Film In A Digital Era Essay

1189 words - 5 pages

It's strange, after being such an enthusiastic early adopter of digital cameras, I've found myself returning the the very first film camera I ever used. It was long before digital had caught on that I was lucky enough to own one of the first consumer grade digital cameras available. Although, it was a little out of date when it was given to me by a relative, I couldn't afford a digital camera at the time new or old. Not a lot of people bought them at the time, even if they could. I remember someone stopping me, asking "where's the viewfinder?" They were thinking it was some kind of dangerous device until I showed them pictures via the LCD screen. Others acted like I was playing with a toy, a ...view middle of the document...

Not only did it take the guesswork out of what it might look like, it took the guesswork out of the metering. To avoid taking washed out or dark grainy photos, there's a microchip inside that lets you know if you're going to expose the film to the right amount of light. This is something that you won't find on completely manual film cameras, if you choose to go that route.

I think the right balance in the inconvenience/benefit ratio is with this type of SLR camera. It auto-loads film, you can change out the lenses, preview what's about to be exposed, quickly check if your lighting conditions are correct, and you can still get the type of film developed locally within an hour.

Film

In this day and age, you really shouldn't deviate from 35MM film if you're just starting out. There aren't many places left that will cater to "odd" film types like 110 or medium format. If you do try and use these, you will likely need to mail it off and/or wait a few weeks for development. 35MM is still a safe bet, for now. While you're buying 35MM, you'll also need to worry about which film speed you're going to use for your shots. This requires predicting ahead of time what kind of lighting you're going to find yourself shooting in. Sounds unlikely, if not impossible, doesn't it?

Lenses

By far the most compelling reason to use film cameras right now is the glass. You can buy lots of used lenses from professionals funding their switch to digital. If you couldn't afford to buy a digital SLR with interchangeable lenses, you've probably been stuck with a digital point and shoot. Even if you could afford it, you wouldn't be able to afford to buy as many as you could with a film camera. This will likely be the case for most consumers until the Micro Four Thirds lenses and cameras start coming down in price. Being able to change lenses opens up a whole new world to photography, and they provide an easy way to make your compositions more interesting. You can take much wider shots, zoom in from distances further than you ever could, or take advantage of different depths of field for portraits or landscape shots.

Shooting Photos

Taking film...

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