This is such a great question!
I travel ALL the time and always struggle with what to bring, just in case.
Of course, because the gods on Mt. Olympus don't always smile on me, there have been waay too many clouds, sunsets, people, scenes, etc that have passed before my unrecording eye.
So now I take a Mamiya 7 almost everywhere. I can use faster film (d3200 at 1600 is sharper and better than d100 on 35mm) and as long as I can stabilize the camera enough, the pictures are just about as sharp as with a 4x5, up to about 16x20. Of course there are no movements but at least I get the shot. And because of the bigger frame size I need only carry one lens and can crop pretty considerably and STILL get more image area and smaller grain than in 35mm.
Just last week it paid off. I was working in Philly and drove past a house with a statue of The Virgin Mary out front. It made for a hilarious photograph, complete with a caption about how I somehow managed to beat the throngs, pilgrims, and lepers to the apparition!
PS One suggestion that I have been meaning to try...a Holga. All the bennies of the larger frame noted above, plus a pictorial effect, plus it's probably lighter than any non-disposable camera of any kind.
One more thing...
This is even WORSE than not having the camera...
I was in Maine once, along the coast, at sunrise, 4x5 camera mounted and waiting and lenses all cleaned and spotless. Velvia loaded in the Polaroid holder...
The light was incredible, and then turned simply heavenly. Not jus the sky but the air itself turned lavender in one second. I was delighted...
and the holder jammed. Jammed! I couldn't pull the sleeve, and I couldn't pull the sheet out of the holder. I had to just stand there 3000 miles from home, next to $2,500 worth of the best 4x5 equipment, merely watching the miracle of light. And I swear I could hear someone, somewhere up in the clouds snickering...
</span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Mark in SD @ Jan 23 2003, 09:51 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Robert @ Jan 23 2003, 06:23 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> Now the real issue. It's been below 0F the last two mornings. How do you keep your hands from freezing to the camera-)) </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
Move to San Diego! </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
What's the saying?
" I'm putting a snow shovel on the roof of the car. When people start asking me what is that thing I'll be home"
"Mark in SD", are you in San Diego? I'd been imagining you freezing in the grand vistas of South Dakota all this time.
You want a missed oppertunity? How about this one....
About 6 months ago, I was driving into the mountains outside Tucson. I was on a main road and was still in the city, although the houses in the area were on 5-10 acre plots and many were ranchettes. Still though very much civilization.
I'm tooling along in the jeep when I come over the top of this little hill. On the road below me is this THING.
Now at first I thought it was a dog. It looked border collie sized. But the tail and carriage were all wrong. The movement was all wrong too as it sauntered across the road.
I realized it was a bobcat. An honest-to-gawd bobcat.
I pull over and creep to the side of the road where it disappered.
And there it sat under a mesquite tree. About 15-20 feet from me. Just STARING at me. In the same way a housecat stares at you. That "So what do YOU want" look.
For a good five minutes we just looked at each other. Then it just wandered off.
And about 30 minutes earlier I had decided to leave my Nikon at home.......
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</span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (David A. Goldfarb @ Jan 23 2003, 08:39 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> "Mark in SD", are you in San Diego? I'd been imagining you freezing in the grand vistas of South Dakota all this time. </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
Sadly, yes. San diego. What's worse, I grew up around San Francisco, spent summers hiking around Lake Tahoe, and went to college in Boulder Colorado. Imagine my shock when I got down here and there were no trees!!
Have had to discover Desert Photography. Of course, I still get back to Colorado and the Sierra Nevada regularly.
I had a Lynx as a pet cat for 17 years. A fantastic pussy cat, although kind of big. He was a real softy, and let the small kids ride him around the backyard. The only two times we saw his real wild side come out was when our home got broken into. The perp as the TV shows like to call them got pretty messed up. Blood, clothing bits and such everywhere. I guess he made the mistake of trying to put the cat into the closet! The second time he was laying on our front step minding his own business when this Black Lab came up on the steps acting very unfriendly. Tiger (that was his name) tried to ignore him, but once the barking and nippng got to much there was a quick flurry of fur and the dog was dead. Had his throat ripped out. The owner was standing on the curb the whole time and didn't do anything to stop his dog. Then he had the nerve to cry foul! Tigers paws were huge and the tufted ears really cute. We eventually had to have him put down due to a brain tumor. A very sad day indeed.
I'm not surprised the Bobcat just wanted to play. Now Cougars on the other hand are a totally different story. Those guys are just plain mean.
Currently it's warmed up to -20C here in Calgary. Taking the LF outside right now just isn't in the cards. Spent last night going through my old copies of B&W Magazine.
Now to get this back on topic, I wished I had taken a picture of Tiger playing with the local toddlers. They all loved him, and he them.
This is funny. It's like a group of fishermen trading their "the one that got away" stories.
For the last couple of years, I have tried to make a real commitment to always having a camera with me. To this end I put together a "carry-it-everywhere" system that consists of a small, padded fanny pack that holds a Leitz/Minolta CL with 40mm and 90mm lenses, a tiny Gossen Digisix light meter, a little Sunpack flash, an Ultrapod, a couple of filters and a cable release. A few film cans, riveted to the strap hold extra film. This makes for a pretty versatile system that is small, light and self-contained enough that there are very few excuses not to grab it every time that I go out the door.
Does anyone know of a currently made non-digi pocketable camera that has decent glass and allows manual exposure?
That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
Well, I know this isn't really what you have in mind, but the Leica M cameras are practically pocketable.
Actually, Leica does make a point and shoot that DOES have amazing glass. I bought one about five years ago before beginning a job that took me to Europe, and I was very happy. It has kind of a crude manuel focus, and manual selection of both aperture and shutter speed if you want. And I was very impressed with the photographs I was able to make with it.