Tag: 35mm film

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35mm Film Resurgence?

35mm Film Resurgence?

Harman Technologies Announces Point-and-Shoot EZ-35 Film Camera

February 24th, 2021: Harman Technologies, the company that manufactures Ilford-brand film, has announced the EZ-35 camera in what appears to be a nod to the days of film point-and-shoots.

The Harman EZ-35 looks similar to the classic disposable film camera but has a few features that make it superior. First, it is reusable which is not only more environmentally friendly but also allows the photographer to experiment with different types of 35mm film (though Harman recommends ISO 400 film). At purchase, the EZ-35 comes with a roll of Ilford HP5 Plus with 36 exposures.

The Harman is also motorized, which allows for automatic load, frame advance, and rewind functionality. The rest of the package is pretty basic, as it need not be particularly complicated. It features a “focus-free” 1 meter to infinity 31mm f/11 lens, a fixed 1/100s shutter, an over-the-lens viewfinder with 70% field of view, a built-in flash with a 15 second recycle time, and a lens cover that also acts as a shutter lock to prevent accidental exposures.

Introduced at a time where new cameras can take over a thousand words to scratch the surface of the features, the EX-35 is pleasantly simple. It’s marketed as a great camera for first-time photographers looking to simply enjoy framing, taking, and developing their own photos before stepping up to something more complex.

For those unfamiliar, Harman Technology is a manufacturer of analog black and white photographic film, papers, and accessories primarily sold under the Ilford Photo brand name. These products are still produced in Mobberley, Cheshire and Harman manufactures raw materials through to “shelf-ready” product on-site and has all the relevant equipment to enable it to be self-reliant in production.

That said, that brand is not to be confused with Ilford Imaging Europe, a separate company that is known primarily for its inkjet materials and has a line of cameras under that name. Harman cameras can’t have that name for brand consistency and legal reasons, hence why the EZ-35 is not an Ilford.

The EZ-35 was launched after the company found success with its original reusable camera that costs just £30. The EZ-35 is a bit more expensive at around £50, but still priced low enough to be a good starting point for new photographers.

Kentmere 400 – Worth the Effort?

Kentmere 400 – Worth the Effort?

PART 1: Using Film Again!!

Recently I decided to step back 40 odd years and shoot 35mm film. I’m fortunate in that I still have my old Pentax KM from the 1970’s so a quick check over, new battery and a good clean, and bingo, the old girl purred back into life. Not knowing how light tight she was I decided to go for Kentmere 400, an easy to locate, cheap but well thought of black and white film. The other thing going through my mind was that I’d not played with developing since the mid 1970’s so another hurdle and another reason not to go mad. As it was, buying the films, some basic darkroom gear and chemicals still set me back £70 and that was only because I had some equipment to hand.

First step, take a wander, find interesting subjects and take great pictures. I’m lucky in that I live in the southwest UK so there’s plenty of good subjects around, both on the coast, a little inland and, importantly fo rme, on the streets. That doesn’t necessarily mean my photos will be any good but good subject matter is all around me. My only problem, grey sky’s and rain. Weeks of it. Hardly a blue sky in sight. Undaunted, and keen to see whether the Pentax KM still had it, I pushed on and shot 36 images over a week or so. I’ve no idea what I shot of course so it’s going to be interesting to see exactly what’s on this roll assuming I’m able to develop it without issue. That’ll be part 2 of this blog by the way.

One of the key things I learned, or more correctly, remembered during this project was that with film, you need to slow down and think about what you’re shooting or going to shoot. Not only that, with the Pentax KM I was working old school. No A, P or Auto settings, just manual. The lenses I have are also all manual focus. Now, to be fair, there’s no big problem working in manual, thecamera has a light meter so set the ISO (or ASA as it says on the dial), set your desired shutter speed and open and close the aperture to let in the right amount of light. Once you’re correctly exposed, it’s just a matter of focusing and pressing the shutter button. Prefer to shoot in aperture mode, no problem. Set your aperture, and then adjust the shutter speed to achieve the right light into the camera. You can slightly under or over expose of course, plus you can use an external light meter to better capture shadows or highlights. Yo can even use the fabled zone system to expose your film but that’s for another day. Which ever method you choose, it’s pretty difficult not to capture anything and to be hones, you’re more likely to be slightly out on focus than exposure.

Did I enjoy the experience? Well, it was a little strange not being able to see the image on the screen straight after shooting and of course, capturing anything using fully manual settings and a manual focus lens does mean you tend to miss more than you capture as it’s a much slower process overall. There’s also a learning curve to master. That all being said, it was huge fun to go back 40 years plus it was actually good to slow down and think about the shot. Some shots I would have snapped on my digital camera I let go because I didn’t think they were good enough. That’s a relatively new and enjoyable experience.

PART 2: Developing Film (Coming Soon)