Provia 400x for British Columbia?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by JW1970, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. JW1970

    JW1970 Member

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    H folks.
    I am taking my legendary Canon EOS 1V to the rain forests of BC, Canada, to chase/photograph bears and was wondering if The above Provia is the best choice or I go for a faster negative film instead?
    Lenses are: 24-105 and 100-400 (and maybe 50 1.8)
    Any suggestions please send them through - any and all will be taken on board!
    Cheers
    JW1970
     
  2. dances_w_clouds

    dances_w_clouds Subscriber

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    Only safe place to photograph bears is on Grouse Mtn where they are behind a double fence with lots of barbed wire separating you from them. Other than that the bears are a wild animals that attack people for very little reason. Does not matter what film you use or what lens you have when you get mauled to death by a pissed off bear. You won't be chasing bears to photograph them they will be chasing you. Good luck.
     
  3. BradleyK

    BradleyK Subscriber

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    Sound advice from a fellow British Columbian! While I do on occasion shoot wildlife, the shortest focal length lens I have ever used to photograph bears is my 600mm F4 ED Nikkor; most of the time, though, I resort to a 2x teleconverter for either the 400mm or the 600mm (i.e. 800mm and 1200mm). Bears - especially grizzlies - are not to be trifled with; they can out-accelerate a race horse (don't be fooled by their ungainly appearance!). If you choose to go ahead and attempt to photograph them...at least bring a cannister of bear spray and know how to use it
     
  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    This is an intriguing first APUG post.

    If you are actually in the forest, and come upon a bear, film choice may be a ways down your priority list.

    Forests themselves are challenging photographic environments. The light is either really flat and quite dim, or the scene brightness range is extremely high.

    Fast print film may be a better choice.

    Of course, British Columbia offers a tremendous variety of photographic opportunities. Do you have an itinerary or destination in mind? With more detail, we may be able to give more help.

    Here are a few shots from a fairly tame portion of the forest around here - a regional park in Langley, to be specific. I used an RB67 on a tripod for each of them - not the gear I would recommend for bears.
     

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  5. dances_w_clouds

    dances_w_clouds Subscriber

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    Good advice. Myself I have never encounter a bear in the wilderness but the advice of the 400-600mm ++ lenses might be adequate if you could run VERY fast. The wilderness photograph opportunities are quite abundant when travelling in the backcountry in B.C. but many people do not have a firm grasp on reality. My favorite lenses out in the country is a 500mm mirror with 2x or else my 400mm on a A body Canon. Probably with a fast film too. But you must use the proper film and lens so that you get a good bokeh in the frame when the bear is attacking you ;o) ...
     
  6. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    Hi,
    Provia 400 slide film is discontinued so stock up while you can if you want to use it. (For comments on the discontinuation of this film, please go to the appropriated ongoing threads, not here).

    Regular colour negative film has more latitude to under- and overexposure. I like Fuji 400 NPH film, now renamed into 400H. See http://www.fujifilm.com/products/professional_films/color_negativefilms/pro_400h/#specifications

    When in fear of running into bears, use a Leica camera. It has a very quiet shutter and is much lighter to run with....
     
  7. JW1970

    JW1970 Member

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    Bears

    Hi again folks.
    I should have explained in more detail re the trip: I am photographing bears with guides from a bear viewing lodge in BC, for a feature story. This is my third trip doing so - I am from Australia so, taking into account some of the things that can eat/kill us over here (great white sharks, crocs, world's ten deadliest snakes, etc.) I would under no circumstances "chase" bears, in the literal sense. So I hope that clears up any impressions of craziness on my part.
    I am guessing the meaning "chasing" got lost in translation as yes, that would definitely be the furthest thing from my mind!
    The reason for asking was I am aware of the lighting conditions I will be shooting under so was wondering if anyone had shot in similar conditions - photographing similar subjects - and which film they had used and which lenses.
    Thanks in advance for some constructive answers - and thanks for the tips re print film - much appreciated.
    Cheers
    JW
     
  8. JW1970

    JW1970 Member

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    Thanks!
     
  9. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    "Fuji Provia 400X for British Columbia", since the film is discontinued now I thought you were offering a trade :D
     
  10. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    Made me think of a line on a tombstone I once saw:

    "Here lies Dave,
    He chased a bear into its cave". :whistling:
     
  11. adelorenzo

    adelorenzo Subscriber

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    Glad you clarified your first post!

    In terms of film I have pushed medium format Provia 400X to 1600 and it worked out pretty well. Personally I would shoot Portra but mostly because I love the colours, everything to taste of course. I would think you should plan on shooting at least at ISO 800 if not higher in the forest.

    Also if you are planning to process your film before you fly home I can recommend The Lab Vancouver.
     
  12. BradleyK

    BradleyK Subscriber

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    When shooting wildlife, I travel light: My F6 and a second F5/F3HP/F2 body, three lenses 80-200, 400 and 600 (plus the teleconverter), a supply of film and a monopod. Everything fits into a smaller Lowepro backpack. Insofar as bears are concerned, if a hear the tell-tale snort, a few too many turns of the head, or I see the bear start to paw the ground...my a** is out of there!
     
  13. JW1970

    JW1970 Member

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    Thanks again everyone - and thanks adolorenzo re the Vancouver tip, much appreciated.
     
  14. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    10 out of 10 for this piece of humour. I like this. :D :D

    pentaxuser
     
  15. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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  16. JW1970

    JW1970 Member

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    Love it! Yes, the trade option email was brilliant - as is the Monty Python sketch.

    Yes, was seriously bummed out re Provia 400X being discontinued but we can still get it in-store here in Sydney, so hence the question.

    Thanks again everyone - i must say the forum here is a lot more fun/welcoming than some other photography sites!

    Cheers,
    JW
     
  17. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    Chasing off bears with a tripod, watching for falling trees through a tele lens and fighting off other photographers for that last roll of Provia 400 ... who said photography is boring??
    It is full of real WOW moments.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2013
  18. thuggins

    thuggins Member

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    I second all the comments about caution in bear country, and would add that a 400mm lens is too short for wildlife unless you are at a zoo or shooting from a blind. That said, Provia 400 can be pushed to 1600 with excellent results, and I have always suspected (though never tried) that it would do fine at 3200. I took six rolls earlier this year on a trip to Alaska, along with six rolls of VS. But we had beautiful weather all week and the extra stops were not needed.

    How sad to see that Fuji is discontinuing it! I was hoping they had better sense. Time to stash some in the freezer next to the VS. Guess I won't be buying much frozen food.