'Master of Camera' Tells the Story of 76-Year-Old Camera Repairman

I'm a sucker for short-form documentaries and analog photography, so when I came across Filmmaker David Drill's "Master of Camera," I had to watch. It's a very well-done story of camera repairman, Gian Luigi Carminati, who's been repairing cameras for almost sixty years. 

Patrick Hall made a joke earlier today about how an article on film photography is outdated; obviously, he believes film is dead. But from the countless articles we have on Fstoppers with very, very opinionated readers, we all know that isn't the case. If anything, there has been a rise in the purchase and use of old film cameras. Even wedding photographers have started adding in film to their packages. Is film kitschy? Maybe sometimes, but there is plenty out there that truly is art. 

After watching "Master of Camera," I'm feeling quite guilty that I haven't picked up my Autocord in almost a year. I used to shoot and develop my own film while I was in school and had access to a great darkroom. Collodion was my jam! Call me a hipster. I don't care; shooting and developing your own film is so much fun, and I feel like it helps you look back and appreciate all that we have in this digital age. 

And Carminati is right: are you surprised anymore? How many of you shoot an image and immediately look at the back of your camera? Doesn't that kind of suggest that even though we see that light meter, we have to double-check to really know what we are doing? Is it "cheating" when you look? I have a few friends who turn off the auto-review, and one friend even has a custom cover so that they are not tempted to rely on the screen. That's a bit much in my opinion, but just something to think about. 

New Year's resolution? Try to shoot a roll a month! Do you still shoot film? 

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6 Comments

Anonymous's picture

All I shoot is film now. I became a lazy photographer shooting digital. I got bored. Cared more about the gear than actually shooting. I hated that but wasn't sure what to do. Tried different camera brands, new lenses etc. Finally said screw it, sold all my digital gear and picked up a Mamiya RB67 and a Rolli. Getting the first few rolls back I knew I had made the right choice. It was a crazy thing to do as I'm a working professional but it felt right.

Shooting film slows me down, makes me focus more on creativity and moments. Film gave me that spark back. Something I hadn't felt since I started shooting.

My clients have to wait a bit longer for their photos and it's definitely riskier but I guess digital has risks as well.

I feel like film is nowhere near dead. At least not to me!

great post/video. thanks for sharing

Samuel Smith II's picture

I still love film. Check out my latest Instagram post (@smittie62) That bird picture is 35mm. I just sent four rolls to thedarkroom.com for processing. Nice post.

Matt Barr's picture

Still do e6 and b&w film in medium and large format. Digital for 35mm though. Props to fstoppers for continually having a steady stream of film-centric articles too. We appreciate it.

Christian Hartmann's picture

Beautiful little documentary and a great craft. Nowadays all my personal projects/photos are film. Love to experiment with exposures and don't know the outcome right away. Somehow more joyful. It is more the process of analog creation itself in a digital world then the final picture that feels more satisfying. Photoshop/Digital feels too easy/instant. It has its place in a professional environment but for personal projects that should get you out of this fast paced environment I'd allways prefer film.

Ralph Hightower's picture

I still shoot film; I own two Canon cameras, A-1 and New F-1. One is loaded with B&W film and the other with color. For my DSLR, I have image review turned off on my Canon 5D III.

Kornel Kabaja's picture

It's a bautiful movie, I'm just wondering how they got a license for Aphex Twin music. It gives a beautiful mood and feel to the whole experience, yet it's not even mentioned in the credits.