I’ve shot a lot of different film cameras over the last 7 years but I rarely get to shoot a new film camera. This was an interesting one!
The Kodak H35 is a half-frame camera that takes 35mm film. It’s so popular because you get twice as many pictures from the H35 than you do with a normal camera, thus saving you a lot of money!
I’m going to cover everything you need to know about the Kodak H35: How to use it, what I think of it, is it worth it, how to take better pictures with it and much more!
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The Kodak H35 is really similar to the Kodak Ultra F9. The key difference between the Kodak Ultra F9 and Kodak H35 is that the Kodak H35 is a half-frame camera, so you’ll get twice as many pictures per roll of film.
|Kodak Ektar H35|
|Aperture||F – 9.5|
|Focus Range||1M – ∞|
|Film Transport||Manual wind and rewind|
|Flash Reload Time||Built-in Flash Push Switch – 15s recycle|
|Lens||22mm – 2 Element|
These specs are pretty basic, similar to that of a disposable camera. But if you’re going to buy a new film camera then I think you may as well go for this one.
The Kodak Ektar H35 VS The Kodak Ultra F9
|Aperture||F – 9.5||F9|
|Focus Range||1M – ∞||1M – ∞|
|Film Transport||Manual wind and rewind||Manual wind and rewind|
|Flash Reload Time||Built-in Flash Push Switch – 15s recycle||Built-in Flash Push Switch – 15s recycle|
|Lens||22mm – 2 Element||31mm|
As you can see, there’s very little difference between these two cameras. The ultra F9 has a slightly faster shutter speed and 0.5 difference in aperture. These differences wouldn’t be noticeable.
Possibly the only difference that would be noticeable is the focal length. The ultra F9 has a 31mm lens, which is quite wide but pretty average for a point-and-shoot camera. Whereas the Kodak H35 has a 22mm lens, which is quite a bit wider. This isn’t really a problem, it’s more a case of personal preference.
Also, there’s a £12 price difference but I don’t see this as a problem, the H35 will immediately save that money for you once you start shooting with it. Most camera film costs at least £12 and sometimes much more these days, but you’ll get twice as many shots with the H35, so it’s cutting all of your film and developing costs in half immediately!
Finally, you may wonder about picture quality. I honestly don’t see that there’s a significant difference because the quality of shots from an Ultra F9 is already quite low since it’s one of the most basic film cameras that you can get. The H35 is basically exactly the same it just has a smaller frame size so it’s technically a lower-quality scan. I genuinely do not think this really affects anything with these cameras though.
My Experience Shooting The Kodak H35
I knew the Kodak H35 was going to be a pretty basic 35mm point-and-shoot camera when I bought it, all the quality of a disposable camera but it’s reusable.
I honestly kind of like the overall aesthetic of the H35, it’s got a nice vintage feel, and I think they decided to go for something similar to the old Kodak Instamatic.
It’s as easy to use as a camera can get, I’ll cover all of that a bit later (you can use the table of contents at the top to find out specific things quickly). However, I did realise that I’d forgotten to bring batteries when I first took it out, rookie mistake!
Personally, I liked shooting with the H35. Don’t get me wrong, you’re under no illusion that you’re shooting a high quality camera but for what it is, the H35 is great.
I liked that it’s really light (due to low quality build) and I liked that it’s ready to go at any moment. It’s pretty compact so you can just pop it in a pocket pretty easily!
I found the fact that you don’t need to change any of the settings made me take pictures more instinctively. I love when there are no barriers to photography and this is one of those cameras to just pick up and shoot.
I actually think the picture quality is alright for this type of film camera. I don’t really see a big drop in quality because it’s a half frame and to be honest, if you’re looking for a camera like this then this is probably the kind of look you’re going for.
I enjoyed shooting the H35, any film camera that can actually save you money gets my seal of approval any day.
What Film Should You Use With The Kodak H35?
I would suggest using Kodak Ultramax 400 or Kodak Colorplus if you’re wanting to shoot colour. I would err towards Ultramax just because it’s a bit more sensitive than Colorplus, so it’ll be good in a variety of situations.
Alternatively, if you want to shoot black and white, I’d suggest something nice and cheap like Ilford HP5. HP5 is a great choice for general shooting and it’s still one of the cheapest film stocks available!
Of course you can use some more expensive film but there isn’t really much point with a camera like this. The HP5 has a pretty bad lens and good film won’t change that!
How To Good Pictures With The Kodak H35
These cameras are pretty stupid, you can’t change any settings and the lenses are low quality. So sometimes it can be easy to make basic mistakes and ruin your pictures. That’s why you need to know how to get good pictures with them every time!
Keep People At Arms Length!
This camera can only focus from 1 meter to infinity. So basically, if you are any closer than 1 meter to your subject then your subject will not be in focus!
You have to keep people just a bit further away than arm’s length in order to be sure that you’ll have your subject in focus! I know you might have used phone cameras or better-quality digital cameras that can focus closely, but I’ve got to remind you that this camera is stupid!
Use Your Flash!
Because you can’t adjust the shutter speed or aperture, you need to be aware of when to use your flash!
Any time that you’re in ‘low light’ you want to use your flash. Low light is when you’re indoors, it’s dusk or dawn or you find yourself outside in a dimly lit area. You’ll get used to knowing when to use your flash, but it’ll save you from a lot of underexposed shots!
Aim For The Middle Of The Lens
Because the lenses on these cameras aren’t very good, you’ll want to get your subject in the middle of the frame to ensure that they’re in focus. Often low quality cameras have lenses that have really soft focus around the edges, so if you try to keep your subject near the middle then you’ll be more likely to get a sharper shot!
Take Your Time
You need to take your time with these cameras because the shutter speed is only 1/100. This means that there’s a chance that you could take a blurry shot if you’re not taking your time.
Just remember, bring your camera up to take a shot, hold it for a few seconds, and then you can put it back down. If you do this too quickly then you’ll definitely ruin your shot!
How To Use The Kodak Ektar H35?
I did make a video about shooting the Kodak Ektar H35 so I’ll pop it here for you:
There isn’t too much to understand about using the Kodak H35, it’s about as simple as it gets.
How To Load The Kodak H35?
Make sure your batteries are in first! Then just open the back of the camera by pushing down the little catch. Once the door is open you’ll see that one side has a space and one side has a spool. Put your film into the space and pull your film across, put your film into the gap in the spool.
I usually then suggest to press the shutter button and wind the film on, that way you’ll know that the film is actually attached. Then you can close the back up and you’re good to shoot your film!
How To Unload The H35?
Once you’ve got to the end of your roll of film then you’ll need to unload your film. To unload your film you need to press a small button on the bottom of the camera, this will release the spool so you can wind your camera back.
Once you’ve pressed the release, you can use the winder on the top left of the camera to wind the film back. Keep winding for a while until you feel it become quite loose. You’ll know when it’s wound back in because it’ll feel noticeably different.
Once you’ve wound it back fully you can open your camera and remove the film!
How To Use The Flash?
Using the flash is really easy! Just turn the dial that surrounds the lens to turn flash on. The only thing to note is that it’s easy to accidentally leave flash on which will drain your battery, so just be sure to turn it back off when you’re putting your camera away.
What Kind Of Photography Is This Camera Best For?
This camera is a great alternative to a disposable camera which will save you money in no time. It’s ideal for travel and day to day life. If you’re a casual shooter then this is the camera for you.
Are you looking for something that’s a little better than the Kodak H35? Well I’ve got you covered, I made a list of some of the best affordable film cameras and these cameras cover a variety of different photographic needs.
Is The Kodak Ektar H35 Worth It?
Personally, I think the Kodak H35 is worth it, it’s virtually the same as the Kodak Ultra F9 but it takes at least 72 pictures per roll!
If you shot just one roll per month then you’d save around £150 a year shooting with this camera. Or you could shoot twice as much and it’d cost you the same amount as usual.
I think this camera is a brilliant reason to put down the disposable camera and shoot something that’s a bit more sustainable and much more fun!
If you want to shoot film on a budget then this is your camera. It’s affordable and it takes good shots, what more could you ask for?
I would suggest this camera to my friends because I think it’s a great idea and it makes the massive film costs far more palatable.
I hope you found all the info you needed here, thanks for reading!