Starting To Dig Film

Having finally got a film camera that works, I decided to buy another and a little earlier this month bought an Olympus OM2, which is a little more solidly built than the Olympus OM10 I have, and back in the day was a semi-professional camera for many good reasons. The Olympus OM2 has the option to shoot in either Aperture priority or manual meaning you either let the camera do it's thing or in manual you set the shutter speed and corresponding aperture or vice versa, having already set the ISO for the film speed you are using.

Fossil Hunting in Dorset
Fossil Hunting in Dorset

Having got it, and finding out it runs on simple to find SR44 batteries - I got mine at Maplins just down the road from me, I was pretty keen to try it out and so having renewed the light seals in it, took it with me for a weekend away down to Dorset where we were exploring the Jurassic coastland.

Being unsure if the camera was working or indeed if the light seals I had fitted were up to the job I ran just one cheap film through it, all in manual and just some simple family snap shots to see if all was working as I hoped it would be.

I was also keen to try out an old Olympus 135mm f/3.5 lens I had picked up sometime ago. Whilst it doesn't seem to suit the OM10 particularly well, it worked much better on the OM2 for some reason. Maybe the bigger viewfinder helped, maybe it was the glorious sunny conditions or maybe it was just because I wanted it to!

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First impressions of the OM2 are fantastic. It's even more simple to use than the OM10 if that's possible, mainly in part thanks to the massive viewfinder that offers something like 97% coverage of the scene you're photographing.

The viewfinder is much more clear than an OM10 and with the needle in manual simply needing to be tweaked up or down to find your correct exposure it's actually pretty simple to use.

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Shooting in manual is such fun, who knew! In fact, so much fun I've just bought an OM1 Olympus which is sadly not working as it should as the meter isn't registering, so that's been sent away to be fixed.

However, hopefully if repaired and once back with me I'm thinking I may just stick with the OM1 and OM2 as bodies, maybe with B&W film in one and a bit of colour in the other and let go of the OM10, which is a fine little camera in its own right but just wouldn't be needed with those two bodies. In any respect, I also still have a little Olympus Trip 35 if I'm desperate for another film camera to use!

So, my film adventure is well and truly underway. I have a lot to learn, the photographs aren't fantastic but each feels like a little triumph looking at it. There's definitely a different feeling when you look at your photographs when you get them back from developing thinking I made that... it's all just simple with digital, which is no bad thing just different. If you take a photograph with a digital camera, you can preview it there and then and if it's not right you just take it again, with film you have no way of knowing if it's right, you just have to make do. Of course, you can try to get everything in your favour to get it right, but until you're looking at it in print or from your scan you don't know.

So film, have you tried it recently? If you haven't I can thoroughly recommend it if nothing more than just for the fun factor!

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