Friday, August 21, 2009

Thinking About Film

Aside from a few shots made with P&S cameras as a kid, my first real taste of photography came in a high school media class. The teacher loaned us all an SLR. We wound the film into the roll and then loaded the roll in the camera. I was pretty excited about the whole thing. We were even going to develop our own shots. My family moved before we got that far though.

Lately I have been seeing a few blogs talk about shooting with film: Joe Reifer shared some shots from a Holga, Paul Lester wrote about Temptations and The Leica mystique, Paul Butzi had a discussion about being a Camera Collector/Photographer/Both?. Oh, and how could I forget Damien Franco's Wordless Wednesday Holga pic: Kerney Ave.

Each time that I see a post about a film camera (SLR or not), I want a film SLR all the more. The recent increase in Holga posts have even caused to check them out. Did you know that you can get a Holga for under $30? I didn't but that will be my next purchase while I save up for a used Nikon F100. Although, an FM10 would be closer to what I used in high school...

Decisions, decisions.

Oh, and at some point I am going to have to buy or rent a view camera for school. I am leaning towards rental just because they cost so darn much!


  1. Hey, Matthew! Thanks for visiting. Even though I posted this on my own blog as a reply to you, I thought that I'd leave it here as well.

    I don’t know what it is about film. I think this whole thing started more than a year ago when the D700 came out. I was seriously lusting for a full frame camera, but didn’t have the $3,000 to support that lust. Further, I had just purchased a D300 not more than a year ago and was heavily invested in DX lenses. Then, some time later, in walks Chris Klug, a fellow blogger, who was shooting film and he told me about a great medium format camera that I could get for $300 or so, a Mamiya 645e. Way back when, I had always wanted a 645 or an RZ67.

    I started thinking, well, I could get a much bigger frame, equivalent to about 25 MP for $300 and the difference between $300 and $3,000 would buy a lot of film at $5.00/roll (includes my own processing). One thing led to another and here I am. I just love the simplicity of the film cameras and I like the 15 minutes or so that it takes to develop my film, even the 1 hour or so drying time. It’s nice having only a viewfinder and a shutter speed.

    Periodically, I feel the need or desire to simplify. To most digital shooters, I’m sure that this sounds more complicated, but to me, it’s certainly more calm.

  2. Oh yeah, about those view cameras. I used one of those before, too. They are fairly inexpensive to get into. For example, you can go to KEH and get a Calumet view camera for $250. Now to make it useful you'll need a lens board, lens, film holders, focusing loupe, and dark cloth. The lenses, by far, are the most expensive part; however, the continuing cost of using and developing film is rather high!

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