35mm format SLR camera

Posted in Photography Articles by Diana Eftaiha on September 7, 2010

35mm format SLR camera use roll film with an picture dimension of 24X36 mm, which is the least format currently these days used in the professional market. The small format indicates that the camera body is smaller and lighter in weight than medium format or viewcameras , and that is why it is the most mobile of all three .

Using gear of this size means that you can carry around a huge set in a small, light case. There is a huge range of lenses and accessories available, and the whole system will contain the very latest developments in the industry.

The absolute majority of cameras in the 35mm format SLR camera market are single lens reflex (SLR) cameras, although the format also encompasses compactcameras and rangefinders.

35mm format SLR camera probably represent the best value for money because prices are highly competitive. They sell to a huge market of photographers (both professional and amateurs), and the 35 mm format is the one that has moved furthest away from traditional mechanical operation towards more and more electronic control, on-board processing and in some cases complete automation.


In more recent days a type of hybrid cameras, the Semi-professional, more recently known as the “Prosumer” (Professional possessr) camera has appeared. These SLRs tend to have more of the features of the professional ranges, but are cheaper and targeted at the serious amateur. Often, the lower-ranking price results in a lower build quality and lens performance, and tend to be more programmable offering more automatic features. These models are updated quite rapidly, and bristle with every imaginable feature. This is sometimes more to upstage competitor brands than to improve your photography.

One of the of value features 35mm format SLR camera tend to include as standard is through-the-lens (TTL) exposure metering. This, of course, means that the whole imaging process is faster than it would be if separate exposure metering was required. TTL means that metering can be performed while looking through the viewfinder and in many cases, the camera controls are designed to be easily adjusted accordingly. Modern SLRs often include a number of TTL metering modes, such as center-weighting and spot metering, and with knowledge and experience every shot you take can be correctly exposed. This is a factor that really defines how the cameras are used; they are portable, all-in-one units, allowing the user to capture fleeting shots without spending a long time setting up their gear. Although they may indeed be used in a studio setting, they are also designed for all other types of photography and they far exceed the other formats in their versatility.
Many 35mm format SLR camera ranges also include dedicated flash units and at the more expensive end, these may include TTL flash metering. Later models of independent flash units may also be adapted to use the TTL metering systems of 35mm format SLR camera. This is a huge plus when using on-camera flash and is particularly useful in photojournalism.

Because of the small image format, lenses for 35mm format SLR camera systems are the shortest, with a standard lens of focal length 50 mm, telephoto lenses longer than this, wide-angle lenses beginning at around 24 mm and supernumerary wide-angle lenses at 20 mm and below.

Depth of field is affected by a number of factors, such as focusing blank space, aperture (f-stop), and lens focal length. Shorter lens focal lengths produce a bigger depth of field, especially useful when subjects are close. Another important characteristic of shorter focal length lenses is wider realizable maximum apertures (f/1.0–f/1.4 at the more expensive end of the 35mm format SLR camera market), therefore the lenses are also faster. The result of this is that they are the most versatile in low light conditions. The smaller camera size means that they are already the most portable, but with faster lenses, they are also the easiest to hand-hold in existing light, meaning that fewer accessories such as tripods and additional lighting may be substantive. Large apertures also allow the selection of faster shutter speeds to freeze motion, particularly important in areas such as people and sports photography.

As previously mentioned, modern 35mm format SLR cameras tend to rely heavily on electronics to control everything from exposure metering, film winding, ISO setting, exposure compensation and bracketing to advanced program automated modes. A downside of this is the possibility of camera failure either as a result of failure of the power supply, or because of a fault in on-board circuitry, which can be expensive to outperform. unreasonable control buttons or, alternatively, total automation can also stand in the way of serious work. The many mode options and viewfinder signals get in the way, even lead you into errors – maybe through mis-selection or distraction by data displays at the key moment of some prize shot. Any camera for advanced amateur or professional work must also offer complete manual control. You need to have the assurance that you can take over and prefer your settings to get the result required, including special final results.

A fully automated camera is well worth considering however, for fast, candid photography (including situations where you must shoot over your head in a crowd). Auto-focusing can be useful, particularly if panning and focusing on a moving subject, but it is important to remember how power-consuming continuous focusing is. There can also be a tendency for the focus to slip between different subjects and it can sometimes be easier to change focus manually. The more sophisticated models have a range of auto-focus zones inside the frame, which are useful if the subject is off-center. Some of the highest quality (and of course most expensive) lenses have supersonic image stabilizers to scrap camera shake which can result in a huge melioration in image quality and sharpness, but as this is also a form of continuous auto-focusing, they will consume more power shortening battery life

It is important to remember that these cameras are only artificially well-grounded. For practice, they go for the greatest depth of field in bright light conditions, and they can easily be focusing on, or exposing for, the falsely part of the scene. So make sure that there are ready to hand(p) reading lock facilities for auto-focus and for TTL metering. Other features you may well rate as essential for any SLR camera include a stop-down button to preview your actual depth of field with all preset aperture lenses.

Because film structure is the same regardless of frame size or format, noise is another business. Film grain is the result of either specks of silver (black and white) or clouds of color being formed in the emulsion layers during processing. When magnified for printing, beyond a certain level, film grain becomes more and more visible. The random structure of film grain can be used for creative effect, but it can also demean the image appearance in terms of sharpness and noise. The size of developed grain is also a limiting factor in the resolution of the film, or its ability to record fine detail. Relative to a 35mm frame size, film grain will be much larger than it is in the larger formats. 35mm format SLR camera film therefore has the lowest effective resolution of the three (35mm format SLR camera, medium format, and view cameras) which means that if enlarged to the same size , the images will be less sharp, noise will be more manifest and generally they appear to be of lower quality. Scratches and blemishes will also be much larger when the film is printed, and often more difficult to take away. The lower image quality may be problematic if the images are enlarged much beyond 8 x 10 inches (203 x 220 mm), however other factors can compensate for this, such as variations in the processing chemicals, and also in the distance at which the prints are to be viewed.

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