In a couple weeks, Priscilla, Anna and I will be taking off for Paris. Anna is joining us for her Spring Break. Kirstin, Derek, and Cora will join us the week after Anna for their Spring Break. Priscilla and I, on the other hand, will be staying in Paris for a couple months total. This is something we’ve wanted to do for a long time, so now that we are officially empty nesters, we figured this was the year to go for it. A big part of living in Paris for me will be the photography. I’ve recently been getting back into some film work, so that has played into my decision of what camera gear to bring to Paris.
I’ve decided to bring three cameras, two of them film, and one my digital Nikon D850. The two film bodies are the Olympus OM-2s and the Nikon F3. I’ve had the Nikon F3 film camera for a few years now, while I just picked up the Olympus a couple weeks ago off eBay. I will bring 35mm prime lenses for all three cameras along with Nikon’s 24-120mm, f/4.0 zoom lens for the D850. A 35mm prime lens is my perfect walk-around travel lens. In fact, that’s the only lens I brought when I walked the 500-mile Camino de Santiago in 2015.
What I plan to do with the film bodies is load one with Kodak Tri-X 400 Black & white film and the other with Kodak Portra 400 color film. I have yet to decide which of the film bodies will get which film. For no particular reason, what I’m leaning toward is shooting color in the Olympus and black and white in the Nikon, but we will see.
I expect I’ll be shooting film on my random walk-abouts in Paris and shooting digital when we’re going someplace planned. I know that Paris has shops that will develop film. What I don’t know is what scanning capabilities they offer. I’d love to be able to show some film work on my blog while we’re still in Paris.
It’s a fair question to ask why I’m bringing two film cameras. Perhaps it’s the way shooting film forces you to slow down. I do love the feel of these beautiful old mostly mechanical SLRs. Without an LCD in the back of the camera, you’re forced to give up chimping cold turkey. Not that I was an habitual chimper, but I think getting back to basics is a good thing for me. I don’t view film as superior to digital by any stretch. But there is something more tactile and basic about shooting a thirty-some year old SLR that just feels good. Perhaps it’s the same feeling someone might have getting behind the wheel of a beautiful old Porsche Roadster.
We will see how my shooting evolves in Paris. Stay tuned.