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  1. #1

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    Storing and processing film on long journeys (Latin America)

    I'm taking off soon for a roadtrip throughout Latin America where I'll be shooting 35mm e-6, c-41 and b&w film. I'm expecting to be on the road for the better part of the next year so I've got ~80 rolls with me.

    I have installed a small 12v compressor fridge in my truck to keep the film from getting cooked under the tropical sun. I'm hoping that is sufficient and the fridge doesn't fail.

    I'm wondering what I will do with the exposed film. I could just keep putting it in the fridge and drive it back home eventually. This is my default option.

    One alternative is shipping the film back to the states periodically. I don't have much confidence that it would arrive safely.

    Will I be able to find labs that can do decent processing? Where would I find them? I can save up and batch process film when I hit major cities.
    Last edited by WideAngleWandering; 05-07-2012 at 06:48 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: title update

  2. #2
    cjbecker's Avatar
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    Either batch process in cities or wait till you get back. You could develop your own bw film.

  3. #3

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    "Latin America" is a large place with different level of social and economic development. It would help if we knew which country/region you will be travelling.... I work with people from some of the countries. I could try asking....
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  4. #4

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    Recommendations for Latin America?

    I could but I don't really want to carry a dark bag & tank & chemicals if I can avoid it. I figure that since I won't be equipped to do all my film, why bother processing any of it?

    I wouldn't mind processing the film locally from time to time but I'm worried that I won't be able to find and vet good labs. In the US, it's getting harder and harder to find places. I usually ship my E-6 film out to be processed since the last local processor in town is now closed. The local C-41 lab does a terrible job (mishandling negatives, mixing up orders, etc).

    I have no idea what to expect in Mexico, Central and South America. How do film hobbyists in those locations process their film? Are there any labs I should add to my list of destinations?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by tkamiya
    "Latin America" is a large place with different level of social and economic development. It would help if we knew which country/region you will be travelling....
    Fair question. Short answer: as much as I can

    Longer answer: I'm currently in California, leaving soon for Baja Mexico, down the west coast, across to the Yucatan, south through Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, east through Honduras, south through Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, by boat to Colombia, south through Ecuador (coast or mountains or mix TBD), Peru, some combination of Bolivia/Chile/Argentina, then north to Brazil along the east coast and then by boat back to the states.

    I'm planning as I go so my route is pretty nebulous once I get beyond Baja.

    I work with people from some of the countries. I could try asking....
    That would be awesome.

  6. #6
    Katie's Avatar
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    You could always ship it back to a trusty friend/companion who could then have it developed and send you scans! Will you have email access?

  7. #7
    cjbecker's Avatar
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    Sounds like an awesome trip. Enjoy.

  8. #8
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    A itinerary for a trip of a life time. You pretty named all the countries there are. I hope your car is 4x4. As for the film I would not depend on running a fridge in the back, you might be better off with a highly insulated 7 day cooler. A constant temp is better than cooling an warming everytime you turn off the car. Warm temps as long as well shielded from direct sunlight should be fine.

    You can do a test to see just Incase. Shoot 3 rolls, one to leave in house, other to bake in car, last to stay in thick cooler. Wait like a week or two and see what damage it has caused. Try a faster film speed to judge damage. There honestly might not be a big difference or a perceivable difference at all.

    Such as the one shot cameras people used to leave in the car for accidents for years on end baking, they usually held up fine.

  9. #9

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    Whenever I find a cafe, or if I buy phone & SIM, I'll have email.

    My issues with shipping it back are:
    A) will it ever arrive?
    B) will it arrive w/o having been x-rayed or otherwise molested?

  10. #10
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WideAngleWandering View Post
    A) will it ever arrive?
    Most likely - where else will it go?

    Quote Originally Posted by WideAngleWandering View Post
    B) will it arrive w/o having been x-rayed or otherwise molested?
    Probably.


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

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