The feasibility of international travel with FE2/film?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by lahuasteca, Jul 4, 2020.

  1. Walkaround with a prime?

    Not sure it's just me!

    A prime is just NOT compositionally workable unless there's another, very specific, agenda.
  2. Everyone (?) has been utterly stuffed in the right place at the right time... with a medium wide prime....doomed.,

    It doesn't matter whether it's a Fuji X100 or a Leica RF it's severely restrictive.
  3. When I first bought my Nikon FM (just after the FE came out), I bought it with the AI 35/2.0.

    Much of what I used it for was indoors (with Vivitar 283 flash) where you are limited by the wall behind you,
    and outdoor scenery such as mountains and lakes. 35mm always seemed about right for those.

    Yes it doesn't work well for the deer in the distance.
  4. When I started with photography back in 1979, I "only" had a 35/2.8, 105/2.5 and 200/4. Especially when shooting slide film, that quickly proved problematic and I purchased a 35-105 when it was released in 1983; from then on, I mostly shot with zoom lenses even though I always owned a few primes too. Maybe my ongoing preference for shooting with zooms is rooted in those film years when I almost exclusively shot slide film. Even though I own a whole set of prime lenses now, I am more and more questioning whether owning most of them is actually worth it. On many outings, they stay behind; they really only come out when I have something fairly specific in mind (and often even then, taking just one won't do). I did travel to Germany once with only a D700 and a 35/1.4 - but photography was more of an afterthought on that trip. I can't imagine carrying only a 35mm (or a 24mm and an 85mm) when traveling - I'd probably find the first camera store to buy some more or have shipped things from home. I did walk around with just a prime in my town on occasion as an exercise in "seeing" but too often came home more frustrated by the shots I didn't get than satisfied with the one I did manage.

    I did seriously consider the X100 once or twice - but eventually got a Ricoh GR instead (for its even smaller form factor that allows me to carry it along when I am not carrying a camera bag). Which I guess falls under the category of "very specific agenda".

    Carrying a full set of prime lenses results in a heavier bag than taking along a set of zoom that cover the same range. And there's also the issue of lens changes - with primes, the wrong one is almost always on the camera.
  5. Dieter, I am with you here. The zoom lenses are so good now they would fit in very nicely for most situations, unless, as you also mentioned, there is a specific need for certain prime lenses. I have a number of fast prime lenses. Every now and then I catch myself wanting to sell them off. ;)
  6. So am I - so far I always stopped myself from following through though (aided by the closure of my local camera store a year ago). But I did prevent myself from buying some primes to add to my Sony system over the last few months - with 12-400mm covered with three zooms and the system mostly aimed at travel, what would any prime lens (save the 600/4 or a macro I don't need) really add to the picture? The Nikon F-mount prime lens sell-off is likely going to happen as soon as I am forced to make a D810 replacement decision (unless that one ends up being for a D850).
  7. Fuji must have a crowd of happily compromised buyers--they're only on the fifth iteration of the X100. Sometimes circumstances are such where a honking big FF DSLR+lens just doesn't cut it. YMMV, as always.

  8. While the Nikon Z7 and Z6 are obviously great cameras, the slow and otherwise problematic auto-focus would be a deal-breaker for me. I need excellent auto-focus like my F6 for the fast moving work I have in mind. I also like the small size of my AF D 24mm lens, which I use for much of my work. The lenses for the Z cameras are large and bulky. What's more, the complexity of these cameras, for me, would be like starting photography all over again. But I guess being able to travel easily with film is asking too much.

    And BTW, I love your picture.
    Mary Doo likes this.
  9. I fully agree.

    Walkabout in a wonderful location with a semi-wide as my only lens is a nightmare I hope to wake from.

    It's a prime (!) example of imaging masochism.

    Don't get me wrong, I have a big bag of primes AND zooms, but to go somewhere worthy with just one lens is just plain daft.

    IF I have to travel small and light, my Nikon A1000 does OK as a compact P&S at 24-840mm....:D
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2020
  10. Exactly how slow and problematic do you think the Z cameras are? :)
  11. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I think that reasoning is flawed: if that's the sum total of the criteria for taking film and a film camera, then I think that's little reason at all.

    A D700 is a very suitable camera for Candid Street Portraiture.

    "Unobtrusive" is way overworked as a necessity for Street Photography. Suggest you work on technique, demeanour and body language.

  12. You may dislike the Nikon Z system for a variety of reasons, but I need to correct some incorrect information: :)
    • Autofocus speed: I believe Z6 or Z7 is no more faster or slower than the F6. If you come across an objective report citing Z6/Z7 autofocus being slower than F6, please share.

    • Size and weight: The Z6/Z7 cameras are lighter than F6. And the lenses are generally lighter than the older lenses as well. Examples:
      • F6 weight: 2.15 lb
      • Z6: 1.29 lb

      • 24mm g lens: 12.5 oz,
      • 20mm z lens: 11.1 oz,

      • 85mm g lens: 12.35 oz
      • 85mm z lens: 16.4 oz ( 4 oz heavier than the g version)
    • For fast moving work, digital has an advantage because you can easily crank up the ISO. Z6/Z7 can go up to ISO 6400 with acceptable results. Film cameras are limited by the ASA rating of the film.
  13. Arthur, it is true that launching a new start with digital photography is quite intimidating. Or sometimes one is just not interested. There is no need to, really. I know a wonderful photographer who has never parted with film photography. And he is always invited to judge digital competitions in camera clubs.

    The only issue here, as discussed, is the complication of travelling with film internationally. Short of processing film overseas, you can probably also consider a dual approach. That is, consider taking a simple "do-it-all" digital camera along as "insurance" when you go abroad.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2020
  14. That's why zoom lenses were invented.

    And no, I haven't seriously used a fixed-lens camera since I outgrew my first box camera aged 14. Even my Werra and Retina took interchangeable lenses.
  15. Don't get me wrong, I have a big bag of primes AND zooms, but to go somewhere worthy with just one lens is just plain daft.

    And yet C-B, William Klein, Winogrand, Robert Frank and others somehow managed.
  16. Mary Doo: I've yet to get hold of the Z7 or Z6 in person but I've read some reviews that criticize their auto focus response. And those lenses look very front heavy and awkward to me. But perhaps I'm just comfortable with the equipment and film I'm familiar with.
    Mary Doo likes this.
  17. FWIW, I stopped shooting color film or chromes just because the pain of finding a capable processing lab and to avoid the silly auto everything printers with their "cheapoplasticy" papers. Of course, there are good professional printing facilities (if you have the time and ability of to find them in a foreign country) but expertise have a cost that make it unsuitable for other than professional photographers.
    So, when I`m on travel, I either shoot color (only digital) or b&w (film) to be processed in my own darkroom.
    Just in my experience, but I warn that I keep shooting primes, and also b&w film since late sixties (so I must be a geek, a hipster, or so... ). BTW, Fuji digital cameras use to have presets for film emulation (Velvia, Provia, Astia, etc. ).
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2020
  18. A couple of thoughts:

    1. I love my F6. It's by far and away the best AF film camera I've ever used. I'd be happy(mostly) if it was the only film camera I had, aside from missing having an F2(the other main one I use regularly). The AF system, though, is straight out of the D2 series cameras, which are closing in on a 20 year old design. It's the fastest FILM AF I've ever used(maybe barring using heavy screwdriver lenses on an F5). I still find the 9-point AF a bit limiting for me(especially considering that it's clustered for a DX frame , though, especially since only a few of them are cross-type sensors. I use my F6 like I do older AF cameras-center point, lock, recompose. I don't consider the F6 a speed camera(just a really refined one) so this isn't a problem for me. Modern cameras work in lower light, and the AF points are numerous and scattered enough that I'll bother placing them where I actually want. In candid/more dynamic situations, I'll even let the camera pick, and usually it usually seems to read my mind. If the contrast-detect AF in live view is any indication, I don't have any worries about Z6/Z7 speed.

    2. I've been known to go with one prime before. Back in my early days, I used a 50mm. I now gravitate toward a 35mm as a single lens. It's oddly relieving at times for me to go out with my featherweight Df and a 35mm f/2 AF-D. For a heavier(film) combo I'll do a 35mm f/1.4 on an F2AS or F2SB. If I take a prime kit, 3 in addition to the one on the camera is my max.

    I rarely don't have a zoom on my camera these days unless I really need a wide aperture. Honestly, though, I find an f/2.8 or even f/4 zoom with VR more useful than a f/1.4-f/2 zoom without(since I can't, off the top of my head, think of a Nikon prime with VR that's faster than f/2.8). Digital seems to punish you with lack of DOF and missed forcus(or at least it's easier to see) than film, so I tend to avoid using anything larger than f/2.8 other than very specific circumstances.
    Mary Doo likes this.
  19. Managed, yes. But it's a completely pointless and artificial restriction.

    If you want to have a semi-wide as your only lens on a walkabout then you will be missing many, many opportunities.... by choice. That's daft..
  20. It is feels a little different than holding an F6 with, say, a 24-70, but it's OK, I never thought much about it. Re autofocus: I read some review comparing its tracking ability to D500 and D850 and says that it is less accurate under some condition with interfering background elements; say, a bird is flying in front of a tree and the focus may accidentally pick up the tree instead. But this camera also has more complex focus settings and the user needs to find the one that works for him/her. The photographer's experience may also play a part.
    robert_davies|2 likes this.

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