Heavy medium format abroad?

Discussion in 'Travel' started by daniel_fj_ll, Sep 23, 2014.

  1. Howdy!
    Next week I'm off to Indonesia. I'll be spending the next 6 months on a tiny Island North of Lombok - a place I have been many, many times before. Each year I take loads of pictures - most of which are somewhat the same as the year before. Not necessarily in a bad way, but anyway.
    So, I got myself a Rolliflex 3,5 this summer, my first film camera actually. I've shot 4 rolls so far and the results has been amazing.
    It's generally a bad idea I suppose but it could be so worth it, the light down there is just incredible.
    This format is a completely different way of seeing the world - and my island! Now, should despite the risk of exposing such a beautiful camera to extreme humidity and heat still be something to consider?
    These are the last days to order some film in that case. I wasn't supposed to go in here and ask, but I gotta decide but can't.
    I got a few Rolleinars, hood, trigger and general camera equipment to work it with too.
    Thank's a bunch folks!
  2. I think it sounds like a great idea and I don't blame you: a new camera, and a new format may well equal different and interesting pictures.
  3. I don't know anything about the Rolliflex operation parameters regarding temperature and humidity limits. However, one thing to consider with most cameras is when you go from an air conditioned home where the camera is cold and go to the outside where it's very humid. Water vapor can condense on the cold camera including inside. To avoid that, place your camera in a ziplock bag while you are in the house. Then, let it warm up outside your home before taking it out of the zip lock bag.
    Film should be left in the original foil wrapers until you're ready to put into the camera. That will avoid condensation on the film as well. Also, leaving film in your refrigerator will extend it's life.
  4. I find a relatively restricted format can make me more inventive. Whatever you take, a small backup camera would seem sensible.
  5. Why would you own it if you're not going to use it?
  6. Don't open refrigerated film in high humidity until the temperature has been allowed to reach room temp.
  7. Also, when moving from an air conditioned room to outdoors, anticipate condensation on the lens. If possible to do so safely, put the camera outside an hour or so early.
  8. I'm well aware of the A/C effect, but I keep it low most of the time.
    I forgot to mention that I will bring some of my digital stuff as well, a couple of Fujifilm X cameras being some of them. The Fujifilm x100 being the choice for a day on the road and the Rolleiflex for the 'special occasion'.
    Anyways, I made the right decision and ordered some film! 5x Portra 400, 5x Ektar 100 and 5x HP5+ 400. Classic choice - can't go wrong.
    I'll be back in April and I promise I'll post some Rolleiflex goodness.
    Thanks a bunch!
  9. Sounds like you're all ready. Have a great trip and post the pictures when you get back.
  10. Notwithstanding the sensible advice regarding going in and out of A/C etc, air conditioning is actually your best friend when dealing with sensitive equipment in high humidity. A/C makes the air very dry and there's nothing better for your equipment than regularly leaving it for a few hours in a well air conditioned room when you're in the tropics.
    Also store all your equipment with lots of silica gel bags everywhere (make sure these get the a/c treatment as well so they dry out too).
    Lastly I don't know if you're out there during the rainy season or not but you might want to consider taking a drybag also (just big enough to put your camera bag into should you get caught). Normal camera bags are inadequate in tropical conditions but once in a drybag it could survive a river - I find Ortlieb the best brand.
    This advice is equally useful for digital as well as film but good for you taking some film out there, you will see a huge difference from your previous photos and you won't regret it, just make sure you take enough!
  11. Your Rollei TLR would be a splendid companion on a trip. Even if your only tool is an hammer, there are plenty of nails to be found. It weighs what? Two pounds on the outside. Your film will outclass that. It's often refreshing, artistically speaking, to go to familiar (or unfamiliar) places with a single camera and one lens. You could do much worse than if that lens were on a Rollei.
    I wouldn't trust an old Rollei strap. Leather rots in time, often invisibly, and can fail without warning. I threaded the loop ends of an Op-Tech strap through those unique slots, and my 50 year old strap stays home. Your f/3.5 lens is probably a Xenotar, which is the Schneider equivalent of a Zeiss Planar - with absolutely first rate image quality. Even the Xenar (q.v., Tessar) is razor sharp in the center, and throughout once stopped down to f/8. I wish now that I had used it on a tripod more, and seen what it could do given a chance. It's actually pretty steady if you hold it in a golfer's grip, braced by the neck strap. I took a lot of team pictures like that, at 1/30 second.

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