Q&A: Rangefinder vs. SLR for Street Photography

by Buffalo Bob on September 4, 2014

Hi! So I’m a 15 year old teen beginner photographer and I’m thinking of buying my first film camera. I’m quite confused on which one to get a rangefinder or a SLR camera?

Also which models would you recommend?

And which would be the best for street and portrait photography. Thank you! Love your website!

-Bishwa

Bishwa, the ideal choice for both street and portrait photography would be a rangefinder, such as a Leica.

However, these cameras and their lenses are extremely expensive.

What I would recommend is going on Craig’s List or eBay and buying an inexpensive Nikon or Canon film 35mm SLR kit to get started on. People practically give them away) and will help you learn to shoot on film as you figure out what kind of camera is best for you. Just look for a basic model with a 50mm lens — you should be able to find something for less than $100.

For film, I would go with Kodak Portra 400.

It’s a gorgeous color film that works well in most types of light, and which looks beautiful when scanned and converted to black & white.

And if you want to go straight black & white, Kodak Tri-X is a classic for good reason.

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