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Five Best Medium Format Cameras for Beginners

5 best medium format film camerasIt happens to the best of us. At some point in the photographic journey, every photo geek is going to run into a wall. Things get stale; you’ve plateaued. You’ve been shooting the same subjects with the same camera for too many years, and there’s no way to avoid the truth that you’re getting bored with photography.

But it doesn’t have to stay this way. There are things we can do to stave off the inevitable onset of photographic ennui. Traveling, shooting with friends or alone, and taking a break from the camera are all useful tools in the toolbox of every happy photographer.

But if you’ve tried all this and you’re still finding yourself a bit distracted, a bit blasé about this whole photography thing, the problem may just rest with your format. Crop sensors? Full-frame? 35mm film? Get real. That stuff is so dull, and puny, and pathetic. You need a bigger format! You need something with depth and charisma! You need to shoot medium format.

But with so many cameras to choose from, how do you know which is right for you?

It’s cool. We’ve got you covered.

Here’s a list of five excellent medium format film cameras for shooters new to the vast frontier of medium format.

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How To Process Black and White Film at Home – Part One: What You’ll Need

how to process your own black and white film (1 of 2)

There’s no better way to connect with the very essence of the medium than by shooting black-and-white film, and while the C-41 process B&W films are at times excellent, our curiosity will inevitably get the best of us. Whether we know it or not, eventually all film photographers are going to want to develop their own black-and-white images.

Luckily, developing at home is neither costly, nor difficult. So what stops us from jumping into the world of home processing? I suspect that it’s simple uncertainty. We’re not sure how to do it, and we don’t know where to start.

Well, fear not. Today, CP begins a multi-part feature in which we’ll walk through the entire process of developing a roll of black-and-white film at home. From stocking your supply cabinet to printing your final image, we’ll take you through the entire process one step at a time, ensuring accessibility for all shooters of any experience level.

In this article we’ll show all of the supplies that we’ll need to develop our first roll of B&W film, which products work best, and where to get them. Let’s get to it.

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Film Profile – Kodak Portra 400

Kodak Portra 400 Film Review 9 copy

As happens very often here at CP, we received not long ago a shipment of gear bundled in an old, dusty camera bag. Inside one of the pouches was found a couple of rolls of film, and upon closer inspection it was discovered to be a type of film we’ve never before shot!

A film I’ve never shot?! I wondered with giddy anticipation. How exciting! This thought was instantly followed by an Instagram post, a hastily loaded roll of film, and a feeling of joyful anticipation as my brain began bathing itself in copious quantities of dopamine.

But what’s this all mean for you, faithful reader? It means you’re in for another new feature. Can you believe it?

As many of you may know, every film is unique. It may be warm or cool, smooth or grainy, accommodating or demanding, and on, and on. The variety is immense, and it’s one of the most exciting things about analog photography. But we know it can be a bit confusing when new shooters (and even experienced shooters) try to decide which film to buy for their intended shots.

With this in mind, from time to time we’re going to profile an individual film. We’ll talk about its tone, character, push-ability, scan-ability, availability, and offer sample shots to illustrate. Eventually we’ll even compare similar films in side-by-side shootouts, all in the hope that you’ll know what you’re in for before you open your wallet.

To start, we’re going to examine a classic film loved by many. It’s Kodak’s Portra 400, and it’s one of our favorite color films. So sit back, relax, and find out if Portra’s made for you, or one to skip.

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Product Spotlight – Asilda Store Pins Patches & Prints

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 10.30.34 AM

This hobby of ours comes with a price tag. There’s no denying that. Things can get pretty expensive pretty quickly, and often you get what you pay for. Spend ten bucks on a lens and you’re likely not getting a very good lens. That’s why it’s so refreshing when a product comes along for us photo-geeks that’s passionately designed, well-produced, and affordable too.

Today we’re showcasing just such a range of products from one of our favorite photographers and Instagram pals, Anastasia Petukhova. She’s created a fantastic range of products for photophiles that includes stickers, patches, and pins (not to mention her catalogue of impressive photography prints).

If you’re on Instagram and follow the film photography scene, you’ve likely come across these gorgeous accessories, and with the recent expansion of her shop’s product range, we wanted to help spread the word. So if you’d like some beautiful artwork or seriously classy accessories at a truly affordable price, read on!

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Casual Photophile’s 2014 Year in Review

Casual Photophile 2014 Review

Eight months ago I launched Casual Photophile, and in that time the site has quickly become one of the most intellectually rewarding endeavors with which I’ve ever been involved. In this short time the site’s readership has grown at an astounding rate, and I’m thankful for every visitor. I’ve also been given the opportunity to play with an incredible number of cameras, met countless interesting and friendly people, and learned a lot about this hobby of ours.

I’d like to take a moment to thank every one of you who have visited the site. Additional thanks go out to all those friends I’ve met out in the field when shooting. And a special thanks to those who have reached out in the comments, on Facebook, Ello, or on Instagram. It means a lot to connect with friends from all over the world to discuss cameras and photography. This is, in fact, the entire purpose of the site. So thank you, to every one of you.

As 2014 winds down, I’ve put together a collection of posts from this past year. These are some of the site’s most popular posts, some of my personal favorites, and some that you may have missed.

Thanks again, have a great new year, and keep checking in to Casual Photophile for everything that’s to come in 2015.

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