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learn film?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by TeeZeeMee, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. TeeZeeMee

    TeeZeeMee Mu-43 Regular

    58
    Mar 27, 2012
    BAMA (RTR)
    Hey everyone.
    I had a quick question and was wondering your opinions. I have recently been intrigued by film cameras and have been wondering if I should learn how to use film and film cameras. It seems like everything is going digital now. Yea, I'd have to buy a film camera body and stuff but I'm just wondering if its worth the investment. I wouldn't really have the resources to learn darkroom stuff till later on but eventually could. What do y'all think? Just stick with being digital?
     
  2. Ranger Rick

    Ranger Rick Mu-43 Veteran

    228
    Apr 11, 2009
    Tempe, AZ
    Rick
    I shoot both, and think the slower approach of film has a positive effect on my digital work. The good news is you can buy a good camera and lens for probably $100 (and even less), and you "pay as you go". If you've got the interest, give it a shot- you can probably sell the camera kit for about what you paid for it if you buy carefully and then decide to back back to all digital. Some color negative film, processing and scanning at Costco, not a big deal. Good luck!

    Rick
     
  3. MexicoMik

    MexicoMik Mu-43 Regular

    195
    Mar 19, 2012
    Shoot some Velvia slide film behind a decent lens and you may start wondering if we are truly making progress! :wink:
     
  4. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    A little background on myself. I used to be a news photog (photojournalist) way way back in the film-only days. So I know film, I shot, developed and printed nearly everyday, it was my job.

    My initial response was "What for ...", than I gave it more thought. If you truly desire to educate, learn, appreciate, understand photography ... if you are passionate about photography ... then yeah. If nothing else you will appreciate the ease of digital.

    Developing film is quite easy and cost effective, especially B&W. All you need is a developing tank, thermometer, some jugs for chemicals, a graduate, chemicals (minimum two, a developer and a fix) and a dark place to load the film onto the reel and toss in the developing tank. (B&H has a single roll, 35mm tank for $14.00).

    Printing is expensive. But, the big but, on this forum the best and most consistant B&W images are from those with extensive darkroom experience. I think printing B&W will be most helpful in processing B&W.

    Other than that, I think taking a photo class or a Photoshop class will be more beneficial than shooting film for overall enhancement of your photographic skills and expertise.

    I think it's like having to take a poetry or biology course in school if you're an engineering major ... it may seem like a waste ... but over time all the non-engineering courses will make you a better person. The limitation of film, only 36 frames per roll, will cause you to think about your shots and exposure ... the more pre-shutter release thinking you do ... the better photographer you will become, resulting in a greater consistency of keepers and a higher quality of keepers.

    So yeah, do it, it won't cost a lot. Remember, like most anything else in life, the more effort you put into something the greater the return.

    G
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Aegon

    Aegon Mu-43 Veteran

    334
    Nov 3, 2011
    Portland, OR
    Film is great. Even "bad" film. I like the look of Kodak Gold 100/200, both are cheap. I like Ektar 100, too, but it doesn't handle highlights very well. Portra is fantastic portrait film, especially for skin tones, and especially for asian-type skin tones in my family.

    Ektar 100:
    arcade.

    Gold 100:
    img020.
     
  6. TeeZeeMee

    TeeZeeMee Mu-43 Regular

    58
    Mar 27, 2012
    BAMA (RTR)
    wow thats amazing! i envy your background a little haha!

    I appreciate the advice really! everyone else too!

    What would be a good camera/lens to search for?
    Also, what is a good type of film to use for something like B&W street photography?

    It is possible to shoot on film and have it converted to a digital file for use in like photoshop and stuff yes? :smile:
     
  7. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    Excellent advice from both of these guys (as I've grown to expect).

    If you've got any legacy lenses already, look for a body that will fit those. Then just start haunting pawn shops, estate sales and Goodwill and see what you can find. You'll want to decide if you want to go fully manual (old school) or if you'd rather have a more modern system.

    If you don't have any current investment in lenses, or a strong preference for one system over another, then I would suggest you consider Konica. The bodies are good quality and since no current camera uses the lenses (without adapters), they are less sought after and therefore less expensive. The Konica 40mm f/1.8 pancake is a well regarded lens that would be very useful for street photography.
     
  8. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    LOL ... thanks

    If it was I, I'd look for either a Nikon F or FTn (as those were the cameras I first used for news). They are built like a hammer, they are also comparatively expensive and associated lenses will also be comparatively expensive.

    I'd look on Craigslist for a newer SLR, there are always a number of them advertised as "Perfect for Photo Class" or from students that have just finished a photo class. Probably going for somewhere between $50 and $100, depending on model (with a lens).

    Most scanners will come with a film insert for scanning film to digital. The more expensive the scanner the better the software. The scanner will convert the film to a JPEG or Tiff or whatever. There are also dedicated film to digital scanners, but those are much more expensive.

    Pawn shops and your better Thrift Stores usually have a collection of very cheap SLR cameras. And as you are recycling stuff ... acquiring a used film camera is good for the environment (the chemicals not so good).

    Gary

    PS- If you really want to learn how to see light ... only use manual as your exposure setting (as an exercise) and after you're comfortable with that shoot in manual without referencing your camera's light meter.
    G
     
  9. TeeZeeMee

    TeeZeeMee Mu-43 Regular

    58
    Mar 27, 2012
    BAMA (RTR)
    the only legacy glass, or older glass i got right now is a Zeiss Planar T* 50mm
    any suggestion off of that? i love that lens and use it a lot on my EP3

    i looked at the Konica Hexar just due to a video i saw and its kinda pricy :/ not bad but yea 600$ or close
     
  10. mister_roboto

    mister_roboto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    637
    Jun 14, 2011
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Dennis
    A manual focus SLR, with 50mm prime lens is the absolute best way to learn about photography. No bells and whistles, and using film you're relegated to one iso per 24-36 shots- and zooming with your feet. It'll make you do some problems solving to take photos on the fly and in the end totally help out with digital photography skills.

    I use both digital and film. I don't process at home however, I've been using Dwayne's Photo for film only developing for years (sending film in bulk is more cost effective) and self scanning the negatives.
     
  11. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    I'm not too familiar with that Zeiss lens, but I know it's well regarded. I believe it is/was available in mounts for almost all of the systems, so it depends on which one you've got. What adapter are you using with your EP3?

    I'm not sure where you'd find a $600 Konica kit. I was thinking more along the lines of something like this for $80 (I would think you could find something similar for even less). I just bought an older Konica TC with two lenses, a flash, a case and some filters for less than $50.
     
  12. Aegon

    Aegon Mu-43 Veteran

    334
    Nov 3, 2011
    Portland, OR
    I have an Epson V500 scanner that uses Digital ICE to remove the appearance of dust (very cool system, highly effective). I get my color film processed at Costco for approximately $1.50 per roll, no prints. Then I scan the negatives myself and do my usual computer-based processing and printing. Works great for me.
     
  13. mowog6000

    mowog6000 Mu-43 Regular

    126
    Mar 2, 2012
    Oregon City Oregon
    Pat bailey
    I don't miss film at all ,why not just pretend you have film in your m4/3rds camera?
    Take your time taking a picture just as you would if you only had a roll of 36, put your camera on manual and focus as you would with a 40 year old SLR. If you just want the experience of film then go for it but I for one don't miss the mess.
     
  14. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    693
    Jul 8, 2011
    I would get a Leica or a rangefinder. Here's why, only thing that's not quite doable on digital is rangefinder focusing, M8 or M9 is much too expensive. While you can get Canonets and Yashicas for not much money.

    Or if you want interchangeable lenses, you can get cheap screw mount lenses and bodies.

    Benefits include smaller bodies and lenses than SLRs.
     
  15. Ranger Rick

    Ranger Rick Mu-43 Veteran

    228
    Apr 11, 2009
    Tempe, AZ
    Rick
    Hexar AF is often found on places like rangefinderforum for about $450. Wonderful camera- I have one :) Lens alone worth the price (as the old ads said).

    Do you want a rangefinder with fixed 35-50mm lens? If so, the Canonet G III or Yashica GSN or similar are excellent, and go for about $50-70 or so. Interchangeable lens cameras a bit more, but a nice Nikon 80008 or equivalent Canon with lens are good options (and lens useable on m43). Look on keh.com, or collectiblecameras.com.

    Hope that helps.
     
  16. TeeZeeMee

    TeeZeeMee Mu-43 Regular

    58
    Mar 27, 2012
    BAMA (RTR)
    yea i kinda want a rangefinder so i can learn how to use one! is the hexar not a rangefinder since it AF? I didnt figure so.

    Ill look at those suggestions.:thumbup:
     
  17. Aegon

    Aegon Mu-43 Veteran

    334
    Nov 3, 2011
    Portland, OR
    Personally, I'd find a used Yashica Electro GSN either reconditioned or guaranteed working for probably $80. Don't buy one that isn't guaranteed to be working, they have problems with age and abuse. Great lens, amazingly good metering with a stepless shutter, and fun to use. You can resell them easily, too.

    Matt's Classic Cameras: Yashica Electro 35 GSN
    Quote: "Holy crap this camera takes nice pictures!"
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. TeeZeeMee

    TeeZeeMee Mu-43 Regular

    58
    Mar 27, 2012
    BAMA (RTR)
    im using a c/y to m43 adapter for the lens
     
  19. TeeZeeMee

    TeeZeeMee Mu-43 Regular

    58
    Mar 27, 2012
    BAMA (RTR)