See that yellow in the film ID window? That’s a roll of Kodak film, Tri-X 400 to be specific. For decades and for many, many photographers besides me that meant preparedness and anticipation of a certain image style. And you’d try to make every exposure count, knowing you’d get only 36 to 40 to a roll. And as the roll was full, you’d get a chance to put in a different one, changing the image style on a premeditated basis and in a human timeframe, not hectic. Perhaps you’d choose Fujifilm Provia for a portrait, or Kodachrome for, well, Kodachrome colors. Or Fujifilm Neopan 1600 for Vermeer blacks, or even a true infrared film like Kodak HIE, you’d see like a bee!
And you know what, I’m going to do that as long as there is film. More so now as it gets to be more of an alternative media pursuit. Yes, some of the above-mentioned films are no longer available new (but all of them except the Kodachrome are in my fridge!), and dealing with film is a bother or expensive. But I got my system down, I can develop B&W and C41 film, and scan it right after it dries. A near term project is reviving a ruin of a Leica Focomat enlarger that I have standing around and get the darkroom up and running again.
As I bought the Leica M9, I had to monetize most of my film-loading cameras. Seller’s remorse started to set in first with regard to the Nikon F6. Then yesterday I saw a new body on Amazon for a third of the original price. Swan song, indeed! I bought it and added a Nikkor AF-S f/1.8 50 mm G lens.
This camera really is the pinnacle of analog SLRs! If it were a man, he’d say: “Trust me, I know what I’m doing!” and follow through on it. The lens is held in high regard in most web reviews I’ve read and I’m eager to see how it fares.
So, here’s to modern nostalgia!