with your 35mm, what film do you use and how do you develop it?
I’m absolutely not an expert + I’m very unadventurous, I’ve been using Fujifilm Superia 400 in 36 exposures. If I have a bit of money, I get my film developed at West End Cameras because they do a really, really good job. If not, I go to Boots – they can develop film in an hour which is convenient but I don’t know if it’s as good.
n.b. –– I haven’t posted any photos from my canon ae-1p bc I haven’t managed to get time to scan them. Most of the ones on my blog were taken with a Superheadz lomography camera – so light and easy to take travelling.
So this is what it means, and feels to do something out of passion. I never ever thought I’d found my place in film photography. I am just so in love with it. I want to learn more about it.
I remember Nikk telling me (when we were still just friends) that I shouldn’t make photography as my day job because it is exhausting, and that it will drain my love for photography. I guess it is somehow true. I did lose interest for a while. He also said I will lose my hobby. And what is a person without a hobby, right? Good thing I found film photography. And although it is just the same with digital photography, it has that magic that, to be honest I cannot explain in words. Hahaha!
Find a hobby you love. Invest on it. I think that is one key into living life to the fullest.
1/250, f/4, Tri-X, Pentax Super-Takumar 135mm f/2.5 on Spotmatic F. HC-110, 1:160, 44 min @ 19C semi stand.
I want to shoot film, what should I get?
From time to time, I get questions like: “What kind of Instagram filter is that?” (from cameraphone enthusiasts), or
“I have Lightroom and Photoshop, is there a preset for that look”, (from photographers starting to explore postprocessing) or “I want to try shooting film, what should I get? My friend has a Holga, it’s pretty inexpensive” (anyone who hasn’t used a film camera).
What many people associate with a “film look” is a combination of wide aperture (shallow depth of field, bokeh, vignetting), older optics (more lens flare, no autofocus, no aspherical elements, no CAD/CAM manufacturing, softer corner focus), plus the characteristics of the film and processing itself (film grain, tonality, color response, processing artifacts). You can (and I do) model many of these behaviors in a digital processing workflow to achieve a similar visual result. However, it’s often easier and less expensive to do this with actual film workflows, and the experience of making images with film has very different dynamics, which contribute to the aesthetics of the “film look”.
A major obstacle for many people interested in trying this out is simply figuring out what to get (and where to get it, since none of it is sold and marketed in retailers now).
Here’s a short list for a film photography starter kit:
1. Canon AE-1 body ($20)
2. Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 lens ($15)
3. ND8 filter ($5)
4. (optional) Extension tube for Canon FD ($15)
These are recent prices from eBay, including shipping. So you can get your basic camera + fast lens for $40, and add an extension tube for closeups and macro for another $15.
5. Film: Tri-X ($5) for black and white, Ultramax 400 for color ($5) or Portra 400 for color ($10)
Canon shipped over a million units of the AE-1 and AE-1P in the 70’s and 80’s, so the vast inventory of used-but-working equipment tends to hold used prices down. The FD lenses can also be used with an adapter to fit virtually all modern digital cameras *except* for Canon’s own EOS-mount cameras (which is all of them).
This setup is *not* a good vehicle for creating “Holga-looking” images. You should get a Holga for that. It’s a similar cost to get started ($25-$50, new).
Roberts Camera or KEH will provide a warranty for used equipment (but cost more) if you don’t use eBay
Here are a few sample photos made with the 50mm f/1.8 on an FD-mount body. There isn’t a good way to simulate the wide-aperture look on a phone or P&S, but it’s very easy to do with inexpensive vintage equipment:
Hello, I’m Tera, 27. I have been documenting what I see through a lens for about 10 years now. My first camera was a cheap point and shoot I got for my high school photography class, now I mostly use my Canon ae-1p, Canon t3i, and my Polaroid Land Camera 440.
Wandering around my city photographing the beauty I find along the way is my personal form of meditation.