“You can get analogue cameras pretty cheaply, but it’s more expensive to shoot the film,” explains photographer Dillon Jenkins. Digital cameras are more expensive upfront, but there’s no extra cost accumulated for every photo you take. But keep in mind, you can’t shoot 35 mm film inside a medium format camera. So before purchasing film or a camera, consider the kind of photos you want to create before investing in the equipment.
When it comes to film, there are a few options to consider. “These days, you can generally buy 35 mm film and 120 medium format film. You may have heard the terms 120 and 220 format. They’re essentially the same medium format size film, but at different lengths,” explains Mills. With a longer roll of film, you can take more photos before replacing the roll. “You can get 10 to 12 shots out of 120 film and 22 to 24 shots out of 220 film,” notes Mills.
Film cameras can shoot in either black and white or in color. Black-and-white film is a little easier to develop yourself, but colour film gives you room to experiment with tints and shades. Different brands of film, like Fujifilm and Kodak, can give you different colour saturation or contrast as well. Try a few different brands and see which works best for your artistic needs.
Beyond the colour of the film, you also have a choice between film positives and film negatives. Negatives capture an inverted image of your photo, which allows for easier photo printing in a darkroom. Positive film creates positive images on a transparent base. “One of the big differences between colour negatives and colour positives is exposure latitude, which is the dynamic range of the film itself,” explains Jenkins. Keep in mind that each type of film has different parameters and considerations.