35mm Film Photography

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Something I tend to do as a cinematographer, is I always look at new gear. It is an extremely bad habit because more often that not you can easily talk yourself into buying something you don’t need to buy. Lately I’ve been managing it pretty well, but I have had my eyes on something else. I have been extremely intrigued by 35mm photography. Something I tend to do, is try to make my photos look like they are shot on film after some editing. After reading Lewis McGregor’s post over on Indietips.com  I found some inspiration to start attempting to shoot 35mm film photography.

After reading this blog post I decided to find a 35mm film camera. My first step was to find something that would take my canon EF lenses. I also did’t want to spend a large amount on one because I am a beginner coming into this. After looking up some models online and watching youtube reviews I came across the Canon EOS A2 at Keh.com.

Canon EOS – A2 Autofocus SLR 35mm Film Camera

There are two versions of this camera. I purchased the A2 witch is the american version while the A2E is the International version. Keh.com sells used gear, that they buy off of people, so I may have taken one of the last A2 that they have currently during the time of this post. The picture above is the A2E. I believe there is a small difference in the software functions between them. I purchased mine for 25$ at the “Bargain” Price, the only reason it was that price was because the handle grip was sticky, witch is unnoticeable now.

Once I had the body ordered, I bought some cheap film on Amazon.com. I started with a 4 pack of FujiFilm ISO 400 35mm Film.

Fujifilm 1068620 Superia X-TRA 400 35mm Film – 4×24 exp, (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

The last thing I needed to make all of this come together and work is a 6 Volt Battery that goes in the handle grip. This battery was a little hard to find locally. All the places I called said they only carried it online, so I did a quick check on amazon and found that I could get same day delivery! So I bought 2..

Panasonic 6-Volt Photo Lithium Cylinder Battery (2CR5MPA1B) (2CR-5MPA1B)

After almost butchering a roll of film as I put it in the camera for the first time, I popped on my Canon 24mm-105mm F4 on it and was good to go. Now that I have all the pieces to make this little project work I was ready to go out and shoot some photos. My dog and cat were around at the time so they were my first subjects.

And of course with this you really have no idea how they look until they are developed, so I shot 2 of my 4 rolls before finding a place to process them. Heres a couple of the better ones in a slide show below.

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My original plan was to find a local wallgreens. From what I remembered they used to do 1 hour photo processing, but after calling multiple places they all said the same thing. They had removed all their machines to a central facility and it would take about a week to send out film and bring it back.

I found a local camera center called Horn Photo that still processes film with tons of options. For 10$ a roll they would scan my 35mm film and email me a dropbox link so I could get them as soon as possible. 

Over all I love the look of shooting on 35mm film. I won’t do it all the time, but I will do it when I feel like its the right time to use it. I plan on experimenting with other film stocks to see the different results. I also plan on using film to practice my composition, since you only get a limited number of shots, you have to try harder to get it perfect.

I highly encourage anyone who is thinking about doing this to do it. I am very happy with the outcome of all of this. I hope this was insightful!

Let us know what you think about shooting on film in the comments below! Are you doing it now or thinking about doing it? Let us know!


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