Back in February, I found my dad’s Nikon F3 camera and started playing with it. After a months time, I have finally finished a full roll of 36 frames, and collected the developed negatives today! For the past few years I was able to see the shots I have taken immediately on the camera’s LCD screen, and they can also be examined closely back at home on my computer at day end. It is truly a special feeling when you have the anticipation of not knowing how well the photos will come out, and have to wait for a few days for development before getting the negatives back; the sensation of holding negatives in hand is just like bringing myself back in time, maybe 15 years back where all cameras just use film.
The above photo was taken by the Nikon F3 with a 50mm f1.2 lens, using Lomography’s ISO400 B&W lady grey film. It has then been scanned directly from negative to digital. The scanned quality is not perfect, and the resolution is rather low, but somehow it feels different from DSLR outputs. Maybe its the low quality which gives it the “retro” feel, or maybe its just my own experience which makes it look different (or just a photo taken by a low quality digital camera with basic sensor!?)
My point is even though I have been shooting with DSLRs for quite sometime now, I am always able to learn new skills and tricks when going back to SLR working with film: the manual focusing lens, the confidence of shooting a few frames in your mind without the “luxury” of checking the result immediately etc. I highly encourage DSLR shooters to find a film camera to experience how photographers shoot back in the 80s. The feeling of waiting for the photos to be developed (unless you have your own darkroom) is certainly very interesting. You may not like it, buy there is no harm in trying!