From Film & Negatives to Digital

Credit : Straits Times, SPH

Do you still see those advertisements for camera films of brands like Kodak, Fuji or Konica, Sakura, etc… ?

I wonder how many still remember how to load a film into a camera haha? Who knows, a few more generation and nobody knows what is a roll of film…

In the past when I buy a roll of film, at least I must verify it’s 35mm and the film speed that I want like ISO 200, 100, etc…

So where do we load this film to? Of course it’s at the back of the camera (in most cases);

Well that’s my old SLR (Single Lens Reflex) camera – Nikon FA. I have already “archived” this camera for a long long time together with many other viewfinder cameras.

“Playing” photography is not a cheap hobby, at least to me. One has to buy film, develop them, and print them. Even the development fees had gone up from $1 to $2, etc… Though at times, the printing of 3R print has gone down from the norm of 30cents each to as low as maybe 15cents or 12cents, but the quality was very bad. You will see the color of the print started to fade after sometimes.

I started to have my first viewfinder camera when I was in Primary School, think probably Pri.5 in 1973. I took about maybe around $50 from my saving to buy it and my godmother discovered it and scolded me. That was a very simple “crazyman” viewfinder camera. Yes, we called it “crazyman” camera in Chinese or Cantonese for those non-focusing or auto focus and auto exposure camera.

When I was in Secondary School, I joined the school’s photography club and learned about film developing, printing, etc…

Of course my love for photography maybe passed down from my father’s gene hehe. He is also an amateur photographer and he had even a enlarger at home. He had setup a darkroom in our old house in Serangoon Road then. So developing and printing was much easier for him.

I remember in the 70s, the Kodak Instamatic cameras were really popular;

Photo Credit : Kodak

In the 80s, people who visit those tourist attraction places without camera may end up buying those “disposable” camera;

Photo Credit : Kodak

You will love this video from Kodak;

Remember those Flash Cubes you have to carry along for your flash photography in the past;

Now most advertisements you see regarding photography is digital camera and it’s accessories. You don’t see those films advertisements anymore. Here is the digital camera my wife bought – a Panasonic Lumix FX01;

Of course for Digital Camera, you will talk about how many MegaPixel. Also it’s Memory Card and not film that it used;

Credit : Wikipedia

It’s now so much more convenient to handle a digital camera that I don’t think I still want to use my film camera anymore haha. I can simply delete those shots that are no good and select those that I want to print it without developing them. Also printing can be as good using those camera printers available now – very affordable too. I don’t even need to go to the Photo or Camera Shop nowadays.

Do you still keep those old free photo albums when you print your photos in the past;

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7 Responses to “From Film & Negatives to Digital”


  1. 1 daddyto3 Tuesday, August 7, 2007 at 8:31 am

    Another fabulous post! I love the video on the flash cubes! Thanks for the memories.

  2. 2 acroamatic Tuesday, August 7, 2007 at 2:18 pm

    Hey there, Laokokok! Ah, the good old days of film. While it was expensive, I feel that it helped me develop my skills as a photographer as I was more careful with each shot. Now, it’s just shoot, look, discard immediately if the photo doesn’t turn out well.

    That said, digital can help a photographer improve too as exposure in digital (similar to slide film) has to be spot on unlike in film, which has more leeway (forgot the technical term for this – latitude?). Of course, the higher end cameras can shoot in RAW, which is another story.

    I like film, but it’s just not cost effective. I end up scanning the photos/negatives in the end anyway. Still, it’s almost a different medium!

    Film will become to digital what black & white became to colour. It won’t totally disappear but develop (pardon the pun) into a niche area of photography.

  3. 3 laokokok Wednesday, August 8, 2007 at 7:46 am

    Thanks Daddyto3. Those were the days…

    Hi Acroamatic,
    One thing I hate about the digital camera is their batteries. Some of them when the battery shelf live is gone, and you can’t find them on the shelves of the retailers or distributors – you end up buying those compatibles one. Also the original batteries are very expensive.

  4. 4 profkingsfield2004 Thursday, August 9, 2007 at 3:32 pm

    Lao
    U got pictures to share? Looking for places like Desker Road, Geylang redlight areas of the 50s/60s.

  5. 5 Lam Chun See Thursday, August 9, 2007 at 5:47 pm

    I don’t know about films & prints, but I am pretty sure very few young people of school-going age know what is a slide. Good think I still have quite a few of those which I used to have for my 5S training.

    Ah maybe I can blog about it like you.

  6. 6 laokokok Monday, August 13, 2007 at 7:59 am

    Hi Peter, I don’t think I’ve them as I’m too young for those places then haha.

  7. 7 adam72 Friday, September 14, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    I got into film photography in 1990 as part of my poly’s subjects. Then it dawned on me that I can shoot pretty gals and used this as a way to know them 🙂 I took many outdoor portraits of gals for a few years, and it was a fun time.

    I went into digital in 2000, when DSLRs were very expensive: my first DSLR, Fujifilm S1 cost me $5.5k! It had only 3 megapixels then. I was running my own photography biz with a partner and going digital was a big step from film…


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