How many cameras do you have in your collection?
I have 4 film cameras so far:
- Olympus Mju II / Stylus Epic – This is my most recent film camera which I bought online.
- Olympus AF-10 TWIN – This was the first film camera I ever got my hands on! My grandmother’s brother gave it to her as a gift back in the ‘90s, but she never really used it, so I’m “borrowing” it.
- Pentax ME Super – This is my grandfather’s camera, mostly used by his children (including my dad) way back.
- Nikon FE – This is my grandfather’s camera from my mother’s side, which was handed down to my cousin, and then to me.
How long did it take you to get to this point?
I have only been shooting film for a few months, since I started around April this year. However, I’ve been taking photos since I was 11 years old. It was mostly for fun, up until recently when I decided to really get into it.
What are your favorite subjects to shoot?
I love street photography, and people are my favorite subjects. With street photography, everything is always moving. The people are always changing. You never know what photos you will have at the end of the day. That makes it really fun.
Which one in particular is your go-to camera and lenses? Why?
The Olympus Mju-II is my go-to camera right now. It’s compact, relatively silent, and fast, which is perfect for street photography. That usually gives me room to bring another camera, and I usually have both my Olympus Mju-II and Pentax ME Super with me. Having both a 35mm and 50mm lens gives you more options, but if I can only bring one, the Olympus Mju-II wins.
Scenario: Evacuation. If you can only save one of your cameras which would it be?
The Olympus Mju-II! As much as I’d want to save them all, the mju-II is the very first film camera I saved up for and bought for myself.
What is your ''Spirit Camera" (If you were a camera, what would you be?)
If I were a camera, I’d probably be a Ricoh GR10. Quick, compact, with a nice minimalistic design and just the right features.
What is your Holy Grail Camera?
The Rolleiflex 2.8F. Ever since I watched Vivian Maier’s documentary, I’ve always wanted to try it. I’ve never tried a medium format camera before, and the kinds of photos you can get from that angle are really interesting. It is way too expensive though.
What film camera can you recommend to newbies?
The Canon AE-1 and the Pentax K1000 are quite popular for beginners. Personally, I’d recommend trying out a simple point-and-shoot camera first, like the Olympus mju. Using a point-and-shoot will help you get the hang of shooting with film, where you’ll be taking much less shots and will have to be more conscious of composition. Once you get the hang of that, you can start learning the Sunny 16 rule and other things.
What is your current film stash count?
A single roll of Kodak Portra 400.
Donations are welcome HAHA.
Films you cannot live without.
The Fuji Natura 1600 and TRI-X 400 are my favorites. The former was my buddy all throughout my Osaka trip. The latter is my go-to black-and-white film, which might not be a surprise considering I like Daido Moriyama’s work.
You realized you were too obsessed with cameras when:
I couldn’t stop doing research on them, or carrying one around. I envy those with massive collections! I’d probably use a different camera everyday if I could.
Why do you shoot film?
I love the way photos look when shot in film.
All the different kinds of film and film cameras, and how different combinations of those bring out different kinds of pictures makes it very exciting.
Also, when shooting film, the whole process of photography is different. You choose film, a camera to bring, and every shot is crucial: you only have one chance to get it right. Since it’s quite expensive, you aren’t likely to keep shooting the same thing again. Then you have to have it developed and wait. This, coupled with the fact that it’s physical, makes me feel more attached to the photos that I take. The whole process of photography becomes more meaningful overall.
Who do you look up to for inspiration in your photography?
Daido Moriyama and Ume Kayo are some of my favorite photographers.
I admire the very raw character of Daido’s photos. He takes photos of everyday scenes and things others might tend to ignore. His ‘are, bure, bokeh’ style makes his photos look unique, since they sometimes look blurry, and are shot at interesting angles. This style, coupled with the high contrasting black-and-white character of the photos, makes them very captivating.
On the other hand, Ume Kayo’s photos are very warm and playful. Most of her photos are of children doing silly things, or of her family, and you get a very cheerful, familiar, and even nostalgic feel from them. I like how she composes her shots, and how she’s able to capture such interesting moments in her life.
What is the worst thing about Film Photography?
Waiting for film to be developed (unless you have your own dark room).
What in your opinion is the greatest misconception about film photography?
It's too expensive. I say this because, although it IS expensive, the whole experience outweighs the cost. I tend to forget how much it costs because I enjoy it so much.
What's the Best advice you received from another film shooter?
Don't be afraid to shoot. Keep shooting, make mistakes and enjoy the learning process!
You might have bad photos, but you will never have wasted photos if you use the bad ones to learn and improve.
What's the Best advice you can give to a new film shooter?
Enjoy the adventure! And don’t be afraid to try something new!
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