Are you as excited as I am to write this post?? Because I am so excited to talk about the film camera I got a few weeks ago. First, I love my camera so much. I am so glad I got it even though I was broke afterwards, haha.
This is just a short disclaimer before I write a review on my experience. I am in no way a photographer. And I don’t think I will be. I know people define the word differently but that’s just the way I define it. I like to consider myself a film enthusiast. And part of the reason I decided I wanted to learn how to take photos manually was because I was thinking of different ways to improve and change my blog.
I chose the Olympus OM-1 for three reasons.
- It’s cheap. A lot of the film cameras tend to run on the more expensive side but the Olympus OM-1 is around $100-$200 dollars.
- It was recommended for beginners and also had great reviews.
- My favorite (or one of my favorite) bloggers uses an Olympus OM-1
I purchased my camera from KEH, a used camera and photography store. They no longer manufacture this model anymore, so I had to buy the camera used. KEH has ratings in the item description and the one I got had a rating of “EX” or excellent. Needless to say, by the time I got my camera, it looked as if it was brand new! The camera itself is not that heavy and the overall look is pretty classic.
Have I mentioned I’m a noob?
When I got my camera, I had absolute ZERO idea on how to use it. I did do a lot of reading but none of the stuff I read mentioned how to actually take a picture. I guess they thought it was too simple to explain, haha (if you want to know – you have to push the advance lever and click on the shutter release button – duh Rezina). One downside to the Olympus OM-1 though, is that it uses batteries that are no longer being made. You don’t need to use batteries for the camera to work properly but you do need them if you want to use the light meter.
I have been using 675 hearing aid batteries, as I heard those work the best. Not to mention they last at least a few months, are inexpensive and contain (about) the right amount of voltage. The first week I got my camera, I didn’t have the batteries and did everything by guessing the aperture and shutter speed. I’m hoping to get good enough that I won’t need the batteries, but I’m not quite there yet.
Where can you get film processed?
I live in the US, and luckily there are still places around me that process film. However, the downside is that most drugstores are now using a third party developer and they throw away your negatives. Which is pretty ridiculous because why take film if you don’t even have your negatives??
So, I decided to use The Darkroom. They’re a developer located in California but are primarily online. All you have to do is send them your rolls and they scan them online for you! You can pay additional for prints and they send you negatives free of charge. They also give you free postage that you can print out and stick on your envelope. If you’re not in the US, I would consider asking them if they do international and if so, how much it costs! Especially if you’re like me and don’t want to go to photo labs because they’re pretty expensive.
I mean, I would love to support local photo labs but I work a part-time minimum wage job + am a student + saving up for a trip = no money.
Overall, my film experience has been very good!
I know some people disregard film because why take film when you can take digital? But taking photos manually is a completely different experience that I recommend everyone try! I also love the shutter sound the camera makes when you take a picture. And there’s a kind of spontaneity to taking film photos because you don’t actually know how it’ll turn out.
I’m going to be posting my first roll of film soon, which I’m excited about! It’ll be featured in my new “Photo Diary” series.
Thanks for reading!