You guys ask me questions every single day about film photography, and while I am by no means an expert (really want to emphasise that!!!) I thought it was time to share what I have learnt so far. I have been shooting on film for almost three years now and sharing the images with you on there, and I know film is having a huge resurgence at the moment so lots of people are interested in trying it out. And you all really should, it's so rewarding and you can never quite recreate the feel you get from a film photo with digital images. For me, it's become a huge way to document memories too, which I think is the best thing about it. It is expensive, which is one thing I would bare in mind - buying film and developing it, especially on a weekly basis, comes at a cost and you don't always get the images you hoped for - I think that is the only downside to shooting in film I have some up against so far.
SO let's talk cameras. The first film camera I got was the Olympus Mju-II (without zoom), and it's one I recommend to everyone. It's a really basic and reliable point and shoot that does an amazing job. It has a flash built in which is amazing because shooting film with flash gets some amazing results. It fits in a handbag really easily and it super light so if you're wanting to carry around all the time, it really is great. I got mine off eBay for £50, used it for about 6 months before it broke after being dropped too many times. I recently repurchased one from West Yorkshire Cameras for around £100 - so they are getting more and more expensive. Below are some photos I have taken on it.
The next one I got was the Olympus XA, and I would go as far to say I got some of the best photos I have shot on film from this camera. It was such a good camera, but fully manual so just so tricky to use. Because I shoot a roll of film each week, I have to be able to shoot on the go and quite fast, and also hand the camera to different people to be able to get the outfit shot of me. This one just go too fiddly to do that with as the manual focus was so hard to master (basically, there is a ghost image of what you see through the lens, and you to line that up over the actual image - not a quick process). Struggling to remember how much I paid for this but it wasn't over £100.
I then traded that in for the Leica Minilux, this served me so well for around 8 months and was a real work horse. Back to something fully automatic, but much more expensive, I brought it for around £400. Again, it is just a really great point and shoot with the flash built in, that consistently took some amazing photos that were almost always in focus. Mine gave up at the beginning of the year showing an error message that related to a problem with the shutter. I managed to send it off to be fixed which cost £100 - as these cameras are all old, if something breaks they cost a lot to repair, or sometimes can't be repaired at all. As a whole this one really was worth the money, it worked so well for me for so long and is so easy to use too.
The most recent one in my collection is the Contax G2. This was a whopping £950 and then another £100 for the flash which isn't built in. It's completely different to the others, with way more settings but also the option to shoot on automatic too (which I always do). It's much faster to shoot with, weighs a tonne and just feels like something that is up another level. And the photos are too - the detail in them is amazing, the colours come out great, and the focus is amazing. HOWEVER, the latter aspect of that list, the focus, can be a little hit and miss sometimes. Recently I have been getting more and more photos back out of focus which is so frustrating, but I am hoping the issue is with me rushing too much and not with the camera.
Finally, FILM. My all time fave is the Porta 400, which is great for shooting in England where most days are overcast. It does great skin tones too and has a more yellow undertone. If I am going somewhere sunny I will opt for the Portra 160 or Ektar 100 which gives you really vibrant colours. Those are my three go to ones, although the Kodak ColourPlus was the one I started shooting with and I still quite like it. For developing I go to Snappy Snaps, places like that, Jessops, some Boots still do decent developing. And make you sure you and pick up your negatives because you can always scan in your favourites yourself to get the colours just right!
Really hope this was helpful guys, and thank you all always for so many amazing comments on my film posts! Please leave any questions in the comments and I will get back to them all!