Thursday, April 16, 2009

Well I've given film another try

My first photo with film in a long, long time (maybe over a decade). Anyone whose scene this blog before would know I hate film and never wanted to use it again. Well I was challenged by a few mates to give it another try.

This is what I've found.

After an abortive attempt at returning to film (where the camera broke and I got nothing from the first roll I shot in 15 or so years) I bought a new camera, put two rolls of awful supermarket film thru it and had a really fun time. Anyway, here's a few notes:

1. My number one issue with film, its lack of flexibility, the knowledge I only have so many shots, the not knowing if I got the shot etc havent gone away.

2. But, with a digital along for the ride I can relax about this and if in doubt follow up an analogue capture with a digital shot to make sure I've got it.

3. But with the film camera I still get far fewer photos than I would with a DSLR as I just cant bring myself to fire off every shot I want. Whereas with a DSLR I might take 200 shots, of which 50 are keepers I'm now finding at the same sort of event I'll only shoot maybe 50 frames of which 25 are keepers. Yeah, the percentage of keepers is higher but the total number (which is really the only thing that counts) is about half what I get with the A700.

4. Processing is a major problem. First its expensive (about 10 bucks a roll) plus the digitized version they provide free is rubbish. I've got a pro lab that will do better scans but that's even more money. Secondly its slow, I took half a roll of photos last week and unless I throw the rest of the roll away I'm unlikely to get a result out of those for another week or so. I know some people seem to enjoy this waiting but frankly its killing me.

5. So ultimately with a DSLR in tow to get anything the film couldnt and back up the odd doubtful frame I'm quite enjoying film and I think I will use more of it. I am already becoming more confident and am beginning to trust it more but still flexibility and cost are pretty certain to make sure using film will only be a bit of fun and the uncertainty of whether it worked or not means I'll not rely on it for shots I really really want or need.
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