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Old 12-22-2012   #101
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Originally Posted by thegman View Post
I use a Super Ikonta III, it's very simple to use. I have never used one before, but I'd worked out how to use it in a few minutes. Compared to my old Lumix G1, or Nikon D7000 it is an exercise in simplicity. Sure you have to load a film, wind it on, all that stuff, but if you've used a film camera before, it's all second nature.

I think the difference is that classic film camera do not add unnecessary stuff to confuse matters, whereas cameras like the Lumix G1 seemed *only* be unnecessary features, and obfuscated the basic ones.
I can relate to this. I own the G1 and when in a hurry I'm constantly forgetting to set image size, resolution and WB., let alone making sure battery's are full. My last night shoot I even used a flash (stupidly I might add) with WB set on tungsten and, well, now I'm Photoshop'ing a bunch of pictures; And O the joy of Raw files.
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Old 12-22-2012   #102
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I guess it wouldn’t be inappropriate to insert a few of my own experiences in traveling with film and digital cameras.

In the ’80s and 90s, I traveled on assignment to 27 countries on five continents doing documentary/PJ photography for various mission and humanitarian agencies. I carried two or three Olympus OM bodies and a half-dozen lenses. An OM2n body was my workhorse, although I mostly used it in manual mode. Most exposure readings were made with a Minolta Flashmeter III.

I traveled with about 150 rolls of film, the majority of which was the original Fujichrome RDP at ASA 100. For low light indoors, I carried some of the old 3M Scotchchrome 640T. It could be pushed to ASA 1280 (when I start talking about digital, I’ll start talking about ISO) and produced some very interesting colors plus lots of grain. But when speed was needed, there was nothing else.

I only had my film X-rayed one time, although I came very close in Germany on one occasion, and also once in Spain. Returning from three weeks in Western Europe in 1990, during which we documented the work of Church of God World Missions in six or seven countries, I approached the gate at London’s Heathrow Airport carrying about 125 rolls of exposed film. The guard insisted that the film be X-rayed. This was shortly after Flight 290 (I think) was brought down by a bomb, and when I protested, the guard simply said, “If I don’t X-ray your film, you don’t fly.” So that was that, and ultimately, no harm was done.

I made the move to digital in 2003, but didn’t go abroad again until 2005, when we went to Italy and Switzerland. I took two Canon 20D bodies, the underrated 24-85 f3.5-4.5 and the 70-300 f4-5.6. I owned L lenses in those ranges, but chose to save weight. The Sigma 14mm I took along for wide-angle shots (22mm equivalent) more than made up the weight difference. The real killer, though, was the 17-inch laptop we carried. Never again!

The most recent trip abroad was to Israel and Jordan in 2010, when I packed a 5D, 17-35 f2.8L, the 50mm macro, and 70-200 f4L. We also took a 20D and the 24-85, which my wife mostly used. One of the places we visited was Petra, Jordan, the amazing city carved into sandstone cliffs by an ancient people.

Trudging up a hill toward some impressive temples on an oppressively hot afternoon, cursing my increasingly heavy camera bag with every step, I chanced to meet a man who was carrying nothing but an Olympus Pen E-P2 with the 14-42mm kit zoom and the VF-2 viewfinder. We talked for a few minutes, and since I had been reading about Pen digital micro 4/3s cameras, I asked if I could hold his camera.

"Wow!" I thought to myself as the light and lovely little gem nestled in my palm, "What am I doing carrying all this weight?"

I soon bought an E-PL1, added some lenses and an OM-D, and plan to get another OM-D before our next trip, which will be a mission trip to El Salvador next June.

So what have I learned?

1. I don’t want to carry any more weight than absolutely necessary to get the picture quality I want.
2. Digital is much more flexible than film.
3. SD cards are a lot lighter and a lot less trouble than film.
4. If you must carry a computer, make it the smallest and lightest possible. The only reason I might take one to El Salvador would be to back up my SD cards to high-capacity flash drives. There may be a better way to do this – I will have to check.
5. Regardless of anything said on this thread, the best camera to take is the one that gives you the most satisfaction with the total experience. And no one else can make that decision for you.
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Old 12-22-2012   #103
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Thanks, PKR. Maybe a little more than I want to spend, but looks very good. Maybe the price will come down before June!
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Old 12-22-2012   #104
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I traveled recently for eight weeks in Europe and took along the OM-D, an assortment of lenses and four batteries. It all fit in a small Domke shoulder bag. I had the choice of using film and other digital cameras. On occasion I just took the camera and put a couple of additional lenses in my coat pockets. I returned to the US very satisfied with the performance of the little OM-D. I did not miss either my ff digital nor my Leica MP. Wherever I went my camera went with me and was not a distraction nor was I tired at the end of the day because of heavy and or excessive equipment.
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Old 12-22-2012   #105
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I find it a much better medium for travelling with, I've got 150 rolls with me in a roll top dry bag to accompany me on my 5 months of travelling . its great being able to chuck the finished rolls in the bag and not have yo worry about hard disk space etc. Not to mention getting away from being consumed by workflow and editing while away.
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Old 12-22-2012   #106
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Also batteries is a big part of it. My metre and flash run of double A's so that's real easy when coupled with a m2.
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Old 12-23-2012   #107
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I may be eating my words...just realised that checking film is a big no no. both exposed and non exposed all at 400 Iso have been through 4 flights all checked. Incredibly stupid of me. Getting a couple developed tomorrow, fingers crossed.

Any input from others on my chances of not having just wasted £300?
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Old 12-23-2012   #108
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From what I understand (and I may be mistaken) the type of x-ray machines used for carry-on luggage are not the same as the ones used for checked luggage.

The former are relatively benign, the latter (if used) can be quite destructive on film.

I took a bunch of film to Europe in 2010 on a family holiday, and all of it was scanned for carry-on, and I had no problems at all.

But I was careful not to check my film with my luggage for stowage in the cargo hold.

In some airports they zap your luggage (along with 1000's of others on a daily basis) using a much more powerful x-ray machine. It is difficult to know which airports do this.

There was an informative link about this, but goodness knows if I can find it now. A quick search should help you.

---

Regarding the original post, I'd say there's no quick answer. As in many things pertaining to photography (and art in general) the best answer is: it depends.

When I went to Europe in 2010, I took a film body (a Bessa R3A) and a digital body (a Canon 5DmkII). It was more fun to use the Bessa, because I wasn't constantly "chimping". It also was (of course) much lighter and smaller.

But the Canon dSLR gave me predictable, instantaneous, high-quality results. I didn't appreciate the bulk of the body or the lenses, and inevitably I'd have a sore neck and shoulders by the end of the day.

In retrospect I think I used both cameras about equally, and enjoyed using each system on its own merits.

This shot was taken in Tuscany with my Bessa R3A and a roll of Velvia 100. Not bad, I think.

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Old 12-23-2012   #109
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Great shot, bobby!

Hi Luis: fingers crossed. I did that once with Tri-X with only slight fogging of one roll: I just got lucky as I've seen images of real disasters posted around the web.

Not doing that again would be a real good idea.
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Old 12-23-2012   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by louisbrown08 View Post
I may be eating my words...just realised that checking film is a big no no. both exposed and non exposed all at 400 Iso have been through 4 flights all checked. Incredibly stupid of me. Getting a couple developed tomorrow, fingers crossed.

Any input from others on my chances of not having just wasted £300?
I have taken unexposed film (400 or less) through x-rays at airports multiple times with no ill effects. The important point is to keep your film in your carry-on luggage, b/c the x-rays used at airport security checkpoints are less powerful than the ones used to scan checked luggage. If you leave your film in your checked lugged AND it's scanned, it will very likely be ruined. I had quite a scare on a flight from Stockholm to Oslo in 2011, when I left my film in my checked bag. Fortunately, the luggage was not scanned and the film turned out fine (I had a roll developed in Oslo to check).

Edit: If the film was in your checked luggage, it may still be OK if the bag was not actually scanned. Airports do not scan every checked bag. If the film looks foggy when you develop it, you'll know it got x-rayed. Good luck!
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Old 12-23-2012   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobby_novatron View Post
...When I went to Europe in 2010, I took a film body (a Bessa R3A) and a digital body (a Canon 5DmkII). It was more fun to use the Bessa, because I wasn't constantly "chimping". It also was (of course) much lighter and smaller...
A really nice sunset shot!

Is chimping really that necessary? Being relatively new to digital cameras, I'm not used to peering at a screen on the back before, during, or after the exposure; just not part of the process. I have picture review turned off, and just use the screen for settings changes.

Later on though, at the end of the day, I'll use the screen to look over the day's shots. Assured all looks ok, I put the SD card in the slot on my laptop and copy the image folder over, renaming the folder for the day. That folder gets backed up immediately to another device. The card then goes back in the camera and is formatted. The battery goes on the charger overnight to be ready for another day's shooting.

While out shooting I do carry a spare SD card and battery... but have not needed them. This is convenient enough that I don't take film cameras on trips any more. I'll have the laptop with me anyway to retain interaction with y'all on RFF!
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Old 12-23-2012   #112
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Beautiful sunset, I much prefer film for all the usual reasons.

Looks like I might have gotten away with it, but I'll need to get my hands on the negs before I can be sure.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 01-02-2013   #113
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In Nov/Dec 2011, my wife and I did a tour of Sri Lanka. I had a film SLR (Leica R3 Mot) and my Ricoh GR1s. She had my Nikon D700. My kit (including 28mm, 50mm and 90mm Leica-R lenses) + 20 rolls of film fitted comfortably into a moderate sized camera bag. The D700 + 24-120 and 70-300 zooms + cards, cables, etc. needed more space.

I couldn't take the same volume of photos as my wife (but then I'm a sniper and she's a machine gunner) but I could change a roll of film in less than a minute, if required. She had the advantage of being able to see + delete any poor shots.

It poured down. Neither my Leica nor my Ricch blinked. a wipe don with a towel and dry off in sunlight to avoid fungus and the kit was pristine. The D700 worked flawlessly but some water got behind the viewing screen. It continued to work (and works still) but I was not comfortable with electronics being inundated with rainwater.

In all honesty, and in my opinion, there's not much to choose between film and digital in modern / developed countries. If I were travelling by foot / bus / train and/or travelling in remote, under-developed areas, I wouldn't go near digital as you are too reliant on charging batteries where there may not be a reliable supply, if there's one at all.
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Old 01-02-2013   #114
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not good, given that the D700 is weather proof, to a degree!
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Old 01-02-2013   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jenkin View Post
In Nov/Dec 2011, my wife and I did a tour of Sri Lanka. I had a film SLR (Leica R3 Mot) and my Ricoh GR1s. She had my Nikon D700. My kit (including 28mm, 50mm and 90mm Leica-R lenses) + 20 rolls of film fitted comfortably into a moderate sized camera bag. The D700 + 24-120 and 70-300 zooms + cards, cables, etc. needed more space.

I couldn't take the same volume of photos as my wife (but then I'm a sniper and she's a machine gunner) but I could change a roll of film in less than a minute, if required. She had the advantage of being able to see + delete any poor shots.

It poured down. Neither my Leica nor my Ricch blinked. a wipe don with a towel and dry off in sunlight to avoid fungus and the kit was pristine. The D700 worked flawlessly but some water got behind the viewing screen. It continued to work (and works still) but I was not comfortable with electronics being inundated with rainwater.

In all honesty, and in my opinion, there's not much to choose between film and digital in modern / developed countries. If I were travelling by foot / bus / train and/or travelling in remote, under-developed areas, I wouldn't go near digital as you are too reliant on charging batteries where there may not be a reliable supply, if there's one at all.
I agree that traveling into remote areas might be an issue (admittedly I've never done it), but isn't the R3 also an electronically controlled camera, with only one mechanical shutter speed? I'd think you'd be just as susceptible to electronic issues with that camera, wouldn't you? Following that line of thinking, you'd probably want to go with a totally mechanical camera that would not be battery dependent at all.

The D700 is a great camera, and I've used it in every kind of weather you can imagine. Definitely a recommended camera, and it's good to know that yours is still okay.
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Old 01-02-2013   #116
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I agree that traveling into remote areas might be an issue (admittedly I've never done it), but isn't the R3 also an electronically controlled camera, with only one mechanical shutter speed? I'd think you'd be just as susceptible to electronic issues with that camera, wouldn't you? Following that line of thinking, you'd probably want to go with a totally mechanical camera that would not be battery dependent at all.
I haven't used extensively any electronic film camera but I guess the issue here is that digital cameras eat batteries much faster than the film equivalents.

As of digital, I have a Panasonic P&S and an EPL2. The battery has a shorter duration on the EPL, and I don't think it would last a whole day of use.
Electronic film cameras might work weeks or months with a single battery. My OM-1 battery (for the meter) lasted 4 years.
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Old 01-02-2013   #117
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That´s what happend when I wend in 2004 to London!
They scaned my camera bag @ Munich airpot - I asked them if I may take out the film and the camera body with film in, but it was forbidden and said it wouldn´t harm my film in any way!
Is there a save way to get film arround x-ray or an x-ray safe bag which can be carried on the body or in the camera bag?

The best story happend to me 2 years ago in London Stenstad when income custom opend my cam and pulled the film out - then saying you can rewind it and use it again!!!!
People have forgotten how flim works!
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Old 01-02-2013   #118
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In my own experience, I find traveling with digital to be so much less complicated. Nothing says you have to do your downloading, post-processing, etc. while on the trip. With a few tiny memory cards, you have the capacity to store far more images than you could on 100 rolls of film.
A digital camera with a few batteries, memory cards and a charger will take up less space than a film camera and the huge bag of film you will have to carry.
If you want to include a laptop, etc. in your digital kit, that's up to you. But it's hardly a necessity.
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Old 01-02-2013   #119
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I've never seen x-ray damage that looked like that...
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Old 01-02-2013   #120
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I've never seen x-ray damage that looked like that...
... because it doesn't!
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Old 01-02-2013   #121
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In my own experience, I find traveling with digital to be so much less complicated. Nothing says you have to do your downloading, post-processing, etc. while on the trip. With a few tiny memory cards, you have the capacity to store far more images than you could on 100 rolls of film.
A digital camera with a few batteries, memory cards and a charger will take up less space than a film camera and the huge bag of film you will have to carry.
If you want to include a laptop, etc. in your digital kit, that's up to you. But it's hardly a necessity.
Exactly. Found this out myself too.
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Old 01-14-2013   #122
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Just returned from a long trip. Only shot 120.
Actually it was often a pain in the %&#... Changing film every 12 shots in the middle of the action. Hard with a Yashica Mat and Holga's that need to be taped...

Hope it was worth the effort.
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Old 01-14-2013   #123
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Well, then there's the cost/time of processing the film, scanning it, etc.

They both have their strengths and weaknesses, in my opinion. But yes, if by less complicated, you mean while out and about shooting, then I would agree.
Shooting rolls can by complicated too, sometimes. Unless you have a good workflow.

Imagine you're shooting a roll of iso 3200 and you're in the half of it, and suddenly it gets sunny and you want to shoot a landscape at iso 100.
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Old 01-15-2013   #124
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Shooting rolls can by complicated too, sometimes. Unless you have a good workflow.

Imagine you're shooting a roll of iso 3200 and you're in the half of it, and suddenly it gets sunny and you want to shoot a landscape at iso 100.
second body?

oh, and light suddenly changes by more than 5 stops (so you cannot compensate)? Maybe if you are out on a sunny day and enter a dark church, or something. But again, a second body takes care of this (or change rolls midway. That's easy on some bodies (Hexar RF for example) and doable on most others.
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Old 01-15-2013   #125
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Plus, hardly any film shooter would be casually shooting 3200 speed film unless for a special project. Vacillating between 100 and 400 because of lighting conditions would be more realistic.
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