Film Transition from Digital to Film - Tips

nicodemus3d

New Member
May 5, 2012
1
Hi,

I have been shooting with a Leica M8 for a little bit now and often find myself using software to emulate the look of film. Because of this I have decided to give film photography a go as well.

I've just purchased a Yashica Electro 35 gsn and whilst I'm waiting for it to arrive I wondered if anyone knew of any good websites/books detailing the transition back to film from digital. I have very limited exposure to film cameras so am quite the newbie. Any tips or tricks for starting out? Good films to practice with? (I've read that a 400 speed is prob best to start off with)

Many thanks

-Mike
 

pdh

Legend
Jan 2, 2011
123
Mike I see you've already had some good advice over at RFF so I won't add much except to say that when I started to use film again after digital, the main thing was to remember to shoot for shadows instead of highlights.

Read up a bit at roger's site and maybe get an older 35mm photography handbook from a charity shop (thrift or goodwill store if you're 'm the US).

It's a much older and richer technology than digital and thus has a bottomless pit of different theories and techniques to get lost in. Keep it simple!

Oh and enjoy it. It's fun. Are you also planning to develop and print (or scan) your own film?
 

nicodemus3d

New Member
May 5, 2012
1
Mike I see you've already had some good advice over at RFF so I won't add much except to say that when I started to use film again after digital, the main thing was to remember to shoot for shadows instead of highlights.
Thanks for the reply.
By 'shoot for shadows instead of highlights' do you mean it's better to have clipping in the shadows rather than the highlights? I assume because film seems to have more tonal range in the shadows??

Are you also planning to develop and print (or scan) your own film?
No plans for that yet. To begin with I'll just take the rolls to a camera shop to be developed I guess. It's certainly an exciting field to open up


-Mike
 

pdh

Legend
Jan 2, 2011
123
The rule of thumb that's often quoted seems to be 'meter for the shadows and let the highlights take care of themselves' :)

Film (in general) has much greater dynamic range than most digital sensors (in general) . Plus it tolerates over and underexposure rather well (in general).

Recent personal experience bears this out. I was by habit (from using my e-p2) shooting film with an eye to holding the highligts (which the Olympus blows very quickly). As a result my first few rolls were somewhat underexposed and I lost shadow detail and got lots of grain.
 

pdh

Legend
Jan 2, 2011
123
Oh and there are a few much much more experienced and knowledgeable film shooters here who I hope will come along at set you (and me!) straight about things.

Where's Antonio for a start?
 

Isoterica

Hall of Famer
Dec 6, 2011
123
I have the Yashica Electro 35 GSN and all the little toys that go with it [wide/tele kit ec]. It's a great little camera. You're going to love it. 400 is a good rule of thumb and black and white film is more forgiving than color, like a couple stops in either direction more forgiving. As to which brand of film, put various brands/speeds in Flickr's search and you will see a myriad of results and then choose film based on the overall look you want. Some are higher contrast, some seem to handle the levels of gray better, they all have their own kind of grain. And as Paul said shoot for the shadows so you don't lose detail. Again if you are a stop off it'll still be there but in black and white your sky is going to be the white anyway so why meter for it. He also made a good point about resale shops [which you can extend to garage or estate sales] for finding old film books. I've run across Ansel Adams books about how to shoot.. and I am sure there are others. Exposure triangle is the same, film speed, aperture, shutter speed.. If you don't get the manual with it here is one Yashica Electro 35 GSN / GTN instruction manual, user manual, free instruction manual, pdf manuals Also as far as the battery is concerned, you can make one of these little adapters to fill the gap that will be left when using a current make 6 volt battery. 2 Battery Adapters for Yashica Electro G, GS, GT, GSN, GTN, GL, MG-1, and AX | eBay . Seriously you don't have to buy that it's just plastic tubing, a spacer like plastic or wood and a couple thumbtacks or screws on either end. That's my two cents, good luck :)
 

pdh

Legend
Jan 2, 2011
123
Actually I'll add a little more :redface: ... Film ... There are black and white C41 process films available. This means they can be processed by your local minilab (if you have one) in the same tanks go which they do colour. It might to be less expensive than sending them to a proper lab.
The three available are all nominally ISO400. Kodak bw400cn. Ilford xp2 super. And Fuji neopan 400cn. The xp2 has remarkable latitude meaning you can shoot it pretty much at any ISO between 50 and 800 and still get acceptable results with no change to processing. Very forgiving for a beginner!
 

Gubrz

O.* Gonzo's & Bentley's Dad
Jun 5, 2012
103
Austin, TX
Eliot
I'm waiting to stumble onto a Rollei 35 for the same reason! Good luck to us both in our film fun!
 

Lightmancer

Super Moderator
Aug 13, 2011
164
Sunny Frimley
Bill Palmer
So.

Advice #1 is to use one film stock until you REALLY understand how it behaves in a variety of conditions. Years ago I chose to feed my meterless Leicas upon Kodak 400CN; it was (and is) easy to get developed and is a bit sharper and more gritty than XP2. I learned by trial and error (mostly error, to begin with) until exposure was second nature. I never use a meter for my II or my M2, preferring instead to rely upon Sunny-16 (or Sunny-12 at these latitudes).

Advice #2 is to learn to previsualise. The film camera has no screen; you cannot chimp, what you take is what you see. Learn to bracket, and to work a subject; do not stop at one shot - take a number and learn why they are different, in exposure, focus and composition. Decide what you like and why.

Advice #3 is to think ahead. Prefocus. Set your exposure. Basic film cameras don't do it for you. Learn what and more importantly learn why.

Oh - and did I mention - have fun! :)
 

nicodemus3d

New Member
May 5, 2012
1
Thanks for all the replies everyone. I'm now super excited about receiving the camera and having a play. I'm off to the photo lab at lunch to have a chat with them about film and printing.
 

Isoterica

Hall of Famer
Dec 6, 2011
123
If you don't have a scanner for photos see if they will scan to a disc for you-- that is if you want to share the images beyond paper. We hope you do :)
 

KillRamsey

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2012
124
Hood River, OR
Kyle
This thread just sent me on a 1-hr Ebay / Review session looking up the old Minolta X-370 I grew up using, looking for reviews of it, and for used ones. I survived this time, but I may not make it through without a purchase the next time I get nostalgic.
 

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