10 Must-Bring Film Photography Items to Bring on A Weekend Trip

Road trip lovers and film enthusiasts unite. Here's your go-to list for packing everything you need for film photography during travel.

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Here's the scenario: you're going on a weekend trip to a brand new place and planning to document all the coming memories — on film! But before you hit the road, you must ensure you have any necessary analog items packed and ready to go.

Film photography is an art form that requires special equipment, and having the right gear can make all the difference between capturing stunning shots or missing out on once-in-a-lifetime moments.

Do you have enough film rolls to last the trip? Batteries? Did you double check you have your light meter or a bag rugged enough to keep the cargo safe?

While packing your pouch, consider the items below to your checklist to make life a little easier.

Here are our top 10 picks.

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1. Extra Batteries

Without power, you're screwed.

If you're planning to shoot lots of film on a trip, pack batteries like you'd pack underwear: more is more. Many older analog cameras take CR2 or CR123 batteries. LR44 and SR44 are also common. Some cameras only use a battery for the light meter, while others need one to power on and fire a shot. Whichever battery your camera requires, stock up ahead of time and bring more than enough to last through your trip.

2. Fresh Film

Choose Everday-Favorite Stocks!

You can't shoot film without film!

Bring a couple of new rolls of a staple stock like Portra 400, T-Max 400, or whatever your favorite daylight-balanced stock may be. When you shoot your favorite roll, you can trust that the results will be exactly what you expect - no surprises. Then you can focus on the moments you want to capture.

3. Fun Film

Don't be afraid to experiment!

If you've never used an expired film, a vacation is a great time to try. The results can be unpredictable depending on how old it is, but that's part of the fun.

A weekend trip is also perfect for shooting more unconventional 35mm film stocks like Fantome Kino 8, Moonstruck 200, or Wolfman B&W.

4. Film Carrier Cases

Keep your rolls SAFE!

Film carriers, like this RETO film case, make it easier and quicker to swap out rolls on the go. If you're trying to grab a quick shot, having the film unboxed and ready helps ensure you don't miss the moment.

5. Camera Bag

Choose a bag that's right for you.

The type of bag you carry will depend on the size of your camera and how much extra gear you bring. For a weekend trip, most people like to pack light.

A small carrier or pouch will keep compact 35mm cameras protected and your accessories organized.

Choose a camera backpack or tote if you're traveling with a larger medium-format camera.

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6. Camera Straps

Show the camera off, baby.

They say the best camera is the one you have with you, and what better way to ensure you always have a camera handy than to hang it around your neck? Grab a new camera strap that's light and comfortable enough to wear when you're out and about.

7. Light Meter

For indoor use and low-light conditions.

If your camera is fully manual, an external light meter can help make sure you always nail the exposure. The reliability of built-in light meters can fade as camera bodies age.

A pocket-sized unit like the Sekonic L-308X-U Flashmate is small and lightweight enough to throw in a weekend bag.

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L-308X-U Flashmate Light Meter


The pocket-sized Sekonic L-308X-U FLASHMATE is the smallest and lightest digital light meter in the Sekonic line-up. Featuring dedicated modes for photography, cinematography and HD cinematography, pl...

Add for $229

8. Tripod

Keep it steady, stupid.

A tripod is a must, whether taking group photos with your traveling companions or shooting dreamy landscapes in low light.

This Manfrotto aluminum version is compact and flexible so you can take it anywhere.

9. Lens Filters

Small item, big impact.

Neutral Density (ND) filters help control how much light enters the camera. These are essential if you're trying to shoot wider apertures for a more shallow depth of field in bright sunlight. Also, consider adding a diffusion filter to your lens for a softer, cinematic effect.

10. Disposable Camera

Easy, fun, and super simple.

For those moments when you don't want to over-analyze the shot and capture the action, a disposable camera is pocketable and perfect. Don't think; shoot!

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