The £1000 film look.

I get asked, at least once a week “What camera should I buy? I’ve got about a grand to spend”

Well, you could go and buy a nice Canon EOS 600D and add a perfectly usable lens, maybe you’ll have enough left over for a little bag too. In a year, one of two things will have happened – you’ll have got bored/disillusioned with digital because it doesn’t quite give you that ‘look’ you keep seeing OR you’ll have got really interested/disillusioned with digital because it doesn’t quite give you that ‘look’ you keep seeing….

Either way, you’re going to end-up wanting to shoot film. So here’s my advice – take your £1000, buy a £200 digital compact (because you still want to shoot snapshots at parties,etc). Then invest another £150 in a good, second-hand Nikon, Pentax or Olympus 35mm SLR camera and a 50mm 1.8 lens. Another £150 will purchase you a film scanner. Blow another £100 on 30 rolls of film.

A roll of film costs £4.44 at Peak Imaging for a develop only – just have a couple less drinks at the pub every week, or stop smoking.

This leaves you with £400. £400 will get you a long way on a train or a bus.

All the images in this article were taken on a £10 Nikon TW20 compact or a £79 Olymus OM1 SLR and 50mm lens. All shot on Kodak Portra or Fuji Pro 400 film and scanned on a £150 Epson v500 scanner. None of the photographs have been cropped, edited or altered in any way.

25 comments

  1. Stephanie Miller

    Love this. I haven’t shot film since college, but black and white film class was something that will always be a part of me. I plan to have a studio with a dark room one day when I build my house. It’s so pure and you can’t edit. There is so much more work that goes in up front with film…again…your work is gorgeous. I can’t stop looking at it!

  2. Nice post, this is really interesting and exemplifies the difference in colour and quality between digital and film. I may have to think about shooting with film again, I miss it!

    • I got an Epson V500 off Amazon UK for £149. I’ve just looked now and they have them for £133! An excellent scanner and perfectly adequate for web use (I actually used it to scan negs for exhibition prints to 20×20 inch)

      I hope that helps.

  3. I agree with you! Digital photography left me disillusioned. With my digital photos, I rarely find them meaningful. But with film, I find each and every photo meaningful. :) Thanks for sharing your photos!

  4. I’m so glad there are other film lovers out there.

    I currently have two film cameras, an old vivitar and my Canon Rebel. I have the process of developing my own negatives and photographs down, but no supplies or dark room to use. I took two black and white film photography classesin high school. I miss watching my photos fade into a great contrast while floating in the developer. If i wanted a deep black I would focus the light on that particular spot. I forgot what the term was for doing that…

    I have to get myself a dark room XD

    Great post and gorgeous photos!

  5. Wow, how great to see all this beautiful photos shot with a film camera. Very inspiring. I have some old ones laying around that is not working, maybe I should try and get them fixed. :)

  6. Thank you for the wonderful advice. I haven’t tried to shoot using a film camera and seeing your works really interest me to try it. I’ll go back in this post once I’m on my way of choosing which slr camera to choose. Thanks again and stay awesome! :)

  7. Love your film photos. I went back to film myself about a year ago and shoot a Nikon FM2 and 3A and a Mamiya 6. Digital can’t come close to the magic of film. Looking forward to enjoying more of your film posts.

  8. the picture of the bare trees is amazing. the depth goes forever! The slight hint of the blue sky peeking around the top left corner keeps drawing my eye.

  9. so you’re saying, i should shoot film…?
    Lol. Great article. I do love my digital but also want to try more film.
    I have a Minolta XGM +50 1.7 lens and a Canon Rebel 2000 + my prime lens = No excuses
    Now I just gotta get me some film :)

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