Photography – Old School FILM

Well as I walk by the shops here in Penang, I have seen a wonderful 10″ x 8″ plate camera on a very large tripod dolly, ideal for the studio.  It’s been there for around 6 months and I covet it.  I would love to do large format photography again, if I was in the UK.  No problem all the supplies for film, and places that develop those sizes of film.

A little note to you non film fans out there or who have never used film, the 10″x8″ plate camera uses sheets of film that are 10″ x 8″ sadly these are in decline a lot now, but the quality of the cameras is amazing, the clarity, especially when you have a negative or slide of those dimensions.

They need special handling, being carefully not to scratch the negative  as you load and unload it into the film holder.  It makes the whole photography process slow down, so you get the exposure correct, as from memory and confirmed the film sheet is expensive as is the developing around £10 per exposure, so get it wrong and it’s £10 down the drain DOH! (a sheet of Delta 100 black and white film cost around £5 each and you have to buy 25 of them, developing £4.60 each sheet plus postage)

So if you use a whole box of film and get them developed that £250 for 25 exposures min.

But you now just have the negatives, you either need to get them scanned or printed up and that’s more expense.  However just think to before around 2003 when digital cameras were just coming out, this is how we did things, how things have changed, in less than 10 years.

On a similar note I have been thinking of reviving my pin hole camera which is another sheet camera of a film size of 5″ x 4″ so 1/4 of the size of the camera in the store locally.  The down side is its in the UK and I am in Malaysia and is not easy to get at or send it here.  Also the supplies here in Malaysia are quite hard to get.

However I would have to but most of my supplies from the UK, as the old style camera shops selling these large format films and chemicals are almost non existent here in Asia as they are in most parts of the world.

OK that’s enough of me wanting to do things the old-fashioned way, perhaps when I go back to France, I can take a little short hope to the UK and retrieve my pin hole camera and bring it here to Asia.

Was it worth using the 5″ x 4″ and 10″ x 8″ cameras – YES it was

One last question if you had one of these camera’s in front of you, would you know how to use it?  It’s not just point and shoot.  What about F Stops, Aperture, Depth of field, film ISO, as everything is done on Auto these days do you really care, but with these plate camera costing £10 per exposure min I think you have to learn it!


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