film photography . first photos with the Olympus mju-II

A few weeks ago I watched a video on Youtube and instantly had a new obsession. It always starts like this, doesn’t it?!
Well this obsession was about a little film camera, the Contax t2. It’s from the 90s and there is no support for fixing it when it breaks because the production of it has long been stopped. But there was something about this camera that made me want to get into film photography.

A few years ago Kendall Jenner brought this camera to a TV interview and suddenly everybody wanted one. As a result, the price sky-rocketed. It now sells for £600-800 and as much as I wanted one, I could not justify spending that much money on a camera that I wasn’t sure I would use much. So I asked a friend who knows a lot about film cameras, which camera he would suggest as an alternative. A few days later I got myself an Olympus mju-II, a teeny tiny point and shoot camera.

I went to the beach with the camera to take a few shots – because that’s always the first place for me to go – and had a little play. I used a Kodak Tri-X 400 film, which was actually a mistake, I just grabbed the wrong roll of film. But once the film is in, it’s in…

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My first impressions:

The good

It’s tiny. And super light. It looks cute. The lens is protected by the cover which you have to slide to the side to turn on the camera. It has an opening aperture of 2.8 and a fixed 35mm lens. Perfect focal length for basically everything. It’s a fun little camera.

The bad

I don’t like the viewfinder – it’s very small and your eye has to be in a perfect position to really see your frame. And every time I turn on the camera, the flash is automatically on so I need to remember to turn it off. You can’t change any settings, the camera decides everything itself – feels a bit weird because I shoot full manual on my Fuji XPro2.

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I shot the first roll of film in Brighton on a little stroll along the seafront and a few days later when my friend Heidi came to visit me. The last frames were taken around the Barbican Centre in London with my friend Gavin.

I shot how I always shoot, maybe a little bit slower and with more care when composing a shot. But overall, I didn’t do anything differently than when I’m out with my digital camera.

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I went to colourstream in Brighton to get the film developed and scanned and was really impressed by the quality of the photos. Not all images are masterpieces (well, probably none are if we’re honest) but this camera produced some seriously great quality shots. The photos are crisp and mostly in focus and the film grain from the Kodak Tri-X looks beautiful. I’m pretty pleased with my first batch of analog photos.

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In a couple weeks, I will take the camera and a few rolls of film to Colombia with me and let’s see what I’ll come back with then…

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