Monday, July 13th, 2015
In late 2008 my wallet opened for a brand new Nikon D90 with a kit lens. A few months later I bought a Nikon “nifty fifty” 50mm f1.8 prime lens and put the kit lens in a cupboard. I made a lot of pictures with that camera. I still own it. It’s just never really made me smile. In some ways, the DSLR is too bloody easy to get a good-enough something. Sharp. Fast. Pictures.
I put that Nikon D90 aside in 2010 and purchased a cheap-arsed beat up 30-year-old Zenza Bronica ETRS medium format film camera. And the next year I picked up a late 1970s Nikon F2A Photomic for shooting 135 film. I have a few other film cameras laying about, but these are my main squeezes. The move to film was a profound shift around what I was beginning to consider a good picture, rather than crisp, sharp and smacking of modernity. I bulk load the 135 film from 100′ rolls, process the film in a Paterson Developing Tank and scan the negatives onto a computer. I have darkroom gear, but not quite everything that I need. That’ll happen. Eventually.
So before anybody runs around in circles screaming “Film Apostle” into their social media megaphone … I’m not a nostalgist. I enjoy old things. Only I’m not a nostalgist. My interest in cameras is primarily about qualities of the pictures that I want to create and I tend to draw away from people who are all about the cameras or the technologies. I just want the qualities of a certain style of picture. And that style and type of picture seems to be intrinsically based around film.