Old Cameras And Film - Yes They Work On Kids

I had a conversation with my oldest daughter on Saturday (she's expecting) about taking pictures of the new addition. I am going to supply her with film as well as take care of the processing, scanning, and printing. Se already has all the equipment she needs - An old manual focus Nikon and a couple of large aperture prime lenses. She was concerned about focusing and not having AF…

To make a long story short my children were born when AF started to get good with the Nikon F4. I naively believed that would be the silver bullet to shoot children - nope. After buying better and better and faster and faster bodies and AF-S lenses I ended up shooting all of the best images on my F2 and F3 manual focus cameras. In fact my very first AF-S lens, the 28-70 AF-S f 2.8 was bought specifically to solve the "kids move fast amd don't sit still" issue. I quickly discovered that a different approach was required rather than improving the AF systems speed was the answer. I discovered that the best people pictures are usually close up at large apertures - an area where AF is really not that helpful.

Don't get me wrong - you have to have confidence in your focus ability and not be back and fourth back and fourth to make sure. You really have to practice focusing and shutter release as a continuous coordinated manner along with some other techniques that I discovered. More about that some other day if anyone gives a hoot and has not worked it out for themselves yet. Just wanted to share a few images from a roll of film I had processed today - shot a few days ago of my niece. She is a perpetual motion machine 24x7. I am used to toddlers but she is in the 99th percentile of continuous random motion.

Keep in mind these are CrappyScans™ from Walgreens which are worse than my CrappyScans™ from the Nikon 8000ED. Shot with a Nikon FE and single coated 50 f1.4 wide open on $1/roll fuji consumer print film. Not too bad for a sub $100 kit in mint condition.

I felt compelled to shoot this short series based on my observation through 9 baby girls in my immediate family that the shoe thing has to be built in from the start.

The focus plane - my fault not the lens' - is a bit off as you can see in this one but I don't really care the look is classic. Click on the image for a larger view…

Skin is easy with film. One complaint I have always had with digital is skin.

You have to respect the determination here. The funny thing is she can actually run full speed in these things for the last year or so…

Check out the wrong feet action - no worries.

I really need to spend a full day or so with my brother's girls and a camera - I spend maybe a minute or two every few months pointing the camera at them. I am definitely putting it on my list of things that must be done before the summer is out.


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