Film cameras were the mainstay of any family back in the 90s and early 2000s. If you were a 90’s kid, chances are your family photos were taken on a film camera and you had to wait for days from the store to get it developed only to see you blink and feel the sadness. These cameras were more than a camera, it was filled with memories and chances are your parents still have those obsolete models at home stowed away for safekeeping. Kids these days will never know the nervousness of hitting the shutter button and hoping the picture doesn’t go wrong. The cost of taking a picture now with smartphones is so low one can take thousands of photos and it will consume barely anything, just space on your device.
But now, film cameras are once again getting the spotlight as it is seen as an art form to capture good photos on film. It has gained a vintage label.
Film cameras are slowly making a comeback, this is reflected by the meteoric rise of Facebook and Instagram groups which feature organically shot photos which were taken on film cameras. Some of the models are more popular than the mainstream DSLRs. Not just among hobbyists or vintage fanatics, but a market. Kodak too reintroduced a lot of its film cameras with the prominent one being NC500.
Digital devices are short-lived, and cameras are no exception to this list. Digital components of the camera are bound to stop working and the components are one-off and cannot be repaired. This non-repair nature is very off-putting for an expensive device like a camera. If the camera becomes obsolete, chances are peripherals with the camera which were unique to the model would also become useless. This is not very friendly on your credit card. But analogue vintage cameras can be repaired and cleaned and the parts can be replaced easily. A lot of old cameras could be repaired by the photographer. Taking care of the camera was the invisible art.
Genuine Picture Quality
The ingenuity is comparable to handmade goods versus machine-made goods, pictures taken on a vintage film camera with no computerized assistance are seen as akin to a handcrafted artistic product. A good photo requires a tremendous amount of skill from the photographer. The end product is a true manifestation of the artist’s skills.
There is something aesthetically pleasing about shooting a picture with a film camera, though automatic cameras make the work easier, it is the feeling of making use of everything you know and capturing it in a picture.
Unique Selling Proposition
People always want good value for their money. This has created an innovative market for photographers where they offer film as part of their package. Wedding/ Event photographers offer films of the event to their clients for a premium and given its vintage nature, if the event is special, it is not refused by the client. For clients memory is what is important to them, they know they will look back on this auspicious day. And photographers help it by making it more memorable.
Organic Lighting and Clarity
We all know digital pictures are constituted by pixels, the more the pixels, the more the clarity. This has its own set of problems. Getting natural light on a digital camera is really hard. But in analogue film cameras, It is way easier to capture organic lighting and images turn out really well. If you have been to art museums and you see the pictures there, you’ll easily identify they weren’t captured digitally.
Digital photos are known to become grainy when resized, but analogue cameras don’t face this problem.
There is something therapeutic about stressing for a long time milking all your concentration and seeing a good end result. Though there are gadgets which simplify processes, some things can’t be fixed by machines. It’s not the nostalgic feeling that is selling these cameras. It is their organic nature that can’t be pixelated.