Friday, April 14, 2017

Analog Imperfections

Last time I mentioned I started fiddling with film. Well, I still am. I don't think I'm gonna stop anytime soon. Photography is somewhat special again, especially with a film camera. It was interesting for me to explore so I tried bringing it around me when I go places when I had the chance. "It's the same, but different..." comes to mind. No electronics, no artificial sharpening, no color correction, no auto whitebalance, heck, no batteries even. Just a camera and a roll of film.

Working On Dim Light

It actually feels liberating to shoot without worrying about batteries or how it turned out. It's not necessarily better, since it has a number of imperfections- no crisp lightning-fast accurate focusing here, but it's exactly what I imagined and romanticized it to be. This set is shot with a Fujifilm C200. So far I love this for being cheap and cheerful!

Imagine how amazed I was when I got this from the lab. The colors are better than what I expected it to be.

Good Morning!

Shooting in full manual, however, means I needed to shoot at eye level. I'm yet to master zone focusing, hence these results.

Walking On The Street

The lack of a light meter means I'm just, well, in the lingo of marine snipers, "SWAGging it" (Scientific Wild-Ass Guess) to get the exposure. With film you can generally overexpose it a bit, but its still better to nail the correct exposure value. I have a light meter app on my phone but it's not exactly practical to always hold both as it adds extra steps in shooting. I usually just meter the scene before I let out the camera and adjust the settings from there accordingly. There are better approaches though.

Buildings At Noon


Father And Son

Free Coffee

Shy Dog

Keep Calm and Enjoy Coffee

Coffee In A Van

Artificial Tree

Espresso Machine

The adage "F/8 and be there." proves to be true and useful in this scenario. Especially true outdoors. In this case I recall using F/11 due to the day being slightly hazy. Despite the wide opening F/1.8 lens, I'm amused I rarely had to shoot wide open. Most of the time just shooting at F/8, or F/16 on sunny days sufficed. At F/5.6 I got decent bokeh without even trying. 

Indoors though, it becomes a different story. My film is only ISO200, so it's not as versatile as the ISO 400 ones. That means I need to slow the shutter down a bit and open wide. Being a manual focus lens it doesn't make it easy to take a shot of moving subject. This is especially true with the shot below. Despite that I like the kind of blur I see here, it doesn't look as awful as what I see in digital.

Lost Focus

Flowers Under The Bright Skies

I jokingly told a fellow photography enthusiast - "I now use a full frame camera." I never said it was digital though. I showed him the camera and he's somewhat drooling. He's somewhat tempted to buy film too. But at the end of the day, digital beats film in terms of the logistics involved. Digital will always be cheaper and more convenient. Recent developments also had digital surpass film.


Banana Split

Digital will always evolve though, and your high end digital camera will inevitably become trashy in terms of quality compared to the next offering. This makes people buy more cameras and megapixels every year. It's no big deal if you do photography for a living- pros need the best of equipment. For the average hobbyist who hasn't any living at stake for their photography, that may be a crazy buying cycle.

Film though, has pretty much stayed the same... Sure better equipment come out which can render them obsolete, but they're no less useful, no less desirable, I like how film era cameras are as enjoyable to use even years after they're rendered obsolete. A proof of this is the camera I use to shoot film: Minolta SR1. In this era where cameras compete over the others by loading a lot of features, I found some charm and enjoyment using a very basic bare-bones camera that's about as old as my parents... And as robust as a blunt weapon (no kidding. It has a metal body!).

The resurgence of film is a refreshing trend, and I really hope it goes on and flourishes once more. I may probably come across as weird for doing this, but I actually like shooting film. It brings me back to the old days when I was a kid in grade school. For now, I'm enjoying this, I intend to try out other films. Apart from Fuji C200, I got some AGFA VISTA PLUS 400 and AGFA VISTA PLUS 200 waiting to be used. I may even go the monochrome route with Kodak Tri-X. But that's not gonna be anytime soon though.

(Edit: If you're interested, I get my film online from Fujifilm and Film-Folk, and I have my films developed at Fujifilm SM MegaMall.)

Anyhow, more pictures to come. Also, follow me Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Flickr, and Instagram. Yes, I'm kind of all over the place. Don't hesitate to share your thoughts on the comments as well. Until then, don't let the fear of getting lost deter you from going out to wander! :)

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