When my sister asked me for Christmas present suggestions, I just said “film”, and not HP5 or FP4 because I shoot those pretty often. I was very excited to unwrap a roll of Kodak TRI-X. It’s one of the classic emulsions and I had never shot! Come boxing day, that TRI-X was in my trusty Canon A-1. I bought the A-1 for the 50mm f/1.4 lens on the front but ended up keeping it. It’s super reliable, it has full-auto, aperture and shutter priority modes – and the meter hasn’t let me down yet. If I could pick one little nit, it’s that, if you take the lens out of automatic, the aperture doesn’t show in the viewfinder, making full manual less convenient.
First, the good. What a versatile film! I started off with pictures of the misty forest, followed it up with my in-laws’ dog (side note, he’s such a great dog I worry that any dog I get might be a disappointment) and finished the roll on the workshop in which my fiancée and I made our wedding rings. Tri-x can do it all!
Buuuut remember my “trusty” Canon A-1? It turns out the light seals are gone and I’ve ended up with a lot of leaks on a roll I am otherwise pretty pleased with. The real bother here is that I was planning on taking pictures of the preparations for our wedding with it!
My other film cameras are either a bit broken (a Zeiss Contessa which is beautiful but has an out of alignment rangefinder), a bit basic (the Agfa Silette I have written about before) or unreliable (would you trust a Kiev 4 with anything you love?). I have a couple of modern, plastic SLRs and may be able to borrow something better than the kit lenses on them, but I haven’t got time to sort out the seals on the A-1…
Looks like I’ve got a roll of T-max and a hard choice to make…
If you like, you can see more of my stuff on instagram
Contribute to 35mmc for an Ad-free Experience
There are two ways to experience 35mmc without the adverts:
Paid Subscription - £2.99 per month and you'll never see an advert again! (Free 3-day trial).
Content contributor - become a part of the world’s biggest film and alternative photography community blog. All our Contributors have an ad-free experience for life.
Sign up here.