Every time I return from my local film lab I vow to never shoot film again! It’s expensive to develop¹ and I’m not good enough at film to make the development worth the money. Awhile ago I dibbed and received a full dark room kit – tubs, reels, enlargers (I have two now!), timers, etc – with the notion that I would do my own developing but in my teeny tiny² studio apartment there just isn’t space. Or an area that I can seal off light leaks.
That said, I can’t seem to help myself. Last Christmas I receive a Holga and have been obsessed with film since. I’ve had several film cameras before but none as fun as the Holga. Part of its charm is the mystery of what will be captured – light leaks, fuzzy focus, misfired shutters. The not knowing is intoxicating.
After the Holga I began really thinking about medium format. I had a Yashica Mat 124-G a year or so ago but never really had the time to master it so sold it in a decluttering frenzy. I’ve always kind of regretted that so I replaced it with a Bronica ETRS. I bought the Bronny body with the prism finder for pretty cheap and had planned on buying the rest of the accessories (the film insert and lens) but then the economy hit and I found myself unemployed.
Tonight I dug up the body and rediscovered my obsession with this camera. I’ve been reading owners manuals, surfing photos and watching YouTube videos, trying to learn how to use this camera. I just bought, inexpensively from KEH.com, a 120 and a 220 film insert so now all that’s left to purchase is the lens. Seems like I can get basic lens for around $100-150 which seems about right. I’m not sure what lens to start with, though. My favorite lens for Gollum was my 50 mm (RIP Little Fifty) and the price for a 50 for the Bronny is just about right.
What do you think? Do you have any experience with this type of camera? Any suggestions? I’d love to hear them!
¹ Okay, that’s not quite true. The development is pretty cheap. $5.00 per roll, I think. What’s expensive is having them scan the film. Okay, that’s not true either. Developing and scanning is pretty cheap. What’s expensive is the CD they burn the scanned negatives onto. $17.00 per roll of film!
² That’s another lie. My place is almost 800 square feet. The layout, though, is difficult. There are no doors so it feels like a big, U-shaped studio apartment.