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Old 21st January 2021, 10:15 AM
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GoodOldNorm GoodOldNorm is offline
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Location: Derbyshire UK
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Default Unnecessarily difficult photography

IMHO many photographers new to film photography are making their photography unnecessarily difficult for themselves. They jump around using different films, developers, cameras, papers etc. before learning the basics.Many new to film photography seek short cuts to their problems without even learning to use their cameras skillfully. May I suggest it would be more practical to: choose a camera, test the shutter speeds, select a film, test the film for exposure and development and go from there.

Have you any tips or "pearls of wisdom" to offer someone who is an absolute begginer? What route would you go down if you where just starting out on your photographic journey using film?
Please keep it simple and less that 10,000 words.☺
I woke up this morning and realised that I am the same age as old people
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Old 21st January 2021, 10:55 AM
Richard Gould Richard Gould is offline
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Location: Jersey Channel Islands
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I have always advocated, when starting out in film photography, ton use one film and developer until you know that combination so well that you know that it will always works, when you get to the stage that your combination works so well that you could use it blindfold then if you want to try another film, developer Etc, but only change one thing at a time, film in your chosen developer, original film in different developer Etc, I know many photographers over the years who have become frustrated when they flip around with film developers Etc that they have come close to giving up, and one other thing, sometimes when starting out try sticking to one camera/lens combo and buy lenses only when you find what in photography you become interested in, for instance, you have a 50 mm standard lens, or a standard zoom, then landscape becomes your favorite then add a wider lens, say a 24 to go with your 28/80, or a telephoto maybe an 78 to 300 if you find that you are working with telephoto more than wide angle
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Old 21st January 2021, 12:30 PM
mpirie mpirie is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Highlands of Scotland
Posts: 358

I have to agree Norm.....too many people moving to film photography want an instant fix and want immediate answers to the issue they're perceiving.

We have all seen the endless "Tell me what developer to use" and "What camera/lens/film should I use?" questions on the fora.

Grumpy and cantankerous old buggers like us (well me at least) had to learn the hard way but newbies log onto fora and post questions which may have taken the respondent years to learn.

My single piece of advice would be to plough your own furrow and consider the advice on forums but don't take it as may end up being disappointed!

Maybe that's two tips?

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Old 21st January 2021, 12:55 PM
Terry S Terry S is offline
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Location: Southend on Sea, Essex, England UK
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Something that I found out decades(!) ago now, in my younger years and just starting out, was that if you want to use PRINT C41 film (which I rarely, if ever, stray from now, finding slide film was not for me) DON'T bother using any COLOURED filters or grads, as they are usually filtered out at the lab. That is unless you send it to a pro lab and make a specific point to them not to over filter and then of course, if they take any notice!

I learnt this after dipping my toe heavily into a range of coloured filters and grads, and then going out one late afternoon / early evening to take a roll or two of 35mm C41 print film.

What a disappointment it was when I got the prints back - they all looked very similar! The filters went back into the back of a draw for years after that.

If I ever find the negatives and scan them myself, I'm sure I would see the visions that I had hoped to at the time.

Terry S
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Old 21st January 2021, 02:53 PM
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photomi7ch photomi7ch is offline
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Norm you have said it all.

When I'm asked I say choose a camera you like and can afford. Choose a popular manufacturer for film, chemicals, and paper if you go that far. Do not be surprised if you get it wrong. There is load of help out there just ask. FADU members are here to help

If you eliminate the impossible whatever remains no matter how improbable must be the truth.
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Old 21st January 2021, 03:02 PM
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CambsIan CambsIan is offline
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Not sure if I'm in a position to offer any nuggets of advice to anyone as I'm still very much a learner, but since starting out I have been one of those that has bounced around between various types of film, developing and printing.

It took me all this to finally realise that I preferred B&W.

My final choice of film/developer combo has simply come down to economy (Fomapan100 and HC-110), although as it turns out I'm quite happy with this combo.

Maybe I would not have ended up at this point without the "bouncing" maybe I would, who knows ?

That's just how it worked out for me.

Learn to live, live to learn
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Old 21st January 2021, 03:17 PM
Andy M Andy M is offline
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 7

Totally agree with all the above. I came back to film in 2014 and have flitted from colour to B&W and many fads and variations along the way. There has been waste and dead ends.

My only comment would be to suggest that maybe the new photographer should ask what they want from it? I started logically, permanently borrowed the Old Boys Ensign, bought a refurbished FED, put new film through both and had them professionally processed and scanned . Both cameras can produce a good image.

I last processed a film in 1990 so knew roughly what was needed. I wanted to do colour so just did. Learned the hard way that temperature control is important. I am learning scanning (sorry, are we allowed to say that?) from scratch.

Thing is, I aren't too bothered if most images turn out imperfectly so long as I can work out why. If I wanted the picture that badly I'd fire up the EOS. One of those journey vs destination type questions for me.

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Old 21st January 2021, 04:11 PM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is online now
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Location: Daventry, Northants
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Yes one film, one developer and one camera is excellent advice. It's the quickest way to "nail" good negs

Almost by definition most newcomers are in a much younger age group than most of us and when you are younger variety is the spice of life and everything is possible

Not a bad outlook for a lot of things but when you are younger you are also impatient for success and tend to get downhearted at failure and give up so the quickest way to success is often the best way to keep enthusiasm alive. There's no doubt in my mind that the one film, one developer and one camera is the quickest way to success

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Old 21st January 2021, 05:02 PM
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Rob Archer Rob Archer is offline
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Location: Kings Lynn, Norfolk - flatlands and big skies.
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Photograph things close at hand. Many 'new' photographers get their first 'good' camera and start planning trips to exotic places, or expensive model shoots etc. Learn to 'see' the things/people around you with your chosen camera/lens/film/dev/paper/etc combination before you venture further afield. Shooting what's on our doorstep is maybe more challenging (particularly if we don't live anywhere scenic) but it's a good discipline and often one discovers interest and beauty that we would otherwise have passed by. The same goes with people. Photograph your friends and family first. I think it applies equally to those of us who've been behind a camera for decades too. I've actually found the last few months photographically liberating and I've got some prints I'm extremely happy with from places less than 5 miles from home.
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Old 21st January 2021, 05:10 PM
Quendil Quendil is offline
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Cornwall
Posts: 380

I do like trying out different films but I do have a main one that I use, well actually two for ISO of 100 and 400. Developer wise I tend to stick to the same one unless the film I have does require something different. When coming back to film I did only use Kentmere for quite a while but did change developer from rodinal to ilford.

I think you find that a lot of the new people into film (Not always those returning to it) have a very different outlook to people on here as they tend to want to shoot then send it off for develop and scan. So they don't really do darkroom printing. I am on a few facebook groups and it seems there is huge amounts of talk on home developing and scanning from new film users but very little talk on darkroom printing. I do have an old scanner myself and got it out the other day to try as It may be a while before I get a darkroom again but I hated it so ended back in its box. I may have to set up another temporary darkroom until I can get my proper one built.

Think I have gone off on a tangent here.

I agree with using one camera and then getting used to a film and developer before trying other one.

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