Travelling with RB67

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by EKDobbs, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. EKDobbs

    EKDobbs Member

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    Over the summer I will be going to germany for a few weeks, and I'm bringing my cameras, of course. For just basic everyday walkaround I have a suitable 35mm, but I wanted to bring my RB67 for architecture and cityscape photography. I have a bracket grip and a strap, but is there anything else I should bring? Are extra backs really helpful?
     
  2. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    I would not take anything that adds weight, grips, extra backs, extra lenses. Only take things you are going to be used. Only reason to take an extra back is if you what to have one roll of bw going and one roll of color.

    I personally travel with the rolleicord III and bw film. I love the simple setup.
     
  3. EKDobbs

    EKDobbs Member

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    I wouldn't take the grip except that the camera is pretty difficult to carry without it. Also weighs less than a tripod.
     
  4. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I hope you have strong arms, after a while the RB67 will wear you out.

    Jeff
     
  5. RPippin

    RPippin Subscriber

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    Take it. Take at least one extra back. If anything goes wrong with the back you have, you'll have a spare. Get a small hand cart to carry your bag and lenses. That's right, lenses. A good tripod with a solid quick release and you can sling it over your shoulder. I'm over 60 and when I'm not lugging my RB around I'm shlepping 4X5 gear. Go to a gym and do some upper body work. Above all, don't wuss out, have fun, suffer a little for your art. Besides, those Mamiya lenses are incredible and when you get back, sore muscles aside, you'll have some great negatives you won't get if you leave it behind.
     
  6. RPippin

    RPippin Subscriber

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    Forgot the most important thing, the "cool" factor.
     
  7. CGW

    CGW Member

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    I'd only add making sure your body and lenses are well-cushioned against impact. None of the RB stuff is light, so small drops and crashes can really damage stuff.
     
  8. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Including toes:sick:
     
  9. Chris Nielsen

    Chris Nielsen Member

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    I am able to fit a body, WLF, 2 lenses, 2 backs, light meter and film into a smallish bag. Tripod fits in suitcase. Took this to australia last year, worked great!
     
  10. Alan Klein

    Alan Klein Member

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    You didn't say if you flying or driving. If flying, the extra weight might cost for baggage and extra shlepping can get tiring. Of course once you get there, if you have a car, you can leave it in the trunk and shoot mainly from the car or short trips from it.

    I flew to California from NYC. Rented a car and hit Yosemite, Monterrey, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, etc. Since I was shooting from the road basically, the extra weight wasn't a problem (except when flying with all the other baggage). I also cruised the Alaskan Inland Sea. That was also fairly convenient because you had everything in your cabin to take out on short jaunts or just use on the ship.

    However, I don't think I'd take the whole setup again preferring small cameras now for traveling.

    Wahtever you decide, have a nice trip.
     
  11. EKDobbs

    EKDobbs Member

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    Thanks for all the replies! This camera is relatively new to me, so I have yet to get any lenses other than the 90mm. I'm thinking about a 65, but those are a little pricey. I have a very small bag that will fit just the camera and grip, but my next purchase is probably a second back or a grip that actually fits. (I believe I have the 645 grip - it works, but the focus knob doesn't let you get your fingers all the way around it).

    Since I posted, I've taken a few walks with it and also taken it to the local flea market, using only the grip to carry it. It's really not nearly as bad as I thought. Sure, it's no FM2n, but I feel like the negatives are worth it.

    I'll be flying, but I'm flying light. Probably just cameras, clothing, and maybe a laptop. Glad to know I'm not completely crazy for considering it.
     
  12. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Consider one or more of the small attachable accessory cases for an additional back or film. Minimal cost, size and weight.
    If you don't have an external strap to mount it on sew it to the bag.
    Think case for dixxicam kind o' thing.
    Most of the grips for Mamiya are interchangable, I've only seen one that didn't line up with the shutter release on any of their cameras.
     
  13. fmajor

    fmajor Member

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    I take my Pro-S with me for any travel of significance (i usually live in Europe and travel internationally alot).

    As to lenses, I bring along both my 180mm and 65mm lenses. I wonder if a 90mm would be a good, single lens option, but either way both my lenses come along. I have a 5mm neoprene case i use to swap in/out of.

    I've just bought another back because there have been too many times i wish i had an option for color (i typically load b&w). I'd forget about the grip - i have one and i *never* use it (i do have an excellent strap - a Tamrac N45 brown suede - http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/53517-REG/Tamrac_N4511_N_45_Universal_Quick_Release.html).

    I would absolutely ensure i had a second back (that worked!!!) to bring along. I also bring my CF tripod (Feisol CT3342) w/Manfrotto 496 RC2 ballhead.

    I take this kit up mountains, when traveling and generally anytime i think i'll have time for photography.
     
  14. Shootar401

    Shootar401 Member

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    A second back is, a must if you want to switch from color to b/w mid roll, or even load a higher ASA film for any indoor or shaded areas handheld.

    Even when carrying my RZ with one lens I always carry a 2nd back with a different emulsion.
     
  15. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    You're not crazy for traveling with the RB67 - I've taken my 5x7 and my 5x12 to Argentina and California, respectively. I would find the 90 a bit restrictive for doing architecture/streetscape because it isn't wide enough. Also, having been spoiled by the ability with large format to do in-camera perspective corrections, I do find the RB a little maddening in that regard - there is a perspective control accessory for it that works with most lenses, I believe, but it's a big, heavy, and expensive accessory. And then there's the 75mm T/S lens, which is another ballgame altogether. But this is where the pixels-that-must-not-be-named come in handy if you cannot shoot large format and find perspective distortion frustrating.
     
  16. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I took my RZ hiking in Yosemite last winter with a Lowe Pro backpack. I'm pushing 50 and it was tough. If you're a young buck and in shape, you might be able to do it. Extra backs are always helpful especially if you want to shoot 2 types of film. I learned that a prism is not worth the weight. One thing I haven't tried is getting on and off busses with a loaded pack.
     
  17. Perry Way

    Perry Way Member

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    I would save up and buy the 50 mm lens. It is awesome indeed. Super super sharp and you'll take wonderful architecture shots with it. It's my favorite lens in my RB system.

    I would take two backs, waist level finder, 90mm and 50mm and a grip and B&W filters and I'd bring the hood for the 50mm lens and also use it for the 90mm to cut down on extra bulk in the bag. But also I shoot mine without a grip and because I have the strap that fits the camera body I sometimes toss the grip and just cradle the body with left hand and focus and shoot with right. The camera's so heavy it's really hard to get camera shake with a normal or wide lens even down to 1/30th. I can't remember the last time I put mine on a tripod and I'm not joking. It is too heavy though for any serious long term hand holding though. I thought people were crazy when they told me that. Then one day I went out on a hike, camera on grip, no strap. I had to hold the grip the whole time. My arm almost came off.. well, that's what it felt like. So I'd seriously consider tossing the grip in place of a strap.

    Bear in mind you're asking opinions and those come from experience which is quite a subjective thing.
     
  18. fenderslash

    fenderslash Member

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    Last year I travelled for four weeks with a three-lens Hasselblad kit and a three-lens EOS-1v kit (plus an old '50s stereo camera). Using the Hassy around city streets, etc, was no trouble, so there's no reason to be shy of taking a medium format camera for that purpose. However the weight with everything loaded in the backpack was a killer for extended periods. It was a big strain on the shoulders and neck. It was awesome to have those options on my trip (it was a "photography" holiday after all), but I came back vowing that I'd never carry that much gear on holidays again.
     
  19. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Fender - you should invest in a proper backpack for your kit then. I had a Hassy kit with me when I went to Spain that consisted of 3 backs, two bodies (500c/m, SWC/M), three lenses (four if you count the SWC/M), meter, film, AND an Xpan. It was enough to get me tired at the end of the day, but with a properly aligned backpack, no one part of me was any more sore than another (well, except possibly my feet from all the walking around on medieval streets in places like Toledo and Segovia).
     
  20. revdocjim

    revdocjim Member

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    Last fall I took three trips overseas and each time I carried a MF camera around my neck on the plane. I also had a LowePro Trekker with my digital stuff in it but there just wasn't room for the big MF camera in my bag and I wasn't about to put it in a suitcase so I just hung it around my neck. I didn't take my RB on any of those trips but on the first trip I took the Mamiya Press Super 23. On the next trip I took the Bronica GS-1 (and promptly forgot it under my seat when I got off the plane!) And on the third trip I took the Bronica C. In each case I was glad to have the camera in my hands at all times and not have to worry about it getting banged around. And yes, I did get my GS-1 back! :smile: If I were taking my RB I'm not sure if I would opt for the grip or not. It does make it easier to hold but also adds weight. I think I would skip the prism finder and just go old school with the WLF. My only caution is that you always return the focus to infinity when carrying it around, to protect the bellows.
     
  21. fenderslash

    fenderslash Member

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    This was my loaded backpack on the holiday I was talking about. In addition to what you see here there was film and other odds and ends, plus a water bottle in the side pocket. The backpack is a Loweprow Flipside 400AW. I think what may have contributed was that I wasn't "match fit" with the backpack, and after getting sore with it on day one I never really had a break from it to recover. It really was too much weight to comfortably carry all day every day though. And next time I'll have to make the tough choice between the awesome medium-format quality of the Hasselblad and the awesome versatility of the EOS-1v.

    [​IMG]
     
  22. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Yeah - too much stuff. I think you'd be better off with just one format - it might be just me but I have a hard time switching back and forth between different sizes and styles of camera. When I go out to shoot, I want to be able to think about what I'm shooting and not be worrying about where to adjust this or that function on the camera I happen to have in my hands now.

    I have a LowePro backpack that has not only padded shoulder-straps but also a waist belt that is padded, AND the height of the shoulder straps attachment point is adjustable, so it can be fitted to your size/shape. It was a godsend. I still have it around because I have smaller format gear, but I don't use it much because A: I mostly shoot large format now and those cameras just don't fit well in it, and B: those padded shoulder and waist straps are bulky and tend to take up a lot of space when you're not wearing it, just carrying it.
     
  23. fenderslash

    fenderslash Member

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    You made a really good point about switching back and forth between formats and cameras. At home I almost always only take one format with me on outings, because I can always go back at a later date with another camera. It was a different matter when I was travelling to the other side of the world knowing that I may never be back in those particular locations again. In the heat of the moment I felt like I had to maximise the experience by capturing everything with all the different formats I had on hand. I would have been better off sticking to one format because you're right about it being a pain to constantly switch back and forth. But I know that no matter which one I chose there'd be many occasions when I would be wishing I had the other.
     
  24. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Try this as an exercise sometime - go out and shoot with only one lens. A fixed focal length lens. Sure, you find a lot of shots that you can't take, but you start to learn to shoot with what you have, and you'll come back with more great images than you expected. When I took the Xpan with me to Spain along with the Hassy, I ended up shooting maybe half a roll with it and I've never printed those images. I shot maybe 20 rolls with the Hassy. I've printed many of those, and even exhibited them and sold one or two along the way. You get used to that feeling of wishing you had another system with you, and learn to get past it. For each image you do get that the other system wouldn't have allowed you to make, you lose ten that would have been at least as good because you were taking too much time switching between formats, cameras and lenses. On my last trip to San Francisco, I brought the 5x7 and I think 4 lenses. As an exercise, I took just two of them with me (the 110mm f8 W.A. Dagor and the 240mm f4.5 Heliar) on one of my night shoots. I ended up using the 110 on maybe 2 shots. The rest were with the Heliar. The next night, I took just the Heliar. When I drove to the Purisima Creek redwood grove to shoot, I took the whole compliment, but again I really only used the 240, and MAYBE the 110. And I'm pretty sure I got more keepers that way. I know there were a lot of "street" photos I could have taken if I had a smaller camera, but that wasn't my goal on that trip. You're best served setting a photo goal for your trip, and then planning your equipment around that. Or at least planning a goal for the day's shooting, and just go out with the camera that will best fit that day's goal.