Some people might not understand why do one go back to non digital photography. I am not really a purist, nor would I give up my digital Nikon and Leica babies and their wonderful lenses.
However, once in a while I like to flirt with my non digital skill again to crop the surrounding into black and white images on films.
While my little made in Germany D-Lux 4 pocket camera refines my skills by pushing the functions to the limit as if it was a DSLR with immediate response, the non digital SLR with films I have been slugging around teaches me to be more disciplined rather than being trigger happy. With digitals, I acted (sometimes) like a cowboy with a machine-gun.
My Nikon F601M is one of the last few SLR produced by Nikon before the industry quantum leaped into the digital world – the whole industry has been revolutionized – even people’s behavior.
I feel like going back to basic with a lot of practical skills (which needed to be brushed up constantly). Having the constraint not being able to see the result of each shot immediately, I tend to spend more time before each shoot.
I have to make a mind list:
- the film ISO is 400 – meaning the sensitivity is quite high for outdoor photography during the day and not bad for indoor with small aperture numbers.
- 50mm fix lens is attached. Quite a warm lens – I can still shoot in a relatively low light
- 400mm - courtesy of TM's dad was difficult to handle. A damn good quality lens. Lets see I perform with that one.
- Manual focus – this is a pain for me. I have not been using manual focus for a long long time and I don’t trust my eyes. It takes me a while to focus, especially on moving subjects.
- Waiting for the result – only when the films are processed at central market and that would take at least 2 working days.
It is a good experience to shoot less – as less, in most cases, is more.