I seriously still can’t believe I now own a very vintage yet still very beautiful and working, single lens reflex film cameraaaaaaa!!!! A few months back, I never would have thought I’d get one this early! I remember joining this film photography group on facebook late last year and the moderator warmly welcomed me and offered to help me find what I want. Very amateur that I am in this craft (I only got to play with dslrs and lomo cameras in the past) and still unemployed, I politely told him of my intentions in joining the group and that is only to scout for prospective cameras. I had really no plans yet of getting one because I was too broke. I could only drool over, dream and window-shop for a really nice camera. I never had a chance to look around after that again.
Fast forward to the days before I got my salary last Saturday, I began looking for one after so long, knowing that I could afford cameras with a price ranging from Php2,500-Php3,000. The first one I saw was a Minolta XG-M and it was on OLX. It was really, really, really nice. I looked up the specs, sample photos, reviews online and I have decided to get it that day since the seller was only free on weekends! Sakto because it was a Saturday and I was about to get off from work! Unfortunately, the seller cannot schedule a meet up that day because apparently she was busy. Disappointed, I told her that I’ll be texting her again (but deep inside I didn’t want to get it anymore since I felt that she wasn’t very enthusiastic about having a buyer so soon). So I slept through half the night and woke up an hour and a half past midnight. Still thinking about the camera, I searched for more sample photos on instagram and fell even more in love with it. At 3 am, I was sure that I’m going to get it as soon as the seller was available. I couldn’t contain my excitement for daybreak just so I could send the seller a message again! At 6:33am, I sent her a text bargaining on a time and day we could meet up. Sadly, there was no reply from her after.
You could just imagine how overly frustrated I got, even cursing her in my mind! Just kidding! I just couldn’t accept the fact that I might not be able to get the camera that I drooled over the past night. I got so easily attached and I felt even more hopeful since the seller was a college student from my alma mater. So when I got home from our family trip to Batangas that day (Sunday), I went online and began searching for another camera on facebook again. It’s true what they say, you can move truly move on from a bad break up when someone new comes along. In my case, I found the second love of my life that night (that was fast! a mere 24 hours after!). It was posted a few hours before I logged on and it was dayuummm sexy! It’s a CANON FTb QL! Well that was just an exaggeration because it wasn’t love at first sight. I still wasn’t over the Minolta heartbreaker and before that, I was really, really hoping to get a Canon AE1-program (my ultimate dream baby and still is), but I still gave it a chance, after all, it wasn’t that bad looking (I had been eyeing vintage slrs with that slab of metal on top). And besides, who am I to say no to this sexy machine? Looking back, I realized I couldn’t be happier that I did because it was truly heaven sent! The seller was very nice and answered all of my questions really well (despite me knowing nothing about it). I downloaded the manual online and searched for reviews and specs and sample photos again. You may call it deja vu except that this time, I wasn’t going to pass the chance, but grab on to it immediately. So I did and before I knew it, I was meeting up with the seller the day after!
I asked my best friend to go to Makati with me to meet up with the seller. It was a very eventful night, it deserves an entry of its own. So, I met up with him and asked him all about the baby and when he took it out, that moment was like when a father/mother sees his/her baby for the first time. It was sooooooo HUGE and HEAVY, it got me even more excited! It was a very magical moment and when I held it in my hands and looked through the viewfinder, I felt like “I have got to own this baby!”. I couldn’t wait to put some more magic into it!
Days after, still, I am amazed by it. Looking at the reviews and feedback of people from all over the makes me giddier by the minute. I like that what most people have to say about it is that it’s a great camera for beginners because it’s completely manual. I got so easily seduced by dslrs because of the photos I took using those but really, I never learned any of the apertures, iso or shutter speed shizz that you have to when you’re shooting with a film slr or any film camera for that matter. I also like that it’s really big and heavy because it looks so hardcore that way. I also like its quick loading system (thus the QL attached to its name) because it makes it easy to load film inside. I love how you’re not sure of what’s the outcome gonna be like. I love the film advance lever (feels even more vintage-y). I love that it works even without a battery (coz’ it’s not readily available). I love that you really need to know what aperture or ISO/film speed and shutter speed to use and how they work together for every photo you take based on the light conditions of each. It is very complicated and it seems so hard to even get a good picture out of this thing especially since you cannot easily review and delete the bad photos you took and since I am very amateur, so I really need to practice more on it! I love how everything is manual because it would really force you to learn all the basics and your own style of taking photographs manually. I still have a long way to go to reach my dream and become Philippine’s next top photographer (CHOS!), but I’m really happy that I’m shooting one photograph to my dream at a time.
More about my baby soon and hopefully I could include photos from my first roll of film using it!