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The choices?!

Discussion in 'Everything Film' started by KierFX, Feb 5, 2017.

  1. KierFX

    KierFX Well-Known Member

    I have been kindly granted the opportunity by my college (Plymouth College Of Art) to go to Poland in March with another student to be part of the Holocaust Educational Trust. I'm going to Auschwitz-Birkenau for the day and they want me to document the day. I will be shooting on both digital and film,

    I need some help choosing film. I want to shoot colour and black and white. I have never shot colour film before so am mystified by the choices. As for black and white, I've only shot HP5, FP4, and SFX 200.

    What would you recommend for me to take? Both black and white and colour please.

    Thank you
  2. Louise

    Louise Well-Known Member

    I'd take colour :)
  3. KierFX

    KierFX Well-Known Member

    Yeah, i'd like to take both. Any recommendations of what film though?
  4. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Why colour film? I'd normally shoot digital for colour & film for b&w although with only 1 day to be there and knowing what others have shot there, I might be inclined to concentrate on just colour. For me, film-wise, I'd choose Fuji Superia 400 and would agonise for ages whether to go with just 35mm or just 120 or both. Probably not both. No just 35mm. Or 120.


    Can't get Superia in 120, now I see - have to go with Pro 400. Double doh! but it's an OK film. That would decide it for me: 35mm.
    Two 35mm bodies, two tripod plates, one tripod. One cable release. Four lenses. A Metz 45 and long sync lead. Ten rolls Superia400.

    My other approach would be DSLR + 50mm + mid-range zoom + tripod.
  5. KierFX

    KierFX Well-Known Member

    I've never shot colour film, and would like to try it. I would shoot primarily colour film, but if the light isn't too good on the day I may be left with boring desaturated images but if black and white film is what I shoot, then I should be able to get good tones even if bad light.

    I'm limited by my kit, really. I have a Bronica ETRSi (75mm, 150mm), a Nikon F (Helios-44-2), and a Canon 600 with some m42 carl zeiss jenna lens, think its 50mm.

    I can rent kit from college for the trip; If they only let me use pre-degree equipment then I am limited to the choices of a D80, D90, Pentax K1000, Mamiya 645 (which i'd rather not), and lots and lots of lenses. But, if they let me use the degree kit (since I am representing them) then I could use pretty much any camera they have.

  6. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    If I were you (and of course I'm not...) HP5+ in the Bronica. Can push to 1600 easily with minimal grain, a superb film (my personal fave B&W). Transparency is risky, so perhaps some Fuji 160 or Portra 160 in the Nikon F. Faster aperture means that even if dull you should get usable results. Digital? Meh, if it isn't too heavy take it, it might be useful as a backup. ;)
  7. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    Assuming as a student you are broke, consider Kentmere 100 or 400 - cheaper than HP5+ and FP4+. And Rollei Retro 80s or 400s instead of SFX200 - less than a third of the price and have similar extended red sensitivity. They tend to be a bit more contrasty, though.
    Just don't try to keep on winding on when you reach the end of the film, the camera will break first.

  8. KierFX

    KierFX Well-Known Member

    Hp5 is quite a versatile film in my opinion. I was considering some Delta 400 since its a nice film I think too. FP4 would be my choice but I don't know how far I could push it. Got no meter for the Nikon F which means i'd need to rent out a sekonic meter from college which is still more kit to carry.

    Digital is all i've shot for the past few years (I grew up with it!) so film is a bit risky to me.
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  9. KierFX

    KierFX Well-Known Member

    Can't find any kentmere in 120, which is what i'd rather shoot. I can get 5 rolls of fp4 or hp5 for 18 quid in town, which doesn't sound too bad to me.
  10. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    That's 'cos they they don't make it!

    And at that price, send me some!


    ps or tell me where!
  11. KierFX

    KierFX Well-Known Member

  12. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Kier, because I've been indoctrinated in an old school* approach, I wouldn't try something new for an assignment like that. Think about that. Maybe go for B&W in the Bronnie or the Pentax K1000? Have you looked at other photographers work, to see if you get ideas about avoiding their approach, or echoing it and trying to do better? Have a look at Michael Kenna's web-site for his stuff. Google for other Phogs.

    * Just been on CalPhoto w/s (Calumet) and they are offering 10% off some films with a discount code OLDSKOOL
    Zou likes this.
  13. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Love Delta 400 too but HP5+ would be my go-to film.

    No meter? Shoot cheap Superia 400, aim to over expose by a stop or even two. Not exactly bullet-proof but so long as you over not under expose you'll be grand. Keepers from the Bronica/HP5+ combo, serendipity from the Nikon. Mundanity from the Canon.

    By the way, "mundanity" is a new word sponsored by Weston's Cider. *hic* :oops:
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  14. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Can you take a wide angle lens? 20mm or so (35mm format) would be great there. When I visited Auschwitz many years ago I didn't take any pictures, I was too emotionally impacted. If I visited again I'd take loads - story needs telling again and again.
  15. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    The need seems to be getting greater by the day... :(
  16. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    I would take the view that it would be better to use a film that you are familiar with for something of this nature, so I'm mono something you have already used, which would mean FP4 or HP5. The Kentmere films are I understand Ilford products anyway. For colour I would use digital personally, assuming you still have your DSLR, if you are intending to use film, do you want to shoot transparencies or negative? Either way there is not a massive choice of film.
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  17. KierFX

    KierFX Well-Known Member

    Good point!

    I did think about colour for digital. I ended up selling my DSLR but I can rent quite an extensive kit from college. Will find out tomororw exactly what is available to me but the list is quite big.
  18. KierFX

    KierFX Well-Known Member

    I could, yeah. I was thinking of taking the sigma 15mm fisheye too since that could give some cool perspective. I'm flying there all expenses paid by college and since it's my first time flying i kinda want to document the flight too
  19. KierFX

    KierFX Well-Known Member

    Yeah that does sound a good option. I'm yet to research photographers for this holocaust briefing yet since I'm working on my final project for this year, so college is making me take priority on that.
  20. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Kenna did a book on the camps, it's at the bottom of the page here: http://www.michaelkenna.net/imagearchive.php . Thinking about your plight, does college have any film medium format kit and is it Bronica ETRS? If so, I'd advise borrowing a 50mm if you feel that you have familiarised yourself with your camera by now. I've used a fair bit of Kodak Portra 400 up until 2006 (it may have been upgraded since then) in 120 format and a little in 135 format. It was 'orrid in 35mm but good in 120. Still available. Lot of folk rave about Portra 400 online these days, even 35mm!

    We'll try & advise on sorting the rest of your gear after you get back, maybe in the summer hols. Cheers, Oly

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