Film Photography: Why You Should Try It Out

So I’m guessing not many of you guys are using film cameras these days. The few of you who are, good for you! This dying form of photography is still magical to me. I recently got into it again, on the sideline, and I definitely believe it’s helped me as a photographer in general. Knowing that you cannot get an instant preview of your image makes you concentrate harder on your composition, exposure, and all other aspects of taking a photograph. The manual SLR that I am using makes me concentrate even harder, focusing and exposing manually, and as many people have already said, thinking about a photo BEFORE you take it often results in a much better shot. In addition, using a prime (fixed focal length) lens makes you concentrate even more!

You could be using a vintage Leica rangefinder from the ’50s or ’60s, a Japanese SLR from the ’80’s or ’90s, but the film medium still remains the same. Sure, the newer ones do have autofocus and auto exposure, but other than that, the basic process of using film cameras is pretty much the same. You take your shot, you finish your roll, process it, and get your prints, or as more people do these days, get em scanned. You have no idea what you’ve shot until afterwards

Processing your own film can also be a very fun experience, especially once you know what you’re doing (and it’s not really that hard, especially when processing black and white film) – it also saves quite a bit of money, as photo labs that still do film are able to charge pretty ridiculous amounts for processing and printing/scanning film

Film comes in many formats, such as 135 (35mm) film, which is the most commonly used today, as well as medium format (120, 220 etc.) which is still used today by professionals.

In this post I am going to discuss the common 35mm film, which is what I have been using, and the different types, the various brands, and other factors that would help explain to you how your photographs can actually vary (and improve) based on the film you use

First of all, there are two basic kinds of film: negative film and slide film (reversal film)

Negative film is what most of you probably have used as a kid, if at all. This film is processed into ‘negatives’, where your images show as an inversion of the normal image i.e. light is dark, dark is light. Negative film comes in both color and black and white. Color negatives are sometimes known as “C41” – this name comes from the most common process of developing color negative films, which is C41. Black and white film is still called…well, black and white film

Slide film (or reversal film) is the other filme evangélico 2019 kind of film that I mentioned. Not as commonly used every day as negative film, as far as I know, slide film is processed into color transparencies, not negatives – i.e. the developed film strip will have the same colors as the original picture, unlike negatives where the colors are inverted. This is beneficial, as you can simply hold the transparency to a light source, and view the image, albeit in a small (36x24mm frame) size. A slide viewer is a little device with a light source and a magnifying lens: simply pop in your transparencies (slides) into the device, and you see a larger version of the image – no printing or scanning required to preview your shots. As far as I know, only color slide film is being manufactured currently. The last black and white slide film was the Agfa Scala film, has been discontinued for years now – however, if you really wish to get your black and white shots as transparencies, there are quite a few methods of processing ordinary black and white negative film which develops the negative film into a positive strip of transparencies. A lot of people send their black and white negatives to a company called DR5, who specialize in this process – however, do note that this is NOT black and white slide film, but simply a process of creating transparencies from negative film.

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