Well, another year has gone by, and thankfully It was a productive one, at least for the website.
I managed to review over 40 film cameras this year; (and now have around 52 total), much more than I thought I would be able to do—last year I said I’d like to do about two per month. However, I did miss the mark on reviewing developing and scanning products; zero on that one, though I recently purchased a small and relatively inexpensive PrimeFilm XA Super Edition to help me keep up with all the film I’ve been shooting. I also haven’t been very good at posting old/antique film negatives and glass plates recently but I do have a lot in the hopper.
In 2018 I shot over 65 rolls of film, (quite a bit more than last year); mostly color print (C-41) with about 14 rolls of slide (E-6) and just a couple of rolls of B&W. The film type was split closely between 135 format and 120. There were a few rolls of 127 and 828 too.
I did not shoot any large format this year, however, I still plan on reviewing a few cameras that I have, and have used quite a bit in the past. I probably won’t be doing a whole lot of large format anymore, it’s just too expensive; 4×5″ is around $5-10 per shot (depending on film type) with self-developing, and double that for 8×10.” Even worse, have it developed for you by a lab, (I have E-6 film done) and you wind up paying around $35 (total) per shot with postage for an 8×10.” Oh, and it gets worse; add $50-100 per shot if you want a really high grade scan instead of just using an Epson flatbed as I have been doing. So potentially $100+ for a single shot, no thanks, for me it just isn’t worth it anymore. On the bright side: good 6×9 120 roll film cameras will come close to the quality and resolution of 4×5″ cameras, in fact, the film area is only a little over double for 4×5″ sheet film; it’s like going from 6×4.5 to 6×9, not really a big jump. If you want a big jump in resolution, go from 135 format to 6×9, or 6×9 to 5×7″ or 8×10″!!
The Primefilm scanner (Reflecta RPS 10M outside the US, and a good review here) does 35mm film only, but will do the whole un-cut roll in one quick run—and unattended (huray!), so that’s going to be a huge timesaver. So far I’ve been experimenting with it using Silverfast Ai Studio, and the scanner seems to work well with that software; I’m getting good colors, along with a big range of highlights and shadows details, but not really quite as good as when using the Nikon 9000. Amazingly, the PrimeFilm XA Super will pull about the same amount of detail as the top notch Nikon 9000 ED, and sometimes even more, especially along the edges, so that’s a welcome surprise.
So for 2018, look for more camera reviews, like what you see in the picture above; all of those will be reviewed in the next month or two; I’ve already taken most of the test pictures. I’m also going to start reviewing currently available new film scanners; it’s really important to get the scanning process right, in fact, most labs do a poor job of scanning because they do it quickly with little or no quality control from the operator, that’s why I do it myself. People ask me how I get the nice colors and sharpness out of my review cameras; (I guess they have the same one as I reviewed for comparison) and it’s because I do the scanning myself on a quality machine and take the time to do it right; something your lab won’t do as part of the standard development/scans/prints price. You’ll have to pay them substantially more money for good individual scans and prints. You’ll be very surprised at how well your pictures turn out by using a good scanner and doing it yourself; nobody cares about the ‘look’ and quality of the final product as much as you do!!
Anyhow, thanks to all the visitors who took the time to stop by and read my reviews, I really appreciate it. Even though this site is a hobby of mine, and done in my spare time, I do end up spending quite a bit of time and money on it, and I’d be happy if you’d click on one of my affiliate links when ready to buy something, even if it isn’t camera related, it helps pay for the site costs. Thanks, and have a great 2019!