That’s it for film and I. We got back together briefly, had a final nostalgic, romantic fling, but I’m over you now. I’ve moved on.
My first forays into photography were film, back when there was no alternative. I hade a series of film compacts and then finally a Nikon F65 when I got more seriously into photography. Then, along came relatively affordable digital SLRs and that was it, I was very pleased to go digital.
I travel a lot to far flung places, most recently Panama and Jordan, and soon to Burma. As my camera and lenses were upgraded over time, they got too heavy and too expensive to want to carry on these trips and for casual use. I tried a few advanced compacts but was never quite happy with their performance, handling and features. I wanted a relatively cheap, light, small, but high quality SLR and decided that the best solution was a Nikon F80, which I picked up for £40. Perfect.
So, the F80 and I accompanied each other on many travelling adventures and got some lovely images, but I soon realised that the simple economics just were’s working out. I was shooting Kodak Portra 400 which is around £6.50 per roll, it’s lovely stuff, delightful colours and the 400 speed is most useful. But £6.50 a roll? Yes, there are cheaper films out there, but they can tend to be over saturated, grainy, or slow.
So, that’s £6.50 without development. For decent development with a good size print and a scan from somewhere decent like Peak Imaging, it’s £20 a roll for 8×6 prints. Again, you can get it cheaper, but quality counts.
All in, that’s £26 for a roll of film and development. How many rolls on a two week trip to somewhere interesting? Probably 10 at least, so that’s a total of £260! This is just not adding up!
My reasons for going back to film were quality in a small package, for a good price. But, for two trips, I’m looking at over £500 for film and development. So, what can I get for £500? A bit of research reveals the Sony Nex-5n with an APS sensor, fast focusing, full of features, good handling and great image quality. That’s basicially what I was looking for all along, and for me that’s the end of film. It’s advantage has gone. I can now get a small camera with great image quality for the price of buying and developing 20 rolls of film.
Goodbye film, I did love you, but it is definitely over now.