The Kodak Ektar H35N is an update on the popular Kodak Ektar H35. Also a half frame reusable 35mm film camera, the H35N doesn’t look too different other than the shinier exterior, but it has a few new features including a built-in star filter and a glass lens element for sharper photos.
Kodak Ektar H35N at a glance:
- Choice of six colours: Glazed pink, Glazed orange, Glazed blue, Striped green, Striped silver, Striped black
- Half frame camera compatible with 35 mm film
- $64.99 / £52.09
Kodak Ektar H35N key features:
- Built-in Star Filter: Used to create four-beam flares on beaming spots
- Glass lens: One element of the 22mm acrylic lens is replaced by a glass lens for sharper images
- Bulb Function: For long exposure, with the help of a tripod
Camera body and design:
The Kodak Ektar H35N isn’t exactly Instax Pal tiny, but it’s smaller than my Google Pixel 7a and as a result has gone pretty much everywhere with me, whether inside my Uniqlo crossbody bag, jacket pocket or comfortably in hand.
It’s pretty lightweight too, weighing only 110g. The camera’s retro style is reminiscent of old Kodak Instamatics and the camera I was sent by Reto has a shiny, CD-like surface in the glazed blue option. Though it did not win me over at first, it does look stunning in the sunlight and has slowly but surely grown on me.
The physical controls on the camera are handy, with getting film in the camera and out being a fairly straightforward process. The viewfinder on the H35N is smaller than the H35’s, and the newer camera also comes with a tripod hole and the ability to do long exposure shots – but neither a cable nor tripod are provided with the camera.
The shooting experience:
The Kodak Ektar H35N is a half frame camera. But what does this mean exactly? In short, you get double the photos. You will get two exposures per frame, each taking up one half of the frame.
I shot three rolls of Kodak Gold 200 film for this review. A roll would normally have 36 exposures, but that went up to 72 on this half frame camera. In total, I shot 216 photos.
I almost felt a digital camera type of freedom to shoot as many photos as I wanted!
Though I did get blurry photos, many of my photos were surprisingly sharp even if they tended to blur around the edges of the frame. The Star filter is a nice addition, and while I personally didn’t use it very much, it was a fun creative feature to use on Christmas lights put up around London and in front of a mirror reflecting light back.
While the built-in flash was reliable, I found the controls located on top of the lens hard to rotate at times when using them to turn the flash on and off. I lost a few fingernails in the process, and this was annoying when I was trying to take photos in the cold.
Kodak Ektar H35N Verdict:
As a beginner film photographer, I found the Kodak Ektar H35N to be a good entry-level film camera, one that has a few more tricks up its sleeve that make it a step up from disposable cameras. It’s one to consider for travel photography too, its reusability meaning you don’t have to buy a new (if cheaper) camera when you go on holiday.
While it may not be as appealing to more experienced film photographers, its half frame capabilities also mean that it is a great everyday camera for practicing your film photography on a budget, which is a definite plus any day, and especially if you’re just starting to experiment with film.
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