There is no denying the capabilities of a modern digital camera.

But that sheer weight of flexibility and the resulting number of menu settings, can become what I think of as ‘enjoyment paralysis’ if you are not careful, and become more of a chore than anything else.

Really understanding and setting up a camera for your needs is important if you are to get the most seamless and rewarding use. It is worth the effort.

That is why it is so nice still to pick up and use an old film camera.

And it has not passed me by, that for all the benefits of digital capture, we have also lost a lot.

I meet increasing numbers who still do use or return to using a film camera from time to time. Let alone those discovering it for the first time.

I have just loaded up one of the cameras I would consider as an all time ‘great’ The Olympus OM1 (n). Not the digital models piggy backing onto the name and reputation, but the film original. So simple to use and so enjoyable that photography is in the mind, not so much the kit. Great optical finder and a compact body.

One of my last rolls of Fujichrome Astia 100F went inside. A film I shot a lot of especially during the 90’s and 2000’s. Will probably shoot this roll all in the studio, under controlled conditions.

But it will be a short refreshing pleasure before picking up a digital camera again. So if you have an old film camera that is sitting gathering dust, why not load it up with a roll of film? You don’t have to use it quickly, even a roll a year will give some interesting shots over that time.

I find going back to more fundamental photography (especially with mechanical cameras), means you appreciate digital for it’s strengths more afterwards. Best of both worlds.

JC (09/05/22).