Films to take to South America

Discussion in 'UK Photography' started by David Hall, Jun 4, 2004.

  1. David Hall

    David Hall Guest

    Hi there,

    I'm travelling through Peru & Bolivia for 2 months this summer, and
    would appreciate some advice on what slide film to take. I tend to
    shoot a mix of landscape and portrait shots, and am currently thinking
    about Velvia 50 for landscape and Fuji Sensia 100 for portrait/other
    general shots where I don't want colours to be too overstated. Does
    this sound reasonable? I've not used sensia before, and have
    previously tended to take print film whilst travelling, but want the
    better colour rendition and 'punch' of slides.

    To people who've travelled here before, will there be enough light to
    use the Velvia without a tripod? I'm also heading into the Amazon, so
    if anybody could suggest a good faster slide film, I'd be grateful.

    Cheers! Dave
    David Hall, Jun 4, 2004
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  2. David Hall

    TP Guest

    I would recommend a combination of Provia 100F and 400F. They are
    good general purpose slide films.

    Provia 100F and 400F are both slightly over-saturated, but not as much
    as Velvia 50. They are both suitable for occasional portraiture, but
    Astia 100F is best if portraiture is a top priority, because of its
    more natural saturation and more faithful skin tones.

    All these films are available at excellent prices from Mathers in
    Bolton, Lancashire.
    TP, Jun 4, 2004
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  3. David Hall

    Chris B Guest

    I went to Peru at the start of the year - generally I found that there was
    enough light, although using Velvia 50 will limit you somewhat without a
    tripod. I generally started running out of aperture stops when the clouds
    came over. You also have to consider that the weather varies a lot across
    the country and during different times of years. I'd recommend you take some
    Velvia 100F as well and some faster film if constantly carrying a tripod
    around is going to be difficult.

    Whereabouts in Peru are you going? I never got to Bolivia, but a friend of
    mine did and brought me back a can of the best tasting beer I'd had in ages.
    I was amazed.

    Chris B, Jun 7, 2004
  4. David Hall

    David Hall Guest

    How do the colours on Velvia 100F compare to Velvia 50? I've read
    they're not quite as punchy... but does this mean you could get away
    with portrait shots? Also, do the darker skin tones of S Americans
    mean you can get away with using more saturated film?

    I'm just breezing through Peru on the way to Copacabana and Bolivia,
    so will probably spend a week or so around Cusco and Machu Picchu, and
    maybe head down the coast. Can you remember the name of the beer? ;-)
    David Hall, Jun 8, 2004
  5. David Hall

    Chris B Guest

    I wouldn't use Velvia 100F for portrait shots - yes, it's been said that
    100F is less punchy when compared to 50, but seriously I think the
    difference is pretty marginal and hardly noticable. I've never done any
    straight comparisons with the same shot on both film, but I switched to 100F
    and still found it punchy enough. I took mostly 100F and a few rolls of 50
    when I was in Peru.
    On the darker skin tones issue, to a certain degree, I think you can get
    away with more saturated film - but there is of course a wide variety of
    skin tones and lighting to consider, I'd still rather use a less punchy
    film. I think I used quite a bit of Sensia, which seemed to be one of the
    few slide films I was able to buy in Cusco when I ran out of film I'd
    brought with me.. if you do need to buy film out there, check the boxes!
    Some of it has been sitting there quite a while and is nearing it's
    expiration date. Other shops have newer stuff.
    I have no idea, largely because the same day I went on to drink a lot more
    local beer shortly afterwards ;)
    It was just a standard can, primarily red in colour with a lot of black text
    and some medals on it describing various awards it had won years ago. I was
    expecting it to be terrible, but it really was exceptionally nice - how come
    all beer in cans tastes bad in the UK? Maybe I'd just got used to the local
    Cusquenya or whatever it was called.
    If you're going to Cusco, go in a bar and ask for a Machu Picchu cocktail!

    Chris B, Jun 8, 2004
  6. David Hall

    howard Guest

    High up in the Andes the sun is *extremely* powerful, cloudless skies
    too, shadows are pretty well black, take a low contrast film, Astia
    or similar.

    Around Machu Picchu , light levels are more like England in summer,
    even so, I'd stick with low contrast film for portraits. I used
    Astia 100 in the Caribbean recently and couldn't fault it.

    BTW, if you want to photograph the locals in S.America, it'll
    probably cost you, they don't miss a trick, especially the kids.

    Howard. (with bits)
    howard, Jun 9, 2004
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