Thinking About Film

A long time ago, I photographed on film. From the time I was 5 until about 2000 I worked exclusively with film, a combination of 110, 35mm and APS. In 2002 I made the transition to digital photography, and then finally in 2008 I moved to Digital SLR. I have seen numerous claims that digital cannot beat the clarity of film, but in recent times I have not done anything to compare to. Out of pure curiosity and perhaps a bit for a challenge, I am considering purchasing a film SLR camera. I have found quite a good deal on a used Nikon N80 from Adorama, and I think it would be worth pursuing. The N80 is fairly close in features to the D80 (the direct predecessor to the D90). I find myself worrying about the concept of developing and printing the film. Would I use a lab? If so, which lab? How hard would it be to transform a bathroom into a dark room? I have a film scanner, so it isn’t as though I would have to always get my images printed, but I would need to be able to develop the film to prevent deterioration. There seem to be only a few reasons to do film again, but yet, a few concerns and reasons to not. I feel like the biggest reason to obtain a film camera is for historical value. It is still common practice in art education programs to still use film to teach photography before digital because it forces the student to be more careful and take a more active role in the art, which is perhaps something that would be beneficial to me. There is also that feeling in the back of my mind like it’s something I should learn how to do, if for no other reason than just simply for the sake of being able to use both types of media.

Maybe it’s just an excuse for another toy, and that’s why I am still undecided.