Think You’re Alone?

frame 37-The Shop Series; Hammer and Ax handles in duct tape.

frame 37-The Shop Series; Hammer and Ax handles in duct tape.

Each morning that I awake to e-mail from like-minded photographers around the world begins a good day. This morning I wondered, how many of you wonder if you’re the only ones feeling passionate about shooting film? Well, I decided to prove that you’re not alone. Please find below a short assortment of messages I’ve had the privilege to receive from photographers around the world just like you. Those who’ve had enough of the never-ending cycle of buying digital cameras – yet are still searching for whatever it was that once breathed magic into the art of photography.

frame 27-The Shop Series, a Master Mechanics ultimate Man Cave.

“Hi John, thank you for your labour of love, the Nikon F6 project. I’m an amateur photographer from Wellington, New Zealand. I am considering sending you three images for your POD gallery. As they are portfolio shots I would rather not send you full-res images, so please advise your resolution requirements and I’ll size appropriately. The images I’m considering are all very different – different subjects, taken in three different countries, each using a different film and a different lens (all on the F6 of course). I think you’ll like them. Hope to hear from you, and thanks again for all your good work.” Cheers,-Daniel

“Hello John, I read the “The Value of Unique Pictures” from your website and enjoyed it. But I wanted to read the full article, so I searched for it. It took me a while, but I found a copy on at the following link.” Cheers, -Paul

“Bought one new and it was worth every cent. Best designed piece of equipment I have ever used. A few shots from my first day out are here (this page is not secure). -Gregory, New Zealand

“Hi, Thank you for your great website about the F6 I am back to film also, F6+Velvia (that I copy with D800+PB-5 bellows +Ai-s 55mm f/2.8 + PS-4)” -Alex.

“After having tried many different digital cameras (including a Nikon D3 or a Iphone), I end up feeling I am not anymore “taking real photos” as we say in French. I am maybe old fashion (at least for taking pictures) but I am very nostalgic of 35mm films, of my old Nikon F2, my Nikon FM2 with the 105/2.5 lens. I bought my F6 years ago at the launch time, knowing it was the last of a generation but I did not use it. And then I have just discovered your website and in parallel just found a passionate photographer which he’s still selling and developing 35mm films. This is it, I put back the battery in , put on a 85/1.8D turn it on and I felt immediately this intact same pleasure I was experiencing years ago…Thank you for this,” – Laurent, France

“I am stepping off the digital merry-go-round where each camera is instantly rendered obsolete by the next model. I get better quality photos in most situations on film. “Blowing the highlights” just never happens and there is a velvet texture to prints from fine-grain film that I prefer. I just want to take photos, not to be confused by hundreds of menu items nor waste hours post-processing RAW files. As a walk-around camera I need more focus points and a stronger body than my N75. I also need an option for genuine high-speed bursts of two or three shots at the right instant for air shows. The answer for me will be an F6 with the battery grip. So long as Kodak keeps making Ektar and Portra 400 I won’t be buying another digital paperweight. Your site has helped me make this decision. Thanks!” I enjoy looking at your site. An F6 will be my next camera. Right now I am making do with an F75 (Ektar) and F90x (Portra 400). I seriously tried digital with a D200 but when it comes right down to it, I like what I see on film prints, and the cameras are easier to use. I am not creating great art here but my personal satisfaction level has soared since returning to film. Ektar is way better than anything I used to use “back in the day” and better than the D200 in fine weather. A new Sigma 24-105mm has significantly improved my keeper rate – the VR (OS) is miraculous. Thanks for the inspiration!” – Gregory L., location unknown

“Hi John, I love your site and images made with the F6. I love my F6. Keep up the great work!”– Rich, Naperville, Illinois

“Hi, I’m an 18 year old from Australia and I discovered your F6 page about a year ago and I thought I would take the time out now to say your photographs are amazing and have inspired me in my film photography a great deal (I myself shoot on an F100 and F5). Thankyou for posting your works online. And I know that its the photographer who takes the photos, not the camera, but your F6 is hands down the best looking camera I have seen.”– Tom A. from Australia

Nikon F6 shown with: Nikon R1C1 Macro Close-Up Flash Kit (Nikon SU-800 wireless speedlight commander, Nikon SX-1 attachment ring, Nikon SY-1-62 adaptor ring, NIKON SB-R200 wireless remote speedlight, NIKON SW-11 extreme close-up adaptor) Nikon DR-5 Right-Angle Viewer; Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens.

Nikon F6 shown with: Nikon R1C1 Macro Close-Up Flash Kit (Nikon SU-800 wireless speedlight commander, Nikon SX-1 attachment ring, Nikon SY-1-62 adaptor ring, NIKON SB-R200 wireless remote speedlight, NIKON SW-11 extreme close-up adaptor) Nikon DR-5 Right-Angle Viewer; Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens.

“Just a note to say how much I appreciated visiting your Nikon F6 site ! I hope that your comment that ‘nobody cares’ isn’t true. I also hope that Nikon F6’s – and other single digit F series cameras – will be used for another generation or so. I currently use my F6 (bought new three years ago in the UK from Grays of Westminster – a Nikon-only dealer ! Look at the website.They are ‘F’ worshippers and the shop is a temple to Nikon!) ; my F3P, bought in a sealed box and ceremonially opened eighteen months ago ; my Nikkormat FT3 , which takes all Nikkors ; and my original Nikon F which is still in mint- condition. At one stage, I left them in my will to my local College of Art, but I am re-thinking at the moment how to pass them on to recipients with a photographic mission attached perhaps – with ‘Terms and conditions’ !! I think that the best thing F6 users can do is what you are doing through your F6 website: to use and show, and tell, as much and as often as possible. The camera is living through your pictures, and its memory will be carried on as long as the pictures are looked at – as with the heritage of Nikon F pictures from those earlier days. I shall endeavour to keep the faith, and use the camera! Thank you again for your inspirational support of the F6.” – Ivor M. B., UK

“I was certainly amazed with your results from Portra and on that note actually your image of the two guys in the ute with the golden sun – phenomenal! I saw that and thought as much as I like landscapes and rust that’s a cracker. If you haven’t printed it big, do so! Happy shooting, I’ll keep you posted on the F5 stuff and other film adventures (I’m looking at swapping my 645 MF gear over to 6×9 for the more serious stuff..). Great look on the new site. Big fan of the slideshow banner at the top of the page. Solid work.” – Gareth B., Australia

“It was very nice to finally meet you in person at the Estes Park Art Market in May. I’ve had some time to sit down and look through your site and have been really loving your work! You really have been capturing the feel of the west and I really appreciate your different views on the scenery. Looking at your F6 project blog and dedication to 35mm, can I assume that all of your images are taken on 35mm film? It’s almost hard to believe, because they are so incredibly sharp and the tones you are getting out of Velvia 100 are just blowing me away. You’re really doing a great job, John and I’m glad I had the chance to meet you. I had seen some of your photos on Flickr before, but the full effect of rolling though endless excellent images on your website really is great!” – Alex B., Greeley, Colorado

“I’ve followed your website on the F6 and found it to be very helpful.” – Tom C., location unknown

“Just thought I would drop you a line to say great website, and you have inspired me to eventually buy an F6 after many years of shall I….maybe…..not sure. Well thanks to you tipping me in the right direction got it now, and have that great feeling of excitement and anticipation of putting through the first few rolls of Velvia 100 this weekend at a local steam rally and shire horse fair. Been shooting digital for years but it was always lacking a certain buzz I am sure you know what I mean. Just lately been buying more film bodies Pentax medium format and a few old Nikon bodies including a mint little EM, for nostalgic reasons as it was one of my first little cameras back in 1980. I always loved my F5 so I feel I will be right at home with the F6……well thanks again.” – Nigel from Middle England

“Love your Web site and especially the F6 project. I’m an amateur photographer/writer BS communications direction of a large hospital system in Colorado, based in Denver. I love the approach you’ve taken with the Bible verse and “justice.” I have lots of questions, but I’d like to ask first how you get such great scans of your fuji velvia taken with the F6. I still do film with an F5 and a Yachica mat 124.” – Jim F., Denver

“I started taking film photos back in 1977. Finally converted to Digital when the D700 came out. Now have D700, D300s and D4 on order. But I have this craving to buy an F6. Simpler…slow down…nostalgic…romantic? Please confirm that you and I are normal people so that I can go ahead with my purchase. I would also add that even your photos of mundane subject matter looks good to me. My digital pictures of mundane subjects look boring to me.  Thanks for the nice web site.” – Brian F., location unknown

“Thanks for putting up your F6 site. It’s great and your photos are stunning! I’ve been shooting 35mm since 1998 and am now thinking about getting my hands on an F6. Last few years most of my stuff has been 120 and 4×5 but I’ve realised that the images where I feel that I really managed to “capture the moment” were all shot on 35mm. Now that I’ve saved the funds I’ll be doing my bit for the survival of film by investing in an F6. Your site helped seal the deal! Keep up the good work.”– Sean K., UK

“I’ve spent times surfing your web sites. Your pictures are trully beautiful with incredible colors and a great softness. And I agree with you : the Nikon F6 is a joy to hold and use. I’ve bougth mine in march 2009 and use it almost daily since then (with kodal tri-X and 50mm 1,4 AF-D see the blog below). It’s a marvel, really. I hope that 35mm film will continue it’s long life. I wish you a happy 2011. All the best.”– Sylvain L., France

“Just a quick note to say that I ran across your F6 Project website, and I really appreciate the work you put into the website; it’s really good work. I picked up a brand new F6 in November while in Korea at a Nikon showroom store, it’s a gem. I have been shooting Nikon and film for over 20 years, and continue to shoot film. Once I find the right Nikon F, I will have the F through the F6. I live in Okinawa, Japan and there’s still a lot of people shooting film. Shelves are still nicely stocked w/ film here and processing is readily available. So I’m lucky to be in a film friendly environment and can get good use from Nikon’s great film bodies. Anyway, keep up the great work, and the Nikon F6 Project! Regards,”– Greg L. Okinawa, Japan

“Just letting you know I have been reading and enjoying your site. I purchased my first camera 15 years ago (a used Nikon F3) and have owned a few FAs as well as an F100 … Sold them with the digital era moving in, switched to Canon (10D, 20D, 40D) sold them for a Nikon D700 (really fine camera) but missing 35mm a lot. Recently purchased another F3, FA and F100 (they’re like old friends). Have run a few rolls and really like the results, especially enjoy using MF prime lenses. Thanks for sharing on your site, and may God richly bless you.” – Leif from ON, Canada

“I read about your Nikon F6 project. I like quite a few of your images on your page. Thanks for sharing! I have a technical question: Do you still use & like your F6? Would you recommend the F6? Any technical issues/problems? I am an 35 year old amateur. I don’t make money with photography. It’s all about me, I and myself. I am in it for the color & composition. I shoot digital for all people related photos (Canon Rebel T2), but I am very much into film for landscapes. I pondered the question digital vs. Velvia 50 for quite a while with a Nikon D700 in mind. I came to the conclusion that I will stick with 35mm slide film for my landscapes. Pro film: Color, timeless equipment. Cons digital: too much money, too much time in front of the PC to get the saturated colors. Then I played with the idea of getting into MF (Hasselblad), but I don’t need more resolution (35mm was good enough for Rowell too), its way too expensive and the equipment is way too heavy. I love Velvia 50 for its saturated colors. The colors blow me away again and again. I feel Velvia 50 gives me the saturated colors I long for without the need for editing in Photoshop, which is not something I want to spend time on it. Do you agree Velvia 50 provides better saturated colors than digital unless you become very knowledgeable in Photoshop?. I have been using my FM2 for its simplicity, but I feel the missing matrix exposure metering is getting into my way. I spend way too much time on determining the exposure instead on composition, as I often shoot in difficult light conditions such as at sunrises. I use a nice set of manual focus prime lenses ranging from 20mm to 180mm. I read the F6 is the only modern Nikon film camera that can handle the manual focus lenses with matrix reading (except for the FA).”– Mikalis, Zurich, Switzerland

“Love you(r) site John, I’m so glad I stumbled onto it. I had an F6 on order back in 2004 the moment I saw it in the news section of a photo magazine. At first I thought it was a joke, I was looking to buy a new camera and wasn’t happy with the quality of  the Nikon D1H that I rented for a few days. I had a F4, a F90x and was thinking of upgrading to the F5, so when the F6 came out I was so excited. I used the F6 for about a year (I think I only put around 35 rolls through it) until I bought the D2x and then later a D3. For weddings and portraits digital cameras are so easy for a quick turnaround.I decided to start using the F6 just this week for my personal work and have started taking it with me at all times with a 50mm f1.4 lens on it. So thank you for putting so much work and effort into this site, keep it up.” – Alan R., UK

“I’m 46 and a good 28 years ago I went to photography school.  I got away from it after school and now just really shoot for fun.  I have been chasing my tail, buying digital camera after digital camera.  My latest camera is a D300.  I was going to buy a D700 and sell the D300, of course thinking that camera would be better. Your site convinced me that film is a better way.  I’ll keep the D300, much like you keep a D3s on hand.” – Todd S., New York

“I came across your Nikon F6 project a few weeks ago.  After searching endlessly, I finally found the answers and help I was looking for on your site, and you helped me make an important decision. As much as I know the Nikon F6 would be my absolute, ideal camera, I purchased a nearly brand new, mint, Nikon F5. The small trade-offs and significant price difference were the final deciding factors. However, without your thorough insight to both cameras, I think I’d still be on the fence. Anyway, thanks so much for the efforts on your Nikon F6 project. It really made my month when I found it.  Also, you led me to the site, which was also very helpful.” – Scott, New York

“Love your web site so glad I found it. I love my nikon f6 and each year I purchase new accessories for the camera with my Christmas money. I love getting out doors especially on the coast here in Savannah, GA. However, I wanted to get some sort of protective case I can use while shooting. I was wondering what type of camera case or equipment you use for your Nikon f6 and thought you can share your list.Thank you for your time!!!” –Mary R., Savannah, Georgia

“Dear John,Just wanted to say that I have enjoyed reading very much your F6 website. The pictures you have on there are wonderful. I can’t seem to get an honest answer but I asked a local store if Nikon were still making the F6 and they said they have not for some time.  Do you know if they are?  If not do you have a concern with accessing parts for repair in the future if needed? I am weighing the option of getting an F6. I the moment I shoot the F100. Your site has actually inspired me to try a few rolls of slide film. Again, your site is a breadth of fresh air.  Please do continue to share your perspectives. Thanks,” – Andrew, UK.

“I recently obtained an F6 over Christmas. I am very impressed by its quality and function. I am new to Nikon but not film having shot it all my life. I still love it even though I incorporated digital into my photography in 2005. I “stumbled” upon your site last night doing research on the F6. I am really enjoying your photography. I haven’t gone through all the F6 shots yet, but I really enjoy what I’ve seen. Can’t wait to peruse your medium format shots. Anyway, thanks for sharing your shots with the F6 as well as other work. Colorado is a beautiful state and you capture it and its people very well.” – Bobby T., Murphreesboro, Tennessee

“Thank you for sharing your passion for the Nikon F6, and for photography. I enjoyed browsing your gallery, and I think that in more than a few you achieved Barthe’s punctum – at least from this viewer’s perspective. Your site is very encouraging to me. I am an amateur photographer, aged 40. I had googled the F6 and came across your site. You are right I think about the medium being all but lost before long, held on to by only the obsessive types. But perhaps like my friend who plays only vinyl records on some beautiful speakers via a valve amp, there is something to be said for ‘tone’ as well as detail. It may be the power of suggestion, but that music did sound warmer, richer in tone. Perhaps film provides that too. The other thought I had was this: is digital-only going to make a lazier photographer of me? There is so much that can be manipulated with the files post-production, and as an amateur I am only scratching the surface of that. Yes, it is true that if you develop and print your own negatives, you can manipulate the result on paper (and you can always scan a negative and do the same digitally), but the principal thought I imagine having when taking a photo on film is “this is it” – it puts more pressure on creating the image while the camera is in your hands. That appeals. At least what you say appeals to this ‘stalwart romantic’, so I may some day join the ranks of F6ers. Thank you Mr Crane for sharing your F6 world with us.” – Kind Regards, Linden W., U.K.

“Hi John! Just found your site on the Nikon F6 by chance. I started off with digital Nikon D3100, D7000 Canon 7D and now a Nikon D3. But I’ve been getting interested in film and have got myself an Olympus 2n. Sadly not the Nikon F6 but one day, Sadly not manny people appreciate film, especially this ebbing photographed, but one day maybe even the people in front of the lens will learn to trust the photographer and I can go completely film :)” – Imalka, location unknown

“Great website and congrats on your portfolio. Some real killer shots! Wonderful! Cheers,” – Andrei (fellow F6/ film lover in Canada)