Anyone still shooting 35mm film?

Started Jan 11, 2017 | Questions
zuikowesty
zuikowesty Veteran Member • Posts: 3,909
Anyone still shooting 35mm film?

I am curious if anyone is shooting 35mm film and mFT here?

It has been above 8 years since I last shot film, which is when I got my first DSLR, the FT E-410. I have sold all my 35mm film gear except an OM-1, and have only a few OM lenses - 28, 35, 55, along with a collection with other mounts collected for adapting to digital.

I have been given some ISO 200 colour print film, and still have a bulk roll of Ilford FP4+, so I've considering trying film again, even though I know it is very expensive to process these days, and I don't have a decent film scanner, so it's about $20CDN/roll to process and scan at decent quality.

Part of my thought process here is to see how I get along with "full frame" gear again, and the necessary slowing down of things that will come along with it - no IBIS (unless I get an A7II), no AF (unless I spend $$), so more tripod use necessary, much less spontaneous captures. But this might (probably) be a good thing...

I was also given a Zeiss Ikon Contessa which I haven't tried, so am curious about that, along with wanting to try my 55/1.2 with film, to at least see the results in native FOV.

So who here still shoots with film, and what does it deliver for you?

edit: I mention 35mm film specifically, as I think MF or beyond is a whole different beast. I did notice that with the increasing price for 35mm film, MF and even sheet film seems like a bargain these days, especially if you process yourself.

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Androole Contributing Member • Posts: 940
Re: Anyone still shooting 35mm film?
2

I shoot the odd roll of 35mm film, but to be honest, it's kind of disappointing. The quality just doesn't hold up when compared to M4/3. It's nice if you just want to get a "feeling" from the colours, or the tonality, or the shallow depth of field that's easy to get with 35mm, but as an image medium I don't think 35mm compares very well.

Here's a quick comparison, not scientific in any way, nor even intended to match framing, just idly shot one morning with a 50mm/1.7 on FF and a 14-140 on my GX7:

35mm film with 50mm/1.7

GX7 with 14-140 @ 32mm

However!

I have been shooting 6x7 medium format. Those images compare very well to M4/3, and while undeniably much grainier than FF digital, they don't look out of place. The grain is very fine at normal reproduction sizes, and the detail, focus transitions and tones are just wonderful.

Film and development doesn't cost any more, but you do get fewer negatives. But each one is so much nicer...

This answer doesn't help if you've already got bags of 35mm gear, but I only paid about $100 for my Koni Omega Rapid 200 with 90mm/f3.5 lens...

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ChicagoMike Regular Member • Posts: 167
Re: Anyone still shooting 35mm film?

Not for many years for me. I think I had held on to some old film cameras until several months ago, when my wife and I moved from Chicago to Seattle. We got rid of a lot of stuff at that time, and film cameras were included the casualties. I think the process of shooting film again would be fun because it would force a slower, more thoughtful process. That hasn't been enough of an incentive to actually obtain the necessary gear and do it, though.

On a related note, the advancement in sensors, image stabilization and lenses has dramatically reduced the size of my travel kit while increasing the quality of the output. It has also sped up the process of grabbing shots, which my wife appreciates.

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jalywol
jalywol Veteran Member • Posts: 9,425
Re: Anyone still shooting 35mm film?
3

I have to tell you, that first one jumped right out at me, and the second one didn't....

Hmm, maybe it's time to take out that old Pentax MX and load it up with some film....

-J

rodriguezPhoto
rodriguezPhoto Senior Member • Posts: 1,899
Re: Anyone still shooting 35mm film?

I've been shooting about a roll a month using various cameras. (2 Pentaxes, 6 Sears TLSes, 1 each Leica and Bessa, 1 GAF, 1 Yashicamat, 1 Speed Graphic, currently shooting Olympus Stylus). I find the high speed films like HP 5+ and Delta 3200 to be disappointing in 35mm. Too much grain. (120 is a different story.) So I'm mostly using ISO100 and below. Ektar 100 and T-Max 100 are my favorites. I also like Pan-F for the ISO50. An inexpensive film, Agfa Vista Plus, is also surprisingly good. Generally I find digital is better for color but film has it for B&W, especially when you combine with filters like red and yellow.

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Roger Engelken
Roger Engelken Veteran Member • Posts: 5,310
Re: Anyone still shooting 35mm film?

Yes, I still shoot with film on a pair of Minolta cameras and digital with too many Olympus cameras and now even a Paasonic Lumix camera.  There is something in the film, in the images produced that put them apart from digital.  To me one is not better than the other in quality, just different.  Also, I am old school, I still have three working reel to reel tape decks and an 8mm movie film projector.  Of course now Extrachrome film is coming back..more fun in film.

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OzRay
OzRay Forum Pro • Posts: 19,052
Re: Anyone still shooting 35mm film?

After picking up a couple of old film cameras in mint condition from a garage sale, I tried film once again, but was very disappointed.

What's worse, is trying to find film and then have it processed, which is becoming almost impossible nowadays.

The cameras make nice ornaments as a reminder of yesteryear.

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AllNamesAreTaken New Member • Posts: 15
Re: Anyone still shooting 35mm film?

I have sort of regressed back to mostly shooting film. It started two years ago and before that I  exclusively used m43 cameras for four years. I guess I got bored. Mostly shoot black and white film and develop myself. I scan with an em5 and the Olympus 60mm macro and make enlargements sometimes.

I'd say do it for the look and not the absolute quality. Sometimes results are great some times disappointing. Forget all the complaints about noise levels in m43. Film is way more grainy and you don't have anything above ISO 400.

AllNamesAreTaken New Member • Posts: 15
Re: Anyone still shooting 35mm film?

I can add one thing. If the FP4+ roll has been in the freezer or fridge it's fine after 8 years. I had some that was 10 years old that was fine. ISO 400 film on the other hand does not seem to survive that long without developing excessive base fog.

dmanthree Veteran Member • Posts: 7,040
Nope.

Why bother? Even my Panny GX8 beats the hell out of 35mm film.

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Simon Zeev
Simon Zeev Senior Member • Posts: 2,862
Re: Anyone still shooting 35mm film?

I have a small camera collection and from time to time I shoot 35mm film only to play with the cameras. In our town no one develop film so I send the films to another city only for developing. If I shoot B&W I develop myself. The days when I was developing color film are gone.

I like to shoot also 120 B&W film with an old Kiev 88, develop and scan it on my Epson scanner.

For real pictures I use m4/3 or Gopro.

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MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 34,912
On M4/3 it has to be half-frame N/T
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Tom Caldwell

greyghost59 Regular Member • Posts: 285
Re: Anyone still shooting 35mm film?

yep i agree with most on here ..why would you bother with film , mine all went in the trash years ago after it had been sitting on the shelfs for years.

Even if i could shoot film again i wouldnt no where to get it processed..

If you just like to play around with it  great enjoy it but as far as convienence goes and IQ you cant beat digital now.

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Jim Salvas
Jim Salvas Veteran Member • Posts: 5,517
No, still working on scanning what I have
1

I have years worth of work on film which I want to scan and get on digital. I know hardly anyone will care about my "artistic" work on film, but there is a ton of family stuff I'd like to scan and share widely. BOXES and BOXES of chromes and negs. I don't need to shoot more.

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MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 34,912
Re: Anyone still shooting 35mm film?
3

OzRay wrote:

After picking up a couple of old film cameras in mint condition from a garage sale, I tried film once again, but was very disappointed.

What's worse, is trying to find film and then have it processed, which is becoming almost impossible nowadays.

The cameras make nice ornaments as a reminder of yesteryear.

I mentioned this on another post recently.

A while ago I bought a couple of rolls of B&W film to use on my EOS 620 which I still have.

Maybe five shots into the roll I gave up - the film shooting experience was not there compared to digital.  I immediately missed the ability to review, delete and try again.

Maybe if I were a more patient soul?

Difficulty in getting such film processed and memories of the expense of 36 exposures and  only a few of them worthwhile. Digital has allowed me to experiment and improve my skills with effectively "no" cost in "film".  I don't need to return to the dark ages - my nostalgia is quickly overcome by my heartfelt lack of need to subscribe to what was the Kodak licence to print money.

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Tom Caldwell

rodriguezPhoto
rodriguezPhoto Senior Member • Posts: 1,899
Re: Anyone still shooting 35mm film?

Tom Caldwell wrote:

OzRay wrote:

After picking up a couple of old film cameras in mint condition from a garage sale, I tried film once again, but was very disappointed.

What's worse, is trying to find film and then have it processed, which is becoming almost impossible nowadays.

The cameras make nice ornaments as a reminder of yesteryear.

I mentioned this on another post recently.

A while ago I bought a couple of rolls of B&W film to use on my EOS 620 which I still have.

Maybe five shots into the roll I gave up - the film shooting experience was not there compared to digital. I immediately missed the ability to review, delete and try again.

Maybe if I were a more patient soul?

Difficulty in getting such film processed and memories of the expense of 36 exposures and only a few of them worthwhile. Digital has allowed me to experiment and improve my skills with effectively "no" cost in "film". I don't need to return to the dark ages - my nostalgia is quickly overcome by my heartfelt lack of need to subscribe to what was the Kodak licence to print money.

Oddly, I fell back to shooting film because of adapted lenses. (The G3's lack of focus peaking is probably a factor.) I just found the focusing much easier on the camera that the lenses were intended for, plus the auto-diaphragm meant that I didn't have to stop down after focusing. I ended up selling all the non-M42 mount lenses I had picked up recently except for two Zuikos. Now the Sears cameras use theIr Sears lenses, the Pentaxes sport their Takumars, etc., etc. Here in the US we have many photo labs to choose from, so it makes it easier to use film.

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~~~ Kim

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NCV
NCV Veteran Member • Posts: 7,154
Nostalgia

I stopped shooting film when I got a Nikon D70.

I still have my darkroom and a 5x4 camera which I keep telling myself I must get back into action, but always next month mostly because the film, paper and chemicals have to be ordered from Milan.

All the rest of my film gear has gone except for the stuff I used semi professionally for theatre and is too battered to be sellable

Once I switched to digital; film made no sense to me anymore. I have also spent far to many hours in the darkroom to still consider it "fun" and the digital darkroom is far more heathy and sociable.

The film thing is a bit like those warped, fragile, scratchy and crackling vinyl LPs that for me were consigned joyfully to history when the CD was put on the market. They seem to have made a comeback due to the nostalgia factor ( you need a very high end system to tell the difference).

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ChicagoMike Regular Member • Posts: 167
Re: No, still working on scanning what I have

I eventually gave in and shipped my old photos, negatives and slides out for scanning. I did some minimal winnowing first. My "someday" approach of scanning everything myself with care and love never panned out.

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atomgr Forum Member • Posts: 90
Re: Anyone still shooting 35mm film?
1

I like film.

I shoot BW, develop at home and I scan a few.

BW bulk comes to 3 something euros, a few cents for development and a scanner.

Color cost 3 something to develop at the lab.

One time I gave BW out, 10 rolls total cost 85€.

Now days I carry a film as a backup when in the wild. If batteries die I can still use my all manual camera.

But I started with film long long time ago so its something like back to the future.

The main thing is that I'm having fun, but I don't depend on it.

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bobpetti Junior Member • Posts: 45
Re: Anyone still shooting 35mm film?
3

I shoot a roll of film in my OM-2n once or twice a year. I very much enjoy the process of using a film camera. A limited number of exposures forces me to be selective and concentrate more on each image - kind of asking "is this frame worth it?", you know? The sound of the OM-2n shutter is music to my ears - really nice, as is the feeling of cranking the film advance. Looking through the OM-2n eyepiece is amazing - compared to the EVF on my E-M10. Huge, bright, and not cluttered in the least. Love it. Love the focus screen.

I know it's mostly nostalgia - for me at least - but the enjoy the tactile experience of using a film camera.

I send my film directly to Ilford for processing. It's not cheap - but it's just for fun. The quickened heartbeat when the package is returned in the mail is still there after all these years.

BP

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