It all started out one day, having lunch in the workshop, trolling though ebay… as you do. I found myself perusing the camera section and it turns out that 35mm film SLRs can be had for almost no money at all. Well… I was looking for a new hobby, and quite a few of my work colleagues are into the photographing: I fancied myself a piece of that action.
So I turned to the internet to do a bit of research on the bits and bobs that had caught my eye. Long story short I ended up with the following:
- Praktica MTL3 camera body,
- Pentacon 50mm 1:1.8 Lens (standard issue with the MTL3 back in t’day),
- Auto-Chinon 28mm 1:2.8 Lens,
- A pair of UV filters, One for each lens.
Now, I know that film is both expensive to buy and expensive to develop/print, but my thinking was that picking up a cheap film SLR would work out better in the long run. Firstly if it turns out to be a massive fad and I have no real interest in photography, then I’m not wasting too much money compared with buying a DSLR of comparable quality. Secondly I’d be forced to learn something. Film IS expensive, so I won’t be blithely clicking away through roll after roll; I’d have to thoroughly consider each shot before committing to it.
To make things doubly challenging for myself as a rank beginner I’m going without a light meter OR the use of the TTL (Through The Lens) metering in the camera, latterly because I’m without the the proper battery for now; fortunately Fred Parker came to my rescue with his Ultimate Exposure Calculator.
Stumbling across this was a bit of a eureka moment for me, and it was EXACTLY the sort of thing I was looking for. If I were to boil the whole article down to brass tax, It amounts to a pair of charts that if used correctly, it enables the user to judge the proper exposure for any given situation using only the grey matter you take with you. The scope of that article is far greater than I’m going into here, but I’d urge any beginner photographer to take a read; It’s well written and is a great help in seeing through some of the more mystifying elements of manual photography.
So here I am gear in hand, head buzzing with new learned knowledge, ready to head out into the cold winter environ.
Watch this space… (also, wish me luck. I’ll probably need it)