***This photo shoot took place February 20th, 2020 before the Covid-19 Pandemic***

The number one reason I love Photography is because it’s fun!

If you’re in the market for a used SLR Film Camera then our fun day of shooting with 5 different SLR’s and 5 different B&W Film Stocks will let you see some sample images from each of these amazing cameras.

I was brainstorming ideas on how a few of my photographer friends could get together, shoot some film and have a fun time with film photography.

What I came up with was “5 SLR Film Cameras – 5 B&W Film Stocks – 5 Photographers”.

I thought it would be challenging for everybody to shoot an SLR Film Camera and see what kinds of images we could capture.

We all met at the Seed & Bean Market in Downtown Fort Myers, FL for some coffee,  breakfast and a briefing on the day’s agenda for the shoot.

I brought along five of my SLR Film Cameras and put a post-it note with a number from 1 to 5 on them.  I also put five folded up pieces of paper with the numbers 1 to 5 on them inside an empty film canister.

Then we each picked a piece of paper from the film canister.  I then handed out the camera that matched the number each person picked.

We all had no idea what camera we were going to shoot that day.

After assigning the cameras I then allowed the person who had #1 to pick from 5 different B&W 400 ISO film stocks that I brought along.  Each of us in turn picked a different B&W film stock.

All of the SLR’s for the shoot were equipped with a 50mm lens so we would all be shooting the same focal length.

Meet our Cast of Characters, Cameras & Film Stocks for the day…

Jamiel "JAMMZ" Betancourt

Instagram:  @jammzphotos 
@jammz23

Michael "MAGS" Gonzalez

Instagram:  @shotbymag
@mag.zine

Douglas Jaeckel

Instagram:  @dpjaeckelphotos

David Neff

Canon TLb

Canon TLb

Vivitar XC-2

Vivitar XC-2

Canon EOS Elan IIe

Canon EOS Elan IIe

Nikon FG-20

Nikon FG-20

Canon AE-1 Program

Canon AE-1 Program

Bergger Pancro 400

Bergger Pancro 400

Kentmere Pan 400

Kentmere Pan 400

Kodak Tri-X 400

Kodak Tri-X 400

Kodak TMax 400

Kodak TMax 400

Arista EDU 400

Arista EDU 400

We all decided upon a theme for the shoot.  The theme we chose was “Shadows”.

This worked out great when we started shooting around 10am.  Not long after, the clouds rolled in and there were no shadows to be found anywhere.

We decided to change the theme to “Portraits” for the rest of the shoot since there just happened to be a car show going on that day and there were people everywhere.

agsdix-smt1-camera-roll

PhotoTipster Hot Tip: Use A Film Log Book

You can keep notes of the camera & film you used, where the shots were taken and what camera settings were used for each shot.  This is very important because you have no way of knowing what f/stop or Shutter Speed were used unless you keep track of them when shooting film.

Here’s our favorite images from the day.

Jamiel "JAMMZ" Betancourt

Instagram:
@jammzphotos 
@jammz23

Canon TLb

Canon TLb

Bergger Pancro 400

Bergger Pancro 400

Jamiel “JAMMZ” got to shoot the Canon TLb and he chose the Bergger Pancro 400 Film Stock.

Let me start by saying that the TLb is one solid camera and has some weight to it.

JAMMZ seemed to have a good time shooting with it because he didn’t want to give it back at the end of the day.  Being the nice guy that I am, I let him hold onto to it to so he could finish off the roll.

I have to say, JAMMZ taught me a thing or two about shooting Street Photography on our shoot.  He used some great tactics to get some of these awesome street shots.

One tip that I immediately borrowed was to pretend to be taking a picture of something else as you are waiting for your subject to approach you.  Once they are near enough you then turn to get the shot.  This worked well as the subject is much less bothered by the camera in their face as the shot happens before they know it.

I’m loving this first shot of the “Sunglass Ladies”.

Bergger Pancro 400
Bergger Pancro 400
Bergger Pancro 400
Bergger Pancro 400
Bergger Pancro 400

Great choice of level on this shot of the dog.  A great tip when photographing a subject that is close to the ground is to get down low on their level like JAMMZ did.  I feel like that dog is going to attack at any moment!

Bergger Pancro 400
Vivitar XC-2

Vivitar XC-2

Kentmere Pan 400

Kentmere Pan 400

Jude got the lesser known Vintage Film Camera, the Vivitar XC-2.  I’m going to honest.  I didn’t even know if this camera worked.  I had my fingers crossed that it did because I needed 5 SLR’s for the shoot and this was the last one I had at the time.

Jude chose to shoot with the Kentmere Pan 400 B&W film.  He did a great job with this camera as you’ll see.  That Camaro Z/28 shot…WOW!

He lost a couple of shots on the roll at the end of the shoot because we opened the back cover too soon with the film not totally rewound into the film canister.  I feel terrible because I know better than to open the camera back when uncertain.

We both honestly thought the film was totally rewound because there was very little tension in the film rewind knob.

I am telling you this because I want you to know that accidents happen to all of us.

The thing you want to do if you’re not sure if the film rewound totally is to take the camera into a completely dark room.  Then you can open up the camera back in darkness and feel if the film is still out of the spool.  As long as light doesn’t hit the film you will not “light fog” the film.

Kentmere Pan 400
Kentmere Pan 400
Kentmere Pan 400
I love Jude’s decision to use a low f/stop on this picture of the Z/28 Camaro.  It really draws your eye right to that awesome front end on the car.
Kentmere Pan 400
Kentmere Pan 400

Michael "MAGS" Gonzalez

Instagram:
@shotbymag
@mag.zine

Canon EOS Elan IIe

Canon EOS Elan IIe

Kodak Tri-X 400

Kodak Tri-X 400

MAGS got to shoot my first auto-focus SLR, the Elan IIe.   The Eye Controlled (the “e” in IIe) Auto-Focus revolutionized the way we focused our images.  He chose to shoot the Kodak Tri-X 400 B&W FIlm stock.

Well, not quite.  The feature never did quite catch on and quietly went away in later models.  Still pretty awesome to be able to tell the lens where to focus based on where you were looking in the viewfinder.

 

If I had to pick a winner for the day, the honor would go to MAGS.  As you will see, the “Shadow” shot of his hand on the car door handle is just brilliant!

Kodak Tri-X 400
Kodak Tri-X 400
Kodak Tri-X 400
Kodak Tri-X 400
Kodak Tri-X 400
Kodak Tri-X 400

Douglas Jaeckel

Instagram:
@dpjaeckelphotos

Nikon FG-20

Nikon FG-20

Kodak TMax 400

Kodak TMax 400

It happens to the best of us, especially when shooting an SLR Film Camera you’ve never used before…the Kodak Tmax 400 B&W film did not load correctly in the camera.

Unfortunately, all 36 of Doug’s shots ended up on one frame of film because the film did not advance.

Since Doug is a such a great guy he’s going to make a fun tutorial on how to properly load film so this doesn’t happen to you too.

There are some things you can look for when loading film so that you know the film is properly loaded and he will go over those in the video.

I’ll put a link up once the tutorial is finished.

David Neff

Canon AE-1 Program

Canon AE-1 Program

Arista EDU 400

Arista EDU 400

I got the iconic Canon AE-1 Program.  Probably the hottest camera on the used market these days.  For good reason.  It’s a great everyday camera that is easy to use and just gets the job done.

If anybody asks me what SLR Film Camera to buy this is what I recommend to them.  They are fetching top dollar on the used market  ($100-$200 as of May 2020), but they are worth every penny.

The camera just feels great in your hand and sounds amazing when shooting.  Just ask Jude.  He bought one for himself after borrowing one of mine!  I have three AE-1’s so I don’t mind sharing 🙂

I chose the Arista EDU 400 B&W Film Stock because I’ve never used this film before and was curious to see how it  performs.

 

Arista EDU 400
Arista EDU 400
If you ever visit Downtown Fort Myers you MUST make a stop at  Downtown House of Pizza (DHOP as the locals call it).  Thank me later.

This is the closest to New York style pizza I’ve found since moving to SW Florida in 2006.  The DHOP Famous Pasta Salad is great too.  Trust me, just get it.

Their employee was gracious and allowed me to take his picture as we ordered a slice of pizza.

Arista EDU 400
Arista EDU 400
Arista EDU 400

We will continue to come up with more ways to “Have Fun With Photography” here at PhotoTipster.

If you’re interested in the technical stuff on how I processed and scanned the film from the SLR Film Cameras here are the specifics…

All of the films were processed in Kodak D-76 chemistry at a 1:1 Mixing Ratio (basically just follow the mixing instructions on the bag for a 1:1 Ratio).

All of the films were scanned by me on a Fuji SP-3000 Film Scanner.  Arguably the best film scanner ever produced.  If you like the look of these scans, ask your photo lab which film scanner they are using.

Odds are it’s either the Fuji SP-3000 or the Noritsu HS-1800.  I worked for Noritsu in the early 2000’s as a Service Technician so I’m pretty familiar with most of their equipment.

Both of these scanners are amazing and yield incredible scans.  If you want more info on them check out this video on YouTube that compares their scanning characteristics.

Indie Film Lab – Noritsu vs Frontier Film Scanners

I hope you enjoyed the article and the photos from our shoot.

 

f/8 and be there!

Article by David Neff

Article by David Neff

I’m the crazy guy who runs PhotoTipster.com.  I hope you enjoy the website as much as I enjoy creating it!

I love teaching & helping others to have fun with Photography.  In my free time I like playing the bass guitar, sipping on good suds, and spending time with my wife, son & 3 cats.

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