There are still many myths around how much it costs to get set up with film photography.
I want to shoot a few more down.
A while back I wrote about how to start start film photography for £27. Based on at least two of the three rolls of film I’ve just got back from the lab, this amount is hugely generous.
Let’s just look at one set up, a 35mm SLR.
The caption above kind of gives away the kit I used, but to elucidate further –
Camera – Canon EOS 500
These are abundant on the auction site online and often in charity shops too. Though I also have a more sophisticated EOS 300v which cost a heady £15, the 500 does everything I need and more. It’s great if you’re coming from a DSLR as it looks and feels similar – like a baby DSLR with no LCD screen on the back, simpler controls and that only weighs 350g. It cost me 99p plus a couple of pounds postage.
Lens – Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 M42 Mount
I bought this from a jumble bin at a camera show. It’s battered, bruised, has lots of dust and a couple of bubbles inside. Plus a dent in the filter rim where it was rapidly encouraged to the floor from a table by a three year old. But it keeps on ticking. The dealer wanted £10, I got it for £7. Try these other three underdogs for equally affordable alternatives.
Film – AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200
This rebranded Fuji C200 film is £1 a roll in Poundland. It’s very versatile and I’ve used it extensively to shoot colour, DIY redscale and black and white. Though there are other emulsions I like, this is my Olympian Decathlete film – a fantastic all round champion.
Of course the Canon EOS isn’t a native M42 mount body.
So I need an adapter.
I actually have three, as a couple of sellers have included them free when I’ve bought M42 lenses. If you do have to buy one, they start at 99p. With free postage. Mine is a simple all metal adapter with no fancy focus chips. On Aperture Priority (Av) mode on the EOS it works a treat.
Adding it up, this set up cost me about £12, including film.
Obviously the film you can only use once, and there are development costs each time.
But there are no excuses on the grounds of cost in getting started with shooting film (or resuming the passion you retired to the sidelines years ago).
What else does £10 buy you these days?
Are you making excuses about getting started in shooting film?
Or, like me, do you try to shoot on a shoestring budget?
Please let us know in the comments below.
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