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Old 07-13-2012   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingqueenknave View Post
True, but the attention is immediately lost once they see the screen embedded in the back of those bodies. Then they roll their eyes in disinterest, if not disgust, and state, "I'm not your friend anymore."
Haha, that only happens 50% of the time. Usually the old men get disappointed. The younger people are still open to digital even if they prefer film (well, unless they are toy camera users).
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Old 07-13-2012   #82
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I'm at the beach in Connecticut at sunset and I'm just composing and focusing on three little kids climbing on the lifeguard chair with the keep off sign on it when I notice out the corner of my eye a woman jump of the picnic table she is sitting at and start running toward me and shouts "Is that a Rolleiflex" with great excitement. She comes over and asks if she can look through the viewfinder, then proceeded to tell me her father had one and remembers being in the darkroom when he was printing.
The next day I'm in town and taking some night shots and a guy comes out from a bar and hollers across the street "Is that a Rolleiflex" and comes over for a friendly chat. Ten minutes later a guy stops and says, you guessed it "Is that a Rolleiflex" and asks if he can take a photo of it with his iPhone.
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Old 07-13-2012   #83
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Originally Posted by michaelbialecki View Post
I am pretty sure that is true, I just don't have any of those cameras.....

cheers, michael
I didn't quote you though. I just meant that certain digital cameras have plenty of fans too at least in NYC. I think it comes down to "cool" design rather than film vs. digital at times.
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Old 07-28-2012   #84
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Got a special tour this holiday because of running around with a Mamiya 645 ProTL. Guy supervising the lot was interested, we got talking and he opened a few doors where the digital users couldn't come
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Old 08-01-2012   #85
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I was in the local library, with my Yaahcamat hanging off my shoulder in its everready case, when a woman asked me, "Is that a Film camera?"

I repled, "Yes."

"Is it a Brownie", she asked?

"No it is a Yashicamat, would you like to see it?"

and so on....

Funny thing this is a small town, I occasionally get looks when I am out shooting, but seldom conversations. "Nice camera", as they pass by sometimes. But then this is a University town and a tourist town, so cameras are not unusual.

Strange isn't it? ten years ago digital cameras were unusual, today film cameras are very strange to most people.
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Old 08-01-2012   #86
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I had my IIIf and xpro1 at a Canada day function. Did most of my shooting with the Fuji because (I'm cheap) and the IQ is soooo good. I must of had 4 people come up and ask multiple questions on the Leica. Very few on the Fuji. I think the Fuji scared them off a bit. I feel I am so lucky to be able to have these two gems!
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Old 09-02-2012   #87
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Ive had 5D's M9's and its so boring. Everytime I go back to film its much more fun. Something I can touch, thats real and takes me away from the disposable world we currently live in. Fast, cheap, easy, why bother?
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Old 09-02-2012   #88
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When I'm out with my M5 most people just point and laugh.
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Old 09-02-2012   #89
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... understandable I suppose
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Old 09-02-2012   #90
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These guys were all part of the same French family. When they saw me with my Leica M5 they came over for a chat. They were really interested in the Leica and we spent quite a while chewing the fat about things photographic. I'm pretty certain they wouldn't have bothered if I'd been shooting with a digital SLR.


Photographers Eilean Donan by Elmer Duck, on Flickr
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Old 09-02-2012   #91
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... Eilean Donan's spiral staircases go the wrong way round, I assume whoever built it was left handed ... odd what bits of information one remembers it must be thirty five years since I was there last ... it's still raining I see
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Old 09-02-2012   #92
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Although we travel up and down to Skye a lot, I've yet to find Eilean Donan in good light. It usually is as you see it in the photo above - grey and horrible! When there are so many fantastic photos of the castle out there it seems pointless to stop for a photo in anything but exceptional light. The only reason I stopped on this occasion was because there was an art exhibition in the nearby village hall.
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Old 09-02-2012   #93
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i noticed girls dun mind having their photos taken by strangers with a rolleiflex....

Quote:
Originally Posted by semrich View Post
I'm at the beach in Connecticut at sunset and I'm just composing and focusing on three little kids climbing on the lifeguard chair with the keep off sign on it when I notice out the corner of my eye a woman jump of the picnic table she is sitting at and start running toward me and shouts "Is that a Rolleiflex" with great excitement. She comes over and asks if she can look through the viewfinder, then proceeded to tell me her father had one and remembers being in the darkroom when he was printing.
The next day I'm in town and taking some night shots and a guy comes out from a bar and hollers across the street "Is that a Rolleiflex" and comes over for a friendly chat. Ten minutes later a guy stops and says, you guessed it "Is that a Rolleiflex" and asks if he can take a photo of it with his iPhone.
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Old 09-02-2012   #94
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Wouldn't a camera in full automatic mode allow you to focus on seeing better since you no longer need to worry about exposure and focus?
Been thinking about this recently, and think the answer (for me) is no. Even when a full bells & whistle camera like a dslr is 'dumbed down' so to speak, I never feel I can trust it implicitly enough, to just let go and concentrate on seeing and shooting like I do with my M3. I think this is the key difference, after reading some left brain/ right brain art and photography writings recently. With my M3, I am able to fully immerse myself in my right brain and just focus on image making, whereas a camera with other distractions (even if just checking the camera made the right call), never permits me the same immersion.

On a practical level, I think two of the key points for me are exposure and focus. With an unmetered camera like an M and negative film, I am adjusting exposure for general shooting conditions almost unconsciously, and almost never when I have the camera at my eye. This means I only have to focus when I have the camera to my eye. That brings me to focussing, where I increasingly find autofocus makes me unconsciously zone out a little, where with manual focus, it keeps me right in the scene I am trying to capture, making me pay attention and cast my eye over the many elements in the scene before me.

At least the above are my thoughts on something I find quite natural, and not so easy to explain. For me, I simply 'see' better with my M3. This is not to say I cannot learn to 'see' in a similar way with other cameras, but think different cameras/ processes affect how we engage our perceptive abilities when we shoot. Learning how to engage that ability in other ways is something I am exploring a little at the moment, mainly in conjunction with Betty Edwards classic drawing manual Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, and Bert Krages who uses a similar bent, but in relation to photography, in his Photography, The Art of Composition.
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Old 09-02-2012   #95
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Although we travel up and down to Skye a lot, I've yet to find Eilean Donan in good light. It usually is as you see it in the photo above - grey and horrible! When there are so many fantastic photos of the castle out there it seems pointless to stop for a photo in anything but exceptional light. The only reason I stopped on this occasion was because there was an art exhibition in the nearby village hall.
I have a nice slide of it somewhere, from the other side of the loch on the Lochalsh road. Early morning just off the first ferry blue sky and a few wispy low clouds over the hills, it lasted for an hour or so then the mist and rain blew in.
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Old 10-07-2012   #96
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I used to come to a theater and photographing is prohibited in there, theater worker stopped a lady taking picture with a digital cam, but the interesting thing is nobody interfered me shooting with my silent M6 as I am invisible there.
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Old 10-07-2012   #97
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As for more fun I definitely agree. I've been an avid user of film cameras since I started and I've always enjoyed it more than digital. It's so exciting getting your photos back!

As to meeting more people, I always think that's the case, but it doesn't happen to me as much as I always think it will. I live and shoot in Japan so maybe it's a language barrier thing. The people I find normally asking me about my cameras are those I meet through other people. Not so much random people on the street. Does anyone else have similar experiences?
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Old 10-07-2012   #98
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Never have I attracted more positive attention to myself while photographing than with a Rolleiflex ...
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Old 10-25-2012   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CameraQuest View Post
People are much more likely to stop me on the street to talk, saying asking about whatever camera I am shooting. Comments generally run into 3 directions

1) someone I knew had a camera similar to yours
2) I had that same camera, or always wanted one
3) where can I get a film camera and get started in film photography?

So, are film cameras more likely to be more fun and a better conversation starter than a digital camera?

Stephen
Definitely. Although sometimes I agree with newsgrunt..

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nope. film cameras mean more irritating questions and less shooting time.
..it kind of depends on my mood, and the kind of conversations I get. Females never ask me any questions so reading this surprised me quite a bit (the difference of course is, I am female myself..) I usually get the males. And they're usually much older than I am but those men are usually nice and interested.

I've had the exact same kind of questions/ remarks as mentioned above, but also 'do they still make film for that?' or 'where do you buy film?', stuff like that.

Sometimes it really is fun and I have nice conversations with people. This usually happens with my analog cameras. The Fuji X100 gets attention too. I've had a lot of people say 'hey, are you still shooting analog?' I usually reply, yes, but this one is digital actually. Funny faces after that

Sometimes it really bores and annoys me to death as people approach me just as often with a digital camera, even when I'm working, and they just HAVE to tell me they're into photography too, or ask me what to buy.. or rant on about a camera they used to own and how great it was (I really don't know how to respond to that anymore, I mean, what can I say? I don't have that specific camera..)

Are there few females on here? Maybe that's the big difference, because I sometimes feel slightly harassed actually; honking cars, people talking to me like they know more than I do (one time I was taking a portrait of someone in the city with a Hasselblad, a guy walks past and says, shall I take a picture of the both of you with that? I mean, the nerve especially the way he said it.. just mind-boggling), people talking purely about their own photography stuff.. please, leave me in peace so I can take photos already.

Something that still amazes me: 'I own that camera too'- usually a sneer in passing. Well, yes, anyone can buy a camera. There is no law preventing you from doing so even if you don't use it or have no idea how to use it.. So what? I can go out and buy a hammer but that doesn't give me the right to look down on a carpenter, right?
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Old 10-25-2012   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murchu View Post
Been thinking about this recently, and think the answer (for me) is no. Even when a full bells & whistle camera like a dslr is 'dumbed down' so to speak, I never feel I can trust it implicitly enough, to just let go and concentrate on seeing and shooting like I do with my M3. I think this is the key difference, after reading some left brain/ right brain art and photography writings recently. With my M3, I am able to fully immerse myself in my right brain and just focus on image making, whereas a camera with other distractions (even if just checking the camera made the right call), never permits me the same immersion.

On a practical level, I think two of the key points for me are exposure and focus. With an unmetered camera like an M and negative film, I am adjusting exposure for general shooting conditions almost unconsciously, and almost never when I have the camera at my eye. This means I only have to focus when I have the camera to my eye. That brings me to focussing, where I increasingly find autofocus makes me unconsciously zone out a little, where with manual focus, it keeps me right in the scene I am trying to capture, making me pay attention and cast my eye over the many elements in the scene before me.

At least the above are my thoughts on something I find quite natural, and not so easy to explain. For me, I simply 'see' better with my M3. This is not to say I cannot learn to 'see' in a similar way with other cameras, but think different cameras/ processes affect how we engage our perceptive abilities when we shoot. Learning how to engage that ability in other ways is something I am exploring a little at the moment, mainly in conjunction with Betty Edwards classic drawing manual Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, and Bert Krages who uses a similar bent, but in relation to photography, in his Photography, The Art of Composition.
I like your explanation. I have similar thoughts on it and it is indeed hard to explain, especially to people using dslr's etc. For me, the camera usually gets in the way when it starts to think for itself too much, and there's more distractions in the viewfinder and everywhere else.

When I bought my Bessa the guy in the shop said, 'it has a meter, too, not sure if there's a battery in there' and my first reaction was 'oh no! Can it function without a battery? Please say yes' and he looked at me as if I was nuts.. but I use my lighting meter and eyes for this and that's enough, and a red blinking light in the viewfinder is going to distract me and make me doubt myself, so it will cost extra time and make me less aware of what I'm shooting, less focus.

(I can use it without a battery thankfully and apart from a few rolls of film I used while still recovering from a concussion, I get consistent results)
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Old 10-26-2012   #101
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film makes me feel like its really photography....i love shooting my leica. digital is , well useful and without the cost of film and lab costs frees the shutter a lot more.....
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Old 10-26-2012   #102
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The most attention I ever attracted was with my Rolleiflex (well, other than the 70's when I was sporting my white disco outfit). Seriously though, lots of conversations and smiles all around. In fact, the Rolleiflex may be the best street camera ever. Nobody seems to mind having their picture taken with it!
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Old 11-15-2012   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CameraQuest View Post
So, are film cameras more likely to be more fun and a better conversation starter than a digital camera?

Well for me, at least, its definitely true.

Stephen
For me, Stephen, it is true as well.
I've often made the same experience.
When I am out on the streets using my film based cameras, quite often people ask me about it.
The best "conversation starter" are TLRs. Especially young photographers, who have been probably grown up 'completely digital' are very interested and curious.

The conversations have always been very nice.
Interestingly recently I've been more often asked by females than males.
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Old 11-15-2012   #104
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My film photo friends certainly get more attention than me. They even get a portrait or two out of the conversation. The only digital that gets a lot of attention is the Leica M8/M9. People will scream out "Leica" at times in NYC... inside and outside. Kind of embarrassing.
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Old 11-15-2012   #105
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Must be the location. Hardly ever get a comment even with a 6X9 folder or my Leica M. Strangely, my Olympus Pen F gets a response, often an older gentleman will ask if it's a Leica. Without a prism hump it does have the same profile as a older screw mount Leica. Last year I picked up a Ziess Box Tengor but haven't taken it out yet. I'll have to see if it generates any conversation.
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Old 11-25-2012   #106
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Well, try using a Hasselblad on a tripod, and count the seconds before someone shows up asking all sorts of questions. The 4x5 is used in the countryside, not in crowded urban areas, otherwise it would cause a major traffic jam for sure...I am always polite with those curious enough to ask about these cameras, "can you still find film for these ?"
usually, 35 mm gear is thought to be digital, so no big questions about it, though.
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Old 11-25-2012   #107
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I have received quite a few comments with my medium format film cameras, my folders, my Barnack Leicas, and my older Pentax SLRs. Most people either recognize them as older cameras and realize I am using film.

Surprisingly, my newer rangefinders do not usually attract much attention. I think that is because a lot of the newer digital mirror-less cameras have a retro look so, unless I am actually reloading, they don't immediately recognize them as film cameras.

On the other hand, the M9 gets quite a bit of attention, particularly from other photographers I know. A lot of them are pretty committed to digital but they love the size and simplicity of the M9.
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Old 12-08-2012   #108
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Three years ago I was travelling in Seoul, Korea and started a conversation with a 50-something year-old Korean man in a camera shop in the Chungmuro camera district of Seoul. After an hour's conversation about Hassy's and film Leicas, I was doing happy hour with this respectable gent and his office buddies. Within three hours I was at his house, met his family and drinking wine with him. We still keep in touch from time to time .. .
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Old 01-07-2013   #109
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I'll second that TLR's tend to have a relaxing effect on strangers. I was photographing a motorcycle show in the streets of Erie, PA with a Yashica MAT LM, and got several looks, smiles, etc. A kid even pointed to it and asked his dad if it was a video camera! A woman probably in her early 40's stopped me and struck up a conversation.

I think TLR's are naturally disarming, since the waist-level viewfinder requires the photographer to look down and away from the subject. People (and animals) tense up when they feel as if they are being watched or stared at.
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Old 01-08-2013   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murchu View Post
You can turn off many of the bells and whistles on digital cameras, but there is still always the temptation to tinker, a temptation you do not have with a camera with only the most basic of controls.
So it all boils down to a question of strenght of will, just as with stop smoking, losing weight and exercise more...
I've started last March shooting my Panasonic G3 with an old Pentacon manual focus lens, Aperture Priority mode, all bells and whistles disabled, no back lcd and only infos in the viewfinders are shutter speed and over/under exposition indicator.
And now I've found that is the most engaging way to shoot photos for me, the camera becames totally "transparent"... I shoot at most 15-20 shots a day, everyone of them is deeply tought and not considered "disposable" just because I can shoot hundreds of them on the SD card. I shoot also with two film rangefinders, but I simply feel more at ease with the G3.
Back to the thread title - I had people starting conversation with me when I use my Mamiya C220. My Zorki and my Leica are considered just retro-looking digicams.
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Old 01-08-2013   #111
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yes, TLR are not intimidating. I use sometimes and people tend to smile when they recognize to be my subject! And still remember when a couple of years ago a boy around 12 ask stared at my Rolleiflex, ask me if he could look in it and than ask me how many megapixel it was
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Old 01-08-2013   #112
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Unfortunately, yes. As a street shooter, I always try to be invisible, but a film camera sometimes take too much attention, especially MF. No problem with Yashica T4, no one wants to talk about this camera. Lol.
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Old 01-19-2013   #113
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My building's janitor who is Russian gave me his old Zenit when he saw me shooting with a Zorki in the street. He seemed proud of the USSR legacy!
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Old 01-19-2013   #114
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Quote:
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My building's janitor who is Russian gave me his old Zenit when he saw me shooting with a Zorki in the street. He seemed proud of the USSR legacy!

Haha, that is so cool! My college art teacher gave me his old Pentax Spotmatic when I needed a camera for a sculpture project but didn't want to risk leaving my DSLR in public. Then he let me keep it
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Old 01-19-2013   #115
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The most amusing reactions I get are when I'm shooting with the Polaroid SX-70. Sometimes with one of my 1950s folders.

Otherwise, most people could care less if I've got a Nikon F or a Leica M9, or a Rollei 35S or a Leica X2. They all just see a camera and ignore it.

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Old 01-20-2013   #116
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I've had a range of experiences using film, ranging from a woman in the street laughing (in a nice way) at the sign of me using a Rolleiflex, to a girl (early 20s) in a bar stopping by my table to say "cool camera" at the sight of my M2. Perhaps the best response ever has got to be the person who once saw me with a iiif and asked me: "is that real?" When I asked why she explained she didn't think film cameras still existed. I was too busy working that one out to be able to come back at her with a response. In contrast, I've also had people smile knowingly and say "nice to see someone using a real camera", so there was some unintentional irony I guess in the girl's comment. My latest film camera attention was in a bar this evening. A member of bar staff said "oh, I remember - you're the guy with the Leica M2". Indeed, I did have my M2 with me on an evening out with friends about five or six weeks back. Turns out the staff member with the good memory recently got himself an M6 and has a large collection of Zorkis.
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Old 02-17-2013   #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zauhar View Post
My department chair saw me taking shots with my Leica IIIf one evening and said "Wow! That looks like something from the 50's! Have digital cameras gone back to that style?"

I agree fully, people are in general very interested in film cameras, especially kids (meaning teens and young adults).

Film is currently "cool". Enjoy while it lasts (hopefully a long time).

Randy

Yup, 'retro' design is now as in as can be with all your lomo people and Fuji's massively popular X cameras
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Old 04-23-2013   #118
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This evening a girl in my Spanish class asked me why I "use that thing" as I put away my Nikon F2AS - she didn't understand why someone who isn't in a photo class would shoot film. I explained that I took a photo class 15 years ago, and as it turns out her mother used to have her own darkroom in the basement of their old house. She said she remembered the smell of the chemicals, and seeing images appear as if out of nothing in the film. She copied down the name of my camera to give to her mother, who is interested in a fancy new digital...
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Old 06-12-2013   #119
sgtnikolaix
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I have to disagree, I use film but no one tends to notice me using one...Maybe its the intimidation factor of my tattoos haha!
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Old 06-12-2013   #120
cosmonaut
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If attention is what you want carry a full frame camera and flash to a rodeo. The women will follow you home.
I do just as good with a full rig as everyone is expecting me to be a photographer and most often think I am the event photographer and at times people ask me to take their pictures.
Try it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CameraQuest View Post
Well, its a debatable viewpoint, for sure.

But I generally have more fun shooting with a film camera.
Just as important is that I generally meet more new friends shooting film.

Why? Because film cameras are old fashioned and get a lot more attention than digital cameras getting these days.

People are much more likely to stop me on the street to talk, saying asking about whatever camera I am shooting. Comments generally run into 3 directions

1) someone I knew had a camera similar to yours
2) I had that same camera, or always wanted one
3) where can I get a film camera and get started in film photography?

Of course people don't always ask questions, but in the Los Angeles area strangers are about 1000 times more likely to ask questions about a film camera than a digital.

So, are film cameras more likely to be more fun and a better conversation starter than a digital camera?

Well for me, at least, its definitely true.

Stephen
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