How to Focus on a Film Camera | Inexpensive Trick on Manual Cameras
There is something special about shooting film that makes it a different experience than shooting digital. I am not talking about the age old debate of which medium produces better images; it’s the experience of manual focusing your lens with a split screen, micro prism or ground glass. These aids help produce relatively sharp images, but sometimes the focus is still just a little bit off. Here is an accessory that costs less than your coffee and will help you nail focus 100% of the time.
How to Focus on a Film Camera
At around a $3 the Rosco swatchbook is one of the best things a photographer can keep in their camera bag. Starting as a way to identify each gel by specific number, what their name is, and the purpose they serve, they quickly became cheap quality color modifiers for speedlights and lens filters due to their high optical quality.
Using a swatch of either red, yellow or orange can add that right amount of contrast in your viewfinder to help with focusing. This method can be used on SLRs and rangefinders alike. Using a swatch of either red, yellow or orange can add that right amount of contrast that is needed. Experiment with different colors to see what your personal preference is. In my experience, the #2003 Storaro Yellow is Perfect for SLRs and #318 Mayan Sun for rangefinders.