Earlier this year I mentioned sorting through photos and that it got me thinking about film photography. Having been enchanted by the magic of film from a young age it’s always been something that I’d like to return to one day.

I’d always thought if I used film again that I’d buy a vintage large format camera. I think this was partly because I’d bought a DSLR at the point where digital was pulling ahead from film in terms of resolution and I was mentally stuck on the idea that film was going to have to be able to compete with digital (no doubt digital large format is way beyond film by now).

Anyway, the other sort of camera I’ve fancied using is a rangefinder. And so my thinking got around to vintage film rangefinders. And I found there’s a whole bunch available to buy. At a very good price too.

I’ve ended up with a Canon Canonet QL19 GIII. It’s just a little older than I am. Built like a tank. Very simple to use. All manual. And I’m not bothering with a battery for the light meter as this requires a bit of a fiddle to adapt it for modern batteries, by all accounts. I have an incident light meter anyway, so I can just take a reading as I go.

The main idea is to have fun. Rediscover my love for photography. The physical nature of film and it’s capacity to capture an image has something special about it that, for me, digital lacks.


  • @strandlines I also enjoy using film with a rangefinder camera. It’s what I grew up with, and lets me slow down slighly in a fast-paced world. Then I send off my film and wait a few weeks for the photos to arrive. The entire process is enjoyable!

  • @strandlines that was a wonderful blog post. I love film photography! I embraced digital photography when it came along, but returning to film feels like coming home.

    I’ve recently bought a Panasonic camera because it has a Leica lens. I have almost filled the roll and I can’t wait to send it in.

  • @strandlines it does! It feels way more intentional and special. That you have chosen that specific moment and not another becomes so significant. With digital, I just snap haphazardly and throw most away, with film, I take my time, make it meditative.

    I also love to write small diary entries when taking the picture. I still need to make an album with the picture on one side, and the diary entry on the other, but it will happen 🙂

  • @Sylvia funnily, I’ve over-compensated and been too cautious about taking pictures as I haven’t wanted to use the film up too quickly. I’m going to have to strike a balance between that and the ‘it’s digital, I can just fire away’!

  • @strandlines i had the same when I first started! It took me over a year to fill a roll.

    Now I just tell myself that when I do bring my camera, I HAVE to take pictures. It makes me more aware of opportunities.

    I used to give myself a number of pictures to take but that felt limiting

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