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Film Photography 101

Hey, everyone! This is another one of the many overdue posts I have in my long list of blog ideas and I’m glad I finally finished this! I hope this will be helpful for all film photography enthusiasts out there like me. c:

Disclaimer: Photos of my equipment are not posted in any way just to show off or whatsoever. I am after the information dissemination to the people I owe answers to (and that includes a list of my equipment, too). The information here are also based from my personal experience and it may not be what is known to the film photography world or the professionals out there. So please correct me if ever I get things wrong! Thank you!

To get the ball rolling, I’ve listed the different questions I’ve been receiving about film photography and try my best to answer them as direct and as simple as I can. I will also include the basics such as the what, who, when, where, why, and how. *wink wink*

When did you start taking photographs in film?
I remember my grandparents handing me disposable film cameras back then and I’d use them all up but I never really had the chance to get them developed. But it was in 2013 when a friend of mine let me use her film camera, a Canon AE-1 Program, for a few months and I fell in love. I took a break for a few months or maybe it was a year because I sold my Pentax camera for funds for an Instax camera, hahaha.

What made you love film photography?
I guess it’s the process? How each photograph is exposed and you have no idea what it looks like exactly. You may have a clue and here’s wishful thinking where you just hope it looks as how you’ve imagined them. And then you wait for the roll to finally be processed until you can finally know what it looks like. I don’t know, haha. I just love it.

Who are your inspirations when it comes to film photography?
Honestly, there are so many people out there that inspire me but most of them are people I’ve discovered through Tumblr. Most of them are from Japan!

What cameras have you tried and are currently using?
The first camera I tried was my friends Canon AE-1 Program. My mother then got me a Pentax ME Super with a really cute Holga 110 film camera. I also received a package from my grandmother with different film cameras where most of them were not working anymore or were either defective. I currently have the Nikon F70, Nikon F50 (selling this, by the way), Nikon FE, Nikon FE2, Olympus AF-1 Twin, and a disposable film camera. I also have an Instax 90.
I have a lot of Nikon film cameras because I own a Nikon DSLR and the lenses that I have are compatible to both DSLR and film ones so I thought of just buying a Nikon film camera body so I can use the other lenses. But, hahaha, hoarding problems!

What films have you tried?
Expired films like the Kodak Ultima, Kodak Gold 200, Fujicolor YKL 100, and a lot more. I also tried the classic Neopan, and Fujifilm’s default 35mm film roll which can be found in most of their branches. I have yet to try my favorite person’s gifts from Japan: the Kodak Superia Premium 400, Neopan Acros 100. I also have an expired roll of Kodak Ektachrome and Kodak BW 400CN.

What is your favorite film camera?
I guess the ultimate camera that I love is the Canon AE-1 Program. Second to that is the Pentax ME Super. They were just such user-friendly cameras that the noob in me just fell in love and wanted to dive more into the world of film photography.

What is your favorite film?
I can’t answer this since I haven’t tried a lot of films yet and most of the time I forget which film I’ve used for a certain roll, hahaha! But I’ll update this once I get my hands on more films!

Where do you buy film rolls and cameras?
Hidalgo Street in Quiapo is my go-to place but recently, I’ve been relying on Facebook groups such as Film Photography Swap and Lomomanila Marketplace. Good finds, for sure. The newly opened Film Folk is also a reliable source. I can also suggest Facebook pages/Instagram accounts like Film4ever and The Vintage Collective for a variety of rolls and cameras.

How do you save money for film rolls?
I know how film photography involves a lot of spending here and there but if you really love it, you won’t mind it that much. I guess this saying applies here: if you love what you’re doing, you’ll really find ways for it to happen. I don’t remember it completely but it’s something like that, haha. Since I love film photography, I find ways to save money. Since I’m still a student, I try my best to save money for academic projects too.

Where do you get your rolls processed?
I used to get them developed at Hidalgo Street in Quiapo, which is known for all things film and photography in general. But now I get them processed at MSM Wells Photo along the EDSA-Magallanes area. I’ve yet to try the newly opened Sunny 16 Lab. I heard they’re good!
By the way, I only get my rolls processed at MSM Wells Photo and I scan them on my own. I have a film scanner from my favorite person, hahaha. It’s not high quality and I only scan them for checking. I pick out the nice ones and I’ve yet to get them scanned individually. But I’m planning on buying a really nice flatbed film scanner so I can save money and even offer scanning services to friends at an affordable price, I guess.

Where do you store your films? How do you store them properly?
I have this plastic box on my shelf and it’s where I place Instax photos I’ve taken for the year and some rolls I’ve yet to use. Although I’ve read somewhere that it’s best to store films in the freezer or fridge.

So that is how much I love film photography. If you have any more questions, feel free to leave a message on my ask box and I’ll gladly answer them or maybe come up with another post with all those questions. Like what I’ve mentioned above, answers are based from my experiences. If you’re after technical questions and whatnot, go ahead and look for answers online. I’m sure there are plenty of sources from the world wide web.

I hope this post is of help to you. I really suggest everyone to try using film. It’s fun and I love it so much. c:

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