View Full Version : Narrowing down film choices for 7-day trip.

22-Jul-2007, 14:44
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.

Velvia 100
Astia 100F
Kodak E100G
Fuji 160C
Fuji Acros
Polaroid 55

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

Ed K.
22-Jul-2007, 16:35
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.

Steve Goldstein
22-Jul-2007, 17:06
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.

Alan Davenport
22-Jul-2007, 17:09
Ed is right.

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

22-Jul-2007, 17:14
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?

22-Jul-2007, 17:58
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.

Ted Harris
22-Jul-2007, 18:04
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.

22-Jul-2007, 18:41
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.

Ron Marshall
22-Jul-2007, 18:57
For moonscapes, both Astia and Acros have great reciprocity charecteristics.

22-Jul-2007, 19:51
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.

25-Jul-2007, 05:39
i would take one slide film, one C41 and one B&W. i love velvia 100F but you say you have 100, so i am not sure. you can not go wrong with any of them. flip a coin.

80 sheets sound good, maybe 50 sheets B&W and 25 each for color and E6. . the x ray should not hurt the film. ask for a hand check....better yet ship it ahead to yourself. i use the USPS priority mail. ship it to "your name" at whatever PO you will be near. you can find a PO at USPS.com. you can use delivery confirmation and will be able to verify it has arrived before you leave....just in case. i have done this with my film and 2 LF cameras with great success.



25-Jul-2007, 08:12
Really...? You can ship to yourself at any PO?

Wow...I never knew that! I'll have to try that sometime...

25-Jul-2007, 13:52
Really...? You can ship to yourself at any PO?

Wow...I never knew that! I'll have to try that sometime...

Yes - this is straightforward in most countries.

If you come to the UK for instance, and you know whereabouts you're staying and where the local post-office is, just send the items to yourself at the post office address labelled clearly: "POSTE RESTANTE".

It will be held for you up to 3 months.

The really good thing is, that you can send yourself too much film, fail to collect the excess and get it sent back home without being x-rayed :rolleyes:

Bruce Watson
25-Jul-2007, 15:28
The first choice I made was to use only Quickloads, Readyloads and Polaroid sheets, despite the cost.

Velvia 100
Astia 100F
Kodak E100G
Fuji 160C
Fuji Acros
Polaroid 55

There are of course many ways to do this. What I do in similar circumstances is to use as few film types as possible, that are as versatile as possible.

From the list you have above, I'd pick just two - the Fuji 160C and Acros. Both come in Quickloads. Both have excellent reciprocity characteristics. Acros is an excellent B&W film.

The 160C is a negative film which can cover any subject brightness range (SBR) you come across, from working in shadows under an overcast sky at dusk to full midday sun.

If you wanted more saturation from your color negative film, you could use Readyloads instead - 160PortraVC is an excellent general purpose film that excels at portraits, but also excels with landscape. And you could substitute 100Tmax for the Acros so you could stay with a single film holder style.

Whichever way you go, using fewer films is good for a couple of reasons. One is that it cuts down on confusion in the field. The other is you lessen the risk of needing a particular tranny film for a set of conditions only to find that you've run out of that particular film.

I'm just saying that the KISS principle is a good one.

Wayne Crider
25-Jul-2007, 17:50
I've never thought of Astia as an overcast day film.

I'd take the Provia and the 160C and leave the b&w (with b&w filters) home. Shoot the neg for people and interiors. Also take a warning filter for the Provia.