Afternoon in Blue Lagoon. Nikon F80, Tokina 11-16mm, Kodak Colorplus 200

I’ve been playing with film camera since I bought an old Nikon F80 camera at a local online shop. I thought it would be a cheap and easy way to experience full frame photography. It turns out to be not cheap nor easy.

First the price. The camera itself is a cheapo. I got it for IDR 525K. It looks very cheap if you compare it with a digital full frame camera like Nikon D700 which goes for IDR 19.000K now - 2011. You can get 36 film camera for the price of one digital camera. But once you factor in the film price, processing and scanning, which is 65K per roll (36 exposure), the film camera pay for itself after 11000 exposures. I’m sure that wouldn’t take long if you live in Bali. The place is full of photo opportunity. With my first camera I got to 23K exposure under 1 year.


A walk in the beach. Nikon F80, Tokina 11-16mm, Kodak Colorplus 200

Now about that ‘easy experience’.

I think I might have taking for granted all the convenience of digital photography. Using film you can’t get the instant feedback like digital. If you messed up, you can only know after you have the film processed and scanned.

The hardest part is when you took a picture that you think will turn out to be a great shot, but you still have a few exposure in the roll. In this few last exposure please fight the urge to just shoot random stuff just so you can run to the photolab and scan the film.


Waiting for the lift. Nikon F80, Sigma 24-70mm, Fujifilm Superia 200.


Family bike afternoon. Nikon F80, Sigma 24-70mm, Fujifilm Superia 200.

It may not sound like it, but I actually like the Nikon F80. It teach me some basic exposure knowledge like the sunny 16 rule. Or knowing that to get a nice backlighting effect on a sunset I will need 1/100 at f2.8 exposure. The scanned film result is also hard to simulate on digital. I still can’t get the same tone and texture using lightroom and photoshop. So I guess I’m going to keep shooting film, despite the high price and effort.