35mm Film and you

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35mm Film and you

Postby kiss-o-matic » Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:19 am

I took my digital camera last year, and got some decent pictures. I have an even better (more expensive) camera now but it is not weather-sealed which quite frankly, has me a little petrified. I will take it with, but am going to try to limit it's use. Film has also struck my fancy lately. The bonus is, there are stellar film cameras that can be had for crazy cheap. The thing I'm not really experienced with though is the film in the extreme temperature.

At this point, I'm mainly aiming to take ISO50 for day time. Ilford still makes B&W. Fujifilm discontinued Velvia50 but it can be had for roughly $10 a roll (ouch). I can locate expired rolls for far cheaper, but of course, it's a dice roll on exactly what's going to come out.

So, playing it safe I plan to get some plastic containers and put a bunch of rolls in the cooler. I'm reading somewhere now that I might need to keep it cool after exposing. This is news to me, but I'm far from an expert. I'd hate to shoot 10-20 rolls of film only to have the pictures destroyed.

Any help is appreciated.
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Re: 35mm Film and you

Postby BBadger » Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:09 am

A big factor will be humidity, and fortunately for you it'll be quite dry. The next task will be to keep the film cool. A nice always-shaded area in your camp will probably be fine. I doubt any will be "destroyed" unless they're baking in the sun.

In the end, your shots will probably look good anyway, and whatever may happen you can always correct it if necessary. Hell, it may even capture a specific look you're aiming for.
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Re: 35mm Film and you

Postby kiss-o-matic » Tue Jun 11, 2013 6:14 pm

BBadger wrote:In the end, your shots will probably look good anyway, and whatever may happen you can always correct it if necessary. Hell, it may even capture a specific look you're aiming for.


I actually just bought some well-expired film (from the 70's). Stuff that's way out of production. The problem is I got a few rolls of a few different types, so it's hard to tell which way and how much I need to compensate for. I might figure it out just as I finish the last roll. Also, only 20 exposures apiece. There could definitely be a nice project in there, doing all expired film and accepting whatever the film gods decide you should get. I want some control though. ;)

So yeah, I guess some tupperware and a reserved space in the cooler should do fine.
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Re: 35mm Film and you

Postby Savannah » Tue Jun 11, 2013 6:34 pm

kiss-o-matic wrote:
BBadger wrote:In the end, your shots will probably look good anyway, and whatever may happen you can always correct it if necessary. Hell, it may even capture a specific look you're aiming for.


I actually just bought some well-expired film (from the 70's). Stuff that's way out of production. The problem is I got a few rolls of a few different types, so it's hard to tell which way and how much I need to compensate for. I might figure it out just as I finish the last roll. Also, only 20 exposures apiece. There could definitely be a nice project in there, doing all expired film and accepting whatever the film gods decide you should get. I want some control though. ;)

So yeah, I guess some tupperware and a reserved space in the cooler should do fine.


That's a fun idea. :)

Yeah--you probably don't have to go nuts with protecting it. I used film for my first 5 Burns and didn't take any special precautions with my film at all. Worried more about keeping dust out of my camera. I didn't store my film on the dashboard in the sun, but I didn't chill it either. It held up wonderfully, and I have some lovely pictures.
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Re: 35mm Film and you

Postby Eric » Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:34 pm

I shot film my first two Burns, and just kept it in the RV with me - no special storage. The only bitch was be really careful about the dust when changing it. Do it inside a tent, an RV, a JOTS, something that gives some protection from the dust.
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Re: 35mm Film and you

Postby trilobyte » Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:03 pm

I'm giving this a nudge to the Q&A board, since that's a better fit for handling 35mm film (temperature is just one consideration).

On one hand it sounds fun, on the other it could be completely nerve-wracking (temps, dust, expired nature of the film, etc), not to mention the cost of rolling the dice developing to see what came out. Good luck with the project!
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Re: 35mm Film and you

Postby kiss-o-matic » Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:32 pm

Nice tips, guys. Guess maybe I'm being a bit overly cautious.

I'm very aware of the implications of getting dust in the actual camera. The most expensive film camera I'm taking is about $150 used... I'll probably take 2 others that are $50 and a range finder in the $50 range. If I get dust in them, so be it. However, I'm thinking of doing it in a car/tent, and inside a plastic bag at that. I'm also taking a bunch of surgical gloves with me (mainly to soak my hands in Cetaphil each night) but I figure it will help w/ loading film.

The lenses are much pricier, but I think with some crafty use of convenience store bags and gaffer tape, it should be okay.

Also got another idea for the lenses which involves gaffer tape & zip log bags. Will try it when the filter gets here. Gotta love Gaffer tape - it's like stylish duct tape. Don't tell the Texan in me.
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Re: 35mm Film and you

Postby DrYes » Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:42 pm

Last year, I brought my 7D with the pricey 17-55m lens attached. Dusty year. Zero damage.

Stick it in a giant ziploc bag. Carefully cut out the bits you need to see unimpeded (the front of the lens, the viewfinders). Make sure you leave flex room if you're using a zoom lens. Don't impede your ability to change batteries or CF cards.

It wasn't much work and it ended up allowing me to shoot whenever I wanted without real problems. Of course, I had to be able to clean off the filter I had in front of my lens, but that and the optical viewfinder are pretty much the only areas that were exposed to the dust. Downside: Couldn't change lenses. Working on a solution for that this year.
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Re: 35mm Film and you

Postby dr.placebo » Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:41 am

It's definitely a compromise, but I'm using the Sigma 18-250 mm lens on my Canon 7D. The pictures are not as sharp as an L lens, to be sure, but the ability to do modest wide-angle through 10X zoom with a single lens is worth it (at least, for me).
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Re: 35mm Film and you

Postby gyre » Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:36 am

There's lots of film out there cheap now.
I bought a crate of kodak at target for $1+ a roll.
I've seen the long rolls cheap, etc.

Cooler won't hurt, though i think freezing is bad.
I just keep it cool though.
Film has been developed from very far back, including color.
It's considered more important for exposed fim than unexposed to stay cool.

Just take a roll and test it, for exposure sensitivity.
Take notes.

I see decent cameras for $25.
Paid $50 for my pro nikon.
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Re: 35mm Film and you

Postby BBadger » Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:13 am

gyre wrote:Film has been developed from very far back, including color.


Image

Thank you for this and other keen insights, gyre.
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Re: 35mm Film and you

Postby gyre » Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:16 am

Not everyone is aware of how much exposed film has been developed with success after fifty years and longer.
Facts are hardly insights, just information.
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Re: 35mm Film and you

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:39 am

BBadger wrote:
gyre wrote:Film has been developed from very far back, including color.


Image

Thank you for this and other keen insights, gyre.

That explains that movie of Anthony and Cleopatra I saw.
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Re: 35mm Film and you

Postby gyre » Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:08 pm

Early color techniques is a completely different subject, but there were some very early color films that were used sparingly due to cost.
Common to see only special scenes in color.

The smithsonian reported on an 1800s high quality tri-color film technique based on glass plates.
VERY expensive.
They found home movies in it, shot for a very wealthy family.
I've only seen stills, but so good it looks fake.

A later, inferior, but practical color photo approach.
1920s? India
Image
Italy
Just like this one.
Image

This is a similar triple plate technique
1900 Russia
Source: Photographs for the Tsar: The Pioneering Color Photography of Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Commissioned by Tsar Nicholas II
There were projectors for showing these on a large screen.
Image
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Re: 35mm Film and you

Postby kiss-o-matic » Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:53 pm

DrYes wrote:Last year, I brought my 7D with the pricey 17-55m lens attached. Dusty year. Zero damage.


I like that lens... had to give it up when I went full frame. I took my 5d2 + 24-70L last year. I bagged it up, and it was fine. However, there is a 2-fold learning experience out of it for me.

1) Any camera which elongates when it zooms (or focuses, as many primes do) can undo the covering
2) For me, zoom is worth sacrificing for aperture. My 5d2 will be in the back seat, but just in case, I'm taking a Pentax 50mm F1.4 (old guy, but a good performer) for night stuff... where film is very, very challenging.

Stick it in a giant ziploc bag. Carefully cut out the bits you need to see unimpeded (the front of the lens, the viewfinders). Make sure you leave flex room if you're using a zoom lens. Don't impede your ability to change batteries or CF cards.


I am thinking of doing a few of these. Tape (or glue?) around a UV filter. PUt it in the bag and attach it. Voila. For my RX1 (the most expensive, and unfortunately least designed for bad weather) it should be the best for such protection. That's where Canon's pro line stuff is good - the weather sealing is apparently all that.

The pictures are not as sharp as an L lens, to be sure, but the ability to do modest wide-angle through 10X zoom with a single lens is worth it (at least, for me).


I looked through my shots from last year. 70% were shot between 40mm-45mm. A lot of them at 70mm were kinda crap (trying to zoom in on some art car when I was hopelessly far away). Most of the old range finders from the 70's which will work for me are 40mm - 50mm, so should be all good. A lot of them have reportedly glass as sharp as what you'd get on a $500 current lens. No autofocus though.
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Re: 35mm Film and you

Postby Canoe » Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:12 am

Depends on the emulsion.

One of the things I found essential for film, and lenses (glued elements can delaminate), in hot climes (peak daily of 45C(113F) in the shade) was a camera bag where I took it apart and glued a space-blanket to both sides of the foam sides. As I as transporting a few hundred rolls at a time, I made a bag out of white ripstop nylon and lined it with a space-blanket. I could leave this stash in the tent all day under the sleeping bag with no ill effect. No ill effect with the rolls in the lined camera bags either. The Velvia (RVP) was vulnerable to taking a cyan colour shift in the heat: when in the camera too long, or in the pocket of my photo vest too long. I learnt to work out of the film bag and not my usual film pockets. Similar, but not as severe, with RDP. Rarely any shift when shooting amateur slide emulsions. Shot a mix of RVP, RDP and amateur emulsions because of this: guaranteed to get material with the amateur emulsions, better results with the RDP, and if I could get it in and out of the camera fast enough (and put it back in the back, not the photo-vest pocket), great results with RVP. When 45C in the shade, RVP in the camera shooting in the sun had to be shot and back in the bag ASAP. I only shot transparencies under these conditions, no negative film (some Kodachrome). Use your film out of something light coloured and lined with a radiant barrier if you want to be sure.

Nowadays you can buy a radiant barrier lined soft-sided drink cooler (six pack size) that I found worked quite well for film. A light coloured one is better...
You shouldn't need any ice-packs or bottles of cold/cool water in it either. The radiant barrier does enough by stopping it from being a portable solar oven.
These make good camera bags for the heat too.

Some photographers have had problems in dry conditions with static electricity sparking and fogging their film when the film advances across the pressure plate. I haven't.

The other thing, was: clean it, clean it, clean it. Now, where on the playa can you get dust free to do this. Only thing I can thing of is where someone is running their swamp cooler, as its incoming dust-free air is pushing out hot dusty air.
A light-proof film-changing bag would be good for changing film (zippered opening for the camera, elastic sealed sleeves for inserting your hands). But, you have to keep the dust out of it. An air-bulb can be essential to blow dust off of the camera before you open it to change film. And to blow out the back before you load the next roll.

Don't leave your film/camera/lenses in the car/glove-box/trunk.

So while digital sensors have more noise in the heat, and you need a sealed camera so you're not sending it in to be cleaned all the time, digital sure is easier to work with in the dust & heat.
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Re: 35mm Film and you

Postby gyre » Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:34 am

Canoe, are you still getting kodachrome developed?
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Re: 35mm Film and you

Postby Canoe » Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:52 am

gyre wrote:Canoe, are you still getting kodachrome developed?

Not a chance.
Still keeping some in the bottom of the fridge... don't really have a reason why.

I'd stopped shooting it well before developing was scarce. After doing a side-by-side test with RVP, I stopped shooting the 50 and 64, but still shot the 200 in some situations where the RDP, at 100 or pushed, didn't have the palette I wanted.
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Re: 35mm Film and you

Postby kiss-o-matic » Tue Jun 18, 2013 2:34 am

That was extremely informative -- thanks. I will look into one of those cooler bag things you were talking about.

I'm going to take a bunch of different kinds of film. A handful of reversal, a handful of color negative, and some expired stuff. The extreme ASA (50, and 3200) are kinda pricey so I'd like it if these would not melt. But hey, whaddya gonna do. As for film changing, I'm hoping some large Ziplock bags dedicated to the fact will work. Put on a new pair of surgical gloves... put the camera and new film roll in a new bag. Zip the bag -> Film out, film in -> Bob's your uncle. For the auto rolling one's that's easy. For the manual crank ones that might be a little too ambitious. Would probably be doing all this inside the camp's bus. Not dust free by any stretch, but about as good as one can get out there. There was a guy in my camp that shot film last year. I didn't hear him cussing too much about it. Hah.
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Re: 35mm Film and you

Postby kiss-o-matic » Tue Jun 18, 2013 2:36 am

Oops
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Re: 35mm Film and you

Postby Canoe » Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:08 am

You get what you get.
If you're going to be shooting expired stuff, you could get some really weird colour crossovers. Printing on expired colour paper used to be fun.

It's all an experiment anyway, right?
It's not that you need pristine transparencies for reproduction and scanners & photoshop are expensive rarities or something you have to pay an expert to do.

I'm not sure I'd go for the surgical gloves, but with:
  • a quick wipe with micro-fibre cloth for your hands and the outside of the camera,
  • then blow the dust out of the cracks on the back of the camera with an air-bulb (gently - blow dust away, not force it inside),
  • possibly another quick wipe with the micro-fibre cloth if the air-bulb removed a lot of dust,
  • then into the plastic bag to pull one roll and load the next.
  • Watch for getting dust on the leader, pressure plate, etc., and gently blow it out before you close the back.
Sometimes you can use the air-bulb like a turkey baster: instead of blowing dust around until it's out of the back, use the bulb to suck a dust particle and empty the bulb out of the bag. You can develop a technique.

When I had a place to hunker down for a change when the dust was blowing, I also carried a white ripstop bag I'd made with a drawstring. It's big enough to easily put on over my shoulders down to my waist and have room for a camera bag too. A quick pull, and I've limited the dust I'm exposed to.

You might have a static problem with the dry air. Watch for the film gathering fine dust particles when you hold it in your hands as you load the camera. If so, after you do the wipe & blow of the camera before opening it, place the camera, the new roll, a micro-fibre cloth and the air-bulb into the plastic bag. Rest your hand on the cloth while holding the rest for a few seconds to allow any static charge to equalize. You might have to omit the micro-fibre cloth from the bag for the film switch, or it might be good for wiping the leader clean if it gets a puff of dust. Again, gently with the air-bulb around the shutter blades and the leader seal into the film cassette.

I find that on-playa, a dollar-store pack of micro-fibre cloths make great wraps for cameras & lenses before putting them in the camera bag. My little P&S gets the same before going into a small zip-lock and into the pocket of my cargo pants.
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Re: 35mm Film and you

Postby kiss-o-matic » Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:49 pm

Well, I'm only taking a few rolls that are expired... they've been stored properly (I've been told) so I'm actually assuming these will hold up, but will of course test a roll or two once I get some bright bright sun... which isn't really possible during the rainy season.

will definitely check into the micro-fibre clothes. I actually don't carry these around... but should

P&S


These seem to be the bane of existence on the Playa. I think by Wednesday I could hear the "crunch" every time a lens extended from or retracted in to one.
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Re: 35mm Film and you

Postby gyre » Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:52 pm

I keep mine bagged except when in use, film and electronic.
All still functional so far.
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Re: 35mm Film and you

Postby kiss-o-matic » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:24 pm

Figured I'd follow up on this. I got a lot of keepers, and am overall well with how things turned out. The weather was of course on my side, but I can feel a little dust in the gears. So, not sure how it would work in a dusty year.

Some findings:
-You will have to put in a lot of work to protect a range finder while you shoot. The finder, lens, and meter if it has one needs to be unexposed. Wasn't worth the hassle for me...especially since the range finders I had were extremely cheap by just about any scale.
-I wrapped up my nicer digital so nice, the plastic got in the way on a lot of shots. Yes, there's Photoshop, but still irksome. Also, the auto focus on it is shit so I need to do it in semi-auto, which means I can't cover the whole lens in the wrapping. Again, irksome.
-Film in the bag in the tent seemed to be fine.
-For 2014, I will be sure to have a better pattern. I shot an imaginary roll of film, as I thought I had loaded it the night before but didn't. Really fucking stupid.

So yeah, learning experience, but still happy.
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Re: 35mm Film and you

Postby EspressoDude » Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:26 am

Shop in Portland that still works with 'film' Don't know about Kodachrome.

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Re: 35mm Film and you

Postby kiss-o-matic » Sun Sep 29, 2013 5:31 pm

Kodachrome/Ektrachrome is out of production. Kodak pulled out of the reversible market as if it were it's high school girlfriend, unfortunately. I really like it... nice warm colors. Fujifilm is the only one that makes reversible now. It's still nice, but you have to use filters to get the same yellows & reds as you do in E100VS. Oh, well... something to consider when it finally runs out.

For whatever it's worth, Kodak still manufactures their reversible developer. :-/
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