film photography


We collect data and made some film photography tips. Click the post for more information.


How to obtain daylight exposure correctly if without light meter?

Sunny 16 rule is a method of estimating correct daylight exposures without using a light meter. By using Sunny 16 rule you can estimate your aperture and shutter speed. Example imagine you at outdoor with bright sunlight, and if the iso of the film is 200, your aperture is f16 whilst the shutter speed will be 1/200 second or 1/250 second. Link: Facebook Link

What is and how 35mm DX codes work?

DX code allows film cameras equipped with reading system to automatically recognise the ISO speed of the film, the number of exposures and the latitude of the exposure of this film. We found that the number of point and shoot film photographers is getting more and more recently. However most of the point and shoot camera unable to adjust iso, aperture and shutter speed. Hence, we unable push or pull of film when shooting like SLR camera. By understanding DX code, you can alter it by scraping the black paint off the appropriate grid with anything that’s sharp or use a marker pen fill up the silver grid in order to proceed push or pull shooting. Other than that, there are total 12 cells grid (with black and silver cells) on the back of the film cassette. The silver cells is conductive while the black cells is non-conductive which have indicate the ISO speed of the film, the number of exposures and the latitude of the exposure of this film. Below is more information of the 12 cells grid.

  • 1 and A : Always silver cells and it act as an electrical contact.
  • 2~6 : Indicate the ISO of the film.
  • B,C,D : Indicate the number of exposure of the film.
  • E, F : Indicate the latitude of the exposure of this film.
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How to shoot in indoor with window lighting?

  • First of all, you have to obverse how many window in the room/house?
  • Moreover, how the sunlight enter it through and when it is sunrise or sunset?
  • After that what’s the time the sunlight start enter it through the window?
You can creatively start to shoot with film if you have catch on these few points. Just play with the sunlight! It is a great opportunity for us to slow down our step and observe our surroundings we stay with everyday. Link: Facebook Link

How to read your exposure?

“Light meter” seems like unfamiliar for most of the teens film photographers as smartphone camera is most of their first gear. Regardless of how you shoot, and whichever shooting mode you prefer to use, there is one item that remain constant-the light meter. Understanding what your camera’s light meter does and how it works is critical to advancing your skills and helping you get the shots you really want. For your film to look good, you need to make sure that it’s not too bright (overexposed) or too dark (underexposed). You can adjust your exposure by changing.

  • ISO (how sensitive of the film to light)
  • Aperture (the amount of light the lens let through)
  • Shutter Speed (the amount of time the light gets through)
Technically speaking, the correct film exposure does not exist as different photographers will have a different idea of what’s properly exposed and what is not. We have used Kodak Colorplus 200 to to create an Exposure Reference Sheet in order to show you all the different exposure outcome. See the example photo and negative below for the overexposed and underexposed outcome. Link: Facebook Link

Length of 35mm film

A roll of 36 exposures of 35mm film’s length is around 165cm. A single frame is 36mm+- wide and there’s 2mm border between each of the frame. We take the total length of the film 165cm minus out each of the exposure frame size, broader, film leader and the length you load and wind the film when you’re ready to shoot so the rest of the length is approximately 36 exposures ready to shoot. If you receive less than 36 exposures you can read through our previous post to figure it out. Link: Facebook Link A Link: Facebook Link B

Enlarger test strip

Prior a complete enlarged photo done, test strip is a must. Cut and prepare a test strip from the paper and try to place the test strip under the main area of the frame or with highlight and shadow area. Set the timer for 2 seconds increments.
(2 seconds is an example and the result was attached at below) Cover approximately 1/6 of the test strip and exposure for 2 seconds.
Repeat it until you have revealed all the test. You will get 6 different exposures outcome at the end. After that you have to judge the tone and derive the exposure time for your final print. Prepare a enlarge photo sheet, confirm the exposure time you can proceed to enlarge your final print follow with develop, stop, fix and wash. The film we have use to enlarge is Lucky Aerial film and the location is Japan. Link: Facebook Link

Color Temperature

At digital camera, we can change the white balance as we wish. It also can be change and edit by using photoshop or any other apps. However it is difficult when we’re using film. Most of the C-41 film from the market is daylight balanced. You will get the best outcome if you used it under daylight as they were designed for daylight shooting. Different weather and source of light you will get different outcome. Hence if you have to shoot indoor we recommend you can use window light. However if you use fluorescent light the color of the photo will shifted. Here’s the sample of how color temperature will affect the color. The left is taken when sunrise while the right is taken at noon. Link: Facebook Link

How to understand depth of field?

Street photography is quite challenging especially you’re using manual focus camera. Under without eye focus condition, to obtain the moment you have to judge the distance precisely to ensure the photo is in the zone of acceptable sharpness. Basically an experienced street photographer before who take a photo who already able to predict the distance between with the subject. At the same time who have done all the setting for his camera. Aperture, distance from the subject to the camera and focal length of the lens on the camera are the main factors that will affect how the photograph control the depth of field. Below the picture showed the film photographer going to take photo of the object with 2 meter distance away. His camera 35mm full frame, 50mm standard lens and aperture is 8f. With this setting, the focus zone will be 1.69 meter to 2.44 meter (red boarder line). Whilst the bigger aperture you set the focus zone smaller you obtain. You can download the apps to learn more about depth of field. I will attach a link of an article for understanding more about it as well. Apps : DoF Table Link of the article : Link Link: Facebook Link

Trick of portrait shooting - Light Reflector

Most of the time when portrait shooting sessions we need a light reflector help us to fill light. However it was very inconvenient to bring it along if without assistance and tripod. It will slow down the process of whole photo shooting session. One of the trick to solve the problem above is we will require the talent wear white shirt and shoot with those object with high reflective. Example of the photo below, the white shirt and white bed sheet have played as light reflector. Which fill the light hence the surrounding of the talent and her face of light receiving surface will be average. Link: Facebook Link

Understand how geographical location affect the final outcome

One of the key issue for film photography is understand general geography area, different sunlight under different regions and how to use it wisely. In Malaysia, if you wish to shoot against backlight you only have around 2 hours prime time in the morning (7.30am-9am) due to our geographical location. Regions close to the equator receive the most solar radiation and the incoming solar radiation is more direct (nearly perpendicular or closer to a 90˚ angle). However the same amount of sunlight is spread over a greater area the farther from the equator. See the photos below will explain more in details. Photo taken by Nikon F / Kogaku 50mm 1.4f / Fuji 500T Link: Facebook Link

HOYA Spectral Cross Filter

The HOYA SPECTRAL CROSS filter made by sandwiching black gauze-like fiber between two pieces of colorless, transparent optical glass in a rotating frame. Producing both soft-focus and cross effects.
The filter creates an overall soft-focus effect for portraits, etc in the studio or outdoors with direct lighting, while back lighting or point light sources at night create heightened cross effects.The effect is somewhat softer than with cross-screen and diffraction of the light produces a slight amount of flare. (Sources from HOYA official website) We have tested it on Fuji C200 and also Kodak Colorplus 200. Here’s the sample photos. Nikon F4 / 50mm 1.8D / HOYA Spectral Cross Filter Link: Facebook Link