5 Frames with the Nikon L35AF and Kodak Portra 800 in the german woods – By Martin Holman

By marto_35mm

After using the Olympus XA3 for street photography, I slowly felt the need for a point & shoot with a faster lens and more precise focus. Don’t get me wrong, zone focusing works great, but it has its limitations. So, I really wanted to try an autofocus point & shoot, with a fast lens that wouldn’t break the bank. Enter the Nikon L35AF.

The Nikon L35AF is compact-ish 35mm point and shoot camera with autofocus and very sharp 35mm lens wit a max aperture of f/2.8. It not super small, but small enough to fit in a coat pocket and its autofocus is fast enough for me to capture candid scenes in different lighting conditions.

The lens is very sharp and thanks to its f/2.8 aperture, it lets me shoot in dimmer environments without the need for faster films.

Another thing I really love about it is the flash. Unlike other point & shoots, where you have to fiddle with menus and buttons to turn the flash on or off, the L35AF will automatically deploy it or if you don’t want to use the flash simply press it back into the body and the camera will adjust the exposure to take the picture.

The film I decided to use is Kodak Portra 800. Why you might ask? Because it renders skin tones beautifully and because the contrast you get from the 800 is awesome. I normally overexpose by 1 full stop, just to get a little extra contrast and by doing this also ensures I get almost no underexposed frames. Seriously, try this film, its really nice, especially if you want depth of field in your shots, which is nice if you want to incorporate your surroundings into the frame.

This is a camera that lets you forget about all the technical aspects of photography. It just gets out of the way and lets you take pictures. I highly recommend it for anybody that’s looking for a smaller camera to take street and candid shots but doesn’t want to fiddle with technical aspects. If you want to get a glimpse of what point & shoot cameras are all about, grab one of these beauties.

They’re much cheaper than other hyped compact point and shoots and unless you’re making huge prints, the image quality is up to par. Plus the build quality is impressive, it feels like a plastic-clad brick, seriously.

If you want to know more about the Nikon L35AF be sure to read my review and feel free to check out my Instagram.


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About The Author

By marto_35mm
Hi, my name is Martin. I’m a product designer and I’ve been shooting film for the last 12 years. Unlike most of my friends, I started taking pictures on film. Why you ask? Simple, I always like the idea of taking photography as a hobby, but never really took the leap. One day my older brother told me he had taken a film photography course and then showed me the basics. Since I was so interested he even got me my first camera, a Canon A-1. I was instantly hooked. The haptics of old film cameras are something to behold and couldn’t be more different than their digital counterparts.
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Dan Castelli on 5 Frames with the Nikon L35AF and Kodak Portra 800 in the german woods – By Martin Holman

Comment posted: 16/11/2019

Hi Martin,
Thanks for the write-up on the L35AF. This brought back memories of my father. For years, he photographed our family with the classic Argus C-3 (AKA "The Brick") and Kodachrome film. When we all moved out, I bought him the L35AF. I created a monster! He shot color neg. film and used the 1-hour color film processors (popular in the 1980's). He shot everything. Family, the woodworking projects he made, the girls at the Deli, his nurses. No one was spared. Hundreds upon hundreds of shots!
After he & my mom passed away, my brother got the camera and continued the Kodacolor wave. The camera finally gave up the ghost after about 25 years.
I was always amazed at the high quality of the lens and the images the camera produced. It was equal to my Nikon F2 w/a 35mm f/2 Nikkor. Plus, it took the pressure off of me to be the family photographer.
The camera can be so much fun! Keep enjoying it!

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marto_35mm replied:

Comment posted: 16/11/2019

Hi Dan, Thanks for sharing your history of this fenomenal camera, and hope you find one to keep the family tradition going.


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