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Portra is for Portraits – My first few rolls of Color Film

Prior to loading this roll of Kodak Portra 160 into my Hasselblad, I’d only shot one roll of Kodak TMAX 400. I remember it was a brisk February afternoon in 2014 and I was so excited to get out and make some portraits. The only problem was that I had no one to photograph at the moment so I drove over to my climbing gym and was grabbing anyone who was willing.

The good thing about using an old school film camera is that people feel less intimidated by your equipment and actually show more of an interest in it.

I had tons of fun with this roll, but I quickly learned that focusing and framing on the waist level finder was extremely difficult – especially when shooting wide open. I missed the focus on the eyes for a number of these frames, but I’m just so in love with the beautiful colours produced with this film. I also discovered that both of my film backs had light leaks in them 😐

Feb 2014

Kodak Portra 160

Hasselblad 500CM

Zeiss 80mm f2.8 Planar T*


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Immersing myself in film photography

It’s be a little bit over a year since I bought my first film camera and shot my first roll of film. Since then, I’ve learned so much about using film and it has definitely changed the way I look at my digital work. I’ve fallen so in love with the look and process of shooting film that I’ve picked up an additional 3 cameras each with its own purpose and unique look. Today’s post is going to explore each of these cameras what what I like to use them for.

Hasselblad 500C/M


This was my first film camera and definitely my favourite. Ever since I stumbled upon some of my dad’s old prints and negatives, I just knew I had to get one. It’s a medium format camera and shoots 6×6 frames on 120 format film. I love this camera because of the look it produces. The Zeiss 80mm f2.8 is equivalent to a 50mm f2.0 on full frame 35mm so you get a nice thin DOF when shooting wide open. I love using this camera/lens set up for anything from portraits to landscapes and you’ll usually see some high quality films in here like Portra 160/400 or Fuji 400H. Black and white looks fantastic as well as you get much less grain due to the size of the negatives.

Canon AE-1 Program


This was the second camera I added to my collection. It was cheap (bought it for $100 with lens) and it’s a fantastic camera to learn with. Focusing on this camera is much easier than with the Hasselblad due to the split prism focusing screen. Also, there are tons of high quality FD mount lenses still available for a fraction of the price compared to their EF mount equivalents. I like to use this camera for general walking around. You’ll usually see a roll of Fuji Superia or Ilford Delta Pro loaded in there.

Lecia R3


This camera was a gift from my dad. He’s had it stored in his closet for years and I doubt its been used much. This thing is built like a tank and the lenses are some of the highest quality lenses I’ve ever used. They’re extremely sharp and the colours they produce are just magnificent! I like to use the camera for street photography and portraits because you just can’t beat that Leica glass. I’ll usually have a roll of Portra 160 or Fuji 400H loaded in this camera – as I said, you just can’t beat those colors!

Polaroid 600SE


Ok.. ok.. so when I said the Hasselblad was my favourite…. I wasn’t lying. But I really, really, really like this Polaroid 600SE as well! Its nickname is “The Goose” (600SE). This thing is large and clunky, but it’s so much fun to shoot! As the name suggests, it’s a polaroid camera and it shoots instant pack film. Film is extremely hard to find these days, but when I can get my hands on it, I’m usually shooting Fuji FP-3000b or FP-100c. This camera is modelled after the Mamiya Press Camera and came with a Mamiya 147mm f3.7 lens. The lens is tack sharp and creates a beautiful DOF when shot wide open. Polaroids are FUN.

I hope you all enjoyed a look into my brief experience with film photography! There will be many more film posts to come so stay tuned!!

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