It’s no secret that I love to shoot film. You could say I’ve been somewhat obsessed with trying as many film cameras and film types that I can get my hands on, ever since I bought my first film camera in Japan in 2013. Here’s nine reasons to hopefully convince you to help me keep film alive.
1 – It’s a lot of fun to shoot a photograph and not know exactly what you’re going to get. As you shoot more, you’ll be more confident in what the final product will be, but you’ll always still get a couple of surprises when you get your film back, especially if you’ve shot the roll over a couple of months or even longer.2 – Your film camera is not going to be outdated and worthless in a few years, or have you wanting to upgrade next year. However, that doesn’t mean you’re not going to only buy one – they all have different ‘characters’, hence why I always seem to have a small collection in my bag.3 – The colours!!! Digital has a limited colour range due to the sensor working with only three colours, where film is essentially endless when it comes to colour rendition. Chrome looks incredible on film so go chuck all your stainless steel saucepans in the sun, they’ll look amazing.4 – The dynamic range is incredible. Up until a couple of years ago, film generally gave you a larger dynamic range than digital. There’s a few digitals on the market now which definitely have the range of film, if not better, but you can buy a $10 roll of film and shoot with a $30 camera and get amazing dynamic range, instead of spending thousands on a digital for the same result. If you want to learn more about making the most out of the amazing dynamic range that film is capable of, read How To Shoot Film.5 – Film cameras are all so damn good looking and having one around your neck or wrist will also make you more attractive. Remember, the more cameras you have does not necessarily mean the more attractive you become.
*Disclaimer: this may not work for everyone6 – You can choose your megapixels later when you get your scans done – anywhere from 5mp to 50mp (35mm up to about 24mp)!7 – Shooting film makes you stop and think and slows down the way you shoot, making you more conscious of light. Unless you’re shooting half-frame, you’re normally going to be limited to just 36 shots which really makes you consider each time you go to press that shutter button. I must admit, it has slowed down my digital shooting as well.8 – The tonal range of black and white film is amazing. The tonal range from black through to white is smooth and subtle, something I haven’t been able to recreate to the same level with digital processes.9 – Film cameras can be very inexpensive and still allow you to create incredible photographs. If you’re just starting out, try a point and shoot with a fixed lens or a SLR with a 50mm, and you can’t go wrong. You don’t need the latest camera, all you need is a good lens as the quality and look of the photo has a lot to do with the film you chose use. Don’t tell Ayesha, she might want me to sell off the Leica, but that’s one of those cameras with just so much ‘character’.