film selection for travel

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by kristin11079, Feb 13, 2007.

  1. kristin11079

    kristin11079 TPF Noob!

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    Hey everybody, thanks in advance for the help on this, it's my first post.

    I'm an absolute beginner in terms of photography. I have a Canon EOS Elan 7 camera with a zoom lens. I'm going on a once in a lifetime trip to Japan coming up in about a month, and I really want my photos to turn out well. I plan on just using the pre-programmed settings on my camera (I don't know enough about it yet to experiment successfully, and this trip is not the time to risk having my photos not turn out.) My question is, what film should I buy? A couple of factors:

    1) It may be asking a lot, but I want something that will take beautiful photos in a variety of conditions. I'll be shooting mostly in daylight outdoors, I believe, but not entirely.

    2) I don't want to get prints of everything -- I'd like to have them scanned to digital, and select a few images to have enlarged from there. The rest will go on a DVD slideshow.

    3) I don't care much about price. We're already spending a lot of money on this trip, it's worth it to pay the extra for nice film and processing.

    So suggestions please? I honestly can't figure out what speed to get, what brand, what type, whether even slide film might be better. I have confused myself thoroughly, and could use some advice. Thanks!
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    I would suggest using whatever film you are used to shooting. Color print film is probably best because it has a wide latitude (big margin for error). If you are not used to using slide film...then don't start now.

    When I shot film, I would take a range of different speeds. ISO 100 for bright sunlight and tripod landscape shots. ISO 400 for all around and then some ISO 800 for action or less than good light.

    If you are handy, you can even take note of where you were, rewind the film mid-roll, and change the film. Then, with a film lead retrieval tool, you can reload the film and advance to the unused part. I've never tried it though...so I don't know how easy it is. Maybe it's best to stick with ISO 400 which is usable in most situation.
     
  3. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A good way to use 100 speed or just a variety of speeds in general is to but 12 exp. rolls. For vacations I used to buy a few 12 exp rolls of Fuji Reala 100 speed for days I knew I would be going to places where I would shoot things I knew I would probably enlarge and for most everything else I used just cheap Fuji 200 4 packs. Personally, I never used more than 200 speed for my own uses I guess you can never say never but it was extremely rare.
     
  4. mortallis288

    mortallis288 TPF Noob!

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    400 is the most common and most forgiving
     
  5. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It's also grainy as hell for any kind of decent sized enlargements.
     
  6. RacePhoto

    RacePhoto TPF Noob!

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    I agree with Big Mike for the most part. Take some 100, some 200 and just a couple of rolls of 400 for dark days and maybe 2 rolls of 800 for night work. Shoot 100 and 200 for everything except if you need to use the higher speed for an unusual situation.

    Personally I did take some slide film, but then I also took two matched cameras and a point and shoot.

    The whole new world of digital means you don't need to take slide film for a slide show, because you are most likely to use a digital scan and a computer, not a slide projector.

    Are you going to be in big cities? Don't take anything but what you need to get there, plus one day. Buy fresh film where you are. No airport x-rays no risks, no lead bags, no hassles. Buy film when you land.

    Film processing, is film processing, in Japan or at home. Have your film processed before you come home, if you can. That means no risk of losing the film, or having it damaged in travel. Have CDs made of everything, since you said you aren't going to print them all, and make prints later. Time, heat, loss, and other problems can cause the images to degrade or be lost.

    If you put the processed film in your checked luggage. Put the CDs into your carry-on. Better yet, if you have access to a computer, burn everything to DVDs from the CDs and carry that. Keeping the film and digital separate, means should the worst happen and one gets lost, you still have your pictures.

    Really extreme backup, take all the cds and send them to storage on the internet. Download them again, when you get home, if you need the backups. Use the delete key if you don't. There are many free sites and many people who have websites that could hold your backup until you get home.

    The digital world is pretty amazing. You can back up everything from anywhere in the world.
     
  7. montresor

    montresor TPF Noob!

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    I have done the mid-roll change thing on a couple of occasions, though I had to take the roll to a processor because I didn't have the retrieving tool. The thing to remember is that you have to advance the film through the camera shot by shot, which means keeping the lens cap on. The first time I tried this, the lens went a little crazy trying to focus itself, and the shutter wouldn't fire. Oops! As I quickly learned, you have to switch the lens from autofocus to manual focus. After that, it went fine. The lens cap seemed to keep things nice and lightless so I didn't double-expose the previously exposed shots.
     

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