Giving film a go!

Back at the beginning of the year I was given a Chinon CS 35mm Film camera from my mother-in-law. This was the first film camera I had held, let along owned. So, as with anything new I took to Google to find out what I had to do!

It didn’t take much searching for a user manual until I came across one by Mike Butkus. There are a load of manual on this site for many different cameras. Check it out! With the basics learnt I loaded up a roll of film and fired off a few photos.

Ill write another post in future about the struggles I had with the camera even before I took my first photo, this one is just to go over the first roll of film that I had developed.

I didn’t take all these photos in one day. Instead I took the camera with me along with my D7000. I snapped a few on film just to help familiarise myself with it.

The first thing that threw me was the fact I had no clever technology tell me what settings will be best. The light meter is a small pin that appears when the camera believes you have the right exposure. Although I am thinking that this is out due to the modern battery I had to put in.

All of this is of course guess work. I am hoping that I am going to learn more about shooting film as and when I get through more and more rolls of films. Of course if anyone wants to leave any tips and advice then please leave a comment below.

After speaking with a very good photographer, Gemma Gaskins, she mentioned to use the D7000 as a light meter to get the right reading. Thinking back, this seems obvious now.

I took the film to be developed at Bristol Cameras, the same place I bought the rolls. The first thing I noticed when I got them back was that they all seemed really grainy. The film was Ilford HP5 Plus 400 B&W and after asking The Rising Tide group of Facebook, the friendly members gave me a few tips to help. Basically deepen the depth of field and too keep taking photos and learn how the camera works.

I feel like I could split all but one photo into two groups. Those that came out alright, like the ones already shared above, and those that were terrible. Except for this next one. For some reason half the image is exposed and the other is completely over exposed. Im not sure why this has happened? The end result is quite cool anyway.

So here comes the photos that didn’t come out well:

  1. Some were out of focus, I still need to get used to the manual zoom.
  2. Some were under exposed, I still need to learn what shutter speeds and aperture to set and trust the light meter more?
  3. Some looked like they had a weird cloudy film over the top of them. These I have no idea about?

From shooting with this camera I have learnt just how dependant I was on the modern cameras settings. Its hard to not get the right exposure on a modern camera! Its easy at the moment for me to get the wrong exposure with film.

I asked different photographers for advice when shooting film. They all had the same response, and that is to keep trying until you get it right. I now have some Kodak ColorPlus 200 loaded in the camera at the moment which Ill fire through when I go to Iceland at the end of the month.