Exploring Film Photography in Bangkok with Contax G1
I had quite a lot of fun doing film photography in Bangkok recently. But I was curious about the popular topic of having camera films go through airport CT scan that most film photographers discussed. I found something unusual with the 35mm motion picture film developed in the film lab in Kuala Lumpur after the trip to Bangkok. My motion picture films are new rolls, and they went through the CT scanner at least 2-4 times during departure to Bangkok and arrival in Kuala Lumpur, if I’m not mistaken.
This airport CT scan or X-Ray scanner issue lingered in my mind when all my film stocks went through the airport CT scanner. “Oh man, hopefully, all the films will be okay, finger crossed“, I told myself. I brought at least six rolls of the film, including two motion picture films, 1 Fujicolor Superia X-Tra 400, 1 Kodak Gold 200, 1 Fujicolor C200 & a roll of Fomapan 400 (which I’ve used for another project). After looking at the photos, there is something different with motion picture films; the Fujicolor Superia X-Tra 400 looks okay.
Motion Picture Film Looks Grainier, Affected by Airport X-Ray Scanner?
Just wondering, is this what will happen to the 35mm film and image quality degradation when it goes through the airport X-Ray scanner? Looks grainier? Or is there are not enough light for the scene? Check out some of the developed and scanned photos above from the same roll. It does look grainier than any of my previous film photography projects shot with the Kodak Vision3 500T. I have no idea why. I took most photos in darker area at f2-f4, bright daylight with f8 to f11 and frequently monitored my shutter speed.
After all, I still love these shots. It looks kind of moody to me. This only happened to the motion picture films, but not affecting the Fujicolor Superia X-Tra 400. I only started using my film camera on the second day in Bangkok. Before heading for the boat tour, I went for a sightseeing and photo walk around the city, documenting the daily life in Bangkok. I love how friendly the people are. They don’t complain or make us uneasy. In return, I try not to annoy them with the camera as well, trying to shoot discretely as possible.
Fujicolor Superia X-Tra 400
This is also my first roll of the Fujicolor Superia X-Tra 400 35mm film after exploring film photography for about one and a half years. I like the vibe and tone of the Superia X-Tra 400 film. I used most of the film roll shooting at Ayutthaya Historical Park. The weather is extremely hot. It was a big mistake to take the film camera out and shoot it at noon! But I am happy to bring back some memories with me.
The photos of the Fujicolor Superia X-Tra 400 look sharp compared to the motion picture film above. Will you be able to see the difference? The Superia X-Tra 400 film is shot at ISO 500 and developed at film speed. It was my mistake again for not adjusting it back to ISO 400 after shooting with the motion picture film.
Buy & Develop 35mm Films in Bangkok
Well, my idea was to buy 35mm film stocks in Bangkok after landing in the city and develop them at the film lab there. I guess this is the safest way to shoot film photography in Bangkok. I’m sure a few film labs in Bangkok sell film stocks. You can buy motion picture films there too if you’re shooting with motion picture films if they have the film stocks. Otherwise, to save time, I will bring my 35mm films.
Night Photography Using Films in Bangkok
Shooting films handheld at night is one of the most challenging things for me, in my opinion. Each time I get the downloaded scanned photos from the film lab, I will get anxious in the meantime excited about how the images will turn out. The night photography photo walk in Bangkok was excellent. We shot some night scenes at the Asiatique The Waterfront in Bangkok.
Of 38 photos, only one or two are out of focus, which is excellent! The Darkroom8 Malaysia film lab develops and scans all three film rolls.
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