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  1. #1
    olleorama's Avatar
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    What gear for hiking?

    Going hiking soon, in mountains and marsh lands. In the far north of sweden. Probably fantastic autumn colours. I'm thinking of what to bring. I wanna do some landscape photo I think, and may be some close-up still lifes. So, this is the cameras and lenses I have at my disposal:

    *Mamiya RB67 (only one back unfortunately and the 90 mm C)
    *Nikon FM (50/1.8, 28-80/3.5-4.5,28/2.5)
    *Chinon CX (no batteries, and no 1.35 available before leaving. 135/2.8, 28-80/a lot + macro, 55/1.7 and a few other slow lenses)
    *Rollei 35 T (40/3.5 scale focus)
    *Yashica lynx 14E (45/1.4 range finder)
    *Nikon F80 (N80 in the us) (same lenses as the FM plus a G 70-300/4.5-5.6)
    *Minolta something point-and-shoot.

    If I go for any of the SLRs I'll take a tripod. The mamiya is in the lead right now, although I'm seriously thinking of going against the grain here and just taking the rollei.. Is the pictures worth the extra weight of the mamiya and the tripod? Hmm, although I usually say that the mamiya rb isn't really heavy, I suspect that i might feel a bit heavier together with a tent, sleeping bag and so on. It would be fun just taking a point and shoot and just snap away. Hmm, maybe a 35 mm slr would be the rational choice here, but isn't it a bit boring? The chinon I got for free this saturday, is rather unproven, and I don't have any battery for it, I won't have any time for testing how to compensate for the extra voltage induced by the 1.5 volt battery available rather than the 1.35 mercury that it is designed for. Although I seriously like the zoom lens with macro settings. Since I will take my benbo tripod I will have good opportunities to do some macro shooting. This could of course also be done with the mamiya. Which probably weighs the same as the chinon and the zoom lens. The FM is lighter, but lacks macro.

    And I haven't really given films any serious thinking yet. In 35 mm I currently only have fomapan 400. In 120 I have shanghai GP3 100 and reala expired '96 (!). I think I will buy some tomorrow. In colour I prefer print film rather than slides, as I like physical prints best. What colour negative film has the most velviaesque qualities? What B/W film would you take? Gave some old expired Pan F some thought, should be alright, shouldn't it?

    Well as you see, I'm having some mild anxiety of what to bring. Suggestions on camera/lens combinations and film are very welcome.

  2. #2
    Leighgion's Avatar
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    If it were me, I wouldn't consider anything bigger and heavier than one of your Nikons.

    Way I see it, if the purpose of your trip isn't specifically to take pictures, then photography is an incidental activity and it shouldn't unduly be weighing you down with extra mass that you're going to feel every step you take.

    Just the Rollei 35T and nothing else is something I'd seriously consider if I was selecting from your kit. More likely though, I'd take the FM, 50mm 1.8, 28mm 2.5 and the Rollei. I'd prefer a longer prime for the Nikon, but you don't own one. The FM brings reasonably compact flexibility to the game while the Rollei is both a lightweight backup and much faster to deploy in certain circumstances. SLR or not, I'd leave the tripod at home unless it was a very light carbon fiber unit.

    These suggestions are naturally based on my own preferences and biases, but you asked.

    I recommend you look for Kodak Ektar for a fine-grained, saturated negative film. B&W gets too subjective to really make many suggestions.

  3. #3
    olleorama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leighgion View Post
    If it were me, I wouldn't consider anything bigger and heavier than one of your Nikons.

    Way I see it, if the purpose of your trip isn't specifically to take pictures, then photography is an incidental activity and it shouldn't unduly be weighing you down with extra mass that you're going to feel every step you take.

    Just the Rollei 35T and nothing else is something I'd seriously consider if I was selecting from your kit. More likely though, I'd take the FM, 50mm 1.8, 28mm 2.5 and the Rollei. I'd prefer a longer prime for the Nikon, but you don't own one. The FM brings reasonably compact flexibility to the game while the Rollei is both a lightweight backup and much faster to deploy in certain circumstances. SLR or not, I'd leave the tripod at home unless it was a very light carbon fiber unit.

    These suggestions are naturally based on my own preferences and biases, but you asked.

    I recommend you look for Kodak Ektar for a fine-grained, saturated negative film. B&W gets too subjective to really make many suggestions.
    I actually have another prime in F mount too, when I think about it. A 135 I think.

    Ektar will be put on the film list. I'm doing this with my better half so it will probably be pretty slow, and there will probably be a lot of opportunities for shooting. Like dusk an dawn by the tent.

  4. #4
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Mamiya 6/6mf/7/7ii.
    Fuji GW/GSW 670 or 690.
    Fuji GA 645zi.

    Rangefinders... they are your best hiking buddies

    There is no colour neg film with velviaesque qualities. Use velvia if you want velviaesque qualities Ektar is not anywhere near velvia in colour rendition, in my experience... not even close. Maybe try reala 100 rated a third stop slower if it must be c41?

    B&W film for hiking... I think I'd go with fp4+/hp5+. In my case, the slower films don't seem to find as much use when I am out hiking. Especially if you are going to shoot medium format, you may as well tote something with a bit more speed than pan f, in my opinion. Unless you plan to schlepp a tripod too.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  5. #5
    Dave Pritchard's Avatar
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    If you really want landscapes in color, I'd take the Rollei. It is very bulky, but not heavy. The large negatives have the potential to get good landscapes hand-held with no tripod.

    The other way I'd go is to take the lightest, smallest camera; the Yashica RF or the Minolta point-n-shoot. Either way, you get to take pictures. No tripod to regret. Any decent tripod is going to be way too heavy for any backpacking trip which is not specifically dedicated for getting photos.

    An old hiker's trick is to use a hiking pole as a monopole. There are adapters, I think.

  6. #6

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    You must be a better man than I am to even consider the RB.

    I'm planning a short backpacking trip in northern Minnesota, US. Hilly, but not mountainous. Just me and the dog - though she promised to carry her own food.

    I'm struggling to get my pack weight down to a reasonable weight. I can't decide whether to take a 6x9 folder, my Rollei 35S, and/or a small P&S with 28-70 zoom. Will probably take the 6x9 and Rollei; along with a Gossen Pilot. Long lenses will be largely useless here. In fact, my concern with the Rollei and 6x9 combination is that I won't have anything wider than 40mm.

    Not sure if I'll take color print or slide film. Will take some b/w also.

  7. #7
    Leighgion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Pritchard View Post
    If you really want landscapes in color, I'd take the Rollei. It is very bulky, but not heavy. The large negatives have the potential to get good landscapes hand-held with no tripod.

    The other way I'd go is to take the lightest, smallest camera...
    Uh, Dave, the OP owns a Rollei 35T, not a Rollei TLR. That Rollei probably is the smallest, lightest camera he's got.

  8. #8
    Dave Pritchard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leighgion View Post
    Uh, Dave, the OP owns a Rollei 35T, not a Rollei TLR. That Rollei probably is the smallest, lightest camera he's got.
    Oops! I was thinking of a 3.5 TLR. Nevermind.

  9. #9

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    I'm going to be doing an overnight (or two nights) in the Victorian Alps with a friend of mine from APUG and I'll be taking my 8x10 Tachihara, Manfrotto 075 tripod with 3 way head, 10 film holders, light meter, filters, plus a sleeping bag, food and a small tent. All up about 35-40 kg. Nowe who's mad?
    Mike

  10. #10

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    Less is more. Take this from a guy who drags way too much gear to wilderness.

    How long trip will this be? For overnight trips it is possible to drag almost anything. For three week trip I would try to go as light as possible. If you backpack weighs too much you will be too tired to take photographs.

    When I was young and stupid (not young anymore) I carried a Nikon F4 with three lenses and a Manfrotto 190 trip along with 21 days of food and camping supplies. Now it's small DSLR with two lenses, very small gitzo and trips are getting shorter also. I'm seriously thinking about something with a fixed lens and no tripod.
    Last edited by verney; 09-22-2009 at 01:33 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Hit the submit button by accident

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