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How did you come back to film? Share your stories.
Old 01-19-2018   #1
Ko.Fe.
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How did you come back to film? Share your stories.

I often google things related to technicalities in film and RF photography. Of course RFF comes in glance and glory as the first line in search returns.
I'm often looking at these 2006-2010 posts... many avatars I know. I miss some of them... And I'm happy what some are still active here. Not just happy, but it is helping and helps big time sometimes.

While keep on reading those old RFF posts I realized what some still active fellow RFF members were shooting film with Bessa or else back in 2006-2010 and now they are using digital mirroless. And some are still using film just like back then.

And then where are few newbies or not so like me...

My film photography on film was always low in activity, so-so in results and it was never been advanced. I never developed, never printed. S16 or Auto. We always had one film camera for entire family. We quit on film only photography in 2007. And in 2008 we switched from film Rebel to digital Rebel. Switching to advanced digital allowed me to learn about exposure and learn many other aspects of photography.... I used film Rebel only in the green box mode.
One day I decided to digitize our films with mostly family pictures on them. Not expensive (limited and primitive) scanners just became available... It was one particular picture, portrait taken by my wife with trusty film Rebel. I looked at it and realized what despite technically better look on digital I prefer film look. Prior to this I succeeded in emulating of "cinelook" digitally and already downloaded 1GB archive with film grain, emulsion scratches and else to learn how to fake film look in PS. I looked at this grainy film portrait and asked myself: why I'm not just start to use film again?...

I pulled out our film Rebel from night table cabinet, slapped Canon L lens on it and... batteries were dead. Those terribly expensive batteries! And if you not switching off this Rebel camera then it eats batteries in no time...
And then the cost of the film and have it developed. For family pictures it was necessary, but for goofing around it is costly. Wait! My parents FED-2 which nobody at home was using but me until 1991 or so was still in Moscow.
Mother-in-law brought it to Canada. Batteries problem was solved. This is how film photography started for real to me .
Thanks for digital photography, I knew then it happen. March 2012.



The rest of coming back to film was nothing special. FED-2 has to be fixed and I needed to learn about BW film, how to use it in bulks to save money and learning about developing because it was costs saving. By almost same time I received entire darkroom set from fellow customer. Including chemicals. It helped to make it not expensive at all...
I stopped buying and trying digital cameras and lenses right away. Well... only to start buying, servicing, fixing and trying film gear. But it was much more affordable... until I saved enough for my first film M in couple of years later


Any stories of coming back to film to share?
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Old 01-19-2018   #2
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After using digital for so long and giving up on 35mm film, I had the feeling of
missing something, so I friend of mine was selling his Hasselblad camera for real
cheap so I went for it. So now I'm pretty deep into my one Hassey and three
rolleiflex's. I just love the square!
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Old 01-19-2018   #3
Ko.Fe.
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Thank you for sharing!
If you like it square, then only Hassey and Flex will bring it with quality and pleasure, IMO.
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Old 01-19-2018   #4
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I never left film. After buying the M8 and M9, I decided to anchor myself to film buy getting the amazing SWC. The old model does not accept a digital back, plus the cost of such a back is so high that it is absurd.
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Old 01-19-2018   #5
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I know I'm new here, but---

I shot film for a few years about a decade ago, when I was in college and had some excellent processing/printing facilities at my disposal. After leaving college, I fell into digital photography, working my way from an iPhone, to a Sony RX100 that I bought for a trip to Hong Kong, to a Fuji X100, to a Fuji X70, to a Fuji X100F, to, now, a Minolta CLE!

It was a long path, but what convinced me to come back to film was my experience with using the X100F as a manual camera. It enabled me to hone my photography skills at zero opportunity cost beyond the purchase of a camera. Once I felt better about my photography, I felt I could justify the cost of film.

It also helped me to realize that it doesn't have to be one or the other--I have a digital camera that I love, and a film camera that I love.
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Old 01-19-2018   #6
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Although I´ve never given up photography with film entirely I have to admit that it
doesn´t play any role in my active photography today.

Maybe I´m more a picturehead than a gearhead .

When I joined RFF in 2009 I was completely in rangefinders with my M6, CL and FED2.
There were 2 limiting factors that drove me more and more to digital cams.

The first was the really poor performance of our local developing industry.
Lost and scratched and dirty films and a great insensibility to fix that.
The second factor consists in my personal preferencies when taking photos.
I had trouble with filling films my whole life. Much films with 12 exposes were returned
to developing after 5-6 pictures or two or three.

Both disadvantages disappeared completely when digital came up.

Today I´m still fascinated from equipment like a FED, Leica or Rolleiflex or a Hassy.
But for me they are all part of the past when it comes to my active photography now.

My smallest camera is smaller than my old cutie Minox35 was. And more reliable.
And it takes panos, videos has a 25-500mm equiv. optics and is useable in dimmer light.

Unfortunately I had never improved my skills in self-developing and darkroom.
But even if I had I surely won´t miss one of my portraits in dim light somewhere at the
end of the world where I have cams now that offer me to do it.
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Old 01-19-2018   #7
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I never left film and do analog and digital.

For me it is about not having remorse. Decades from now I don't want to think or say I should of shot as much film as possible when it was feasable and less costly.

Thanks to Dan's 70mm thread I made a commitment to scaling back up. 70mm film allows me to roll back the clock and get my costs down to under $3.00 a roll for a 120 equiv. Also using 70 mm allows me to shoot 15 feet of film for over 60 6x7's without having to reload.

I can see the future that with the high megapixel digital cameras that will be coming out that digitizing negatives will be faster and easier than ever. With a 48-51 MP sensor file size will be north of 700MB. No need for stitching together a medium format negative.

I know one day I will be very proud and happy I have been shooting as much film as possible.

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Old 01-19-2018   #8
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I actually was "late" to digital.
Getting a Canon 40D and then RD1 in 2008.
When the RD1 arrived the Canon sat around until my GF at the time picked it up.
I bought a 5D and slowly added it in to hired work as it took over for color film but!... B+W film stayed.

I had always used film since 1980's. My Junior HighSchool had a darkroom and offered photography to 7th graders.... I got an early start in the darkroom. Bought my first new camera from paper route money in 1983 (13years old).
Now these poor kids have one HS with a Darkroom in the entire district to share. (I guess they should be so lucky)

I would like to use Color film more with the Fuji GF670 but so far have only bought a bit of film.
This spring I'll fire off some of this Ektar and 160s.
Seeing those big color squares again will be sweet!
It's been all B+W for quite some time.
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Old 01-19-2018   #9
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Like most of us, I shot 35mm film for many years. My father had a Minolta XG-7 and I bought a new XG-1 in 1979 or so (yes, I actually saved up paper route money). My kit consisted of the XG-1 body and a 50mm f1.7 lens. I shot that until the mid 90s when I moved to a Minolta Freedom Zoom 150 35mm point and shoot. From there I went to a Canon digital point & shoot.

In 2015 I got the 35mm film bug again. I dusted off my XG-1 and ran two rolls of film through it. Worked out great! I read up on film shooting and realized the all mighty Minolta X-700 could be had in good used condition fairly cheap on ebay. I ended up buying two x-700 bodies, a Minolta Hi-Matic F (point and shoot 35mm film rangefinder of sorts). I now wanted a rangefinder, read up and found the Yashica Electro 35 series was pretty good and cheap. I bought a nice clean GSN on ebay for under $40. This camera works perfect and needed only a battery.

I then picked up a nice deal on a Nikon FE2 with a 50mm f1.8 for about $100 on a facebook camera group. Since then the FE2 has been my goto 35mm SLR and the GSN my second camera.

After shooting various rolls of color and B&W film through both, I realized I wanted a better 35mm film camera. Research led me to the F3. Tried and true, a professional camera with everything I wanted. The first Nikon with the famed red stripe as well. My shopping consisted of ebay and craigslist. I started looking around at Etsy as well, it was there I scored a nice, working F3/T body. Paired with my FE2, Nikon 50mm f1.8 & 28mm f2.8, I shot my first roll of film through the F3 in March 2017.

I've since sold off the Minolta Hi-Matic F and now-broken X700 bodies to partially fund the X100T and added a Voigtlander 40mm f2 to the kit. I still enjoy shooting film between bouts of digital. The XG-1 is now on display in my home office as there is a bit of sentimental value there
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Old 01-19-2018   #10
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I am a hobbyist and came back to film in 2015 with a re-conditioned Zorki-1, and love the entire process: choosing B&W film, shooting, developing, scanning & inkjet printing.

To lower my costs I have quit doing color.

I've bought a few cameras, and sold some. Currently my bag is a Leica M2 & a Zorki-1. I have a first 35mm lens on the way.

I still shoot a little Sony digital for my business website.
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Old 01-19-2018   #11
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Thank you for all of the stories! I even learned something new today.

I returned to learn more and to have more fun with film, but I didn't switched. Film is nice and different option for me. My experimental and street photography comes better with film and family pictures on digital.
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Old 01-19-2018   #12
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The story of how I came back to film is also the story of how I came to love rangefinders.

In about 2007 I found a fixed-lens rangefinder at a local thrift store. I had been shooting digitally for seven years by then and had two Canon DSLRs with a ton of lenses.

I had only ever used SLRs because that was all I knew. My first camera was a Rollei SL35 my dad had passed down to me.

I bought the rangefinder on a whim and took some snapshots without much of an expectation. When I got my film back I was blown away at the prints and realized how much I enjoyed using that camera, how light and portable it was.

The camera was an Olympus 35 SP.

Unfortunately, it was stolen out of my car soon after. I haven't had one since.

I still have the Canon DSLRs, but I always have a rangefinder in the bag or leave the bigger cameras at home altogether.

I have owned an M3, M5, Canon QL-19, Canon VT, Best R2A and a Ricoh 500G, to name a few but I'm hoping another 35 SP will cross my path some day.
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Old 01-19-2018   #13
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I shot my first roll of Verichrome ( ortho ) in my mothers Ansco 620 box camera in 1953 and never stopped shooting film. I thought about it and even sold off my darkroom but couldn't love digital like I do film so I reacquired all the equipment and built a better darkroom. I also foolishly sold a lot of my cameras but have rebuilt my system.

I'm loving film more than ever now.
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Old 01-19-2018   #14
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I went all-digital after my EOS 650 took a swan dive onto the front of its lens from my dining room table in 2002. I'd been dabbling in digital photography since I was allowed to borrow a Kodak DC-120 camera from work for the birth of my first daughter. My family was delighted to see pictures of her birth on a web site the same day. It was 1.2 megapixels, and an inconvenient brick shape, but I still have fond memories of that camera.

The digital camera I replaced that EOS 650 with was the Nikon CoolPix 950 Millenium. It was quite a step up in resolution... 2.0 megapixels! I loved that camera, but it was stolen out of a rental car in Los Angeles, and amazingly my homeowners insurance paid me $500 after the $500 deductible because the only one for sale on earth at that time was priced at $999 from a web site in Japan. C'est la vie.

From 2002 until two years ago I didn't use a film camera for any pictures. I have 14 GB of photos on hard drives from that period, and I still use my iPhone almost every day.

But...

Two years ago my wife's uncle gave me his father's Leica M3. That proved to be the "gateway drug" that reminded me of the fun I had with my old film cameras. I used that Leica and its four lenses a lot that summer, but I also dug out my little Pentax Auto 110 and my Olympus XA from college, plus my dad's beloved Konica AutoReflex T3n. Then I discovered an old camera at a thift store for only a few dollars, and I've been buying and shooting with a dizzying variety of film cameras for the last couple of years. It's been great fun.

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Old 01-19-2018   #15
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I started all digital with my dads canon 30d when I was about 20 - which was 2007. Soon after, being a tech-head I am, I convinced him to go half with me on an upgrade to a 5d mk1. Lovely camera.

Cue forward a few months and I had discovered these mystical cameras that took film, and found RFF, and the thread that aviotus posted about his experienced in China with a Yashica electro GSN, which completely floored me. Here was the aesthetic I was searching for with my expensive (at the time 3k aud) digital camera, all from a $30 30 year old film camera! After a few ebay specials, I realized the lasting power of film, and 10 years later I still strongly prefer it when the situation allows.
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Old 01-19-2018   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gavinlg View Post
the thread that aviotus posted about his experienced in China with a Yashica electro GSN, which completely floored me.

That thread and those images have had an effect on many of us I think.
The atmosphere he returned with using that camera and film .... still hard to get it with digital imaging.
Such a simple inexpensive old camera brought home the goods.

Here is a link to the thread for any reading who have not come across it yet. Well worth a look.

https://www.rangefinderforum.com/for...ad.php?t=34986
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Old 01-19-2018   #17
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Kostya, I love your film story!

I guess I have more of a digital encroachment story. I invested heavily in film gear as a younger person (there are others here at RFF who are in the same boat). I just plugged away using film even as digital came on the scene. I was pretty happy with my film life. What's kind of funny is I have been very active in the digital remote sensing field all around this time -- developing satellite sensors and methods for using those digital data. But, for my personal photography I just used film -- B+W and slide film, almost never C-41. Then I was given a very rudimentary digital camera. Didn't have an LCD and I think it was about 2.4MP. That didn't help. I laughed and laughed so hard! Film was clearly superior, by far.

Fast forward to about 3 (or 4?) years ago. I had the opportunity to pick up an M8 in trade for some unused film gear I had (a Rollei 35 system). Well, the M8 was just like my M2, M3, and M6 and the images were much much better than I expected! About the same time, my wife got a Nikon D90 and her images were "mind blowing" compared to the stuff I expected from digital. Digital images were now quite acceptible and I sure liked the immediate gratification.

Since that time, I have been a firm two-camp photographer. About 2/3 of the images I make today are digital and the remaining 1/3 on film. That actually says a lot! I tend to use my digital gear just like my film gear (it comes naturally with the M cameras) and I certainly don't spray-n-pray like the typical digital user. I even limit my bracketing to just the few shots I would take with film -- when I even bother to bracket

Where to go from here? I doubt I will stop using film. I've settled on such a comfortable level of usage and its all about enjoyment. I really enjoy using some of my film cameras and because I have experience with film photography, I tend to be successful in capturing images I like (and others too).
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Old 01-20-2018   #18
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Nice idea for a thread Kostya - thanks.

I grew up with film - Verichrome Pan in the family Box Brownie 620, then 35mm colour reversal film in my father's Yashica Lynx. Reversal film was cheaper than colour prints, as the processing was included in the price and we had lots of slide nights. My first serious camera was an OM1 and I mostly shot Kodachrome 25 and Tri-X. By that time I had the use of a faculty darkroom every Friday night. I kept shooting film for decades.

When digital became good enough for everyday use I bought a Coolpix E4500. You could make a coffee while it focused but the results were very nice for A4 prints. Macro was a revelation. Then later a 5D beckoned and I stopped shooting film for quite a few years. I sold most of my film gear and got immersed in the digital darkroom.

Then my father-in-law passed on his F2 and Nikkormat with a bunch of Nikkors to me. It was like getting back with an old friend. To keep cost down I mostly shot bw film and developed it myself. I bought an Epson scanner to digitize the negs. I'm still trying to find a way to easily get an enlarger into and out of our tiny laundry so I can make wet prints again. Life is complicated the last few years but I'll get there.

I like what I can do with digital - like changing ISO from shot to shot, and playing in the digital darkroom - but I realised I much prefer the look of film. I started frequenting op shops and came across an OM1, so nice to feel one in the hands again.

I now much prefer the look of film. I hardly ever shoot digital now, apart from rare family pictures where I need high ISO and digital convenience. I have a 124G for portraits and some MF folders because I really, really like MF.

I'm having more fun since I went back to film than I've ever had with digital.
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Old 01-20-2018   #19
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The antique camera gear I collected years ago (and some I collected recently) don't have slots for SD cards, so I have to use film in them. Actually, I shot color slides for almost 30 years until processing became increasingly slow, infrequent and haphazard. My DSLRs were a wonderful replacement for slides! I use them often to this day. But my beloved Nikon S2 sat on a shelf, and was soon joined by a half-dozen other similarly-vintage cameras, and eventually I had to bite the bullet and put film in them. First was Ilford XP2, which at least I could get processed locally, but it was expensive, and at ISO 400 it seemed like it was at the far end of what a lot of old cameras were designed to shoot (imagine shooting Sunny 16 when your maximum shutter speed is 1/500 and minimum aperture is f16). So I bit the bullet again and bought tanks and reels and chemicals so I can develop slower films myself.
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Old 01-20-2018   #20
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I briefly stepped into the digital world but have left it many years ago. The only digital camera I have is my phone.

I'm a photo guy not a gear head.
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Old 03-26-2018   #21
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I'm tired of buying external hard drives because of disk failure. The cabinet that houses my slides and negatives has never crashed, never suffered a power surge, and never prevented access to a file during a power outage. Sadly, though, the search process for finding a particular image in the cabinet isn't much faster than the ones I conduct with a computer. Oh well, no system is perfect.
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Old 03-26-2018   #22
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I've always been a film shooter, except for a very brief fling w/ a Nikon D70 SLR way back when. I liked the camera well enough when it came to shooting it, but the images out of it were not up to par compared to my film camera, especially w/ black and white. Portraits were the biggest downside, as the digital files were capable of making even attractive people look bad. The colour shots were not so hot either in terms of colour saturation. It didn't help that my daily film shooter was an M3 w/ a 50 DR and a 90 Tele Elmarit, because that kit set the IQ bar unnaturally high. That's the only reason I've stayed w/ film......image quality. I can usually spot a digital image a mile away, and I simply don't like what I see from any digital camera. Plus, you're largely stuck w/ the one look you get, while w/ film I have lots of choices for different looks.
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Old 03-26-2018   #23
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Hey man! Just finished a roll of film in one of the Leicas, and working on another in the M2 (HP-5, excellent film). The MDa is loaded with Panatomic-X right now, and its being used with the micro-Visoflex for a woodworking project (woodworking tools as a photographic subject. I'm not using the visoflex as a hammer )

Film continues to play a role in my adventure.....

As a side note, I wish there was a way to adequately scan my MF film without spending a fortune on a decent MF-capable scanner. My Epson V500 is just not "cutting the mustard"... Anyone figure out a configuration to scan MF (6x6 and 6x7) with a BEOON? I happen to have one, and it does work amazing for 35 film... Needs to be as quick and simple as the 35 shooting. I don't have the time or patience to stitch together parts of a negative. I'm looking for convenience as part of the process....I have a LOT of negatives.
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The AE1
Old 03-26-2018   #24
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The AE1

I bought my first SLR in 1980. It was a Canon AE1. I was instantly hooked on photography and eventually became chief of photography for both junior high and high school. I had my own darkroom from the age of 13 until I moved away to college at 18. Somewhere around 1987 it was stolen. I eventually bought some better cameras, mostly Nikons, and eventually sold everything off for simpler autofocus cameras.

Then came digital. Once digital got to the point of producing great images, I abandoned film entirely. I had a 4 megapixel Panasonic LUMIX with a Leica lens that took phenomenal pictures. Then came camera phones, culminating in the latest and greatest iPhones.

One day I stopped at a garage sale, and there among the many treasures sat 2 Canon AE1 cameras with Canon lenses. Neitehr was working and I knew it was likely a battery issue. I haggled and got both for $20. I got some batteries and one was working perfectly. The other had the dreaded shutter squeal. I shot my first roll and it was fogged due to rotted seals, but what was salvageable on film produced those dreamy film images I had not seen in years. It just had that indescribable warmth that I had long forgotten. I fixed the light leaks and ordered a brick of Tri-X online.

Here I am a year later. I own a Mamiya 7ii and 5 lenses, a Bronica RF 645 and 3 lenses, 3 Rolleiflexes, a Leica, 2 Bessas, a slew of lenses, 5 Nikons, a freezer full of film, 2 bulk loaders, processing equipment, and a digital film scanner and 2 photo printers, plus a Fuji digital camera and slew of lenses. To say I am obsessed is an understatement. I try to love digital, but I just can’t. I love the imperfection of film and the process of creating a photograph that only film offers to me. I love the nostalgic beauty of occasional film fogging, or photos at the end of the roll that just barely make it before getting cut off. I love the lettitude of Black and white, and the drama of real grain, and the details rich highlights, and pure blacks. I love the organic vibrance of Fuji color slide film and pray for the return of Kodachrome. My Fuji digital camera takes amazing and sharp photographs, but they completely lack soul. Film is soulful. I hope more people rediscover it and keep it alive.
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Old 03-26-2018   #25
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Started shooting film back in the very early 90's when i bought a Praktica BMS, progressed to shooting slides throughout the 90s and then bought a Canon EOS 5 which i still use.
In 2003 i bought a Nikon 8400 and switched to digital, Shot it for a couple of years, enjoyed it but my computer that i used to store all pictures went bust and lost all of them. I have a couple of backup cds that i cannot read them in any device.

In 2006 i found an old coronet deluxe box camera in a charity shop and started shooting film again. A year or so later, my brother in law moved to his new house and found and old Zenit 12XP in the garage - my mother in law saved it from been thrown away and gave it to me. From that point on i started shooting b&w film and got into developing and more recently into darkroom printing.
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Old 03-27-2018   #26
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I briefly shot film growing up, but only ever dabbled in photography. I got my first digital camera (a Canon IXUS 5) and used it for everything for ages. I started to take more of an interest in photography and got a Nikon DSLR, and used it for many years. Then one day I was thinking about getting a new Nikon DSLR, I went to the local camera shop and tried one out (the D800 I believe) and it just felt like using a computer. I made that remark to the store owner who gave me a Leica M6 (or maybe M7) to try. I was sold, it offered a clear, dedicated view. I sold all my Nikon gear that week and bought a used M6. I fell in love with film later, the main drawcard for me was the simplicity of a manual mechanical camera.

One if the other things that I like (even if I don’t really admit it) is that digital has brought some of the previously unobtainable cameras of my youthful dreams into the realm of quite easily obtainable. Things like Hasselblads are relatively cheap, I could pick up a Nikon FM2 and a set of primes for a few hundred, and apart from lenses (but there are now 3rd party lenses) even Leicas are obtainable. That is a reason to shoot film in itself, you get to shoot the classics that you never dreamed you would.
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Old 03-27-2018   #27
raydm6
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Sill in it. Last Digital camera purchase - a Canon S90 and iPhone 6

Been on a manual camera buying spree (a bit of gas) the past few years:
  • Kodak Retina Reflex III w/Schneider-Kreuznach Retina-Xenon 50mm f/1.9 - a $30 consignment -shop find
    • (sent from Boston to have CLA'd by Chris Sherlock in New Zealand @ Retina Rescue - came back beautiful!)
  • Zeiss-Ikon Contaflex Super B w/50mm f2.8 Zeiss Tessar
    • Zeiss Pro-Tessar 35mm f3.5
    • Zeiss Pro-Tessar 85mm f3.2
    • Zeiss Pro-Tessar 115mm f4
  • Zeiss-Ikon Contina-matic III w/Pantar 45mm f2.8
Both Zeiss's are in transit back to me this week from Radu Lesaru (3R Camera Service) after a full CLA on cameras/lenses.

Most recently:
  • Zeiss Contessa w/Zeiss Opton Tessar f2.8
  • Mamiya RB67 Pro-SD w/90mm K/L lens and motorized back
I must say, the filters, hoods, and accessories for the Zeiss cameras are exquisite examples of design and machining.

I'll post some pics in the future.
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Old 03-27-2018   #28
mcfingon
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Yes, good thread idea Kostya, thank you. My re-entry into film is all my son's fault. I have "framed" him below. I shot film for a living in the 80's and 90's but sold all my gear in 1999 as I moved into IT work. Because of my son's interest in film, and a IIIf he gave me, I got back into it in 2012.

John Mc
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Old 03-27-2018   #29
roscoetuff
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"Coming back to film" definitely overstates it for this hobbyist in the sense that it's a move with zero impact beyond "Dad's pics take longer..." and by that time, nobody cares. So a move that began as a cheapster's justification for buying a film Leica as a way to possibly cut down gear when the magic day of adding a digital Leica might occur and I'd have only one set of lenses... simply led to a series of unexpected and in many cases "it'll never happen" events happening.

Digital finally worked after the fifth digital camera starting with a Pentax K-5 became a series of Fujis and finally a Sony A7RII. Sony solved the desire to use old Zeiss glass with image stabilization. But ultimately I found myself shooting digital B&W jpegs + RAW, and liked the B&W often better. Thinking I didn't want to spend the $'s on a Leica Monochrome, I went for an M4-2... again, the (uninformed) cheapster move. Added ZM lenses... 'cause yes, I a Zeiss man at heart.

That then led to developing my own film as a way to cut costs. Notice a consistent thread? Yep: Spend more money to spend less? Yep. (Fairly each trade out has a cost, too... so capital "burn" hasn't been inexpensive). So I bought that gear, and then had to figure how to digitize the negs... 'cause I ONLY have a digital printer and no place for a darkroom. By this time, I'd moved up to adding Medium Format... 'cause "they" made me do it. MF is cheaper than a Leica F/1.1 lens by a mile, right? Again, did it on the cheap: Bronica SQ-A... which was switched out to a Rolleiflex 6008... 'cause I'm a Zeiss man and an odd one. Oh... and I picked up a Jobo CPE2+ demo unit from Catlabs as along the way somewhere I'd begun trying to emphasize the consistency of the process... had artifacts I couldn't explain when using a Uniroller, and thought a full machine would solve those... and it did.

What I've found through the whole of this is that there was a world of skills I've had to tackle along the way. Most would never have been learned had I not ventured back into film, picked up a series of books on photography and the zone system, and done a world of things to try and acquire some technical competency. The challenge of learning has actually been the driving force. I believe this feeds back into photography generally no matter whether it's digital or analog, so there's no losses and only gains. But I've also found the truth is that there is no cheap way to go about it... at speed. And I've done the whole of this film journey in the past 12 months... so it has been at speed. And in retrospect, I could have bought the Monochrome probably more than once. The only difference is that I've done it in small bites that made it more palatable, and so I did it. That's scarcely a virtue and more a defect truth be told. The digital Leica still hasn't happened and probably won't until an M10 or a Monochrome comes way down in price... somewhere likely after my life's course has run no doubt, or at least whenever it might happen that I can't (or won't choose to) process my own negatives anymore.

Do I want to wet print? Not really. I like to print big with digital, and have a fairly significant footprint there with Capture One, Imageprint and an Epson P800, and can do very nice work with it. Reaching the same level of proficiency with wet printing would take years I probably don't have, and the prints I've seen on some of Mitsubishi's PictorioPro film are as sweet as any wet print I've ever seen. But to try it here and there? Sure. It might be fun for a day but not for life.

For me at this point, the skills I want to learn have more to do behind the camera with light, composition and tone control than with the gear or the printing process. The gear has been fun but also time consuming, and now I see the real challenge as making a great image with the worst possible (okay... maybe not worst, but at least the antithesis of the gear head's idea of the perfect camera) gear is now more and more appealing. So yes, I've picked up a MF Folder to have something with me that gives me no edge, no assistance, and plenty of ways to just blow the whole thing. And that absolutely rocks! I love it.

Thanks for forcing me to collect my thoughts and take some truth serum. I think in many ways we go backwards - back to film - in order to go forward. And I am thankful for all the help so many of you on this forum have offered in assisting my engagement... KoFe has been outstanding in this, but so have so many others in the thirst for knowledge. Paying it forward... seems the only way to go.
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"Go out looking for one thing, and that's all you'll ever find." Robert J. Flaherty, Cinematographer
"If a day goes by without my doing something related to photography, it's as though I've neglected something essential to my existence, as though I had forgotten to wake up." Richard Avedon, Photographer
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Old 03-27-2018   #30
roscoetuff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcfingon View Post
My re-entry into film is all my son's fault....
Great shot! Love it!
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"Go out looking for one thing, and that's all you'll ever find." Robert J. Flaherty, Cinematographer
"If a day goes by without my doing something related to photography, it's as though I've neglected something essential to my existence, as though I had forgotten to wake up." Richard Avedon, Photographer
“There’s nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.” Ansel Adams
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Old 03-27-2018   #31
mcfingon
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Thanks roscoetuff. It's one of my favourites of him, and it's on the IIIf he gave me.
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Old 03-27-2018   #32
narsuitus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
How did you come back to film? Share your stories.
Since I never left film, I could never come back to film.

For decades, I only shot and developed small, medium, and large format color and black&white film.

Today, I still shoot and develop small, medium, and large format black&white film plus I also shoot small format digital.

I no longer develop color slide film because it is too difficult to find E-6 chemistry.


Film Cameras by Narsuitus, on Flickr
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Old 03-27-2018   #33
Bill Clark
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I started with film around 1955 and I’m ending with film now.

In between I switched to digital. For a few years starting around 2004.

But I’m back. Currently spending time with my daughter and her family with only film cameras. Only black and white film. Brought my trusty 1936 Leica IIIa and exercising it.

Truth be known, I’ll make some digital photographs with my phone.

Link to E-6 chemistry:

https://www.freestylephoto.biz/11864...g-Kit-1-Gallon
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Old 03-27-2018   #34
Ko.Fe.
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And another E-6 kit I'm using is Argentix E-6 kit - Liquid - 1 quart
http://www.argentix.ca/C41E6chems.php?=SID&mqry=sp002
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Old 03-27-2018   #35
ptpdprinter
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I came back to photography after many years away. I still had my film cameras, so I shot film. I took a basic black and white class at my local community college so that I would have access to a darkroom while I was setting my own back up. Later I got a digital camera. I shoot both film (35mm, 6x6, 4x5) and digital now, and mostly print in platinum/palladium.
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Old 03-27-2018   #36
Bill Clark
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I still like digital! Sorry! For those who scan film maybe this is something to consider. Less than 20 bucks!

Take a gander at this program, for Mac, suggest watching the video:

https://affinity.serif.com/en-gb/photo/ipad/

Mac World info:

https://www.macworld.com/article/320...er-s-tool.html

Sorry Windows users.
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Old 03-27-2018   #37
rfaspen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptpdprinter View Post
I came back to photography after many years away. I still had my film cameras, so I shot film. I took a basic black and white class at my local community college so that I would have access to a darkroom while I was setting my own back up. Later I got a digital camera. I shoot both film (35mm, 6x6, 4x5) and digital now, and mostly print in platinum/palladium.
My sincere respect:

Pt-Pd is my absolute reference for "a photograph". I have been in love with ptpd prints ever since I saw my first one in person (and you simply must experience them in person) at a museum somewhere in southern California -- it was a well-known photographer whose name I am forgetting. The print was simply two cigarette butts on a plain background. Kind of a still life macro thing. Anyway, if two cigarette butts could bring tears to my eyes, there must be something special about this platinum-palladium stuff.

I have since wanted to do my own ptpd printing. Went as far as using my 4x5 extensively when I was younger, anticipating the printing. I have done as much substitute ptpd printing as I could bear -- cyanotype! I've come to like cyanotype as a result, but all was in preparation for the real thing. Lately I purchased Pictorio film so I can make digital negatives, again with real printing in mind.

But, I have yet to make the plunge and finally get on with ptpd. I have to admit that $$$ is a major consideration. Looking at my learning curve with cyanotype, and the number of "failures" even today makes me hesitant. Its more than just brushing some stuff on any ol' paper, sticking a neg on it and thrusting out under the sun in the back yard
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Old 03-27-2018   #38
Ko.Fe.
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Quote:
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...
Sorry Windows users.
You don't have to be sorry.
Our youngest daughter plays Maincraft on iPad after Kindergarten and my mother saying "Hello, Google" to some non-Windows tablet device after working for fifty years.
Both are taking pictures with it.
While our eldest daughter paid for taking pictures with DSLR and edit hundreds of them on Windows based laptop within couple of hours.
And I have to bump up my IT knowledge with CompTa+, Network+, CCNA courses barely recognizing Macs as something which exist.
I use same Windows based computer to edit scans, compile some basic codes and goof around with network devices.
For each group its own. Sorry.
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Old 03-27-2018   #39
Bill Clark
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ko.fe.

If you’re like me I spend a fair chunk of time on the devices!

I should spend more time in the darkroom!

Happy and smiles!
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Old 03-27-2018   #40
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I have been in love with ptpd prints ever since I saw my first one in person (and you simply must experience them in person) at a museum somewhere in southern California -- it was a well-known photographer whose name I am forgetting. The print was simply two cigarette butts on a plain background. Kind of a still life macro thing. Anyway, if two cigarette butts could bring tears to my eyes, there must be something special about this platinum-palladium stuff.
Irving Penn was a master of platinum printing.
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