Tripods not allowed! What film to use for a vacation?

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by russell_dean, May 28, 2003.

  1. Hi all, I will be going on vacation next month and I will be going
    to several places that do not allow tripods in certain areas. I
    normally shoot Fuji Velvia slide film because I am mostly shooting
    landscape and nature. However, I will be shooting buildings,
    monuments and other structures but without a tripod due to security
    issues of a given site. Can anybody recomend a good slide film to
    use? I realize I will have to probably shoot more opened up on the
    aperture. Any suggestions?
  2. stemked

    stemked Moderator

    I actually sneak my shots in with a monopod, it doesn't seem to offend as many people.

    But that wan't the question you asked, was it?

    Russell, I'm a nature slide shooter too, and my camera is usually stuck on ASA 50. But when I hit cities and really have to leave the the Velvia behind I usually use print film, usually Kodak ASA400.
  3. Velvia 100 not out yet? ;-)

    Provia? I like 400, but I tend to use it in low light. Quite a few people seem to slate it in comparison with the 100, I'm not convinced myself.
  4. Given your parameters, I'd say test a roll of Provia 400F and go from there. Some people have said the new Sensia 400 can deliver good results too but haven't tried that one myself.

    Curious where you're going that doesn't allow a tripod ANYWHERE. How about a mini-tripod non-extended and braced against your chest? You could maybe shoot some 100 speed then?
  5. Provia 400 is nice, but really really expensive. If Provia 100F pushed to 200 doesn't give enough light, I usually just pop in some Delta 3200 or Fuji Press 800 (sometimes pushed). In general, high speed side films suck, so I go to prints for low light (the extra latitude is nice as well).
  6. You can wait for Velvia 100F<P>Or you can use either provia 100F, Kodak E100G or
    E100GX. There is very little difference betwee nthese three films (i've been testing for
    the past month).<P>And for even more speed, Provia 400F.<P>All are very fine films.
  7. How about Kodak Ekatchrome 200 ?? Could this be pushed to 400 ??
  8. provia 400f is pretty good - in my view better than 400 speed print films (note this is not the same film as "provia 400" which is worse than provia 400f). I have pushed provia 400f to 1600 speed with acceptable results given the speed (i was not expecting it to look like provia 100 at that speed - though when you need the speed you need it and it worked okay).

    I wanted to second (or third) the recommendation for a small tripod - i use the leica large ball and socket and tripod myself (its name isn't that great - its small). i find it to be stable enough for a 35mm SLR with a pro zoom (70-200/2.8 size) if you have a very flat and stable surface to put it on and don't angle it too much to put the center of balance off the middle. For smaller lenses (i.e. super wide 2.8 zooms) its fine without the disclaimer.

    I have used this tripod while travelling in places that don't allow tripods... i.e. churches, government buildings, etc. Nobody has complained about it yet. It fits in large coat pockets, and if they are smaller pockets i need to take the ballhead off the legs (which is trivially easy). A word of caution: some people do look at you like you are crazy when they see you lying on the floor in a government building using a tiny tripod, especially with a tiny point and shoot on top of it - i use a ricoh gr1 :)

    I kind of hate to say this, but i've found that a ricoh gr1 and a small tripod plus a bag of film is really all i need to travels... this tiny size also makes life more enjoyable while walking through cities or when traveling with a smaller suitcase than you otherwise would need. Tt makes me wonder why i spend so much money on camera gear...
  9. With practice it's possible to shoot as slow as 1/15 with minimal camera shake, when using prime and shorter lenses. It's easier with a heavy camera. Hold your elbows in, plant your feet firmly and control your breathing. You won't be able to hold rock-steady, but if your motion is reduced to a slow swaying, you can time the shutter release for the 'rebound' point of your sway. It does make framing a bit more 'interesting'. And if you've got something solid to lean against, it's dead easy and you might even get away with 1/8. Couple that with a fast lens that is acceptably sharp wide open, and you've already got a 2 - 3 stop head start.
  10. outside in bright conditions you'll still happily be able to shoot away with Velvia. Inside, well that may be able to get away with Provia 100F, or failing that Provia 400F is very fine grained for a fast slide film. An alternative would be NPZ800 but don't know if you are prepared to shoot colour neg. That is excellent and will happily rate at 1600 if you're somewhere really dark. And forget the 1/focal length = minimum hand held shutter speed lark - with practice you can hand hold even a 70-200 2.8 at 1/30 for something like a 28-70, certainly 1/15th maybe 1/8th
  11. <rant on> "Security issues" - every tinpot nazi security guard is using 9/11 as an excuse to ban things that mildly irritate him, such as photographers and train-spotters. Like being able to take a photograph in dim light is going to help you destroy a building? It's even happening in Britain, where I *thought* we were used to terrorism, having been bombed by the IRA on and off for the last 30 years. I despair, I really do. <rant off>
  12. Roger's rant is right on target. Turn over a corporate stone and there's a nasty little fascist just waiting to get his teeth into the public.

    As to Russell's question, ahem, I'd go with 100 ISO for 35mm or 400 ISO for 120, preferably in a camera without a moving mirror, the absence of which I find personally to be worth two or even three stops.

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