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What is it like to shoot a manual film slr?

Updated: Oct 23, 2022

Volume 2:

My first roll with an SLR

Come roll with me is a new project we have been working on where we show you our journey with film and showcase some of our best photos and also some of the mistakes we made along the way. We will be sharing some tips and tricks we have learned along the way through making mistakes!

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In the second volume, I share what it was like to shoot my first roll of film through a manual SLR

We love thrift shopping and this one day we got super lucky and found an SLR a Miranda Computron with a 50mm lens.

This camera is a mechanical camera so the shutter fires at all speeds mechanical and only needs batteries for the light meter. It has a Pentax K mount and is much like the Cosina CT1 series. Miranda was known for having a wide range of cameras back in the 60-80s budget-friendly camera with plenty of features!

This was my first time using an SLR so loading it was super nerve-wracking luckily my good friend Ryan showed me the ropes! Once Miranda was loading I was ready to get snappy!

After a few shots, I was really starting to enjoy the manual focusing and choosing the aperture and shutter speeds. Unfortunately after 3 shots, the back door opened randomly ruining the first shots a lesson learned to make sure the back door is shut properly!

The batteries that were loaded in the camera were super weak therefore the light meter wasnt working so I was shooting without a meter using the sunny 16 rule just guessing the speeds and aperture for the light surroundings. Some shots were wrongly exposed but they were all usable and got me hooked for more!

So what did I learn?

First, take your time when loading a SLR make sure it's loaded properly and the rewind crank is spinning when you advance to the next frame (otherwise you haven't loaded it properly) also make sure you close the back door properly so you don't ruin any shots!

Second, Put fresh batteries in your camera to be able to use a light meter to correctly expose your shots. Or if you're using an electrical camera you'll need batteries to operate your camera.

Third, If you don't have a light meter you can use Sunny 16 or guesswork and you'll still get some fun shots when using color negative film.

Sunny 16 Rule Explained

The sunny 16 rule is a simple way to determine a good exposure for a photograph. On a clear, sunny day, when you are using an aperture of f/16, this rule recommends a shutter speed equal to the reciprocal of your ISO (1/ISO value).

At ISO 100, for example, use a shutter speed of 1/100th of a second. At ISO 200, use a shutter speed of 1/200 second. That’s all there is to it.

Now upgrading from a point and shoot to an SLR I was so excited to have some more control over the photos I was taking. It opened up a whole new world of photography and I was ready to jump in and get more involved in photography.

So now I am more invested in the film world and ready for more! Starting to grow my personal collection and learn more and more about photography.

Stay tuned for more Roll with me Articles



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