Traveling - which camera?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by floradeborah, Oct 7, 2009.

  1. floradeborah

    floradeborah Member

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    Hello everyone!

    I have tried to search for this topic on the forum but couldn't find much info about :smile: I hope this question hasn't been asked often.

    What kind of camera equipment would you recommend for traveling (backpacking) ?


    I recently finished my studies in photography and I'm going to be in Japan for nearly 2 months and will travel as "photographer" for the first time (exciting!).

    I will be shooting a little bit of fashion there so I'll have to bring my DSLR with 24-70 lens which will do most of the job there (and flash probably, even if I wish I didn't had to carry it..) and tripod.

    I have room for a second camera for more fun ( FILM! :D ) (will bring an Holga too I think!)

    the option are either a small pentax k100 with a wide angle lens that would let me photograph life there without having the big black camera out and being seen as "the photographer"

    an old hasselblad camera with a 80mm lens

    or a wood field camera very light with a wide angle as well.

    I'm thinking more about the pentax but having bigger resolution would be nice as well.

    Anyway I'm usually not a travel photographer, so I would love to hear advices if you have any :-D

    thank you very much!

    Flora
     
  2. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    What duration will you be packing for? Daytrip, overnight, weeklong, months afoot? This all make a huge difference. Daytrip would be whatever you feel like humping around. Weeks afoot would require more room for the house on your back and thus less room available for your gear. What are your aims?
     
  3. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    Mamiya 7. Compact and lightweight. Can share film with your Holga. Very high image quality.
     
  4. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I would go with your K100 because it is smaller and lighter.

    Jeff
     
  5. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Mamiya 6/6mf/7/7ii.
     
  6. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    Flora -- Japan is the land of photographers (and tourists) -- your "big black camera" will not turn heads in the slightest. I was there for two months this summer and got more attention from my film cameras than I ever have before (in a good way). I think quite a few people are still wistful for the days when they still shot film. That being said, outside of Tokyo or Osaka, it is very difficult to find film larger than 35mm -- I was rationing my roll film at the end there. What do you hope to shoot with the field camera? There are a lot of places where you will NOT be able to set up a tripod, although that depends on where and what you want to shoot.

    I brought 5 cameras with me this summer -- a Bronica SQA with 3 lenses, a Nikon FE (for infrared), a Nikon F100 (for colour slide) + three lenses to go with both Nikons, a Holga, and a pinhole camera. Of the three, I used the Bronica SQA with 80mm the most (probably 80% of all shots) -- I wanted the bigger the negative, and the 80mm was fine in many cases (especially for street shots). So I would probably recommend the Hassie, although going a little wider wouldn't hurt, if you have the option of bringing a second lens. That being said, I had a car all summer, so I didn't have to carry all that stuff around with me all the time. If you truly are backpacking, then the Pentax would probably be a better choice. In the end though, it really does depend on what you want to get out of your photography there. And only you can answer that question.
     
  7. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Decide what kind of photos you want to take - that will determine the kind of camera you should bring. If you are planning to do a lot of "street" type photos of people in their daily activities, then the Pentax would probably be the best. If your interest lies in architecture and landscape, then the 4x5 field camera. If you have no idea what you want to shoot, bring the Hasselblad.

    Before you decide what camera you want to bring, do some research on the places you will be staying, pull them up on google maps and see if folks have posted shots of the various highlights of the area, so you can get a feel for the terrain, the distances involved, and the overall atmosphere of the place. Dig through travel guides to see if there will be events happening there that you would want to attend with a camera. Will they be day or night events? Factor all these things together to determine what's the best camera for YOUR PURPOSES.
     
  8. floradeborah

    floradeborah Member

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    thank you everyone for your quick answers.

    I really wish I had a Mamiya 7, it would be a great camera for this trip.

    anyway since I can't get one at the moment I'll have to do with the stuff I have now :D

    I'm going to be backpacking, but I'll bring just a sleeping bag with me, no tent. I'm going to stay with a few families there and then will go stay at monastery and work in a biological farm for a few days as well. but anyway I'm trying to travel light as I will go around a lot.

    My main reason for going there is to do those fashion shoots I'm going to do for work, and then to photograph life there. Like the monks I'm going to stay with or the farmers and then the nature as well. I was thinking about the LF camera because it's the only camera I have with a real wide angle lens. but bringing film, slides and everything may be complicated maybe.

    I'm confused. maybe the pentax is actually the best idea. the only thing that bother me a little is to have two cameras that are actually the same format (even if one of the two is digital), but they do shoot differently right? I also have a nikon film body that take not much space, mmh too many choices..

    I only have the 80mm lens on the hassy and will need to meter the light with the light meter, but still the bigger negative is always so appealing.

    Anyway I really need to make a choice, but it's difficult..
     
  9. floradeborah

    floradeborah Member

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    that's a very good idea thank you TheFlyingCamera!
     
  10. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Blasphemous perhaps (sorry!), but why not make do with that single camera you need to take anyway?
     
  11. floradeborah

    floradeborah Member

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    Hello Q.G.! I could leave with just the nikon, but it's digital and I'd like to shot a little bit of film as well. I'm planning to stay stay with the camera in my hans for the next 2 months, so I'd like to be able to get a bit of a change sometimes :smile:

    p.s. I hope I understood the question correctly, if not I'm sorry :smile:
     
  12. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    You did. :wink:

    Than why not just take that film consuming Nikon body i think you said you have along as well?

    Edit:
    Going back to page 1, i see you haven't mentioned a film eating Nikon.
    Too bad. Would have been the answer.


    I plan trips on a what-can-i-carry basis.
    See what bag it needs to fit into, and consider how much it all weighs (airline restrictions. And all-day-carrying-on-your-shoulder restrictions). Then decide how little (it's always less than you would ideally want to) i can take without feeling too restricted.
    Last trip i took one body with four lenses. Only used three. (You always want more than you need :wink:). Almost ran out of (impossible to get locally) film though. So i took a note for my next trip: less equipment, more film. :wink:

    How about that? Less equipment? - Minimize!
    Bring more film instead.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2009
  13. floradeborah

    floradeborah Member

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    thanks again :D good idea about 'more films'! I have a nikon film body and I could actually take it with the dslr and the 24-70, but the nikon body feels very similar do the dslr and I wanted something that feels different and would feel more personal and artsy :smile: (I got a D90 and a F80..so they feel very similar :wink: )

    Still I'm thinking very hard...hope to find the right combination soon!!
     
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  15. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Can you put a roll film holder on your field camera?
    If so, i think it would be my choice for a different camera.
     
  16. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    I wouldn't bother with the "bring more film" approach - the stuff is quite available in Japan. Just make sure you have enough room to bring it all home again!
     
  17. Leighgion

    Leighgion Member

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    My first suggestion is to go with the N80 and another small lens or two if you have them. That combo won't get you a second camera with a really different feel, but this is also the strength of the combination; you'll have a pair of bodies that not only shares lenses and require no virtually no change in how you handle them while still netting you images with distinctly different looks.

    That said, I understand the desire to have a medium format cam along. Unfortunately, other than I suppose your Holga, there's nothing in your collection that's very travel-friendly. We've all got different standards in this area, but I for one would not haul a medium format SLR on a trans-oceanic trip unless it was to be my primary camera. Specifically bought myself a Fuji GA645 in order to have a medium format rig that was lighter on its feet.
     
  18. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    It all adds up to quite a weighty payload reading through your list!

    The Nikon digi with its zoom lens or the film-based Pentax and tripod will be quite sufficient as a combo for day to day travel — forget the flash.
    The HOLGA, being simple, light and reasonably compact (and film based, oh joy...) could hitch a ride along with you, but no — not a view camera or a Hassy, as much as you would like their company, the weight penalty for either or both is horrendous. You do have to compromise when backpacking, rather than succumb to the temptation of packing everything you think you may need, but won't (you'll be collecting stuff along the way, remember?). My camera gear (EOS1N + 17-40mm f4L +POL-C+SKY1B + Manfrotto CF tripod + Canon G9 digi) is 5.8kg all up—as much as I can comfortably carry, access and importantly, service all real, foreseeable eventualities when bushwalking.

    Remember the more camera gear you have visible or carrying around, the more a potential target you present to potential thieves. KISS. (Keep it supremely simple).
     
  19. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Wirelessly posted (BBBold: BlackBerry9000/4.6.0.297 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102 UP.Link/6.3.0.0.0)

    The tqo foremost questions that creep to mind are 1)how much weight are you willing to hump for two months and 2) how much room do you have? It's beena while since I was in 'hike the AT' shape but I used to plan out every square inch. These are important things to consider.
     
  20. floradeborah

    floradeborah Member

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    Thank you so much guys. you are all being very helpful.

    I thought about it and decided to leave the MF and LF home! :wink:

    so the idea is to take the D90 with the 24-70 and either the F80 with a 50mm on it or the pentax with the 28mm and 50mm :smile:

    the only thing that still bother me is the flash, as 'Poisson Du Jour' was saying I may leave it at home, even if I may need it for some fashion related stuff if the weather is not nice. still thinking.

    anyway I'm going to try to fit everything in the bag and see how it fit :wink:
     
  21. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    Honestly, the MF isn't a hassle to travel with...I've done so for weeks in China and with a bunch of other systems as well.

    All goes to what you really want to do, which only you can answer. But mooseontheloose said it well -- I used MF a lot and the negs are so toasty nice.
     
  22. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    I'm an old die hard. Take the Hassy, leave the rest behind enjoy the journey.
     
  23. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    What he said.

    Steve
     
  24. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    No, no.
    The two Nikons.
    The one, because you have to, the second because it makes sense.
    More versatile than one camera with just one lens.
     
  25. zenrhino

    zenrhino Member

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    Im facing a nearly identical situation. Im going to do a project on changes in my hometown. 2 or 3 weeks at least, lots of stomping around with the Domke.

    I ended up choosing a Hassy 500c/m with an 80mm and Spotmatic with a Mamiya/Sekor f2.8 28mm, SMC Tak f1.4 50mm and Viv series 1 f2.8 135mm.

    My reasoning was along these lines: My Canonet and Yashica GTN both take different batteries I can't get everywhere and are a bear to get fixed. The Spotty can be overnighted to Pittsburgh Camera Service. My Nikon F5 and 3 lenses would be really heavy (even with lithium batteries and the plastic Nikkors). My Bronica GS-1 is just a freaking beast, especially with the 50mm lens in the bag.

    Also a big consideration was that I recently (less than a year) had the Spotmatic CLA'd and had the meter calibrated and got a split-image GG, CLA'd back and metered 45deg prism for the Hassy.

    Personally, Im so tired of process that I don't give a rats ass about it anymore. Im entirely content to shoot my entire project on Ektar or 400BN or Neopan or whatever as long as I don't have to think about it. If I have to think about much more than subject and exposure I don't want to fuss with it and the Spotty and Hassy are about as simple as any camera can be (this side of a Brownie).

    I will keep a Strobist kit (double fold umbrella, Viv 285HV, pair of Wizards) in the car but I'm betting they stay there.

    The only bit of new gear I'm allowing myself on this are a carbon-fiber tripod and a good ballhead. My current tripod weighs about 7 lbs (seriously, it's a freakin beast). If it can't be done with mechanical cameras I already own, good glass, film and my feet, it ain't getting done.
     
  26. coriana6jp

    coriana6jp Member

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    As a long term resident of Japan, bring the MF camera. MF film is easy to find here and you will appreciate the extra negative size when you get back.

    Japan is a beautiful country............enjoy your trip.

    Gary