It's been 7 years...I'm going back to film

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by ShutteringFocus, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. ShutteringFocus

    ShutteringFocus TPF Noob!

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    Hey all,

    I've been shooting Canon Digital bodies for 7 years now doing seniors and and nature (nature for myself mostly).

    Now I'm going on some mighty extreme camping trips and I think I'm going to go back to film.

    I'm going out west to do 3 trips starting in Feb. Each trip will be a month long. One will be backcountry skiing, another backpacking in the canyons, and another rock-climbing in the Rockies.

    The reason why I want to go back to film is battery life and weight. It seems to me that I will be able to travel lighter and shoot longer without giving up all the beauties of SLR options if I go back to film.

    I need some resources. I never did much with film other than a Canon Ae-1 and a few B&W classes at a local college.

    Where can I find out about different Canon EOS bodies (I'd like to keep my lenses), things like slide film (isnt slide film the good stuff? how to I store and pack film for skiing in weather that can be -40 or lower?)

    Anybody want to offer any advice about film, cameras, packing, weather conditions and how to protect my equipment?

    Anybody ever packed camera equipment on trips like this before? Would you go back to film?

    Thanks!
    Zach
     
  2. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    to be honest, I really doubt you'll be able to pack much lighter by going back to film. I mean... if you're planning on taking a lot of photos you'll have to have somewhere to carry the film, and as for batteries, you can get (theoretically) 500 (at least) shots out of a single battery, which equates to what, 20 rolls of 24 exposure film. if you brought 3 batteries you'd be looking at the equivalence of 60 rolls of film to stuff somewhere (though as few as say 40 if you used the 36 exposure film).

    But, Hey whatever ya wanna do.
     
  3. James Learie

    James Learie TPF Noob!

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    As far as I know, batteries will last a shorter amount of time in extreme cold, so that number (500 per battery) may be cut in half. And, again, as far as I know, film is fine in those temperatures. Correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  4. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    http://www.canon.com

    Thank-you, thank-you, I'm Captain Obvious, I'll be here all night!

    You'll need to make sure that they're EF and not EF-S lenses.
     
  5. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    I have a lot of experience of long trips in continuously sub freezing conditions while traveling as light as possible. I do nothing special to protect my film - just keep the cassettes in the plastic containers and be careful about condensation when going from very cold to less cold conditions (inside a tent, for example).

    I do those things because I want to do them, not because I want to take photos of doing them, so the photos are secondary. I'm happy to use a very small, light, totally mechanical 35 mm camera of high optical quality (usually a Rollei 35) that can be kept on my harness or waistbelt for immediate one-handed use without being an obstruction. It doesn't hinder me at all when climbing or extreme skiing, and it is easily accessible. It doesn't need to be mollycoddled. I don't think that there is any digital camera that can provide the same mix of weight, size, image quality and proven reliability in extreme conditions, but maybe there are cameras like the new Canon G10 that are getting there in many ways.

    I used to use slide film exclusively, mainly because of the lantern lectures I often gave. I'd suggest that if you want to use film, and you aren't going to give public lectures, that negative film might be better because of its extreme dynamic range. Exposure for slide film needs to be spot on, and if you don't have experience you may need to bracket, thus using more precious film than you need to.

    By February of next year, the new Ektar 100 should be readily available, and that could be an ideal film.

    Shooting digital has advantages. You won't have to open the camera to change film in high wind with spindrift, you can change sensitivity pretty much as you wish, and you don't have to be too concerned about the number of frames you are shooting. I've never found the latter to be a big issue - it's good to think beforehand about which pictures are really worth taking, because it is not just a frame of film it may also be a temporal or mental interruption to what you are really there for (or it may not). I've explained that badly. If you prefer to snap away, then digital is a big advantage. It's not a cut-and-dried thing.

    If you do want to use an SLR there is a lot to be said for digital, though you lose the extreme dynamic range of negative film.

    There's a lot more I could write...

    Good luck,
    Helen
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2008
  6. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Not to hijack this thread, but...

    Helen, winter will arriving here shortly and I was wondering if you had any tips on using a DSLR in very cold winter weather; I'm talking well below 0C, ranging from about -30C to -15C on any given day. I have a D40 and I'd like to get some great winter shots, but not with a substantial risk of ruining my camera.

    PM me if you think it's not appropriate to reply here.
     
  7. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you are going used, all of Canon's stuff is spec'd here (ancient, old, and new)

    http://www.canon.com/camera-museum/


    Not that I have any experience shooting in extremes but does carrying a completely mechanical camera buy you anything? Not sure if electronics or mechanical movements are more durable in extreme weather and cold. No batteries to worry about...

    I'm working off of old stories of the durable old screwmount mechanical Leica and Pentax SLRs and how they served journalists in the field.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2008
  8. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hmmm... each roll of film takes about as much space as a fresh battery, and it isn't much cheaper. You may consider just spending $100 or so on 10 new batteries for your digital instead.
     
  9. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    well, the other thing I have heard is that if you're getting canon batteries they are much better in cold weather than ebay batteries. I know you'll probably lose some battery power... but then at the same time, even cutting it in half I don't see going to film as really saving you any space whatsoever
     
  10. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Don't know what camera the OP has, but the batteries for my 350D cost a lot more than 10 bucks... And 10 bucks is pretty expensive for a roll of film.

    Just guessing here (too lazy to look up the prices), but I'd say a spare battery for a 350D is about ten times the cost of a roll of film.
     
  11. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I bet 10 new batteries is going to weigh a lot more than 10 rolls of film. Weight is really important.
     
  12. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    True, but I was assuming that you'd be shooting more then 10 rolls of film... 10 rolls = 360 exposures which is about 1 battery in cold weather.

    I highly doubt that it is easier to pack around 10 rolls of film then one battery. ;)
     

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