Tom's First Rollei

I mentioned in my yearly theme post that I really wanted to get into film photography this year. Lo and behold, no more than 3 days since making that post I bought a used Rollei Rolleimat F camera off eBay and started taking pictures! My first roll of film was as basic as it gets - Kodak Gold 200 - and that was intentional: something that will likely succeed in producing good looking photos regardless of my own ability to set the camera up and frame the images properly.

Despite that, it took me almost 8 months to finally fill my first roll (I don't get out much, it's a whole thing), and so when I finally got them developed I had no idea what to expect. Was there a light leak in the camera? Maybe the lens wasn't up to scratch (or maybe was scratched)? What's the field of view like - is my framing terrible? I had no idea if they would all turn out blurry, and annoyingly, I waited 8 months to find out.

The roll got sent off, developed within a day or so, and I received a Dropbox link via email. You would not believe the face I pulled when I opened the files - never before have I genuinely dropped my jaw and covered my mouth with such awe and excitement. They turned out almost perfectly! The photos I had taken were nearly all in focus, beautifully lit, and felt strangely exotic and timeless.

A lot of the shots were taken during the middle of winter, when we had a lot of snow, so it was quite odd to be taken back to that time considering the summer we've had across the globe.

Photo from film roll #1 Photo from film roll #2 Photo from film roll #3 Photo from film roll #4

Around April, I went to Glasgow city centre with the intention of taking more pictures, and boy did this camera deliver! While none of these photos are particularly breathtaking, I love how the film captured the yellows and greens compared to the very blue winter shots.

Photo from film roll #5 Photo from film roll #6 Photo from film roll #7

It's safe to say I will most definitely be continuing this hobby. I've resisted taking too many pictures until this point because I wanted to be absolutely certain the camera wasn't faulty. Now that's confirmed, I've already loaded my second roll of film (well, in a second camera), and my next endeavour will be learning how different film chemistries change the look of the image. I've got a basket with some black and white film, and my next colour film will likely be Kodak Portra 400 as a comparison. Let's hope my ability to take interesting photos also improves over time!