16 Aralık 2014 Salı

A few first words about film photography

It all started when I found my grandmas old camera. A Voigtländer Vitoret. It had clearly seen better days, but the old guy was still very handsome.
Voigtländer Vitoret
Sadly the lightmeter did not work at all, and the shutter sometimes decided to wait a few extra seconds before closing. In my first roll, all but 3-4 images were completely useless.
But it was still fun to shoot film, so I decided to look for a second hand (cheap) film body. Because I am a Nikon guy and not a rich Nikon guy who can afford some extra lenses for a new camera, I found a Nikon body that would work with my non-DX lenses.

Since yesterday, I am a proud owner of a F401 (N4004 in the US). I love it so far. (so much that I am probably going to write a review, so no details here).

Anyway, here are my first impressions of film photography.

Firstly, shooting film is fun. Knowing that I am saving the image on a physical object is a nice feeling. I also get to have an archive, which is pretty nice. I also like to wait to finish the roll and develop before I see the photographs. I think of the shots which can turn out well during the time, wonder if they really do and in the meantime I think about how I am going to process them (Since I do not have any equipment [yet] I can not process them the old-school way, but I play with the scans a little). I would also like to develop and print myself.

Secondly, film is not that expensive. Fine, if you are starting out, it is. But once you quit photographing your feet and every single cat you see, you barely manage a roll in two weeks in normal times. Of course you shoot more when traveling or on special occasions, but keeping a digital compact camera, or better yet a cell phone, for soccer mom facilities, the number of shots (with artistic intention) made is very little.

Thirdly, shooting film helps I think a lot more about each shot. I started to do the same with digital too, and I guess better photographers do it way more, film does motivate me to do so, neat. Just like prime vs. zoom. When shooting zoom, you should walk around a bit and check other angles, shooting with a prime, you almost have to.

Finally, film grain looks way better than digital noise.

Here are some photos from my first roll. For more, or these scanned better (soon) check out my tumblr.