• Sep 2, 2017
9-REASONS Why the Film Camera still works wonders

When you learn photography, what is it you want to know first?
 Most people would probably agree - the basics.
 Manual cameras are nothing but basics, leaving you no choice but to meditate on composition and the exposure triangle of aperture, shutter speed, and ISO

We love film for both its timeless aesthetic and its complicated process. In fact, both aspects can help you become a better photographer.
This is a broad guide to help you start shooting film – at least awaken your curiosity.

1. Seeing

If you’re used to digital pictures, you’ll find shooting film a very different exercise. It’s comparatively slow, relatively expensive, and there’s a lot of uncertainty involved. After all, you won’t know how your pictures turn out until you have them developed. The limitations mean you have to adapt your way of seeing and your decision making when you take a shot.
Most rolls of film you can buy these days have 36 pictures on them. Unless you’re willing to spend a lot of money on film, you’ll have to be very careful each time you press the shutter, to make sure you capture something worthwhile.
Each photographer develops their own way of looking at the world and identifying subjects, no matter what medium they’re used to capturing them on. But digital photos give you some room for error: Not sure about that subject? Snap it anyway and toss the photo if it didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to. Screwed up the shot? No worries, just fix it in post processing.
Film forces you to be more deliberate: To think twice before taking a picture, to frame it carefully, and to get the exposure exactly right. This may seem limiting, but it’s actually a great opportunity to think about your own photography. What do you want to capture? How do you want to do it? What style are you going for? Answering these questions helps you hit the ground running and prevents you from wasting a lot of film (and money).

2. Capturing

At its most basic level, every camera is the same: It has a lens through which light falls onto a photosensitive surface. In that sense, film cameras aren’t all that different from digital ones – only that the light falls onto a film rather than a sensor. Otherwise, the overall mechanics are quite similar: If you’re coming from a DSLR camera with lots of manual controls, you will feel at home quite quickly. If you’re coming from something less complex, like a phone or point and shoot camera, you can either pick up an automatic camera or learn how to set aperture, exposure, and focus yourself.

To recap his 9-point argument, everyone should learn on a manual film camera :

1. It’s so old-fashioned, it makes you look cool. Enough said.
2. Film is unforgiving – it demands hard work, as well as some trial and error, to get a good exposure.
3. No automatic settings. You must become familiar with the principles of exposure, or suffer blank frames.
4. Exposure – If your camera is of an age before light meters were invented, you may have to use the “Sunny 16” rule of thumb to gauge what settings you should be using (in full sun, your exposure will be f/16 at a shutter speed equivalent to your ISO – 1/100th sec at 100 ISO, 1/400th sec at 400 ISO, etc).
5. Manual focus – you must consider which part of the picture should be in focus, rather than letting the camera hook on to some random spot.
6. Nobody will steal it. Even previously high-end film cameras aren’t worth much anymore.
7. The ISO isn’t auto. With digital, the effect of ISO has been largely forgotten by many, but because you have to use the same ISO throughout a roll, you have to come to understand its role in your exposure.
8. Slow you down. Manual settings, as well as the consumption of valuable film, forces you to put more thought into each shot, which has obvious positive effects on the learning process.
9. No need to upgrade – there are very few film cameras in production anymore (though there are some), leaving you to think about your photographs instead of your equipment. Not to mention that in the days of film, cameras were built to last a lifetime, rather than the short wait until the company’s next release.