The 10 Best 35mm Film Cameras from Beginner to Expert

Hasselblad XPan

Skill Level: Advanced
Release Date: 1998

Last but not least, we have the Xpan, a weird and wonderful panoramic 35mm film camera that’s impressive and highly specific. In the 1990s, Fujifilm and Hasselblad—two giants—decided that, together, they should try their hand at making a 35mm panoramic camera. It almost seems like they built it just to prove that they could; attractive to landscape and street photographers, the Hasselblad XPan can shoot standard 35mm ratio images but specializes in producing long, thin 1:2.7 aspect ratio panoramic photographs—making it incredible, wonderful, unique, and just about the world’s worst camera for Instagram. For many, it remains a dream camera due to its limited use and out-of-reach price point. But in the hands of an experienced photographer, this machine can produce some incredible results that are as unique as the machine itself.

Average Price on eBay (2024): $4,650 ($3,000 body only)

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What is the best 35mm film camera of all time?

The Leica M6 is often considered the best 35mm camera of all time due to its exceptional build quality, manual precision, and enduring popularity among photographers. A close second is a tie between the Canon AE-1 and the Pentax K1000, both mechanical SLRs from the hayday of analog film photography. The Nikon FM2 deserves a shout out here, too.

What are the sharpest 35mm film?

Among the film stocks still available today, the sharpest 35mm films include Fujifilm Velvia 50, Kodak Ektar 100, and Ilford Delta 100. These films are renowned for their fine grain and high resolution. Personally, I like Ektar 100 and Portra 400. Check out our guide to 35mm film to dive in deeper.

Do professional photographers use 35mm film?

Yes, though it depends on their niche. Many high profile professional fashion photographers shoot 35mm and medium format film. It’s increasingly popular among professional wedding photographers, too. The only category where film is no longer used is sports photography, by and large. Though as you can see from our photo essay section, many adventure and landscape photographers still do love to shoot film.