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Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?
  
 
Depth of Feel
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


So a combination of the VSCO craze and the Nikon Df debacle , has led me to crave buying a film camera, specifically a Eos 3 or 1v.

Why....

I'm getting bored with using my own 5d3 to shoot things for fun. I have no interest in doing my developing, but I want the excitement of wondering what my results will look like and having results that have their own character that is genuine to the medium and not the result of a preset.

I've seen some fantastic work that is a result of shooting film and I love the idea of making pictures that have their finished look when they come back from the lab. Initially I want to shoot for fun. If I turn out liking it perhaps offering hybrid coverage down the road.

I started digging on this subject and after a couple hours I began lusting after a Contax 645, but I don't think that's the place to $tart.

Tell me I am crazy and that this is just some romantic silliness and I'll feel like an idiot for blowing $200+ on a film body.

And no, if I am going to do it I'm not interested in getting a "pure photography" experience. I want autofocus, auto winding, bells and whistles etc. I don't care about looking vintage or having tons of knobs and dials. I just want to have a little magic in the process. Some of my favorite pictures I have are ones I took with disposable cameras while on vacation.

My digital files are cool, but they feel more sterile to me then anything. I should mention I've never owned and used a film body before.




Nov 13, 2013 at 04:18 AM
Evan Baines
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


Canon film cameras are pretty good. I shot an entire wedding on a 1v and a 1n once, and it didn't come out too badly.

If its fun, then many people pay much higher prices for fun. If it changes the way you shoot, that might be good or bad. The only way to know is to try.



Nov 13, 2013 at 04:25 AM
joelconner
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


If I were you, I would find a medium format body to play with. The Contax's have shot up in price recently, but there are a ton of other options (Bronica's are often a much cheaper and decent quality option). If you have never shot film before, it might not feel enough different to you to just shoot 135 film (since you would be using the same lenses, same proportions, and a very similar style body to your digital). If you do really want to stick with 135 over 120, then I would look for an all-manual older body.

Just my $0.02



Nov 13, 2013 at 04:25 AM
Depth of Feel
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


joelconner wrote:
If you have never shot film before, it might not feel enough different to you to just shoot 135 film.
Just my $0.02


Using similar equipment I think is a bonus no? I don't really care about changing the control paradigm. Just the output paradigm.



Nov 13, 2013 at 04:29 AM
Michael Beard
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


This week I decided to start shooting film for my non-work stuff. I, like you, still wanted AF as well as access to my current library of Canon lenses. I have an Elan 7E on the way- didn't want to spend a lot on my first film body. I will most likely start collecting various older manual bodies and explore medium format eventually.


Nov 13, 2013 at 05:01 AM
joelconner
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


Depth of Feel wrote:
Using similar equipment I think is a bonus no? I don't really care about changing the control paradigm. Just the output paradigm.



If all you want is film output, then just stick with the lenses and such you have and get an eos film body. You had mentioned being "bored"...I personally do not find that a simple change in output eases boredom for me. Also, I personally do not do well with mixing digital and film when they are both the same format and using the same lenses and I am shooting both at the same time. Film requires a different approach and mindset, and I personally found it difficult to make that mental switch in the heat of the moment at sessions or weddings when the gear used for both was identical. (and only very slightly different with the body)


Edited on Nov 13, 2013 at 05:19 AM · View previous versions



Nov 13, 2013 at 05:18 AM
Depth of Feel
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


p2fx wrote:
This week I decided to start shooting film for my non-work stuff. I, like you, still wanted AF as well as access to my current library of Canon lenses. I have an Elan 7E on the way- didn't want to spend a lot on my first film body. I will most likely start collecting various older manual bodies and explore medium format eventually.


I had not considered the Elan 7. Might not make a bad test.





Nov 13, 2013 at 05:19 AM
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


joelconner wrote:
If all you want is film output, then just stick with the lenses and such you have and get an eos film body. You had mentioned being "bored"...I personally do not find that a simple change in output eases boredom for me. Also, I personally do not do well with mixing digital and film when they are both the same format and using the same lenses and I am shooting both at the same time. Film requires a different approach and mindset, and I personally found it difficult to make that mental switch in the heat of the moment at
...Show more

I assume my inability to chimp and my limit to 36 shots will get me into that mindset. Maybe not.



Nov 13, 2013 at 05:20 AM
stevez32
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


Its worth a shot. If you want an EOS 3 let me know, I have one that I should sell


Nov 13, 2013 at 05:27 AM
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


stevez32 wrote:
Its worth a shot. If you want an EOS 3 let me know, I have one that I should sell


PM me a price. I've been looking on ebay lately. I will say the idea of trying it out on an elan and saving $150 is appealing. I do think if I liked the taste the eos 3 would be where I would end up, or 1v but those are expensive.



Nov 13, 2013 at 05:30 AM
 

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TTLKurtis
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


Depth of Feel wrote:
I had not considered the Elan 7. Might not make a bad test.



I have an Elan 7 and it's a great camera. Unfortunately I no longer have any Canon glass to use it with... it's the only autofocus film body I've got and I've been craving an AF SLR or MF body.



Nov 13, 2013 at 05:47 AM
Depth of Feel
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


The funny thing is I do have an om-1 in the closet with a couple lenses that I was given a while ago. I just really want AF body to use with my canon glass. While I burn money on film I don't want to be making mistakes because I'm unfamiliar with the system.


Nov 13, 2013 at 05:56 AM
D. Diggler
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


Depth of Feel wrote:
I assume my inability to chimp and my limit to 36 shots will get me into that mindset.


I've heard photogs say that when they go from digital to 35mm film, they catch themselves trying to chimp the film bodies.



Nov 13, 2013 at 06:31 AM
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


D. Diggler wrote:
I've heard photogs say that when they go from digital to 35mm film, they catch themselves trying to chimp the film bodies.


That's awesome! I will most likely catch myself doing that. HA!



Nov 13, 2013 at 06:35 AM
ckhagen
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


I keep thinking I want to buy a MF body... I used to shoot hasselblad and mamiya in school (12-15yrs ago). But it's been so long and I've forgotten so much that I pretty much break out in hives trying to figure out which to buy.


Nov 13, 2013 at 06:37 AM
SloPhoto
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


ckhagen wrote:
I keep thinking I want to buy a MF body... I used to shoot hasselblad and mamiya in school (12-15yrs ago). But it's been so long and I've forgotten so much that I pretty much break out in hives trying to figure out which to buy.


Easy, you need both



Nov 13, 2013 at 06:57 AM
Joshua Gull
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


For me film accomplishes so much. I'm a more thoughtful, purposeful photographer. I take better photographs. I nail my compositions much more precisely. I anticipate and I have much more intuitive timing. I'm so much more aware and alert. I love the aesthetic so much more than the "perfect" (read: sterile) feel of my digital work.

Personally speaking I much prefer the more manual cameras, specifically medium format cameras. The aspect ratios are different than my dSLR, the feel is different, the operation is different, little to nothing is automated and I honestly feel like I'm actively involved in the image-making process compared to just pushing a button or series of buttons when I shoot a dSLR. For me the 35mm SLRs like the EOS 3, 1V, F100, etc all feel too much like my dSLRs. The aspect ratio is the same, the feel is the same, the operation is largely the same and the only major difference is worse AF and no way to preview the images. Shooting more manual cameras that feel different and operate more slowly force me to be more involved in the process.

I guess I could compare it to driving a Cadillac sedan (dSLR, with all the bells and whistles) to a stripped down sports car like a Porsche 911 GT3 (medium format cameras like my Contax 645, Rolleiflex 2.8 or Pentax 67II or a 35mm rangefinder like my Leica M6 TTL). Both will get you to the same place (a destination or a final photograph) but it's HOW they get you there and the experience you have in the process that matters to some people. I personally love the experience of driving a true sports car (to me that's real driving) or operating a really nice film camera (to me that's real image making) compared to a plush couch-on-wheels sedan or dSLR. Sure there are limitations, but those limitations force me to think more creatively to accomplish what I need to accomplish and as a result have expanded my creativity many times over compared to using a dSLR that's essentially capable of nearly anything with the simple push of a button.

That's not to say an EOS 3 or 1V wouldn't be a great camera for you. EOS 3s are plagued with focus accuracy issues but the 1N and 1V are both great choices and you can make stellar images with them while utilizing your existing glass. But IMO you're missing out on half the experience of shooting film by going this route. You can pick up a Canon AE-1 and 50/1.8 for $50ish and make great images too but gain more in the experience department.

Edited on Nov 13, 2013 at 07:06 AM · View previous versions



Nov 13, 2013 at 07:00 AM
Joshua Gull
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


This was my experience and you may be able to garner some insight from it...

- Shot around on film in my teens (1990s) but nothing serious. Just knew I liked photography. Walgreens developing and double prints. Terrible quality all around (my fault as much as Walgreens).

- Got digital point and shoot, left film behind. Still just messing around.

- Tried a friend's dSLR and was sold. Borrowed grandfather's D50 and saved for a while. Got a Nikon D80 as soon as they came out. Then a D300. Started doing paid work. Then got a D90. Then a D5000. Then a D7000. Then a D700. Then a D3. Then a D3s (and eventually swapped to Canon and tried the 5D, 5DmkII and 5DmkIII and then swapped back to Nikon). Was never happy with my digital processing all along the way. I've always liked the aesthetic of film and my digital files always felt sterile. I spent way too much time trying to make them look like film so I decided to do exactly what you're considering doing right now. I needed to swap things up.

- In 2010 I picked up a film camera to give it a shot (Nikon F100). Didn't love the results. I found out I didn't love color in 35mm. I loved B&W in 35mm but medium format was where it was at for me with color so I got a medium format camera. Fell in love with the results of 35mm B&W and medium format color. Continued to shoot film for personal kick-around stuff. Fell more in love with the results. Still wasn't confident to use it for paid work.

- In 2011 I was shooting a wedding and vividly remember the feeling I got when I *knew* whether I hit or missed the shot. At this point I had been involved in photography for over decade and been very serious about it for half that time. I didn't need my LCD crutch. My timing just clicked. So I started bringing my film cameras to weddings and shooting one roll here and there to get a feel for it in a working application.

- 2012 I went all out and shifted my business to primarily film capture. Bought a bunch of different film cameras, sold a bunch of different film cameras, learned what I liked and what I didn't like.

- 2013 I zeroed in on exactly how I like to work and now I very rarely pick up a digital camera (almost exclusively for low light color work only). I went all out and shifted nearly everything to film capture personal and professional including developing and scanning my own personal work (B&W in the bathroom and color in the kitchen sink).

It's a slippery slope for some. I'm glad I started down it though. It's completely changed who I am as a photographer, in every single way for the better. YMMV obviously, but I couldn't imagine how unhappy and burnt out I'd be if I had continued to push and push my digital work without exploring this avenue. My frustration level was through the roof and no end was in sight. I almost certainly would have given it up. Film saved me.



Nov 13, 2013 at 07:03 AM
sherijohnson
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


coming from someone that started on film, I would say you should definitely buy one. I feel you will become a better photographer if you shoot film often enough, you limit the shots you take to what you feel you really need to shoot and you learn to be more selective on what and how to shoot it. if you shoot digital with the same mindset, you can see there may likely be a difference in how you approach your photography with more intention.


Nov 13, 2013 at 12:09 PM
cineski
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Semi OT, Should I get a Film Body?


Also check out the Elan 7ne. I shoot with 3 1V's and I love them. Overpriced? Yes, but the price seems to have dropped a bit. If you're a wedding photographer, the EOS 3 is not a good camera just because of how loud the shutter is but all film cameras are going to be louder. The 1V also has the best focus of the bunch and if you do end up using this for weddings you'll be glad you have that. I'm the exact opposite of Josh. The more gear becomes a part of the photography, the less I am as a photographer. But to me, I'm the best photographer when I'm not thinking about gear or exposure at all, I favor thinking completely about my subject. I highly recommend against medium format for several reasons. It's a whole system you'll need to buy into, MF film is expensive (in all aspects from stock to processing and scans), you already have Canon glass. Shooting film behind my 24-70II and 50 1.2L is a beauty to behold that rivals any medium format I've shot through a Contax. Sure the Contax is better but a 5% notch upward in image quality for a 100% more pain in the rear factor isn't all it's cracked up to be. There's also a lot more that can go wrong with aging MF modular type gear. So start with 135 and if you get comfy with it, try a Pentax 67 which is a much bigger jump in image difference from 135 than 645 is.


Nov 13, 2013 at 02:31 PM
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