Many teenagers called ‘millennials’ are using film cameras for their social media posts, such as Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. They spend so much time making their feeds more appealing. Many teenagers and adults switched from digital photography to film photography, as it gives a vintage vibe to their feeds. Using a film camera might look complicated, but it will become easy when you get the hang of it. Here is a simple introduction to film photography if you want to learn how to use a film camera for your vintage vibe photos.
What is Film Photography?
You should have a little background on what film photography is, before learning the steps on how to use a film camera. Film photography is one of the oldest and first photography. It comes before the birth of digital photography as you took photographs on strips of plastic.
These strips are coated with silver halide solution, which is protected by a layer of gelatin. The photos you took using those strips have burned an imprint into the silver. You can get the reversed image of the strips when you use a special chemical to wash the strips where the dark areas of the scene would show up as transparent on the negative.
Easy Steps to Use a Film Camera
When you are learning how to use a film camera, you should remember that there are different types of film cameras. You can buy a film camera depending on your preferred and trusted camera shops and brands. These are the simple and easy steps on how to use a film camera.
Prepare Your Film Camera
Learning how to use a film camera is relatively easy. You can buy a decent 35mm film camera for less than $100 from thrift stores or antique shops. If you have no budget, you can get a brand new film camera from your trusted camera stores. You can also buy online, but the prices may not be as good or as reliable.
Use a reliable and good-quality camera that can take nice pictures. It is advisable not to use electric auto winding or autofocusing ones as they are not that cool.
You can use any type of quality film as long as it is good. You can choose black and white, but still depending on your personal taste.
Aside from the camera and film, you can also use a camera flash if your camera does not have one. Aside from the flash, a neck strap is also essential. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on the flash and the neck strap. The various lenses, tripods to experiment with, and a carrying case are some of the essential but not required accessories for your camera.
Setting Up Your Camera
Once your film camera is ready, the next step you need to do is to set up your camera, specifically its ISO or ASA rating. As you notice, your camera has a dial on it, and there is a ring of an outer number, that is the shutter speed of your camera.
On the other hand, you can also see a small cut-away window that has a small number in it and that is the ASA rating. The ASA rating of the camera tells you what type of film your camera is using and adjust it accordingly.
The ASA and ISO have the same thing. Rating refers to the film’s reactivity to light. The most common rating is 200; on the other hand, 100 is good for outdoor shots. Here is a simple guide to adjust the ASA and ISO of your film camera.
- Check what kind of film you are using.
- Pull outward on the dial.
- Lift the outer part.
- Rotate the correct number while it is up.
Open the Back Panel
This step is super easy. Turn at the back of your camera; there is a knob on the left. That knob is used to rewind the film if it is all exposed. You should pull the knob upwards, and it should stay up for about a centimeter or so. After that, give it another tug upwards, your back panel will pop out a bit. Once the panel pop out, open the rest of the panel.
Put the Film Canister
Insert the film canister by keeping the dial pulled up in the same position. Line the canister up, and it will fit properly when you get it right. After you put the film, make sure to lock the film by slowly pulling the film across the back of the shutter.
Set Up the Light Meter
The light meter is an essential part of your camera. Once you take a picture without this will yield over, or your images might become underexpose every time unless you are a professional or a very expired.
There are two ways to check the light meter of your camera. The first way is to take off your cup lens and look through the viewfinder. If you see a small lever, that is the light meter of your film camera.
The second way to check the light meter of your camera is to check online if the model of your camera has a light meter. If your camera has a built-in light meter, you can either have to buy one or change the battery in the one that you already have. You can buy a light meter online, and it is not very expensive.
Once you have performed all the steps mentioned above, you are now ready to take pictures. Before you click the button, there are two things you need to have when you are taking a picture. The first is the aperture size or also known as the f-stop. The second is the shutter speed.
Your aperture can be adjusted on your lens. The aperture size is the hole’s size that the light is going through when it exposes the film. The high numbers refer to the smaller hole, while the lower numbers mean a bigger hole. The aperture size affects the sense of depth you get from the photo, which is known as depth of field.
Next, you have to adjust the shutter speed or exposure time. You will adjust the knob you used when you adjust the ASA. The numbers around the outside represent the different exposure rates. Adjust the shutter speed, depending on the subject that you will take.
Before you take a picture, the first thing you need to do is to find the shot. Then adjust the f-stop, and the last thing is to make sure that your subject is on the focus.
After checking out the steps on how to use a film camera, I hope you learned something about film photography. This is only the introduction. You only learned the basics of film photography. If you want to expand your knowledge and want to pursue film photography, you should study and practice more. Find out more about film cameras here!