How much film for an overseas trip?

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Robin Guymer

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We are planning a USA road trip and I'm wondering just how much film you usually budget for. My wife is an ex wedding photographer from the film days but now a digital convert, so she can handle that side of it. I am the amateur film hack with too many cameras to choose from. Have narrowed down the bodies to the Nikon F4 and FA for B&W and the FE2 for colour. But just how much film to take for 40 days in the USofA?. I've been too conservative on previous trips not taking enough photos so am determined to be more proactive on pushing that shutter. I'm thinking 30 B&W and 10 Colour. Your thoughts appreciated. Thanks.
Robin.
 

Chrismat

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How long are you going to be in the US? I always double the amount that I think I'll need. It's best to have too much film than not enough.
 

RattyMouse

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We are planning a USA road trip and I'm wondering just how much film you usually budget for. My wife is an ex wedding photographer from the film days but now a digital convert, so she can handle that side of it. I am the amateur film hack with too many cameras to choose from. Have narrowed down the bodies to the Nikon F4 and FA for B&W and the FE2 for colour. But just how much film to take for 40 days in the USofA?. I've been too conservative on previous trips not taking enough photos so am determined to be more proactive on pushing that shutter. I'm thinking 30 B&W and 10 Colour. Your thoughts appreciated. Thanks.
Robin.

In the USA you can resupply easily. B & H has expedited shipping. If you are in the same location for more than 2 days, you can reorder easily.

I typically bring 40 rolls on any trip, but they are not usually a whole month.
 

mooseontheloose

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Wouldn't you rather buy film once you are in the US? I imagine it's a lot cheaper than what you pay in Oz and as RattyMouse said, you can get it shipped to wherever you are pretty quickly (or go pick it up if you are a major city like LA or NY). Either way, I would conservatively budget at least one roll of film a day, but if I know I'll spend time in a place where I'm likely to burn through my film stores in one go (like 5-20 rolls), I try to budget that in too.
 

guangong

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If you have already planned your hotel stays follow mooseontheloose’ advice and order from B&H (free shipping...Freestyle charges for shipping). How much? As much as Chrismat advises buying...twice as much. Not familiar with your camera’s battery needs but I would order spares also. Drugstores, etc always seem to be out of the batteries I need when desperate...spent whole evening wandering about Cairo searching for L44 battery or equivalent and this is a rather common battery. Enjoy your trip!
 

howardpan

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I would recommend you simplify to one or two types of film (and by this I mean two different emulsions) and ration about 2-3 rolls per day.

You will carry less camera. With the weight you save, I would recommend you take along a tripod and some filters. You can definitely cope with just 3 lenses.

When I travel, I either just bring a 35mm rangefinder or a TLR.
 
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What if you challenged yourself to one image per day? Would that help to achieve your goals for the trip and your photography?

I have travelled overseas with one (film) camera, one lens and one roll of film for 10 days. Fewer images per day seems an attractive endeavor to me.
 

film_man

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For 35mm I bring 2 rolls/day. However, as already said, since you're going to the US I would just bring 10-15 rolls and then buy from there. You could even order in advance and have it waiting for you at your first hotel.

Another however: I know I say 2 rolls/day however on a 40 day trip that's 80 rolls in total. So if the trip is too long I will set a limit purely because the ultimate cap is the amount of money I want to spend in the lab (which for 80 rolls would be about £1000 for me...).
 

blockend

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On holidays I work on the 3 roll a day principle. Sometimes I shoot less, sometimes more, but it averages out around 100 shots per day. I'd concentrate on one camera and consider the other as backup. A 35mm would cover everything, second lens a 50mm if space, 28-80 third choice.

All film home developed to save costs.
 

Chan Tran

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If the trip is in the US then buy film in the US and possibly processed in the US if you don't do it yourself. I don't want to run fresh film thru the airport. The law said you can have them hand inspected. Those X-ray isn't harmful to lo speed film. Still I don't want to do that.
 

jeffreyg

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I use medium format so when traveling I take two identical bodies, a wide angle, tele, and 2x. That covers my needs. I only use black and white film and most exposures with a tripod. For a ten to twelve day trip I take twenty rolls of twelve exposures. Buying film here as suggested is a good idea. Much depends on where you are going, do you bracket your exposures, what do you like as subject matter and how patient is your wife who might have taken five or more digital exposures while you are still deciding black and white or color.. It is best to simplify your photography and enjoy the trip.

http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
 

RattyMouse

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If the trip is in the US then buy film in the US and possibly processed in the US if you don't do it yourself. I don't want to run fresh film thru the airport. The law said you can have them hand inspected. Those X-ray isn't harmful to lo speed film. Still I don't want to do that.

Quick processing is NOT easy to find.

X rays are harmless to film.
 

narsuitus

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Based on my previous vacation shooting history, I know that I average one-36 exposure roll per day. Therefore, for a 40-day trip, I would carry a minimum of two bricks (two 20-roll packs of 36-exposure film).

If I needed more film while shooting in the United States, I would buy from one of the following suppliers of film:

B&H Photo Video
420 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001
Phone: (212) 615-8820

Freestyle Photo
5124 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Phone: (323) 660-3460

Central Camera
230 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60604
Phone: (312) 427-5580
 

narsuitus

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When I travel on holiday as a tourist and plan on shooting a lot of scenic shots (such as landscapes, cityscapes, skylines, sunsets, sunrises, moonscapes, seascapes, lakescapes, and beachscapes), I like to carry enough 120 medium format roll film to shoot at least two-dozen photos per day because that is the average I normally shoot.



Travel Camera by Narsuitus, on Flickr
 

Chuckwade87

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Most Walmarts carry Fuji Superia in 200/400/800 ISO's, (if your all out and desperate).

Drug stores are hit and miss as far as 35mm film.

Walmart and a lot of the chain drug stores no longer process film in store, they send it out and you no longer get negatives back just a CD.
 

Sirius Glass

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It is a great idea to shoot both black & white and color. I would shoot ISO 400 films so that you have the best depth of field. I agree that you should have twice as much film as you think that you will need so that you do not feel inhibited. For 35mm I would say that three rolls of 36 exposures is good. Depending on where you are in the US you could resupply. [By the way, where will you be traveling?] If you will be in the red rock area [Northern Arizona and Central-Southern Utah, you will need more color film.
 

ac12

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I used to plan on 1 roll a day, but often exceeded that and had to scrimp.
So initial plan of 2 rolls a day seems more reasonable, then adjust from there.
BUT...that is an average. There will be places you go to where you may shoot 4 rolls in a day, and others where you barely do 1 roll.
That also depends on how picky you are and how you shoot. If you shoot like a LF shooter, 1 roll would easily last you the entire day.

You can have B&H ship to your next hotel, so you can resupply in the middle of your trip, if you find that you are shooting more than expected.
That also help to reduce your initial film carry.
 

Sirius Glass

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Theo Sulphate

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Others have addressed the film issue, but as much as I love the F4, I question taking both the F4 and FA for B&W (FE2 for color sounds good). Maybe just the lighter FA?

Just curious, as I don't know your intent or plans.
 
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Robin Guymer

Robin Guymer

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Thanks everyone for the great tips. Didn't realise it was so easy to get film delivered in the US so might resupply in San Fran after 2 weeks in Hawaii before we jump in the RV. Yes I am stressing over taking the F4 due to the weight, but just bought it and the test roll was excellent mainly thanks to the manual focus confirmation light. Not much room for clothing when one has to meet 20kg checked and 7kg carry on baggage limits. Hmmm the F4 may have to stay home!
 

narsuitus

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Have narrowed down the bodies to the Nikon F4 and FA for B&W and the FE2 for colour.

I personally prefer to carry identical bodies if possible. For me, that would be a pair of F2 bodies, a pair of F4 bodies, or a pair of Contax G1 bodies.
 
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