Film for the Digital Photographer – Cameras, By Dan K
Dan K returns with part 2 of this 3 part series on film for digital photographers. In this article Dan outlines film choices available for people just getting into film (and some for old hands too).
Cosh joins us again for another guest piece, this time about shooting film. Let Cosh take you through the do’s and dont’s of shooting film.
Jerome Arfouche with another article about film
Guest writer Jerome Arfouche is back with another piece, part 3 of The Medium. This time Jerome tells us why we should be developing our own film. Please comment and tell us what you think.
Jerome Arfouche lays it down for us
Here is the second installment of ‘The Medium’ by Jerome Arfouche. In this piece Jerome will go over why he chooses film, and how it shapes his work. Don’t forget to comment. Tell us how you feel about this subject.
Time for a bit of reality
That is right, Kodak film is not dead! Yeah, I said it. You see, there has been a lot of doom and gloom in the press and on social media recently about the ongoing woes of Kodak, and how they are about to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection blah blah.
In your bag number 45, Gordon Boddington
Well well, we have a very funny little bag for you today. Gordon has sent us his bag and made it into a face for us. A great idea and something different from the norm. Good to have you on here Gordon, tell us more;
Hello my name is Gordon and I run photomfa.com a crowdsourced directory of photo labs that develop film and BelieveInFilm.com a photo sharing site for people who love film photography. You may have also seen awesome content on twitter with the #believeinfilm hashtag. It is my honor to present to you my Voigtlander Bessa R3M.
My left eye is made up of my Bessa and the Heliar Classic 50f2 that came with her. I’m a big fan of the Heliar 50f2 because of how wonderfully vintage looking the Heliar makes every scene I shoot with it appear. I describe it to non-photographers as making everything look like Life magazine.
My right eye is my Heliar 15f4.5. I bought the 15mm to photograph the inside of low-end condominiums but haven’t shot a single one. The wideness of the 15mm is both a blessing and a curse because if I’m not careful my hands, feet or camera strap will be in the frame. Sometimes that is funny and ironic other times just plain awful. Similarly, metering with the 15mm can be difficult and fun because of how much area the lens will cover.
My nose is the Voigtlander 15mm viewfinder. I am not entirely sure if having a viewfinder for a 15mm lens is a good idea but I have found it useful. I like to think the 15mm has a very round, curvy way of interpreting space and the viewfinder is useful for taking that point of view and imposing it on very rectilinear spaces.
My smile is made up of Ektar because I really love it and I try to shoot a lot with it. It should be made up of new Portra 400 but I always shoot it as soon as it arrives. In winter, I usually shoot a lot of Tri-X and develop it in Rodinal. I like that no matter how lazy I am, I can get a decent negative from that combination.
My hair in real life usually looks like I’ve been testing an electric chair or I accidentally dropped something electric into the tub. To replicate that, I gathered up all the various rolls of generic drugstore film from the jackets I’m hoarding and made a mess with them.
Thank you for taking the time to read about what is in or around my camera bag.
Thanks for having a laugh and sharing your bag and your site with us Gordon. I follow you on twitter and others should do, they are doing good things to promote film.
Keep them coming folks, we need more submissions, so get your bag on Japancamerahunter.com. Send me a hi resolution image of the bag (please make sure it is horizontal) and its contents, with some details about yourself and what you shoot. Oh and don’t forget your contact details (twitter, flickr, tumbler et al). Send the bag shots here Send the bag shots here..
This could be the ultimate kodak collection
Well, I went to the camera show yesterday, and this is what I found. Quite possibly one of the best collections of Kodak film and memorabilia around. This is the personal collection of a very good friend of mine, which spans over 30 years of collecting from all over the world. The owner is a passionate cameraman and has been at the helm of one most famous camera stores in Japan for over 50 years, giving him unique access to many of the items that cannot be found anywhere else.
When you look at the collection you realize that it just keeps on going, on and on. There are original tokens, measuring jugs, oil lamp projectors, unopened cans of developer…..the list just goes on and on. There was a whole glass case just filled with this stuff. Even books, super 8 film mascots, patches everything that you can imagine. This is a film collectors dream come true.
If you look closely you can even see a kodak pill case to keep your medicine in, how cool is that? Oh, and that red thing? That is an original unopened darkroom lamp in the paper case from over 40 years ago! I doubt even Kodak has one of these.
All of the film is completely unused, never been opened, there is even compass camera film and sheet ektachrome. This is the collection to end all collections. And now he is selling it! Yup, it is all going. The thing is, how do you sell a collection like this? Where do you sell a collection like this? Well, if you are interested in it you can contact me and I can help you get hold of it. But be warned, this is not cheap, not even slightly, this is a lifetime collection which is worthy of a museum.
I am really proud to know people like this, who collect and love film and cameras as much as this, you can really see the passion that has gone into this collection. Seeing this really was a highlight for me.
Does film have a future? And if it does, how long have we got?
Now then, before you all just down my throat about film vs digital and all that malarkey, this is not a debate about that. They both have their merits and demerits, so let us just leave it at that.
This is about film, that lovely tactile unpredictable wonder that captures moments on something that you can feel. For years and years we took film for granted, barely even giving it a thought. Until the advent of digital, and then everything changed. Digital was faster, easier, cheaper and could make you into a ‘pro’ overnight if you were that way inclined. Many thought that this was the death knell for film…I mean, who needed that outdated-horse and cart-style fiddly cartridge that only took 36 shots?
For a while it seemed that nobody did, and it could be the end for film. But then we had the toy camera resurgence, trendy young types and new photographic ‘artistes’ came in their droves to film, partly because it was no longer mainstream and partly because of the effects that you could produce.
This gave rise to to things like the impossible project, the re-release of polaroid films by a bunch of passionate film nerds. After a wobbly start their films found their feet and are now immensely popular with the artistic photographers among us. There has also been a strong following for the classic camera shooters, which shows no signs of waning, at least for the time being. Along with Lomography and the lo-fi market it would seem that film has not been in such a strong position for a long time. But is it?
As passionate as I am about using film, I cannot help feel that is is a house of cards.
This is not just a statement based on guesswork, but based on evidence. In the last few years we have seen the creation of a number of new films, most noticeably Ektar and Portra from Kodak, but at the same time we have seen a reduction in a number of films including some of the greats like Ektachrome and Neopan 1600. Fujifilm has been cutting their range little by little every year. So it makes you wonder, what is next?
Well, it seems not much. Fujifilm and Kodak have both pledged to continue making (monochrome) film for at least the next ten years. But what about colour film? I hear you bleat softly.
Well, that is the trouble. The colour film market has been shrinking rapidly for years now and both companies have stated (not publicly, the walls have ears) that is too expensive and not economically viable to continue producing colour film. The main problem being the developing of the films, the chemicals being expensive to produce.
What we are likely to see over the next couple of years is the step by step reduction of the colour film ranges, leaving only the very specialist films that have commercial applications. And the consolidation of the monochrome ranges into something simpler.
So, if you like your slide films, now would be the time to go shooting crazy, because you might not have much time left. But is you are a black and white maniac, then rest easy, you have a while yet before you have to put that film camera in the cupboard.
Over all the prognosis is not all that bad. Don’t listen to all of the doom and gloom types, there is still life in the old dog yet. I mean, Fujifilm, Nikon and Leica are still producing film cameras, so there must be something in it if they are happy to keep on knocking them out. We will be able to use film in some capacity or another for at least the next couple of decades, although we may need to have a healthy bank balance to do so.