Nearly every photographer owns a film camera whether it be in the dark recesses collecting dust or they use it on a regular basis. The most common reaction when people see one of these film beauties out and about is shocked that you can still acquire the film to shoot with one of these models. So if you own a 35mm, Polaroid, or even a medium format film camera, Dust it off! Don't know where to begin on buying film? Have no fear! I have become your personal film guide and have tried and tested all the major players out there in the film world, so you don't have to!
Lomography is by far the leading provider for creative film options, with everything ranging from Lomo Chrome Purple film, giving your images that out-of-this-world appearance, to the more traditional 120 and 35mm color and black and white options. Lomo is also a great start if you don't have an older film body. They supply all types of creative cameras: wooden pinholes, sprocket 35mm, and bodies that quickly switch between an instant back and a 120 back. Lomo is also truly spectacular by having a film dropoff service making it seamless for photographers to shoot and develop with ease.
Impossible Project is the frontrunner in the Polaroid world. Impossible purchased the machines from Polaroid when they decided to cease making instant film. They turned around the business, bringing it back into the mainstream by creating packs that still work with many of the old Polaroid models. Users should exercise caution when using the film as it isn't the same formula you might remember growing up. After taking a shot, you need to place it in a dark place for 20-30 minutes. While they have been working on the color developing times and consistency, I would encourage users to read the instructions to get the best results.
Fujifilm can be easily bought anywhere, including your hometown camera shop, although with the recent news of Fuji discontinuing its FP-100C film, it's making it harder for photographers to get film for the Polaroid Land Cameras. Don't fret. Fuji will still be making its 35mm, 120, and of course, its insanely popular Instax Film, which rivals the Impossible Project film with far better quality and consistency, but leaves you with the downside of having to purchase a new Instax camera, as their Instant film is not compatible with the old Polaroid models.
Kodak, the always reliable and classic brand everyone can trust, still produces all the forms of film you remember, along with dark room supplies for those who desire to develop their film. Kodak film is by far the best price-wise if you aren't sure the film life is for you and want to test the waters. I would buy a couple of Kodak beauties and work up to the pricier options.
If you don't own a film camera, but after this article are inspired to buy one, check out eBay, thrift stores, and your local camera shops. You can find most models for a great deal, so dust your camera off, get out of the house, and create something great!