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October 11, 2011


What a great companion to Mike Johnston's recent piece at TOP on digital B&W. It seems many of the commenters don't get that you'd want to constrain your options or override electronic aides. Yet, the forcing of discipline almost always leads to more careful compositions and better results.

The other day my girl friend saw me loading film into a range finder. She asked where did I learn to do that. I paused for thought for something seemingly obvious and replied from "Can't remember...from a manual?"

Your post sent me back to the heady old days when a camera with no rangefinder or exposure meter was the standard. And [we] spent half the night in the dark room.
What photos we got! We enjoyed those days much more than the days of all bells and whistles cameras. Technology has sent us to technological heaven but took away the soul of photography.

ranjitgrover 67+ years old

This post meets my recent experience with black and white film. As a beginner I had a SLR, manual only, and learned to live with it. I learned to estimate the exposure and got better and better. After seven years of digital photography I'm back to film and enjoy it again. It's a learning curve again - but I like it and have the feeling I'm the boss of the camera not the other way around. Even scanning the film gets easier after practicing for awhile.
Next step for me is developing film again. The materials are there now.

Christine Bogan, Berlin

Fully agree. My newest camera has no meter, no rangefinder, only two apertures and one shutter speed, yet entire websites are devoted to photos taken with this all-plastic (including the lens) camera which sells new for under $30.00 USD. It shoots medium-format film (the original *raw*) and is a joy to use--far more fun than my fancy digital cameras.

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