In January of this year I was in Atlanta for the Imaging USA photographers convention. On the expo floor, I struck up a conversation with a gentleman from Kodak Alaris, the spin-off company from Kodak's bankruptcy that handles the film and chemical business. He stuffed my goodie bag with several rolls of the new Tri-X 400 film, and gave me the name of some labs that could process them. Of all the amazing things I saw at IUSA, nothing made me want to come home and shoot like having a bunch of the film from my youth to blow through.
I fired up my beloved Nikon F4 and started to shoot my daily orbit in lovely black and white, just like when I was on the yearbook staff in the 1970's. Only then did I realize how my approach towards shooting had become- namely, looking at the back of my camera to check out the image I just took (which wasn't there). Only having 36 photos on a roll made me ration my shots, passing on less interesting subjects, and only then carefully composing and focusing each shot.
There was a different feeling about the pictures I had taken that were still in the camera, they were like an unborn child, you couldn't see them, yet you know they were there. You couldn't open the back of the camera to look at them, rather they had to be bathed in chemicals in a distant city to reveal the latent image. Once developed and scanned, I was notified by email with a link to download the pictures, and 60 seconds later they were in my computer. Now it was beginning to feel like more recent digital times.
All pictures were shot with a Nikkor AF 50mm 1.4 lens except the last one, a 70-210 fixed f4 Nikkor AF.
My final assessment? I can't believe how grainy (noisy) 400 ISO film is compared to 400 ISO on a digital camera. Turnaround time was exactly two weeks.
I will continue to shoot film, but slower, more detailed films. I guess digital has finally passed that bar set by analog film, but both still have their place in the world (and my heart <3).