My first foray into film for over 20 years. My father had owned a Nikon F3 and back in those days I had gone down the Canon AF route, but do you know I always hankered after my Dad’s camera, only ever managing to borrow it once for a day out in Brighton – it was a love affair for sure.
Fast forward some, oh 24 years, I had been shooting digitally with Nikon equipment for over a decade and had a nice collection of toys, but something was missing. Shooting film was that something. I used to love the whole experience, it had a tactility of its own which was absent from digital somewhat. Kind of akin to spinning a vinyl record compared to selecting your MP3 track.
I missed the loading, the shooting, the feel of the crank lever as you wound on a new frame and then of course the developing and printing process too, or even the anticipation if you shipped a film off. So I set about rectifying that, found a Nikon F3 in Japan which was as new and shipped it in, coupled the pair and thought about film stock.
I had read good thoughts about Kodak Ektar, I’m was always a mono guy because of having my own darkroom but thought I would run some colour film for a change. So my fiancee and I hit the beach at Tankerton in Kent on a very horrible day to give the camera some time and I was really quite pleased.
Completely flat light, terrible weather and quite possibly, ILFORD HP5 PLUS would have been a better choice for this. I enjoyed it nevertheless, it was great to be out and even greater to be shooting film again. I took in some of the beach huts, indeed sheltered there too for a while and explored a little bit of the coastline I had not spend much time on. The camera/lens/film combination performed really well, I did ok too, all things considered, and I came home with some reasonable images.
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This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.
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