View Full Version : Going all film? Am I crazy?
I have had a plethora of digital cameras, including two m8's. Because of the economy I am forced to move back in with my parents as I finish up my degree. The plus, my father has a darkroom. I have never been into film cameras. Also, I have never liked a picture I had taken with a digital camera. Correction, I have liked a photo, but I didn't feel that it was artistic in any way. It felt too easy (not that I have taken any remarkable photos.) I have shot film with some old SLR's ie. ME Super, but never developed my own. I have grown up in a digital age but film does intrigue me. Many of you members are large supporters of film and the Digital v. Film issue has been beaten to death. Tanks, chemicals and paper will all be free or close to it. Rolls will not be free. Because I have given up the idea of creating income from wedding and event photography, due to persnickety customers, taking photo's will be only a hobby. The legacy and
quality of the M series does intrigue me. My very small collection of M-mount lenses also directs me toward a M-body.
My question to you: Give up digital and move to film only (plus IPhone of course)?
Probably. But welcome to the club, anyway. It's not so bad, really.
Glad to hear my insanity is shared :) Thanks.
Would I use film only? Sure, unless I was trying to earn a living with it. For fun... Well, film's more fun.
For me film is much more fun. My hobby photography is still all done on film.
Film is much more about the proces for me. I like the proces. Actually, I don't even care to much about the image.
There's nothing wrong with wanting to try something that you're curious about, but I'll tell you up front that whether something's artistic or not has nothing to do with the medium, only your personal vision. And, if you think that shooting film will make your images more intrinsically artistic, you're very mistaken.
Understand, that's not me saying that if you try film you won't find it to be the medium you're more comfortable with and work better in; no, that's something you'll have to decide for yourself and may actually turn out to not be the case. I am saying though, to not be one of those people who simply write off digital because of some ill conceived romantic notion of craft or ease. Craft is not about the process itself, it's about the accumulated skill, experience, and knowledgeable application of such within that process, and nothing more. Thus, no matter what medium you decide to work in, you only get out of it what you put into it.
That said, definitely go put some film through some cameras and satisfy your curiosity, you've got nothing to lose at all, but don't dump your digital gear either for something you've barely even tried yet. There's no rule against using both, and there are plenty of photogs who do just that, myself included.
If you find something lacking in digital images, then you owe it to yourself to try out film.
But don't be disillusioned that film is as easy or convenient as digital.
Film takes effort to do and more so to do it right. But for some of us, that's exactly the draw.
You are very lucky to have access not only to a darkroom (miss mine terribly, still have to build a new one in the new place), but also to a person who can show you how to get started.
I started with digital too, so we have a common background, but film is where my heart is, especially darkroom printing.
Having said that, I enjoy digital also, and there's no sense selling *all* of your digital cameras, just sell some to get you a good film M-body and a decent film scanner.
Sure, why not? If you're not shooting for the pocket-book, you're free to explore all forms of photography.
Anyway, your digital cameras and computer will always be waiting for you (and instantly ready for use ) if you finally decide that film isn't for you. One can't say the same about a darkroom in this day and age - having access to one is a great opportunity, take full advantage of it.
Sounds like you already made up your mind.
Adding my support to the decision: I learned a lot with the instant feedback with digital and was drawn to film. I like the process, from the solid feel of an old mechanical film camera, freedom from SD cards and chargers, being present in the act of photography without the attachment to the LCD and "did I get it", developing the film and the surprise of what I got when pulling the film off the reel, and finally the opportunity to scan the negative or make a wet print.
I'm printing in a darkroom now, soon to get a mat cutter, the culmination of my total involvement in the process, with a strong intention to someday get my own darkroom.
You could do all that.
I have just finished processing some shots from Perugia and Paris. No doubt about the fussiness and the sloshing around with liquids but they will look different from digital. Having said that I do digital for fujn sometimes. Anyway, film for me is worth the effort.
I barely used my 5D II for the whole summer, so this fall I sold it. Bought a nice film scanner instead, and I haven't looked back :)
I thought I'd miss the high-ISO capabilities of the digital camera, but the M3 is like having two stops of IS on all your lenses, but there are loads of nice fast lenses for the M system, so even the 400 speed film is very usable.
Never did any wet printing, but I sure would like to try that out as well!
I think you'll do great without a digi, it's all about taking that first step out of the comfort zone!
Personally I shoot film more than digital because my film cameras are easier to use than most Digital cameras I have tried for manual mode shooting.
It's good to be different, so I say more power to you. Enjoy the ride! :)
I'm not expert by any means - however, I'll throw in my 2c...
Like you, I also started off with digital - and I am also the lucky owner of an M8. When I came across a very good condition M3 for sale, I decided to try film - because I already have the lens to support it.
So, now I'm addicted to film for some reason. I can't say whether it will last - but I do think it has made me a better photographer. At least in that more of the photos I take with my M3 are visually pleasing. The cost of film will force you to really think about each shot.
Can I suggest sticking to B&W to begin with? You can develop it yourself.
Perhaps you can consider selling 1 or both of your M8's to fund another Leica body. You can always purchase another one in the future cheaper than what you'd get for the M8's now.
As for which M film body to get... I wouldn't suggest an M3 as that really practically limits you to 50mm or longer without the use of a viewfinder. Other's are probably better for advice but - perhaps an M7.
Thanks for the input everyone, I really appreciate the insight. I recently purchased a Zeiss Ikon Contessamat for a couple bucks just to try it out (although I do love the feel of a well-built Leica.) Our blackroom is all setup and ready for action. I will probably be looking for an m6 here very shortly. Im very excited for this journey.
PS Happy Thanksgiving to everyone that celebrates it.
congrats, welcome to the shutter island
She's finally here! A wonderfully used M6. Many blemishes and wear marks but lovely nonetheless. I also came across a very great condition iiig in original case with 50mm summicron collapsible. Got a very good deal but looking to trade for an M mount lens.
i just posted my experience on this subject. feel free to read it. it's somewhere in this forum.
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