Travel with Film or Digital

Discussion in 'Travel' started by david_dubose, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. Hi all, first time post. I am going to be working close to Trujillo, Peru for three months and then plan on traveling around to Brazil and Argentina. I don't have a digital camera and was wondering what to do? I have a topcon re super with great lenses but am worried about it getting stolen. I also have a minolta xd11 and was planning on taking the 28mm rokkor and a vivitar 70-200mm. Is it worth all the hassle to bring film down there or is digital the way to go? I was looking into the G10 or 11. I'm just really not sure what to do. Any thoughts on it would be great.
    Moderator: This is the Travel Forum. This is not the pointless discussion forum. All posts that are not specific to the issue of traveling with a film camera vs traveling with a digital camera have been and will be removed. Posts that point to specific differences relevant to travel will be retained.
  2. I suggest that if you are going soon that you take the gear you are used to. I found that digital takes a bit of time getting used to. If on the other hand you have a bit of time to get used to it then something like the G10 or G11 would make an good compact choice.
  3. Stick with what you know.
    Also look at getting an inexpensive film rangefinder (Kiev, Zorki, FED, Canonet etc) as a "point and shoot" for when you:
    1. Can't be bothered to take the SLRs
    2. Are worried about getting the expensive stuff damaged
    3. Need to pack light
  4. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    How much film will you need to carry around for 3+ months and can you get your film processed in a timely fashion?
    To me, this is a no brainer. Memory cards are dirt cheap now; if you don't have a way to upload your images, just get a few high-capacity cards and they can last you the entire trip. You can instantly review your images and can reshoot immediately if you are not happy with it.
    Digital will take some time to get used to. Get the camera now and use it for a couple of week before you leave on your trip. You don't want to find out that there is something wrong with your camera while you are traveling.
  5. This all hinges on how much time you have to get used to a digital camera. If you have enough time (2-4 weeks), then I would take something like a G11. If you want to take film, consider a quality film P&S, like an Olympus Stylus Epic, or XA and spend time getting familiar with it before leaving.
  6. Hello David,
    I think much depends on how you use film. Do you shoot compulsively and fill up a roll in a day? If that is the case, a small point and shoot digital camera like the Canon S90 would be a good little toy for the pocket. If however you think about your shots, carefully compose and expose only when you are absolutely sure, go with film. As a film camera user I expect you to be knowledgeable about light and exposure. You will know when to shoot and when not to. Even if you are taking a shot a day, three films should last you for the duration. I would however suggest that you pack around 6-10 rolls as a maximum with your minolta kit. Take some fast films like Fuji 800pro to go with the slower 100 iso films.
  7. A little story - take it for what it is worth. A few years ago I was at Machu Picchu for the Winter Solstice. Naturally I was excited about the event. I shot a roll of slides along with photos using the small digital camera that I was carrying. When I rewound the film, I realized that it was much easier and much quicker than I was accustomed to. Later when I had the slide film developed, my suspicion was confirmed, I had not loaded the film correctly to begin with and ended up with no slides. Luckily I had the digital images. I lived in Brasil for two years and had difficulty getting slide film developed.
    I would recommend that you take a digital even if it is only along the lines of a P&S as a back-up.
  8. As a film camera user I expect you to be knowledgeable about light and exposure.​
    I think this is my favorite line ever. What does it imply about digital photographers?
    Seriously, though, I don't see how taking your lightweight Minolta and two lenses counts as "hassle" unless you don't enjoy using that stuff. A 3-month trip is a really big deal, and I wouldn't want to be caught traveling S.A. for 3 months without exactly the camera I wanted. Take the Topcon if that's your favorite.
    Your film will sit happily in the containers for 3 months until you can get back to your lab for processing. Even with digital, you would have the same problem of maintaining your shots until you can get back to civilization for archiving. Personally, I trust film in a canister for 3 months over digital on a memory stick for 3 months. Maybe if you decide to buy a digital camera, you should get a portable hard drive memory backup solution, too.
  9. No more I want color but got Tri-X in the cam instant ISO changes
  10. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The OP has not answered how much photography he is planning to do. 3 months in Peru means about 90 days plus time in Brazil and Argentina. Will the OP shoot as much as 1 roll of 36 frames per day? We are talking about 100+ rolls of film. During the film era I have carried that many rolls on trip. Needless to say, that is a major hassle.
    Do a little math and figure out how much it will cost you in terms of film and processing, plus printing if you are shooting print film. Even though you only shoot 50 rolls, that will be a lot of money and a lot of film to carry around.
    However, all you need is one tiny memory card to store the images equivalent from 100 rolls of film or even more. Solid-state memory is very stable. I am not too concerned about losing images inside, but those SD cards are small; if you accidentally lose that tiny card, so goes all of your images.
  11. You can do this with film or digital. I'd say take the film camera you're most comfortable using because "the camera should never get in your way". If you choose the XD11, get another prime - a 50/1.7 MD is extremely sharp and under $20.
  12. I believe we are now beyond the question of practicality for film. You can easily pay off a very good digital camera for what you would spend in film and processing, without all the hassles and questions that film and decent processing now bring.
  13. Howard, that may be a little short-sighted. Actually, so that I don't get too personal, maybe this is true for you. But it is not true for me.
    I have a top-level pro film camera, but not the top-level pro digital camera I would like. The D3X still costs $7000 more than my most expensive 35mm film camera. Even if I lower my sights to the D3s, I still have to justify $4000 savings during the life of the camera. At the pace I shoot, which is a non-professional amateur slow-pace, that's about 10 years of film and processing for me. All the while, I am shooting full frame and getting 24MP scans.
    I'm not saying film is for everyone, but I wouldn't say the issue is beyond question. I also have fine digital cameras, but nowhere near as fine as the film cameras I use. Basically, in the digital world, I still feel confined to the realm of cropped sensors.
    It doesn't even take the top, most expensive 35mm camera to achieve excellent results. I've seen stunning pictures come out of the Olympus Trip 35, which can be had pretty cheap nowadays. And all it takes is about $10 a roll.
  14. I agree. I have some amazingly cheap film equipment and a scanner, film and processing is a few dollars a roll or cheaper for B&W that I do myself, and to get the same quality I'd need to spend $4000+ on a D700 and lens. The "go digital to save money" argument doesn't make sense when you're talking to somebody who already has the film equipment and isn't talking about plans to shoot 400 rolls of film.
  15. I think the only thing I would be worried about would be film storage. If you are in the tropics, will that cause problems for your film? I would look into that possibility before keeping film sitting for 3 months. Maybe if you had a small cooler chest or at least an insulated lunch bag to keep the film in that would help insulate it against the worst of the temperature fluctuations? Something like this product, maybe?
    I am wondering if you can use FedEx or another trusted carrier to send those films to a lab here in the US for development who could then send them to a relative or photographer friend you'd trust to hold them. On the other hand, I know people who've tried this from India and it's not gone well for them. Films were lost.
  16. Why is always film VS digital ?
    It should be film and digital. They are both 2 beautiful mediums. Each has advantages and drawbacks. When I shoot film I love the images, when I shoot digital I love the images.
    Use what your confortable with. Its very simple - compose the image - the most important part, then expose it correctly and make sure its in focus. Works the same for either.
    While lurking here I read in some post that VS should be used only for Boxing. I like that one
  17. Take the XD11. Get a 50mm 1.7 rokkor MD on ebay. This is a must and very cheap lens. You can get one for $20-$30 and it will outresolve a currebt brand new Canon prime.
    If you can add two more lenses they should be:
    - 24mm rokkor-x 2.8 md
    -135mm md tele rokkor-x 2.8
  18. Why G10 or G11? For the same price you can get an Alpha 230 with kit lens. At least it is a SLR and you would feel a lot more comfortable with it because you have been using the Topcon and XD11. I'd not be surprised if you get frustrated with the controls of G10 or G11. You can find better DSLR too if you gonna pay more
  19. stemked

    stemked Moderator

    I have done both ways; loads of slide film or digital cameras. The ONLY thing nicer about traveling with a film camera is that I get a lot less dust issues with film cameras. Other than that I'm completely behind dSLRs for traveling.
  20. Why not do both? Take a G10 with lots of memory cards for your volume shooting - you can delete the bad shots later. And take your Minolta with 20 rolls of film for great light and special occasions.
  21. I would only add the following. If you choose to go digital I would advise a DSLR and not a compact G10 or G11 I have both and even thought the G10 can shoot good pictures for me its not a comparision to a film or DSLR. I would choose a canon 450D with kit lens or Nikon eqivelent. The D90 is for me a super compact DSLR or what ever model would for me be the alternative choice. I would not take a G10 or G11 unless its really high quality snap shots in perfect light.
  22. agree with Dan, take both and use your digicam for you Facebook shots, use the film for the important shots.
  23. I would go with a small point and shoot with a zoom lens, akin to a Panasonic P&S for the color snap shot stuff and I would load up your mechanical SLR and two lenses (a wide angle 20-30 mm and normal to short tele 45-90mm)with B&W for the artsy careful comps. With the B&W films, you can go with an assortment of iso 50, 100 and 400. As someone indicated, you can process the film yourself very economically. With the backup Leicasonic, you can pick up a very high capacity SDHC storage card 8-16 GB cheaply and it should last the duration of your trip.
  24. I agree with John Tran a dslr could be a better option than a canon G10/11. I have shot ocassionally with a film slr (konica and nikon) and with digital slr cameras like the canon 300D and 40D. I prefer the image quality of film above the now very dated 300D, but i think in many ways my 40D (also aging) is better than a film camera. The image quality is very good of my 40D. Nowadays you would get even better cameras for the same money i bought my 40D. In other words, differences between a dslr and film slr have narrowed. If I where you i would go for a digital slr; its the future. Go to a local shop or friends make some test images feel the different models . Do not be afraid of the many options, you can, but you do not have to use them.
    Other issues may be the high altitude (filters), remote area (extra batteries, storage medium and/or film), and different plugs.
    to avoid steeling: use a not to appealling bag to store your camera, use safes, insurance, etc.
    Have a good trip!
  25. Both certainly have their place, and I personally prefer shooting film. But if you are going to Peru, I would be suspect of the quality of processing you would get there, and it is not good for the latent image to be sitting around for 3 months unless you freeze the film.
    I would go with digital in this case. Of course if you do not have digital, then go with film and see if you can preserve the film until you get back to civilization. :)
  26. I'd bring both. Definitely get the G10 or 11. But you should also bring the Minolta and a few rolls of slide film, some print film, and some BW film.
    You may well enjoy the slides more than the digital, the print film gives you lots of extra exposure lattitude, and BW film still has a unique look.
    But, if you are only moderately into photography (are not hopelessly addicted), make your life simple, and just take the G10.
  27. I'd bring both. Definitely get the G10 or 11. But you should also bring the Minolta and a few rolls of slide film, some print film, and some BW film.
    You may well enjoy the slides more than the digital, the print film gives you lots of extra exposure lattitude, and BW film still has a unique look.
    But, if you are only moderately into photography (are not hopelessly addicted), make your life simple, and just take the G10.
  28. I'm reminded of a comment my pop made when I was a kid and I felt sure I had to choose between two "things". "Why not both, you should never limit yourself if you can help it." Of course he said it with a grin. Take 'em both. The G10/11's aren't that big and you won't even notice you have it. It will be like having a few extra rolls of film in your Minolta bag.
  29. i second wil fenwick & ty mickan's thoughts: take what you already have, and maybe get a small digicam for chimp-shots; here's some shots from my latest trip - to venice, italy - all taken with a humble olympus trip 35 [buyable for $5-$10]: - i can't recommend them highly enough!
  30. Awesome pics Ian! What films/scanner did you use?
  31. David, as Ian said, a pocket film camera can give you convenience and way superior quality than a G10.
    An Olympus Epic is a top choice. It is also ran/splash resistant.
  32. until you can get back to civilization​
  33. Mauro Franic , Mar 23, 2010; 03:16 p.m.
    David, as Ian said, a pocket film camera can give you convenience and way superior quality than a G10.
    An Olympus Epic is a top choice. It is also ran/splash resistant.​
    I don't know, the G10 produces some mighty nice looking photos. You got and sample from you pocket film cameras to look at.
    Here are a few samples you might want to take the time to look at
    From Luminous Landscape G10 shoot
    The article
    I would love to see a pocket film camera that has "way superior quality" then this photo for example
    G10 photo
  34. I was in Brazil and Argentina last fall and there were plenty of places where film was available. I didn't try their developing last fall (had a dslr) but in 2007 I was going around in Argentina by bus & taxi with a Canon AV1 and some tamron adaptall lenses, no problems at that time getting over a dozen film rolls developed in the larger towns or in the city. In Brazil everyone told me to be very careful walking around with any expensive-looking equipment because armed holdups are common, I did take my chances there in some places but certainly not everywhere.
  35. mauro: thanks - it was mostly lab-scanned fuji reala [boots, uk - a budget lab];
    scott: those g10 examples lack a lot of punch and seem lifeless, to me. i think Quality means different things to different people: i wouldn't swap my Trip 35 for a g10, based on what i've seen.
  36. Scott, I took this with Ektar I believe:
    The lens on the Olympus Epic is about flawless and the film is obviously the same film you load into a full size 35mm SLR.
    The sensor of the G10 is a puny 1/20th of the size of the 35mm Olympus Epic. Several people debate on whether a full frame digital slr can now match 35mm film. What makes you believe than 1/20th of size of the sensor of a dslr would be comparable?
  37. If you had an art project or some other specific end result in mind you would already know what media you'd need.
    For shooting around, get a digital camera (any), set it to Auto and fire away.
    Guanajuato Mummy Museum
  38. My G10 paid itself off long ago, and my photos from it exceed anything I took with 35mm film of the same ISO ratings. I can completely edit and print at home, upload to a number of sites, etc. I didn't mean to be derogatory about film and film cameras, earlier. I sold them and worked with them for over thirty years. But here in the Midwest in a town of 15,000 we have lost availability of film almost entirely, and there are fewer labs doing lesser quality work, now. They just don't return the quality for the effort and expense. The handwriting's definitely on the wall, here. Maybe where the OP is traveling, this isn't the case. As far as someone saying that an Olympus Stylus Epic film P&S is so much better, I can't see it. I'm very familiar with those and what they do. Maybe it's just in the eyes of the beholder for both of us.
  39. Showing outdoor daylight shots with a pocket digital camera and talking about how great they are is silly. Anything takes good photos with enough light. A G11 has a tiny sensor that limits its usefulness, and a variable aperture zoom lens. A 35mm camera has a frame size that's more than 8x that of a G11.
    OTOH a G11 is fine as a backup camera. If you don't mind that it's a $500 point&shoot with a tiny sensor that weights 3/4 of a pound and doesn't fit in a pocket.
  40. I love film. I still shoot it, but I also have a dslr. Both have their places. However, one point that I don't see anyone else bringing up:
    Travelling with film these days is a hassle. In the US, the TSA screeners will manually inspect your film, so that it does not have to go through the carry-on x-ray. They don't like to do, it and you may have to insist. Carry your film, both exposed and unexposed in a plastic bag, without the film cannisters. Unload your camera and send it through the x-ray.
    Whatever you do, don't pack any undeveloped film in your luggage. The x-ray machines used to scan checked luggage is more powerful than the ones for carry-on bags. It will probably fog your film.
    Don't use the lead-foil bags. Yes, they will protect your film, but when the screeners see a big, black rectangle that is opaque to x-rays, they get suspicious and may do a hand search of your bags, which will slow things down, make a mess of your bag and maybe lose things.
    That's in the US. I've heard that, in other countries, their security screeners are not always so cooperative, and may insist that everything, including your film, go through the x-ray.
    If you decide to use film, the best way might be to find out if there are stores where you can buy film there, and labs that can develop it before you return home. That way, you don't need to carry undeveloped film through the airport.
    Paul Noble
  41. Paul, I travel with my film (since I have a wide range of emulsions I use) and I never have problems. Very seldom I get asked to manually inspect the lead pouch and I am ok with it.
    A pocket 35mm camera with a few rolls in your shirt pocket is as convenient as it gets. No bulky DSLRs, chargers, etc.
    If for a particular application I need better quality I just bring a 6x7 camera.
    (For larger format slides I just mail to the lab from my destinations.)
  42. i hitch hiked across southern africa in 99-00 with 40 rolls of film and my pentax k1000. total pain in the butt. my wife has the g10 and i have a dslr - cards are so cheap and the results so good. edit your shots on your computer - at home - at your leisure - you cant go wrong.
  43. Use what you like and be happy. I like 35mm film as much as the next guy but resolution would be the last reason I would shoot it over a DLSR. For a 3 month trip I would take the camera I like to use most. If I did not know how often I would have have access to electicity I would probably take my FM2, 35mm and 105mm prime lenses and a selection of color neg films but not because of resolution or anything like that.
  44. David,
    As someone said, familiarity is important. If you are going to make the switch though because of the conveniences (no film, development, instant results, etc), you need to consider a few factors:
    - If you are expecting film like quality or shallow depth of field, go with a digital camera that can give you something close. At this point ANY DSLR from ANY brand will do, you could also get a Micro-4/3 camera like the Olympus E-P2/E-P1.
    - If you do not mind less quality, most notably above the base ISO, then a compact will do. If you use manual controls then the Canon Powershot S90 is probably your best bet. It is very efficient to use, effectively having two control dials and shares the same sensor as the G11 but adds in an F/2 lens which compensates for the performance of one stop of ISO. Unless you really want the hot-shoe, then there is no reason to get a Canon G-series anymore, and even so a Micro-4/3 camera is not much bigger.
    - If you shoot mostly on automatic and want something compact, the very best image quality comes from the Fuji Finepix F200EXR which has excellent dynamic range and a wide-angle lens. It actually does have manual controls, which are slow to use but at least they are there just in case.
    Personally, I own a F200EXR which we always leave on a table or counter at home to get some quick shots of the kids without getting the big guns out. It is really an outstanding device. I also had a S90 for testing and I really loved the controls and their efficiency. If I were to use a compact camera as a backup for photography (not snapshots), I would pick the S90. The decision comes from how you use your camera.
    - Itai
  45. Digital without question. I did both film and digital on a three week trip to Peru a couple of years ago. Film was a hassle, too delicate (flash cards are very durable), and did not get the same IQ really. And, I was using a MF film camera. I did get some good scans of the film, and it is pretty good. Its just that digital is cleaner and allows you to do more with it, more prints and more web sharing.
    IMO don't worry about getting use to digital, it will go pretty fast, just practice using the histogram to judge the exposure. And you can take a lot of exposures and pic the one that you like best.
  46. Ah, the haven't lived until you've tried to take a hundred rolls of film through airport security! Seriously, you can still buy (at least some) film most places in South America; so you do not need to carry it all with you. Now days I like to travel with a hybrid film/digital kit. In tropical and semi-tropical environments, rain and humidity can sometimes present an issue and place a premium on water-resistant gear. As far as preserving film in that climate goes, I've not too had many problems as long as it was kept in canisters and usually a small plastic cooler as an extra measure of caution (except of course for the time I left the film in the back of a locked rental car in 95+ degree heat). One major concern when traveling with a digital rig is access to power. Be sure to have the proper converters/adapters for the places you'll be visiting. If you happen to really be out in the sticks, you may not have regular (or any) access to power; that's when I really appreciate my film cameras. Good Luck.
  47. Film is pretty resilient as other mention. Especially -and most importantly- after it has been shot, you can drop it in a lake at night and come look for it in the morning and it will still be fine.
  48. On my recent vacation, over Christmas, I travelled through an airport with some film. Due to TSA policies, they would only agree to manually check my high speed films, over ISO 800 I believe. My slow films, ISO 50, 100, and 400, they insisted on running through the X-ray machine. This is because it takes them forever to check by hand. They have to wipe down the exterior of each roll with a particle cloth and test it for bomb dust in their little analysis machine. It's a little bit of a hassle, but if you need to shoot ISO 50 E-6 film, it will be fine in the carry-on luggage X-Ray machine. Some things just can't be replaced by digital. I'd leave the high speed film at home, though: it's not worth the security headache. Digital SLR's are better at high speeds anyway.
  49. The moderator removed the dimensions I posted for the film pocket cameras vs the G10/G11 also. The point was that you can travel with an even more compact camera than a G10 while carrying a 35mm full frame film.
  50. If you were only going for 3 weeks I'd say take the XD11 since it's so small and makes a good travel camera. For 3 months though, I'd consider a DSLR since you won't need to worry about 3 months worth of film, only enough memory to capture the number of pictures you might take during that time. I personally would take both, because that's what I do any time I travel because I like backing up each with the other, at least the most critical shots.
  51. Film or Digital?
    I worked on several off-shore engineering projects prior to 2000, mainly in Puerto Rico. Photography was a side issue to document progress, and I couldn't deal with bulky camera equipment. An Epson Stylus with a fixed 38mm lens served me well. Going from air-conditioned to humid field conditions, I could keep the camera warm in a shirt pocket to prevent condensation. Today, under the same conditions, I would use a point-and-shoot digital camera.
    More recently, I have traveled with musical groups to document their tours photographically, once with film and subsequently with digital, shooting 5-10 rolls a day (or the equivalent). Each time I carried two pro bodies and 3-5 lenses, including large, f/2.8 Nikon zooms, and accessories. That's pretty much how I travel for recreation, throwing a couple of Hasselblad bodies and a clutch of lenses into the mix (I travel to shoot).
    Shooting a lot of film while on the road presents challenges I wouldn't repeat. A couple hundred rolls of film is bulky and heavy, and always an hassle in airports. You have to carry it on board, which usually means other gear must be packed with luggage. Documentation is important when you are being paid, and it is nearly impossible to keep track of times and locations with film - any markings on the cans are lost in processing. I mostly used NPH400, because you can't use anything slower without a flash and tripod exept in full sunlight, and Reala or Velvia for exceptions. Even with two bodies, you change a lot of rolls on when walking, and never seem to have the right film at the right time. Finally, you don't know exactly how you did until it is too late to repeat the shots.
    Digital solves several problems. It's a lot easier to carry half a dozen 4G CF cards than 200 rolls of film, and they can't be hurt by X-Rays in carryon (or checked baggage). A laptop, external hard drive and a box of DVDs weighs less than film, and can be used to document and communicate with the home base. I backup to HD and DVDs each night, and recharge the batteries*. Every image has a time/date stamp, along with exposure data, and most important, a unique frame number. It's easy to correlate frame numbers with names and places in a small journal.
    How does the quality compare? Well, that's another reason I'm not shooting 35mm film. YMMV.
    Incidently, I've had two memory cards go through the laundry and dryer without a glitch. I don't recommend that with film. If you actually drop film in a lake, you'd better keep it wet and process it within a few hours ;-)
    * F100's and F5's go through a lot of batteries too - 8 at a time in an F5, sometimes twice a day with early rechargeables.
  52. I always like to take my tiny Canon Ixus with me regardless of whether I take a film or digital SLR. I would not want to carry the d/slr with me all the time but the ixus is small enough to fit in a trouser pocket or a shirt pocket with no problem. I don't shoot it at max resolution and the 1 gig card rarely gets full. It is really ideal to take to resturant and most tiny P&S cameras can even do video clips. When we vacationed in Crete I took a DSLR and the Ixus, a couple of years before I took a small Olympus C220 and an EOS1. I would not want to be without a small digital compact. I used to think my Canonet was small at one time but my Ixus 70 is tiny be comparison.
  53. Some good points have already been made.

    Maybe it depends how much your planning to shoot also. I want around India with an OM10, for me it was not a problem. But then I took about 5 rolls of film, and never shoot much. The nice thing about the OM10 is the weight and the fact that you can leave the thing on (me being lazy this often happens) and it will switch itself off automatically, so the batteries last ages. I have not held an xd11 but I have had an XG series, I assume it's similar? If so it seems a nice size and weight.

    Looking back I wonder if i'd have got better shots with digital, but i used to shot most everything at f16 so my shots where never that sharp. But now (15 odd years later) things are different so i would probably go with my om10 or maybe a Leica screw mount (similar price to g10 /11) with a lens, but it's a bit of a lump. I can't see a problem buying film anywhere you go, if you land in a city.

    What do you like best? I think its a toss up in convenience and it will depend on how you regard shooting, I tend to just want to take the odd shot and forget about the camera, dump it in my bag. My current digital is a D40, though i would never take it.

    It's very heavy and bulky for me, the battery would keep dying because I often like to explore away from where i'm going to have power, So I would have to take extra, No way for me. But I can understand how others think nothing of a full set up. For ME, price vs quality land with film, But only if you know how to shoot good with what you have, and will pay for a good service.

    All these shots of eyes :)
  54. OK. I lied a bit, my D40 seems smaller, and maybe lighter than a quartz OM10 (with my own set up and no metering). Though i'm not going to dump it in my bag like the £30 OM, It's a toss up between power and film with the small amount I shoot.

    I still like film colour better so that would override any other concern. I think if i liked digital colour more I would conider how i'd get power. If your going out in the sticks for a long time batteries are a consideration.

    If cost is a conern i'd rather put it in a few good rolls of film than a digital camera. For the size these compact digitalis are very good, but I also just don't like using them. You really need to try them, you may really like them, I did for a time.
  55. If I were going to South America for 3 months, I would bring 300-500 rolls of Kodachrome if in this year, 200-400 rolls of black and white for my Blad next year. In 1981, William Albert Allard got chewed out by National Geographic for shooting 1,500 rolls of Kodachrome in 3 months on a story in Peru. Allard just fell in love with the place, went nuts in a good way.
    I am off to Paris for just over two weeks at the end of April, I am bringing 150 rolls of Kodachrome in 1 gallon bags of 25, will put in 16 hour days of shooting. If I were to do your South America trip in digital, I would bring an M9, 28, 35, 50 & 90, 6 x 16GB cards and some form of backup.
    But...that's just me..:)
  56. I thought the whole point of working for National Geographic was so you could do things like go to Peru and shoot 1500 rolls of Kodachrome.
  57. To your original post I would add a fast 50mm for night & indoors. Use the 50mm as a mini portrait lens. If you are taking film take some 1600 for indoor night. I see that you have the 135mm covered. I used that lens considerably out of doors in rural areas that can not or I do not want to traverse by foot. As far as cameras (camera bags being stolen) two suggestions: 1. bag should have both a zipper and locking flap and 2. always when not walking with bag (bag strap across shoulder not over it) attach the bag to an immovable object, i.e. solid table or yourself. If strap is not detachable buy a climbing carabiner to attach to the table or yourself. More than likely unless the camera is digital with the emblazoned name Nikon or Canon you will get little recognition except from other photographers.
  58. As noted above, Xray machines. The effects of Xray are cumulative, the more times your film goes through, the greater the chance that it will be damaged, especially since Xray machines are not always consistently powered.
    Film is bulky and reacts to climatic conditions.
    I suggest an inexpensive digital camera with basic kit, like the Canon XS or T1i, plus a point and shoot and multiple cards as others have suggested.
    The only difference I have with others is that if you are making good exposures with film, you can adjust your skills in a day of practice with digital. Just pay attention to the highlight control, so you don't lose images to burnout. If necessary shoot with exposure bracketing.
    When I travel I always carry the lightest slr I have, its charger and three or four lenses. I add my G9 and its charger because the one time I didn't, a short trip to the Caribbean, my slr broke and I had to buy a point and shoot for the rest of the trip. I also now have a netbook, spare pocket hard drive and the charger. Add a tripod/monopod, flash and batteries and SafePac DaySafe 200 backpack, medications and a change of clothes, plus electric voltage adapter and that adds up to a 45 pound backpack.
    I don't recommend that for everyone, however.
  59. the last big trip i went on was to Israel where we spent seven days, not including travel. I shot ten rolls of the the 15rolls of film i brought. Of the ten rolls i shot, nine were kodachrome and one was Velvia 50. Of those 360frames i had 335some usable frames. I never had to worry about my battery going dead, and its fairly easy to bring three or four rolls along incase you see something spectacular. There was only one instance where i was caught without enough film, but i happened to have my dSLR along with me too so i pulled that out and got the shot i needed. I shot 380digital frames. I ended up using about 50 of them. Now, i've gone on other shoots before where i didnt just blast away like i apparently did there but the point that some make about being more critical with film is probably true. I also happen to like the images i shot on film more, due to the way it depicts the light and colors of the scene. But thats just me...
  60. If you're worried about carrying around a lot of film, you could always ship your exposed film home.
  61. ....or you could just bring a Pentax 67 with kodak portra 160 NC and get pictures that will blow any digital camera to pieces.
    I would never comprimise image quality by bringing a digital camera just yet, maybee in a few years when digital has fixed the horrible highlight rendering. With negative film you can relax and only remember three different exposures. Sunny, shade and cloudy. Simple and beautiful.´
    And if you cant afford a Pentax 67 and dont like the weight, I would recommend one or two cheap m42-mount cameras with takumar lenses. Old pentax-lenses have the most beautiful bokeh I´ve ever seen. My favourite is the Auto-Takumar 55mm/1.8 Wide open its sharper then my nikon lenses and have much softer and more beautiful bokeh.
  62. Bring your film camera and 35mm slide film. The slides from the reversal film will have better color and depth of field. If you want to put them on a computer you can always scan them. Plus the slide images will last a long time. Pick a 50 to 100 ISO reversal film for best results.

Share This Page