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Mississippi Flood by Richard Keeling on 500px.com

I’m going to take a little time out to do what I don’t normally do – talk about photographic equipment.

I doing this mostly as a record of what I’m up to at the moment because my camera habits have changed considerably from what they used to be.

The first thing to note is that I almost always have three different camera bodies with me when I go out on a serious photo shoot. One digital, most commonly my Canon 5D Mark III, and two film cameras. Why two film cameras? Because I keep color film in one and black and white film in the other.

The use of color film is a relatively new development even though I’ve shot the occasional roll over the past year or so. It wouldn’t be happening had I not learned how to home develop color, but in this case (unlike black and white) I collect eight rolls before developing to maximize my use of the developing chemicals as they have a short shelf life once constituted. Black and white I usually develop within a few days of finishing the roll.

Back to the film cameras. I have a variety of second hand Canon bodies. All of them can use the same EF standard lenses that my 5D uses. I have the ancient EOS 650 and 620, more modern Elan 7’s, and the best Canon film body before they gave up on film cameras, the EOS 1V. That is a tank of a camera and remains relatively modern, but the sure assumption that no more Canon film cameras will ever be marketed is a bit dispiriting. Modern Speedlights are pretty much crippled on the older Canon bodies.

Nonetheless, without sensor technology to consider, there is no practical difference in the image quality from the oldest film camera to the newest. All that really differs is focus effectiveness, maximum shutter speed and other ergonomic enhancements.

I restrict myself on the whole to a small set of zoom lenses. Wide, 16-35, medium, 24-70 and 24-105, and long, 70-200 plus the 100-400 zoom. I use primes from time to time to mix things up but by far the bulk of my photographs are taken with those lenses.

Add a sturdy tripod, Speedlight flash, lens filters of various shades and colors, and I have a camera bag needing only film and spare memory cards to complete the setup.

I find that’s all I need for the vast majority of my uses. It’ll be interesting to see how – or if – this changes over the upcoming years.