Frugal Film Project – Brian Havican


I am 47 years old, and have been interested in photography most of my life. My earliest memories are of my family parties, holidays and having friends over; my dad had a small pocket Kodak 110 with pop flash cubes and a Polaroid Instamatic out so someone could grab it and shoot photos. We had also accumulated a large box of old extended family prints going back to the 1920s-some of the people we have no idea who they are! 

I took my first b&w film photo and darkroom class in about 1983, offered by my middle and high schools. I can remember learning the basics on Canon AE-1 and other older film gear, and doing my first b&w prints at school. The photography seed was planted and has never gone away. 


Personally, I shoot Canon digital (7Dmkii with 70-200L) for my kids’ sports. I have a collection of film cameras, mainly Minolta and Nikon 35mm gear and recently got my first medium format film kit, a Bronica ETRS. I had started developing film at home again, using my rec room bar as the staging grounds. In December 2018, I completed a small 6×13 dark room behind the rec room. I’ve burned through a few packs of paper getting my feet wet again in the darkroom arts… 

Professionally, I work in a Forensics Unit in SE Wisconsin-think CSI without all the glitz and fancy cars and clothes. I have been involved in the photography aspect in this area since about 1998. We did shoot film up to about 2005, when we switched over to full digital gear (now Canon 5DmkIV with Canon lens and 600ex-RT ii Speedlites). 


My Gear: 

I am shooting an Argus 75, a black plastic box from the 1950s-1960s It is a 620-film camera with a fixed f11 aperture and a shutter which shoots at 1/50th to 1/70th (per the manual-I think it varies shot to shot, and is a bit suspect IMO 🙂). The lens is a fixed 75mm Lumar, with a red insert to let you know the shutter is ready to fire.The camera was a gift from a neighbor, since he knew I shot film! 

I chose Fomapan Classic 100 in 120 format; I have to modify the rolls by sanding the round ends to get it to fit in the Argus. I cannot find 120 film locally, so I bought online for about $4.29 per roll. I will develop at home, and will try to print at least 6-prints so I can scan those for each month during the 2019 FFP. I will be using Ilford paper developers and a Beseler 67 for printing. 

Instagram: @havs 

Brian is located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

4 thoughts on “Frugal Film Project – Brian Havican

  1. I have just one camera taking 620 film, a British made (I think) Kodak Junior. I’ve both modified the spool and rewound onto a 620 spool but preferred to do the latter, in a large dark bag, but either would be too much hassle for me to use very much, like in the ‘frugal film’ project, so I admire you taking it on with a 620 camera. Pity as the ‘junior’ is a impressive camera; I particularly like the Kodon shutter, which doesn’t have to be cocked.

    1. This is an interesting camera to shoot. It is stripped down, bare bones and no frills. But there’s something rewarding about using this basic camera to take a series of medium format photos as part of this project. This camera-and the project as a whole-reminds me more than ever that it’s the journey, the hands-on organic process, that makes this so enjoyable and refreshing in this digital era!

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