BUY AN ANALOG CAMERA
Get an nice camera. Spend good money on it. No seriously. Go and spend money on a really piece of equipment.
Invest in something nice. Invest in your hobby and your creativity. I’m not advocating being a gear head, but buying something that you love, that you will enjoy using is going to make the analog journey more enjoyable.
(I say this because I bought cheap film cameras when I started off and was never happy with the results.)
The great thing about many film cameras is they were (generally) built to last. It is hard to find a crappy film camera.
Check eBay and you will see hundreds of beautiful analog cameras that will do the job. Vintage rangefinders, Twin Lens Reflex cameras from the 40’s, compact point and shoots from the 80’s or good old SLR.
I recently bought a Nikon F4. In its day, back in 1985, there was no way I could afford the $2000+ price tag. Now, that same camera is a couple of hundred dollars. It is an affordable piece of photographic history.
We are so lucky to be able to live in this era and have so many choices of great cheap cameras.
Buy a good one.
Images from my first rolls of medium format film and developed at home.
FILM PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS
Slow down and compose- or not! In the good old days of digital you can fire off thousands of photos in a day, cull down to a few hundred, delete a few more, and you are happy to get a few good ones.
When every shot is costing you $2 or more, you will slow down, consider the composition, double check your exposure, analyse the scene, move to a better position and then take the photo.
That caution helps you to be a better photographer. You will see things differently.
Stick to One or Two Films
I think this is important. There are so many variables in film photography. Stick to a couple of films so you can work out what you are going right and wrong when it comes to exposure. There are a ton of film still being made. My personal favs are Ilford HP5 and Kodak Portra.
Stick to One Camera
Hahaha. People say that, but in reality you will want a few. I have a Canon FT with colour film in it, and my Nikon F4 with Ilford HP4 B&W film. Depending on the light and what I want to shoot, I will grab one or the other off the shelf.
Developing Your Film
Find a good lab to develop your negatives or do it yourself.
You can develop your B&W film with minimal equipment and space. It is certainly fun and a great learning experience and very cost effective.
At the moment I take all my film to a lab and get it developed and scanned.
In Sydney I go to Vision Lab.
Get a camera, load up some film and have fun. In this digital world, it is a great pleasure to step back, slow down and really look at what you are doing.
Of course, this is my two cents, and not everyone will agree. You may not. But for me, analog is the best form of photography.
More film camera reviews and photos: