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Why you should use a film camera

Yashica Electro 35 GSN

For those who shoot film, there is a familiarity with it that can't be replicated by digital.

That's not a knock against digital, but it is a realization that film is a mature medium.

Just when you thought that you've figured out digital, here comes the latest improvement. Focus peaking, backside illumination (which used to mean shining a flashlight on your friend's butt), RAW, HDR, 16:9. Sometimes, it seems that there is so much to remember that you forget what it was that attracted you to photography.

And then you pick up your old film camera, and it all comes back to you.

For many, the fewer features - the better.

It is a reminder of simpler days or at least simpler photography. You select your shutter speed. You select your aperture. You focus, and you press the shutter release.

Certainly, automation made film photography easier, but for purists, the path to photography is in the all-manual camera.

Film is not a perfect medium. There are so many things that can go wrong. It can be exposed to light before it's processed. Or you might have it processed before you even put it into the camera. You might run it through the camera twice. The chemicals might be exhausted.

It's a lot like life, and maybe that's what makes it a perfect medium.

Film photographers acknowledge the medium's shortcomings yet find a way to shoot that memorable photo. It's no longer about shooting 100 photos and hoping that one of them will work. It's about making each frame count.

That is what photography is, and it often gets lost in the digital noise as we lust over the latest camera gear.

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