Shooting with film...


Badger 5 Edition...Its all about the flow...
Staff member
Little back story... Never really got into photography seriously until some ten years ago when I got my first DSLR... had a very old Zenit-E when I was in my teens that my dad gave me but was far more interested in cars and girls to take it seriously..

Had a few compacts when the kids came along and a couple of APS cameras but again most of my pics were nothing more than 'snaps' back then

My dad has aways liked his photography but never really elevated much above 'snaps' himself... he has a small collection of SLR's though and recently gave me his Nikon F-501 with a Nikkor 50mm f1.8 and Nikkor 70-210mm f4 lenses...

Couldn't see the point in shooting colour as I can do that all day long with my current DSLR's so bought a roll of B&W film to give it go...

The F-501 has a motor drive and AF... this is great but I now craved a more raw film experience so went and bought a Canon AE-1 with a similar set of lenses too... the AE-1 is manual wind, manual focus but has a built in light meter as it makes life a little easier..

Anyway... my first rolls of film (one through each the F-501 and the AE-1) were more testing the water than anything particularly creative... I sent the films to be developed as I don't really have an interest in developing the negatives myself and the service included scanning to TIF's

Shooting manually with a 1980's film camera is quite an eye opener for someone thats been a little spoilt with the freedom that digital provides... digital makes you very lazy at times...

Yes I realise that shooting digital in manual still requires a bit of skill and knowledge and I shoot manual all the time with my DSLR's but you can review the images as you shoot and if the exposure or composure is not quite right you can fix it easily and you don't have the added issues of film cost and processing plus that wait to get the processing done if not doing it yourself..

What shooting film has done for me though is taken me back to basics of photography... its made me think about the shot much more, the composure, focusing manually (on the AE-1) and really taking the light metering more seriously...

Like I said before my first rolls of film are more me getting used to the cameras than anything else but taking B&W images with an SLR is addictively rewarding....

Here is a selection of my first images...

AE-1, Ilford HP5...

My dad :)





F-501, Kodak T-Max 400





I did 'dodge and burn' the images a little in light room as tbh that was always the intention...

While not ground breaking by todays standards I just love the experience of taking images with old film cameras...

The F-501

...and the AE-1



Badger 5 Edition...Its all about the flow...
Staff member
Had a stab at some motorsport pics using the AE-1 while at a Castle Combe race day recently...

Would appear I need to practice finding a decent focus point a bit more using the DSLR I think... was quite tricky to nail and had a few badly out of focus images...

Here are a couple of the less out of focus ones... mostly took with a Canon 70-210mm f4 FD lens... which in itself is a challenge as its a push pull zoom (like the 100-400L MkI) but its a very 'easy' slider and I was forever moving zoom and knocking focus out lol...





Was really hoping the Porsche image would have come out a little better but goes to show how things have progressed over the years as here is the same car shot the same day with my 6D and 70-200 f2.8...


Couple of paddock shots to round up...




Something quite satisfying about using an old film camera even though the muscle memory is still set up for AI Servo and high speed shutter lol... lost count of the number of times I went to take a shot only to find I hadn't wound on the film :)

I took the Nikon F-501 and Nikkor 70-210 f4 combo for the bank holiday race... will see how they come out...


Happy Grumpz

Registered User
Lovely shots