Film. Mostly.


Say hello to my little friend.

PlusTek 8100 35mm film scanner. It’s a dedicated film scanner which, from everything I’ve read, is better for 35mm film than a traditional flatbed scanner, like the Epson V600.

So, there it is.  My first purchase after I have decided to go back to shooting film this year.

Before we go any further, let me be clear. I will not be shooting film exclusively.  I will still use my D610.   This weekend, for example, I’ll be taking it out for a cool car show I’m going to (No, not Mesquite Motor Mania….it kills me that I’m not going to MMM this year!).

I am not abandoning digital, not at all.  But, I will try to minimize my digital shooting.

The plan is getting right back to basics; 35mm black and white, and develop at home.  I’ve still got my darkroom bag for loading the film into the developing canisters.  In fact, that is the only thing I have left from the old days.  To start home developing again I’ll need to get…well, everything really. The tank, reels, thermostat, timer, containers, chemicals, and a dozen other little things.

And film.  I’ll need to start buying film.  Again.

Now, after posting my previous blog posts laying out some of my reasoning regarding this decision, many people have offered advice and voiced some concerns.

Some said that I’ll disappointed shooting 35 mm compared to my DSLR.  If I really wanted to do film properly, I should go medium format.  Fair point.

Here’s the main reason I’m not getting into medium format just yet.

Money, money, money, money.  Money.

Yes, I know I can pick up a decent Yashica Mat-124G or Mamiya RB67 for $200-$300, or so. But any money budgeted for that has already been spent on the above scanner. If I would have bought a MF camera, I would have still needed to get a flatbed scanner.

No, I already have an outstanding film camera with my Nikon F100, and even a pretty great SLR in my Pentax K1000.  That’s what I’ve already got, therefore that’ll be what I’ll use.

Apprehension about money will be a specter that haunts this project all year.  At the beginning of this year, I had a certain budget set aside for a new lens that I’ve wanted, that I’ve talked about getting for a year now.  Well, I guess that’s on hold.  Indefinitely.  Now part of that budget is already gone, and with the funds needed to purchase the above mentioned developing items, that will be even less for film and chemicals throughout the year.

It’s going to be a shoestring kind of year.  Photography on a budget, indeed.

Flowers sm

But damned if it won’t be worth it.  I can feel it.

If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.

Welcome to doing something different.

I’m excited about getting back to basics. I’m excited about relearning the process. I’m excited about getting away from color for a bit, and not just by desaturating a digital file.  I’m excited about connecting with other people who shoot film. I’m excited about spouting pretentious nonsense that only other film shooters will barely understand (“Yeah, I’ve switched from D-76 to HC-100, but I prefer dilution H to dilution B, obviously.“) I’ve missed out on talking like a hipster about vinyl records and microbrewerys, this is my shot to be a pretentious hipster!

I’m excited about photography again.

It will be February, probably, before I get it all up and running.  Until then I’m scanning old film and getting practice with the scanner.

So, stay tuned, friends, good stuff is developing. I promise.