Buried by digital photography, film had almost died. Once again though interest in it has grown, reigniting the debate is film better than digital. The rebirth is fragile, the only new film cameras are plastic including the lens.
I got involved because a photographic colleague purchased an inexpensive Kodak Elgar 35mm film camera. Of course, I had to get one too. The first results were as expected, not as clear as digital, but more artful and colorful. I was hooked, searching for even more camera options I found the HOLGA 120 camera, famous for art shots, light leaks and double exposures. Not to mention the tendency to forget taking off the lens cover before shooting.
If you want a camera that takes sharp shots, you have to dig through thrift shops or pay steep prices for ones refurbished at film stores. Even then, the reality is the camera is likely 20+ years old and foreign in use todays digital ones.
Adding up the total so far, I would say 3 plastic film cameras $180, 8 rolls of film $112, and processing/scans $120 for a total of $412.00. Result, about 12 good photos. They never said film photography was cheap. Am I discouraged, absolutely not.
The total experience has been rewarding in spades. Film slows you down, your more careful what you frame and shoot. There is the mystery of not knowing just what you got, the anticipation of waiting for the film processing, and surprise with results. All this adds to and reenergizes your art.
Wandering with the HOLGA reflects all this. So my bag not only will have a digital camera, but also a film one. Which one will I pull out first, the jury is out, but the fun and art are in…