my first film camera, pentax 67ii

I will be blogging my journey with film and some of my thoughts along the way.  I started photography with digital and eventually came around to seeing the benefits and negatives ::roflcopter:: of film several years later.  There are many advantages of digital over film, but I'll highlight some of the qualities of film that I admire.  I prefer medium format film for the look that I can't get with full frame digital SLR; this of course is a highly subjective topic and you may not have the same opinion.  There are some ways to get closer to the medium format look such as shooting with a super large aperture lens or the brenizer method, but for me, it's still not the same.  Dynamic highlight range on film is superb.  Digital is catching up in this regard, but it's not there yet (I currently shoot the d810).  The organic quality of film is something that I really enjoy when I view the scans.  There is also the excitement of waiting for your scans to come back from the lab; no instant gratification as with digital.  Shooting film slows you down.  Each click is several dollars.  This transition to film helped me focus on composition and getting the shot I really want.  With digital, sometimes I find myself doing the 'spray and pray' technique for subject matter that does not require that style of shooting.

On impulse I started out with the pentax 67ii with the 105mm f2.4 lens in September of 2014.  The images below are taken with this combination.  The pentax 67ii is a solid tank, heavier than a full frame DSLR.  The film advance and focusing are manual but there are auto metering options.  There are no removable backs in case you want to change films.  You get 10 shots and then move on to the next roll.  I didn't get to dive into the interwebs yet for all things film.  I just knew I wanted to try one of the larger medium format negatives, 6x7.  I really wanted to use the 67ii system, but with my less than perfect eyesight and glasses in the way, manual focus is just out of the question.  I even ventured out to buy a magnifier for the system, which helped a lot, but it was far too cumbersome and even more time consuming on top of having to manual focus.  I'm just spoiled from having autofocus from every camera I've shot with previous to this.  If you are looking at the pentax 67ii system, it is really amazing if you can manual focus correctly.  Fifty percent of the shots without the magnifier were in focus, ninety percent with the magnifier.  The results from this camera really pushed me to shoot film, but due to my focus issues I ended up selling the camera and moved on with the medium format film camera search.  All shots were with reflected metering from the pentax 67ii with either kodak portra or fujifilm 400H.  I later learned that incident light metering is the way to go for the way I like to shoot and for consistency, but these turned out quite nicely.

The person in front of the bookstore is Nes.  She's an amazing photographer in Southern California.  Check out her work!

2018 update: I actually tried out another pentax 67ii and it died on me. I sent the place to be repaired at 2 places and have had no luck repairing it. I now have a $1k brick.