Opinons on a "backup" of your favorite camera

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by brian steinberger, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

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    After a few years I believe I have found the camera that I am most comfortable with. I have a Bronica RF645 that I've been using for years now and I'm sure it's the camera I will go to in most circumstances. I also own other cameras that I enjoy using as well, but this is my favorite.

    My question is, should I plan to purchase another RF645 sometime along the line? I know many photographers have "back up" cameras that they use. I've never had two of the same camera before. I tend to become attached to a camera, almost like a friend that I've shared memories with. I know though that sometime down the road my camera may break or quit working on me, then I would feel the need to get a new one. I was just wondering what everyone's thoughts were about their favorite camera and having a "backup" or do you use two of the same camera simultaneously?
     
  2. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

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    I used to have 2 35mm cameras simply so that I could shoot both colour and B&W at the same time.
    I have a GS1 and only have one body, but a few 6x7 backs so that I can do the same thing.

    Professional photographers carry 2 cameras in case anything should go wrong - not good when you are miles from nowhere and the camera suddenly stops and refuses to budge!

    I only have one film camera now after trading in all my gear to go AF; if I could find another one at a fair price I may buy it, but not right now.

    If you are making a living from photography, you should definitely have a spare. If it's just for your own personal pleasure, weigh it up. Do you "need" it or can you spend the $$ on another piece of kit that you will get more use out of? Of course if it's a real bargain, I'd buy it - you'll use it just not as often as your "favorite".
     
  3. Morry Katz

    Morry Katz Member

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    If you're working professionally, you MUST HAVE an identical back up body. "My camera died" is not an acceptable excuse for a job not completed.

    Morry Katz
    Lethbridge
     
  4. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    There is a strong case for carrying 2 or more bodies in professional practice, but remember the weight penalty, especially if you're involved in the outdoors bushwalking or whatnot. I'm sometimes well 'over-limit' carrying 3 bodies (3 different filmstocks); more commonly now just 2 or simpler still, just my LF kit. I have never experienced any problems with any of my Canons but that's not to say I ever will; electronics are not infallible. I do carry spare batteries but nothing more than that.
     
  5. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    With respect, I think that two of the three replies so far are missing the point of the OP's question. The way I read it, Brian starts from the point of acknowledging that a spare is a good idea but is asking whether that spare should be an identical model to the original camera. To some extent, I would say that an identical spare is good as it enables a seamless change between the two with little margin for errors that might arise if changing to a totally different camera. For a long time I had two Pentax KXs, which suited me very well, (indeed I still have them after 23 years) but I never regarded them as truly equal as one seemed to give more consistent exposures than the other and so I tended to use that one for transparencies and the other for prints. In short, I suppose what I'm saying is that with two "identical" bodies you may well end up slightly disappointed with one!
    Best wishes,
    Steve
     
  6. Trond

    Trond Subscriber

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    I don't what a RF645 cost, but if you can afford it, and you really like this camera, buy another body. Just make sure that you actually use it now and then, and don't put it away on storage. Long term storage is camera killer no. 1.

    Trond
     
  7. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    Always use the minimum of two identical bodies in 35 mm format. For 6x6 I have one motorized and one manual Hasselblad. For 4x5 and 8x10 there is no need for a redundant body because each lens has a shutter.
     
  8. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Now if you had said because the bodies contain nothing that can go wrong ...

    Lenses used on Rolleis, lots of Mamiyas, Hasselblads, Bronicas and the like do also all contain a shutter each.
    So why the back up Hasselblad?
    :wink:


    My reply to the OQ: the best back up for a favourite camera is another one of those indeed.
     
  9. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    My first choice for a backup is an identical camera. For example, I may carry two Nikon F2 bodies that can share the same lenses.

    My second choice would be cameras that share the same film. For example, I may carry a 35mm SLR and a smaller 35mm rangefinder.

    My third choice would be camera with similar lenses. For example, many years ago, I was carrying a 35mm Miranda Sensorex SLR with a normal lens that failed on me but my backup medium format TLR camera with a normal lens allowed me to complete the assignment.

    By the way, there are occasions when I carry a third backup.
     
  10. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

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    Thanks guys. First, I would say, and should have said that I'm not a professional, just enjoying it as a hobby. I was just thinking that maybe I should get another RF645 body. I would like to have mine now last forever, but we know that won't happen, but who knows, it might last another 15 years. Then what if I can't find any RF645 bodies? Or the price on MF equipment has gone up?

    This is what I was scared of. I wasn't sure though. Storing another RF645 safely away would work out great, then when I needed it years down the road I could bust it out. Reasons why long term storage don't work?

    I guess I'll weigh the options, and if I come across a body at a good price, grab it, then use it occasionally. I agree with Steve though, you'll always have one camera that you may always grab over the other.
     
  11. Trond

    Trond Subscriber

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    Well, at least it is so with older mechanical cameras, they need to be exercised now and then, or else the shutter mechanism will become stiff and the speeds off.

    Perhaps new electronic cameras can take storage better?

    Trond
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    If you have a backup, and use it as much as your original, you are cutting in half both the wear on the original and the chance it will be damaged due to accident or mishap.

    You also add the potential that having two bodies gives you (ability to shoot two different films at the same time, ability to have one camera handheld and another on a tripod at the same time, ability to go out shooting with a significant other without having to share camera bodies :smile:).

    Right now, I have one of my 35mm bodies dedicated to Kodachrome. It is much more practical than having to either waste film, or load and unload a roll several times, if I want to shoot something else.

    Matt
     
  13. EdColorado

    EdColorado Member

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    I would think if you got another RF645 you could just alternate using them. That way they should both last twice as long as either would if it was the only one you had. Also, both bodies get used so neither one rots on the shelf. If you have two identical bodies I wouldn't think one or the other would be different. I have two T90s I used to work with, having identical cameras so I could switch seamlessly, and to tell you the truth I really cant tell them apart. They look the same, sound the same, feel the same, and create identical images. When I run a roll through one I try to grab the other the next time I go out. The only time I picked one over the other was when I had a data/control back on one for certain shoots, but now its unneeded and lives in a bag.
    I've been buying and selling RB67 gear lately, working on building up a system. I have my gear all together but have a spare Pro body which I may or may not sell. I like having a backup but this camera isn't for work so I really don't know...
     
  14. Pumal

    Pumal Member

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    I have an RB6x7. Two bodies, 3 backs: 1 for B&W, 1 for Color Negative and 1 for Color Slides
     
  15. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Yes, absolutely. ASAP. I have backup bodies for three of my favourites... mamiya 6, 645 afd and rb67.
     
  16. EdColorado

    EdColorado Member

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    OK guys, fine..I'll keep the second body! :smile: I like having backups and besides, I'm a bit of a hardware junkie....
     
  17. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Good way to satiate G.A.S. I had two M645J's for the purpose of no interchangable backs and I have two XG-M's. Why, because I can.
     
  18. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    I think a good one is already hard to find, if you want it , you should get it...EC
     
  19. Pumal

    Pumal Member

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    My 'motto' is: if you have the money and you want it; buy it!