A New Look at Film… negatives and such.

I segued into digital photography in early 1995. I was probably one of the first commercial photographers in San Francisco to early adopt the new digital media full time. Since then, I have made innumerable images with a number of digital image capture devices and cameras from BetterLight scan backs to Canon and now Sony full frame cameras.

I did not totally give up on film in 1995, but I stopped shooting film for commercial paying clients. I continued to shoot color Polaroid for transfers, Polaroid PN55 in medium format and 4×5 format for personal portrait projects and 8×10 Polaroid for a couple of art projects. I also, occasionally, shot Kodak Ektachrome 35mm and 2-1/4″ medium format for art projects. I even made a few images with a Gundlach 11″ x 14″ view camera. But, that all stopped in about 2003.

In 2014, I got the bug to shoot B&W film again and bought what had been expensive cameras for quite cheap. I got a Pentax 6×7 with 75mm, 135mm and 200mm lenses and a meter prism for about $500. I purchased an RZ67 with 65mm, 110mm, 180mm, 250mm lenses, 3 film backs, meter prism, and eye level viewer for $500. I picked up a Fujica GM670 camera for $300, a Bronco RF645 for $400, a Speed Graphic 4×5 with 90mm lens for $200. I was just gearing up and did a few shoots when we decided to sell our house and move into retirement. I sold everything.

Three weeks ago, I bought an RB67 with 90mm f4 lens, WL finder, one 120 film back and speed grip for $450. I still had film from 2014 and started shooting. I found my wife’s old Olympus OM-1 with an Olympus 50mm f1.8 lens. I had a Canon EOS 1N film camera and a 35mm f2 lens I’d been using on my Sony A7R2. I also have a 6cm x 6cm, fixed lens, non-focusing, 2 aperture, 120 film format camera from the Ukraine.

I have been shooting Ilford HP5, FP4, and Pan F in 35mm and 120 formats. I am amazed by the detail, acutance and exposure latitude in the HP5 and FP4 and the incredible detail in the Pan F 35mm.




Filed under Kenzmyth Blog

2 responses to “A New Look at Film… negatives and such.

  1. David Dearden

    Are you finding film provides more acutance than digital. I thought the charm of digital was that you could ‘dial in’ the degree of sharpness desired?

    • Kenzmyth Productions

      DD, It’s not just acutance or sharpness or, even, exposure latitude; it’s an analog way of looking with the mystery and reward, or disappointment of seeing the images when the film comes back from the processor.

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