Hasselblad 503CW+CF80/2.8 Medium Format Camera

"This is a good camera and it was surprisingly easy to learn how to use it."

Pentax 67 Medium Format Camera

"This is the next level of film photography, and these cameras require medium format film."


"I recommend buying one of each and trying them all out. Then decide what look you like the most, as every film has a different coloring. Be sure to try black and white, although it can be slightly more expensive to develop as it's requires a more manual process to develop. Try shooting the same thing, in the same lighting conditions with different films for the best measurement of how they vary in color and contrast."


Cam-In Camera Strap

"Thicker straps can be painful to use all day long and offer limited mobility. Cam-In straps are long, waterproof and won't get dirty or smelly with a lot of use."

INCASE Camera Pro Backpack

"This bag's opening rests against your back, so nobody can open it and steal anything valuable. It's perfect for traveling."

Herschel Supply Waist Bag

"I don't need too many pockets. When I am out taking photographs, all I bring is this bag. It lets me access my camera quickly and easily."

Find Theo on Instagram @theopaul or at Theo also walks around Shanghai and takes photos of the film cameras he finds on the streets! Instagram @chinacamerastyle

For the best resources, Theo recommends looking up the camera or lens model you are interested in on Instagram or Flickr to see photographs other people have taken with it. For other information, check YouTube or Camerpedia. And most importantly, go out there and have fun while you take photos!

Here is some of Theo's film photography work from his trip to Iran this past Chinese New Year holiday. All images were shot with a Nikon F80 and Nikon 28mm F2.8 lens.