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02-17-2010, 03:41 AM   #1
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Going to Europe with an MX, help!

Hi guys, ive been lurking for a while and first of all, ill have to say "thanks" to everyone for all the cool stuff ive been learning

Im going away to Europe (Spain, Italy, France) for three weeks next saturday, and i want to take the MX with me. I only have a SMC 50mm 1.4 for it, and a Hoya polarizer. Im taking a Canon a590 too, but i really want to use the MX in this trip...

Im still debating wether to take b&w or color film. I know i can shoot color and then convert to b&w, but i really like the feel of real b&w, putting it in the tank, and hopefully get to make prints myself somewhere...

Not much options tho, only real b&w i can get here is Ilford HP5 or Kodak Tmax, any big pros/cons to either?


Now, what i really need help with is filters... i wont be able to carry a lot of stuff around, and ill be doing a lot of street (with and without people in mind), and monuments. I guess I should be safe with a yellow filter for all outdooors, but will it kill street pictures? What about if skies arent all that clear, will i still get some detail?

Well, hope im making any sense at all, ive been busy getting everything else ready and somehow this got left for the last minute

02-17-2010, 04:34 AM   #2
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hope you're gone like europe
Spain, Italy, France - so it is more in the south of europe? mediterranean?

it is still wintertime here, so the light will not as very bright as in summertime
but its allways good to use a skylightfilter in the mediterranean areas, when you going for colour.

but, just in case, most monuments will be in larger cities
so if you need something else, you can get everything in the lokal fotoshops as well
02-17-2010, 04:54 AM   #3
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I almost never use filters on film.

My perspective is that when you shoot on film, the point is more on feeling than on technical perfection (digital SLR are better on every point now)

If you don't know if you want to shoot B&W or color, go with color, get you negatives scanned and make color adjustments / conversion. The grain will still be there so no worries on that matter.

As a matter of fact, while film camera with 400 iso film in it (and usually the 43 ltd) is my everyday camera, I don't take film on travel, I much prefer my K20D, 3 batteries, 3 memory cards and a few primes. Digital is much more flexible and at the end, lighter if you shoot a lot (given the number of film cartrige you'll have to carry)

Anyway, film is really a matter of feeling, so if you feel better with your MX, then go ahead. But don't focus on technical perfection, this is not what film will bring to you.

Regards,
Guillaume
02-17-2010, 05:38 AM   #4
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Good idea!
Now, get some HP5 or TriX for the trip, light is still quite dim even in the S of Europe.
The 50/1.4 is invaluable to take pics inside certain places but just enjoy yourself and capture the unexpected.

If you are going to visit big towns (Madrid, Barcelona, Milano, Roma, etc), there shuld be a photo-store where you can replenish your film stocks....or you may even be able to buy them online but delivery will be a high risk.

02-17-2010, 07:04 AM   #5
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Thanks guys for the quick replies

I'd be taking 10+ rolls of HP5, getting more convinced to do that by the minute... And yes, ill get more over there if i run out


So, no need for a yellow filter? can i get by with the polarizer?


The cities will be: Madrid, Barcelona (maybe), Rome, Naples, Florence, Venice and Paris.
02-17-2010, 09:02 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by marianozz Quote
Thanks guys for the quick replies

I'd be taking 10+ rolls of HP5, getting more convinced to do that by the minute... And yes, ill get more over there if i run out


So, no need for a yellow filter? can i get by with the polarizer?


The cities will be: Madrid, Barcelona (maybe), Rome, Naples, Florence, Venice and Paris.
The polarizer will work well with B&W film and take care of darkening the skies and so on. I would still take one other filter with you and leave it on the lens for all other shooting. Either a UV or yellow is your best bet.

Filters are fun with B&W film and it's interesting to take the exact picture multiple times with different filters, to compare the results. You will be surprised at the difference filters make, especially the darker ones like orange & red.

Have fun,

Phil.
02-17-2010, 06:35 PM   #7
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I took quite a few trips about Europe with an MX--of course that was 20-30 years ago. Makes me nostalgic. In its later years, the MX was my B&W-only body.

From the last trip my MX made to France (1988), and with the 50mm 1.4 lens:

02-18-2010, 04:53 AM   #8
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Thats a nice shot, any chance you remember what film it was?


Another thing i was wondering about, i shouldnt have to adjust anything with the filter on, right? I mean, If i get the HP5, I set it the camera to ISO 400 and it will metter correctly as less light enters thru the filter?

02-18-2010, 06:03 AM   #9
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Excellent trip!
At least in Paris and Rome you can buy film.

As per the filter, just leave it on the camera light metering will tkae it into account.
02-18-2010, 05:02 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by marianozz Quote
Thats a nice shot, any chance you remember what film it was?


Another thing i was wondering about, i shouldnt have to adjust anything with the filter on, right? I mean, If i get the HP5, I set it the camera to ISO 400 and it will metter correctly as less light enters thru the filter?
TMax 400. It was new, back then.
02-19-2010, 01:09 AM   #11
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In France, it is still easy to find Ilford films. Most photo shops still propose them. You can also find at the "Fnac".
02-19-2010, 06:40 AM   #12
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It is actually pretty easy to find Ilford here as well in a photo shop. You won't find it at the drugstore, though.
02-19-2010, 09:03 AM   #13
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If you have time you might also consider getting your film developed in Europe.
After it’s processed you don’t have to worry about airport x-ray scanners any longer.

You can leave the printing & scanning for when you get home.

Phil
02-20-2010, 08:30 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
If you have time you might also consider getting your film developed in Europe.
After itís processed you donít have to worry about airport x-ray scanners any longer.

You can leave the printing & scanning for when you get home.

Phil
That works well if you will be there for a while. A lot of my older slides have the imprint of a Kodachrome processing facility in France. I would be there for a month or more.

However, for a shorter trip, I would be concerned that I would not get the results back before I left that area. If I am trusting the film to the mail, I would probably just as soon pack them in a protective bag and ship them home. Airline luggage regs have encouraged us to ship more and more of our things, anyway.
02-20-2010, 10:58 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
That works well if you will be there for a while. A lot of my older slides have the imprint of a Kodachrome processing facility in France. I would be there for a month or more.

However, for a shorter trip, I would be concerned that I would not get the results back before I left that area. If I am trusting the film to the mail, I would probably just as soon pack them in a protective bag and ship them home. Airline luggage regs have encouraged us to ship more and more of our things, anyway.
I ended a trip last year in Melbourne and had enough time to process all my colour slide film at a local lab and mail my b&w slide film to a lab in Denver. On my flight home I only had a couple rolls of unprocessed film I had to worry about being x-rayed.

Phil.
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