African Safari - should I use 400 or 800 speed film?

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Sep 5th, 2002, 12:53 PM
  #1
KJS
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African Safari - should I use 400 or 800 speed film?

In a few weeks we'll be traveling to Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and S. Africa for safari.
I am not a professional photographer, but have borrowed a friend's Cannon Rebel 2000 with a new Sigma 28-300 lens.
I have read several posts on here regarding film and it seems that the recommendation is for Fuji Superia X-tra.
My question is 400 or 800 speed? I was originally planning on all 400 speed, but Fuji's website makes it sound like their new 800 speed is "the best all around"...

Any feedback here would be greatly appreciated.

Also, safari is 18 days... how many 24 exp. rolls should I plan on taking?

Thanks!
 
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Sep 5th, 2002, 03:29 PM
  #2
evelyntrav
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We used Fuji's 400 speed and were very pleased with the results, even the 8x12 enlargements. There is some concern about xray damage to 800 speed and the screeners will not hand check film. Our trip was for 21 days (14 on the safari) and we used 26 rolls of film and we were very liberal in our use. Also, you will need a UV filter and a lens hood. Since it took me a bit of time to get the lens cover on and off, I often used my glove to prevent dust damage.
 
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Sep 5th, 2002, 04:34 PM
  #3
lynn
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Another vote for 400 film. I used this on a recent trip (and I am also a non-professional photographer), and was also pleased with the results, with conditions that consisted of sunshine, a low morning mist, cloudy days and early evening. Film went through security scanners at least 5x without damage.
 
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Sep 5th, 2002, 04:37 PM
  #4
lynn
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Also, bring more film than you think you will need. I was amazed by how many pictures I ended up taking of the same thing secondary to 1) not realizing how many I was taking in my excitement, and 2) taking a shot, and then the animal posing better, taking a shot, and then the animal posing even better,and so on...
 
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Sep 5th, 2002, 08:12 PM
  #5
Lynda
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Hi:
I'm a semi-professional photographer, and would recommend either 200 or 400 speed film. 200 speed gives less grain when you enlarge the photos, but unless you intend to sell you photos, 400 speed is your best bet. I would also bring along a couple of rolls of 800 for those late afternoon safaris where there is low light. You can purchase lead bags to carry your film in. I just got back from Asia, and all the US airports handchecked my film. Should they refuse to do so for you, they should at least agree to check your 800 speed. Xrays do hurt your film, regardless of what they say - particularly when you have to go through several xrays - the effect is cumulative. If you want film handinspected, it is best to take it out of the containers first to make it easier for the inspectors.
Lynda
 
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Sep 5th, 2002, 08:13 PM
  #6
Lynda
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I might ad that Fuji is an excellent film. Recently I have started using Kodak Supra, which gives excellent results. It's a semi-professional film.
 
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Sep 12th, 2002, 08:29 AM
  #7
Stu
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I would suggest you get the number as low as possible. I own a Rebel 2000 and find it great to use.

I also remommend 200 if possible and take at least twice as much film as you think you'll need...taking one image at a time when you see a fast moving lion or whatever just won't cut it for you and it'll soon mount up.

Two tips however:

1. use the preset function buttons. You can avoid using flash in poor light if you set to landscape option or sport. Landscape will tend towards a slower shutter speed so if you think you might get a blurry image (1/60th or slower) jump to sport.

2. You can get black and white film at 3200 speed which gives a wonderful image in atrocious light conditions...I recommend taking a good few films of that.

Hope that all helps.

Stu
 
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Sep 12th, 2002, 10:07 AM
  #8
Patricia
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I took 400 speed film. 8 x 10 enlargements were not the least bit grainy. X-ray didn't hurt the film and we went through quite a few times. I had it all in my carry-on baggage. X-rays for those is lower level and less damaging than checked luggage. Got great pictures most of the time. Kind of dim a couple of times when the light was really dim, but that didn't happen much and I didn't have to worry about x-ray damage. I took all 24-exposure film because I got a great deal on it (about $2 a roll for Fuji multi-packs). But I wished I'd had 36-exposure for convenience. I got really adept at changing film!! Took 21 rolls in 9 days. My camera was a manual Pentax K-1000.
 
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