Analog Magazine












The Film Camera Magazine

Issue No. 1





Mark Shaffer

Letter from the editor

Deb Waters

Do It Yourself: Darkroom

“Nothing beats watching an image come

to life in the developing tray.”



Joe French

Getting started with Super 8

Ann Fritz

Our Favorite 35mm FIlms

2 3

Letter From

the Editor


Issue No. 1, April 2021

“Film photography has found its

feet again.”

Film photography is not what it used to be. It’s changed – or more, it’s evolved. For the better, too.

But I bet there are a lot of people who haven’t even noticed! Photography just seems to be one of

those pastimes that has the potential to get under people’s skin. There are so many ways to take

part that it’s no wonder we find ourselves in camps, adopting one or a couple of methodologies,

approaches, processes or even brands, and taking ownership of them as if they belong to us.

In doing so though, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of forgetting that our approaches and whims

are just a product of our own choices, and therefore simply right for us. Instead, it appears to me

that a large majority of photographers get into the habit of thinking they have made the ‘best’

choices and that everyone else who doesn’t follow suit is somehow wrong, deficient or missing

out. Unfortunately, in our world of social media and websites and forums and blogs and YouTube

and ‘influencers’, it feels a little bit like the views and opinions held by the majority can leave little

room for the views and opinions held by everyone else. So what’s all this got to do with my opening

gambit? Well, it’s my view that because of all this, many photographers who have committed wholly

to digital photography might not have noticed a real change in the film photography landscape.

Head Editor


Copy Editor


Photo Editor


Layout Editor








4 5



Deb Waters

The renaissance in film photography

these days has created the need for

a “wet” darkroom.

It’s a fun alternative to digital printmaking.

Nothing beats watching an image come to life in

the developing tray.

Unfortunately, many photographers think

building a darkroom is expensive, vtimeconsuming,

and difficult. This is not true.

The cost of used darkroom gear has been

reduced to bargain levels, mostly due to the

explosion of digital photography. I recently paid

$125 for a complete set of darkroom equipment,

including a Simmon Omega B-22 enlarger, a

50mm lens (for 35mm film), a 75mm lens (for

6x6 or 120 negatives), plus trays, easels, custom

timers, etc. The former owner even included

several boxes of usable paper and dozens of

reference books and magazines. There are

similar opportunities online or via your local

newspaper or shoppers’ guides, tag sales, etc.

Opposite: One of the author’s

early darkrooms, using the plywood

sink design. The sink had

hot and cold running water and a

temperature control unit, plus it

could hold four 11x14-inch trays.

The room also served as an office,

hence the desk and light

box at left.

Below: The author’s current darkroom,

in the basement of a small

house. At left is a radio, an enlarging

timer, and a paper safe. In the

center is an Omega B2 enlarger,

which handles 35mm and

6x6cm negatives.

6 7

Photo by Gary Miller

Photo by Gary Miller


Step one is to evaluate and measure

your available space. The ideal setup

is one where you have running hot

and cold water, but lack of this is not

a deal-breaker. A closet, guest room,

garage, or basement can all serve

as locations. Here, not necessarily in

order of importance, are

the requirements:

1. Ability to make your selected

space dark, although a changing bag

will make do for the critical task of

loading film into tanks. The “dark” for

the remaining processes can have a

small amount of light leaking in, but

not much.

2. Access to running hot and cold

water. A sink with automatic hot and

cold running water is ideal, but many

photographers accomplish wet tasks

on a counter and go to a nearby

laundry or bathroom to complete steps

like film or paper washing, cleaning up

utensils, etc.

3. Sufficient room for the enlarger

and related accessories (paper safe,

lenses, negative holders,

canned air, etc.).

4. Adequate ventilation. Film and

paper chemicals are toxic, so decent

ventilation is a must.

5. Some kind of flat workspace—it

can be a borrowed kitchen or dining

room table—for trimming and

mounting prints.

Photo by Gary Miller

Planning, using drawings or even

models, helps in making effective

use of space.



Location can be simple. Over the years

I have built darkrooms in a converted coal bin,

closet, guest room, basement (even one huge

15x20-foot basement room!), attic, and garage.

Your darkroom can have a regular swinging door,

bifold doors, or even drapes to separate it from

the rest of the house or apartment. It can be

permanent or temporary.

We once set up a darkroom in the basement of

Clowes Hall in Indianapolis to give patrons prints

(shot before an opera performance) afterwards.

So, the only limit to the space issue is

your imagination.

“The ideal darkroom is

neither too big nor

too small. “

Too big and you’ll tire yourself out walking from

one area to the other. Too small is, well, too small

and difficult to get things done easily.

Think of ideas like using a small swiveling stool

to swing around from the wet to dry sides, or

a small chair on wheels. Make sure, if possible,

to install comfortable tile or indoor/outdoor

carpeting underfoot to ease fatigue.

Another consideration is what kind of work will

you be doing for the most part. A darkroom

designed for 16x20-inch exhibition prints is

different from a darkroom whose output is mostly

8x10-inch prints.

The size of trays, print driers (and style of drying),

and basic workspaces are key issues. Perhaps

you only want to develop film and scan

the negatives.

The construction style in our example is to

attach 1x2-inch “furring strips” to the plywood

to provide framework. The 3/4-inch plywood

will then be attached to the 1x2-inch strips. Four

2x4’s are used as legs.

The plywood pieces will be glued, and some

pieces (like the inside of the sink) will be painted

with outside enamel paint. In our example we are

going to have a sink 60x24x8 inches, a dry side

36x24x3/4 inches, and a partition in between

24x96x3/4 inches. This will allow four 11x14-inch

trays to fit inside the sink.

As you can imagine, there are countless

variations on this basic design. You can use wide

stainless steel shelves, installed in a staggered

manner, to hold the trays and a basic tool kit

drawer to hold the enlarger. A visit to your local

hardware store or box store will provide a lot

of inspiration (you supply the perspiration).

Ironically, after carefully planning a plywood sink

and dry table, we ended up using two stainless

steel kitchen work tables.

A little model made from paper

gives you a better idea of what the

final product looks like.

Photo by Gary Miller

8 9

Photo by Gary Miller

Seeing your print emerge out of your darkroom

is satisfying, to say the least.

Developing film, the obvious

first step, is usually done by

using a plastic or stainless steel

film developing tank. The

advantage of the latter is that

you can immerse the tank in

a bath of water to maintain a

desired temperature.

Stainless reels also dry quickly,

so you’re ready for the next

batch of developing. Plastic

takes longer and the film will

stick more easily, making them

difficult to load.

Of course, complete darkness is

required to load the tanks with

film. Even a little bit of stray

light can fog film. If you don’t

have complete darkness, use a

changing bag; the rest of the

steps can be carried out

in daylight.

This is not an in-depth article

on darkroom technique, rather

an overview of building and

equipping a darkroom in

relation to functionality. A quick

tour of dealer catalogs will offer

plenty of choices in equipment,

including chemicals for all the

steps required. Interestingly,

more products are being

introduced to the marketplace

as interest grows.

After developing comes a

quick rinse in water or short

stop, then fixer (or hypo, as

it’s sometimes called, rapid

or regular variety). A good

washing is then followed by

a 30-second dip in a wetting

agent and then you can hang

the film up to dry.


Now comes a critical step.

In many darkrooms, there is

enough dust floating around

to ruin negatives (the resulting

spots demand retouching). The

answer, though, is simple. Get

a plastic hanging closet clothes

protector and you have a cheap

yet effective dustproof film

dryer (cut out the bottom to

allow full rolls of film to hang).

The next step is creating

a contact sheet. Many

photographers like to use

archival plastic negative sheets

like those from Print File, in

which case cut the negatives

into strips according to format.

Then place the negatives on

top of a piece of

photographic paper.

Although there are all kinds of

contact sheet devices for sale,

all you need are two pieces

of glass, slightly larger than

the paper (usually 8x10 inches

in size). Place the negatives

in strips on top of the paper.

Adjust the aperture to about

f/5.6 and try about 10 seconds

of exposure. A little practice

(or a test strip) will give you the

correct aperture and time for an

average roll of negatives.

Photo by Gary Miller

An inexpensive safelight can be screwed into a

common photo reflector or lamp socket.

The step that requires some

additional design thought is

how to wash film and prints.

Whether it’s a darkroom with

running water or you use the

laundry or kitchen sink, a simple

dishwashing pan with a set of

holes drilled along the bottom

will do the job.

The last step is drying prints. A

simple drying solution is a book

with blotter pages, available

from most dealers. You could

also build a small cabinet with

window screen shelves.

For enlargements, the only

additional equipment needed

is an easel for holding paper

(try eBay), a focusing aid for the

sharpest results, a paper safe

to make handling paper easier,

a timer (a foot switch is a help

here), a safelight, and a white

light for examining prints in the

hypo.So those are the basics of

building your own darkroom.

Have fun!

Just start the running water

Now that you have the basic


dry side and wet sink or workspace

finished, it’s time to start

Developing trays can be

and the fixer will settle to the

purchased at your dealer

bottom and thus be washed

equipping the darkroom in

or you can use Rubbermaid

out. In order to save water, use

order to develop film or make

dishwashing tubs. You need at

a hypo (fixer) removal agent


prints. The steps are simple,

least four: developer, short stop

before washing. Resin-Coated

and you can accomplish them

(can be water), hypo (fixer),

(RC) paper, incidentally, needs

no matter what size, shape,

and wash.

only about 10 minutes

of washing.

and location of your darkroom.

10 11


A Digital Native’s Guide

Joe French

“I mean it’s understandable —

film is a seemingly expensive

and sometimes cruel mistress.”

If you’re like me, and you’ve

spent the last decade of your

life shooting on digital cameras,

from 5Dmk2s all the way up

to Sony Venices, shooting on

film is probably something that

you’ve always liked the idea

of, but never really found the

reason, nor the conviction, to

see it through.

I mean it’s understandable —

film is a seemingly expensive

and sometimes cruel mistress.

When you shoot digital, what

you see is (for the most part)

what you get, and you know

that when you smash that

record button, what you’ve

recorded is pretty much what

you intended to see. You

also know that if

it wasn’t right,

or you changed

your mind on

how you’d like

to shoot it,

Braun Nizo S80

you can just keep smashing

that record button until you’re

happy or your re-usable cards

run out. That being said,

there is something inherently,

inexplicably cool about

shooting on film.

I won’t go on and on about it

here, but there are definitely

certain jobs that call for an

analogue aesthetic. I recently

went through this learning

process while in pre-production

for a short documentary,

so I thought I’d distil the

information for anyone who was

interested in

shooting 8mm.

Buckle up.

Photo by Jim Reynnolds


Choosing your

Super 8 camera

From speaking to several real

humans and digging through

some forums, it turned out that

if you want something reliable,

easy to use, and full of handy

features, your best bet is either

something made by Canon or

Braun Nizo.

There are different models

from each, ranging from

entry-level up to professional.

As far as I can tell, the main

differences in models are akin

to current cameras — if you

get a premium model you get

more camera speed (ASA)

compatibility, more frame rate

and shutter speed options,

a better light meter, and a

better lens. It seems that only

the most spenny Super 8

cameras give the option of an

interchangeable lens.

Top tip: make sure whoever you’re buying it from has a good

seller rating, and that they’ve mentioned testing it in the

description. It just gives you a bit more security when it comes

to knowing what to expect from the item, and having a leg to

stand on if it shows up in several pieces.

Choosing your

film stock

Unlike 16mm or any other

larger film formats, Super 8 is

pretty damn easy to work with.

No need to buy a tent or worry

about having good enough

proprioception to load in the

dark. The film comes in a little

cartridge that you simply plonk

into the back or side of your

camera and off you go.

If you’ve ever shot 35mm film

stills, buying motion film stock

won’t be a new experience for

you, so you might want to skip

the next section if you’re one of

the lucky ones.

Different film stocks have

different subjective, yet

measurable, characteristics:

contrast, saturation, colour

rendition…the list goes on.

The best way to get to know

which stocks do what, and

which ones you like, is to either

test them for yourself or watch

clips online. That’s a whole new

adventure for you to embark

on. From a purely technical

standpoint, the most important

things you need to look out for

when buying film stock is the

speed and colour temperature.

Photo by Jim Reynnolds

Kodak 50D

12 13



Developing Editing

Photo fomr GH Archive

So, you’ve got your camera,

you’ve learnt how it works, and

you’ve thrown a cartridge into

the back of it. Off you go!

Do your best to calculate how

much film you’ll need to shoot

your project before you start,

and stick to it. Ration it out

accordingly. If you’re shooting

a documentary, you’re likely to

need a LOT more film than if

you’re shooting a short film or

lifestyle commercial.

All I can really say about

shooting on Super 8, or any

film, is that it isn’t limitless

and it can’t be overwritten. Be

frugal, and keep an eye on the

reel counter. Similarly, try to

keep an eye on your exposure.

Overexposing film isn’t the

worst thing in the world as most

stocks will hold together even

if overexposed by 3+ stops. If

you underexpose, however—

even by a stop—you’ve bought

a one-way ticket to board the

grain train and there ain’t no

coming back.

First thing’s first, you need to

get your spent cartridge out of

the camera and post it off to a


As I mentioned above, I use, who offer a variety

of tiered pricing options

dependent on turn-around

speed and your development

preferences. I’m fairly sure that

they send it off to Germany

to be chemically developed,

and then do the digitisation

themselves. Either way, they do

a great job.

I don’t think this can be done

on a shot-by-shot or scene-byscene

basis, so make sure

you’re happy for your

whole reel to

be affected.

Once you’ve chosen your

options and shelled out the

appropriate fee, you’ll receive

a download link to download

your film as one or a few big

files, usually in ProRes. All you

need to do then is slap them

into your NLE, chop them up as

you would any other video clip,

colour them accordingly

and voila!

You’ve shot a project on film.

Nailed it.

Photo by Jim Reynnolds

If you are going to go

down this route, there’s

some good advice out

there in terms of

questions to ask

the previous

owner about

the film.

Top tip: If you shot at 18fps and

you have your film scanned at

25fps, it will play back fast. If you

match your scanned frame rate

to the frame rate you shot at, it’ll

playback in real time.

“You’re buying into the

century of research and development that

Kodak and others have poured into

perfecting their stocks.

14 15

Your Creative Partner Since 1973

420 9th Ave,

New York, NY 10001

Photo by Alex Andrews

16 17

Shot on Portra 400

by Walker Orner

If you’re looking for the best film

for your film camera, you’re in the

right place. We’ve rounded up the

best 35mm film, roll film for medium

format cameras and sheet film for

large format cameras to help you get

back to basics and enjoy the analog


Film photography has been enjoying a

resurgence in recent years, with both seasoned

film shooters and curious digital natives looking

to explore the magic of analog photography.

While it’s impossible to argue that digital

cameras don’t offer better clarity, detail and

ease-of-use, that’s not why film photography has

become so popular once more.

What types of

film can you get?

We can split film into three principal types: color

negative film, black and white negative film and

transparency (slide film).

Color negative film is one of the most

popular types of film, commonly available from

everywhere from specialist camera shops to

Amazon. It’s particularly useful when digitizing

film, as it’s relatively easy to handle the orange

mask and negative tones of color negatives. This

type of film is developed using the C-41 process

available in labs everywhere.



Ann Fritz

When technologies such as Animal Eye AF can

automatically lock onto an animal’s eye for tacksharp

wildlife shots, or when medium format

cameras can offer a staggering 102MP sensor,

sometimes being able to go back to basics and

enjoy the tactile physicality of film photography

is a treat in itself.

From winding on your film to hearing the

satisfying clunk of the mechanical shutter

button, there’s plenty to enjoy about the analog

experience. However, with so many different

types of film out there, how can you be sure that

you’ll be using the best film for you? Not only

do you have to contend with different sizes (135

vs 120, etc.), but each film will have a different

aesthetic too, with variances in color, contrast

and more (think of it as instant color grading

within your camera).

Whether you shoot with a 35mm camera

(equivalent to a full frame camera in digital

photography terms), a medium format camera or

even a large format camera, we’ve rounded up

the best films you can buy for each type. From

old classics to newer and more experimental

artisan film, there’s plenty for you to

choose from.

Black and white negative film is pretty

popular among film enthusiasts – especially film

photography students. This is partly because

black & white film can be easily developed and

processed at home (whereas, while you can

technically process color film at home, it’s a much

more involved process involving monitoring

temperatures). However, film can almost be

thought of as synonymous with black & white

photography, as the rich tones make the mono

effect truly pop.

Transparency film or slide film used to be a

favorite option for professionals, as there wasn’t

an intermediate printing stage to lower the

quality and add to the cost. You could also easily

send off slides to editors and picture libraries.

However, this isn’t such a popular option now

and the range of transparency films is a little

more limited than it used to be. All slide film is

developed using the E-6 process that’s widely

availably in labs.

18 19


The vivid colors and low contrast

make this a firm favorite among

film fans

Portra 400 film has gained a passionate following

amongst the film community thanks to its

flexibility when shooting in different lighting

conditions and its beautifully rendered grain and

colors. The only downside with Kodak Portra 400

is that it’s only sold in packs of three or five, so

you can’t officially buy a single roll to experiment

with (although you might be able to find single

rolls on eBay, be warned that they will have been

taken out of their official packaging). However,

it’s such a good quality film that we can almost

guarantee you won’t be disappointed.



Perfect for skin tones

Flexible for lighting conditions

Only comes in packs of

three or five

Photo from Kodak

Shot on TRI-X 400

by Walker Orner

TRI-X 400


Iconic Status

Iconic ‘documentary’ film that still

appeals today


Tolerant and versatile

What can you say about Kodak Tri-X? Made

famous by a generation of documentary and

war photographers, it’s pretty tolerant of

exposure variations and push/pull processing

and produces strong gritty images with good

detail rendition. Maybe a bit rough-and-ready for

today’s tastes, but it still has ‘the look’.

Too grainy for fine art types

Ektar 100

Sharp, fine-grained and modern all

purpose color neg film

Kodak claims the world’s finest grain for a color

negative film, thanks to its T-Grain technology.

This film also boasts high saturation and

sharpness, and Kodak says it’s ideal for scanning

and enlarging. Its rendition looks ideal for

commercial and landscape photography, and it’s

cheaper than shooting transparency film.




Ultra fine grain

High saturation

Not too expensive

Photo from Kodak

20 21

Shot on Ilford HP5

by Walker Orner

Ilford HP5 Plus

A classic black-and-white choice

Ilford’s latest version of its classic fast film, which

can be developed in traditional black-and-white

chemistry. It is a great all-round film, suitable to

those who just want to try monochrome – or for

those who are looking for a film that will respond

well to push processing for lowlight use.




Classic B&W film

Fast and versatile

Can be pushed to ISO 3200

Photo from Ilford

Fujifilm Velvia

Availability is becoming patchy, but

it’s a classic everyone should

try once

Photo from Fujifilm

Velvia has gained a reputation as the world’s

richest, most super-saturated and sharpest color

transparency film ever. Kodachrome used to

carry that crown, but it looks positively restrained

by comparison. Not everyone loves Velvia

50’s strong colors and contrasts, but it’s now

gained immortality among Fujifilm’s digital Film

Simulation modes.



Super-saturated colors

Fine grain and resolution

Not exactly subtle

22 23

Never leave home without it.


Photo Mathew Feeny

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