Advice for Finland pics (snow, cold)

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Johan Lexington, Aug 13, 2003.

  1. Hello.

    I am planning a holiday to Helsinki, Finland. I will be leaving
    Capetown for New York in October, and flying to Helsinki in November.
    I will be staying in Finland until the end of the year.

    I would love to bring one camera/lense combination with me, but I am
    equally tempted to go on a giant shopping spree in New York (probably
    at the infamous B&H) and buy a half dozen prime lenses and 2 or 3
    bodies to keep loaded with various films at once!

    Least cost scenario, I could bring a single point and shoot 35mm film
    camera with me and keep it loaded with a medium speed colour print
    film such as Royal Supra 200 or 400. This one bores me to death, but I
    will have plenty of extra money for that fine Finnish beer and
    reindeer steak!

    Medium cost scenario, I could pick up an inexpensive EOS or Nikon body
    and bring a single 28-105 zoom lens. Or I could keep a 50mm prime on
    it and also keep a point and shoot. This would give me 2 perspectives,
    35mm and 50mm, and I could keep 2 kinds of film loaded. Perhaps, I
    could keep slide film in the SLR and print film in the p&s.

    Expensive scenario, I could pick up 2 or 3 bodies and a bunch of
    primes and tons of film varieties.

    Risky scenario, I could pick up a prosumer digital camera and a bunch
    of 1gig memory cards and shoot RAW files. I label this risky because I
    have no experience with digital.

    I was very impressed with the results of an advanced amateur Finnish
    photographer named Pekka Saarinen. He has an excellent gallery of
    images taken with the Canon G1 on his web site:

    The images include some timed exposures, snapshots, macros, etc. His
    site also boasts a DSLR Canon D30 gallery:

    I was very impressed with some of the street shots of the city of
    Helsinki, such as this panorama:

    What should I do? As I said, I will be in New York before I travel to
    Finland. I am probably going to buy all of my film at B&H before I go.
    They seem to have the best prices, selection, and reputation for film.
    How many rolls will I need for 6 weeks? I will also travel to Estonia,
    Sweden, and northern Finland during 1 of the 6 weeks.

    What films should I bring? It gets dark early (I hear) in Finland at
    that time of the year, but that is not a problem. I will be shooting
    mostly during daylight hours. I guess I could take a few rolls of
    Supra 800 with me for evening shots. Should I bring 100/200 speed
    colour print films? Would the reflection off the snow make things
    brighter? Or would I need more of a 400?

    What about slide film? I DO NOT want to shoot exclusively slides on
    this holiday, but I would like a few rolls of cityscapes to project
    when I get home. Any slide film suggestion for this? Is Velvia 100f
    too saturated for this environment? Helsinki has beautiful
    colours...the buildings and architecture are very colourful in a
    "pastel" sort of way. Would I need a 200 or 400 speed slide film? I
    heard somewhere that grain enhances a snowy scene. The thing is, I am
    not 100% sure there will be snow on the ground for the whole time I am
    in Finland. I know they do have a very long winter.

    I will not be using any black and white films.

    Does anyone in Finland know where I could buy film inexpensively in
    Helsinki? Or should I just buy the film in NY first like I originally
    planned? Any good lab suggestions in Finland?

    Should I forget about the film and pick up a Canon G5 or G3? has G1 images that look great, the G3/G5
    improvements must be amazing!

    Johan Lexington, Aug 13, 2003
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  2. I will certainly try!
    Johan Lexington, Aug 13, 2003
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  3. I'd say this all depends on your shooting style and gear. If you
    plan to shoot handheld using slow zoom lens you'll need very fast
    film most of the time at that time of the year. If you plan to
    carry a tripod for more serious shooting I don't see too much
    use for faster films excepts snapshots etc. Fast prime lenses will
    make life easier.

    Yes, there is daylight, but it's very short. Most of the daytime
    sun will be very low. Reflection from snow won't make much
    difference when there isn't too much light to begin with, and
    I'm afraid conditions will be wet pretty often. Wet snow isn't
    bright white at all.

    Using a metal tripod in cold conditions isn't fun unless you have
    really really warm gloves.

    I don't really know where to get film cheap in Finland if you don't
    want to mailorder. But as you are staying for a long time you have
    plenty of time get almost any film you'll need if you didn't buy
    it enought (or at all) from NY.

    For some addresses visit: for some reason only lists address of one of
    their stores in Helsinki, Malminkatu 20.

    And welcome to Finland! :)

    - Petri
    Petri Kekkonen, Aug 13, 2003
  4. Johan Lexington

    Alan Browne Guest

    Polytone ... that is really cool answering yourself with advice...
    Alan Browne, Aug 13, 2003
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