Almost forgot the simple pleasure of----

Dave Maciak

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Don't know why but a a few weeks ago I took my trusty Nikon FM off the shelf. Batteries dead as disco so I purchased two 1.5 "button types" and mounted an AI-S 35mm f2.8 lens.
Even checked meter against a hand held meter---all just right. Loaded up a 36 exposure roll of film and that was it--ready to go. The camera still had that smooth operation, and
the lens was just as smooth.
Out for a shoot, nothing fancy, basic snap shots, brought the film to Walgreens, 8 days later it came back. Nice, brilliant colors, great contrast, just nice images. One mistake when
turned the aperture ring the wrong way. I even mounted my MD12 for a few shots--again, smooth as can be.
Sitting at home reviewing the prints I realized I didn't need to go into the computer to adjust or change this or that; what a pleasure!
If you have a film camera gathering dust, clean it up and shoot some film! I'd even go so far as to say the experience is rewarding.
Oh, I still use my D780 but I just may drop that FM in the bag as a backup!
 

webestang64

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I carry a film camera where ever I go. But then again, I do not shoot digital. Sounds like you had good luck at Walgreens. Most of my customers for film processing have had bad luck at Walgreens, low res inferior scans and that they do not give you your film back is a crime.
 

mrca

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Dave, came back to film 6 years ago now have 3 35 mm, a 67 medium format and just acquired a 6x6 TLR. Started camera scanning negatives so next step was developing film. The smell of fixer brought back 60 year old memories. B&W a piece of cake, nest step developing and scanning color film. It is just plain fun shooting film.
 

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I love the whole process of shooting film. I have several film cameras and enjoy shooting them.

My favorite camera is the Nikon F2 with a Nikkor 25-50 f/4 AI-S. 100% viewfinder, silky smooth, no batteries to worry about. I bought a super clean copy for next to nothing and had to wait 10 months to send it off to Sover Wong to get a CLA, money well spent. His waiting list is currently 14 months.

I love my two Agfa folders that are in excellent working condition. Makes you think about every single aspect of taking an image... DoF, time, distance, level... Wonderful image quality when done right.

My favorite automatic camera is the Fujifilm GA 645zi. I always take it on vacation or traveling. Great for a casual walk about and always amazed by the excellent rendering from that lens.

My favorite action film camera is the Canon EOS 1, with the EF 35-350 f/4. The 7.5 lbs is manageable with my monopod. Very unique lens rendering with super AF, and color.

For event stuff, I choose my Minolta Maxxum 9 and a combo of 35-70 f/4 and 85 f/1.4. Always have my Program 5400 HS with me.

For studio portraits I use my Canon EOS 1 and EF 100 f/2.8 macro or EF 50 1.8 and always Portra or TriX. For Environmental portraits, it's always the EF 35 f/2 non IS. I like to use the Godox AD200 Pro and either Portra or Acros.

I prefer to develop myself and print my own. I have been using Ilford DD-X 1+4 as of late and really like it for most B & W developing. For C41 I use the Arista C41 liquid kit and process 10- to 12 rolls in a single session, exhausting the kit. I use Dektol developer and RC paper. Haven't done any color yet at home. I have a local guy (master) that I pay to do the color portrait prints. He has recently started teaching me on color. I do occasionally send them off to the Darkroom lab when I am too busy.

My favorite B & W films are TriX and Acros II. I like FP4+ or Acros in 120. If I need fast film I prefer Tmax P3200. My favorite color films are Portra 400, 160, and Color plus 200. In the winter, I love either C200 or Xtra400. Most of my color film is expired now as I don't shoot a lot of it but keep refrigerated, glad I stocked way up when I did as they are double the price now. I bulk load TriX and buy that 300ft at a time at Christmas, which gets me through the year.
 
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Dave Maciak

Dave Maciak

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And here I thought I was the last of the last to use film!! I'm impressed, but I must say I use the digitals 95% of the time. One thing I don't do is labor over the images on a computer--all I do in most cases is just crop, or add text. I still believe if it isn't done right in camera it isn't right.
My first wedding (back in the 60's) was with a loaned to me TLR Yachica. and a load of flash bulbs. Moved up to my own Koni Omega Rapid (remember them?) and 2 fillm backs; sports for my employer-Nikon F2.
Nikon gear; the F I carried in Vietnam went through hell, and it still works! Went through several lenses due to fugus, mold, and other crap. The subsequent AI's and AI-S's I still use on my digitals.
Doing color in your darkroom at home has got to be an ambitious pursuit, good luck. I did B/W darkroom for an aero space company and every once in a while check out the tech in the color room. It was too much for me! Again, good luck.
 
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webestang64

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I use Dektol developer and RC paper.
Have you tried Ethol LPD paper developer? I gave up on Dektol over 20 years ago after using LPD. Love the tone control it gives me plus it last a good long time in the tray.
 

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Have you tried Ethol LPD paper developer? I gave up on Dektol over 20 years ago after using LPD. Love the tone control it gives me plus it last a good long time in the tray.
Interesting, definitely going to give it a go. Do you use the powder or the liquid? I am almost out of Dektol as my late mentor gave me bags and bags of it 5 years ago. I have been looking at various developers to possibly replace it.
 

terri

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Just stepping in here to comment: I've always used the powder. It's easy and will last forever between uses.

I have always bought it by the can, but there must be some production issues atm as I am only seeing it in the envelopes. And those are listed on Freestyle as backordered till December.

This is my go-to developer when making prints for the bromoil process. It's easy to control the warmth/coolness with this stuff. :)
 

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Powder, only reason is I started with the powder so I just stuck with the powder.
Thank you sir, I think I'd be more comfortable with the powder. Maybe I'll get one of each. Thanks again, great timing.
 

mrca

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Dave, you shot one in the 60's, I have a Yashicamat 124 g made in 1976 arriving this week. Easily portable 6x6 medium format. Ilford delta 3200 developed in xtol keeps my cost to about $9 a roll of 12 shots. Nice thing about 12 shots is I can finish a roll in a day, not weeks.
 

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I went overboard a few months back and bought an F4 so that I could play with nearly all the lenses.

shot some B&W but haven't developed yet.
I am waiting on some other items, but I want to shoot more film again if I can find the wherewithal to do it.
 
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Dave Maciak

Dave Maciak

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Dave, you shot one in the 60's, I have a Yashicamat 124 g made in 1976 arriving this week. Easily portable 6x6 medium format. Ilford delta 3200 developed in xtol keeps my cost to about $9 a roll of 12 shots. Nice thing about 12 shots is I can finish a roll in a day, not weeks.
It is an advantage, 12 shots, and that larger negative makes for better prints. Weddings and most news guys shot 120 back then be it 2 1/4 square, 6x7, or whatever in that film size. Studio was 4x5 cut. Portrait studio in Boston was split 5x7---loaded holders every morning and unloaded them in the evening! No doubt, digital makes it much easier!
 

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I carry a film camera where ever I go. But then again, I do not shoot digital. Sounds like you had good luck at Walgreens. Most of my customers for film processing have had bad luck at Walgreens, low res inferior scans and that they do not give you your film back is a crime.
My God..!!!
Is this right.?
How the heck could they get away with that.?
WHY would anybody taker their film to a place that did not return the negs..???
 

mrca

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The lab I mailed my film had that option but they kept the negs for a month in case there was a problem. It was an additional $5 shipping to get them back instead of emailed. Now that I develop and scan my own b&w film, I have them and can re scan at a later date if desired. We finally have a local lab that has a 3 day turn around so until I develop color, will drive 30 minutes to drop off and pick up. My lab has a 3 WEEK turnaround. On a 36 shot roll that takes me 2 weeks to fill, that's 5 weeks from the time it went into my camera, not to mention the cost of shipping, develop and scan was $20-25. Now I develop my b&w for as little as a dollar a roll. Nice on 35 mm but on a 10 shot 120, $30 to $9 is huge. I was developing and printing...on a horizontal enlarger consisting of a camera with a bellows... at age 12. With a 99 in the NY state chemistry regents exam, I think I can manage dropping 3 chemicals on some film. And it's fun. If your photography has stagnated with covid, it could be just what you need to jump some excitement with it.
 

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