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  1. #1

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    Bessa III and monopod for backpacking?

    Hi all,

    I do a lot of hiking and backpacking and am looking for a compact, light-weight medium format kit to take with me. I’d like something light enough that I can use with a monopod and that packs down small enough to fit in a day pack.

    So, it seems like the Bessa III / Fuji 670 would be just about perfect. Has anyone tried this setup? Also, how difficult is it to rotate a polarizing filter with the lens hood on?

    I’m heading over to the east side of the Sierra Nevada in a few weeks and would like to get something I can use then.

    Thanks in advance!
    Lynn

  2. #2
    Paul Goutiere's Avatar
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    This camera is likely the cat's meow for backpacking. The monopod is a good idea too.

    Not sure about the polarizing filter though, it may be a little difficult to judge the degree of polarization. Not impossible I suspect but certainly difficult.

    For polarizing filter I'd prefer a SLR like a Hasselblad 500cm or such like.

  3. #3
    rjbuzzclick's Avatar
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    Anytime I use a polarizing filter with a rangefinder or scale focus camera, I just hold the filter in my hand and turn it while looking through it. Once I find the right position, I notate it using the writing on the side of the filter, then put it on the camera (if press on) or just hold it in front of the lens in the same position. It works fine.
    Reid

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/rjbuzzclick/

    "If I had a nickel for every time I had to replace a camera battery, I'd be able to get the #@%&$ battery cover off!" -Me

  4. #4

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    I carry a Mamiya 7II when I want light and portable.

  5. #5
    fotch's Avatar
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    Monopods were originally used for home movie cameras and are almost usless for still photography. JHMO. I would bring a small light weight tripod with could be used like the monopod or used like a tripod. YMMV
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  6. #6

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    I don't know about the rotation issue for that cam, but generally speaking the polarizer on a rangefinder thing is not a big deal-- if you are outdoors, in a pinch the max polarization angle is when you point the indicator mark towards the sun, and if that's not good enough I carry another one that's for a different filter size in my shirt pocket and just use that as a preview without having to mount and unmounted the filter from the camera.

    As far as the monopod goes, check out one of the trecking poles that has a tripod thread on it and then it will do double duty as a waking stick. I'm a big fan of using a piece of shockcord with a 1/4 eye bolt on one end as a camera support-- You just step on the free end and pull it taught and camera shake goes way down.

    Also, there is a new gorilla pod with solid aluminum joints that looks much more solid than the previous iterations, which might be a good camera support for hiking and travel situations
    Last edited by jpberger; 09-09-2010 at 04:23 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #7
    MarkG's Avatar
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    Hi Lynn, I recently purchased the Fuji GF670 and have been carrying it around with me on several shoots. I've shot mainly B&W though I have three rolls of color being developed. I haven't used a polarizing filter but did use an orange filter with some of my B&W work. I haven't needed to use either a monopod or tripod . . . I found the camera to be light, easy to hold, and I've gotten away with some images handheld at 1/30 of a second. I've written about my experiences with the GF670 here: http://wp.me/ph0f6-1K You might find it helpful . . .

  8. #8

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    I think it's a fine plan for several reasons. My travel camera is a Plaubel Makita 67, it weighs about 20% more than a Fuji/Bessa III. I would really like a Fuji myself.

    Anyway, last winter I was in Mexico photographing Myan ruins where no tripods were allowed. Monopod or hiking sticks are allowed. I had a Gitzo carbon mono with me and shot everything I wanted. I used a Leitz tripod head on it to shoot verticals and it worked fine. I also had the leitz folding tripod base to shoot from a wall or brace against a tree if needed.

    Before I had the Gitzo mono I had a hiking stick that came to about chin level that I drilled, then epoxy in a 1/4 X 20 hanging bolt with a fender washer on top of it. Had that for around twenty years.

  9. #9
    MattKing's Avatar
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    A monopod with either:
    a) a square format camera; or
    b) a rotating back camera,

    work well, especially with a WLF.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by photobum View Post
    [snip] Anyway, last winter I was in Mexico photographing Mayan ruins where no tripods were allowed. Monopod or hiking sticks are allowed. I had a Gitzo carbon mono with me and shot everything I wanted. I used a Leitz tripod head on it to shoot verticals and it worked fine. [/snip]
    Thanks for relating your experience in Mexico. There are a lot of situations traveling where a tripod is either not permitted or is not practical. I have a similar set up: a Manfrotto carbon monopod with a ReallyRightStuff monopod head. What film were you using? I was thinking of trying Fuji Neopan 400.

    Which ruins did you visit? I've only been as far south as Oaxaca.

    Lynn

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