The OCAU "film is not dead" club

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by onrelas, Feb 9, 2008.

  1. MalcomX

    MalcomX Member

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    *registers interest*

    Shoot pretty much only slide film (aside from wildlife/macro were I use both slide and neg films), mostly velvia 50/100, but also some higher speed sensia.
    Use canon and pentax bodies, also have a polaroid camera I use on occassion.
     
  2. Sir poppin

    Sir poppin Member

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    Decided I should give this thread a bit of love with some inane rambling and questions to prove that I grew up in a digital world. :D

    Anyway, I was having a bit of a chat with my stepdad today about film and stuff, and he mentioned slide film. I'd heard of it before, but didn't really associate it with the infamously boring 'slide nights' so I was quite happy when I made the connection! He showed me the multitude of the little yellow topped kodak boxes he had, and I have to say the quality and colours are really awesome. However, apparently when he was doing it, you'd buy the film with the price of the developing factored in so that you could send off the reel and get back the aformented cool yellow topped boxes with slides intact!

    I've had a look around online, and noticed that there's a bit of slide film on ebay (nowhere near the amount of 35mm stuff though), as well as some more stuff online. They all seem to be reasonably priced, but I'm guessing that you'd have to pay for developing yourself now. My question is, would there still be places that'd develop it or do people that want to use it develop themselves? From what my stepdad said, it seems like a fairly specialist type of thing to have done, he wasn't sure if anyone would bother doing it comercially any more. He also wasn't sure about printing, having never had it done. I guess, at worst, I'll always be able to scan the slides and then send them off to be printed at somewhere like snapfish, but I'm curious either way. Also, to anyone that's done this before, I'd be very interested in hearing the prices you payed for development and printing! :)

    I also recently bought my first rangefinder off ebay for the pricely sum of $8.50. It's an Olympus 35RC, and it's considerably grubbier than my Trip 35, but oh well. The viewfinder and rangefinder window bit were a bit dirty, but I gave them a bit of a clean and they seem a bit better now. Focusing is still kinda hard, I think because the inside components are a bit dirty but I'm not brave enough to clean them. I got a suggestion to cover the viewfinder with a bit of blank negative to darken the viewfinder and make it a bit easier to focus so I might try that.

    The camera also didn't come with a battery, so it looks like I'll have to invest in a zinc air replacement. Most of the sites that do them are based in the US, so I was wondering if anyone knew of someone local that distributes, cause damnit I wanna take pictures now! :D

    Oh and here's a picture of the 35RC taken in all it's glory (right before my dSLR decided to stop taking pictures too, but that's another story - it's probably just jealous that I'm using film :p):

    [​IMG]

    So yes, this post is a bit longer than I intended for it to be and it kinda reads like a live journal entry so I'm sorry for that, but I feel so trendy and old school using film, plus the process is just so much more rewarding!
     
  3. doigal

    doigal Member

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    Velvia 50 is where its at for vivid colours on slide film. What you need is a good shop that will do E6 processing (slides) on site for you that you can trust. Generally in melbourne it seems to be about $20 to get a roll of slides developed and mounted, scanning/printing extra.
     
  4. Katunka89

    Katunka89 Member

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    Slides generally use the E6 process, which is very time and temperature dependent, really worth getting it done at a lab. There should be a lab that does it in any capital city.

    Velvia can be nice for landscapes, but it can also look lurid when used for portraits for example. It's definitely worth trying, but it's also worth looking into some other slide films as well.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    onrelas

    onrelas Member

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    Ahh, nice RC :) and damn good price too. I cant beleive i missed it :upset: ;)
    Hopefully you get it cleaned up nicely, it's definately worth getting the viewfinder clean, should help you see the RF patch nicely too. But yeah, you can also try the black tape trick to improve the contrast (like you already mentioned) See this link here for instructions

    Check this link out for mercury battery replacement.
    Ends up so much cheaper and is very easy too. You can get the 675 size zinc air hearing aid batteries in most chemists, i got some last week.

    Hope i've helped you a bit..
    have fun :)
     
  6. peewee82

    peewee82 Member

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    My parents have some mounted slides in the boxes too. It makes me feel so anachronistic. I want to be around years ago when Kodak had such brilliant services like this. And when Cibachrome printing from slide film was more common! Anyway yeah it was just like Kodak's original deal with the Brownie's where you'd send the camera away and it comes back with your film developed, prints and a new film loaded. Slide was a bit more expensive because it was a specialist service and they did the mounting for you. But yeah it was like you got a packet with the film in which you put it when you'd finished the roll and it was prepaid mail to Kodak...I think anyway.

    I'm sure people who had slide nights got a lot of use out of their photographs and thought they were fantastic as opposed to just having small prints from negatives. However, there were heaps of people like my parents who barely ever had a decent working slide projector and might just look at them through little slide viewers that don't make them much better. The thing that made it appealing was simply that when viewing through the viewer contraption, the film seemed more lively and three dimensional than a standard print. Most people didn't get their slide film printed though.

    Let's get some terminology down pat. Slide is also commonly known as transparency film. It's sometimes called positive film too. You seemed to talk about it as if it wasn't 35mm film at one point. That's just the size of the film. Due to the method of sending away your film to get it mounted, people in the past had an odd sort of concept of slide film. They called them slides cos they thought of them as single entities mounted and different to standard negative film. Sure they're different, but if you saw the film not cut up and mounted, it's the same thing, just positive instead of negative. So the more common film we use is called negative film. You can get negative and slide film in 35mm.

    Due to unique appearance of Fuji Velvia in particular, there are a lot of people who still shoot slide film. Personally, I don't shoot colour negative. I shoot b&w negative, colour slide or digital. I have done some experimental stuff with slide film in the darkroom but generally any real use has been straight to the scanner to get a digital representation. Then you print from that if you want.

    Personally I feel most at home with Fuji Provia. It's the most accurate film I know and if I'm working in the studio with film, it gives me the most confidence that what I saw through the camera viewfinder will be reproduced exactly on film. Sensia and Astia are similar but are usually viewed as a step down professionally even though they might seem the same sometimes. They have some minor differences and are geared towards certain situations like reproducing skin tones most accurately, etc. If you're shooting a portrait of the Queen you would never use Velvia. You couldn't really be sure how it would turn out. If you're shooting landscape you can be a bit more sure, but also very pleasantly surprised when you see the amazing colours that came out. It can be unpredictable though and at times over saturated, especially people. Hobbyists absolutely love it though. I like it for landscape and I love to use it on overcast days with people for all kinds of amazing colours.

    Then there is Kodak. Fuji is just easier to get here in Australia. I have no problem with Kodak whatsoever. I shot a roll of E100VS recently, which is sort of like Velvia but a bit more predictable, which I think is ideal for landscapes. It was just great. E100G is super fine grain like Provia 100f and E200 is useful like Provia 400f. They're all great. Sorry you might not want to know all this but it's the "film is not dead" club and some others might be interested. Plus I just can't shut up!

    Okay here's probably what you really want to know!! lol. I'm afraid I don't know if there are any labs on the Sunny Coast that would do E6 processing. In Brisbane there are AllChromes, Photocontinental and Prolab. I usually shoot 120mm or 4x5", but I assume you're after prices on 35mm. 1 35mm roll 36 exposure is $9 at AllChromes and Photocon. I use AllChromes, they cut and sleave your film free of charge. Not sure what Photocon do, but if you wanted them mounted they appear to be cheaper. People usually just scan them these days and just put into sleaves would be better than having them mounted for that, but you can scan mounted slides with the appropriate scanners too. I'd always recommend AllChromes. I know the people there well and they'd just never ever ever muck up anything. Photocon didn't used to do E6 and I've yet to use. It seems Photocon does mail order though. No idea about AllChromes. Can't see anywhere that says it. I live in North Brisbane, about 40mins from Caloundra. Drop it off with me and I'll take it to AllChromes haha.

    I hope something in there helps!

    P.S. I personally shoot slide because the contrast and colour reproduction are unmatched by any other film or digital! Slide film's downfall is that it doesn't have a wide exposure latitude. It's similar to a digital jpeg, but digital has RAW which gives a lot more latitude and some cameras are getting smarter with handling exposure too. Detail registers on slide film across about 7 stops, whereas it's about 20 stops with negative film. The real useful exposure range is more like 3 stops and if you were outside that range you'd really need to save it in the scanning anyway, whereas negative is I think 7 or something. It's quite a bit more. Basically, if your exposure is a whole stop out with negative film, you honestly may not even notice. You can fix it in scanning so easily and you'll just end up with a bit darker or brighter tones all over. If you're out by a stop with slide film, you can completely lose a sky or areas in the shadows. It can completely ruin shots. My parents have some slide shots from their wedding. Bride in white, groom in black, sun and shade...let's just say there's a reason the official photographer used negative film! The slides are all too dark or too bright in a lot of areas.

    All this being said, I still love to use it. And the reason Velvia is so popular, well go out on a bright sunny day to shoot some landscapes with a half decent meter on your camera...and you'll be so glad you used slide when you get the film back.
     
  7. Sir poppin

    Sir poppin Member

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    Wow, thank you all for your help! It's great to see such passion! :)

    I'll definitely get some slide film soon, just have to run through some cheap film and check the metre's working fine. Thanks for your awesome write up too peewee, as I said it's awesome to see such passion.

    Oh and thanks for the battery tip onrelas! Hearing aid batteries seem exponentially cheaper than the zinc air ones made specially for cameras.
     
  8. djnz

    djnz Member

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    I usually underexpose by a 1/3-1/2 stop where possible, you do lose shadow detail but with slide it is much easier to make a mistake and lose highlights than shadows, at least that what I have noticed.
    Now I don't know where you are skill wise with using slide or even digital, so if this is something you already know then you can skip it.

    As a small exercise I would suggest getting a roll of Sensia or equiv, no need to pay for pro films just yet, and trying it out in the backyard or local park. Find something or someone to photograph, like a wheelie bin, and try to use the cameras meter to check the various areas of the scene, that is, shadows and highlights. Better yet if you have access to a hand held meter, which may be more practical walking around.

    Remember if you have a scene with 6 stops difference between your shadow and your highlight values(ratio or something technical I can't remember) and your film can only 'hold' 5 then you are probably going to have to sacrifice something, that's your choice depending on what you want in the photo. Then bracket the shots, say 1/2 stop each way.

    The reason I suggest a bin is that it's easy to move around and try to practice with side/top/back lighting. As long as you don't do this at midday then you should find the daylight is fine to use. I used an esky, which in hindsight made it harder to do because of the white lid. So that's 3-6 shots from each angle etc. Noting down readings on paper is also useful for review.

    It does sound like a pain in the arse and I don't know if I've explained it that well but when you get this roll back you can see the way slide film responds in various conditions.
     
  9. peewee82

    peewee82 Member

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    I do similar. I usually rate the film's exposure index lower, plug that into the meter and forget about any adjustments though. I've done studio tests with Provia 100f and the best exposure was either 1/3 or 2/3 under, probably a bit closer to 1/3. So that's basically exactly the 1/3-1/2 you said.

    Oh and djnz is right, if you can get other film cheaper then go for it. There isn't a huge range of slide films, but the plus side of this is that there probably isn't a single bad one. I forget there are sometimes big price differences. I just looked at Photocon and B&H to give myself an idea and the difference between Provia and Sensia can be like $7 from Photocon, but why I forget is cos they're the same price from B&H. I did a huge order some time ago and Provia in bulk was very cheap. Before that I'd buy boxes of 5 at a time from ebay. Slide film can be quite expensive to buy from the local.

    No worries about the write up. I feel at home in this thread ehehe. Ask all the questions you want.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2008
  10. chilloutbuddy

    chilloutbuddy Member

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    I think my film camera is dead

    Hi all

    Bad day today :(

    I've been reading this thread for a while and you seriously got me in the mood to shoot some film. So given the opportunity of the OCAU meet I loaded my trusty 20 year old Canon EOS 600 with some HP4 and then some Superia and started shooting away. Today the Superia was due for pick up from Michael's Cameras, so I rushed there only to find that:
    - They had mistakenly marked my file to get picked up on 25/3/2030 (!!!), which they apologised for but then I had to wait for them to finish burning the cd etc.
    - They had forgotten to include a printout with thumbnails so I can have a quick look before I leave the store.
    - The envelope was marked "The shutter speed too fast to synchronise with the flash". Since I didn't use flash I asked them what that meant but their employee had no idea :rolleyes:
    - The HP4 will take a week, because they send it out to another lab, only they wouldn't tell me where, for obvious reasons.
    - The cost for the Superia only is $16.75 for 24 exposures (cd only), which, where I come from is just ridiculous.
    - At home I found that the 24 exposures had magically been converted to 23 jpegs only.
    - The size of the jpegs was 1840X1232 pixels, between 0.5MB-1MB. This is my first film at Michaels but everywhere else I've had film developed I usually get something like 3000X2000.
    Unfortunately I didnt get a chance to review the quality of the scan because the worst news were yet to come: All my photos looked something like this:
    [​IMG]

    I opened the back of the camera had a look and surely enough, the shutter doesnt go all the way down.
    My shutter is stuck, or dead :(
    I set the camera for a long exposure and took a photo so you can see where the shutter stops:

    [​IMG]

    I can't see anything obstructing it and if I push it gently with my finger it goes down, so I think there's something wrong with the mechanism. I'm pretty sure there's no easy fix for this as its probably the end of the shutters' life, but do you guys have any ideas?

    Bear in mind that the camera was sitting in a camera bag for 5 years, then I picked it up and fired these shots in Greece a couple of weeks ago with no problem:
    http://forums.overclockers.com.au/showthread.php?t=661433
    And then it died... Maybe its jet-lagged lol

    Its really no big deal as it seems that a couple of rolls of film (developed) cost as much as this body these days, but its my first camera and I'd like to save it if I can.

    Thanks
    Spyro
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2008
  11. ehor

    ehor Member

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    That really sucks Spyro.
    Time to give it some TLC with a cotton bud + cleaner.

    I just bought 5 rolls of "Lucky" chinese film from ebay to test out my cameras :)
     
  12. Law

    Law Member

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    Hi all, my first time posting in this thread however I have inherited several REALLY old film cameras (including a box brownie). But I was after something that takes 35mm and I wouldn't mind something that I can recycle my Canon Lenses on (I know only my FF lenses will work but it's still better than investing in a whole new brand :confused:). Which EOS bodies would I be looking at? (I have a rough idea of how the nomenclature works but its not really clear).:tongue:

    Also would my 580EX work on the flash shoe? I know it probably wouldn't have ETTL but will the firing mechanism trigger it so I can still use it on manual?

    Basically my uses are as a walk-around/novelty item (to use when I get bored of shooting digital and feel like a challenge) and as a cheap way to increase my megapixelage for some more serious shoots (I have a few casual payed shoots lined up and I'm of the impression that film is roughly the equivalent of 18mpx so for shots that are more likely to be blown up I'd use the film SLR over my 400D). Make sense? am I completely wrong? I'd like an old EOS film body anyway (even without the promotional aspect).

    Sorry for all the q's but I'm quite curious and I don't want to buy something then come on here and feel like a fool (as I'm quite Naive when it comes to film).

    (Also I'm sorry for all the stuff in brackets, I use them as an excuse to ramble :D)

    Cheers


    LAW
     
  13. esjay

    esjay Member

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    A few threads like this on this and other forums piqued my interest in picking up an old rangefinder. I had been idly checking out ebay for the last few days then remembered that my very first camera given to me by my dad when I was about 10 was packed away in a box somewhere. I dug it out and it turns out that I already own a cool old Ricoh 35 ZF, so I'm stoked.

    So a few Qs...

    Obviously it needs a new battery. A quick google search says that it needs a PX 675 mercury battery, are any replacements/alternatives available easily in australia?

    Whats some cheap B&W film to test it out with? And if anyone knows a good place in perth to buy film and get it developed that would be good to know too.

    Heres the camera and the dead battery that was already in it:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. ehor

    ehor Member

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    hmmm... if you wanna sell the Ricoh lemme know.
    I'm a vintage Ricoh collector :D
     
  15. Katunka89

    Katunka89 Member

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    Unfortunately, neither processing nor film is cheap in perth, hence I order it from overseas and process myself. That said I can recommend fitzgerald's (on fitzgerald st) as a great processor and printer. Film is pretty much equally expensive anywhere, but camera electronic in east perth has a big range. You can get replacement batteries from chemists, camera stores and battery stores, but they won't have the same voltage, as now you can only get alkaline batteries as mercury was outlawed. You can get zinc air batteries that have the same voltage, but they're harder to come by, and don't last as long.
     
  16. scruff

    scruff RIP

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    According to the internet, these are a 1.35v mercury battery. You're to use a silver oxide battery and not a alkaline battery as silver oxdie batteries give a flat discharge curve, whereas the alkaline ones are actually curved.

    With that said, these are equivalent, though, I'm not sure if they ship to Australia.

    If they don't, or you don't want to buy through them, you're just looking for a 1.35V Silver Oxide battery that's the same size. If you go to your local BatteryWorld store (or email them) and see if they can get them.

    If they can't you can get 1.5v Silver Oxide batteries from Jaycar really cheap, though, the voltage differential could cause problems.
     
  17. esjay

    esjay Member

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    Ok thanks, It looks like I will have to chase around for some batteries. I want to use this thing now, not wait a few weeks to order batteries online!

    As for film, which brand B&W would you guys recommend to start with?
     
  18. scruff

    scruff RIP

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    Um, can't you use it without the battery?
     
  19. MalcomX

    MalcomX Member

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    no batteries means no lightmeter?

    Illford does bulk good b&w if thats what you want to shoot.
     
  20. scruff

    scruff RIP

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    Yes, but you can use a film camera without a lightmeter, can't you? Not ideal, I know, but enough to keep him happy while he's waiting for a US battery :)
     

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