Australia Bound

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by colin_elliott, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. I am going to be visiting Ayres Rock in Australia this November and will of course be taking my Contax 645.
    The trip to Ayres will be part of a tour from the Resort close to there. I am wondering if anyone has experience/knowledge as to how far the rock is from the Bus Parking lot that takes visitors to the Sunset and Sunrise viewing areas? My longest lens will be the 140mm Sonnar.
    It is unlikely that I wiil get closer than these designated areas.
    With interchangeable backs I was thinking of loading up with Velvia 100 (220) and Kodak Ektar 100(120).
    My intention following this Australian visit is to make some large prints for framing, so ultra fine grain is imperative. Any further advices and considerations would be appreciated.
    Thank you
  2. Colin,

    Are you taking a tripod? What ever camera/lens you take, a tripod is essential for large, sharp photos.

    As to film, Velvia and Ektar 100 are both good choices - it just depends on what 'look' you want. Make sure you bring plenty of film - my guess is that 220 Velvia will not be available at Ayres Rock, let alone Ektar 100!

    Good luck on your trip.
  3. Anthony, Thanks for your post.
    Yes, I always use a tripod if shooting @ 1/500th or less.
    I will be taking ALL my film with me. I have located Ektar in Perth but it's around 3 times the cost compared to the USA! No Velvia. Buying bulk in advance, gives me the opportunity to run a "pretest" on the emulsion before shooting an imortant assignment.
  4. Hi Colin, best wishes for a fun trip-md
  5. Any colour roll film available today is better than everything that was around in the 70's, which is when I made three trips through central Australia, and of course taking in the magic of Ayers Rock and The Olgas. Don't be too fussed about it. What I would have with me now is a neutral grad filter or two, and a polarizing filter because the skies can be very bright, and will challenge the dynamic range of whichever film you use. Yep, a tripod for a few careful exposures. But don't burden yourself with obsessions over equipment. The best thing about being there, is well ... being there.
    Another sight to behold is the night sky. But you have to extract yourself from motel and go for a walk, out and away from the lights. I camped under the stars every night, unless it was rainy season. There's nothing more relaxing than laying there star gazing under a desert night sky. .. shooting stars galore.
    Snapshot: scanned from 35mm slide ca. 1976
  6. ... scanned from a 35mm colour slide.
  7. G'day
    Ayers Rock (often referred to here by its Aboriginal name Uluru) is very popular with tourists and you need to get there early to get a good viewing spot. Photos don't do it justice. November will be warm to hot. This site may be helpful.
    Enjoy your trip!
    Cheers, Bob
  8. Getting hard to take any photos there now with the fun police claiming intellectual property rights , there are even signs up all over the place stating this , last time I was there a year ago I was told to stop taking photo's because of this , if you are only using a small camera they don't worry about it but I was using a Bronica SQ and an 8x10 view camera so I guess they thought I was taking the photos for commercial reasons but even after I told them I was not a professional and only taking photos for personal use they still insisted I stop, I did not stop and continued to take photos and told them to either charge me or leave me alone .
    How anyone can own a rock that big really beats me but there are some political groups out there that really do believe they own the rock and they don't like any one taking photo's of it unless they are getting something out of it as well .
    Any good film will do a good job , I have used Portra 160VC with good results as well as Velvia , it really is a matter of personal choice when it come to film .
    Take plenty with you as you will not get any there or any place within a 1000 miles and the rock is only one of many beautiful places you may wish to visit
    Look after your camera very well as the red dust will kill it in a day as I have had it happen , I recommend you get a pelican case or some thing like it to put your camera gear in .
    It will be hot , it will be very hot so remember this with film and your gear and even more so with your own health.
    Enjoy Australia mate ..
  9. Mark makes a good point, I toasted an APO Makro in an Egyptian dust storm.
  10. Thank you all for the helpful comments.
    I'm expecting some issues with the "fun police" when I'm in England too, on the way to Australia. Seems my old country has become a police state since I left its shores.
    Mark, helpful comment regarding the dust. I wasn't expecting it to be that hot in mid- November. I was thinking around 85 to 95 F.(33-38 C). Have I misjudged?
  11. Zip lock plastic bags come in all sizes. I use them now for dust protection, and moisture protection. We didn't have them in the 1970s. I wouldn't go without them now.
    You will be mostly on smooth highways in an air conditioned coach. I was on dirt tracks for most of the way, bouncing around in an open Willys Jeep. Red dust was just part of the diet. 6000 miles of the stuff. Your main concern will be heat, and exposure to direct sunlight, which turns cameras into little ovens. Consumer films are less prone to colour shift that pro films. Just a thought.

Share This Page