Trip to Egypt film question

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Studio79, Jul 7, 2009.

  1. Studio79

    Studio79 Member

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    Hello everyone,
    I'm getting ready to travel to Egypt for two weeks and I'm taking my digital gear, but I'm also taking a Canon Rebel 35mm and A Lubitel 166 Medium format TLR along.

    I'm looking at B&W film to take on this trip and needing some suggestions. Situations will be mostly daylight, clear skies and landscapes. Possible some people, but primarily landscapes.

    At this point I'm considering the Ilford Pan F 50 for the Medium format and Ilford Delta 100 for the 35mm.

    Are these good choices? Are there other films I should consider? Should I stick with the same type of film for both the 35mm and the MF?

    I appreciate your help in advance.
     
  2. optique

    optique Member

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    Do you already have experience with these b&w films? If so, are you happy with them? In general, I would not think experimenting with unknown or unfamiliar film on possible once in a lifetime subjects is advisable.

    I just got back from Kuwait and Dubai where it was bright and over 115 degrees, and I bet Egypt will be similar so I can bet you will encounter extremely bright and contrasty scenes. Not sure, but I bet 200 or higher speed film would handle the contrast better. Just guessing.

    Sounds like a good trip and good luck.
    Steve.
     
  3. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    Another thing to consider is using fill flash if you plan on photographing people.I saw the results (bad) of someone who went to Egypt and shot a lot of film but didn't use Fill Flash.A whole lot of unrecognizable faces.
     
  4. Admbws

    Admbws Member

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    Before you go, I would advise against travelling with too much gear. It will weigh you down. I recently travelled within the UK with just a Nikon FE2 and two lenses (24mm and 50mm, one on camera, one in pocket) and got some of the best photos I've ever taken!

    Good luck, and have fun!
     
  5. bob100684

    bob100684 Member

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    take whatever film you're allready comfortable using.
     
  6. Studio79

    Studio79 Member

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    Thanks everyone. I have used the Ilford Delta 400 with some very excellent results even with using it at 800 speed. Good point about the experimentation though. I think I might stay in that 125-200 ISO to keep the flexibility. And yes, it's gonna be pretty much in the 100s the whole time we are there. I will have my flash along. With the film, I'm going in the direction of fine art as opposed to post processed photos. Possibly even some large transparency type stuff. hence, I was looking for the least amount of grain possible and good strong contrasts.
     
  7. jakekenney

    jakekenney Member

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    I have a similar situation - am going to Italy for 10 days and decided to shoot only film. I decided on HP5+, which will be shot at ISO 200-320.
     
  8. Studio79

    Studio79 Member

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    That sounds like a good range. Have you had experience with the HP5+ before
     
  9. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    It's not so hot if you keep it in metric. You shouldn't ever feel it above 50 degrees. :smile:

    I like the films you propose shooting, but Pan-F Plus can be a bit contrasty if you don't develop it right. I've had great luck shooting it lately but I've been using it and its non-Plus predecessor since the late 1980s.

    Ilford FP4 Plus or Delta 100 would be great films if you want the finer grain. Delta 400 will be great in lower light.

    Definitely do your film tinkering at home where the images are less important. Once you are comfortable with a film, then take it somewhere far away and shoot it with confidence.
     
  10. Studio79

    Studio79 Member

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    Thanks Jim, I have about a week before I leave and I'm gonna pick up some film tomorrow to mess with. It's supposed to be sunny in Ohio (strange I know) all week, so the conditions are somewhat similar, but the sun light angle is still not the same :D

    I am from Egypt though, I have seen these places before uncountable times. However, I was not a photographer then. So, now I look at things through a very different lens.
     
  11. cowanw

    cowanw Member

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    consider a red fiter and or a polarizer to change the unchanging blue (light grey) skies.
    and if so you may want faster film to cope with the filter factors.
     
  12. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    The filter idea is a good one, although you might want to use a yellow filter to make the skies look natural. Orange and red filters will make the sky look dark and very dark, respectively, which is appropriate for some images but not for all. Yellow tends to make the skies look as you would expect them to look, and thus is a good everyday filter for outdoor black-and-white photography.
     
  13. mcgrattan

    mcgrattan Member

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    Personally, I find Pan-F with an orange filter to be the perfect 'sunny weather' film in medium format. Other people are right that it can sometimes be a bit tricky to develop, though.
     
  14. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    Don't go for a Red Filter - unless you want realy dark/almost black skies.

    Like PhotoJim, I would go with a light and/or medium Yellow - it keeps the skies more natural

    As with all hot places - it can get pretty dusty at times - so some Zip Lock Bags for your camera(s), film and equipment is a good idea together with lens wipes/camara wipes/cleaning brushes/...

    Its also worth remembering, that the noon day sun in Egypt will be pretty much directly overhead and extremely harsh - which is generaly not regarded as the best light for most photographs - early morning and late evening are much better for general photography.

    The quality of light at sunrise and sunset in that part of the world it terrific for buildings & landscapes but you will need a tripod/camera support

    Have fun - its a terrific place

    Martin
     
  15. alanrockwood

    alanrockwood Member

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    Speaking of filters, and depending on the speed of film you decide to use, how about taking a neutral density filter, so you can open up the lens and throw the background out of focus on some shots?
     
  16. WolfTales

    WolfTales Member

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    Delta films are cubic core technology films so just make sure if you use them to be more careful with exposure and development times and tempertures if you want "optimal" performance...

    Good luck and have a fantastic trip!
     
  17. Studio79

    Studio79 Member

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    Yep, for locations like the pyramids and most anything outdoor, we are hitting these places early in the morning. Once we go to Alexandria, it will me mostly afternoon shooting.

    I do have a Cokin filter system for my film cameras, so I can easily pick up a couple more filters for that.

    I'm taking a promaster hybrid tripod with a monopod center column.
     
  18. nocrop

    nocrop Member

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    I agree. I took my FM2n and 50/1.2, 28/3.5 and 135/2.8 to SE Asia. I would have been even happier with just the 50.
     
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  19. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    I agree with Photojim Delta 400 is the way to go. Delta 100 will probably be too contrasty. Delta 400 is my standard for 120 film and HP5 for 4x5. They are somewhat similar to Tri-x but better in my hands. A yellow or light orange filter to darken blues and perhaps a light green to darken reds.
    Jeffreyg
     
  20. MartinP

    MartinP Member

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    I'd suggest a film that you can pull easily. Previously I have used FP4, which can be usefully flexible in contrasty-light locations, most especially if you are doing your own developing.

    The Lubitel is an unusual choice isn't it ? A triplet lens, rather unreliable shutter and not-so-good construction. At least take some black tape along to cover the back-door seal every time, as it would a pity to have problems with the increased strength of light managing to creep in. And yes, I did have a Lubitel of my own . . .