Welcome to the film world. Most of us here began in film, many never ventured to digital. I shoot both, but 90% of my stuff is B&W film.

1. Light meters can be found for a song on Ebay. I recently replaced an old meter with a still old, but younger Gossen Luna Pro (converted to newer batteries) for about $80. This is just one of the many great meters that can be found for little money. It is not digital (analog meter), but does the job well and you can get accessories for very little money too.

2. Film, my favorite films were discontinued awhile back, Kodak Plus X and Panatomic X, so I moved over to Tri X, which I have also year (decades) of experience shooting. But, do not limit yourself, play with different films to see what you like. Small grain, large grain, low contrast, high contrast, etc. A great place to look for film and darkroom supplies is Freestyle. They carry the best selection of film I have seen. http://www.freestylephoto.biz/c40-Black-and-White-Film I do not shoot much color film (that is what digital is for), because processing is so-so unless you get lucky. Others here will correctly point out that color negatives can be processed at home and scanned, but I am one of those that believes scanning should only be done to post something on the internet. My photos in my house are all wet processed. That is why I only shoot B&W film, I cannot process color prints at home.

3. As said, developing is a snap for B&W negatives, and not hard for color negatives either. Printing B&W at home is also a snap, and a few hundred dollars (again Ebay is your friend) can get you a nice starter darkroom setup. Mine is nothing special, it is in the basement under the stairs. I do not have running water there (would be nice), so I have to drop my prints in a bucket and carry them upstairs for washing. My carpets are proof of this, you can see the stains on them, but I tell my wife the dog did it.

4. Scanning, well I have a scanner, actually two. A Canon 8800f and a Plustek. The Plustek does a good job with B&W, so-so with color. The Canon does so-so with both, but does not have the resolution of the Plustek. That said, I feel if I scan an image I may as well have shot it with digital as well. That is why neither scanners get much use.

5. Carrying any camera is a hassle if it is big. I have a Hasselblad 501 and Mamiya C330F, plus a Leica M6 that I keep with me in the car most of the time. They are in a single camera bag, along with film and meter. If I am going to shoot something I take the camera out that I want to use and carry it in a much smaller camera bag. I hate dragging all that stuff around unless I need it.

Again, welcome, and lets see some photos from your work.

Wayne