Do you ever forget what film is loaded in your camera?
If your camera collection is like mine, you may have different cameras loaded with different films sitting on the shelves for weeks or months. Not all cameras come with the film ISO indicator, or with a window showing the film information printed on the canister, or even with the pocket for the film box’s tab. So the usual questions are: what film is loaded in that camera? What’s its ISO? Which one should I take to the next photo adventure? I have this problem all the times, also because I have very similar cameras and I often mistake one for another whent thay all have different film inside. So I came up with this idea…
This set of hot shoe covers let you specify what film speed your loaded film is, and with the interchangeable color inserts you can tell what type of film you loaded, not just its speed. Also, the cover serves as a protection for the hot shoe’s contacts.
The set comprises simple covers with no engraving, or other that have different film speeds engraved and a slot accomodating a color tab. You also can have a bubble level to help keep your camera straight when mounted on the tripod.
Speed and color
There are different ISO speed choices: 25, 50, 80, 100, 160, 200, 320, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 ISO. By choosing the ISO and the color tab, you can identify the film type you have in the camera. For example you can identify the film brand by the color: yellow for Kodak, green for Fujifilm or Ilford HP5Plus, white for general black&white film, silver for T-Max / Tri-X… Red can identify Agfa films or CineStill, orange can be used for redscale films, and azure for Ilford FP4Plus or whatever you like.
You can also match the speed and color creatively, or just to meet some special needs. The possibilities are many:
- You’re shooting long expired film: a rule of thumb suggest that film expired since 10 years will loose half of its speed.
- You’re pushing/pulling exposure: let’s say you have a 400 ISO B&W film that you want to push to 1600 or 3200. Set that ISO on the Hot Tag!
- You’re trying redscale: when you flip a film to redscale you have to shoot it at -1 stop, so you can correct the ISO accordingly.
- Varying lighting situations: Imagine that you already have a roll loaded in your camera, and you have to shoot part of the roll at a different ISO because the lighting conditions are different (snow, mountains, sunset, woods …). With the Hot Tag memo you can temporarily select a different ISO and shoot accordingly.
- Your camera has no EV correction knob: If your camera does not have the selector to change the EV to over or under expose, insert the appropriate Hot Tag and change the ISO sensitivity selector to the required stops. In this way Hot Tag will remind you which ISO corresponds to the roll, and you can use the ISO selector of the camera to over-underexpose the single photos without forgetting which ISO the film itself has.
- You’re bulk-rolling, and you’re recycling pre-used commercial canisters.. In these cases you could have mixed ISO DX-marked rolls that don’t match the film’s speed. Or you may use plastic reusable canisters with no markings at all. So you can use the Hot Tag to keep track of what film is really in the canister without losin your mind over it.
Just put the proper cover on the camera and never forget what film is in you camera, even if you leave it on the shelf for months. When your film is over, remeber to remove the Hot Tag so you
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I’ll be happy to read your comments and suggestions. If you need some details feel free to ask!