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stevepole

Film photography

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Has anyone got any experience with film photography? I'm interested in picking up a used film camera off ebay and was wondering if there are anything thats noticeably different from digital?


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Ask Dreamtongirl, I know she does.

 

Actually interested to hear this, I have an old Minolta SLR that used to be my Dad's sitting round at home, with heaps of lenses and stuff. The main thing I would be worried is getting stuff developed, especially when you're learning to use it. Can't just check them on your computer then delete them.


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- You are more aware of how many pictures you take.

- Make each picture count.

- Newer film cameras usually have an auto focus switch, like a digital slr.

- Keep your negatives.

- I recommend not to learn how to develop your own film, unless you're interested in it and you can take classes on it.

- Try slide film, it's awesome. :o

 

I took photography for 2 years. :)


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With a film camera, invest less in the body and more into the lenses.


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- With 35mm cameras, a 50mm lens IS 50mm, as opposed to 50mm being equivalent to 85mm on a crop sensor.

- Following from my first point, I would recommend getting a decent body (it doesn't really matter that much.. most are way cheaper than DSLRs, just get a pentax something or other), and just get a 50mm prime lens (fixed focal length). Keep it simple :)

-As already said, developing is a bit difficult, so if you want to, find out if there are any film photography evening classes or something.

-Unfortunately, it seems to be very difficult to get cheap film developing. Jessops near me costs about £8 per roll .. if you're going to do film seriously, get your film developed into negatives, and scan them yourself (you'd have to buy a film scanner.. epson V500/600/700 are apparently good)

-Film is awesomely fun, and makes you really appreciate each photo

-Funky colours

-Get needle in middle of bracket in viewfinder

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With film, there is more information in the highlights than in the shadows; this is the opposite of digital. Therefore, while you expose for highlights and develop for shadows with digital, you should aim to expose for shadows and develop for highlights with film.


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IRC Nick: Hiroki | 99 Agility | Max Quest Points | 138 Combat

Bandos drops: 20 Hilt | 22 Chestplate | 21 Tassets | 14 Boots

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To be quite honest, I suck at the technical side of film and such. I'm still really a novice and still learning. I really really love it though, so I'm basically all about trial and error. The new camera I'm using at the moment is a minolta dynax 500si, it's a 35mm SLR and I basically love it - it's a good little camera. I develop my own photos because I'm still in school so I use the darkroom there (hopefully making my own one next year!) but I get my colour film developed. I find it really exciting and also nervewracking, getting pictures develop. Does anybody know how to go about getting lightleaks without completely ruining your entire film?


We'll sneak out while they sleep

And sail off in the night.

We'll come clean and start over the rest of our lives.

When we're gone, we'll stay gone.

Out of sight, out of mind.

It's not too late,

We have the rest of our lives.

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Does anybody know how to go about getting lightleaks without completely ruining your entire film?

Why on Earth would you want to break your body?


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IRC Nick: Hiroki | 99 Agility | Max Quest Points | 138 Combat

Bandos drops: 20 Hilt | 22 Chestplate | 21 Tassets | 14 Boots

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I think they're interesting and often look nice.


We'll sneak out while they sleep

And sail off in the night.

We'll come clean and start over the rest of our lives.

When we're gone, we'll stay gone.

Out of sight, out of mind.

It's not too late,

We have the rest of our lives.

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Unless their is special film that will modify your shots with a light leak, I don't think there is any other way to do it other then photoshop or messing with your camera.

 

When it comes to the camera itself is there anything to look for? Any particular camera brands/models?


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I believe that the camera doesn't matter in this case as much as the film to be processed is, but if you're looking to get some nice SLRs then there's the Nikon F series if you can afford one, or if you want old SLRs then there's the Canon AE-1 or Olympus OM-1 which i have and i got to say that it has a HUGE viewfinder!


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I've been shooting film for a number of years, i love it for it's vintage look and the beautiful roll off into highlights (It's darn near impossible to actually overexpose negative film, as opposed to digital where it's real easy and looks awefull) There is also more latitude in film than on most digital, usually about two stops more, so you're going to see further into the shadows rather than them just being a block of black.

 

Film is also great for developing your photography skills as you have to make every shot count and you're really conscious that everytime you press the button it's costing you 50c or what ever. You can't just spray and pray anymore hah. It has it's place though, i'd never do any of my paid work on film unless the client really wanted it for some reason. For my personal stuff i get the film developed in a camera house and scan it myself. Generally the scans that you'd get back from a place like jessops/paxtons etc are really crappy and aren't an accurate reproduction of the photo. Proper B&W film can be really pricey to get developed as someone has to do it by hand, so i recommend shooting something like Ilford XP2 Super - it's a black and white film that can be processed in a standard colour neg machine. I wouldn't shoot slide/positive film until you've got the hang of it as a)it's much more expensive and b) it's really unforgiving if you get the exposure wrong, where as you can shoot most negative film's anywhere and the picture will still come out.

 

In terms of cameras i highly recommend Pentax film slr's - they're abundant on ebay. Pentax was the biggest camera manufactoring company prior to digital, no camera has been sold more times than the K1000. I'd probably go for an ME Super if you can, it's a great body which has auto and manual exposure modes. Grab a 50mm lens and go out and shoot. I find manual focus a real joy to use, and if you get a nikon or pentax mount lens they will be able to mount on a canon dslr with the right adapter which is pretty cool.

 

Film has a 'look' which you just can't replicate with digital, i'll leave some photos below to illustrate :)

 

RM

 

 

[hide=Colour - Expired Kodak Gold 200]Freestyle-750.jpg

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F1000019.jpg[/hide]

 

 

[Hide=Ilford XP2]---_0020-R.jpg

CNV00041-1.jpg[/hide]


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"A disbelief in magic can force some poor souls into believing in authority and business"

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Hey Remoteman, long time no see. Great post, i'm considering buying some film for my Ricoh. Any recommendations for colour film type? I use Ilford black and white film and process it myself, and develop my own photos when I feel like it.


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Hey Remoteman, long time no see. Great post, i'm considering buying some film for my Ricoh. Any recommendations for colour film type? I use Ilford black and white film and process it myself, and develop my own photos when I feel like it.

 

I really like Kodak Gold 200, or 100 if you can find it, i think it has a really nice vintage yellowy tone and it's relatively cheap. I often buy expired film off ebay, it's much cheaper than new film and is nearly as good, usually if there is any issue it is that it has slightly less contrast, but there can be some colour shifts (which i often find rather pleasing, lomography-like). Fuji Portra 160s is great for portraiture, but it's more expensive as it's a 'professional' film - same with velvia which is one of the most widely used landscape films, it has really strong reds (which can be a negative in some cases). All colour films have biases towards different colours, it's really up to you to do some experimenting and research to see what film would best suit your taste/needs for the subject.

 

And yeah, it's been a while, but it's nice to be back :)


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"A disbelief in magic can force some poor souls into believing in authority and business"

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Wow. Really liking your photos. Got a flickr or website by any chance?


We'll sneak out while they sleep

And sail off in the night.

We'll come clean and start over the rest of our lives.

When we're gone, we'll stay gone.

Out of sight, out of mind.

It's not too late,

We have the rest of our lives.

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Wow. Really liking your photos. Got a flickr or website by any chance?

 

Thanks a lot :) Some of my older commercial stuff is up at dooleydesign.daportfolio.com but i haven't really got anything going, apart from facebook, unfortunately. I really need to set up a proper website/blog.


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"A disbelief in magic can force some poor souls into believing in authority and business"

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In terms of cameras i highly recommend Pentax film slr's - they're abundant on ebay. Pentax was the biggest camera manufactoring company prior to digital, no camera has been sold more times than the K1000. I'd probably go for an ME Super if you can, it's a great body which has auto and manual exposure modes. Grab a 50mm lens and go out and shoot. I find manual focus a real joy to use, and if you get a nikon or pentax mount lens they will be able to mount on a canon dslr with the right adapter which is pretty cool.

 

If you don't mind me asking, what is your setup?


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If you don't mind me asking, what is your setup?

 

I've got a bit a bit of a mild obsession with film cameras, i currently own seven hah. Two pentax me's, a Zorki 4k, a roleiflex and a ricoh 35zf (working ) and an olympus om10 and a me super (not currently working). But i really only ever use one of the me's, it's automatic in aperture priority - you set the aperture on the lens and it does the rest. It's nice and compact, and i usually use it with a pentax m 50mm f1.7, but i also own the 50mm f1.4. A Pentax ME with a 50mm f1.7 is a great quality compact set up which i highly recommend. The balloon shot was taken with a sigma mini-wide 24mm f2.8 and i also have a pentax takumar 135mm f2.5 which is nice for portraits. Hope that is mildly helpful hah.

 

Also, a great resource is www.pentaxforums.com - it has reviews of every pentax camera and lens ever made, so if you're buying off ebay you can check to see if the stuff there is actually any good. I'm sure there'd be a similar thing for other camera brands. One suggestion is to stay away from old canon cameras, as they use an fd lens mount instead of the newer eos mount. The fd mount isn't compatible with any other slr on the market, so you wouldn't be able to use the lenses with a digital camera as you can with pentax/nikon/ricoh/olympus/minolta etc.

 

EDIT: Btw, i should mention that i'm a real fan off the older style film slr's - nearly all mechanical, metal bodies, manual focus, manual winding etc - mainly from the 70's. It would be easier for a beginner to get into film photography by using a modern film slr from the 90's - say a canon eos film camera. I wouldn't get the same joy from using one of these technical marvels, my pleasure comes from being a part of the machine that preserves memories. I kind of think that you may as well use a digital slr if you're going to go the modern route, but that's just my opinion.


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"A disbelief in magic can force some poor souls into believing in authority and business"

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I've begun bidding on a Pentax ME Super on Ebay. Comes with a 50mm 1.7 lens and flash. I've got about 22hrs to go until I learn if the camera is mine or not ha. So wish me luck guys!

 

My older brother actually offered to let me barrow his Canon EOS the other week when I was visiting family up in Washington but unfortunately I didn't have time to swing by his house and grab it before I flew back down to California.

 

edit: I ended up winning a different camera. Still a Pentax ME Super but with three lens and a flash. They look like two primes and probably something like a 200mm lens.


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edit: I ended up winning a different camera. Still a Pentax ME Super but with three lens and a flash. They look like two primes and probably something like a 200mm lens.

 

Awesome man! Presuming that it works fine you've got a great camera. First thing i'd do is replace the battery and clean out the battery terminals with a bit of metho, they'll probably be rusty and if the battery is nearly flat or the connection is loose/full of rust it'll stuff up the metering and the shutter may get stuck open for longer than it's meant to, resulting in a lot of overexposed images. The light seals around the film door may be all corroded too, you can get them replaced at a camera store for about $20, or you can do it yourself. It may not be an issue though, you won't know until you put a roll of film through it. I wouldn't put too much stock in the pictures on the first roll either, best to bust one out and get it developed to see how the camera is performing. Any idea what lenses they are exactly?


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"A disbelief in magic can force some poor souls into believing in authority and business"

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Film's the only photography I do, only downside is I haven't got the gear to develop myself so Kodak do it, and they ALWAYS [bleep] up my B/W films by shoving it thru the color developers. I would love to really get into it again but my Pentax K1000 has a few problems. The lens I have has a dint in the side from a fat uncle who sat on it with a chair leg, the shutter gets stuck at times and the reel to feed the film thru at times [bleep]s up. The other problem is I can never find what I really want to develop, im considering going along to some parkour groups in town and doing that as a project of some sorts, the only problem is my Camera was handed down to me from my old man, older then me and sadly not too reliable. :( I'd pick film over digital but finding a new replacement, I'm worried about costs.

 

 

THEN there's scanning them to a computer as most scanners suck...

 

EDIT: how in gods name did you manage to become a multimedia designer in London? I love film photography but there's no way I can compete with anyone for jobs, Uni etc with what I have, especially when there's people like Hiroki with bat-[cabbage] amounts of gear and the attitude of "If you goto TAFE to learn, you shouldn't be a photographer". Also had someone tell me that at a career's expo 4 years ago, was quite a dream shatter-er. :(


Popoto.~<3

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edit: I ended up winning a different camera. Still a Pentax ME Super but with three lens and a flash. They look like two primes and probably something like a 200mm lens.

 

Awesome man! Presuming that it works fine you've got a great camera. First thing i'd do is replace the battery and clean out the battery terminals with a bit of metho, they'll probably be rusty and if the battery is nearly flat or the connection is loose/full of rust it'll stuff up the metering and the shutter may get stuck open for longer than it's meant to, resulting in a lot of overexposed images. The light seals around the film door may be all corroded too, you can get them replaced at a camera store for about $20, or you can do it yourself. It may not be an issue though, you won't know until you put a roll of film through it. I wouldn't put too much stock in the pictures on the first roll either, best to bust one out and get it developed to see how the camera is performing. Any idea what lenses they are exactly?

 

The big one is a sigma zoom-beta 2 (60-200mm), I was able to read that off the picture. The second lens has a Star-D lens cap, no other details can be made out by the angle of the photo. The third lens I presume is Pentax 50mm f1.7 but it also has a Pentax lens cap on so I don't know for sure.

 

Any tips on film development?


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If you go to somewhere and do it yourself (I did this in TAFE to better understand a Film Camera's capabilities) they usually have charts for B/W flims of different types like "Kodak 200", how long you develop, each chemical etc. It's been years I suppose the only advice I can say is if you use Black and White, take it to a proper camera house. Every [bleep]ing generic place like Big W, Kodak etc are idiots and shove it into the colour developer thinking that's how it works, cause of that I failed my course. long story short, low on time, develop area cant be used w/o teacher, went to Big W AND Kodak, both killed both rolls of film, Failed.

 

Even though I told them "This is Black and White FILM, it doesn't develop in a colour developer."


Popoto.~<3

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[hide=long explanation of how i got the london job]Tim i got lucky really, i was working in a school as an assitant on a 'gap' year from australia and i made it known that i was good with a camera, they started hiring me freelance to cover events and such until long story short they offered me a job and i stayed on four months longer than i had originally intended to. Designed an advertising campaign for them, did the graphic design & production on a number of publications for them, principal photography for a new prospectus and was 3/4 of the way through producing a short advertising film/documentary for them until their large abbey church renovations got delayed by 6 months and i had to return to aus without finishing it. Was meant to fly back over but they ran out of money because of the whole delayed thing. [/hide]

 

Tim - dude, screw the haters. You're not going to get anywhere if you get bogged down by those pessimists. Having an interest in photography but not understanding every aspect in it is nothing to be ashamed of. No one can claim to know everything about it, least of all me, i'm only twenty, and there are SO many different areas of photography. I learn something about photography every time i go out and shoot or every time i meet someone who's into it and have a chat, you're always learning. Do a tafe course, it'll give you a great foundation upon which you can develop your own style and research a more specific area that you think you might be interested in. At the end of the day it's about the photos you do take and the connections you forge; tafe or university is a great place for that. When you have a vogue cover under your belt, or a spread in national geographic, or a ginormous billboard, or your head of marketing for apple, or you're famous after pioneering space photography no one is going to say 'pfft did you hear he did a tafe course?'. Neither are they going to quiz you about what f stop you shot your latest work at, you can get too hung up on the technical details of a photo and never try something new to make it truely outstanding. Photography is a visual medium and it's all about conveying meaning and telling a story. Obviously having an in-depth knowledge of the technical side of what you're doing is going to help you achieve getting the image in your mind to the inside of your camera, but it's only a tool. I only know what i know because it interests me and i enjoy discovering new things, reading on the internet about photography etc. Interest is key.

 

Steve - If you want to get into developing your own film then you definitely have to do a course, it's not worth the hassle and the trial and error to do it yourself. There's a photography centre here in sydney which runs day courses in it, maybe there's something near you? It's a complex art, all different films have different developing times in different chemicals, and you can change the time for effect, and you can also use a different developer for effect. It can get pretty complex, and that's without thinking about enlarging/printing them, which is an art in itself and has as many complexities. If you're just starting out i'd definately go for some colour negative film or some of the c41 processable black and white stuff that i mentioned, the ilford xp2 and kodak make one as well.

 

- I'm writing really long posts hah.


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"A disbelief in magic can force some poor souls into believing in authority and business"

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Went around Newcastle yesterday doing some shots. Only problem for me is getting a good theme to work with, not just the usual generic "good landscapes" like a cliff, or a beach. I wanna do some of a Parkour group but it'd be weird saying "Hi, just wondering if I could photograph you guys today for a portfolio Im working on?"


Popoto.~<3

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