Rocky Mountain National Park taken with my Grandpa’s 1950’s film camera

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120 rolls are available most everywhere in photo shops, only second to the “standard” 135 cartridges (35mm).

The term “old-school cameras” covers a whole lot of ground glass. I’d suggest simply googling it on your phone if you come across a fun deal at a flea market or something like that. Generally most popular cameras will have extensive information online.

It’s hard to sum up a whole century of camera development in a comment, but… basically you lose automatics in terms of focus and exposure. What that entails will vary.

Generally, you’d have to learn a bit about focusing. Some very simple cameras (the Brownies) will have extremely simple (and rather blurry) optics. Some think that’s cool. This picture above was clearly taken with something higher-end than that.

If it’s not fixed-focus then you’ll have to focus yourself, and the aides for that are either a simple distance marker and you have to guesstimate the distance to your subject, or you have some sort of preview glass. Focusing is a matter of practice but you get the hang of it.

Then you need to think about exposure. Film, especially slower black and white film, gives you a *lot* of leeway here, so you don’t need to set it just right to get a usable picture. A Brownie will generally have three fixed apertures and a set exposure time, so you just set it for sun, cloudy or shade.

If you get a camera that lets you set both aperture and shutter time, you just use the [sunny 16 rule](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunny_16_rule): f/16 if it’s sunny, and then set the shutter speed to the reciprocal of your film’s ISO speed rating – so if you have an ISO 100 film you set the shutter to 1/100th of a second.

It might be a lot to take in if you’re not used to the technical side of photography but it really is the most fun way imaginable to learn and it’s certainly taught me a lot about photography that I apply to digital work too.

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