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02-03-2009, 08:28 PM   #1
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smoke and dslr

Planning to get a fire scanner and go to some fires and try taking some pictures in conjunction with the fire dept there.

However got to thinking that because of all the potential smoke and crude in the air I would be better off using a film slr camera. Especially in case I ever need to change lenses.

Just seeing if you all agree with this train of thought.

Pentaxians forever,

Thanks

02-03-2009, 08:35 PM   #2
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agreed, unless you put the camera in a water-proof encasing... since there's a whole lot of stuff in the air, as you focus or whatnot, there's a chance for all those particles to get into your lenses - not the most favourable thing one can have happen.
02-03-2009, 08:37 PM   #3
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I'm not sure which camera you have. But if it's either the K200D,K10D or K20D then I'd be much less concerned. I'd then add a DA*50-135mm for a tight weather-sealed body than can resist the grime and will likely have little issue with the smoke.

You most likely can't get too close for intense concentrations and I would think you'll be fine. That combo also has the benefit of water resistance if you get water spray on the gear. I wouldn't want to be doing any lens changes in this type of environment so the zoom should be perfect.

Considering the cost of a decent film camera and you need a couple of reasonable lenses (I assume you want to be good enough to sell the work) that can take good pictures in tough lighting. Then the cost of film processing makes adding a $650-750.00 lens the best and cheapest option.

Last edited by Peter Zack; 02-03-2009 at 09:48 PM.
02-03-2009, 09:35 PM   #4
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Been taking fire pics since the day I bought my first K110d and never had a problem... and I get real deep in the smoke without problems too (I work for the Montreal FD so my work ID gets me inside the perimeters, within reason of safety of course!)

Just don't do something silly like changing lenses in the smoke. With the newer K200 and K20 which are weather sealed I'd be even less worried.

My personnal opinion is to go DSLR, the problem with fire scenes is that you often have to take many many pics to have a few decent ones, lots of factors (like the reflective bands on our bunkers or smoke) can ruin what would be a great shot. With a film camera, that could get expensive. With a DSLR you can see your bad pics right away and correct your settings.







Pat

02-03-2009, 11:14 PM   #5
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Not sure if this interests you, or if you plan to get really close to the smoke/water spray, you might want to try a waterproof case like this one. Good luck!
02-04-2009, 03:10 AM   #6
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I'm not sure I follow the issue here.

You are not part of the emergency response team, yet you are concerned about your camera.

In my simple view, if that is your concern, you are too close, and will most likely have violated the safety parimiter set up by the fire department.

Simply put you shouldn't be there.
02-04-2009, 08:15 AM   #7
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Any issues of smoke contamination would affect a film SLR while changing lenses also. If you are close enough to the fire where thick particle filled smoke will crud your camera you should be wearing a respirator and shouldn't be changing lenses there anyhow. As mentioned by others, the fire dept. probably won't allow you that close anyhow as you would be in a place to possibly interfere with their work. Get a long zoom and stay out of the way.
02-04-2009, 11:15 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by houstonmacgregor Quote
Planning to get a fire scanner and go to some fires and try taking some pictures in conjunction with the fire dept there.

However got to thinking that because of all the potential smoke and crude in the air I would be better off using a film slr camera. Especially in case I ever need to change lenses.

Just seeing if you all agree with this train of thought.

Pentaxians forever,

Thanks
Here's a fire shot I took with the k10d and DA* 16-50. Available light was a mix of fire engine red and blue rotators, police red and blue, sodium street lighting and the odd head light. If you want to (slowly) download the original size, the EXIF data is intact there. This is big enough to show the results. 1/6" W f/4. Manfrotto tripod and ball head.


Full size jpeg.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3130/2298402899_27628513eb_o.jpg

02-04-2009, 05:32 PM   #9
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I haven't actually done this activity with my K200D, but to eliminate lens change concerns, get a DA* in a wide range (wider than 50-135) to eliminate the need to change lenses.
02-04-2009, 05:46 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
Any issues of smoke contamination would affect a film SLR while changing lenses also. If you are close enough to the fire where thick particle filled smoke will crud your camera you should be wearing a respirator and shouldn't be changing lenses there anyhow. As mentioned by others, the fire dept. probably won't allow you that close anyhow as you would be in a place to possibly interfere with their work. Get a long zoom and stay out of the way.
Key difference is that a film SLR gets a fresh 'sensor' with every frame, whatever volatiles may be in the air.

Old fashioned 'Drop Test' applies.


If you drop it, are you out of business?

Don't bring the good stuff there when less will do. What you can't help but risk, protect it. Most fires won't be a big deal, but the worse the conditions, the less likely it is anyone's going to care how nice your lens was.
02-05-2009, 05:41 PM   #11
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"Available light was a mix of fire engine red and blue rotators, police red and blue, sodium street lighting and the odd head light."

Came out pretty good, considering the smorgasbord of light in the scene.
Might have had something to do with the glass involved.
Cheers Mike.

P.S.
Down here the cops would be asking " Sir, where were you when this fire started?"
02-05-2009, 06:01 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ve2vfd Quote
Been taking fire pics since the day I bought my first K110d and never had a problem... and I get real deep in the smoke without problems too (I work for the Montreal FD so my work ID gets me inside the perimeters, within reason of safety of course!)

Just don't do something silly like changing lenses in the smoke. With the newer K200 and K20 which are weather sealed I'd be even less worried.

My personnal opinion is to go DSLR, the problem with fire scenes is that you often have to take many many pics to have a few decent ones, lots of factors (like the reflective bands on our bunkers or smoke) can ruin what would be a great shot. With a film camera, that could get expensive. With a DSLR you can see your bad pics right away and correct your settings.







Pat
That first shot is awesome!.
It would make one major B-day card to any fire-fighter, by adding couple captions.
Cheers. Mike.
02-05-2009, 06:08 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ex Finn. Quote
"Available light was a mix of fire engine red and blue rotators, police red and blue, sodium street lighting and the odd head light."

Came out pretty good, considering the smorgasbord of light in the scene.
Might have had something to do with the glass involved.
Cheers Mike.

P.S.
Down here the cops would be asking " Sir, where were you when this fire started?"
All they did was ask me to wait until things had cleared up a bit so that I would not be in the way of the workers. Small towns are a little different. <G>

The glass and the camera did a pretty good job of it, I agree.
02-05-2009, 06:09 PM   #14
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Pat, those are great shots!
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