Intro to Film Cameras

I love film. I started shooting film as a kid and shot film thru college until I moved to digital. I still have my very first film camera, a Pentax ME-Super, however that camera doesn’t see as much use as some of my other film cameras that I tend to use on a regular basis. Shooting film will show you down. The workflow is not quick and intuitive like shooting digital. Most of my film cameras are 100% manual. That means no light meter, no auto focus. It’s amazing how with digital, we’ve come to rely on the camera’s built-in light meter. And how much easier it is to shoot with auto focus. And that LCD display on the back of the camera! We take a shot and then, bam, we can see exactly what we got. Not so easy with film.

So… am I suggesting you run out and buy a film camera and film? Well, unless you’re super-curious, it’s a fairly big undertaking. First off, there’s the cost. What formerly was relatively inexpensive and the standard for photography, has now become more of a niche market. Lot’s of great film is no longer manufactured. Lots of great cameras are no longer manufactured. In fact, most camera manufacturers have abandoned film for digital, however film is still alive and kicking. All I’m saying is for you to be prepared. Be prepared to mess up and be prepared to be amazed.

So a little food for thought before you run out and buy a film camera or load film into that old camera you have laying around or was handed down to you. I think shooting film can help make you a better photographer, but it’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons before you take the plunge.

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