More Film Photography

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My playing with film cameras continues! But it’s not out of hand yet. I now have the following film camera equipment:

  1. Three Olympus Trip 35 (1 from TripMan)
  2. Olympus PS-200 flash
  3. Canon Canonet GIII QL17 coupled rangefinder
  4. Canon Canolite D flash

The kids and I shoot with the Olympus Trip 35s and its great fun. Except for the one from TripMan, it all came from sellers on eBay.

You develop film?

At this time I don’t have any urge to develop my own film myself. It’s just so easy to develop the film at Costco.

My routine is to shoot rolls during the week and then Lily takes them to Costco for development on the weekend. A roll of 24 exposures costs less than $5 with just the CD of the film scans. I also picked up an Epson Artisan 725 and print out what I want on glossy photo paper.

The film was purchased via an Amazon seller and I got 12 rolls of a mix of 200, 400, and 800 ISO speed Fuji Superia. The Costco scans are not bad and I generally don’t do any editing at all. I put a roll of 400 in one of the Trips and put it in my backpack. When the mood strikes me I take photos.

Here is a sample of what I’ve taken already, you can see more via my Flickr account.

Film is better than digital!

Okay, film is not better than digital. But it is different, and it’s tough for me to describe the difference.  On my digital cameras I shoot hundreds of photos. With film I’m conscious of the 24  limit and (generally) think before I shoot. When I get the photos back I do very little if any Photoshop work. I like the way the film comes out.

Could I get the same or better results using a DSLR? Absolutely. I’m proud of the digital photos I’ve already taken and will continue to use my Nikon. But film is less instant satisfaction and more planning. When I get back the CD of the roll I shot days ago, I rush to the computer, pick out what I like and upload to Flickr.

But why pick up a rangefinder?

I picked up the Canonet because rangefinders are cool and slick metal camera opens up to f/1.7 and I can shoot 800 film on it.

With the Canolite D flash, the rangefinder adjusts the aperture bases on focus distance. Nearer focus means stepping down to f/16; farther out mean opening the aperture to f/2.8. For a 1972 camera design that’s pretty cool! I ordered a Wein MRB625 replacement battery and I’m good to go. The light metering is good.

The Canonet is fun and cool but the Trip 35 is a better all around street shooter. You set the focus to infinity and just shoot. No battery to worry about, just keep it in your bag and go. I do use the Canonet but the Trip is my favorite and I take it with me everyday to work.

Try it!

My advice to anyone who has a digital camera is to try film. It’s really easy to do, just go onto eBay and bid for a Olympus Trip 35. Don’t bid more than $50 (that’s too much) because there are a lot of Olympus Trip 35s out there.

But do get your battery free camera, load up some 400 film and start shooting. You’ll have great fun with the results.