Category Archives: Beginners Guide

Post 8: Finding the right film

By now you’re probably thinking once you’ve got sussed out your camera the hard bit is over; you can just grab a film, load it up and off you go. However, you might want to think again. The broad assortment of film in Express Imaging, City Road, is enough to show you need to make sure you’re using one that is not only compatible with your camera but one that is going to suit your type of photography and will produce the best image in your shooting conditions. 

Kodak fims

Rolls of film

There are three main types of film but to break it down for you I’m just going to focus on the most familiar type for now – colour negative film, also known as C-41. This comes in 35mm, 120, 126, 127 and 110 film.  Colour negative is made up of three layers of emulsion which are individually sensitive to different colours; the top layer is blue, then green, then red.  Once you’ve snapped your shot, your image is developed on an orangey-brown negative.

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Feature Post: Beginners Guide to purchasing a film camera in Cardiff

So you may have read up on the pros of film photography and you’re getting to grips with the jargon. But you’re still missing the most important piece of kit you’ll need as a film photographer– the camera itself.

Now, Christmas is quickly creeping up on us all and what better way to spend your kindly received dosh. Yet as a newbie to film photography you’re confronted by two issues; where can you buy a film camera in Cardiff city-centre, and what features do you need to look out  for?

I was surprised to find that there are very few film camera shops in Cardiff centre. Those that do exist are also hugely varied in price range and sell very different camera types. In this current economic climate most of us are constrained by cash, especially after the Christmas squeeze, so you’ll want to know what type of camera you can get for your money. I sent out a Twtpoll to figure out how much people are prepared to spend on a film camera. From 32 votes the results are as follows:

How much would you spend on purchasing a film camera?

How much would you spend on purchasing a film camera?

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Post 3: Beginners Jargon Part II

Firstly, thumbs up to you if you’re reading this as it means my Part I post on beginners jargon didn’t scare you off completely. That’s always a good start.

Secondly, this hopefully means you’re pretty determined to get the fundamentals of film photography under your belt. Well good news; there are only a few more basic terms you need to know.

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Post 2: Beginners Jargon Part I

So, you’ve put down the digital camera and decided to have a go with film.  But you’re confronted by terms like aperture, f-stops and depth of field. What do these mean? Isn’t it just a simple case of point and click?

All cameras can take pictures. But if you want to take a decent photo you will first need to know how your equipment works. Using film photography also means understanding old techniques, adjusting the settings yourself to ensure you get a good shot. When I first got into film I was almost put off by the jargon as soon as I’d got started. For those of you who are pretty much as clueless as I was, I will attempt (bear with me) to explain in plain, simple terms the basic functions you need to know to get started. Here goes…

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Post 1: Why shoot film?

Why choose to shoot film when using a digital camera is so easy and precise, I hear you ask? Well, there are many reasons.

Yes loading film can be pernickety. The cameras are usually pretty bulky. You may even lose a few photos by forgetting the basics like shooting with a flash indoors. But I still think it can be said that the pros far outweigh the cons.

My analog Olympus OM-10

Firstly, film can be way more exciting. Digital cameras and infinite memory cards mean that we are all guilty of taking endless snaps of practically the same picture. You can end up with dozens of similar looking photos, deleted without a second thought, or uploaded onto a hard drive and then never printed off. This can often make photography seem rather dull. Instead, when shooting film there is an uncertainty of how your photos will turn out. Even when you’ve reached the end of your film it can be difficult to remember what photos you snapped in the first place, making it so much more exciting when you collect your photos from the printers. Sure, not all of them will have turned out well, but this only makes more reason to ensure your next exposures are saved for worthwhile shots.

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