Film? What is it? Film is actually what you would shoot pictures with before you had a camera in your pocket at all times. Film is one of those things I don’t think I will ever let go. It’s really like magic. You have a roll a film that gets developed, from there is a tiny negative image and then it can be blown up and printed or scanned. There are quite a lot of reasons why you should still shoot film. Listed below are just some of the many reasons why.
1. Slows you down
With the cameras we have now, all we have to do is turn it on and hit the shutter button. However, that’s not the case with shooting film. Almost all film cameras are full manual besides Aperture and Shutter priority modes.
Yes, with a film camera you’ll need to actually study and learn the basics of photography. Since the camera is manual you need to adjust the camera settings (shutter and aperture) before each shot. Which in turn slows you down. It really makes you think and analyze the shot. You must evaluate the light and adjust the settings for the correct exposure. Remember, you only have a limited number of shots…choose wisely or what everyone says, “Think twice. Shoot once”.
2. Fairly Cheap
Buying a camera in this day in age can get pretty expensive. For a decent DSLR (cropped sensor) you are looking at spending about $500. However, since the technology boom with cameras, 35mm film cameras have dropped dramatically in price. KEH sells film cameras as well as lens and other camera accessories. Or you can bargain on eBay and hope for the best. Another great website is also etsy.com. Most lenses from film cameras also work on digital cameras. For instance, lenses from the Canon film cameras from 1987 and on still work great on modern Canon DSLRs, which can save you money in the future if you don’t care for manual focus lenses. Also, with a film camera you’re getting full frame right away. With the $500 DSLR you are getting a cropper sensor. You will however have to buy film and pay for developing, scanning, and printing or you can do that all yourself. But will $500 you can get a decent 35mm film camera, a couple lenses, some film, and pay for developing (quite a few rolls).
3. High Dynamic Range and No megapixels
With film, you are about to get a wider range of light which dynamic range. In modern cameras, there are sensors and these sensors have restrictions. There are only a certain number of stops of dynamic range and number of megapixels they can cram into a single camera. On the other hand, there is only one restriction will film, the scanner. So you are able to get better shadows and highlights with film.
There are no megapixels in film cameras. What does this mean? You can print giant photos from your roll of film and they will look amazing. The bigger the negative the more detail, so with a medium format or even 4x5 camera there is going to be a lot more detail and dynamic range.
4. The colors are amazing
There is a difference from pictures shot on film from pictures shot on digital. Film just has that look that I don’t think I can every get away from. Film brings me back to when I was younger because everything shot then was on film. Film just feels timeless. Most digital photography filters are mostly based off film. There are presets you can buy for Photoshop now from VSCO Cam and Mastin Labs. This is because the colors of film are so amazing. When I look at pictures that were shot on film especially Kodak Portra I just get connected to the image. They just feels warm and at home. Just look around at The Find Lab’s Instagram, many images they process and post to Instagram are shot on Portra.
5. Physical Prints
Now that we are in the digital age, everything is digital. “Hey look at this photo I just got on my iPhone, I’ll send it to you”. We share everything online now and we hardly ever print anymore. Since film has no megapixels, technically (it depends on how you scan it), you can print decent size prints and the image will look great. Printing film just makes you fall in love with it even more. Even seeing digital prints printed are amazing. Also, with physical prints there not just stored on the computer and you forget about them. When was the last time you pulled out old photo albums and looked at the pictures, probably not for a long time. Physical photo albums for many are old and out dated. However, print your prints, you will love them and appreciate your photographs so much more.
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