Recently I wrote here about how I had started to shoot 35mm film again and that I had bought a Canon EOS 5. Well this seems to have really given me the bug for film as I now have a second 35mm camera to add to my collection. This one though couldn't be more different from EOS 5, it's a Russian built Fed 2 (Type C2) built around 1958 and I have to say that this little camera has blown me away. The Fed 2 is basically a clone of a Leica, or to put it more accurately the Fed 1 was a loose clone of the Leica I and the Fed 2 evolved from that. So similar is the Fed 2 to both the Leica I and Leica II that sadly it is not uncommon for fake Leicas to have been constructed from the body of a Fed 2. Whilst these little cameras do not offer the same quality of a Leica they are packed with charm and can produce some surprisingly good results and whilst a Leica can cost anywhere from £200 to £3000, you can pick up a Fed 2 for around £25.
In January 2012 Kodak announced that it was filing for bankruptcy protection, a company with a 133 year history in photography was going out of business. So film is finally dead? I don't think that could be further from the truth. Over the past few months I have been scanning all of my dad's old 35mm slides that he took of us as kids (see my article here) and during this process I have grown to really love the look, feel and quality of film. So much so in fact that I have recently bought a 35mm cameras! Using this cameras has done several things for me. It's made me passionate about photography again, it's taught me a lot about photography, it's changed my view on digital photography in a way I didn't think it would and it's confirmed to me that film is far, far from dead but actually a quietly thriving area of photography.
If you own a Digital SLR at some point you will look at your photos and wonder why there are little black spots in the same position on some of them. Often people think that it's a mark either on or inside their lenses - which it's possible it could be but if you have multiple lenses it's very easy to rule this out, whilst I've even heard of some people thinking that the sensor on their camera has been damaged and have sent it off for repair.
In 99% of these cases the cause of these black marks is simply dust on the sensor. Even if you don't currently have any marks on your photos there is still a very good chance that you have dust on your sensor too. To see if you have try this simple test.