compact and bijou

My entire website is actually an attempt to convert every photographer in the world into shooting film. My quest is to send-out subliminal messages every few days via the medium of WordPress…my plan is coming together nicely (rubs hands together, big booming Dr Evil laugh, etc, etc)

The most common argument I hear for nor getting down with celluloid is that shooting film is too expensive. It’s not expensive – I shot all of these images using a second-hand Olympus Mju-II compact loaded with Fuji Pro 400H film. The film cost £3.50 and it cost £7 to have it developed and scanned at Peak Imaging – that works-out at a mere £0.29 per shot. Twenty Nine Pence! What can you buy for that? A packet of Tesco own-brand instant noodles, that’s what. Nobody wants to sit and look at packets of noodles for very long, believe me.

Point and shoot – it’s that easy.


  1. I can safely say thanks to you im looking at getting a mamiya medium format. still looking at which one to get. but yeah. skin tones are so nice when using film. i gives it a completely different look to digital. thanks phil 🙂


    • (whoops, hit post too soon…I’ll blame my slow internet for that…)

      Anyhoo: Tell it, brother! Also, not only is film not as expensive as so many believe, but used equipment for film cameras and the cameras themselves are sooooo affordable — bargains all over the place. We can get all kinds of new fun stuff to play with and not cause our wallets much pain.

      Love the new look (and the photos, of course).


  2. kyzmit

    Your photos had me pulling out my old Pentax K1000 a few months ago. I will admit I’ve only gotten as far as buying the film but I do miss the whole film process. Nothing like holding that stack of photos in your hands and the mystery of seeing what you’ve captured.


  3. These are awesome and you are so right. I have i been waiting to load the canister of portra i bought. I didn’t want to ‘waste’ it. But it does no good just sitting there. 🙂


  4. James O.

    No kidding. When you can pick up a camera for $50 that will take better photos than a $3000 digital camera, you don’t feel so bad about spending on film and lab. And the technology won’t be out-dated. Keep spreading the word.


  5. Well you have certainly converted me, Mr Kneen! I am really loving film, however, I do think that there is a place for both mediums. Importantly, I do feel very strongly that if anyone wants to embark upon a photographic career/serious hobby to start on film first. And appreciate what artistry you can achieve with such a simple piece of engineering technology that does not have a microchip! I could go on, but South Park has just started!


  6. I just love the first picture, look at those eyes.
    I’ve been playing around with film a bit in the past few month so at least partly converted. When you shoot 120 mm, the costs are actually a bit higher here and you are easily at more than one euro per picture. I’m quite new to photography as such and feel like I’m mostly playing around with my DSLR not knowing what I’m doing but what really gets me thinking is that I shoot hundreds or thousands of pictures and the just sit around on a hard drive, most of them not even edited yet. On the other hand, when I shoot film with my DianaF+ I get 12 to 36 pictures which I can look at as they are, hold in my hands, frame, show around, whatever. It seems so much easier and there is no ‘Oh bugger, there are still 1500 pics from the holiday in 2008 I need to sort through’. Next thing I’d like to try is polaroid and then we’ll see how it goes in the future. I saw some very cool Hasselblads at the Photokina Fair 🙂


  7. PK

    Phil, you know that I am a film enthusiast as well, but I beg to differ with you – shooting film is not only expensive, it is very expensive. I have to pay $8 for one 36 exposure roll of 35mm Portra, and to process and scan costs me another $20. But the thing is I wind up with crappy 72 dpi scans that are basically worthless. I don’t have the money for a scanner and a proper drum scan at the lab costs $60 per negative. So after all the shooting and processing I basically just have the negatives. I still think it’s worth it – for the right project – but to say that it’s not expensive is not true.


  8. Phil,

    I find you are right. I shoot a lot of film and find it not expensive at all. Yes, digital is cheaper if you never print, but nothing is better then shooting film. It makes you a better photographer by paying attention to the details before you take the shot. I can buy 5 rolls of Fuji Pro 400H medium format for $25 CAD. If I don’t develop myself, I only pay $5 for negative processing. I handle my own scanning, but if I wanted them scanned at the lab, it would only cost $20 for 4800-dpi scans. Honestly, it’s not bad and worth the investment. I even got my hands on a Mamiya M645 with three lenses, accessories, metered prism and Metz CT-45 flash with three batteries for $300. It also came in the original case. I love the camera and use it more then my $3500 D800.


  9. I’m already converted and I’ve been using a Nikon 28Ti for the last couple of weeks. The truth is, I can’t live without a compact camera. After using the Hexar AF, the Ricoh Gr1s I think I’ll keep the 28Ti. Your blog is full of passion for film photography. Bowing at you my friend.

    PS: The Mju’s are amazing little cameras!


  10. I’ve been on the verge of switching for awhile but I think I am going to. The fact that you use a v700 and your images look great did it for me. Getting a good scan was my biggest hesitation, as it is pricey for a scanner like a Nikon 8000 or 9000 (if you can find one). I plan to darkroom print anyway so it would just be for web. Except chromes. The value of not having to do much post processing to get the feel I want is very appealing.

    Another soon to be converted one here! Just have to sell my digital gear….


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