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Thread: Swapping film/digital back in the field

  1. #1
    R Shaffer
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    Swapping film/digital back in the field

    I wanted to get some opinions on swapping between my digital and film backs in the field. I'm usually not very close to my car when shooting, so that would not typically be an option.

    So should I not worry about it?

    Carry one of those really big ziplock bags and use it like I would my film changing bag?

    Appreciate your feedback

    Rob

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Swapping film/digital back in the field

    Ziplocks are a bad idea for digital -- in fact plastic of any kind is a bad idea for digital because of static and outgassing. Best is probably form-fitted and sealed anodized aluminum or stainless steel.

    The film back is less critical since you get a "fresh" sensor with each frame. I always relied on the darkslide for protection and just blew it off before mounting.

    Personally, If I were shooting film and digital together in the field, I'd get a second body and dedicate one to each. Then you have back-up if one goes down...
    Jack
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    Re: Swapping film/digital back in the field

    Interesting, Jack. Would you not be comfortable (in the case of a Phase One back) with simply removing the digital back, placing the heavy-duty sensor plate on, and placing it in a fitted compartment in a photo backpack? Such as one does with a lens?

    In using a tech camera, those without a sliding-back plate, one does essentially this.

    When I'm away from my car, I often carry that sensor cover (heavy as it is) with me, incase I need to trouble shoot my system in the field. I don't carry a film back usually (though it's typically in the car), but I would have done as described here if carrying both. Curious to learn the sins of my ways.

  4. #4
    R Shaffer
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    Re: Swapping film/digital back in the field

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Ziplocks are a bad idea for digital -- in fact plastic of any kind is a bad idea for digital because of static and outgassing. Best is probably form-fitted and sealed anodized aluminum or stainless steel.

    The film back is less critical since you get a "fresh" sensor with each frame. I always relied on the darkslide for protection and just blew it off before mounting.

    Personally, If I were shooting film and digital together in the field, I'd get a second body and dedicate one to each. Then you have back-up if one goes down...
    Just to clarify, I would not be storing the either back in a ziplok. The digital back came with a nice fitted soft case. So I would use that for both.

    I was not to too concerned with film back as the darkslide seemed to provide sufficient protection. Although, I usually didn't bother to dust off the back, which may explain some of my dust-on-negs issues with my old 645pro.

    I was just referring to the moment of changing. I hadn't thought about the static in the plastic and that being a dust magnet. I could make a bag of sufficient size for my hands, camera & backs to make the swap in. Sil-nylon is my preferred material, but that may be no better than plastic.

    Two bodies could be an option for hiking. When backpacking, other than weekend trips, my stripped down 14lbs of photo gear nearly equals the weight of all my other gear combined. On weekenders, it's just silly and I am thoroughly ridiculed by my buddies, so why not another body.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Swapping film/digital back in the field

    Quote Originally Posted by Dale Allyn View Post
    Interesting, Jack. Would you not be comfortable (in the case of a Phase One back) with simply removing the digital back, placing the heavy-duty sensor plate on, and placing it in a fitted compartment in a photo backpack?
    Absolutely! My Phase back is aways stored either on the body with lens or cap in place, or with the factory Phase protection plate in a lens slot in my bag. And yes, that plate is with me at all times too...
    Jack
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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Swapping film/digital back in the field

    Quote Originally Posted by R Shaffer View Post

    I was just referring to the moment of changing.
    Ah. Anytime you expose your sensor surface in the field, you are potentially exposing it to dust -- simply no way around that. Best you can do is move quick and keep a rocket blower in your bag to blow off excess dusts as they accumulate...
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    Re: Swapping film/digital back in the field

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Absolutely! My Phase back is aways stored either on the body with lens or cap in place, or with the factory Phase protection plate in a lens slot in my bag. And yes, that plate is with me at all times too...
    That makes more sense. Thanks. I'm quite comfortable with it as you've described as well. Thanks for clarifying.

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