I dived back in to film photography!

Use this forum to show off your talents, like photos, drawings, paintings, woodworking, rod making or any other artistic bent you have. Enjoy :)

Moderator: Titelines

Post Reply
User avatar
DrLogik
Bamboo Fanatic
Posts: 2499
Joined: 12/20/04 19:00
Contact:

I dived back in to film photography!

#1

Post by DrLogik »

I dived back in to film photography...in a major way. I love my digital cameras, I do, but I so miss the hands-on mechanics and tactile feel of film cameras.

I got a pristine Nikon F2AS on that auction site from a reputable camera store. One word, WOW!! I literally lusted for an F2 back in 1975 when I had a Nikkormat FTN, which I bought with my own money working in a bike shop. I must have worked 4 months to buy that camera as a high school student! The FTN was the amateur's model SLR (and quite good in its own right - and I still have one!), but the F2's were what the real pros used. Expensive and built to last a lifetime.

I was so impressed with my purchase that I bought another camera from the same shop, a pristine Nikon F5. The F5 is the last of the Mohicans in the film camera line-up from Nikon. A professional film camera with all the advantages of today's auto-focus and electronic metering, winder, etc. It's a beast though. Heavy and built like a tank.

I got the first rolls of black & white film back from processing and they look amazing.

Realize that the F5 was thousands of dollars when it came out, same for the F2AS. However, in the recent resurgence of film cameras today they are even more relevant. The F2AS holds a special bond with me because it was the last all mechanical film camera Nikon made. The only thing electronic in it is the light meter. Everything else is mechanical. It's the heft, the sound of the shutter, the mechanical tactile feel that takes me back to 1975 when I was in high school taking photos for the yearbook and spending hours in the school's darkroom late at night (yeah, we used to be able to do that back then).

If you've ever wanted to get back in to film photography, now is the time to do it. Great film is easily found and to be able to buy the very, very finest film cameras for dimes on the dollar is intoxicating. I've even dusted off my old home darkroom equipment and plan to process my film at least. I may just scan the negatives but setting up a home darkroom again is also a goal of mine. I had one for years as a teenager in our basement...and still have my Omega enlarger!

If you've never used a truly professional camera before, you should indulge and see what it's like.

My current lineup is:
Mamiya RB67 medium format (film)
Nikon F2AS (film)
Nikon EL2 (film)
Nikkormat FTN (film)
Nikon F5 (film)
Nikon D90 (Digital)
Olympus Tough (Digital)

Here's the new ponies in the stable:

Nikon F2AS

Image

Nikon F5

Image

ted patlen
Guide
Posts: 116
Joined: 01/25/11 19:00

Re: I dived back in to film photography!

#2

Post by ted patlen »

talk about B.C. (before computers ). I was a Graphic arts major in college and was well versed with exactly what you're doing. A little side story; a good friend much younger friend was entranced when I described the entire process. His reply, so it's all chemistry.

I still have no idea what a byte is.

User avatar
DrLogik
Bamboo Fanatic
Posts: 2499
Joined: 12/20/04 19:00
Contact:

Re: I dived back in to film photography!

#3

Post by DrLogik »

so it's all chemistry.
Hahaha! So true. All of us on the yearbook crew back in 1975 got serious in to Ansel Adams and Imogen Cunningham. I was a self-professed "Anselhead". Reading from Adams' books I started experimenting adding various chemicals during development of film and paper to achieve different results in contrast, granularity, tone, etc. I then got in to selenium toning people photos and, man, I was in deep....

tyghguy
Member
Posts: 24
Joined: 09/11/18 12:19

Re: I dived back in to film photography!

#4

Post by tyghguy »

Nothing beats a good black and white image. I still shoot it as well. And am threatening to fire up the darkroom again. I had a F2A back in the day but sold it. I currently use a Contax RTS for 35mm Rollei SL66 medium format and a Rollei 3.5F medium format. Enjoy your new passion!

Arubey
Sport
Posts: 95
Joined: 06/01/17 15:07
Location: Corrales NM
Contact:

Re: I dived back in to film photography!

#5

Post by Arubey »

I shoot film right along with digital. Though I no longer process after moving to a home on well and septic.

Some of the images on my website were shot with film, and some of the cameras may occasionally show up as subtle props in other images, for no good reason other than I enjoy photography and some of the tools. I pretty much always go digital for anything approaching a product shot, but I'll often have a small film camera in my bag (currently a Leica IIIf) out on the stream.


Image

Not shot on film, but one of my more used medium format cameras is peeking into the frame.

best,
Andy
A. Rubey Rod Co.
rubeyrods.com

User avatar
Brooks
Master Guide
Posts: 525
Joined: 04/07/19 15:58
Location: Idaho

Re: I dived back in to film photography!

#6

Post by Brooks »

That’s cool. The greatest adventures of my life were recorded on my Nikkormat. I’ve often wondered how I could memorialize that camera with some sort of giant framed shadow box with photos I’ve taken from wilderness trips both near and far.
A tenkara rod, like a pet monkey, seems like a good idea at first.

ted patlen
Guide
Posts: 116
Joined: 01/25/11 19:00

Re: I dived back in to film photography!

#7

Post by ted patlen »

Side note...I watched someone long ago use indicator stop bath to dye golden pheasant tippets

User avatar
DrLogik
Bamboo Fanatic
Posts: 2499
Joined: 12/20/04 19:00
Contact:

Re: I dived back in to film photography!

#8

Post by DrLogik »

Side note...I watched someone long ago use indicator stop bath to dye golden pheasant tippets
Before or after it had run a few rolls of film? :P

It was a dual-purpose dye then, eh? Once expired, it could then be used to dye white silk thread, purple!

Do any young graphic artists or photogs today know what we're talking about?

User avatar
Gnome
Bamboo Fanatic
Posts: 3775
Joined: 12/23/04 19:00

Re: I dived back in to film photography!

#9

Post by Gnome »

Silver nitrate makes a wonderful blue dun when fixed right. Good stuuf grant and have fun with it.

photoguy
Sport
Posts: 78
Joined: 05/27/14 20:44
Location: New England

Re: I dived back in to film photography!

#10

Post by photoguy »

I've been toying with the same idea.

I have a large format camera with a digital back that can be converted to film and have been investigating the hardware needed for a couple of months. I don't know that I'll ever actually get around to it but it's been fun to think about!

Chased
Guide
Posts: 319
Joined: 02/16/13 19:01

Re: I dived back in to film photography!

#11

Post by Chased »

Awesome! Film photography is one of my obsessions as well. Still lusting after a Hasselblad Xpan, but pretty content with my current gear. Just don't fall down the slippery slope of Leica and Rolleiflex like I did :rollin

One of my daily driver is a late model Nikon FM2N. Hard to believe that these can be picked up for just a couple hundred bucks.

If you are looking for some awesome labs, check out The Find Lab (35mm and 120), and North East Photographic for large format.

User avatar
gclark
Sport
Posts: 60
Joined: 08/19/06 18:00

Re: I dived back in to film photography!

#12

Post by gclark »

DrLogik
Great looking Nikon F2AS! I love the manual SLR’s.
Like you, I’ve dived back into film photography as well! It seems there has been a resurgence in film photography that has been going on for a couple of years now. I dusted off my Olympus OM-1 from 1973 and picked up an OM-2n this past winter. Sent them both out to have them cleaned/lubed/adjusted, and after getting them back, decided to update them with some new leather covers. Shooting film, especially B&W has always been an enjoyable pastime, and it has been fun to immerse myself back into it again. Although film and processing is no longer available and any corner drug store, lenses are more affordable than ever, so it’s been fun experimenting. Looking to buy basic developing equipment to process negatives. Can then send them out for printing.....

Image

Image

Image

Image

GerardH
Sport
Posts: 41
Joined: 06/20/19 08:45
Location: Wyoming, MN

Re: I dived back in to film photography!

#13

Post by GerardH »

I'm following this thread with interest...I was heavily invested in Minolta MD-mount glass and it served me well for 30 years before I finally got into the digital world first with a Nikon D5100 and then a D7000 shortly after that. I haven't had the heart to part with any of my film equipment and I still have bricks of 100 ASA film in my refrigerator, maybe I'll have to shoot off a couple rolls...

Image

User avatar
mer
Bamboo Fanatic
Posts: 2478
Joined: 03/22/04 19:00
Location: NH

Re: I dived back in to film photography!

#14

Post by mer »

Old fashioned film, match needle metering. The simple "heft" of these cameras.
Spot meters. Smell of a B&W darkroom. Rodinal, Ilford, Agfa.
Weston, Adams, work that is still amazing.
Slow down and shoot; work it out beforehand because you can't fix everything under an enlarger.

Mamiya 645 was my goto.
Minolta SRT-100 was my first, various other Minoltas along the way, Nikon F4 after a while. Luckily the lenses work on a D610.

Now "point and click and take a million pictures a second and photoshop them up".

Digital is different. Makes it easier to take a lot of bad pictures. You still need the eye to take a photograph. Can be a difficult transition from a darkroom to "darkroom on a computer".

Nice seeing all this old gear. The heartache comes when you sell it: you remember what you paid way back when and you die a little seeing what someone is willing to give you for it now. But it does make easier to collect now: you don't need to pay a ton of money to get your childhood dream camera.


Strange bunch of folks, aren't we?

billems
Master Guide
Posts: 698
Joined: 05/11/06 18:00

Re: I dived back in to film photography!

#15

Post by billems »

I was a photographer in the 80s. Those old Nikon Fs and F2s were built as solid as hockey pucks. Heavy yeah, but you could knock out anyone attacking you with it, then pick it up and take a photo of your victim! I do digital photography with my phone. But my heart belongs to my now long gone Leica M4 camera, which was unmatched for the street and journalistic photography I was engaged with. I had the darkroom, a Leica enlargers, etc. Loved to print, though it's a lot of work. I learned much from Sid Kaplan, of NYC, who was the printer for Robert Frank and Weegee's collection. And Tri-X remains God's film, IMO. That later stuff Kodak came out with (I forget the name) hadn't the scale of Tri-X. Oh, man, I could wax forever on this. Glad to know you're doing film! Oh, and here's a fishing tip associated with film photography. If you want to sink your tippets, get a bottle of Photo-Flo. That's what Xink is. A bottle of Kodak Photo-Flo will last a lifetime.

User avatar
mer
Bamboo Fanatic
Posts: 2478
Joined: 03/22/04 19:00
Location: NH

Re: I dived back in to film photography!

#16

Post by mer »

T-Max I think was the "next gen" B&W line.

Post Reply

Return to “Photos, paintings, written stories and talents.”