HELP - What colour film for India?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Matt5791, Aug 29, 2007.

  1. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    I am going to India at the end of the month and I am shooting both 35mm and 120.

    I just can't decide on a colour film, other than that I want to use reversal.

    Velvia is an obvious choice, or the new Provia 400X to give some extra speed for hand held, but at the same time I quite fance using something with more muted colour as I think that the "velvia look" has become such a standard for such photography - If Kodachrome was easy then I would definitely use that, but I don't want to be sending my films all over the world for processing, so it will have to be E6.

    Photography will also be a really mixed bag, from landscapes to street photography, so I certainly need to be thinking about at least two emulsions.

    Any suggestions gratefully received.

    Also, does anyone have any experience of Indian X-ray scanners in airports? I'm flying into and out of Delhi.

    Matt
     
  2. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Personally I would use E100G and E100VS, since I don't like the "Velvia look". The VS for a bit more saturation, and G for everything else. :smile:
     
  3. Matthijs

    Matthijs Subscriber

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    I think you should stick to one emulsion, since you'll be completely overwhelmed by the chaos, amount of people, heat, humidity, colors & smell. India is a bombardment on your senses and you will be shooting like crazy (at least I was :smile: ). You want to focus on taking photographs only, not constantly deciding what emulsion suits best. This advice also applies to taking two cameras with you. This may be different if you've been to India before and you don't suffer from a culture shock. I took Velvia 50 with me when I went to India in 2005 and was really pleased with the results. Subjects varied between portraits, street, landscape, night shots. If you don't like the look of Velvia, try Provia or E100G. Then again, if you really want to use both 35mm and 120, why not choose both types of film?
     
  4. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Matt,

    I've never had a problem with X-rays, in and out of Delhi, Madras, Goa and Bangalore.

    India is so vivid that anything will do, quite honestly: I'm currently shooting Sensia 100, as a modestly saturated and inexpensive good-quality film.

    Are you sure you want both 35mm and 120? I've normally taken both to India but next time I'll leave 120 behind: too much hassle carrying both formats (and I've done it in the past with Hasselblad, Linhof and Alpa, and Frances has used Mamiya 645 and Alpa). Increasingly I take only one outfit, either Leica or Alpa, wherever I go, unless I'm testing gear for the magazines -- and then I'll usually drive (Central/Eastern Europe, Spanish Pyrenees, Portugal, South of France) rather than flying.

    For spectacular geometrical compositions, don't miss the Jantar Mantar. For street photography -- well, there's the whole of India!

    Where are you going apart from Delhi?

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  5. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    Thanks very much for the replies - and the votes for E100G as Calumet have a silly deal on this at the moment (see my other thread)

    Roger - I am also going to Agra, Safari in Ranthanbore, jaipour, and Shimla. I will be travelling by train. Thanks for the advise on the X-rays too.

    I intend to use 120 (Hasselblad) an my main kit - taking only a small 35mm kit (probably Nikon FE2 and a couple of lenses). I know it is slower to use and slower, heavier, lenses, but I like the waist level finder.

    Thanks

    Matt
     
  6. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Matt,

    Ah... Makes sense. I've always used 35mm as the main kit, except with the Tech 70. Of course that means 2x 35mm bodies + 3 to 5 lenses, then the LF with 1 or 2 lenses (I think Frances once carried 3). I assume you'll have a fast lens for the 35 for the streets: I'd not want to do much street photography with even the Tech 70, let alone a Hasselblad. Contrast ranges are ENORMOUS: shops are black holes behind the sunlit fronts.

    The bazaar in Agra is excellent, and although I've never been to Simla I've found other hill stations wonderful: Dharamsala, Darjeeling, Ooty (Ootacamund/Udighamandalam). And they're great in B+W.

    Carry ZipLoc or similar self-sealing bags against the dust, which shouldn't be too bad at the end of the monsoon season but even luxury trains get dusty. Train travel in India is wonderful -- I envy you -- but BE CAREFUL at Old Delhi station -- that's the only place I've ever been robbed in India, and be especially wary of any unusually 'helpful' strangers. But the vast majority of Indians are incredibly honest, and since that theft 25 years ago (my second trip) I've had nothing stolen in several repeat visits.

    But you probably know all this sort of stuff already, if you have been to India before. If you haven't, the beer is far better than it used to be and Old Monk rum is wonderful. For that matter, try some Marquise de Pompadour local 'champagne': surprisingly good.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  7. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    Thanks for all the helpful advise Roger!

    I haven't ever been there before - and thanks for the advise on street photography. I will act on that.

    Is the "Tech 70" the bulk film back for Hasselblad? In otherwords, is the main problem with Hasselblad and street photography number of exposures, rather than bulk/speed of operation/lenses etc?

    I'm a novice at street photography by the way!

    Thanks again,

    Matt
     
  8. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Matt,

    No, the Tech 70 is the Linhof Technika 70 rangefinder/view/press camera, which I used mainly with the 100/2.8 Planar and a 10-on-120 back.

    On the street in India you normally need to shoot FAST before you are surrounded with a crowd. Frances and I sometimes decoy for each other: one pretends to be doing something (even if it's just taking a reading) and the other slips off and shoots. As far as possible, pre-set the exposure and even the focused distance before you start obviously to take a picture.

    Kids will sometimes ask for money but don't seem too worried if they don't get it. There are lots of beggars but they're generally far less persistent than in most countries. "Jao!" is a (rather rude) "Go away!" (not to be confused with "Challo!" which is "Let's go!" -- I did for years)

    You can also get superb twilight/night shots in the markets: you'll need fast film for this, and I suggest ISO 800/1000 colour neg.

    There's an India gallery at http://www.rogerandfrances.com/gallery/g india.html but it's from the early days of the site when I knew a lot less about scanning and web sites. You might still find it useful, though. There are some Red Fort pics from Delhi, and some from Agra, all 35mm as you'll be able to tell from the shape. Most are Kodachrome or Agfachrome, and there are no fast film shots there, though there must be elsewhere on the site.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  9. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    Thanks very much Roger - very helpful indeed! As are the photos on your link.

    Maybe get hold of some 800 Fuji / Kodak col. neg too then.

    Many thanks,

    Matt