Top Film Cameras for Photographing Weddings

Wedding Tips

Film is back and it’s the best trend to happen in the wedding industry for awhile! Look at the top film cameras to use for photographing weddings and what to use them for.

Canon Ae-1

The Canon AE-1 is a landmark 35mm SLR camera that was first introduced in 1976. Renowned for its reliability, ease of use, and innovative design, it quickly became one of the most popular cameras for both amateur and professional photographers. The AE-1 features an electronically controlled, electromagnet horizontal cloth focal plane shutter, with speeds ranging from 2 to 1/1000 second, plus bulb, and flash sync at 1/60 second. Its shutter priority automatic exposure and manual mode give photographers flexibility and control over their images.

For wedding photography, the Canon AE-1 is a wonderful choice. I personally love this camera, and it is my go-to film camera for wedding days. It has enough settings to use that makes me feel in control, and it allows me to adjust what I need to suit varying lighting conditions. The camera’s depth of field control can produce stunning portraits with beautifully blurred backgrounds too.

A plus of this camera is its ability to use a variety of lenses, such as the 50mm f/1.8 or a 28mm wide-angle. The price point on the AE-1 is on the lower end as far as technical film cameras go, so this makes it a great camera to start on your journey of film with weddings!


The Holga is a medium format 120 film camera, first introduced in Hong Kong in the 1980s. It has become famous for its low-fidelity aesthetic, characterized by its simple construction, plastic lens, and minimal controls. Typically, it offers a single shutter speed, a few aperture settings, and a zone focus system. The Holga’s images are known for their soft focus, vignetting, light leaks, and other distortions, which have been embraced by photographers for the dreamlike, nostalgic qualities they can impart to images.

In wedding photography, the Holga can be used to great effect to create unique, moody, and evocative images that stand out from the sharpness and precision of digital photography. Be aware that this camera is not even going to give you a crisp-like film image, as it is very faded. Think of this cameras images as using the “plastic bag trick” but of film.

Using a Holga for wedding photography can complement traditional photography methods, offering a creative alternative that captures the day’s memories in a distinctive and memorable way. My favorite use of the Holga camera is for guests on the dance floor. Yes, you heard me right! I give my Holga to guests on the dance floor and let them go crazy with it. At a very low price point of $39.99, I don’t get too worried if it were to break! Another alternative for extra gallery flair is buying throw away cameras. It’s a fantastic way to get more candids without putting your expensive gear in the hands of wedding guests!

Canon AF 35mm II, “Autoboy”

The Canon AF35M II, also known as the “Autoboy” in Japan, is a compact 35mm film camera that was introduced in the early 1980s. It features an improved automatic focusing system compared to its predecessor, the AF35M, and includes a 38mm f/2.8 lens. This camera is known for its simple point-and-shoot operation, making it accessible for users of all skill levels. The lens quality is quite good for a compact camera, providing sharp images with nice contrast.

As for the cost, vintage film cameras like the Canon AF35M II can vary in price depending on their condition and where you purchase them. Typically, they can be found in the range of $100 to $200 on online marketplaces, vintage camera shops, or through collectors. My favorite place to buy film and film cameras is Cute Camera Co.

On a wedding day, the Canon AF35M II can be a delightful tool for intimate aspects of the celebration. Its compact size and ease of use make it ideal for carrying around throughout the day without the bulk and weight of larger SLR cameras. Photographers might use it to capture the natural flow of events, from the morning preparations to bridal party photos. The only downside of this camera is that it is not super quick to capture, and the shutter is delayed by about a half a second. This means that you should really only use it in moments of opportunity where you have time, like portraits or details. It is definitely not for fast reception dancing, or a ceremony kiss.

The Canon AF35M II is a great option for wedding photographers looking for a simple, effective, and unobtrusive camera to capture authentic and memorable moments of the day. Its cost-effectiveness also makes it an attractive choice for those wanting to include the unique aesthetic of film photography in their work. A great beginner film camera for the photographer who wants to start using film!

Contax g2

The Contax G2 is a high-end 35mm rangefinder camera, renowned for its precision, superior build quality, and exceptional lens performance. Introduced in the 1990s as an advancement over the Contax G1, the G2 features improved autofocus speed and accuracy, manual focus override, and a wider range of shutter speeds.

The cost of a Contax G2 can be quite high, reflecting its status as a premium camera. Prices vary widely based on condition, included lenses, and accessories, but typically range from $1,000 to $3,000 or more on the used market. The G2 also offers some accessories, such as flash depending on where you buy it from.

For wedding photography, the Contax G2 excels in capturing sharp, detailed images with its high-quality optics. The camera’s autofocus system is beneficial for fast-paced wedding environments, allowing photographers to capture fleeting moments with clarity and ease. The G2 is also relatively compact for a professional-grade camera, making it easier to handle throughout a long wedding day.

The exceptional image quality produced by the Contax G2, combined with the distinctive look of film, can give wedding photos a classic, timeless appeal. Its manual features and focus system also allow for creative control, making it suitable for capturing both candid moments and more composed, artistic shots.

Canon EOS 1V

The Canon EOS-1V is a high-end 35mm film SLR camera, the last professional film SLR released by Canon in 2000. Known for its rugged durability and fast performance, the EOS-1V features an advanced autofocus system with up to 45 focus points, weather-sealed construction, and a maximum shutter speed of 1/8000 second, making it a super reliable choice for professional photographers. This camera is also amazing for photographers who like to have lots of control over their settings, and allows for more learning about film settings in general.

As for the cost, the Canon EOS-1V varies in price depending on its condition and whether it’s being sold with any accessories or lenses. Generally, the price for a used EOS-1V ranges from around $200 to $600, with mint condition models potentially fetching higher prices. This is around middle tier for film cameras!

The EOS-1V can be exceptionally valuable on a wedding day due to its speed, reliability, and the versatility of the Canon EF lens mount, which allows photographers to use a wide range of lenses to capture different perspectives and styles. This means you can use some of you DSLR lenses on this camera! It’s honestly very cool to have apart of your collection. The camera’s fast autofocus and high frame rate are ideal for capturing fast paced moments, such as the exchange of vows, the first dance, or lively reception festivities.

Each of these top film cameras are ones that I would recommend for a wedding day, and use myself! If you are in search of a film photographer, let’s chat! I would love to hear about your wedding day vision, or explore more of my work.

with love,
Rachel Maloney