Well, you probably are wondering what the heck this headline is all about. Well, I am ditching my Nikon digital camera equipment on my next Tanzania safari. I am shoving off soon, and I am only taking a single still camera with me, and it happens to be a Fotoman 6x24cm panorama film camera. I can only take 3 photographs per roll of 120 medium format film. And it takes me about 10 seconds to shoot, wind, cock the lens, compose and shoot again. I am looking forward to the challenge, for sure. I am challenging myself to see if I can create images that can truly tell the story of the wide open savannah of the Serengeti, and this may be the ticket.
Fotoman 624 panorama camera with 180mm lens and cone
I purchased the Fotoman 624 about 3 years ago, and I have only used it once. I think it was January of 2008. At that time I only had a 180mm lens on the camera, and that really didn't work out too well. That is equivalent to about 45mm in 35mm camera terms. This time I am going with a huge 300mm lens on the front, and the camera cannot be described as being a small camera. I am making up my hyperfocal chart right now for the new 300mm lens, but check this out for absurd depth of field with the 180mm lens:
F/9 = 263 feet (130 feet to infinity)
F/11 = 209 feet (100 feet to infinity)
F/14 = 166 feet (83 feet to infinity)
F/16 = 148 feet (75 feet to infinity)
F/22 = 105 feet (52 feet to infinity)
F/32 = 74 feet (37 feet to infinity)
To interpret what I just wrote down, in the first line I could focus at 263 feet with the helical mount on the front of the camera, and everything that is 1/2 that number, or 131.5 feet, to infinity is sharp at f/9. I am sure the 300mm lens is going to be just silly when it comes to the depth of field, but it is going to be a fun challenge.
I am also taking my new JVC GM-HY100 high definition video camera. This is actually my primary tool for the safari, as I have been itching to get more and more into video. My goal for the trip is to just capture what a typical day is like, from sunrise to sunset. Hopefully I can piece together enough clips to have a 2 minute 'day in the life of an African photographic safari' kind of video on this blog. We shall see.
I am only taking 20 rolls of Fuji Provia 400F film with me, so I am only good for 60 exposures. I will have some Fuji Neopan 100 as backup, but I doubt I will need it. Wish me luck.