Why You Should Try Film Cameras

“Oh well,” I said as I noticed that some shots were completely blacked out because I had accidentally exposed some of the film to the Sun. I didn’t think too much about it and moved on. I gave my best shot and thats enough.

I was excited for more after developing this roll. What more can I learn and do? I thought.

  1. Film slows me down, in a sense that before I even to pick up my camera. I have to think of the shot carefully and meticulously and consider the limitations of my camera. What shutter speed? Hm the aperture? So during fall break when my friends and I headed to Upper Peninsula, I stood out looking into the view of Pictured Rocks, wondering if I truly really wanted this shot.  It made me think twice abt picking up my camera. Most importantly, I just enjoyed being present.

2. Film is also not easily lost. With digital, there are always too many pictures and it’s mostly usually stored in cloud storage or laptops. There is a risk of losing them if the system were to crash or accounts get hacked. My negatives are always with me in physical copy (assuming the lab doesn’t cut your negatives). You can also rescan your films and make something new out of them.

3. Its creative and fun! The various and tedious process of film is what makes it interesting and different. You can double expose your pictures, use different chemicals for processing your negatives (if you’re photographing it in black and white). If you get really into it and take more and more pictures, you can buy a kit and do all the developing yourself.

4. You become a better photographer faster: I’m not sure to what extent this is true since I have yet to see it reflected in my digital photos but two of my friends who have had film cameras for awhile remarked this to me. They claim that they take better digital photos now after using film cameras for awhile.

5. You don’t necessarily need batteries. Depending on the camera model, some can be used without batteries depending on whether you can judge the lighting conditions and adjust the aperture and shutter speed to suit the shot. This requires a lot of skill but it’s possible!

6. You enjoy moments better, when you’re not always thinking abt ooh how pretty I must capture this! You live in the moment, not in the future reminiscent you who says awh hey remember the good times when I went here?


(taken using Pentax K1000/ Kodak colorplus; developed in Camera Mall, Ann Arbor)


senior studying economics + psychology. occasional writer, ambivert, and can be found in coffee shops

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