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  1. #1

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    35mm camera help!

    I've "dusted off" my dad's Canon A-1, lenses, and filters (UV and polarized), and am wanting to get into film photography. Obviously, this would be in Disneyland, especially in low-light conditions (rides, nighttime shots, etc.). The daytime stuff I can figure out with few problems. I took a photography class in High School (which I loved... and we used fully manual 35mm cameras for, too), so I have a basic working knowledge of how to take pictures the "old-fashioned" way.

    Here's a list of my equipment (minus filters, 'cause there's a bunch of 'em. Unless you want to know which ones I have, then I'll happily give you as much info as I can on them):

    • Canon 50mm 1:1.4

    • Canon Zoom 35-105mm 1:3.5 (with Macro)

    • RMC Tokina 50-200mm 1:3.5-4.5

    • Canon 28mm 1:2.8

    • RMC Tokina Doubler

    • Vivitar Auto Thyristor 5600 flash (attaches via hot shoe on camera)(and no- I won't use this on any rides )



    The camera itself can take up to ASA 12800 (even though this film no longer exists, or is VERY rare), 1/1000-30 sec shutter speed (and a B setting, which leaves the shutter open as long as you're holding down the shutter button), plus more that I'm sure I'm not aware of.

    Those are my specs, and now for the nitty-gritty: what film speed, lens, aperture, and shutter speed should I generally use/start with for shooting free-handed (I have a very steady hand, for what it's worth) inside the rides and outside at night (and to look great, too )? I'm sorry if this is a difficult thing to request of you all, but I really could use the guidance. I realize that for lower light, the larger the Aperture, the better. In which case, I guess I'd need to use the 50mm f/1.4 lens. But what about the rest?

    I've found (via MonsterGoBoo's FILM?! thread in the DL forums) this ISO 1600 film that seems well rated, but I've also found some ISO 3200 film (which appears to be only B&W... drat). Which would be better suited for what I'm after? I want color photos, so I suppose the 1600 would be the way to go. Black and White is nice sometimes, though.

    Anyways, thanks for your help! It IS appreciated!

  2. #2

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    Re: 35mm camera help!

    Okay, let me put it this way:

    Whoever out there in MiceChatland that has a DSLR or film SLR, what settings do you traditionally use on the rides, and in walking around the parks at night?

    Thanks again.

  3. #3

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    Re: 35mm camera help!

    Seriously... any day now...

  4. #4

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    Re: 35mm camera help!

    My suggestion is go with the lens you mentioned. As for film speed, I'm pretty sure you might know this but I'll say it anyway to make sure, is that the high the ISO the more grainy your picture will be. If you want good quality pictures without a lot of grain, I'd even say ISO 800 before you use ISO 1600 or higher. As for Aperature, it is usually better with larger you just have to remember that when you have a larger aperature, yes you are letting in more light, but the amount that will be in focus will be less. So like things in the background most likely will be blurry, but in most cases that looks good. So your call on that. and might I suggest maybe a small portable tripod? You are shooting at low lighting conditions so you even with the steadiest hand, there is always a slight chance of blur due to camera shake. I saw this cool tripod (that I'm actually asking for for Christmas. haha) you might want to look into. Joby Gorillapod SLR With Level at REI.com something like that in the link. Small, bendy, and practical for when you need a tripod to steady your camera and you don't have enough hands to carry a traditional size tripod.

    and so you know I'm not just pulling random information out without having any knowledge, I'm a student in the Advanced photography program at my school that only select students get into. Last year, I was in Photo 1 where I worked with black and white film first semester and color the second. and I used a film SLR for all of last year and I use my DSLR for everything this year. I have yet to actually try shooting with my new DSLR at disneyland yet only becaus I havent been since I got it. But judgeing by what you posted and going with my knowledge of cameras, that's probably the way to go.

    Anyway,
    Good Luck with your photography! I would love to see some of the results =D
    Sing like no one is Listening
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    It's a nice day when you wake up in Disneyland...
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  5. #5

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    Re: 35mm camera help!

    Oh as for the flash, I personally despise using flash that makes the light just go straight on. because the lighting it produces usually isnt the best in the world. And since you are shooting at disneyland, it will most likely distort the coloring of the lights that they have everywhere. Some things I would use the flash like if the lighting is just not working for you and you need to get a photo in without blur kind of thing. Because flash stops all motion. But that's just my personal opinion. As with what I said before, it's all just what I think. You should probably try different techniques and films and ISO and what not on your own and see what you personally like best. =D
    Sing like no one is Listening
    Dance like no one is Watching
    Smile like you're at Disneyland
    Live like there is no Tomorrow
    The End

    Star light, Star bright, first star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish that I wish tonight. I'll make a wish and do as Dreamers do. And all our wishes will come true. <3

    It's a nice day when you wake up in Disneyland...
    <3
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  6. #6

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    Re: 35mm camera help!

    My experience with actual film is that the grain on ISO 1600 is rather large and noticeable. I found ISO 800 to be more useful for larger prints - 5x7 and above.

    For night and dark rides - the higher ISO film and the f1.4 lens should give good results, but the focus is critical. Plan on taking multiple exposures.

    Good luck!

    This is why I moved to digital - more flexibility, instant feedback, and no additional cost for taking 100 exposures where I used to take only 5 or 6... I get far more usable pictures these days if for no other reason than sheer volume.







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  7. #7

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    Re: 35mm camera help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sambo View Post
    My experience with actual film is that the grain on ISO 1600 is rather large and noticeable. I found ISO 800 to be more useful for larger prints - 5x7 and above.

    For night and dark rides - the higher ISO film and the f1.4 lens should give good results, but the focus is critical. Plan on taking multiple exposures.

    Good luck!

    This is why I moved to digital - more flexibility, instant feedback, and no additional cost for taking 100 exposures where I used to take only 5 or 6... I get far more usable pictures these days if for no other reason than sheer volume.
    Believe me- I want a DSLR SO badly, but am nowhere near being able to afford one. Hence me using my dad's camera. I figure the fact that the aperture can open so large, on the one lens, gives me hope that I'll be able to get better pictures on the rides. My digital camera only has an f-stop of 2.8, and can take... "meh" pictures on darker rides, like Pirates of the Caribbean. We'll just have to wait and see.

    The deal with the ISO 1600 film, though, is an interesting one. I realize that the higher the ISO, the grainier the picture. However, this particular brand of film is rated very highly, and several reviewers even said that the grain is less noticeable on this than on slower ISOs. o_O Go figure. I ordered a couple rolls and will try them out, in addition to my 800, and will post some comparison shots in here. Sadly, the film is back ordered, but should be in my hands in a couple weeks.

    I didn't know, though, that a larger aperture leads to focus "issues", for lack of a better word. I'm going to try one roll on Automatic, and another on aperture priority, and see how they compare. Who knows? Maybe the Automatic mode will do just fine. Regardless, I just hope I'm not being too optimistic in this project.

  8. #8

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    Re: 35mm camera help!

    I was just poking around the internet, reading up on these sorts of things, and noticed an interesting comment.

    In the Olden Days, when most people shot with reasonably fast lenses (e.g. a 50/1.8), 100 film was fast enough for a lot of uses (heck, there used to be substantially slower films, like 50 and 25, even in the last decade or two). Then things went towards SLRs with cheap (read: slow) zoom lenses as part of the kit, and compact point-and-shoot cameras with even cheaper (read: even slower) zoom lenses. With a slow lens, there's not much use for slow film because you can't shoot much with it.
    Since I have a fast lens and semi-fast lens (1.4/2.8, respectively), would I be better off using ISO 100 for daytime pictures (on a sunny day, anyways)? Or should I just stick to the 400 I bought?

  9. #9

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    Re: 35mm camera help!

    100 for daytime - yes definitely. The range from black to white is better in that in direct sunlight the whites can be white without being blown out and the blacks or more important - near blacks - can contain detail rather than just ...black.

    It is easier with ISO 400 and 800 film in direct sunlight to either blow out the whites to capture detail in the dark areas, or keep the whites in check and lose the detail in the dark grays.

    Granted I haven't used actual film in a few years, but I don't think this has substantially changed. It is still an issue with DSLR, but with tools such as Photoshop or Lightroom, they are just a little something to consider rather than an actual "issue".







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  10. #10

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    Re: 35mm camera help!

    The higher the iso the grainer the pictures. I like to shoot with 100 iso when I did film. As far as settings for the camera. It's hard to say. Use the meter in the camera and adjust accordinly.

  11. #11

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    Re: 35mm camera help!

    I just wish I wasn't limited to 24 or 36 pictures per roll. That would make experimenting so much easier. That and being able to see the pictures right after I take them...

    I know that with my digital camera, on it's a small world, I can take ok pictures using the following settings: f/2.8, ISO 800, 1/30 shutter, but then on Pirates (which is notoriously dark), I can't hardly get a decent picture. These were taken as ISO 1600, instead of my usual 800, and are the best I've ever been able to get on Pirates:





    I want to do better, but know that I can't with my current camera, without being set-up on land, using a tripod.

    I can't help but wonder how much the larger aperture would help get pictures that are not only clear, but bright enough to be discernible, and not have the colors blown-out, like here (although the aperture size may have nothing to do with the color saturation... IDK):



    I've seen that one of the (supposedly) crucial settings in the great DSLR shots I've seen, that makes it possible to get good (if not great) pictures on the rides is... a larger aperture. That's my thinking on the matter, and I'm anxious to test my theories out.

  12. #12

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    Re: 35mm camera help!

    for the color saturation part, how are you printing your photos? or are you just scanning your negs? Because I know from when I did color printing in the darkroom as school I was able to get different results for the colors in the print compared to what I would get at places like costco or cvs or whatever. We used color filters to make the photo look it's natural color. at a place like costco and cvs and what not, they just do a standard print so they don't really mess with using different filters to make sure everything comes out in the natural colors they are supposed to be in. Which is why somethings may not look right and what not color wise. To fix that you can always scan the photo and use something like light room or photoshop and mess with the colors until it looks right...
    Sing like no one is Listening
    Dance like no one is Watching
    Smile like you're at Disneyland
    Live like there is no Tomorrow
    The End

    Star light, Star bright, first star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish that I wish tonight. I'll make a wish and do as Dreamers do. And all our wishes will come true. <3

    It's a nice day when you wake up in Disneyland...
    <3
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  13. #13

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    Re: 35mm camera help!

    Well, those three pictures are all 100% digital, never been film. As for what I will be doing, once I get some pictures taken, I'll just have them put on a photo cd. I don't have any access to the tools necessary to develop them myself, and my scanner ruins pictures.

  14. #14

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    Re: 35mm camera help!

    Not hard to fix...

    Although they were a bit blurry and noisy. Probably because of the motion and ISO. Also 1/30th of a second is kind of the lower limit. In a perfect world - 1/60th and faster should fix the motion blur. But then they will be a bit darker.








    Good luck with the film! Let us know how they turn out.
    Last edited by Sambo; 11-23-2009 at 12:51 AM.







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  15. #15

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    Re: 35mm camera help!

    Disclaimer, I don't get that deep into this, but I watch and learn... (One of these days I'll take the plunge - Champagne tastes and a beer budget, I don't want to spend on junk.)

    Don't forget the option of loading your own film if you want something that isn't available anymore - or is backordered for months out and you need 6 rolls Now. Get a bulk-loader winder and a batch of refillable 35MM camera cans, and now you can use any professional bulk 35MM film on the market, even the stuff normally used to shoot movies.

    Only problems are you won't get frame numbers off "movie" film, and they don't have the "DX code" on the can to automatically set the ISA on fancy cameras - Oh Well....

    If your camera can physically handle larger rolls and keep track of them on the frame counter... you can wind your own. 60 or 80 shots? No problem. Problem being you never know exactly how long the roll is till you hit the end, which might be a bit sooner than you expect.

    Check with your local laboratories about "Push" or "Pull" Processing - You shoot 800 film with the camera set to 1600 or higher, and the lab knows to send it to their old "Dip and Dunk" line, and not one of the newer continuous-strip processing machines like they use for movie film.

    (That's the reason you'll see the 'Serial Number' tag at the start of the film strip when they return your negatives - they splice your undeveloped 400 film into a "movie reel" with everyone else's 400 film, and run it through as one big strip. Then they cut them back apart at the other end, and match the numbers to the envelope.)

    They can Pull the film back in the old-style Dip & Dunk machine for a longer pass through the developer tank to bring up the under-exposed images. And the opposite can be done if you need a real slow film and don't have any, they shorten the developing cycle by Pulling it forward and toss it in the stop bath and fixer before it washes out.

    The results aren't as good as using the "right" speed film, but it can save the day if you run out of the right stuff and have to improvise. And it's a good thing to know if you ever goof the settings and shoot a roll of something irreplaceable (like a wedding) on 100 with the camera set to 400. (Hey, it happens.) With some advance warning, the processing lab can give it special handling and save your tuchis.

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