Long distance hiking with 35mm

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Sportsax, Jan 31, 2018.

  1. JoeW

    JoeW Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Sounds exciting. And...shooting Tmax 100...that's a good film but you may want a higher ISO if you're going to be shooting in the dark or low light (heavy shadow, cave entrance, etc.).


     
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  2. limr

    limr Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I looked up the Smena - this might help you decide if it will be good for you or to know what kind of challenge to expect: Smena 8M (2)

    Also, the manual: https://microsites.lomography.com/smena/smena8m/download/SmenaManual.pdf

    I agree with Joe - if the plan includes low light shooting, then go for 400 ISO. If this is sort of a test run and you are on a tight budget, you might consider Kentmere 400 (it's at least a dollar cheaper per roll at B&H), especially since the lens on the Smena isn't particularly fast, and apparently, motion blur is par for the course with this camera.

    The lens will definitely be better than a plastic Holga lens. If these are the two cameras you are considering, I have a new question for you: are you interested in the look that toy cameras create? Is that why you were looking specifically at these cameras? Or was it just a price consideration?

    And this question is going to sound rude but I promise I don't mean it that way: have you shot film before?
     
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  3. Sportsax

    Sportsax TPF Noob!

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    I have just started recently shooting and developing film. I definitely need more practice. So much to learn. I am just now having the time to really get into it. Having some initial success, I tried again the other day and found out the developer can spoil with time. Years ago, I worked as a lab technician doing quality control chemistry and don’t remember any of our solutions spoiling with age.

    I am not really into the whole lomography light leaks and such but do want to make artistic photographs. Probably into the composition more than anything. Only type of analogy I can think of right now is when Kurt Corbain had no money but used a cheap pawn shop Fender Mustang guitar to become successful. Nobody really wanted those guitars at that time but now they cost a fortune.

    My whole approach to this whole adventure is to control the pennies and ounces. If it cost too much or it becomes too heavy to carry, there is more of a chance I won’t finish it. The Smena 8m might do the trick.

    Thank you for the advice on film. I will go that route. I am getting ready to do some test runs in a nearby state park and a 64 mile rails to trails hiking path. I will be checking back in periodically with you folks to update on my trials and tribulations. It’s very likely that I will look back to this with embarrassment on how naive I was. It’s ok....been there many times.
     
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  4. limr

    limr Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It will definitely be a challenge with the Smena, but hats off to ya! I liken this to the way I was taught how to drive: learn on the most challenging car you can find; it's hard and make the learning curve steep, but once I learn, I'll be able to drive anything.

    So, the Smena will challenge with focus (it's zone focus, not manual) and maybe motion blur, and there will definitely be some limitations that might make exposure challenging in lower-light conditions. If you have a smartphone, download a light meter app. I use LightMeter Free and find it to be pretty good (I have an Android phone but I believe there's also an iPhone version if you have Apple.)

    BUT once you get the hang of it and understand how to work with the limitations, then you can have lots of fun playing :) I'm a big fan of toy cameras. I don't like the light leaks, but I do like the dreamy look that you can get from a toy camera lens. So I get it.

    I think the best thing you can do is to put it through its paces before you start the hike. Really test its limits. Take good notes as you do. The thing is with a camera like this is that the 'look' you get isn't going to work with all kinds of shots. It took me a few rolls, for example, to finally start to predict what was "a good Holga shot" for example. So also pay attention not just to the technical stuff, but also notice what kind of scenes look better with the particular lens artifacts of the Smena. Then it will be easier to predict even before you take the shot.

    And in case of light leaks, buy some gaffer's tape. :)

    Also, since you're already starting to develop, do research into push processing. It's essentially shooting the film at a higher ISO than it's rated (400 film shot at 1600 for example) and then lengthening the time of development to compensate. (Edit: This will buy you a bit more flexibility in low light situations.)

    Suggestion: bring a Sharpie to write on your cannisters so you remember which rolls you are going to push. And remember, once you decide to push, you have to shoot the entire roll at that higher ISO, so keep that in mind if you still have some shots left the next day and have to shoot at 1600 in daylight. It's fine, you just have to remember that you're still pushing and adjust the settings accordingly.

    Looking forward to your updates! :)
     
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  5. Sportsax

    Sportsax TPF Noob!

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    Wonderful advice. Will do. Thank You!
     

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