Shooting on film in 2019 (retro)

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Dan Robinson

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Jan 14, 2011
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stormhighway.com
Do you still have an old 35mm SLR? It's still possible to go retro and shoot on pro film for nostalgia or novelty. Many of the old traditional slide films are no longer made (Sensia, Kodachrome, etc) but a few have made a novelty comeback.

Fuji Velvia, an old staple of lightning photography:
FUJIFILM Fujichrome Velvia 100 Professional RVP 100 Color Transparency Film (35mm Roll Film, 36 Exposures)

Provia:
FUJIFILM Fujichrome Provia 100F Professional RDP-III Color Transparency Film (35mm Roll Film, 36 Exposures)

While most photo labs have either closed or long since ceased E-6 processing, there are mail order labs. Just do a search for E-6 processing and you'll see a few.

For $25 a roll, B&H has a film-with-development-by-mail package for Ektachrome:

Kodak Professional Ektachrome E100 Color Transparency Film with Processing Mailer Kit (35mm Roll Film, 36 Exposures)

For digitizing the slides, you can either get a traditional slide scanner for anywhere from $150-$400, or use your DSLR with this adapter:

Amazon.com : Opteka Digital Slide Copier with Detachable Achromatic 10x Macro Lens for Canon EOS 70D, 60D, 60Da, 50D, 1Ds, 7D, 6D, 5D, 5DS, Rebel T6s, T6i, T5i, T5, T4i, T3i, T3, T2i and SL1 Digital SLR Cameras : Camera Lens Adapters : Camera & Photo
 
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May 18, 2013
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As someone who has done both E-6 (slide) and C-41 (color negative) processing before - I can't recommend that anyone do it. The process is temperature sensitive within a very small range and thus very hard to get good results without the right equipment and a lot of practice.
 
Funny timing on this thread. My mom still has her last SLR from before she went digital, and I've always been curious about it myself, although I don't consider myself a good enough photographer at this point to really make the most of it. That said, it probably won't stop my from trying if I get an opportunity.
 
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Dan Robinson

Staff member
Jan 14, 2011
2,475
2,129
21
St. Louis
stormhighway.com
I might load my old Pentax K1000 with Provia and shoot a little with it this summer. I think it might be interesting to see side-by-side comparisons of lightning on digital vs film.

I only used Provia a few times in the film era and Velvia only once since it is more expensive. Sensia was my main one with a couple hundred rolls used. It was nice because most Walmarts carried it pretty much anywhere in the country. I always had 10 rolls or so on standby. A good storm chase would use up 3 or 4 rolls. Most of the good chases I'd only have 1 roll worth developing, with 2 or 3 good frames on it.
 
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To add to what I said earlier, despite knowing my skills probably aren't up to snuff, but wanting to try anyway, I've considered picking up a 7e SLR (Since I'm already invested in EF lenses and did so keeping in mind I might want to go old school or full frame at some point) just to try and work with it. I've been trying to get my mom to sell me her setup for years but she won't come off even the old SLR, let alone any lenses. I would definitely be curious to see the comparisons as well. Bedford Camera in OKC carries Ektachrome and Velvia (although the website does state currently out of stock for Ektrachrome). I might wander up there tomorrow and ask a few questions out of curiosity.
 
Well, I just pulled the trigger on a Canon Elan 7ne. I'd been keeping an eye on several for sale online, but one that had been listed for a few weeks now had been slowly dropping in price, and dropped significantly to a point where I knew I had to jump on it. Comes with a 75-300 lens as well, so it's not just the body, and I'd been needing a lens of that range anyway, so I was able to kill two birds with one stone.
 
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I also did wander up to Bedford's yesterday. Got to talking about film and the guy I was talking to mentioned that some of the local high schools still have photography classes and teach with film, so the students are more aware and attentive to the settings of the cameras. But they do have Velvia in stock, so when I get my SLR in I won't have to go far to buy rolls.