Transition from Digital to Film - Tips

Discussion in 'Film Camera Forum' started by nicodemus3d, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. nicodemus3d

    nicodemus3d New to SC

    9
    May 5, 2012
    Hi,

    I have been shooting with a Leica M8 for a little bit now and often find myself using software to emulate the look of film. Because of this I have decided to give film photography a go as well.

    I've just purchased a Yashica Electro 35 gsn and whilst I'm waiting for it to arrive I wondered if anyone knew of any good websites/books detailing the transition back to film from digital. I have very limited exposure to film cameras so am quite the newbie. Any tips or tricks for starting out? Good films to practice with? (I've read that a 400 speed is prob best to start off with)

    Many thanks

    -Mike
     
  2. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Mike I see you've already had some good advice over at RFF so I won't add much except to say that when I started to use film again after digital, the main thing was to remember to shoot for shadows instead of highlights.

    Read up a bit at roger's site and maybe get an older 35mm photography handbook from a charity shop (thrift or goodwill store if you're 'm the US).

    It's a much older and richer technology than digital and thus has a bottomless pit of different theories and techniques to get lost in. Keep it simple!

    Oh and enjoy it. It's fun. Are you also planning to develop and print (or scan) your own film?
     
  3. nicodemus3d

    nicodemus3d New to SC

    9
    May 5, 2012
    Thanks for the reply.
    By 'shoot for shadows instead of highlights' do you mean it's better to have clipping in the shadows rather than the highlights? I assume because film seems to have more tonal range in the shadows??

    No plans for that yet. To begin with I'll just take the rolls to a camera shop to be developed I guess. It's certainly an exciting field to open up


    -Mike
     
  4. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    The rule of thumb that's often quoted seems to be 'meter for the shadows and let the highlights take care of themselves' :smile:

    Film (in general) has much greater dynamic range than most digital sensors (in general) . Plus it tolerates over and underexposure rather well (in general).

    Recent personal experience bears this out. I was by habit (from using my e-p2) shooting film with an eye to holding the highligts (which the Olympus blows very quickly). As a result my first few rolls were somewhat underexposed and I lost shadow detail and got lots of grain.
     
  5. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Oh and there are a few much much more experienced and knowledgeable film shooters here who I hope will come along at set you (and me!) straight about things.

    Where's Antonio for a start?
     
  6. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    I have the Yashica Electro 35 GSN and all the little toys that go with it [wide/tele kit ec]. It's a great little camera. You're going to love it. 400 is a good rule of thumb and black and white film is more forgiving than color, like a couple stops in either direction more forgiving. As to which brand of film, put various brands/speeds in Flickr's search and you will see a myriad of results and then choose film based on the overall look you want. Some are higher contrast, some seem to handle the levels of gray better, they all have their own kind of grain. And as Paul said shoot for the shadows so you don't lose detail. Again if you are a stop off it'll still be there but in black and white your sky is going to be the white anyway so why meter for it. He also made a good point about resale shops [which you can extend to garage or estate sales] for finding old film books. I've run across Ansel Adams books about how to shoot.. and I am sure there are others. Exposure triangle is the same, film speed, aperture, shutter speed.. If you don't get the manual with it here is one Yashica Electro 35 GSN / GTN instruction manual, user manual, free instruction manual, pdf manuals Also as far as the battery is concerned, you can make one of these little adapters to fill the gap that will be left when using a current make 6 volt battery. 2 Battery Adapters for Yashica Electro G, GS, GT, GSN, GTN, GL, MG-1, and AX | eBay . Seriously you don't have to buy that it's just plastic tubing, a spacer like plastic or wood and a couple thumbtacks or screws on either end. That's my two cents, good luck :)
     
  7. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Actually I'll add a little more :redface: ... Film ... There are black and white C41 process films available. This means they can be processed by your local minilab (if you have one) in the same tanks go which they do colour. It might to be less expensive than sending them to a proper lab.
    The three available are all nominally ISO400. Kodak bw400cn. Ilford xp2 super. And Fuji neopan 400cn. The xp2 has remarkable latitude meaning you can shoot it pretty much at any ISO between 50 and 800 and still get acceptable results with no change to processing. Very forgiving for a beginner!
     
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  8. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    I started with the Ilford so yes, good to bring that up Paul!
     
  9. Gubrz

    Gubrz O.* Gonzo's & Bentley's Dad

    979
    Jun 5, 2012
    Austin, TX
    Eliot
    I'm waiting to stumble onto a Rollei 35 for the same reason! Good luck to us both in our film fun!
     
  10. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    So.

    Advice #1 is to use one film stock until you REALLY understand how it behaves in a variety of conditions. Years ago I chose to feed my meterless Leicas upon Kodak 400CN; it was (and is) easy to get developed and is a bit sharper and more gritty than XP2. I learned by trial and error (mostly error, to begin with) until exposure was second nature. I never use a meter for my II or my M2, preferring instead to rely upon Sunny-16 (or Sunny-12 at these latitudes).

    Advice #2 is to learn to previsualise. The film camera has no screen; you cannot chimp, what you take is what you see. Learn to bracket, and to work a subject; do not stop at one shot - take a number and learn why they are different, in exposure, focus and composition. Decide what you like and why.

    Advice #3 is to think ahead. Prefocus. Set your exposure. Basic film cameras don't do it for you. Learn what and more importantly learn why.

    Oh - and did I mention - have fun! :smile:
     
  11. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    Been there. More fun than a barrel of monkeys. It has to be done just to get it out of your system :wink:
     
  12. Nuskyn

    Nuskyn SC Veteran

    387
    Jul 8, 2011
    @Gelderland - the Netherlands
    Jeroen
    you mean this one ?

    rolei.
     
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  13. Gubrz

    Gubrz O.* Gonzo's & Bentley's Dad

    979
    Jun 5, 2012
    Austin, TX
    Eliot
    ...
    ...
    ...
    *expletive!!!!!!*

    Yes!!!! I even want the T!!, but in black. I have too many silver black combos now. Lol
    Where is the UNTHANK button?! Lol! :D
     
  14. nicodemus3d

    nicodemus3d New to SC

    9
    May 5, 2012
    Thanks for all the replies everyone. I'm now super excited about receiving the camera and having a play. I'm off to the photo lab at lunch to have a chat with them about film and printing.
     
  15. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    If you don't have a scanner for photos see if they will scan to a disc for you-- that is if you want to share the images beyond paper. We hope you do :)
     
  16. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Kyle
    This thread just sent me on a 1-hr Ebay / Review session looking up the old Minolta X-370 I grew up using, looking for reviews of it, and for used ones. I survived this time, but I may not make it through without a purchase the next time I get nostalgic.
     
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  17. Gubrz

    Gubrz O.* Gonzo's & Bentley's Dad

    979
    Jun 5, 2012
    Austin, TX
    Eliot
    Just got me a black r35t! Won't be here till fricken sept5th tho! Ugh!
     
  18. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    Hey Eliot.......did you ever push a roll of film through your r35t?
     
  19. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    zombie thread alert :smile:

    also, I wodner whatever happened to the OP ?
     
  20. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Bill
    funny things can happen in dark rooms
     
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