In this post I’ll share my experience with you about when I shot my SLR as a Point & Shoot camera. I have only shot film on a Nikon FE2 which is fully manual and this sometimes slowed me down a little. Evenmore since I am not very experienced in the quick shots you make while shooting streetphotography for example. That’s why I came to the idea to lock the settings on my FE2 and shoot it as if it were a point and shoot camera.
Once set up the only difference will be the viewfinder. While in a SLR you’ll look straight through the lens, in a point and shoot you will look through a glass window placed above the lens.
What I used
- Nikon FE2
- 35mm lens
- Some expired Fuji Superia X 400
- Tape because I couldn’t lock my lens
How I set up my camera
This is how I shot my SLR as a Point & Shoot but I have to say that it is just an experiment (:
With a P&S you don’t have to focus and the only thing you’ll have to remember is the distance from the object. Most P&S cameras have a smaller aperture like 11 or 16 and a shutterspeed between 125 and 500.
So what I did was just copying these settings on my camera. I chose for an aperture of 16 and a shutterspeed of 125. Also I used a 35mm lens since it’s closer to how the eyes see. Note that I tried this on an expired film so trying this on fresh film will definitely help the quality and exposure
Knowing what would be in focus
To know what would be in focus, I had to look to what my lens was telling me. I guess that on almost every lens it will look something like this;
Now, as you can see, the aperture is set on 11.
Your lens will tell you what will be in focus and what not. For an aperture of 11 it means that from 1 to 2 meters it will be in focus. I think that for streetphotography it will be too tight though but which one you use is up to you. I used 16 in my case which would give me some freedom.
The lock switch of my lens doesn’t work so I used tape so that the lens wouldn’t change it’s focus. You could just focus your lens to infinite and in this case you will always remember how you had it focussed.
I honestly am pretty happy with this experiment on “I shot my SLR as a Point & Shoot” and will definitely do this again. Some photos I changed black and white and I feel like these kind of photography works best with as well but that is just my preference. Over all, it is a really easy and fun way of shooting. The fact of having shot on expired film and not trying my best too much, still have given me some nice pictures I think.
How to, but then simpler
- The faster the film, the better (400+ ASA)
- Set your aperture from 11 to 22
- Set your shutter speed from 125 to 500
- Lock your lens (with the switch or some tape) on whatever length of depth and field you’re comfortable with
- Have fun (: