The last 4 months have been kind of an adventure (in photography, to say the least). Besides not posting anything on here except for a few select photo posts, I’ve been going a little film-crazy. 35mm film-crazy. I found a really good price on a perfectly working Nikon FE (shown below) on ebay. And my Uncle Pepe gave me a perfectly working (and harshly underrated) “Series E” 50mm f/1.8 lens over 2 years ago. And I bought a “Series E” 28mm f/2.8 shortly after. So I was okay on lenses.
I was taking a trip to San Francisco (for a cousin’s wedding) right after the camera came in and I thought it was a good idea to just “try out film” while vacationing across the country. So I took two cameras with me. I took my x100s (which still is always on my person every single day, even to this day) and this old-school Nikon FE which uses watch batteries and these film canister things that I was able to purchase at my local Walgreens.
It was insane. The gigantic viewfinder and taking time with manual focusing (not as hard as I thought it was going to be) and then *CLICK* and then the smoothness of the film winder and getting ready for the next shot without even thinking of the previous (I’ve trained myself to be a non-chimper pretty well over the years). What a crazy thing. And the best and worst part of it all, simultaneously, is the waiting period. I still have 4 or 5 rolls of film that aren’t developed yet. Craziest thing about that? I’m in no rush to get them developed. Of course when I shot my first couple of rolls I was eager and rushy to get them developed but it really is nice to wait. It gives me the freedom to put most of my effort into just shooting as opposed to editing and posting online as quickly as possible. It also limits me with my shooting, which kind of sucks. I got caught having to rewind a complete roll and load a new roll at a time I wanted to keep shooting during my cousin’s wedding reception and I was still new to the whole film world so it still took me a while to load it. It ALSO made me go a little camera crazy the last couple of months. My local camera shop was having a closing sale (sucks that they were closing, rules that prices were marked down) and I was able to score an Olympus XA2 (below) for under $30(!) and that camera is pretty amazing. This is an excellent little shooter that fits in my pocket, has an awesome lens, and is relatively quiet. It has zone focusing (great for street) and it came with a removable flash unit. I haven’t really tried it in the street yet, just used it mostly for snapshots and what not, but the results are awesome, with and without the flash. I’ve tried different types of film: Superia 400, Superia 800, Tri-X 400 Black and White, HP5 Plus 400 Black and White, Portra 160, Portra 400. I have one roll of Velvia 50 that I haven’t tried out yet, and about 10 rolls of the above variations that I haven’t used yet. I don’t really have a favorite yet, because everything just looks so amazing after it gets developed.
I’m kind of overwhelmed with excitement and satisfaction with my results so far and I will use that as an excuse for my hiatus the last few months. Oh, and I also ended up picking this guy up off of craigslist for cheap (under $40) due to brokenness and paid a small repair fee (but a 3 month wait, which sucked).
But it’s back, works/looks just like new, has a roll of HP5 Plus 400 in it and I’m about 8 shots through. It is an awesome purely mechanical piece of sexy 1980’s craftsmanship.
I’ll be eager to see the results but I probably won’t mind waiting a little while.