BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: All About Photography : Photographing Specific Subjects : Animals, Pets, & Wildlife Photography

Photography Question 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
 

Field Trip to the Zoo!!


I'm going to the North Carolina Zoo next weekend. I have a 28-90mm and a 75-300mm lens. Should I lug around both or just take one of them? Also, what kind of films are good for this, vivid colors or natural colors? I want to get an assortment of slide and negative too. I'm probably going to take about 4 rolls of slide and 4 of print. I think I ask the MOST questions on this site, but I hope everyone knows I love 'em and appreciate everyone's support. I tell all of my photographer friends about this site so they can see all of you guys' work. Well, thanks again.


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6/28/2005 5:18:36 PM

 
Kay Beausoleil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/31/2004
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  Justin, if you have to choose, take the 75-300 for its versatility, but I'd bring both in case you want environmental shots or bizarre pictures of animals with big noses. If your equipment's too heavy, you can rent a baby stroller and roll everything around. I find this useful near the end of the day when the %!?& tripod gets too heavy to handle.
In my film days, I used Velvia or Provia 400 almost exclusively because I love punchy colours. Nowadays with PS, you can use just about anything and correct the colour later. However, I wouldn't mix negative and slide film in the same session, because the exposure rules aren't the same, and I confuse easily. But then ... your mileage may vary.


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6/29/2005 6:26:49 AM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  Just keep asking questions, Justin. I've learned a great deal, and I didn't have to ask.
i just got some pictures back that I took with the new kodak ultra color 400.the color is much better than the high definition, or Ffuji superia.but i've only found it in 36 exposure.
hth sam


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6/30/2005 1:29:46 PM

 
Maria Melnyk   Hi, Justin. You do need both lenses, but make it easy and take 2 cameras. If you want to use both slide film and print film, go ahead, have one kind in each camera. This is what I do occasionally - I like to shoot with both color and black & white film, and with both normal and telephoto zoom lenses.
My favorite films for zoos are:
Negative - Kodak Royal Supra, Kodak Ultra Color. High Definition is OK too, but it costs almost the same as the other two. Fuji Superia is just OK.
Slide - Fuji Velvia, Sensia (the amateur version, but very good), and Provia is good for animals too.


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7/5/2005 7:24:00 PM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  I've been reading Kodak's and Fuji's reviews on their professional films. I'm not understanding the difference between Fuji's Velvia and Provia. I get that the 64T is more for architectural and tungsten (commercial stuff) and the Astia is great for portraits. I have 2 rolls of Velvia 50 i'm taking. Which has more saturation and vivid colors, the Velvia or Provia. I'm getting confused and to me they sound exactly the same, except that the Provia's film's grain is finer. What are some differences Maria? Thanks.

V/r

Justin


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7/5/2005 7:30:35 PM

 
Maria Melnyk   64T is the wrong film to use for zoos. It is made to be used in tungsten lighting, which is your usual household, banquet hall, & church interior lighting. Using it outdoors will make all your photographs blue. Velvia is the the most vivid-color slide film with the most saturation. It is the best film for landscape and flower photography. You can certainly use it at the zoo; it will make the animals and their environment more colorful. It is available in 50 and 100 speeds. To confuse you even more, the 100-speed has been improved, and is now available as Velvia 100; the older one is Velvia 100F. I haven't seen the new one yet, as it just came out. There is a definite color difference between the 50 and 100F; the landscape photographers can tell you that and so will I, as I have tried both on the same subject.
Provia does have slightly finer grain, but I don't know yet how it compares to the newer Velvia. Provia's colors are not as vivid as Velvia's, but they are more vivid than Astia film, which is best for portraits. Provia is great for a wider variety of subject matter; you can use it for everything. Your zoo animals will come out looking great with it. Also, it is available in 100 and 400 speeds.
The film you choose really depends on how you want your photos to look. If you want your colors to really pop out, use Velvia, especially for the more colorful animals like tigers, parrots, etc. But for zebras, elephants, and such, perhaps Velvia would add too much artificial color. And if you plan on getting any people in your photos, Provia is the way to go.
Neither film would be the "wrong" choice. If you can, take both kinds.
Hope this all helps. And don't hesitate to write again if you need to.


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7/6/2005 12:21:00 PM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
cammphoto.com
  Given that "next weekend" has come and gone and it's probably too late, I will offer the following advice for future endeavors:

To capture true colors in outdoor lighting with slide film, use Provia 100F.
If there are artificial lights,..such as inside reptile houses and such, you will need filtration to balance the light. A blue 80-A filter will balance floods and incandescent lights (regular light bulbs), but will add 2 stops to your exposure times.

If there are flourescents,...your're screwed. (No, not really.)
There are ways around this difficult light for film users. You can use flash (which is daylight-balanced) to over-power the existing light if your subject is close enough,...(if it's use is allowed and if there are no glass enclosures to reflect your flash back into the lens.)
Or, if you are scanning the results you can correct the olive greenish tinge flourescents yield during post-production.

As far as which lens(s) to lug around,...I solve this simple problem by lugging EVERYTHING on a critical shoot.
I don't like to be in a position where I have to say..."Gee, I wish I had my (whatever) for this?" ;)

Bob


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7/6/2005 12:50:55 PM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  Well when I wrote next weekend, I stated it wrong, I just wrote it like that for simplicities sake, but its really this coming up weekend, Sunday to be exact. Hopefully the weather will hold out, its saying rain until next Friday (10days ahead Friday). So I hope I don't get screwed. Anyways Maria, I wasn't saying I was taking 64T I'll be using that for my apartment to show off to the family. Well I have 2 rolls of Velvia 50 so I might go and get a roll of Provia, probably the 100.

To Maria and Bob, thanks though for the EXTREME helpfulness, you guys answered exactly what I was asking and sometimes that doesn't happen!! Anyways, one more question while we're at it since I found the Fuji gurus. (sp?) Lets say its overcast and the light just isn't as bright as the direct sun (obviously) can I push both films +1 stop, Velvia 50 pushed to 100 and Provia 100 pushed to 200 without a gigantic noticeable difference? Or will it make a huge difference already? Thanks for your help! Always much appreciated.

V/r

Justin


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7/6/2005 1:00:07 PM

 
Maria Melnyk   Sure, you can push both films. But your image quality will suffer. Velvia 100 will give better results than Velvia 50 pushed to 100. Provia 400 is better than Provia 100 pushed to 200.
Pushing is for when there is no other alternative. It sounds like you want the best. So, since there is an alternative, please buy some Velvia 100 or 100F, and some Provia 400 as well as Provia 100. As Bob said, lug EVERYTHING around.
For fluorescents, by the way, I use Tiffen's FLD filter, and it works OK. So will a CC30M Magenta filter. Flash will definitely give you the correct color for your subject, but I take it one step further and put an FLD over the lens, and then a green gel over the flash. This balances both the color of the background (the FLD takes care of the green), and the subject (the green over the flash changes the magenta tint back to neutral). But don't worry about this at the zoo, unless you have some snakes in a room with fluorescent lighting!


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7/6/2005 1:29:14 PM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  yeah I wasn't planning on being indoors too much, i'm into the outdoors, lions and tigers and bears _____________ (fill in the blank) anyways I will do that then, since I have an alternative i'll just buy them all!!! velvia 100(F) and the provia 100 & 400. thanks for helping.

V/r

Justin


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7/6/2005 1:32:13 PM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
cammphoto.com
  It sounds like you're quite fussy about the quality of your results...(as well you should be).
Rest assurred that Provia 100F can be pushed a stop with little or no loss in image quality or in color reproduction,...provided your lens is of good quality and your exposure is right on.
I like to keep my spare camera body set at 200 for low light or for stopping action of really fast things in bright light. (Yea,...I lug that around too.)
It's always better to shoot at the recommended speed though.


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7/6/2005 2:25:03 PM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  Extremely fussy about my results. I'm in this for the long haul so yeah I guess I have to be fussy. actually one of my short term goals, as well with probably everyone else on the site is to take a First Place in one of the contests. Just a short term goal, I'll get it. Film is just so expensive!! and I mean processing, enlarging all that good junk. oh well but thanks again bob for helping.

V/r

Justin


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7/6/2005 2:31:03 PM

 
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