The Pacific Rim
With my time in Africa coming to a close I'm starting to plan my next adventure. As it stands right now I'm looking to go to the Pacific Rim for 2-4 weeks. It looks like I'm going to spend much of my time on the move. I am taking a DSLR and lenses (odds are a fisheye, 50mm and 70-300mm), and one of my Film cameras. I have a Hasselblad 500ELX with a F2.8 80mm lens and a Graflex Speed Graphic with a F4.7 127mm lens. So I have a few (loaded) questions.
1: What would be the better camera to bring? I will have to do a lot of backpacking. The 'blad needs batteries, a CLA done, and a WLF, but is much easier to load film. The SG does not need batteries (assuming I'm not bringing the flash), but with two 12 shot magazine and 5 film holders I'm limited on the number of photos I can take. And it takes me some time to reload the magazines and film holders. But it's ready to go *right now.* Both cameras take up the same amount of space once packed up and weigh about the same. Being somewhat portable is key.
2: If you were to pick 2 kinds of film to take (one color, and one B&W) what would you pick and why? I'm thinking about something with a ISO of 400 to help with lower light shots. I'm going to be shooting what ever catches my eye. Be it landscapes, street, wildlife, whatever I feel like.
3: Should I develop my own film there? Ship film back to the US to get developed? Or?
4: What is a realistic amount of film to take?
5: What would you recommend for a camera bag/backpack?
6: Any other things to think about?
Thanks for any input you're willing to share.
Wow---"the Pacific Rim" is a big place. California, Alaska, China, Indonesia, Australia, Chile, all of the above? From the question about shipping "back to the US" I'm guessing you mean the Asian side, but even that is a pretty broad scope.
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Sorry about that. To narrow it down, I'm heading to the Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia area. Lots of things up in the air, but It should be somewhere are that part of the world.
Sirius Glass: Thanks for your answers. I am planning on only taking one camera or the other. The only thing I have against the 'blad is the CLA and how much is that going to cost me. I'll have a better idea once I get back state side and can send it off to get it checked out. The WLF issue is easy to overcome so long as I'm careful of the ground glass if I can not get one before I go.
Kav- as far as film goes, I'd not take much 400 - unless you are planning to do a lot of night or indoor shooting, 100 is perfectly adequate for that part of the world. SE Asia is VERY bright. I found myself struggling to be able to get shallow enough depth of field at times when I wanted it, and I was shooting a 35mm SLR with a top shutter speed of 1/4000. Your Hassy is limited to 1/500th, and the Speed Graphic 1/300th with the in-lens shutter or 1/1000th with the focal plane shutter. If you are planning on doing lots of indoor/night shooting, make sure you have a tripod/monopod, and then you can use Tmax 100 for your b/w film, as it has the best reciprocity characteristics out there. After a point, with long exposures, it ends up being faster than most 400 speed films. I'd take Portra 160 as your color film, or if you prefer something a little punchier, Ektar 100 is BEAUTIFUL.
As to getting a WLF for the Hassy, go to the KEH website and buy one- they almost always have multiples in stock. I'd also look there and on Ebay for the AA/9volt adapter out there for the 500 EL/M/X series - It's a lot more convenient and you don't have to deal with the charger for it either.
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Thanks for the info on Tmax 100. I did not know that. The shutter speeds of the Speed Graphic, my friend asked me to bring it, and becasue I have a few lenses for it are the driving reasons for me to take it over the Hassy. I have used Ektar 100 and like it, but I think I will still take some 400 with me. We are planning on spending a fair ammount of time away from any citys if we can. With that in mind I think some 400 would be good to take.
As flying camera says, it's a very bright part of the world. The only reason I would take 400 over 100 is if I were planning a lot of indoor or night shots in markets, villages/cities.
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Ok, It looks like I'm going to Thailand in May for my trip (with a trip to Arizona right before). So now I need to get a good tripod. I'm looking for one that is light, folds up to be compact, and can take abuse. Work lets me use one that I really like, but I don't want to limit myself to just picking what my work uses. I've been using what is basically a Benro C-0691 tripod. Any ideas?