Why I went From Digital To Film?

Why I switched from digital photography to analog photography?

Hi everyone, I am so excited to start this blog today!

I thought, as my first blog post, it would be a good idea to talk a little about the reasons why I went From Digital to Film and why you may want to do the same.

I started photography using Nikon DSLRs and I always liked it. I took great pictures with these cameras, I found them very easy to use and Nikon has an amazing lens collection. However I started to get bored with my photography. I realised that I spent more time choosing the good pictures, developing them in Lightroom and optimising my hard-drive space. Because of how big and heavy the camera is and because of all those pictures I still had to develop, most of the time I use to leave my camera at home when I went out. You can’t imagine how many shots I missed that way..!

So I started to consider changing my gear and go for a mirrorless camera (like the Sony A7 line) or for a more compact camera (like a Fuji X100 or a Sony RX100). But I could not find the perfect camera I wanted and I was not ready to make any concession with design or image quality.

Rollei 35s
Picture of my Rollei 35s, my first compact film camera

While looking for a new camera in a shop, I saw a very compact film camera : a Rollei 35s. It was pretty much all I needed : it was compact, very light, it had an excellent lens, it was full frame and it was much cheaper than any other solution I imagined. So I bought it and I fell in love with the feel you get shooting film. My first pictures were not the best in the world but I started to enjoy shooting again. I always had the camera with me in my pocket and I was not messing any shot!

If you own a Rollei 35, you may know that it’s not the best film camera out there : the range finder is not that precise, the light meter is far from accurate, focusing is pretty hard if you don’t have enough light or a fast enough film, but because of the sharp lens it has, you can get awesome results out of this camera. It was kind of a long process to get used to shoot film because it is obviously far less forgiving than digital photography. But as I practiced I was more than happy with the results I had. Yes it has a very different look than the picture I take with my huge Nikon DSLR, but the pictures looked so real, vivid and much more interesting!

But the most important thing about this story is that I started to spend more time shooting. I was still developing my pictures, but it was just minor tweaks. Now, I just worry about “reading the light”, working on my compositions and the basic camera settings : shutter speed and aperture.

I feel like going back to film photography nowadays gives us to chance to go back to the basics of photography. Because of the huge dynamic range, the huge RAW files, all the options you have on modern DSLRs, you may be tempted to fix every error you did during the shoot in either Lightroom or Photoshop. Whereas with film, you just have to be careful about the shot as you can only do small corrections in post. It changes the way you shoot from a “spray and pray” kind of style to a “read, think, compose, wait, shoot” approach. You take more time when you shoot film, you think a lot more, and you reconnect with the essentials.

What about you ? Do you already shoot film ? Do you want to give it a try ?

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2 thoughts on “Why I went From Digital To Film?

    1. Hi Thorsten! Thank you for your feedback, I really appreciate it! 😊
      No, the Rollei 35s is a rangefinder camera. You get an idea of what you are framing, but the frame itself is not as reliable as a SLR as you don’t see directly through the lens.
      If you go for a very precise composition, the results can be very different.

      Liked by 1 person

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