Thursday, August 14, 2014

Going back to shooting film

Pentax super A


I have been taking photographs now since 1970.
I started using a Kodak Retina 35mm film camera in Darwin in Australia's Northern Territory.
That was my Dad's camera and he gave me a quick lesson or 2 or f stops and shutter speeds before I was going on a trip for 2 weeks in my employment.
I was shooting Kodachrome Transparency film rated at ASA 25.
I went back to Darwin for a period of 12 months after that initial 2 weeks and still used the same camera and film stock.
The Northern Territory screamed out to me to photograph it so I did.
I still have all the mounted slides from that time.
It was the beginning of a wonderful journey in photography for me.
I was very much a beginner but starting to grasp the fundamentals.
On returning to Adelaide in 1971 I graduated to a Yashica Minister D rangefinder 35mm which was a great camera to learn photography on.
I sold it to a friend when I upgraded to a Pentax Spotmatic.
I later bought it back from him when he no longer wanted it.
Then came a series of Pentax SLr's.
My favourite for many years was the Pentax Super A.
I shot many weddings on this camera and used to operate 2 of them during weddings.
Then auto focus cameras came in which were great and then digital was upon us.
My favourite and last and best Pentax 35mm slr was the Pentax MZS.
The flagship of the Pentax 35mm range.
I read that Pentax was to introduce it's first digital slr based on this model.
I couldn't wait to get hold of one but pentax were really slow getting it on the production line.
This was the Pentax *istD.
With that camera I entered the digital world.
All this time I was having a similar journey with movie cameras.
That's another story or post.
I now have a couple of Canon digital slr's and Pentax models.

As much as I like the convenience of digital and everything that goes with it, I think I want to go back to shooting film and using the cameras I still have from the past.

I recently took part in the SALA exhibition(see post before this) and had some enlargements framed and on display.

In getting some of my shots printed at a larger size it made me realize that film photography might be slower but there are many reasons why I think it's better.

I wished I had shot a lot of my digital images on film.

Quality is one.

Sure I could get a new Pentax 645ZS Medium Format digital camera that is an exceptional camera from what I have read, but is over $10000 for the body only.

I already have a Pentax 645 medium format film camera and an Pentax 6x7 medium format film camera.
The quality from those cameras is superb and I have an array of lenses to go with them.
 So also because of the qualities of film and different looks and wide exposure latitude(negative
 film anyway)

Film photography will make me much more selective in what I capture and also give me back a life that is not so all consuming in downloading,uploading,editing, light rooming ,photoshoppingand staring at a computer screen.
Also the problem of  backing up files will be eliminated.
Film lasts for a long time and you can actually hold it in your hand.

Will I give up digital? Probably not!

But I am looking forward to going back to my photography roots.

If I had been brought up on glass plate negatives I would probably be into that too.

scanned slide

scanned slide

scanned slide

scanned slide

scanned slide

Scanned slide


With a 35mm film camera at the Devil's Marbles, Northern Territory