From Film, to Digital, and Back to Film

This post was contributed by TDS Podcast listener Ade Torrent.

Like most of us of a certain age, I shot film as a kid. Everybody did, it was the only thing to shoot. When the time came, I transitioned first to a point and shoot digital camera, and eventually a Canon 350D (XT Rebel).

I shot on full automatic mode for a while before deciding I needed to learn how to use the camera properly. I started experimenting with the exposure triangle to see if I could recreate some of the accidentally awesome shots that I had previously got on "P" mode, especially isolation via narrow depth of field.

Alley Cat with the Olympus35RC and Lomography Lady Grey film. Photo by Abe Torrent.

My next step was to invest in a 50mm prime lens. That completely changed my photography, most importantly because it made me think more about composition. I shot with this camera and lens combo for about 8 years before transitioning to using just my iPhone because, well, it was always with me.

One day I was looking through the technology and photography news websites when I was stopped in my tracks by something breathtakingly beautiful. It was the Fujifilm X100. I was immediately mesmerised by it and went on to research it for weeks. I read about the specs and looked at hundreds of photos its users had taken with it. 

The review that stood out to me the most was by Zack Arias. I wanted one desperately. In the end, I purchased the X20 because I could get it in black and because it was about half the price of the newly released X100S. I fell in love with the X20 and it revitalised my photography.

Following the unfortunate demise of my X20, which met it’s end with an electric fault, I decided to buy a film rangefinder instead. I wanted a Leica M2, but couldn't afford one at the time, so I started collecting "cheaper" options such as the Yashica Electro 35 GTN. I also tried out various SLRs such as the Olympus OM-1 but finally arrived at what is now my all time favourite camera - the Olympus 35RC.

Halal Food Truck,  AgfaPhoto200. Photo by Ade Torrent.

The Olympus 35RC is a small gem. It’s one of the smallest rangefinder cameras ever made. It is portable, thus I always have it with me. I primarily shoot the AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200 because it is a very cheap and readily available film in the UK, and it is pretty good quality for what it is. I’ve taken just this camera on various holidays and came back with wonderful photos.

I share photos on my blog, but nowadays I usually share my photos on Instagram. In fact, I recently completed the #35RCChronicles project on Instagram which was about 3 months worth of shooting with the RC.

I still shoot digital sometimes, especially with my iPhone, but I just love the colours and look-and- feel I get from even cheap film with my RC.

You can see more of Ade's work by visiting his blog at and following him on Instagram: @adetorrent

Text and photos by Ade Torrent.

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