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Thread: Narrowing down film choices for 7-day trip.

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Narrowing down film choices for 7-day trip.

    Upcoming trip to Southwestern Montana, I'll be shooting mostly (1) landscapes, (2) moonscapes, (3) architecture (abandoned mining towns) and (4) from time to time, people.

    I could use some help narrowing down film choices. The first choice I made was to use only Quickloads, Readyloads and Polaroid sheets, despite the cost.

    I figure I'll need about 80 sheets for 7 days and nights. (I'll have a 35mm backup as well, loaded with Provia.)

    Here are the Quickload/Readyload/Polaroid films in my freezer. I've used most of these on 35mm, but some I have not tried in LF yet.

    Provia RDPIII
    Velvia 100
    Astia 100F
    Kodak E100G
    Fuji 160C
    Fuji Acros
    RTPII 64T
    Polaroid 55

    Any thoughts you might have to help me narrow down the film choices would be much appreciated!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Pasadena, CA

    Re: Narrowing down film choices for 7-day trip.

    I feel for you on this - so I'll toast you with a reply:

    1. Consider the whole thing, from shooting to end product.
    2. Focus your goals, then keep it as simple as possible. Less is more.
    3. Optimize your film choice and shooting to fit your vision.
    Look at your other work to find what you like the most, narrow it down.
    4. Stick to your vision.

    How silly it can be to make a suggestion for someone on this, and actually chat about the films a little bit:

    All are good films, all have strong points.

    55 isn't the best thing for field shooting, and Acros is so flexible, it can make negs for just about any process. However if your vision is to be ah-dippin' those doggies in the wide open spaces to snag a peek at the neg, that's okay too. Will 55 be okay in the temperature ranges you will travel to?

    If it gets hot along the way and your film cache gets warm, you might not trust leftover film when you get back home. Taking stuff that you'll hardly use is just a distraction.

    Provia - cooler. Velvia 100 - warmer. Astia - warmer still. For people, Velvia is a nightmare, but Provia works fine for people as does Astia. Provia is a Swiss Army Knife color film, but it can lack smoothness when scanned depending upon scanning. For hazy skies, Velvia can be a nice boost. Kodak has more grain than the other films. 64T - you could use a filter on a daylight film instead. Fujichrome and Acros have favorable reciprocity...

    It could go on and on. And really, while I'd personally avoid Astia for landscapes (others might differ), any of the films you list can bring back great photos. IMO Astia can be great for people. But others will say how they love Astia for landscapes, or how they like Velvia to shoot people at a parade who are wearing clown costumes and the like.

    In the end, trust yourself to judge which of your films matches what you like the best.

    You know best.

  3. #3
    Do or do not. There is no try.
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Massachusetts, USA

    Re: Narrowing down film choices for 7-day trip.

    You mentioned Polaroid 55 in your "in my freezer" list. Polaroid instructions specifically say not to freeze their films as it affects the chemistry in the pods. I hope you meant "in my refrigerator", or that at least you'll test your 55 before using it for something important.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2002

    Re: Narrowing down film choices for 7-day trip.

    Ed is right.

    That said, I like Ektachrome films. Take the E100G plus 81B and 81C filters.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Re: Narrowing down film choices for 7-day trip.

    Yep, the Polaroid 55 is actually in the fridge.

    How about broad strokes: take one color and one black and white film, or a wide range of filmes?

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Re: Narrowing down film choices for 7-day trip.

    I had some outdated 100G (2yrs out), a box of Astia 100F (1yr out of date) and some current 100VS in date. I ended up taking the Kodak 100G and VS. I will save the Astia for more portrait type work. Ran a mixture of 100G and VS but used up the 100G first. So, I would suggest using the older film up if you can if you're sure it's ok. We'll see if the VS is more colorful than the G when I get the film back next week sometime.

  7. #7
    Ted Harris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    New Hampshire

    Re: Narrowing down film choices for 7-day trip.

    One color and one b&w I'd go for the Astia and T55. Assuming you are going to scan your trannies you can easily adjust the color and saturation so go with Astia which is the msot natural of the color film you have listed. The T55 will serve you for both proffing and dinal B&W shots. I contrast to Ed, I find T55 to be an excellent film in the field ... this assumes the T55 is fresh or no more than a month or two out-of-date. Anythingloder than that and I wouldn't want to risk it on a field trip. Polaroid gets very funky when it goes out-of-date .... sometimes fine and sometimes not.

  8. #8

    Re: Narrowing down film choices for 7-day trip.

    We'll see if the VS is more colorful than the G when I get the film back next week sometime.
    You can expect the E100VS color rendition to be similar to RVP 50, and certainly more saturated/punchy than 100G. Personally, I like E100VS for landscapes. My only gripe is that reciprocity limits this film to 10 sec according to Kodak's spec sheet. In reality, 15 sec is o.k. 100VS is plenty warm, so I tend to use an 81A as opposed to an 81B when warranted. When exposures get really long, I reach for the Velvia 100.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Re: Narrowing down film choices for 7-day trip.

    For moonscapes, both Astia and Acros have great reciprocity charecteristics.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Re: Narrowing down film choices for 7-day trip.

    How about the number: does 80 sheets for 7 days (and 7 nights) sound like over kill or too few? It's hard to carry more on airplane, and if don't use it up it means I've x-rayed it unnecessarily.

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