Seamless Transitions : From Digital To Film And Back

Now most of us don’t know how to start experimenting with a medium. How to start shooting film is the most common question which people have. Starting with film doesn’t have to be a process which needs a lot of change in workflow, after all its just a different medium for the same image. The best way which I’ve found to start with film is to extend your digital kit and include a film counterpart in it.

Now I assume most of you out there have a Canon or Nikon kits. Now in lesser than 100$ you can extend the same kit to use film just by adding a new body which has the same controls and handling like a digital body.

When I started shooting film, I was using my first DSLR Canon 1000D. Now it would have been almost impossible to shift to film but I got my hands on a very cheap Canon Rebel X. Its a very basic consumer grade film camera and the make of the body is very similar to a 1000D digital camera. Because since the starting, I’ve made sure that I don’t buy zoom lenses as the quality drops in comparison to prime lenses, it was a seamless transition to use all my EF lenses (other than the kit lens for 1000D) on my film camera and shoot it exactly how I would shoot with a digital camera.


And just if you’re thinking why can’t film use EF-S lenses, its just because film is Full Frame. So just like all the high end cameras, it won’t let you mount lenses made for smaller cameras.

Now I use the Canon 5DMKII and I have upgraded my film body to Canon EOS 30, which is made much like its digital counterpart. The same goes for Nikon cameras. If you own a Nikon DSLR and want to move to film with the same lenses, the N series makes it seamless. They use the same full frame lenses and that means you can basically extend the same lenses on your both cameras. Essentially, you can choose to shoot film or digital by simply switching the bodies.

When choosing a camera for your current kit extension :

– All cameras which we’re talking about are last generation film cameras. So they will be autofocus. Make sure that you don’t get an older generation camera.
– The biggest issues with cameras of this generation is Sticky Shutter and leaks in battery compartment, so check them before you buy.
– If you’re using a non-full frame camera (like a Nikon D90 or a Canon 7D) then make sure that your lenses are full frame. Lenses specially made for smaller sensor cameras will not be portable to film cameras. Below is a list of different company tags which are NOT compatible.

Canon: EF-S
Konica Minolta: DT
Nikon: DX
Pentax: DA
Sigma: DC
Sony: DT
Tamron: Di II
Tokina: DX

Other than that, you’re good to go! Moving from digital to film is the easiest this way because you don’t have to learn anything about the camera operation but can focus on the medium’s intricacies itself.


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