Return to Film Photography

Going through my photo albums it appears that my last roll of film was shot sometime in 1999, and after almost 20 years I have decided to shoot some film again.

Why? Firstly for fun, and secondly to challenge myself a bit.  With digital we have too many second chances; we shoot, review – not good, shoot again, review …  and so on until we get what we want. With film one needs to learn to get it right first time, every time, with no reviews.

I bought a film camera kit from a local lad consisting of a Canon F-1 and two Canon A-1 cameras and quite a few lenses, most notably FD 28 mm f/2.8, FD 50mm f/1.4 and FD 100mm f/2.8. All cameras look in near mint condition, however have a few issues.

The F-1 seems to have a shutter capping issue (see a sample photo) and requires a visit to technician, if one can be found in Brisbane. I love this camera, the light-meter in the viewfinder is awesome. However, it’s a heavy piece of gear and needs to be fixed before it can be used.

The two A-1s are much lighter but the LED light-meter in the viewfinder is somewhat primitive when compared to that of F-1. One of the A-1s had the shutter squeak but I managed to fix that by following instructions found on Youtube. The other one seems to be alright.

Both A-1 light-meters tend to overexpose a bit, when compared to F-1 and to 5D mk III metering. I shot a black and white roll and the overexposure is consistent between 2/3 and one full f-stop.

This is what the difference looks like between original image and adjusted one.


The current film I have in the A-1 camera is a Fuji ISO 100 roll, but I’ve set the camera so it thinks it’s an ISO 160 film. That should bing the exposure in line.

I’ve got the film developed and scanned at the local lab as I don’t have any facilities to do so at home, although I would love to have my own dark room.

Below are some examples of what I’ve shot so far. Colour photos were shot with F-1 and were slightly underexposed, black and white with A-1 and somewhat overexposed. I have edited the scans in Adobe LightRoom by only adjusting the exposure and slight cropping, the rest is as scanned.


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