Goodbye to Film (Again)

Goodbye to Film

The last time I intended to go all digital, I hedged my bets and kept a Bessa T rangefinder and a few M-mount lenses for the Bessa. I also borrowed a Yashicamat 124 from my friend Jan and a Canon Rebel 2000 from my friend Suzanne. Feeling the film itch again, I bought a used Nikon F100 and replaced my development tanks and reels. I was ready to go.

That was over a year ago and I realized that in that time I had not shot a single roll of film. Clearly something was wrong with this picture.

It’s not film per se, or film cameras that held me back. I still think film black-and-white is special and I enjoy the handling and build of film cameras. The problem lay with me.

The problem is not that I like digital, but that I love digital.

I’ve become a Flickr hound and like to post something new each day. I also like to go out for a photo walk, come back home, and dump the images to my Mac. I really enjoy post processing. Although I’m not a Photoshop expert, I’m very comfortable with Photoshop and Bridge and look forward to organizing the images then selecting ones to work on for posting on Flickr.

On the other hand, I no longer felt like going through the effort of developing film then scanning negatives before I got to a starting point. Call it laziness, or simply call it practicality — bowing to the inevitable.

Another factor for leaving film again is that I now do a lot of my shooting with an iPhone 4. Because it’s also my phone, I always have it with me and the photo apps available for the iPhone camera make it great fun to shoot with. The iPhone made it less likely that I’d venture forth with a film cam.

Then, the biggest factor of all: I read that Olympus was going to release an m-4/3 camera styled on the Olympus OM film cameras. The Olympus OM-D. I loved my OM-1s when I was a film shooter and once I saw what the camera would look like, I decided to clear by closet of film gear.

I sold the Bessa T and most of the lenses for it. I sold the F100. I sold my unused developing tank and reels. I even sold my remaining Rodinal and HC-110. I returned my borrowed cameras. A clean slate.

So. I have a black-body Olympus OM-D with the 12-50mm weatherproof lens on order. The order includes a trade-in on my faithful Lumix G2, a nice camera in its own right. Because I own a few Olympus and Lumix m-4/3 lenses, along with my remaining vintage lenses, I’m well kitted out for when the OM-D arrives.

So once again, goodbye film. A blessing to all those who still use it and keep it alive. I’ll watch for your work on Flickr.

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About Gene Wilburn

Gene Wilburn is a writer ~ photographer ~ humanist
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6 Responses to Goodbye to Film (Again)

  1. Jan says:

    Gene, we will still take a TLR walk! It’s just that I’ll be the only one shooting one. ;D

  2. Gene Wilburn says:

    Okay, Jan, you’re on! I’ll flip up my LCD panel in faux-Rollei mode :-)

  3. Jamie Pillers says:

    Gene,
    Let us know how you like the digital OM. I have an OM-1 sitting here on the shelf all alone. It might be nice to give it a friend to play with. :-)

  4. Gene Wilburn says:

    Jamie, your OM-1 should definitely have a partner! Once I get one (sometime in April I think) I’ll write a post.

  5. Suzanne says:

    Well Gene I think the time has come. Great article, and I have seen the images you have managed to capture with that iPhone and they are very good… Now you know I like to follow in your shoes. Even though I have never really shot film, I like the retro look of the cameras, they have style and that OM-D just might be on my wish list.

    Happy Shooting

  6. Gene Wilburn says:

    Thanks Suzanne,

    When it arrives you can give it a good look!

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