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MY FILM CAMERA > 3 Common Mistakes Shooting With Film Cameras

MAR
24
2019
3 Common Mistakes Shooting With Film Cameras



Back in the old days before digital camera and smart phone become common, 35mm film camera was the most common and affordable way to take pictures. Nowadays smart phone becomes the most common tool to snap pictures, the sales of DSLR cameras have been dropping and mirrorless full frame digital cameras becoming more affordable than before.

However I do see a trend that more people are having enough with the over flooded digital pictures from social medias and smart phones, so they are going back taking pictures with film cameras. Why? If you are true photography enthusiasts, you would understand the enjoyment of using film cameras and to really enjoy the end-to-end experience from film photography. Just like car enthusiasts who preferred driving a manual gear box instead of automatic gear box.

In this article, I would like to share the 5 most common mistakes in film photography for beginners. I have made all the mistakes when I started shooting with film cameras again. These mistakes only applicable to manual SLR cameras which requires manual film loading, manual focus and manual metering. It doesn's apply to fully automatic or point-and-shoot film cameras.

Number 1: You cannot change the ISO like digital camera
When I was a kid I used to shoot with point and shoot film cameras. So I have no idea about the fundamentals of photography such as ISO, aperture and shutter speed. After shooting with DSLRs for several years, I bought my first film SLR camera Minolta SRT101 in 2012. I was extremely excited shooting the first roll of film which was ISO 200 film. I thought the ISO in film camera works just like the ISO in my DSLR. So I was constantly adjusting the camera's ISO to accommodate the lighting condition before taking any pictures. Later I found out the film camera ISO has to be configured to match the ISO number with the loaded film. I cannot change the camera ISO as long as shooting with the same roll of film.

Number 2: Unexposed film
All the film cameras I used requires loading the film manually. One day I went to the photo lab to collect the pictures from the film which I sent earlier. I was stunned when the photo lab owner told me that s he found my film did not have any exposure of pictures. Eventually I found out that I did not load the film correctly and the film crank was not moving when advancing the film. That explains why the film was blank even I have taken 36 exposures (I thought I had).

Number 3: Accidentally ruined the film in the camera
Occasionally I could not finish one roll of film within the same day. Normally I would put the camera back to the shelf and thinking to finish the leftover again next time. After one eternity later, I wanted to use the camera again but I was totally forgotten the leftover. Guess what happened? I thought the camera was empty and I opened the film compartment to load with new film. The leftover film was still inside the camera. It was exposed and the remaining frames become unusable.

Here are the top 3 common mistakes shooting with film cameras. I have made all the mistakes and I learnt it from the hard ways. If you are a newbie in film photography or thinking to start shooting with film cameras, I hope you learnt the lessons from here and have avoided the mistakes. Hope you guys find this article useful.


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