Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What do you need to start film photography?

1 - Camera

Look for an SLR - Pentax, Olympus, Canon or Nikon - with a prime lens - no zoom - on ebay.
A full manual camera might be a bit of challenge, so one with auto exposure and auto focus to start.
The Nikon F100 is a great camera but it has increased in price, you will probably be able to find a decent SLR with a prime lens, very likely a 50mm 1.8 - for around 40£.

2 - Film

you have 3 choices for film
  • B&W : only really if you want to develop your on film which is easier that you think and pretty cheap
  • Negative/Print : Great tolerance to exposure, Portra 400 is a great choice. Easy to get develop at boots or tesco.
  • Positive/Slide : very fine details, great for landscape but dearer than negative and exposure need to be spot on.
For a start go for negative film, try with cheap roll of kodak you can sometimes found at Poundland, or check discountfilmdirect. You can try slide for fun, but it really take is potential if you focus on landscape.
Eventually to go further you will have to try and develop your on B&W, it's fun and once you are setup can be pretty cheap.

3 - Process/Scanning

You will need to find a lab that those process and scan - prices vary a lot -, eventually you might want to invest in a scanner. The one that everybody uses is the Epson V700, 350£. It scans 35mm, medium format and 4x5.
If you start to fill serious about film photography just save the money and buy the V700, you won't regret it.

a few quite cheap online one :
Fuji Digital Imaging Service
Photo express
It use to be much more expensive the last time I checked so it is very good news.

The cost

to start :
5 24 film10£
5 process + scan27.5.£
120 Photos77.5£
a bit less 65p per photo going down progressively to 31p. Is that dear? Maybe but how much does a digital SLR cost? how many photo that you take with your DSLR do you actually print or look at it again? How much time to you spend post processing in Photoshop? How much time do you spend looking at the back of your camera as oppose to through the lens? If you don't have a DSLR and want to start photography with film you don't need a massive initial investment.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Titanic fog

Titanic fog, originally uploaded by ar271.

Monday, April 23, 2012


Despair, originally uploaded by ar271.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Back of the odissey

Back of the odissey, originally uploaded by ar271.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Commute, originally uploaded by ar271.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

150 Cracking

150 Cracking, originally uploaded by ar271.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Kodak Porta 800

I finished a roll of Portra 800 last month, see the couple of picture it looks great. But I think the lab screwed up the development as the film had a green shift clearly visible in the print, and worst in the lab scan.

According to kodak this new emulsion should work the same way as the old portra. So I think that crappy snaps are to blame there. It's very likely that the chemicals were old or at the wrong temperature...

I had to correct the green quite a lot in silver fast...

So much for trying local labs. Will go by mail now or to the local kodak shop that is apparently pretty good.

Currently running on Portra 400.

PS: beside the colour shift, they thought it was B&W film ... so did the scan and prints in B&W the first time. The color print are not as bad as the scan, probably due to the color correction of the printer.
My scan were also full a digits print... latex gloves are probably too expensive.