52 Rolls Project Recap

I’ve completed my 52 rolls project, shooting a roll of a film a week for the whole year. I actually ended up shooting 59 rolls of film, a few were skipped from posting due to poor quality or just outright fail. It was a fun project, I’m glad I did.

First some stats:

Camera

Nikon F6 18
Bronica ETRSi 13
Nikon FM2 9
Contax G2 6
Olympus Trip 35 5
Vivitar Ultra Pinhole 3
Yashica FR-1 2
Konica Hexar AF 1
Nikon OneTouch 1
Fujifilm Klasse 1

Lens

Nikon 50mm f/1.8 28
Zenzanon 75mm 13
Zeiss 45mm f/2 6
Zuiko 40mm f/2.8 5
Pinhole 3
Hexar 35mm f/2 1
Fujinon 38mm f/2.6 1
Yashica ML 55mm f/1.2 1
Nikon 35mm f/2.8 1

Film

Kodak Portra 400 29
Kodak Portra 160 5
JCH Streetpan 4
Cinestill 800T 4
Kodak Ektar 3
Agfa Vista 3
Fujifilm Superia 3
Fujifilm Natura 1600 2
Ilford HP5+ 2
Lomography 400 2
Cinestill 50D 1
Ilford FP4+ 1

Format

35mm 46
120 11
35mm W (54×26) 2

I’m not quite sure why or how so much variety of equipment got mixed in, my initial plan was to keep it simple and use the same camera and film combo throughout. As the project wore on I ended up getting bored and trying lots of new things is an easy way out. “They’re just test rolls”

My most frequent combination is relatively obvious, the Nikon F6, 50mm lens, and Kodak Portra. This delivers very consistent and excellent results. You can see my review of the Nikon F6, it is practically perfect.

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A few takeaways:

  • First lesson came from Roll #1, don’t bother with expired film especially for shots you might treasure.
  • Shooting a roll of film a week is expensive especially sending it out to labs to be processed and scanned, between film and developing it’s close to $20 a roll.
  • I’m glad I tested out various cameras and films, but in the end there isn’t really better out there. The grass isn’t greener, just different. Once you find a combo that works for you, just stick with it. I spent too much time on ebay and shooting too many test rolls when I should just be shooting.
  • I initially thought the quantity of shooting would be tough to keep up with, and there were a few weeks getting the film back and posted in time was close, but overall the quantity was not an issue.
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The project did require I shoot and post more than normal but the extra work was more ad hoc for example Roll #45 taken while walking the dog and taking the kids to play.

So yes, shooting more, but not more thoughtful, and not pushing myself. I wouldn’t consider the overall project as a series, but more random sets of subjects without a theme besides, “My Year of Shooting” – my ego aside, not an exciting topic.

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So this ends my roll a week. It was a fun project, but glad it is over. You can see all the rolls and photos form the project browsing the #52rolls tag.

I’m considering my next project for 2017, I like the idea of One Camera, One Lens, One Film for the year, but I want the project to focus and push me, not just generate lots of photos. Also I want to prioritize series based work and not gear.

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