Camera Film Reviews

My reviews of camera films. Film is still very a valid creative photographic format in 2022. In many ways, film will still produce better images than digital when used correctly. It is just that there are so many stages of the film photographic process that means something can go irrecoverably wrong that can let it down.

Film makes you a better photographer

Both film and digital are very capable formats. But what I often find is that so many functions are buried in complicated menus in digital cameras, whereas with film, what you want to do is up to you with the mechanical controls of the camera. You tend to be more in the moment when shooting film, whereas with digital you tend to more looking at the screen. Also, and this is a big thing – film tends to make you think more on the fly about your photos. You know the specifications of the film, eg, ISO, colour balance, or the general look the film will give you and you tend to work around that when composing your images.

Probably my favourite aspect of shooting film over digital though is that once you have taken a shot, you mentally move onto the next. You don’t try and do it again. Nor do you rely on silly things like a rapid fire of a slowing moving or stationary object. Hence, when you develop, you tend to get a nice surprise when you find all your images are in fact different, and you don’t have rows and rows of the same picture like you do with digital.

Do I prefer shooting Colour or Black and White Film?

When I first bought my Leica MP, I thought I’d be using exclusively black and white film in it. Besides, I had a decent Leica M240 for colour photos. But then, I tried Kodak Portra. And I got hooked on trying a range of colour films. I like the fact that different films (both colour ad black and white) have their own characters. I like that some can be contrasty and some can be flat. I like the fact that some can try to keep the shadows open. That some over emphasise certain colours.

What makes me choose a specific film?

Sometimes I just like to put any roll of film into my camera, head out taking photos and forget about the world. But, I will say that I tend to think abut the types of photos I want and then consider the character of the film or how that particular film behaves in certain conditions. With film, you tend to gain some knowledge on how different camera film stocks look under different conditions so then it just becomes a matter or working out what you want your photos to look like, and choosing the right film for the job.
Is Kodak Portra a film without character? For me, for what I want from film, yes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be negative about what is an excellent film. It’s just to me, Kodak Portra is too perfect.
In 2019, Fuji Superia is my favourite colour film. It reminds me of what film looked like in the 1990s before digital was mainstream. It looks like so many film shots I took as a kid (I cannot really remember what films they were).
This film does bring out a lot of colours, it is well saturated and probably a little too much so as the colours can look a bit ‘off’ but at the same time you can get some really nice looking images from it.
This is such a cool black and white film! For 400  ISO, this film is not very grainy. It’s actually really smooth, and coupled with the high speed which lets you work with it in challenging light conditions, I love it for low light black and white.