No More Digital Stills (for a while, anyway) / by Sohail Mamdani

I ditched most of my digital stills gear and put the remaining bits up for sale. This is what I shoot with now.

That's a Hassy 500C (birthday present from a friend) with a 120mm f/4 Macro, Ilford PanF 50 film in the back.

My good friend Andrew Kim rocks his own Hassy 500CM and his reasons for shooting more film closely match mine. Turns out, all the things I considered cliché reasons for shooting film are nonetheless true.

Shooting with film does slow me down. It makes me more contemplative. It forces me to be more deliberative with my shots. Each one, after all, costs more than a dollar when you're shooting with 120 medium format film. Discipline, enforced with the threat of financial burden. But more effectively, with the constraint of limited rolls of film in the bag.

Then there's the "look" of film. I've spent hundreds of $$ on VSCO and Nik Collection in the past, chasing the "look" of film. Well, now I just shoot film.

There are going to be new companies getting my money now. CineStill, The Film Photography Project, The Impossible Project, and others who are bringing about a revival in the film world. For the forseeable future, a lot of my shooting funds are going to go into their pockets. Which I'm totally okay with.

I'm not leaving digital behind, however; I've been shooting video much more often lately and I'm getting my money's worth out of my GH4.

For stills, however, I've got both feet firmly in the analog camp, and I haven't been this excited about the process of shooting for a long time.