Heading back to film and Provia 400X question from Australia

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Justin1970, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. Justin1970

    Justin1970 Member

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    Hi everybody.
    A couple of questions from a newbie to this forum.
    Firstly, i am looking at purchasing a 35mm film SLR. I had an EOS 50 years ago and use DSLRs for work (1Dmk3 and 5Dmk2) but really miss looking at transparencies on a light box and love film in general.
    I am looking for advice on an SLR suited to my job as an outdoor journalist, who can often be away from a power source for more than a week.
    I have narrowed it down to an EOS 1n or 1V, or an equivalent Nikon? Or am i better off looking at something manual, such as the F1n or Nikon F2?
    Also, does anybody have much experience with Fuji Provia 400X slide film? This will be what i use mainly and just wanted to know how the film scans re grain, etc?
    Apologies for the multiple questions but any advice would be great.
    Thanks in advance.
    Juz
     
  2. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    You can run a lot of rolls through a 1N or 1V but when the batteries are dead you can't take any pictures so I generally prefer my old FTbN if its cold when batteries die and just in general for going off the grid. Similarly my medium format camera is battery free, not even a meter which is actually quite nice once you get used to it. Otherwise, bring spares for a 1N or 1V! You can carry more film if you don't need to carry batteries but if you need high frame rate for wildlife then you probably don't want to be thumb winding.

    Provia is good but as it is faster the grain isn't as tight as the slower 100 version but if you need a shutter speed and/or narrow aperture hand held then 400 it is. For tripod work 100 or 50 is fine unless your subjects are moving and you want to freeze the action. Pushing Ektachrome 200 is your only other option.
     
  3. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    The PBE2 on my EOS3 with Lithium batteries not only gives me more fps, but I lost count how many rolls of film (>200) I put through it and it still indicated full. Lithiums are also great for wider temperature range. And of course in a pinch, you can put the more commonly available alkaline batteries in it. PBE2 also works for the 1V.

    In another thread here we discussed numerous manual focus cameras that are completely battery independent or use it for meters or has aperture priority exposure when batteries are good with some or all shutter speeds available when battery is depleted. I don't believe any of these manual cameras can use an EOS lens so you won't be tied to Canon.

    The Provia 400X is excellent and so is the Sensia 400. You might want to lookup the new Kodak Portra 400 (not NC or VC) as it has excellent latitude as typical of C41, great color balance even in mixed light and grain that rivals 100 speed C41 film.
     
  4. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Oh and welcome to APUG! And welcome back to film.
     
  5. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    Here's a point of reference compared to the EOS1V . . .
    [​IMG]

    Interesting that these all use the same size film!

    BTW, the Pentax MX is not only the smallest SLR, it also happens to have the largest viewfinder with shutter speed and aperture shown!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2011
  6. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I'd get an EOS 3 to make use of your lenses. They are cheaper than the 1 series cameras and just as good in use and results. I would recommend one hands down over the 1N. I would only recommend the 1V over it if you seriously beat your cameras to $hit on a regular basis. The 1V is a bit tougher, though the 3 is not made of tin foil or anything. I got my EOS 3 in the original box near mint for $180 shipped. Carry an extra battery with you. It's not much hassle.

    If not for the fact that you have EF lenses, I'd just recommend a Nikon F or F2.
     
  7. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    If you shot on newer Canon DSLRs like the 1D and the 5D, you'd probably like the 1V the most. I'd get it over the 1N. I have a 1V and it's a fantastic camera. Without the battery grip, you can get about 25 rolls of film per battery, give or take a few rolls. I'd buy them in bulk on the internet to get the price down to about $3/battery. With the battery grip (PB-E2), you can get a lot more rolls and use all kinds of AAs. Though I don't think it likes rechargeables - too low voltage if I recall. I don't use my PB-E2 most of the time because it adds too much bulk for me. There is also a smaller grip (BP-E1?) with no second set of controls. It lets you power the camera off of a 2CR5 or 4 AAs. I found it was a bit harder to track down than the PB-E2, but it could be useful.

    If you feel like switching to Nikon, the F6 looks like a great camera. Personally, since you are comfortable with Canon, get the 1V (if you are ok with the price - $500-600). It's the best film camera Canon will ever make. If you want a manual focus camera to back it up, pick up an older Nikon or Olympus or... But get the 1V :smile:

    I've only shot a couple rolls of Provia 400X. It had pretty fine grain (for me) and was great stuff. Just a tad expensive. I should really shoot more of it. Good skin tones too. I'd say it was less grainy than something like Portra 400NC but probably more than Portra 160NC and definitely more than Ektar. It's not going to be as fine grained as a slower slide film, but it's ISO 400. It blows the doors off of Ektachrome 400. I don't have any samples of it up scanned at 4000 dpi, but I do have some that have been down sampled to 1800x1200. I could send you a crop of a 4000 dpi scan if you want...

    Provia 400X
     
  8. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    Oh yeah, as 2F says, the 3 is a great camera too. If money is a bit tighter, it's a great camera. I decided that the extra $300 was worth it for me to shoot on the best dang film camera Canon ever made, and that I would shoot that and my M until film really is dead :D
     
  9. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Yeah, the 1V with the battery grip on it will feel just like a 1D or 1D Mark II, same 45 AF points, same AF assist button. The Mark III is a bit different.

    The 1N only has 5 AF points, no AF assist button, no AF point select on the battery grip (just shutter button and AE lock in portrait using the grip) so it is not nearly the same as the 1D but I have a 1N and really like it. Mine is the RS pellicle mirror version.

    But I'd still take 100% mechanical cameras if I was off the grid for a week. I expect you'll shoot more than 25 rolls in a week out there, especially if you're shooting wildlife. At 10 fps my 1N RS eats 8 AA cells for breakfast.
     
  10. Justin1970

    Justin1970 Member

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    Scan sample of Provia 400

    Hi everybody.
    Thanks for this info - very much appreciated. Tim, i noted your offer to send through a scan sample. If you can, that would be great but if not, no probs.
    Sounds like carrying an extra battery for the 1V or 3 (those two seem most likely at this stage) might be the best way. Full manual still appeals now, though, after reading some opinions.
    Cheers,
    Juz
     
  11. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    I've been shooting Provia 400X a little bit lately, mostly in suboptimal conditions where even 400 is a little slow, after a fair amount of using Provia 100F. The faster version is good, very similar in its colour rendition to the 100---which is VERY high praise in my opinion. *For* *its* *speed* the grain is quite low---but you gotta keep your expectations realistic. No 400 film is going to make anyone look and say "Ooo, grainless!"

    -NT
     
  12. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    Ok, here is a crop of an unsharpened 4000dpi scan (on a Nikon Coolscan V) - would make a 19" x 13" print at 300 dpi. This is delving a bit too much into digital stuff, but the scanned sharpened up nicely too. You might have to open it up in its own window to see the full size.

    The full image at lower resolution is here.
     

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  13. Justin1970

    Justin1970 Member

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    Thanks Tim - much appreciated!
    Juz
     
  14. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    What I do is carry at least 3 cameras at all times. If they require batteries then I take at least one extra battery per body. Usually I will carry my EOS 1N RS or AE-1 plus either the EOS 650 or the FTb and the RB67, sometimes my Kodak Instamatic 500 in a pocket too as it can be a light meter if nothing else with its Gossen Selenium meter. I use a Lowepro ComputrakkerPlusAw backpack which holds it all with the batteries, flashes, lots of film (comes with two film bags and I put unexposed in one bag and exposed in the other one so I don't get mixed up), a tripod hangs off the back, etc. The whole thing weighs about 40 lbs but it means I'm never saying, "shoot, I wish I had that with me for this shot!" Between the backpack hikes and lifting the RB67 and EOS 1N RS with 400mm telephoto I must say I don't really need to go to the gym...

    Looks like E200 has been discontinued so pushing it to 400 or 800 probably isn't an option at this point sadly.
     
  15. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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  16. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    Although I prefer mechanical cameras, I think it would be best to buy one of the mentioned EOS cameras to make use of the lenses you already have.
    I really like Provia 400X. It has just the right colour saturation, beeing somewhere between Velvia and Astia. My slides do also look pretty sharp. One advantage is that this film can be pushed without problems to Iso 800 or even higher.
     
  17. ath

    ath Member

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    For me carrying a spare battery is a small price I gladly pay for having a more precise (shutter and film transport accuracy), more versatile (metering patterns, speed range, exposure modes), more convenient (display) and more error proof (faults likely will be shown instead of e.g. returning with films full with half pictures because the mechanical shutter froze in the cold and you didn't notice) camera.
    YMMV as always and yes, there are advantages of mechanical cameras. Sometimes using e.g. a Leica M2 ist just more fun.
     
  18. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Welcome. As an Outdoor journalist I guess you mean camping, hiking, water, bad weather, etc. So seals will be a priority, and then a film body to take any of your lenses that will cover the format. I suspect that you'll definitely be taking the D bodies and you'll want a smaller then larger pack unless your traveling by truck alot? The guys above have covered everything so the only thing I might mention to cause you to think is maybe taking a 645 and zoom lens instead of a 35mm, as long as you travel mostly by auto. 400x in the larger format will be better for larger possible prints and covers, although I'd get a second back for Velvia. Just a thought.
     
  19. Matus Kalisky

    Matus Kalisky Member

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    For the camera - no experience with Canon or Nikon 35mm SLR - but why not go to 6x4.5? You can even get AF (Pentax, Contax - not cheap, but check out the 80/2.0 lens on flickr) or even 6x7 (Pentax, Bronica, Mamiya)? Bigger and heavier - yes indeed, but the large slides on the light table rock and A3 prints are detailed and without grain! If you do not need AF than you have really many cameras to choose from.

    Surely - if you need LONG lenses or FAST AF than 35mm is the way to go. One camera to mention then is Minolta Dynax/Maxum 9 - built like a hammer with fast AF.

    I would NOT worry about batteries. just get 2 - 3 spare sets and you are fine for much longer than a week. With manual focus cameras probably for more than a year.

    Provia 400X - it bacame quickly my favorite fast color film - very small grain for the speed. 8x enlargements look still good. I only wish Fuji would do the 400X in 4x5 too ...
     
  20. Justin1970

    Justin1970 Member

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    Hi Waynecrider. Ype, mostly backpack-based but i also do a lot of work for a 4WD-based magazine so the medium format suggestion of yours (and others) is not a bad idea at all.
    Thanks again everybody for the advice! carrying a couple of extra batteries with the cam is definitely going to be happening!
    Cheers,
    Juz
     
  21. TimmyMac

    TimmyMac Subscriber

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    Another Guelphite! And one with a bag that looks a lot like mine - I'm just missing the red rings.

    More on topic - I shoot an EOS 3 with PB-E2 permanently attached. I like the vertical grip, and if weight is a problem I'll grab a smaller EOS body or my Minolta XD11. I would have liked the 1V, but couldn't justify the money - the cameras are almost identical functionally.