During 2017 I have shot more and more film, all on Tri-X 35 mm film and I have enjoyed getting better and better at it. I am still not at the level where I am confident that I won't accidentally get an entirely black frame on the roll here and there, but I am getting there...slowly.
I've been asked why I shoot film when there's digital available and my answer to that has several parts. I do it because it forces me to slow down and think before I shoot. It's VERY easy to snap away like a lunatic with your DSLR and ending up with 700 pictures to go through (done it many times!). I can definitely not do that with film, because it would cost a fortune! Also you have to switch films every 36 images, which would make for a painful snapfest after a while! Also, I like the tactile, handicraft aspect of the process. It is a meditative activity to be in the darkroom and it feels almost magical to see the photos appear in the trays!
It is quite an addictive process addictive...to the point where I'm about to order my second 10-pack of film for this year. When the year started I didn't think I'd need it until next year, but it is just so much fun to shoot film! Rabbit hole here I come!
With all the 35 mm film I've shot so far there's always been a format that I've considered - namely medium format, or 120 film. While regular film is 36 x 24 millimeters the 120 format film is at least 60 x 60 millimeters, or variants of this (I've seen formats as large as 60 x 170 mm), and the allure of larger negatives is quite strong. I don't know if "bigger is better", but I am certainly intrigued! I've acquired temporary access to my dad's first camera, a Zeiss Ikon Nettar that he got from his father in 1957 and I've thought about putting a roll through that one for the longest time.
It's a cool camera to hold in your hands and it most definitely has an old look with its bellows and tan leather case (I'm holding it in the picture on my "About" page.) So the three images in this post are from my very first roll of Fomapan 100 that I put through that old camera this summer. It's such a different process shooting analog compared to digital, and using this utterly manual camera is an even bigger change from shooting with my 1974 Canon SLR (which feels nigh on modern compared to the Zeiss). Still I think I managed to get about half of the 12 shots on the roll to a passable state.
Will I shoot more with it? I honestly don't know. It feels weird not to have access to the view through the actual lens (it has a viewing window that isn't connected to the lens) when you shoot, and I don't know if I want to get used to shooting like that. At least I know now that if I do use it I can get pretty good pictures from it, from a technical viewpoint.
It is all up to me to get the shots right...which is both a challenge as well as pretty scary!