Film suggestions for desert MiddleEast

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Guest

Hi, I am going on a roundtrip of the Middle-East in February and March, and wonder if anyone has advice on what film (slides only) that best captures the colours and light at this hemisphere? I will be using a Nikon 50mm/1.8 and my Contax T3.

Shots will be desert landscapes, architecture, but also in low light conditions, like bazaars and narrow streets.
I've suggested for myself, Provia 100F for all architecture and landscape shots, 400F for streetscenes, and perhaps Agfa B&W slides when shooting inside bazaars (due to cheap fluorescent lighting)??

Btw, is the Nikkor AF 50mm/1.8 sufficient? I'm on a tight budget so no huge investments can be made. Is a tighter lens worth it? I've been thinking about an 85mm for pictures taken at a distance.

Thanks for any replies!
 
G

Guest

Oh, and I've been reading about these rumors that Provia 400F and Sensia 400 are identical. What about the 100F? What is the main difference between the two? I am going to get the some of the slides scanned and printed, so grain is an issue. Plus, I really do want natural colours.

Sorry for all the questions, hope it's not too irritating...
 
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Guest

> A better lens for travel photography would be a 28mm not a longer lens. There will be very few things you will want to bring up close, except maybe people. You didn't say which middle east country...be careful who or what you image.
 
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Guest

>I hope Morten is aware that February and March of 2003 will probably see >the fiercest part of the fighting in the war against Iraq. Westerners >visiting at that time will probably have all kinds of far more serious >concerns than just what film to bring. And because much of the Middle >East will be in a war zone, photography may prove dangerous to your health.

James C. Miller
 
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Guest

When I travel, I used 99% of my 24-85mm zoom with my N1.Now I have given up lugging long lenses since I do not take much protraits when travel.

Morten, from the kind of pictures that you described to be taking, I think wilder lens will be better.

For films, I think the provia 100F and 400F are great for the subjects that you are planning to shoot.

Have fun and play it safe.
 
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Guest

No need to worry, James, I'm not going to play war photographer. On the other hand, as long as you use common sense and have respect for the culture of the region, Middle-East, particularly Syria, is reconed to be a very safe area to travel. Practically no muggings or theft, and local people are extremely friendly. Just keep a safe distance from the Israeli and Iraqi border- which means I'm not going there at all if they decide to attack Iraq... :-(
 
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Guest

I cannot really fault your choice of Provia F 100 and 400 - I use them all the time and the 400 behaves just like the 100 except for being 2 stops faster . I suggest you might want to take a few rolls of Velvia too - it is good for desert landscapes which often have insufficient contrast and colour for those really memorable shots . I've never used Agfa Scala , but I understand it can be a little demanding and would thus suggest you consider something else - something realy fast for when you get in a jam . If you're concerned about colour casts in awkward lighting , maybe a small flash is the answer? Also , as someone else suggested , I'd take a wider lens for landscapes , but I personally also wouldnt travel without something a bit longer too....... Steve p.s. hope nobody is stupid enough to start a war in that region anytime soon.......
 
G

Guest

Hi!

Nobody out there using slide material by Agfa? I like the RSX II slide films by Agfa, because of there natural colours. Agfa Scala b/w slide film is quite expensive. Somebody told me that it is possible to use ILFORD XP2 b/w print film (C40 process) as a slide film. In this case it should be exposed as ASA 100 and processed like a slide film (E6). Any experiences out there?

Reinhold Schulte

PS: Have fun in the desert.
 
G

Guest

Yes, Agfa Scala b/w slide film is expensive but I love it because of the very fine graduation of
tones. I could imagine that this could create great shots in a desert. The Agfa Scala manages the contrasts better than any other film I do know.
 
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Guest

Reinhold, yes, you can use ILFORD XP2 or Kodak Portra 400B/W or 400 TCN B&W negatives to cross process from C41 to E6. These films are ISO/ASA 400. For cross process, you need to shoot at ISO 50, and push one stop when process. It will give you the correct exposure for the cross processing. Each film gives a little different tone. The Scala b/w looks cleaner though.
 
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Guest

> Albert,

When you say push one stop, do you mean pushed from the exposed ISO of 50 or from the film rating of 400?

Thanks, Chip>
 
G

Guest

Chip, When you shoot, set the ISO in your camera to 50. When you process the film, push one stop from the film rating of 400. It is confusing and it does not make sense at first, but it works for compensating the cross processing.In the first trail, you may braket your shots. But I find this setting works pretty well. Also, the Kodak 400TCN has a very litte blue tint while the portra 400b/w has a very little sepia tone. I can not remember the tone of XP2.
 
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Guest

Hello,

years ago I tried Ilford XP1 for BW Slides. But the results were not that good :-(
Now I'm thinking about a new try. Already read something about the XP2 Super in E6 prosessing on the web.
I'm wondering if I can expose the film as ISO 25/15° and get it developed without any pushing in E6. Or does the film need the pushing in development for picture clarity, contrast or quality?
Has anyone tried this yet?

Matthias
 
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Guest

Also take an incident light meter - I got great results in Egypt using an RTSIII and Kodachrome 25 and K200, but checked my exposures all the time using a meter. There is a great deal of light around in desert settings.

Andy
 
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Guest

I've never found Scala to be anything but easy and beautiful, but I'd also take some B&W print film like Delta 100 and 400 and Fuji Acros 100. I also like to have Fuji Neopan 1600 handy -- you never know when you'll be in a low light situation. You have to watch out for excessive contrast in that film, but it's wonderfully sharp and grain is pleasing and not as pronounced as any other fast b&w film I've seen. I find that pictures with it have an interesting photojournalistic look (maybe because of the noticeable but beautiful grain) that alays catches people's eye. It kills Delta 3200 and the fast Kodak.

Re lenses other than your 50/1.8 and your T3 -- I agree that a wide angle is a must. If you don't have it, you could look for the great old Nikkor 24mm f/2.8, frequently on eBay and keh.com for low $200s. A telephoto is also a must, among other things for tighter portraits, for not having to get right in people's faces, and also for the "compression" effect (distant hills - or people on a crowded street -- seeming closer and on top of each other etc).

I'd also be sure to bring a polarizer (all that color and blue sky) and adequate shades (all that sun glare).

Have fun!
 
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Guest

One more thought re your spring desert trip: The Bush administrations seem to be determined to start a war. The public hopes it will be local only. But what happens if Iraq bought some allies like North Korea from the evil list or Yemen from current nice lit, or if the Saudis will help some of their neighbours.
The people around Bush announced that they would not hesitate to use nuclear weapons. The effect and counter effect might not be local only. Over two thousand years ago the roman did not care about the destroy of Cartago. Why should the Bush administration be different today? Most people regard Baghdad as a cultural inheritance but do
people in politics too? This could mean that a huge area will be effected, a much bigger than we could imagine today.
My suggestion: stay out of a possible conflict area. Why don't you study and enjoy deserts between Egypt and Morocco?
 
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