Ditching Digital: A Year with Film Cameras


Last December I sold my digital SLR and made a resolution that I would spend this year shooting more on film. To keep things fresh and my motivation up I decided to shoot with a different camera every week, here's how it's gone so far...

Credits: jeyku

Like many people nowadays, my first experience with photography was after picking up a digital camera. I learned the basics, progressed from a point and shoot to a digital SLR and spent a few years being really happy with that. However, the joy that I initially got from photography slowly faded – I knew that for every image I was wanting, I was taking about 5 photos and just keeping the best one. I knew exactly what my shot would look like from looking at the LCD and that it would be pretty much as I wanted it. There were no surprises and less satisfaction and so I started shooting more film – loving the discipline it needed to get a better shot, while also enjoying the unpredictability that comes with film. Some shots that I thought would be perfect weren’t, and some that I didn’t have high hopes for were made a little bit more exciting due to light leaks, colour shifts and the magic of film. So in December I made the bold move of sticking my DLSR on ebay to part fund this film project and I’ve not looked back!

Credits: jeyku

I decided that I would spend 2012 looking for my perfect analogue set up (because you can’t just choose one camera can you?) and most importantly embrace the search! To keep things fresh and to keep motivated I decided that I would do my best to stick to shooting with a different camera every week. That way I would keep the project fresh and keep things going (after all how many new year’s resolutions have you ever managed to stick to?).

Credits: jeyku

I thought it was only right to start the year with the camera that got me back in to analogue photography – the LC-A+ (above). It had been in my camera back with my digital camera for a few years and would be my camera of choice for parties, people shots etc. So while it can be please for it’s roll inspiring this project it does mean that it’ll get a lot less use as I share my attention around between 52 different film cameras this year.

Credits: jeyku

I’m now 17 weeks in to project and still loving it. So far I’ve used a wide selection of 35mm cameras that I wouldn’t normally have tried and enjoyed experiementing with them and how you have to alter your approaching to photography to get the best out of them. For example with the half frame shots above (shot using a ricoh autohalf) I found myself thinking not just about the shot I was taking but the previous one and the next one to try and get interesting juxtapositions between frames.

Credits: jeyku

While I’ve got a fair few old film cameras I’ve picked up over the years I have nowhere near the 52 I need to complete the project so I’ve been on the hunt for bargains. And while I did spend a lot on a Ricoh Gr1v the majority of cameras so far have been bought on the cheap – for less than a tenner I picked up the canon sureshot sleek which has got a great lens (above).

Credits: jeyku

And then there are the really special cameras such as the Yashica Dental Eye (above) – a specialist camera designed for dentists to photograph teeth so it has a great macro lens and build in ringflash which makes it great for interesting flower shots, especially when you use it with cross processed slide film.

Credits: jeyku

While this project is a bit of an undertaking I hope that you guys have enjoyed some of the shots and it will inspire you to spend a couple of quid on that lonely 35mm camera in the charity shop and put a roll through it, as you never know what magic you’ll get back from the developers!

Follow my weekly progress at 52x35.

written by jeyku on 2012-04-19 in #lifestyle


  1. redtulip
    redtulip ·

    great project!!!!!

  2. grimbo
    grimbo ·

    amazing idea for a project, i'd love to do the same if i had a bit more cash and time on my hands! really good street photos too :)

More Interesting Articles

  • Analogue Bucket List: 12 Months, 12 Projects

    written by stratski on 2015-01-14 in #lifestyle
    Analogue Bucket List: 12 Months, 12 Projects

    January is always packed with good resolutions, most of which get broken even before the month is over. This year, I have decided to rework my resolutions into a bucket list of monthly projects.

  • My Week In Film: December 1st-7th, 2014

    written by alienmeatsack on 2014-12-08 in #lifestyle
    My Week In Film: December 1st-7th, 2014

    December brings with it Winter, the end of the year and the last chances to get those photographs taken that you wanted to do the rest of the year. I decided to kick off December with a slew of photography adventures and a few camera purchases.

  • December 18th Advent Offer: Save 10% On Film Today! (Online Code: FILMFANTASY10)

    written by jacobs on 2014-12-18 in #news
    December 18th Advent Offer: Save 10% On Film Today! (Online Code: FILMFANTASY10)

    With the holidays just around the corner, it's a great time to make sure you have loads of wonderful films for all the fun festivities coming up. Today's Advent deal of the day is here to help you do just that! Head on over to the Online Shop and save 10% on our wide selection of films. Do the right thing and keep your camera happy this year!

  • Shop News

    Wear lomo-love on your skin

    Wear lomo-love on your skin

    You’ve shouted your analogue love from the rooftops and worn your heart on your sleeve – Now it’s time to take it to the next level and wear it on your skin! Our new Lomography Tattoos are fun, easy to apply and come in five designs.

  • My Day in Analogue: Lazy Summer Days at Home

    written by jokelangens on 2014-08-27 in #lifestyle
    My Day in Analogue: Lazy Summer Days at Home

    Every summer, my soul screams for a lazy, hot day back at my parents' home, for some good food, relaxation, and catching up with childhood friends. This year is no different, so I went back down to my small hometown in the very northeast of Belgium to enjoy a perfect laid back day doing nothing and everything. And of course, I brought my analogue cameras along to eternalize all of these small but grand moments in life.

  • LC-A+ Goes To: Sevilla, Spain

    written by saidseni on 2014-06-23 in #world #locations
    LC-A+ Goes To: Sevilla, Spain

    Ever since I got my LC-A+, I've always taken it with me whenever I travel. This little wonder works awesome with any film, in every weather and cultural context. In Sevilla, Spain, it was no different.

  • Why do you love film photography?

    written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-03-12 in #news
    Why do you love film photography?

    It's such a simple and straight-forward question that every film photographer gets asked, but the answers can be a bit different yet interesting per analogue-loving individual. Whether you're a total beginner, an intermediate shooter, or an expert snapper, we want you to tell us why you keep shooting with film!

  • Shop News

    Zap up your Diana F+ with a Crisp Glass Lens!

    Zap up your Diana F+ with a Crisp Glass Lens!

    Thought you can’t get sharp photos with the Diana F+? Think again! With the Diana+ 75mm Premium Glass Lens, you can shoot crisp and clear images with the signature dreamy appeal of the Diana. With our Adaptors you can even make it work on your Nikon & Canon dSLR!

  • My Lomo’Instant Quick Tips

    written by tomas_bates on 2014-11-12 in #gear #tipster
    My Lomo’Instant Quick Tips

    I backed the Kickstarter project for the Lomo’Instant earlier this year and was thrilled to receive it last week. I love how the camera naturally encourages you to experiment with its different features, whether it’s through flashing your multiple exposures with different colors or trying different creative techniques after your shots has been ejected. Here are a few tips from what I’ve discovered from playing with the camera so far (and a couple of tips I want to try out in future)!

  • My Year In Analogue: Where Do I Start, Seriously?

    written by alienmeatsack on 2014-12-29 in #lifestyle
    My Year In Analogue: Where Do I Start, Seriously?

    I did shoot a lot of film but this year, I didn't carry a camera as often as I had previously. How did it affect my shooting and documentation of events? Let's find out.

  • Festival Season: Lots of Variety at the North Sea Jazz

    written by wesco on 2014-07-10 in #lifestyle
    Festival Season: Lots of Variety at the North Sea Jazz

    My brother had a photo exhibition last year at the North Sea Jazz Festival and got two tickets. So just like the old days with our father, we went to the Ahoy Rotterdam for an evening of jazz and other music. I was armed with an analogue SLR camera, telephoto lens, and sensitive film!

  • Shop News

    the perfect surprise for every analogue loving enthusiast

     the perfect surprise for every analogue loving enthusiast

    Let your loved one pick the gift of their dreams. Lomography Online Shop Gift Certificates are the perfect present for every analogue devotee on your gift list

  • At the Funfair with my Horizon Perfekt

    written by sirio174 on 2014-04-12 in #reviews
    At the Funfair with my Horizon Perfekt

    Every year my city Como hosts, for the Easter period, a great fun fair. This is a great occasion to test a camera, to make experiments with films, to have fun and to photograph people while also having fun! This year, I used my gem, the wonderful Horizon Perfekt (that I bought from the Lomography Online Shop) loaded with a timeless film, a Kodak Tri-X 400 developed, as usually for b/w, by myself. Read more after the jump!

  • Classic × Classic : Using a Leica M3 camera to shoot with the New Petzval Art lens

    written by shawnlin on 2014-05-07 in #gear #tipster
    Classic × Classic : Using a Leica M3 camera to shoot with the New Petzval Art lens

    I participated in the Kickstarter campaign and purchased my very own new Petzval lens. I can't wait to use with with my digital camera to experience its wonderful bokeh effect. I also wanted to try its effects when using a film camera but the lens has an EF mount. I didn't have a Canon camera. See what I did with it after the jump.

  • Summer Hot Spots: Blaavand, Denmark (Part One)

    written by dermanu on 2014-08-31 in #world #locations
    Summer Hot Spots: Blaavand, Denmark (Part One)

    When I was a child, I regularly went to Blaavand located at the Danish west coast with my brothers and my parents. However, I didn't anymore when I grew up. But in 2012, we hit the road again. It was my first visit there in about 20 years. I took the chance and packed as many cameras as possible into my luggage. In this article, I'm going to present to you the photos I took with my Nikon F-501 SLR.