25 June 2015

To Munich-Prague-Salzburg on a 1-Camera-1-Lens Combination

One work trip to Munich, followed by my wife's arrival for a short trip to Prague-Salzburg-Munich. As usual, for any overseas trip, I always have the dilemma of what camera, what lens and what film to bring. Mamiya 6, Bessa R4M or Leica M6? Or should I travel light with my Ricoh Gr1s, Olympus XA, or Ricoh Autohalf SL? 35mm or 120? So after some pondering, the Mamiya 6 won the race! I checked my stock of 120 films and found that I have quite a number of ISO100 films in the fridge. Hoping for good weather, I brought my Provia 100, Velvia 100 slides together with several Portra 160 and 400, Ektar 100 and 2 rolls of Neopan Acros 100. No digital camera except for my SJCAM WIFI action video camera with me for the wide angle shots and videos.

Mamiya 6 + 75mm f/3.5 lens
I was worried that the 75mm lens might be too tight for some situations, but I think I managed alright. I do wished I had the 50mm for church interior shots as the churches were too spectacular and huge!

The Provia 100 turns out a winner in all my rolls of 120 films, with rich colors and slightly better dynamics than the Velvia 100. The Velvia is not so forgiving if your meter is slightly off, but the Provia can be pushed a little to reveal more details.

One surprise was the Rollei CR200 slide films. I ask Yiu Yiu to help me secure 2 rolls from Dot-well in Hong Kong, not knowing the characteristics of the film. After development and scanning, I realized the Rollei CR200 films gave a very warm, vintage look, which made the old buildings and monuments even older. The film dynamics is also pretty good, revealing more details than the Velvia 100. Do take a look for yourself and see if you like this film for vintage/old stuff to photograph. Do note that all images are straight scans from the scanner with no PP done, except for spotting. Colors are retained as per how the scanner scans it.

Rollei CR200 Slides

The Velvia 100 is not too forgiving. If you underexpose a little, it may be hard to push the details out in PP afterwards. Probably would be stocking up on Velvia 100 anymore after my last roll. 

Velvia 100

As usual, the Portra never fail to be versatile. The colors rendered are perfect and comfortable to my eyes. Even if I tried to push a little in PP, details are still there to be revealed. I have both the ISO 160 and 400 during the trip, so I am never short of options for indoor or cloudy situations. 

Portra 400

Portra 160

I only recently got into Ektar 100 films after seeing the film coming back into prominence. The film grains are very fine and I can blow these images to humongous sizes for prints if I want to. The colors, at least for me, seem very close to the Portra. Hence, I may stock these up if Portra reaches insane prices. Portra prices in Singapore have been creeping upwards and also getting harder to get. So Ektar may be my next best option. 

Ektar 100

So in conclusion, I managed to survive on a 1-camera-1-lens combination for trips. I may stick to this format of travel photography as I do not have to grapple between 35mm and 120 film formats or switching cameras for difference focal lengths. I can enjoy more of the trip and scenery and loved one with only 1 camera in hand. 

Perhaps you can also try the 1-camera-1-lens combination for your next trip and let me know what you think of it. 

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