Author Topic: Camera Half Full or Half Empty??  (Read 18284 times)

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Camera Half Full or Half Empty??
« on: March 16, 2012, 02:47:12 PM »
It's really strange, maybe even serendipitous, that I've just been pondering something that Sandeha has also just commented on in this weekend's photo thread.

For those of us with more than one camera, do we leave them loaded or empty? Do we stop shooting half way through a roll and start shooting another camera / film stock next time we pick up a cemara? How many cameras / films do we have on the go simultaneously?

I must admit to being one of those photographers who reloads a camera as an almost reflex action once I've wound the film out of the camera I've been using - often with little thought as to what I'll be shooting next - or even when.....

This has caused some frustration as I don't always remember what film is in which camera.

How about the rest of us..??
"An ounce of perception. A pound of obscure".

Urban Hafner

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Re: Camera Half Full or Half Empty??
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2012, 02:51:29 PM »
I try to keep as few cameras loaded as possible. And I have a little notebook where I write down which film is in which camera, dates, locations, etc. (one day I'll write a smartphone app to track all that, I promise).

My main problem is that I don't like it when it takes me a long time to shoot a roll. I like to remember stuff about the images. Especially with baby pictures it's nicer when you can have a look at them soon after taking them.

PeterR

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Re: Camera Half Full or Half Empty??
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2012, 03:58:36 PM »
I generally load when I want the camera but if I don't finish the film and it's got nothing on it that I need immediately, it can stay in the camera for any amount of time. But sometimes I do remove films (35mm anyway) from cameras and reload them in another if I want to switch cameras.

Currently I have three (edit: make that four) cameras loaded. Two of which I have no idea when I loaded them or what's on the films. :-\
« Last Edit: March 16, 2012, 04:52:06 PM by Peter R »

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Re: Camera Half Full or Half Empty??
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2012, 05:28:34 PM »
If I load a camera at home, technically I also then make a new record in the film rolls database on my computer which tells me what it is, what camera it is in and when I started it. So technically I should be able to tell what, if anything, is in any particular camera at any particular point.

In practice, if I forget what it is in a camera I can guarantee that I've not made a database record for it either. I can also guarantee that it will be about halfway through and that I'll have entirely forgotten when and where I took the first half of the roll - let alone why. And I can further guarantee that whatever film is in there will be exactly the wrong one anyway - colour when I just want to take pictures of black and white murals, or 100 film when it's so dim you have to turn the lights on in the daytime.

So I try not to leave film loaded in cameras, except for whatever I am using as a pocket camera, where I don't want to have to think too much.

eta: currently only one loaded I think, an Olympus XA with... er... some 100 film anyway, I dunno.
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sapata

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Re: Camera Half Full or Half Empty??
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2012, 06:41:31 PM »
I normally have three or four cameras loaded with unfinished film,  a bit against my wishes to be honest. I'd rather load a camera and finish with the roll but the weather in UK doesn't really help you, especially in the winter times.

I normally stick the film seal on the back of my cameras or have them written in my notebook so I know what film is loaded.

Jack Johnson

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Re: Camera Half Full or Half Empty??
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2012, 06:58:41 PM »
I have an illness regarding (too many) cameras loaded and half-shot.

Usually it's a variety thing. Normally it's 35mm loaded across a half-dozen cameras: (at least) one toy, one SLR, one rangefinder. Color or black-and-white? Slow or fast? Pocket or camera bag? Especially this time of year with the ice and snow, the difference between a gloomy day and a sunny day can be astronomical.

MF I'm not usually so bad, and heck, it's just a dozen shots, right?

Phil Bebbington

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Re: Camera Half Full or Half Empty??
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2012, 08:12:16 PM »
I prefer cameras empty, but, when I started to shoot square I had a film in my M2 that sat there for 6 years until I eventually took it out still not finished!

Francois

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Re: Camera Half Full or Half Empty??
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2012, 08:57:38 PM »
I try and keep them empty. And I had a bit of a lesson in patience with the half-frame!
The only thing I keep permanently loaded are instant cameras...
Francois

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Re: Camera Half Full or Half Empty??
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2012, 09:22:21 PM »
Not many of my cameras have anywhere to put the film label. The label holder has even fallen off the back of  one of the A12 backs for the Hasselblad.

I've made myself a promise to limit myself to using just a couple of cameras and to restrict the film in each to one or two options. The objective is to force myself to really get into a groove with the cameras and understand the benefits and limitations of the film stock. It will also mean that I have fewer cameras loaded at any one time and I won't be second guessing what's coming back in the sleeve from the lab...
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Sandeha Lynch

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Re: Camera Half Full or Half Empty??
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2012, 09:37:19 PM »
I prefer empty - there have been times I've gotten brain ache trying to figure how many 6x9 shots I'd get on the end of a roll that already has ten shots of 6x45.  (Answer: three if you're lucky, it depends on the cam.)  But it's cameras for courses, and films for same, so I've usually (usually) got different stock in different machines, and all have a box tab sellotaped to the body if there's no rear window.  One's currently got Superia 400, others Neopan 1600, Neopan 400, and Acros 100.  What's unusual at the moment is that only one of them is 120.

But I feel it's sort of inevitable for me as I lurch between single shot sheet mentality and the requirements of camera testing.  But isn't the great thing about photography that the roll half empty is still the roll half full of potential?

Glad I'm not alone.   ;D

original_ann

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Re: Camera Half Full or Half Empty??
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2012, 01:45:53 AM »
Can't help it.  I load on reflex when I finish a roll as well.  Film label on each magazine and I record all exposures on a mini digital recorder.  Can always figure out where I left off if time lapse between shoots. 

Heather

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Re: Camera Half Full or Half Empty??
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2012, 07:44:19 AM »
I have oodles of cameras filled with film. And I always forget what's in them... I at least remembered I had 400 speed film in my holga. Was a bit surprised when I wound on after one shot the other day, to see that it was actually Kodak 400 NC, not HP5+ which is what I was thinking.
Still pretty sure it's B&W 400 in my finetta camera but who knows now  ??? It's like gremlins sneak in and swap my film around...
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Paul Mitchell

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Re: Camera Half Full or Half Empty??
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2012, 10:26:13 AM »
I always have film in my cameras and always forget what's in them... never mind, I just open the back to remind me what it is... simples! Can't wait to see what's on them when I get them back!
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Diane Peterson

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Re: Camera Half Full or Half Empty??
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2012, 02:10:17 PM »
after reading all these comments I come to the end and yep! I am just like Paul..never remember what is in which camera and usually end up opening them up to find out..sometimes I swap a half exposed roll to another camera just to finish it..I tell myself I am going to be more "proficient" at this picture taking thing but it just doesn't happen..seems the only ones I can really keep tack of are the pinholes with paper..thats pretty easy to get my brain around!!

Jeff Warden

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Re: Camera Half Full or Half Empty??
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2012, 02:17:59 PM »
My cameras are all empty unless I'm shooting, and I always shoot until they're empty again.  It's so, I don't know, empty.

:-)

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Re: Camera Half Full or Half Empty??
« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2012, 05:14:27 PM »
I record all exposures on a mini digital recorder.
I thought this was a good idea and bought the cheapest digital recorder I could find today - I suppose I could record this stuff on my phone but then every time you want to say something you have to dig it out and unlock it and launch the app, which is too much of a pain. It seems to work, but I can't help thinking "I could have got ten rolls of film for that money".

Still, if it means I learn the best exposures etc for cameras and conditions faster, I suppose it's a saving overall.
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Jack Johnson

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Re: Camera Half Full or Half Empty??
« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2012, 05:28:05 PM »
I thought this was a good idea and bought the cheapest digital recorder I could find today - I suppose I could record this stuff on my phone but then every time you want to say something you have to dig it out and unlock it and launch the app, which is too much of a pain. It seems to work, but I can't help thinking "I could have got ten rolls of film for that money".

That is always the pull, isn't it?

But I like your perspective about the time to dig out the phone, unlock, etc. But then, you could do video, right? I have a Flip that doesn't get much mileage, and I could use it as a digital voice recorder but also pan the scene (FW video podcast style). So here's the scene, here's what I'm thinking, here's how I metered, and then compare that to the results.

Hmm. I'm going to have to think about that.

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Re: Camera Half Full or Half Empty??
« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2012, 05:33:15 PM »
I thought this was a good idea and bought the cheapest digital recorder I could find today - I suppose I could record this stuff on my phone but then every time you want to say something you have to dig it out and unlock it and launch the app, which is too much of a pain. It seems to work, but I can't help thinking "I could have got ten rolls of film for that money".

That is always the pull, isn't it?

But I like your perspective about the time to dig out the phone, unlock, etc. But then, you could do video, right? I have a Flip that doesn't get much mileage, and I could use it as a digital voice recorder but also pan the scene (FW video podcast style). So here's the scene, here's what I'm thinking, here's how I metered, and then compare that to the results.

Hmm. I'm going to have to think about that.
I do quite often use the iPhone to take a picture of something that I also waste film on, just to get the GPS data and the exact time attached to it, so that later when I scan the film I can compare the two and add metadata to the scan. Video would be handy too - you could pan around the scene which would give you an idea later on what was there and what you were thinking when you decided to take the pictures that you did. I'm not sure I'd have the patience to use it to record individual f stops and exposures though....

Eta: the audio recorder does have a time stamp which it attaches to each file, which takes care of that aspect.
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Leon

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Re: Camera Half Full or Half Empty??
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2012, 06:08:16 PM »
I tend to use film fresh, so don't leave it in a camera/ holder ... well, 120 and 5x4 that is.  I used to never finish 35mm rolls, hence why I don't shoot 35mm anymore.

As for recording etc, I have a small moleskin notebook for each of my cameras, which I meticulously carry with me on every outing, then fail to write anything in it that is of any use to anyone (not least me).

I also have a ton of exposure records I printed about 5 years ago, with SBR charts and development notes for each film/ exposure. The idea being to attach the completed sheet to the completed film. I don't think I've ever filled a whole one in. 

I'm so filled with the moment when shooting, that I can't be arsed with making notes.

I'm sure I would have a much easier time in the darkroom if I was more disciplined.  I'm going to try to take notes on my trip to Orkney in the summer ... we'll see if I actually manage it.  A voice recorder sounds ok, but I'd only have to listen to it all, which I wouldn't do.

Francois

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Re: Camera Half Full or Half Empty??
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2012, 08:40:37 PM »
I made some really nice sheets for note taking and zone system stuff years ago. I never used them but I know that if I should come to need them, they're in my big binder with other stuff I don't use :)
Francois

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Re: Camera Half Full or Half Empty??
« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2012, 10:26:52 PM »
wow, I feel boring haha :D

usually I have one carry along camera with film from whatever 30 meter roll or batch of 120 I happen to have at the moment.
I can have film in many cameras at once but only because I bring them all for an outing (carrying several toycameras never broke anyones back ;)) but I do rarely ever forget what is in cameras. film and subjects.

now the time where I forget things is when I've taken the roll out of the camera and put it in the freezer for c-41 and bag for bw stuff, where it stays untill I happen to have time to develop or have extra cash to send some c-41 off.
many times a surprise to see what comes out ;D though I try to get better with marking up my films. hehe...
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Re: Camera Half Full or Half Empty??
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2012, 05:00:41 AM »
i like to shoot film up as quickly as possible but somehow i have 7 cameras with half shot rolls of film  :-X

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Re: Camera Half Full or Half Empty??
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2012, 01:41:23 PM »
I do my best not to load a camera unless I'm going to use it. I also have a small Muji notebook that I use to keep track of what film I loaded into which camera on which day, so if I'm ever in doubt I know.

Although the other day I thought one of my cameras was empty and nearly opened it - good thing I didn't! I was a few shots into a roll of Neopan 1600, which is impossible to get nowadays and would have been terrible to waste...

Matt Davis

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Re: Camera Half Full or Half Empty??
« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2012, 03:49:39 PM »
Fortunately I don't seem to have the vast array of cameras that others have, I've only got 2 3 (just acquired a XA2)

Generally I only load them if I going to shoot the roll, but saying that they've all got film in them now, and even I can keep a track of what's got what in it.

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Re: Camera Half Full or Half Empty??
« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2012, 04:18:07 PM »
I'm bad for having about 5 different cameras loaded and half finished.

this tends to lead me to finish films more quickly than I should so I can process the film. I know we are here in the spirit of filmwasting, but as it can get expensive I'm trying to finish rolls before I load another (where the situation allows)...

but the camera is definitely half full, as is the glass  :)


Phil Bebbington

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Re: Camera Half Full or Half Empty??
« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2012, 10:39:09 PM »
I always carry a GPS that I use to mark the place where I take every photo and then am able to refer back to it once developed. It seems to work about 95% of the time!

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Re: Camera Half Full or Half Empty??
« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2012, 10:55:06 PM »
I seem to remember seeing a small GPS receiver that had a hotshoe contact on it. Every time the shutter was fired, it would record a data point without any further assistance. It might be worth investigating if you're interested in recording such data.

Here's the link for it
http://www.jobo.com/web/photoGPS.447.0.html
« Last Edit: March 19, 2012, 02:38:12 PM by Francois »
Francois

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Re: Camera Half Full or Half Empty??
« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2012, 11:36:48 PM »
Thanks, François. It might be a bit of a pain attaching it for ever shot as my cameras are a tad snug in the bag! I just mark the point and then synch up to Google Earth when I get home. Of course, remember the labels  I used is a whole different ball game!

Ed Wenn

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Re: Camera Half Full or Half Empty??
« Reply #28 on: March 18, 2012, 11:50:44 PM »
In the olden days - when I had time to shoot take pictures properly - I would always have several cameras with film in (anything up to 10 of the blighters) and I'd make a pretty good fist of remembering which film was in which camera. However, I too would fall foul of the changeable UK weather and end up wanting to use a certain camera on a really sunny day only to find out that it had 1600ASA film in it (this is before I'd heard of ND filters, BTW), or 25ASA film in a camera that I had grabbed as I left the house to go and shoot a friend's band play a gig. Etc.

These days I have film in only 1 or 2 cameras at the most and it's usually instant film, so the above problems plague me no longer. All I have to come to terms with now is the abject despair I feel at not being able to average more than one photo a week across the year and I'll have got the balance just right.

 ;) :D
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