Close Up: 5 Reasons to Shoot Your Next Film on 16mm

Black and white photograph of a Bolex 16mm camera from the side. The photo is surrounded by a teal border.
Get your analogue film project rolling with our new blog series, Close Up, sharing inspiration and tips on all things 16mm.

1. Visuals

Film is beautiful. It’s hard to put into words quite why film looks better or more alive than digital, but for those who agree it is hard to dispute. While it poses a number of challenges that digital doesn’t, the result is an aesthetic that cannot be faked.

2. Precision

One of the limitations of film is that you can’t just keep the camera rolling in the same way that you would on digital. This forces everyone on the crew to be precise with their work, and it is even more important to get your schedule down to the tiniest details. This isn’t to say you can’t improvise or play around on 16mm – you can. But it does mean you might choose not to film the same scene 20 times over just to get it ‘perfect.’

3. Beautiful Mistakes

When shooting on 16mm, mistakes can actually enhance the character of the film. Unlike digital, where using the wrong settings might just look bad - on film, it can be beautiful, and appear very human. Plus, any mistakes you do want to fix, can still be easily remedied with a little bit of VFX.

4. Reasonable Rates

Rental costs are similar if not less than a lot of digital cameras! Our Bolex H16 is available to rent for only £60+VAT per day, and the Aaton XTR Prod for £150+VAT per day. Check out our full range of affordable Aaton and Bolex 16mm cameras and lenses here.

5. Better than 35mm

Not only is 16mm a cheaper alternative to 35mm, some argue that 16mm is in fact the superior format - as director Eliza Hittman reasoned, "35mm almost feels a bit too clean, and a bit too digital." 16mm is also easier to shoot handheld, and the cameras and film stock can be easier to find.

Discover our full range of affordable Aaton and Bolex 16mm cameras here.