Remember When Cameras Used Film?

Remember when you had to put film in a camera to take pictures?

I do.

My first camera was plastic and gray and flat and had a picture of the Go-Bots emblazoned on the top.  The Go-Bots were fictional cartoon robots that were like a poor man’s Transformers and had nothing to do with the camera’s functioning.

My Go-Bots camera, like all cameras at the time, required film to take pictures.  The film was rolled up inside of a cartridge and contained a limited number of pictures. The number of pictures ranged from 12 to perhaps 48 at the outer limits.  There were no film cartridges that took 500 pictures, at least not at the film kiosks where I was getting ripped off.

The film cartridge that my camera required was in the shape of two small tubes connected by a flat plastic piece.  It looked like a little Torah scroll.  Taking a flash picture required buying a cartridge of flash bulbs, which looked like a miniature apartment building made of clear plastic.

One memory of using my Go-Bots camera stands above all others.  In 1989 my parents took me to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Manhattan.  I was not old enough to drink heavily so I really felt the cold.  The only thing that kept me from landing on Planet Whine was my Go-Bots camera and the promise it held for me of a Pulitzer Prize.

The problem was that my allowance afforded me only one roll of 27-shot film.  Even were there exactly 27 floats—and there were far more than that—I would have no chance to take different angles of a float I found particularly compelling.  So I would have to choose.  I could not take pictures of everything.

For each float that approached I employed a three-pronged analysis.  First, how many pictures do I have left?  Second, is this better than what I have already seen?  And third, given how many floats are likely to come by, is this particular float picture-worthy?  Some things, like the many marching bands that went marching by, were easy to pass up…unless there was something unique about it, like a particularly corpulent trumpeter.  Other things, however, were closer calls.

One such close call was a float of friendly dinosaurs in various colors.  “How cool,” I said to myself.  “I simply must preserve these dinosaurs.” And there went 1/27th of my film.

I regretted my decision as soon as the shutter closed.  Not even a giant blown-up Woody Woodpecker could free my mind from my bad decision.  “Why did I waste a picture on those stupid dinosaurs?” I asked myself.  “The dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago.  Those were probably just people dressed up in dinosaur costumes.”

Still unable to accept my own mistake, I started taking pictures of things that were even less picture-worthy than the people dressed up as dinosaurs, as if to show the cosmos that my original decision was correct.  I wasted irreplaceable shots on blown-up cartoon characters that did not have their own show, washed-up celebrities whose last work had been when I was an embryo, and a funnel-cake that someone had obviously found disappointing and thrown in the gutter.  The funnel cake had been stepped on, but I could not even tell if the person who had bought the funnel cake was the same person who had stepped on it.

I was still in denial when the grand finale float approached.  The float that we were all waiting for.  The float that bridged an okay holiday to the only holiday that kids actually cared about.  The shouts of children and adults alike presaged the appearance of that greatest of floats…Santa!  Mommy, I see him!  It’s Santa!  Santa!  Santa!!

It is a well-known fact that Santa Claus is the final float at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  That meant I had made it on my one roll of film.  Just one more picture and all my mistakes would be forgiven.  But when I pressed on the picture-taking button I got nothing.  I was out of pictures.  My hubris had cost me a picture of the most important float.  I had blundered at the critical moment.  During the long, long car ride home I kept replaying the events in my mind.  A hundred times I saved myself from clicking a picture of the dinosaurs and took pictures of Santa from many angles.

That would never happen today.  Had the year been 2009 instead of 1989 I would have had a digital camera with a 300 gigabyte SD flash whatever and could have taken as many pictures as I wanted, of anything, and still had plenty left over for the Big S.  I could have deleted those pictures of the dinosaurs the moment I realized I did not want them.

I now have a digital camera, and I have used that digital camera to take thousands of pictures, pictures that, along with the ones I took on film with my Go-Bots camera, allow me to relive the moments of my life, good and bad, happy and sad, again and again for as long as I live.  Pictures that I have not looked at once since I took them.

Thanks to Carly Kulig for the topic.

0 thoughts on “Remember When Cameras Used Film?

  1. Perhaps I’m dating myself, but I remember film in cameras, too. Heck, I still have a few rolls of film around the house somewhere…I’m thinking they’re prom pix, which is why they remain undeveloped!

    And on a related note, remember those silly Polaroid disk cameras? That was one of my first…

    Great walk down memory lane. Thanks! 🙂

  2. I remember my first camera lol I took it with me on my plane trip and I had to take it out my bag because the film would get messed up if it went through the screening equipment… Just imagine if you forgot!! Thank God for the digital age lol

    1. It’s funny how some of the most vivid memories of a gadget are of protecting its delicate parts. Remember when we could choose to not send something through the screener? Hmm…

  3. Hey, I needed film for the waterproof camera I bought in Cairns last year. The one the pharmacist tried to sell me was 2 years out of date & I had to seek out a specialist photo shop to buy some. Next time I visit. I’ll look for a waterproof digital camera that doesn’t cost the earth.

    1. @Tooty Nolan, Yea so does everyone else that has a phone these days. If I need to take a picture, I just whip out my iPhone and snap away. Thanks for the digital age! lol

  4. Love this post – as a photographer I think about this all the time. Whenever I take pictures of kids and they ask to see the image right away – they will never know what it was like to have to wait until your dad finished the 27 images on the film (which with my frugal family took months) and then the agony of waiting 2 weeks for the drug store to process your film.

    1. Thank you, Catherine. And you bring up an interesting point – I was only thinking about running out of pictures. I forgot about not taking enough and having to wait to use them all. I have at least half a dozen disposables that each have two or three pictures left on them. I wonder what’s on them.

  5. It is amazing how many pictures a Digital camera can hold, but show me a memory device that is made today whether it is a flash drive, hard drive, CD, DVD or any other device that in 100 years found in an attic would still have a readable image. Film and glass negatives have been found that old and can still produce a good image. Many of us run them through scanners to fix them. By the way the inks used in photo prints have not proven to last more then 25 to 35 years well preserved. Digital systems are excellent if one can afford it but film will always be the original teacher of photography. Photograph wisely.

    1. I agree with you Mortholigist about your take on film and photography, one day this will be considered a lost art-form. As a matter of fact, there are some photography schools that offer courses on how to develop film, process film, and create works of art using standard photography. I should have brought some of that Kodachrome when it was around in abundance.

      1. Is that what Paul Simon was singing about? Just kidding – I have a friend who has done some amazing things with film – overlays, superimposing things, altering the shutter speed – things that would not look the same were they done with Photoshop.

      2. I really enjoyed this post and all of these comments. The first cameras that I remember using were the instant polaroid with 600 film and also the instant izone camera that produced mini stick-on-stuff polaroid pictures. I still have a few polaroids floating around my room and like a million mini izone pictures.. I think I was obsessed with that camera when I had it. Then we got our first digital camera that had a whopping FIVE megapixels- WOO! I had always wanted an SLR but never got one until I went into art school for photography four years ago. Photo 1 required 35 mm SLR cameras and black and white film.. I finally borrowed one from a friend and now four years later still love holding film cameras, processing, and making prints. I feel blessed to have stumbled into the photography program at ASU and meeting the people there. They even had a full on RA-4 color processor and even though the machine looks like it has seen better days it still makes prints and teaches the process that was once the norm. I graduated last month and feel a little lost. What’s next.. The future is digital but that doesn’t mean film is obsolete. Let’s show the world film has its benefits and can stand up to digital. You may not be able to take as many pictures at one time but it teaches you to really see and compose a decent shot rather than just snapping pictures and praying for a good one out of a thousand.

    2. I did not know that. I had always figured that digital was better than not because…I don’t know. I guess convenience often requires sacrifice of quality. Thanks for the info, M.

  6. oh man, those were the days. going to the store to get them developed and eagerly anticipating those pictures! (and then getting sad when they turned out bad haha)

    digital cameras have really changed the game

    1. I know what you mean J DUBBS. I once spent a whole roll of film at the Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC, only to get back a portfolio of mushy gray masses. I don’t know what I was doing wrong. All I have now are the memories in my brain. And the mushy gray masses.

    2. I recently got a roll of 35 mm color film developed and remember being thrilled when some of the colors were off due to a light leak on the film.. It made the picture with the light leak more interesting than the same composition next to it without the leak. I love fun surprises like that 🙂

  7. My son had one of those cameras and remembers it to this day…it was some other character and was a once usage disposable and he loved it. I wonder if he was as critical of himself…I hope not! It is amazing how times change… is it better or worse…did we appreciate things more then?It’s a conundrum…

    1. It’s an open question, Evie, one of the biggest questions. Is progress really progress? On one hand, certain things are lost forever. On the other hand, you have to get people something for their birthdays.

  8. Aren’t digital cameras wondeful?!? Although, I will say…there is an element of anxiety lost when you have unlimited shots, as opposed to 27 opportunities to capture greatness. You have to make each shot count! Great post…kudos on FP!

  9. You say it like is been ages! I had my first digital in my 16th birthday – 7 years ago and 4 years after I decided to go back to film, I just love film too much.

    I think even tho’ digital these days is so pretty and neat, it doesn’t have the ‘spirit’ film has, besides when you are paying for each shot you take, you have to pay more attention on what the hell are you doing and not take pictures of anything useless just because you can.

    Plus everyone likes you when you have film 😀 hahaha

    I still have a couple point and shoot, a reflex, a holga and a diana, all film. They are my lil’ family and I love them!

    1. Once again, Esteli, we see that less is often more – less shots, more meaning. Makes sense to me. But I have to ask, don’t the people you photograph demand to see the picture the instant you take it so they can confirm they were not blinking?

  10. I really miss print photos, actually. Who doesn’t love thumbing through photo albums and remembering childhood, happy moments, embarrassing periods in our lives (middle school, anyone?), etc…

    1. I always liked thumbing through other people’s albums and reliving their embarrassing haircuts and clothes. As for my own albums, I’m happy to let someone else do the thumbing while I go get an ice pop or something.

  11. Great story! I have similar memories of wasting film…at the zoo. The animals were my weakness. After I’d get the film developed I realized a trip to the zoo is kind of one of those “in the moment” things. Once you get home and see all those animals’ sad faces behind bars its just not as awesome….

    1. What a coincidence – when I was writing about the rip-off film kiosks, I was picturing a kiosk I visited at a zoo. No joke. Thanks for the comment – I’m glad you liked the post.

  12. That must be devastating for not having to take Santa’s picture back then. I, too remember the “film” age. Aside from the family’s point and shoot camera, I used a family friend’s SLR for my photography class in college where I spent a lot on films. Unlike your experience back then, I always had extra films whenever I shoot, but it’s still limited of course. It was a great experience though using films. You really have to capture the scenes well because you don’t want to waste your film.

    BTW, congrats on being featured on Freshly Pressed!

  13. It’s unfortunate all the lessons that kids will miss out on these days. Humming along to the dial-up connection noise. Patience with Pentium 1 computers with floppy-disk drives. And learning the value of limited opportunities with limited expensive rolls of film.

    1. Definitely. In a world where everything is seamless, you miss out on the joy of running your fingers over the seams. And almost no one knows what you mean. But I do, Mohammed. Thanks for the comment.

  14. I truly appreciate being able to take as many pictures as I can without being concerned about the cost. Film, film processing and printing are expensive. But, it is a trade-off. I recall the first time in a darkroom developing my own film–it was magical seeing that image (negative) on the film….And then watching an image slowly emerge on photopaper…well, again, magical.

    –jim gilmore

  15. I remember film of course, but I’m young enough to not had my own film camera. I would just use my parents’. Sometimes I think digital cameras should not have been invented…I take WAY too many pictures! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed. 🙂

    1. My first camera was a Kodak 110 — tiny negatives! I moved up to a 35mm manual load (aligning the sprockets) /manual wind camera, then a camera that still needed to be manually loaded, but was auto-wind/rewind — Wow! I was quite the shutterbug. Now we have digital cameras and iPods, camera phones, etc. all over, and I hardly remember to take a pic sometimes.

  16. The only thing I really miss about film in cameras is the little 35mm film canisters. Those things were incredibly useful for storing little bits of junk …

  17. Film cartridges like little Torah scrolls – love that.

    I realize this is a bit weird, but one thing film does that digital imaging can never do, is give you back the exact piece of material (the film negative or slide) that was exposed to the same light as you were and was present with you when the image was captured. When I look at decades-old slides or negatives, it’s kind of cool to think that you’re holding an actual piece of history – yeh – I know – weird.

    With digital, who can say which is the “original” image – they’re all originals.

    1. Good point there! I’m kind of a photo nerd so it doesn’t sound weird at all. Thanks for the input. I also liked the comment on film cartridges resembling little Torah scrolls 😉 ..Awesome!

  18. I still use a film camera once and a while. I have my dad’s old Pentax that he bought when He was in the navy, long before I was even a twinkle in his eye. Sometimes I want it to be slightly out if focus. I like to be able to create different effects without the aid of a computer. For quick shots of kids on the move you can’t beat a digital.

  19. I do remember. My first camera (cost $10) used to have film. I couldn’t take much shot because a film cost much especially the development and printing. Good that we now got digital cameras.

    I honestly don’t miss the age of camera with films.

  20. “Pictures that I have not looked at once since I took them.” So True! What i wonder is why they still sell disposable cameras at the grocery store. Does ANYONE buy those things?

    1. Funny you asked… my teen recently took a trip to the mountains, digital video/still camera in hand… but, the battery went dead, of course she has lost her charging cable… so she bought one of those disposables at a local market because she didn’t want to miss any photo ops! Crap, now I have to get that thing developed!!

  21. Mmm me too still have hundreds of photos in carrier bags stored in cupboards and when they are opened spend far too long looking back on them. But must say miss the anticipation of having dropped off the film and then collecting to see what I have photographed but not such a waste now as they can be deleted but you know never had any printed since digital and really must back up my memories!

  22. I have a 110 SLR camera made by Pentax. The problem I have is that 110 film has been discontinued. I still have one cassette I have not opened that I’ve kept for sentimental reasons. By the way the last time I used film was many years ago when I went to Greece and used a 35mm SLR instead of my new digital camera.

  23. I think the limited number of pictures you have with film can help your photography to an extent. Instead of just taking the picture because you can, you have to ask yourself if it’s really worth it. That being said, I shoot digital and enjoy having 200-400 shots on a card, and editing and storing hundreds of RAW files makes you think twice about taking a picture sometimes.

  24. I remember my first camera. I got it at a birthday party (sometime in elementary). It was a flat, pink camera, with the best wrist strap ever. I think I went through at least one roll of film a week, wasted on just about anything around the house. Sadly, my sister got a matching camera in the color I really wanted 6 weeks later for her birthday…

  25. I love photography which is why it is amazing and disappointing to see the pictures people take nowadays because what used to be “capturing a moment” now happens every day because people take millions of pictures a day.

  26. i held out on getting a digital camera until 2009…it just isnt the same. i miss taking my roll of film in that might hold pics from 6 months ago, getting them developed and reliving the memories. instant gratification comes with its prices.

  27. Great story! I remember the flat, rectangular Kodak cameras that had the wind-up wheel to cross from one picture to another (before there was a ‘click’ there was a ‘wheetwheetwheet’). And you’re right about taken but never seen pictures. Just ran across this on a grand, mid-19th century scale– check out

  28. When I finally “went digital” (well after all the smart people in the world were already on that bandwagon), I purchased the digital version of my 33mm camera, because I would be able to swap lenses between the two. Predictably, I didn’t pick up my 33mm for another four years (four printless photo years, might I add – I never seem to actually DEVELOP digital pictures) until last October when I went to the horse races. I decided to load up some professional film, notch on the zoom lens and lug that heavy 35mm around for the day. I went through the same mental process as your 1989-year-old self did and I left feeling pretty proud of myself. And then I took the film out of the camera.
    Black and white. I shot an entire day at the horse races in beautiful fall weather with BLACK AND WHITE FILM. Then I took the pictures to be developed. Did you know they can’t develop black and white film in-house anymore? It was $17.99 to send it out for single prints. And I still haven’t gotten them after three weeks. SEVENTEEN NINETY-NINE. For 24 pictures that may or may not be blurry, and may or may not be good pictures because I wasn’t worrying as much about lighting since I thought I was shooting in color. Let’s revisit this: SEVENTEEN NINETY-NINE! Excuse me while I breath into a paper sack…
    That being said…it was much more fun to shoot with film. So……

    1. Thank you for the good comment. Once you go digital, you’ve got to go digital all the way, which means no physical photo of any kind. Think you’re too good for electrons? Give me $17.99 and don’t call me for at least three weeks. Isn’t that nice?

  29. Because film isn’t such a distant memory for me. I was shooting film up to 5 or 6 years ago, and my husband still uses film for his infared photography, and so still has to ration his shots. My favorite part of the story is the following descripton:
    “The Go-Bots were fictional cartoon robots that were like a poor man’s Transformers”
    Exactly how my husband describes them

  30. I believe film photography helps you be more involved in the picture; for by viewing the picture be developed in a dark room, you are witnessing the birth, as you like, of a piece of art. Nowadays, with digital photography so controlling, you are relying on a machine to produce your shot. You are not as involved in the creation proccess, therefore you have not put so much of yourself into the image.

  31. Those little box cameras with the film took really awful pictures too. I am so glad I don’t have to pay to have pictures developed anymore. I remember also taking pictures from vacations and have them developed and going to pick them up, only to find that they were lost. “Oh, we will refund your price of the film”, they would say. “I don’t want film, I want my pictures of my diving vacation, the one I will never go on again.”

  32. Now I take 300 pictures of Santa Claus, download them to the computer, let them sit for two years, and then try to make a photo book from thousands of almost identical pictures. Guess we traded one problem for a different problem.

  33. There are many analogue photographers still working today within all realms of photography. I currently sold my dslr for a hasselblad and wont be looking back. Its kinda absurd to title a blog post like that…

  34. What a great post. This story is told with such a great voice. Yes, I remember the scroll rolls and polaroids and, oh, you know. I love the line that you blundered at the critical moment. The more I think about it, your tale reminds me of an episode of The Wonder Years, something 1989 could definitely relate to!

    1. Thank you. I’m really glad you liked the post. I had no idea it was going to get this kind of a reaction. And the Wonders Years rocked. Today I bet Wayne would stalk people on Facebook.

  35. I had a Hello Kitty camera, and it was the best! I found an old box of pictures not too long ago (pictures of twigs, gravel, and even the all-exciting sandbox). I had your same sense of capturing the right angle and artistic photo, but the pictures never quite turned out that way!
    Great post & congrats on FP,

  36. How great is that! Yes, I remember them as well. As I am in the process of moving, I just ran across some as well…..WOW! 🙂 Which also reminds me of the cassette tape era. I took some brand new cassette tapes to church to see if someone could use them….the first response was…”what is this?!” haha! They did take them with the thoughts they could possibly be used but it was just another reminder of how fast life changes. 🙂 Thanks for the writing!

  37. I still have darkroom equipment. When the photos appear in the water I feel like I am watching a magic show. I have a nice digital but theres something priceless about images transforming in, what is probably toxic chemicals, right below your face.

  38. I just blogged about the film camera I got for Christmas. Man its so expensive to maintain. And not to mention the hassle of getting used to film after using Digital for ages!

  39. I have a digital SLR and my favorite thing about it is that I don’t have to think through every shot I take. I use it mostly on hiking trips with friends and they like it when I’m not solely focused on my camera.

    That being said, I grew up hanging out with my dad in the darkroom he set up in our basement and he’s promised to pass the set-up on to me when I have room for it. Can’t wait.

  40. I still love it when I decide to de-clutter my home office or go through old stored boxes and find old used film. All the way to the store to have them developed I’m excited and guessing what they might be. The reality is usually that half of them were bad but it’s in the anticipation.

  41. I love oldschool and frequenting a darkroom. Nothing beats manipulating a photo in the dark room. K…maybe photoshop. But still it’s fun doing that.
    Now you can take just as good pics with your phone and it’s easy to send to your computer instead of downloading it from your camera.
    Great story growing up. Very funny!!

    1. Thank you. And yes, for ease of use nothing beats taking a pic with your camera and wirelessly transmitting it to your computer. In the middle ages this would be black magic.

  42. While not a Go-Bots camera, my first camera was just like yours. It had the Tora-Scroll film and the clear-plastic tenament building flash bulbs. Mine was just a little black box, that when you opened it it become a camera. With a handle! I’m not sure if the handle was supposed to help or if it was just a byproduct of the hard- plastic cover on a hinge. I used it for many years, and other cameras as the years went on.
    A few weeks ago my wife and I were walking through one of the local big-box stores when we came upon the photo albums. They were on sale and I asked if she wanted to get one. She said we didn’t really have a need for them; but then she pointed at the picture frames and said, “You know, I’d like to hang some pictures of us up in the house.”
    I smiled and nodded, agreeing it was a good idea. So good I couldn’t think of why we hadn’t done it earlier. Then I remembered why and exclaimed, “Umm, Hon. All of our pictures are on the computer. We don’t have any pictures to hang up.”
    The only camera we even own any more is digital, so oh well on the album.

    ~Rick Shaw

    1. Nice. And now you can gather ’round the viewfinder and press the little plastic button while sharing a bowl of popcorn and reliving special moments. For the pictures on the wall, just use the ones that come with the frames. That’s what I do.

  43. I remember getting one of those Polaroid cameras for Christmas that required those big packs of film that you had to immediately pull out of the camera after shooting and wave it around to develop on the spot. I think you had to peel it apart.
    I love my digital camera because I can do so much with it. It’s made photogrpahy affordable for me. With all the images I take, I could never afford to do that with film and the cost of developing.
    But I do remember instances like the one you related in your post where you had to make sure you didn’t waste your film on things that were not going to be that important in the end. Not fun.

  44. I remember my first camera with film…one day i took a picture of a car, everybody was saying that i’m using my shots for nothing… I wish i had a digital camera when my friend was taking photos…in that way his legs or finger wouldn’t appear in the picture. Now i got my hands on an old professional camera with film and i was thinking about making a darkroom to make really special photos..
    Nice article…brought back a lot of beautiful memories!
    Peace! C.

  45. As an extension benefit of care-free digital photo shooting that already turned moms into semi-professional photographers, you don’t have to scan your film for retouching and you can have your favorite image professionally perfected by an online retouching service for the price of a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

  46. Wow what a great post. I have not thought about film in a while.

    Digital pictures are awesome but I rarely look at them and they sure are not in an a book like my old photos.


  47. I’ve always been tempted to travel somewhere only taking with me a film camera and two rolls. That would force me to capture my journey in the most thoughtful way possible. Unfortunately I’m too sacred to do that!

  48. wow with all these comments i wonder if mine will find you.
    I remember in 2004 when i got my 1st “camera with no more film or batteries to buy..”, and i love it. if only i could go back in time and get my money back for all the money i spent on film. i took a lot of pictures..but i do love my digital camera

  49. I remember ‘rationing’ photos. You just couldn’t waste the film on anything. You took group pictures and had one chance. There was no checking and retaking involved. Those were ‘exciting’ days. The day that you would collect the photos and flick through. However, I too love digital. My camera is on me like my mobile (all the time).

  50. Within children at the age of 10 all around the world are still using the oldfashioned disposable camera, every picture is a beatiful surprise

  51. I’m not all that old, but I do remember cameras with actual film and such. I used to play with a small polaroid one when I when little. My mom gave it to me and told me to take as many pictures as I could with it. I loved that thing. She even made me an album of all the pictures I took from that camera too.

  52. Geez, I was going through a drawer yesterday and came across one of those Kodak throw away cameras. OMG, I have to send out for prints with that!!!????? my pantry…I have a couple hooks for hanging various odd things and one of those odd things is a roll of Kodak film….still in the package unopened. It falls off the hook now and then. I wonder if it will be a collectors item someday?? I must have at least 10 Kodak cameras. I use my Kodak Digital now, but even that has gone outdated. I’ll just get a new one now and put the other digital with the rest of the vintage stash. I should display them in a chronological order some how to show how they’ve developed through the ages.

  53. I made the transistion from film to digital a few years ago and sold off my 35mm collection. I still shoot digital but lately I’ve been going back to film especially b&w. The reasons:

    1. Despite the cost of developing film the the savings from digital are illusory. I’m tired of the megapixel digital arms race and if you print the equivalent of a 35mm quality image from digital you need an expensive printer that eats ink like candy. If I drop my old rangefinder I’ll pick it up and start shooting again provided I didn’t crack the lens. If I drop a plastic bodied digital I’ll be buying a new camera.

    2. I get better results with a 35mm rangefinder than I get with my 6.1 mega Pentax.

    3. I’ve shot thousands of digital images but I have very few [expletive] pictures from digital other than those on my computer hard drive.

    4. Digital made me a lazy photographer. I shot thousands of images because I could shoot thousands of pictures. I played the law of averages (something has to come out good if I shoot so many) instead of thinking about technique and composition.

    I haven’t abandoned digital but I think there’s room for both.

    1. Thanks for the comment. I, and I’m sure many others, will appreciate your reasons. I bet that many if not most switchers to digital did so on impulse and stay with digital because they cannot deal with anything that does not have a viewfinder.

  54. I was elementary school when I used camera with film. So many broken picture when I print the film….hehehe,,limited picture and no place to safe much pictures.

  55. Great story and the trip back to your memories was fun, and technology seems to do that. Imagine if everyone in the 60’s heard of cars that did 30 mpg and where faster than what they had? haha

  56. I’d love to be able, to understand how to use film camera! I had an old point and shoot long time ago, however when I bought Zenit not so long ago, I had to watch youtube video just to figure out how to insert the film. Shame on me!

  57. Oh how I remember. I still shoot black and white film on a rare occasion. My very first job was working in a film lab – remember Fox Photo and Fotomat?
    My first job was at Fox Photo back in the 70’s. My favorite film lab was the Fotomat Lab, you know, they had the drive up kiosk and got your film back the next day. I actually helped build the east coast Fotomat lab and also ran the Houston Cine film machine that processed your negatives. Those were some of my best memories.
    Great blog and congrats on FP

  58. film cameras are the best! you have so much control over your shot. i don’t go out and take pictures nearly as much as i should, but maybe this post will inspire me to go out again!

  59. You are downright hilarious. I still have those–used–all over my house. I even found a neon blue clunky instant ‘underwater camera’ that my kids used a thousand years ago that I never developed. And they need to make a movie about Go-Bots, soon.

  60. All those fun memories of film! I remembered less than 20 years ago, when I landed in this country, I was so excited to have bought a $20 camera in Fedco. Fedco has since been gone and films are only enjoyed by some that are serious about film photography, well, except for one friend that stocked up on films that he’s still using them nowadays.

    I, myself, resisted the idea of going digit. Call me “old soul”. 🙂 But I learned photography in its digital format and appreciated now that I’m a professional.

    Congratulations on being freshly pressed, Mark! Great post and thanks for bringing back those memories. Now can we capture those in photographs? 😉

    1. Thank you. It was a great surprise and fun reading all the comments, although I have had more productive days (but well worth it). Thanks for the comments and I’m glad to bring back memories.

  61. I remember my first camera, it had Mickey Mouse on it! I didn’t know how to use it, so I accidentally blinded myself with the flash. My parents never got me film for it though, or a Barbie Jeep. I feel deprived…

  62. I sure do remember the days of film. I took far fewer pictures, and sometimes my film sat around forever waiting to be developed. It was a lot of fun to get evelopes full of pictures, take them out, thumb through them. That’s something you don’t really get to do any more. I still have many negatives that I bought a scanner for and need to get scanned into my computer so I can see those pictures again — I want all my pics in folders on my computer so I can peruse them on the screen.

  63. Hee. My first camera was a Kodak Disc. It took about 15 pictures per disc of film. I discovered it around here about 2 years ago but (after a bit of nostalgic reminiscing) I got rid of it. Purists can still find film for their “real” cameras, but I’m pretty sure the last unit of disc film in the US was sold in the 90s. Thanks for the memories! 🙂

  64. I’ve had similar experiences and memories. The only downside to digital is that I now end up with so many shots that I spend hours agonizing which of the 15 angles and lighting of the object of my desire is the BEST 🙂
    Thanks for bringing back fond memories.
    Be well,

  65. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I clearly remembered the first time my dad trusted me to take some pictures on our family’s picnic. But the moment the pictures were developed they were all clumsy shots! Only a few of the pictures are good. And my dad didn’t trust me with the camera anymore. Not until I was 12 years old back then. Surely he regretted it a bit trusting a 9 years old to take shots of the family’s picnic. But the lessons of it for me was that – a good picture requires a good angle . And you can’t waste the shots because it’s pricey with the developing cost back then. Now I have my own digital camera but I didn’t take lots of pictures with it. I still valued the lessons I got from the good-old-days of using film camera. And oh… my dad still kept his camera eventhough its broken now. 🙂 I guess it have some sentimental value to him now that he had to trust me to take pictures of the family’s picnics.

  66. I used to buy disposable cameras in high school and then had to wait until all 27 pictures were used to develop it. This led to 4 mildly good pictures with grainy quality and 23 pictures of the floor.

  67. Working in a photolab, many many people still take pictures via film. It’s not as popular, but any photolab will see a half dozen rolls a week.

    If anything, film photography is far less appreciated than the digital counter part and I urge anyone who wants to start using DSLR camears to use a film SLR first.

  68. awww, what a sweet and entertaining story! =P I happen to love shooting film, in my vintage SLRs (a Cosina and a Minolta) but the cost of film and developing keeps me from doing it often.

  69. Great post. I churned through cameras that used 110 film, and finally settled on a 35mm camera. That went the way of the dodo when digital came along.

    I just fired my camera up, there are still over a thousand shots available. Sweet!

  70. well guys and gals…. i have you all beat. i used to help my older brother develop film the old school way back in the 1950’s. BAA HAA HAA – i doubt that there is anyone as old as me in the comments. Still kicking it as a retired baby boomer hippie chick screaming my way into senior hood like Maxine on steroids.

  71. I remember when I started doing photography years ago I had a Canon AE-1 Program camera that used film. Now I have a Fuji DLSR, but my fondest memories are with the old Canon camera that I once used.

  72. I remember my first camera was an advantix camera and then a poloroid one. Which i really wish that the poloroids had stuck around, i really like the look of the photos it developed. They’re very nearly obsolete now. But i guess just because i work in a photolab i see rolls of 35mm film everyday to be developed. Tons of people still have the old cameras and get the disposable ones. They’re going to stick around for a long time still i think. 110 is out and advantix is going obsolete too tho.

  73. Major KUDOS!! I actually read your entire post and every single comment replying on a few. I must’ve read a hundred comments or so before I got here on the bottom of the page. It is nice to know there are people who share the same nostalgia for the good-ole-days with film 🙂 Reading through these comments was kind of like thumbing through a box of old photographs and memories <3 Thanks for writing this post!

  74. I recently found some expired film at my mother’s house – generally 15 years over due. I decided to put them into my Nikon F3 to shoot some photos. I am excited to see if it would still turn out as it should. But I think I am more interested in any varying results it may have. It would at least show something, I hope. I’ll post some updates as soon as I got the rolls developed!!! 🙂 Speaking of technology, I just learned that the Nikon F3 was very advanced for its time. Technology truly is a phenomenon.

  75. My question is, how did the pictures turn out of the Thanksgiving Parade? Were the dinosaurs not worth taking? Did the washed up celebrities turn out okay? Was it worth it at the time to take the pictures you did?

    Love this post. I never used much film, but after having my digital camera go out, I long for the days of cameras that lasted years, and years.

  76. Pingback: Now what? |
  77. And I’ve just dusted the cobwebs off my trusty EOS 500 after years of being on the shelf. Amazingly, I can still power it up, though I’ve yet to burn a roll of film with it.

  78. Oh the days when you would have to roll your film to take your next picture. I miss those cameras. I miss going to get the film developed too–the excitement and anticipation of how well (or not) your photo turned out to be. Awesome! I’m pretty sure the first camera I had was just a regular one–no fancy Go-Bots, but I remember how excited I was when my parents said I could get one. All for myself too! Good times 🙂 Thanks for the trip down memory lane and congrats on being Pressed!

  79. Straight up, that is messed up!
    I wouldn’t know what to do with a camera. I don’t like camera.
    I like to take pictures on my iPhone and I take pictures of my lol friends going loco! We had a school dance and I took over 400 pictures and 15 videos. I wish that I had an iPhone in my eyes so I could just blink and it would be uploaded to my phone. If I had a camera I would throw it away and be like: “maybe the dump with develop my film” lol!
    I just took a picture of myself writing this comment.
    Ryan McGivern

  80. Film, just like the other things of the good old days had that power of the old saying “easy come easy goes” in reverse. Because it’s limited and costly (film shot, processing power), we would put higher value in it and more personal feeling to the process and result.
    Plus because it’s perceived as more difficult, there’s a pride in doing it (saw some instances of extremists that think those not shooting film in all manual or do programming in low level language is just doing child’s play)

    That said, I only had short time shooting film and always enjoyed the shooting itself more than the result (and hate being photographed enough to have limited number of myself in photo album).
    Had a film SLR, but rarely take it because it’s too heavy to bring both that and the digital out.

  81. It was utterly expensive! A penny or a dime for every snap! Now he have the freedom to shoooooot!

  82. Pingback: hangman
  83. Why Images will fades after several years to come I can’t almost imagine even in pictures film or in computer data driver? This articles remain all my photos in past. Thanks for sharing this memorable topic.

  84. Great post and congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! It is amazing to think we have gone from large cameras which eat up roll upon roll of film to being able to take pictures on a mobile phone in only a matter of decades.

  85. awsome post. I remember film camera’s too. I was the only one of my mates at uni that could be bothered with the hassle of changing rolls during a night out or actually keeping one on me at all times. My film camera lived with. I never cared about the cost of the film as it was easy to forsake a couple of drinks on a night out for the cost of new film. The best part would be getting them back from the lab and being suitable amazed and disappointed at what came out. Thanks to the patients i had dealing with film while at uni i now have loads of pictures of that time of my life, most of my friends are lacking in that sense. I now have a digital and i absolutely rinse the memory card for all its worth, download and rinse again. Poor memory card doesnt know whats hit it.

  86. I remember the time when cameras used film too. I still have an old film camera somewhere in my closet. It’s a one time use camera, and I can take 10 pictures with it after throwing it away. Somehow, I’ve never used that camera.
    I’m just too busy previewing and deleting pictures on my CyberShot, then taking new ones. Sometimes I’m so busy deleting and previewing, that I don’t pay attention when a great shot passes by me. In a flash, it’s gone. Others have seen it, I’ve not. I’ve not seen the scene and I’ve not got a memory of it to hold onto.
    Ashley, aka TheEverydayMuser

  87. As a die-hard film user, and someone who used a similar camera when I was a kid (it was a Kodak that took 127 cartridges and had the flash bars), this brings lots of memories and laughs. As to the cost thing though, digital is cheaper ONLY if you never print your photos, and you shoot a cheap digicam. Think about all the hardware you need to support that camera – computer ($1K+/-), printer (another $500), ink ($$$$$$$… you don’t even wanna ask. My Epson costs over $150 to replace a full ink set!). And then the camera – $3500 for a Canon 5D with the kit lens! All that to match the quality I can get out of a used $100 film camera. $4900 buys a LOT of trips to Costco for same-day developing.

  88. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I had clean forgotten the torah-films. Now as for digital cameras – you forget that they too tend to give up on you when you need them most. My husband and I climbed up to the Prague castle when we were there for a vacation and even found a prime spot for a picture. Nothing doing. “You remembered to bring the spare battery, didn’t you hon?” Well. That’s one picture we never took…

  89. So happy that someone wrote about their memory and well to be honest I feel that this memory is so much fun because its through a struggling limit of 24 and not through a 3bizzilion gb a machine gun dslr =)

  90. Good trip down memory lane.

    When we had the old camera’s, you had to get prints in hardcopy, I guess we get lazy these days and not get them printed because we take so many and it sometimes takes that long to sift through them and choose…were we better photographers when we knew each capture had to count?

  91. The first time I shot film was about 4 years of age. My father was a photographer and had a darkroom in the house. I even did my university art classes in film. I love film, but it isn’t economical anymore. There is not a digital camera on the market (even the most expensive pro cameras) that can mimic the visual quality and feel of film.

  92. Gone are the days when I would spend hours in the darkroom processing my own black and white films and making my own prints on the enlarger and developing and fixing them in the chemical baths. There were endless possibilities in the darkroom. There was solarization, superimposition, creating art photographs using high contrast contact film and photographic paper, etc, etc. Solarisation was my favourite technic because you could make quite surreal pictures with it. However, my last darkroom stint was years ago before pressure of life and work cut me off from my hobby. Now, with the age of film and darkroom coming to an end, there will be no going back even if I want to, I suppose. That’s life, Mark, but your post fills me with nostalgia.

  93. Sure, today you would have had unlimited pictures available…. but the battery would have died from the cold after takeing about 15 pictures. So in the ned, you are probably well ahead.

  94. I remember my first camera and my second camera. In fact, I have a film to be processed and I don’t even know if it can be processed or what will be on it! And photos were processed and you went to collect them from the photography shop – oh the bygone days.

  95. I remember when cameras took film and I’m 26. I have two cannon 35mm cameras, one loaded with b&w and one with low speed color film. Great recollection of your tryst as a child, I find very similar things occur with me even nowadays and with digital, instead of running out of pictures you run out of batteries.

    Ever though of going back just to get that picture of Santa?

  96. Many people still use film cameras, I just had a friend conduct a photo shoot of me with his film camera. I, myself, am considering a Diana Deluxe lomography set that uses standard 35mm film. The only problem is developing without your own darkroom, because some pictures, you want to come out a certain way. Anyway, film is currently trending, so I am ecstatic about that.

  97. What a fun read! I especially loved flashbulbs. The tower kind you described were so innovative! My niece informs me that among some of The Young People it is becoming popular to use film again. Even at my age I think, “why bother?”

    Thanks for a fun read!

  98. I definitely remember the old days but have embraced the new days.
    thousands of film photos collecting dust – not one person looks at them
    789 photos taken on my last vacation – not one of them printed.

  99. Hey, you sure get a lot of comments, wish my blog did. Yes, my first camera was a kinda big boxy plastic thing. Mayb it was about 5″x5″x5″. Not only that, but most (if not all? – I was just a kid) photos were in black and white. I had my artsy period (which I kinda am still in) where I took cool photos of buildings at odd angles and things that had neat patterns. I should dig out that old album and scan some of those photos. They were actually pretty good.
    Yes, I LOVE my digital camera. I don’t have to calculate how many photos I have have left and whether I might get a chance to take a better photo if I just wait . . .

  100. Go Bots as the old dinosaur? I still remember those monster accordion cameras with those single-use flashbulbs as big as my fist after they cooled off! And that was before the grocer started accepting film that took 5 days to develop and still might not turn out properly!

    I am getting old!

  101. funny, i just put up a post about how digital photography lets us take thousands of photographs, many of which don’t make the original “cut” and end up being virtually lost in a pile of digital photos in nested folders on our pc’s! it is a good practice to go back through those old folders … you never know what you may find.

  102. I loved this post. I too had film cameras for a while even until 5 years ago. I’m not sure if I love this digital age though. While it gives us the opportunity to right our wrongs and make mistakes there was still something about having limitations. When I started film school we shot on film. We had a certain amount of roll, so we had to choose our shots wisely and creatively. Now I use my canon 7D to make my films and I can make as many mistakes and tries as I want. Everyday you hear someone talk about the importance of preserving film and using film. I feel the main reason is because of the limitations. Those limitations make us aware and picky with what we choose. It forces us to be creative. And most of the best work come under that pressure. Now given your age at 1989 you probably couldn’t get past the fact that you didn’t take a pic of Santa, but I bet if you look back at those photos they’re better than anything you could’ve taken with a digital camera. You didn’t appreciate it then, but you might appreciate it now. If you find them you should post them up. I would definitely want to see them.

  103. That’s certainly one of the reasons I love digital cameras – you don’t have to worry about wasting film. I would spend too much time analyzing potential shots, thinking, “Should I take a picture of this? Or would it be pointless?” In many cases, by the time I reached a conclusion, it would be too late. Though there’s something cool about really working hard to set up a good shot instead of snapping hundreds of random photos and sorting through them later, I must admit that I enjoy the flexibility and spontaneity of digital photography.

  104. I still use film on occasion. It just feels so nice to slide a roll of film into he back of a camera. Also it’s exciting to see he photos that eventually come out when they come back from developing.

    I’m glad that some of your most memorable memories photographing happened with a film camera.

    Also, congrats on getting FP.

  105. Sadly the day has come for stories like this. Film is long from dead and I just developed a roll of film in my darkroom last night. I understand the transition from film to digital as a convenience to the user but there is still plenty of film around.

    Polaroid film faced a similar fate recently when sales were down far below what they needed to be. Although there is a company the has recreated a type of Polaroid film, its end marks the greater use of digital.

    Although I don’t expect people to build darkrooms like I have, you should know that there is still plenty of film out there and you can still have fun with it!

    Great topic for discussion.

  106. Fun post. My first camera shot 110 film…remember those cartridges? They snapped grainy photos, but I loved how it fit into my pocket.

    My nearly 3 year old used a digital camera already. She took mine over and snaps all day until the battery dies. And I don’t mind at all.

  107. I went to my husband’s graduation recently and forgot our digital camera and so I had to by 2 disposable ones similar to the one in your picture, but was ashamed to use it because everyone was flashing their digital or phone. I ended up using them at home to capture the kids bugging out. They are however still undeveloped and their whereabouts are currently unknown.

  108. Definitely try a Holga! I got so bored with digital and I love using the Holga. Super fun and creative and the square pics you get back from the medium format film are cool. Great post!

  109. Um, I still have some unused rolls of film (100, 400) after 8 yrs. Guess, I should ditch them… It must be a haz mat. situation by now.

  110. Nobody should be “ashamed’ of the quickie disposable film cameras nor to use that “old” 35mm like you shouldn’t be “ashamed” to play vinyl records as a DJ (as I am not). I have a konica slr that is still in great shape, and I can “compose” better with it and the different lenses I amassed over time than with the digiatl one an ex g/f gave me.
    Only thing is here, the WOLF camera and Motofoto stores have almost all closed, so there is , sadly, noplace to take you 35mm film and get it developed!

  111. I love the disposable cameras. I know it maybe hard to use the cameras that have a film roll as we cannot see the picture that we take.. but somehow the waiting and the surprise used to be lots of fun.
    ooh yes.. I remember it all so well.. those times were good times 🙂

  112. My finger tip is now in pain from having to scroll down so much just to get a comment in here… 🙂

    Anyway, all i wanted to say is, the best *cough* worst *cough* part about film cameras in my experience was when I’d get too excited and improperly pull the roll of film right out when it was done, thus ruining ALL my pictures. Good times. Great post.


  113. I remember film in camera. Heck, polaroids were an awesome invention. Even if I relish at the ability to take 100s of shots per place I travel, I still remember that anticipation of developing a fresh roll of film. Unlike the point/shoot –> delete concept of today, old school film cameras captured the anticipation of every teenage girls first kiss.

  114. Ah, yes. Film cameras! I remember those quite clearly. I think I came quite late to the digital age. Around 7 years ago. I know that because the first digital camera I ever used was my husband’s when he first came to visit me from Sweden before we were married.

    I remember the frustration of desperately wanting to use a beautiful, old SLR a friend gifted me, but I simply couldn’t bring myself to shell out for film and then for a bunch of ‘oops, that was a lousy setting’ learning photos to be developed when I was scraping pennies for the car payment. 😉

    I love digital. Being able to snap the shutter at anything that catches your eye. No film to buy. No cost to develop. There was a certain charm to film though and sometimes, I dust off that old SLR and debate buying a roll of film.

    Thanks for the memories and grats on FP!!

  115. great post….i remember the dreaded wait of having to take the film to see what kinda photo you took and how they actually came out….i remember my parents even forgetting a few rolls of film at the store lol only to get the pictures months after…good stuff

  116. I haven’t heard anybody mention Go-Bots or Leader-1 in years. They always go crazy over Transformers… but some of out there did watch the Bots. 🙂 Congrats on FP!


  117. Hi Mark,

    Good post. I started with film cameras when I was a kid too. And went through the same kind of cost/benefit decisions.

    In my late teens, I finally bought a coveted 35mm Nikon. And started taking some great pictures. But I was pretty poor. When I soon sailed around Vancouver Island with another adventurer, I budgeted 7 shots per day. Each one had to count! I think that I really learned a lot about photography and exposure those six weeks. Once I spent half an hour deciding on a single composition.

    In my twenties, I decided to become a weddding photographer, and worked with a medium format Bronica SQ-A camera. Then every frame cost me just over a dollar! So, if I shot 200 frames at a wedding, my cost would be over 200 dollars! And, you didn’t see the results for a number of days at the earliest.

    It developed a lot of good qualties. Be aware and prepared, for that candid shot. Or for surprise factor such as changing light conditions, out of film or battery power. Have backup equipment. Think about what you’re doing, even all the way down to how you will print this frame in the darkroom. Make quality. Please the customer for repeat business. Do it right the first time. With a wedding, there are no second releases. And it’s one project that cannot be delayed.

    As I work in computers, I don’t see these qualities much. No one’s thinking about what they are doing, other processes or departments, or what happens down the road. So many managers aren’t even concerned with backups of the data. It’s all trial and error. Do it wrong the first time, and fix it in the next version. CPU cycles, like digital frames, are cheap. So are the outsourced workers.

    Etc. It’s quite the contrast.

  118. Great post.

    I love using film.
    I’m not even sure I no how to use a digital camera.
    There is nothing better then the anticipation of waiting for your film to be developed.

  119. I’m actually turning onto the film, although my digital camera is always at my hip, something romantic about certain film cameras. I just got 5 rolls of 220 film off of ebay… This should be an exciting time fro my Duaflex II! 🙂

    My first camera was a neon green one from McDonalds…

  120. Great post! I vividly remember the excitement of delivering a fresh roll of film to the store, and later the anguish of reviewing ruined pictures. I was the one who always seemed to open the back camera hatch (thinking that I had done things properly) before the film was completely wound. Guess I don’t have to worry about that anymore, but still. There was something special about the anticipation, and the moment of retrieving those freshly developed pictures.

  121. I have mixed feelings when it comes to film. Yes, there was always a great sense of anticipation when the film was being developed. Yes, having a small number of exposures caused me to appreciate each shot more, and definitely take a small number of better-quality pictures. But, there is nothing worse than finding the perfect shot, and having just used your last picture… That’s never going to happen with a digital camera. And you don’t have to pay for the bad pictures to be developed — just delete them!

  122. Remember when camera’s used film? Yep, as most of my cameras still do!

    If you probably look hard enough, you might still have your dinosaur picture somewhere in a shoe box. I wonder how many people will tell momentous stories about shooting with their iWhatsits in 20 years time and still have the pictures to prove it.

  123. Pingback: Darel Philip
  124. I am glad to find that I’m not the only person who misses film cameras. It makes me sad to think that the traditional darkroom is fast becoming a dinosaur if it isn’t already one. I remember thinking that traditional processing was very much like magic and I somehow think its sad that you can change a color photo to sepia tone, to black and white with a press of a button. It somehow seems to make photography cold and impersonal to me.

  125. Great post- Congratulations on being freshly pressed!
    Has brought a lot of thoughts to mind…..When i was young, a few times i accidently opened the back piece of the camera- the bit that you open to insert the film….I lost all my photos every time. I have also had one or two camera’s stolen, with film in them and often wonder if the people who ran off with them ever had the photos done. Tehy could have posted them?
    When i recently moved house, i found a few films….. however i actually dont know if people still get photos that way. I wouldnt try though- I have a feeling that they were from my honeymoon 8 years ago…. I have been divorced for almost 4.

    1. Thank you! Wouldn’t that be funny if the camera thieves developed your film and put the photos in a nice photo album and sit around on thief reunions and look at the albums? And they sigh and say, “Those were the days.”

  126. I agree with the guy who mentioned batteries.
    And how about the patch cord to the computer? Or hitting the wrong button, as a friend of mine did, and erasing all your pictures?
    Each new thing comes with its own problems.
    More people can take more wonderful photos now than before.(example: picture line link shows thousands of great shots)
    My old box camera did well when I did.
    Two old photographers I knew, said that their best were taken with box cameras.
    And what of Ansel Adams? He didn’t need digital to do well.
    It still takes some skill to make the most of our new digital world.
    I made a Squidoo Lens that points to my dot WS site”Images of the Past”.
    All those photos were taken with film cameras but transferred to the computer and to the sites via digital means, so both worlds can mix very well.
    Jay Beacham

  127. Another digital error, I deleted my real comment’
    Here it is:”I agree with the guy who mentioned batteries.
    And how about the patch cord to the computer? Or hitting the wrong button, as a friend of mine did, and erasing all your pictures?
    Each new thing comes with its own problems.
    More people can take more wonderful photos now than before.(example: picture line link shows thousands of great shots)
    My old box camera did well when I did.
    Two old photographers I knew, said that their best were taken with box cameras.
    And what of Ansel Adams? He didn’t need digital to do well.
    It still takes some skill to make the most of our new digital world.
    I made a Squidoo Lens that points to my dot WS site”Images of the Past”.
    All those photos were taken with film cameras but transferred to the computer and to the sites via digital means, so both worlds can mix very well.”
    One man mentioned opening the back of the camera and ruining the film. I still do that at times when the auto rewind doesn’twork.
    I like everything manual best.”

  128. But, “great picture can be made with film camera / old lens” shouldn’t be thought as “digital camera / auto focus can’t take great picture” 🙂

  129. I felt slightly ashamed when I handed one of my friends my film cameras to use, and he said “how do I use this??” and then “where do you see the picture you just took??” *sigh*

  130. i love using film cameras. there’s just something about the way the image comes out that gives it an appeal that digitals don’t. i would carry around disposable cameras to get shots when no one was looking.

  131. I love such old school cameras! What I love about taking such photos is the suspense and anticipation in seeing your photos developed! Cheers to that! In fact, Lomography has done a pretty good promotion of such film cameras and even ‘toy-ed’ with them!

  132. Hello Mark,

    I thought of reading through this post since you had mentioned that this was selected by wordpress as a recommended post. Your article brought back so many childhood memories. Even though back then the number of photos that you can take were limited, there was so much value attached to each and every photo. I suppose, it is because of that limit that every single photo was reminisced so fondly.

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article.

Leave a Reply