Film photography, how many people are still in the game?
I picked up my first film camera in September 2016 out of the blue. There were many reasons. I guess I was sick of digital. Maybe I felt blocked. Maybe I felt my creativity is draining. Maybe I just wanted to feel special. Maybe I was sick of editing. Overall, I just needed some freshness…
Back to point, what are the challenges I faced while using film format for street photography?
A lot! In this post, I will list down the first and major one.
If you are a fellow street photography enthusiasts like me, you will know how fast you need to be on the street because there’s only ONE opportunity for the ‘decisive moment’.
You missed it, that’s it.
Film camera slows me down
I mostly use my Nikon FM2 with 50mm lens. For this film camera, I need to adjust my exposure and also to make sure my focus is right. At first, I heavily depended on meter and the focusing line through the view finder. This has slowed me down significantly because while trying to adjust everything, the ‘perfect’ picture has changed. Or your subject noticed you and they moved away or screamed at you.
Try zone focusing. My mentor told me it is impossible to do zone focusing using lens that is more than 35mm full frame. The best focal length is 24-28mm. I personally have tried it using digital camera, with f8, 1/250, and focal distance 1.5m, I can just shoot randomly. Of course your subject must be roughly 1.5m from you.
For film, I added a new camera to my collection- Rollei B35. It is a rangefinder with 40mm focal length. With this camera, there is no way I can know whether my focus is right. So I have to bet. And it forces me to practise my zone focusing.
With a pre-adjusted distance, I can just go straight up to my subject and snap. This Rollei B35 has definitely allows me to be a lot quicker on the street. I am now a fangirl of Rollei!
So, fellow film mate, what suggestion do you have for me?