I am starting with two very different cameras, a Canon Elan 7ne and a Pentax Spotmatic. The 7ne is a big reason I am trying film, I picked it up years ago and it has been sitting on my shelf ever since, every time I see it I am reminded that I should get some film and give it a try. The 7ne is a modern camera by film standards, released in 2004 it takes current canon EF mount lenses, has auto focus with multiple focus points, different metering modes the same as a current DSLR, custom functions to control how the camera behaves, automatic film advance, bust shooting, etc. Really the 7ne is like your current DSLR but with film.
The Spotmatic on the other hand was introduced 40 years earlier than the 7ne in 1964. At some point my dad picked one up and when I mentioned to him i was going to try shooting some film he pulled it out of the drawer it’s been in possibly for my entire life and gave it to me. The Spotmatic is much more a “classic” SLR than the 7ne, it does have a light meter but everything is manual, focus, ISO, shutter speed, aperture, film advance, everything.
The Spotmatic uses screw mount M42 lenses that can be picked up for next to nothing. My dad gave me 2 lenses with the camera, a 5o mm f1.4 and a 135 mm f3.5 which even by today’s standards are impressive. As part of this process I will be trying these lenses on modern crop and full frame cameras using this adapter from amazon. I think using old manual lenses on current digital cameras will be a good way to experience a little bit of the old school photography feel, it will also help me get accustomed to the quirks of the older lenses and manual focusing with instant feedback and without burning through a lot of film. I’ll be working on a post showing my results in the weeks to come but i want to acquire a few more old lenses before I post it.