Review of Nikkormat FT w/ 50mm f/1.4

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Felix gave me this camera about three months ago. I’ve used it twice (since in order to view what I shot I need to process the film) and developed a greater appreciation for digital photography. Film is a format which is much more fun to use (in my opinion). With the demands of current age photography, film cameras are a bit of a setback. This is due to limiting exposure cycles per film roll, inability to view what you have captured (without processing the film) as well as having to shoot at a constant ISO throughout the film. Aside from the above mentioned setbacks, film photography probably the most fun out of the two mediums.

Every exposure feels important. Since you are paying for every exposure, you feel the need to limit what you shoot. This leaves images which are meaningful to the photographer on the film. Unlike digital photography, film photography does not allow you to waste cycles recklessly. This camera in particular is very fun to use, and feels great in the hands.

Firstly, it is manufactured from a durable metal. This is important not only to knock someone over the head with, but also for the longevity of the camera. Another great feature of the Nikkormat FT is the fact that it works mechanically. Everything from shutter speed, to aperture, to exposing the film is done mechanically. The only function which the battery performs is metering for light. Since the camera is small and compact it is easy to take anywhere and everywhere.

As previously stated, film photography takes time to adjust to. I had to learn from my first attempt that shooting in low light is tricky. From my second attempt, I learned that the quality of the colors on film is not as good as on digital (if improper film is used). Not only does this depend on the film, but quality of the prints also depends on the lab. When these matters are taken into consideration, it’s evident that the film medium gives the photographer more to think about while shooting.