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Thread: Back to Film

  1. #1

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    Tobias Weber

    Back to Film

    Hello all

    For my studies next year I need an old film camera, I got two cameras yesterday, a really ancient Praktica and a Canon 500, they still take great pictures but this is my first time using Film and I was just wondering if anyone here still uses film and could give me some pointers on how to ensure that I get great pictures and maybe also what films are the best to use.

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    Nick

    Re: Back to Film

    Hello Tobias,
    With knowing so little of your situation it's hard to be specific. So just some hints for now.
    Check your film camera's for light leaks – especially around the film door (camera back). Most film doors use a black plastic foam material for light sealing. This decomposes over time. The things to look out for are “give” or movement of the film door when shut. The plastic also go's sticky as it decomposes – then dries out to a powder. At that stage the door shows movement when shut. Kits to replace the seals can be purchased and some folks do the replacement themselves. If you have to do this repair be careful to keep any black bits out of the shutter mechanism.
    Within the context of you studies / course work / local availability – try and find the cheapest film / print method you can. Chinese B&W film, out of date colour print film, whatever. Anything that will allow you to burn lots of film and take loads of pictures.

    Have fun,

    Regards,

    Nick.

  3. #3

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    Tobias Weber

    Re: Back to Film

    Thanks for the info Nick

    I know for sure that the Canon has no light leaks so that's all fine, the other camera I'm not so sure about, seeing as its from 1975, but if it does have some leaks maybe it'l make for some interesting shots, but I'l see how the first roll of film comes out.

  4. #4
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Back to Film

    If you can find it, get The Basic Book of Photography by Tom and Michele Grimm and any book from some of the greats such as Henri Cartier Bresson, Helmut Newton, and Ansel Adams.

    1. Film is such a rarity that you should check the expiration dates.
    2. Grain is acceptable.
    3. Go for an all purpose film speed for most shots such as ISO 400 and also consider a b&w film.

    By the way, how will you be processing your images, in class dark room or lab?

  5. #5
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Richard

    Re: Back to Film

    Tobias...

    I am old enough to have started using cut film in press and view cameras and have used just about every type of film based still and motion picture camera ever made (literally).

    There are two very basic things that a person needs to remember when using a 35mm film camera:

    1. Make sure that the film is loaded correctly. That may seem like a fundamental thing but, on some cameras, it is easy to miss the take up spool and shoot what you think are 24 or 36 exposures without any film ever leaving the cartridge. Some cameras are easier to load and some cameras are a little more difficult. I always hated the M-series Leica rangefinder cameras because the bottom came off the camera when loading the film. You then had three separate pieces of gear (camera, bottom plate and film cartridge) to worry about handling. Since I am equipped with only two hands and am not able to chew gum and walk at the same time, I sometimes had problems loading the Leica.

    2. After you have shot your film, make sure that you have rewound it back into the cartridge.

    Note: Many P&S 35mm film cameras would rewind the film automatically at the end of the roll as would some SLR cameras with auto winders. It is easy for a person who came from a P&S film or digital camera background to mess up the loading or unloading of a 35mm camera.

    BTW: I cannot for the life of me think of any advantage in shooting and processing film. Except that is the media that many photo instructors are comfortable with. IMO, there is enough to learn in the digital world without regressing and spending time to learn earlier disciplines. And if you want to regress, hell go all the way! Paint pictures on the walls of a cave by firelight!
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 18th August 2011 at 04:14 AM.

  6. #6

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    Tobias Weber

    Re: Back to Film

    Thanks I don't get the point either but what the hell.

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