I’ve loved photography since I was a kid. I shot my first rolls back in 1996 when I was just 4, using my mother’s Minolta AF point and shoot camera. The results were far from perfect, but it was too late: I was hooked on the hobby. Time passed and when I was older my parents gifted me with a Canon 400D DSLR, and film photography quickly became for me a thing from the past. Until recently, digital photography was both quicker and cheaper.

Then I started experimenting with macro photography, building my own lens with a broken 50mm f/1.8, some cardboard tubes, and a magnifying glass. Recently though, my 400D left me stranded due to a shutter issue, and while looking for a good replacement I stumbled upon a good deal on a Canon A1.

Yes, it was not digital, but sure it was cheap. Not one year has passed since the purchase, and with no darkroom experience whatsoever I bought a Durst enlarger and transformed the basement’s kitchen into a darkroom. Film photography gave a completely new start to my passion, letting me experiment more, spending more time doing actual photography then staying on my pc adjusting Lightroom dials to the perfect spot.

I recently bought 3 extension tubes for the Canon FD system and brought together my newly discovered film passion with my old macro photography passion. These are 5 pics from the first experimental roll I shot. I used all 3 extension tubes together, with the amazing Canon New FD 50mm f/1.4 lens in front. The film I used was ILFORD HP5 PLUS.

I pushed it one-stop so I could gather a bit more light to be able to stop down the lens a bit and have more depth of field, a very precious thing when shooting this close-up. I developed the roll in a Rodinal-like developer at 1+100 dilution, with a semi-stand process (1 hour, with a short agitation every 15 minutes).

This is just stuff I had lying around the house, nothing special, but since the pics came out somewhat good for the experiment this was, I thought I would share.

~ Nicolò

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About the author

Avatar - Nicolò de Fornasari

Nicolò de Fornasari

I'm a medical student based in Italy who has always been passionate about photography. I used to shoot film when i was young, but after years of digital-only photography, i came back to film, and now it's my passion.


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