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Technology: Cameras and Film


The Old Fashioned Way

Despite all the Web activity and digital imaging, we still take film cameras because we still give slide shows. In fact, our photographer, Michael Peake, is so old fashioned he still relies on the now discontinued Kodachrome film. It's hard for Mike to believe that Kodak is giving up on this classic film used for generations (it will also make the Paul Simon song less relevant). Newer technologies and the difficult and expensive processing certainly had a lot to do with it. Mike snapped up 100 rolls of Kodachrome 64, since he has used it for all the HACC adventures dating back more than 20 years.

Geoffrey Peake near Minto Lake in central Ungava July 1986. Taken with the now defunct Kodachrone film. (Photo - Michael Peake)

Kodachrome is not a true colour film. It is a three-layer film with a black and white base that gets exposed to different colours to form a dye that is almost permanent. Take a look back through some 50-year-old Kodachromes and if they have been properly stored, they will look as if they were shot yesterday.

We will also try some Provia and Velvia film from Fuji as that is where we the future is. We also take a few rolls of a neat film from Agfa called Scala. This is a black and white slide film with great contrast and saturation. But it can only be processed in a few places, including one in Toronto.

Mike's film camera kit is all Nikon. He's carrying an F5 and 2 F90s, along with a 20-35mm lens, a 35-70mm lens, a 80-200mm lens, a 105mm macro lens, and a 300mm with a 1.6 tele-extender. This all goes into a Pelican case, very water and dustproof. Mike just has to make sure that the Pelican case is snapped shut before he picks it up. It's happened a few times before -- with heart-stopping results.

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