My start in film

Why film? It’s a question I did ask myself a few times before dropping a few £ on ebay. I’ve always had too many hobbies, and being time poor these days I wanted to make sure it was a wise investment. After some thought, I realised extending my photography into film was going to scratch a few itches I have, and hopefully improve my photography overall. Here are the three main things which made me finally decide to venture unto the world of film.

Engineering; now this shouldn’t be misinterpreted, there’s an immense level of engineering in modern cameras, which is what makes them as capable as they are. But there is something appealing about the mechanical engineering of an older camera. No electronics, just a direct connection to the moving parts. There’s also an elegance in the simplicity of them, even the mass produced copies with their utilitarian feel. Pace; This is definitely a big one for me, having tried to multitask my photography with managing a toddler when out and about, I’d increasingly been defaulting to snapshots. Frequently copying a whole load of files to the computer to then sit there saying “if only I had…”. With film, it’s not possible to be so frivolous with the shutter, and I’m hoping this will help me think through before I press the shutter. Lastly, simplicity; Less/no metering, manual aperture, manual focus etc, and of course whatever ISO your film is. This may seem like less of a pro, and more of a con when used to modern SLRs or mirrorless systems. But what this does do is challenge you to think more about the technicality of a shot, which like pace above will hopefully translate to more efficient photography in silicon as well as film.

I couldn’t write this post without at least mentioning the gear, I’ll probably write up something more in depth at a later date once I’ve had a chance to get the feel of each of the cameras. First to mention is the Zorki 4, a very common USSR made 35mm rangefinder, simple, a bit clunky, but available in abundance online. Second is the MPP Microcord, a much less common TLR (6×6), which needed a bit of attention (shutter service). More to come on these later.

MPP Microcord and Zorki 4

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