This guest post is brought to us by Ron Offringa. Ron is one of my oldest friends, we just happened to start our friendship while he was one of my students. Check him out on Twitter or his work at the Android blog Droid-Life.
I love taking pictures with my iPhone. It’s super easy to use, and best of all, it consistently takes incredible images. I’m regularly blown away by how much detail my phone’s camera is able to capture. I’m also blown away by all the apps that are out there to edit and enhance photographs. Outside of the built in camera and photos apps, I regularly use Instagram, Path, Flickr, Over, Frontback, Snapseed, Big Lens, and Camera Noir to take and enhance the pictures I take with my phone. On top of all of those apps, I obsess about how to manage and store all of the photos I take.
This past year I’ve been learning as much as I can about film photography. I’ve always enjoyed taking pictures with my iPhone, but I wanted to try using film. My dad gave me my mother’s old Yashica MG-1 and I started shooting. The Yashica MG-1 is a rangefinder, which means when I look through the viewfinder I’m looking above the lens, not through the lens. Almost everything on this camera is manual, including focus, ISO settings for the film (which is called ASA on the camera because it’s so old), advancing the film, and aperture (how much light goes through the lens and hits the film). In fact, the only thing that I can’t control manually is the shutter speed.
It’s a lot of fun to use, but there’s a big risk involved with film: I never know what kind of photograph I’m going to get. If my settings are wrong then the moment will be lost and I won’t be able to do anything about it. On my iPhone (or any modern digital camera) I can instantly see what my photo will look like and adjust accordingly. On my iPhone I can tap to focus instead of lining up a small yellow diamond in the rangefinder to determine focus. On my iPhone I can also take hundreds of photographs in a short period of time, whereas my Yashica is limited to the rolls of film I have with me. So why would I want to use the Yashica if the iPhone is so much easier to use and lessens the risk of losing a moment? Continue reading