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I've been shooting digital for years, and have no experience with film. However, I do have a film scanner, and have had an on-again, off-again interest in getting a film camera. I'd be keeping with 35mm, both because it's the format that I can scan and because I think it's the most likely to remain available and process-able locally.

There are a few things that appeal to me about the idea of shooting film: I'd like a slower way of shooting, and a camera that isn't a piece of consumer electronics with a limited life-span. A few weeks ago I was going through a box of decade-old prints, and there's no equivalent experience with digital.

This is just an idle thought, and nothing's likely to come of it. I have neither the spare funds or the conviction that this is a sensible idea. But I've found myself reading up on the Olympus OM-1, Nikon F3, and Voigtlander Bessa R3A...
Choose your camera carefully. You can get film equipment including lenses very cheap now. But they didn't design film cameras very well in myopinion. Many of them are bulky, heavy, clumsy and clunky so you don't enjoy using them. I bought a Minolta film camera for 100 dollars and lenses for $25 dollars to $50. But it sits in its case because it's very heavy and hard to hold. I don't enjoy using it.
Hi Matt:

I did a stint with film again a while ago after many years of digital. I primarily used Velvia slide film which is truly wonderful and gives a rich depth to your photos that digital just can't match - at least without PhotoShop. I still have a Nikon F100 film body (wonderful camera).

My problem with film is that it just doesn't match my workflow. I PhotoShop everything and I was never really satisfied with the quality of my film scans or with the time that scanning added to the process.

On the other hand - film made me a better photographer. I almost always used a tripod, I slowed down and composed more in camera. I still appreciate what film does for you - but I must admit, I don't do it much anymore.

My wife complains that she never sees any of my photos - primarily because there is no convenient shoebox of prints. I used to own an Olympus OM1 in the 70s. I loved it then - it got stolen in Rome.
Hey Matthew, I bought OM-1 when it was brand new, state of the art camera and it was my cmera until about 3 or four years ago. Light and compact, nice big controls, very intuitive. Should cost allmost nothing to buy now. I may have still access to Mamya RB 67. If interested, let me know and I will investigate. I lent it to a friend, who never used it. If they still have it, I would try to get it for you (2 lenses, 2 backs), Pavel
You aren't crazy Matthew... I'm doing much the same thing at the moment (turning to film), for similar reasons to you.

I'm particularly interested in playing with formats other than 35mm though, so things like a Speed Graphic 4x5, Holga or Diana are what's floating my boat at the moment. I also desperately want to shoot some polaroid film while it is still possible. I picked up a fantastic deal on some 4x5 polaroid sheet film today for my Speed Graphic when it arrives (100 sheets of Type 54 b/w and 40 sheets of Type 79 colour). Big Grin

And I also have an old OM-1 too! It belonged to my grandfather who then gave it to my mother who then gave it to me earlier this year. It has a Tamron 35-80 f/2.8-3.5 zoom on it. I think it just needs a fresh battery and it's fine...
I used a Speed Graphic when in the RAF. I got some nice plate stuff from it but sadly they have gone with the passing of time.
From an enlargement point of view it was (and probably still is) far superior to anything I have used since. Ground glass screen or split screen or scale focussing. You felt like the old time peeps with the cloth over your head. It also improved my looks.Big Grin
Cool NT! Cool

The only thing cooler than a Speed Graphic is a Combat Graphic!

Did you use the version with the regular bellows (like the civilian speed graphic but in olive drab), or the one where the bellows were replaced bya wooden box? I heard the wooden-box ones were used in aircraft because the bellows would blow around a lot.
When I was shopping around for my Pacemaker Speed Graphic I just missed out on winning a Combat Graphic kit (bellows type).
It had leather bellows. I have some pics somewhere in B&W. I will see if I can find them. Also sketches I made at the time.
I think it was the Speed Graphic S3 model. It took film or glass plates. We used them for training purposes.
It had a front lens that could be raised to correct parallax or extended for macro work, plus a swing back (parallax again). Bit heavy though especially with a great big wooden tripod & mount. Still I was fit in those days. Rolleyes
Toad Wrote:My wife complains that she never sees any of my photos - primarily because there is no convenient shoebox of prints. I used to own an Olympus OM1 in the 70s. I loved it then - it got stolen in Rome.
Rob, my wife complains about the same thing!

Since then, I added another step to my workflow - after importing into lightroom, I also import everything into iPhoto and tell her to look there. Big Grin
My wife strongly endorsed me buying a digital projector because she likes slide shows.

I still shoot the odd roll of Velvia, nothing matches the color of it.
Thanks everyone for the support - I may still be crazy, but at least I have a support group. Big Grin

I've discovered that I want a film camera for an opposite reason from most. Kombi, I think the interest in the larger formats is much more sensible, but I'm actually looking for a camera for snapshots and family photos. Photos of personal significance - not so much for creative work, and not at all for clients. I recently put up a lot of family photos, and they're all old images shot on film. There's just no equivalent of the shoebox for digital files, even though I'm using Lightroom and am pretty well organized. The prints simply don't exist, and even though I could print them, I don't. Penny put up the christmas tree a few nights ago, and I took a bunch of photos, but none of them are 'worth printing'. If I was shooting film, I would have taken only a few, but they'd keep forever.

Toad, Jules, I get the same complaint - all of the photos that I shoot are locked away on my computer where Penny doesn't get to see them. So she's getting a digital frame for christmas. (I'm typing very quietly sto keep that a secret.) I'm not really sure that that counts as a gift for her, though. Wink

It's great to see the fan base for the OM-1 - I was thinking of it as a possibility because the idea of having a film camera older than I am appeals to me. (It would need to be an early model, pre-dating the motor drive.) The Nikon F3's a good candidate because the local large shop has a decent collection of them, so it's a model that I could try out before buying one. (Thanks, Don.) But the longer I think about it, the more a new Voigtlander rangefinder appeals to me. There's even a Canadian dealer that I pass on my way to work. (It will still take a while for the funding to be there, unfortunately.)
Matthew, I have a lot of sympathy for your idea. A couple of years ago I bought an old Praktika, which was the Eastern German model of a Pentacon camera with a few lenses. I had fun using it, but it was cumbersome not to have a built in meter. More recently I bought a Canon 5 and I am quite enthused about the idea of using film, but haven't found enough time to really test it. the first film I shot seemed over exposed, and I don't know wether it was me or the lab making all my black cows look grey.
In terms of buying anything film, I am happy to have found a body resembling the one I know and don't have to change all my habits and of course more than happy to be able to use my glass on it!

I agree with Toad also that film forces you into a different workflow, which for me, having grown up with digitial, is very awkward. It seems wrong not to be in control over the development of your pictures. If I really get into this film photography, soon there will have to be an appropriate scanner.

You aren't crazy mate, I have gonne 100% Film, since I'm not currently making a living out of photography. I'm able to shoot my films in the week and develop every tuesday at my local Sam's Club. drop them and just paying the scanning isn't that bad. (bout 3 bucks per cd) That's until i buy a High resolution films scanner Smile I salute you film mate! film is not dead!
I've also gone film, since about April 2008 when I got my 1V Big Grin
Love it super much!
It'd seem to depend on where you want the fulcrum-word "snaps" to sit along the scale of excitement v.ease....and as we all know, we shift that one constantly, as therein lies the buzz. For sure and as you definitely have a handle firmly on, I.Q. with film, if exposed and scanned optimally, is going to outperform FF digital for a fraction of the cost.
It's when we shove in the "yeah buts" and "what ifs" that we move the slider along and feel those creative parameters shift like a surfboard, that the fun starts!
There are interesting compromises along all axes, I'd guess: for film, the sheer potential of IQ and "analogue(ugh)" textures..yet again, aren't we spoiled rotten with relative exposure latitude of a sensor; yet again, those with the knowledge would know something of how to choose film stock and developer to play about with this at the front end, along with all manner of in camera or celluloidal trickery( push/ pulling, deliberate reticulation, cross-processing, even distressing the neg with heat or bleaches). Discovering the huge dynamic range of Kodak Tech Pan with Retinol and then going back to sensors(sobmongering!?).
I know the likes of Holga(and Seagull, remember them!!) have been vaunted here..but hey, one darn fine way to match your need may well be something like a Fuji medium-format rangefinder...I had a Fuji 6x7 and also tested a 6x9 for a mag: light, quick to deploy, fixed-lens rangefinders with 120 film, and they go for peanuts...even the 6x17 cm Fuji medium-format rangefinder for panos. Pretty sure you can still get Kodak or Konica Impresa IR film too.
Defintely not crazy but ultra-sane, in my opinion, particularly as there are some very light medium-format film cameras out there. Might even be a way of salting an investment away if one started to surreptitiously buy Pentax 645 or Mamiya lenses...?!
Jolly good idea mate. Fuji 67 rangfeinder, with its fixed 90mm would be my first choice...you got the "40mm" field of view too!
We're all with you, as you can see...and yep, in for the therapy too! Big Grin