My random dive into shooting 120 film with a box of Shanghai GP3 at my side.
I randomly obtained a Yashica 635 from a lady off Craigslist. I was picking up other cameras from her at the time and spotted the Yashica. Which I ended up buying from her on a whim. I was completely unfamiliar with 120 film and even more so how to shoot it. So just to be safe I picked up the cheapest film available to try it out. Which of course is the Shanghai GP3!
I too read some bad things about it. The way it curls, how it’s easily prone to chipping, how some rolls have more contrast than others. But since this was an experiment anyway I didn’t mind. So I ran a roll through my Yashica and thought that I probably butchered it. I was expecting more than half of my shots to not come out. Then I was gifted a Holga and I did the same thing. I ended up shooting 3 rolls total before even getting them developed to see how it functioned.
Much to my surprise almost every photo came out! Not only that but the grain wasn’t nearly as terrible as what I had read online. To be honest I think I love this film more than anything I’ve ever shot 35mm with. It’s so cheap and dirty and imperfect. I mean some of my negatives were a bit flaky after processing them and I had to patch in some of the tiny bits that fell off. But at the same time it contradicts itself with precise details I haven’t been able to get in any other film. Just make sure you scan it to digitally preserve it. I assume it doesn’t archive well, haha!
I highly recommend anyone to try it who hasn’t already. You may be pleasantly surprised. Also if you’re on a budget it’s even better.
All and all my first step into 120 shooting was a good one. I’ll report back when I try the other shanghai brand film “Lucky”
(Note: the shots w/ vingetting are taken with holga the ones without were taken with the Yashica 635)