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Thread: New to film

  1. #1

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    New to film

    I currently Have an Elan II with my canon 50mm 1.4 attached. I am currently in the process of shooting my first roll of film. Are there any general guidelines that I should keep in mind from switching from ditital to film? I'm finding out chimping is a hard habit to break.

    I dont use the dreaded green square, or other pre set functions. 95% of the time im in AV mode with a shutter speed of 1/60 or higher. This is when I was shooting my Rebel XT, and applying it to my Elan.

    Any tips would be greatly appriciated.

    -Zack

  2. #2
    fmajor's Avatar
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    Welcome!!!!

    Its going to be a little bit of a 'detox' for you , but honestly, i *love* my film cameras and the look of the results i get from film.

    1st - enjoy every single frame and frame advance!!!!
    2nd - find a place where you can get your film developed - this may sound strange, but a *good, reliable* place for development is getting harder to source
    3rd - once you find a developer, *ensure you get your negatives back*
    4th - have them do a scan for you - it's usually cheap and provides a "digital negative" to manipulate/adjust/play with and upload to your favorite on-line social medium
    5th - plan on learning about film and how it looks (it really is different than digi, but sometimes less obvious at 1st)
    6th - look into developing your own b&w film - it's soooo easy and the results are very self-satisfying
    7th - eventually you may consider scanning your own negatives, but that's down the path and not an APUG discussion topic (there is a companion site to APUG that is more appropriate/helpful)
    8th - choose 1 film, be it color or b&w, order 5 rolls of it and use it all before you change to another (this will help you learn how your lens and the film combination *really* work together - important to know)
    9th - learn about the "Golden Triangle" of a single image - aperture, shutter speed, and film ISO (also referred to as speed because of it's relative sensitivity to light - "fast" or light sensitive film responds to light "faster" than "slow" film - ISO 800 vs ISO 100)
    10th - remember that *you* make the picture - it's not the camera - no matter how many cool features the camera body has (though your choice of lens and film affect how the image looks)

    OK, that's all i've got for now.....

  3. #3

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    Chimping will be tough when shooting film...

    I started shooting film in March this year, after having been shooting only a cpl of months, then my digital camera broke down and had to be sent in for repair, 45 days the said, so I got myself a film body and a cpl of manual focus lenses.

    Since then I've been trying out a cpl of different films, buying 5-10 rolls of each, develop, scan (I dont do darkroom, no time or space) in order to see what came to my liking (yeah, I bought a basic dev kit for b&w and an Epson v500, an Epson SP 1400, and, and, and, looking back today I could've just as well bought a new digital camera.... hehe!!).

    For 400 iso I ended up with Fomapan 400, the Fuji Neopan 400 was great too, but the Foma is cheaper and I like it a lot as well. For ~100 iso I'm now testing Rollei Retro 80s (Agfa), and so far so good.

    Anyway, it's not about the camera, film, whatever, it's all about how much and how consious you shoot, just get out there and get some nice crops. The big difference I noticed was that with film, I started to think more about what I had in the viewfinder, not like with digital, where I instead just shot and if it wasnt good, shot another cpl of shots etc.

    Though I have no long experience in photography, so I assume this is pretty much a newbie behavior no matter what. However, it did improve dramatically when I started to shoot film, and it still does, I'd say my first 20 rolls are, hmm, interesting... though with a cpl of nice shots in more or less each and one of them!




    Enjoy!
    Last edited by Felinik; 10-17-2012 at 09:26 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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  4. #4

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    Enjoy your first roll! Which film are you using? As for tips, I can't think of too many, one advantage to using a modern, AF camera is that you can just shoot without worrying too much about settings and the like. There's no need to radically change anything just because you're using film. Just have fun, relax, and then see the results after you develop your film. Then you can see what worked for you and what didn't.

  5. #5

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    1/60 is fine with that lens. If you need to go to a slower shutter speed then you will need a tripod. The best rule is to think in terms of the shutter speed always being higher than the focal length of the lens when shooting hand-held - so for a 200mm lens you'd want 1/250 and so on. I always use some sort of support if shooting at 1/30 or below though, even with a 28mm lens. It doesn't need to be a big tripod either - Slik make some brilliant little ones which can perch on rocks, chairs, tables, etc or you can do as I've done before and use the lens cap to help level the camera while it rests on a handy bit of landscape.

    Assuming that you're shooting negative film then you will notice that you have much greater dynamic range, film is capable of far more subtlety in colour and lighting. Situations where you have to choose between a blown-out sky or an underexposed foreground with digital simply don't occur - I just meter for the foreground, shoot, and get shots with decent lighting throughout. The Elan's meter may handle this well on its own - I'm used to centre-weighted metering on 1970s or '80s SLRs where you need to take readings from a few places in the desired scene and then decide your settings.
    Matt

  6. #6
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    Hi Zack,

    Welcome into the world of silver and light. I'm not a Canon owner but there are many things common to all cameras I think.
    The one thing I can suggest is "be in the moment" when you are shooting film. Like a carpenter, measure twice, cut once I tend to use the in-camera light meter or hand held a bunch of times in a given situation and then compose and shoot. since you are looking to put 24 or 36 images on a roll verses several 100 on a card, I find I need to be in the moment and spending more time on each image. Previsualize a lot!

    When you find yourself chimping, just smile and say to yourself "AHH Film"

    Lee

  7. #7

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    I should of been a bit more descriptive in my post. I apologise.

    On monday, my durst f60 came in the mail with 50 and 70 mm condencers and lenses. My local shop carries Ilford film, and Ilford chem and paper. I do plan on having full control over my devoloping and printing processes. In the future, I do plan on getting a canon scanner for film to create a catalog of my neg so i have an idea of what i have. Printing wise, I have the intention of only using my enlarger. No ink jet for me.

    The only reason I have color film is to adjust to using film. The Target by my house was having a deep clearance on their last box of Kodak 200, 24 exposure color film for 2.98. I also recieved a roll of 400 kodak Max with the camera. My intention is to use only B&W. For processing the color rolls, my local walgreens still has a mini lab and will get those on cd.

    Just a side note. Earlier this month I picked up a Suri T005 tripod and that thing packs small! I always have my camera, Suri tripod, shutter release cable and a photography journal on me in my messenger bag.
    Last edited by zackesch; 10-17-2012 at 10:24 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #8
    AgX
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    I'm not a newbie, but still today it's the first time I come across the term "chimping". Had to look it up.
    Though I regularly have seen such behavior at others.

  9. #9
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    Damn, you go all in! Haven't shot your first roll and already have an enlarger! Anyway, with digital you always have to worry about the blown highlights. Not so with film, particularly with B&W. So make sure you expose for the shadows and not worry about killing the highlights. That's the big thing I've learned. The other is that scanning is a huge drag and good scans cost $$$. Best bang for the buck is projecting slides.

  10. #10

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    Hatchetman, I saw a deal too good to pass up. Everything shipped for 47ish. Plus, I want to expierence the triditional methods. Its art after all. I dont want it to be built of pixels and apply PS "Filters"... Photo editing on the pc simply feels fake.

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