Ralph I once had a dog named Schlep.
Ralph I once had a dog named Schlep.
If shooting is a major activity, I'd bring the Hasselblad with the 60 and 120 only leaving the 250 at home. I just came back from a dedicated phototrip and didn't bring my 250 and really was glad I didn't. It is a beast. This all fits in a reasonable shoulder bag and both lenses can be hand held pretty easily. If photography is a reasonably minor part of the trip, consider the Rollei or the Hassy with just the 60mm without a tripod. When I am on a business trip and can manage a few hours of photography, I'll do something like that.
When movements (especially lens rise) are needed on the road, my favorite combination is a Toyo 4x5 field camera with roll-film backs (6x9 and 6x12). The carbon-fiber camera is not heavy, and the two backs give me a choice of film, or at least film size, and do not need a darkroom or changing bag. I have some nice transparencies from Spain, mostly architecture, where the motions (and tripod) were necessary.
Well, I am back from the trip and figured I would post a short reflection here for anyone researching a similar subject.
I ended up going with the following equpiment
Hasselblad Meter Knob
1x film back (a mistake, but my 2nd was acting up a little.)
Canonet QL17 GIII
Induro A113 (tripod legs)
Smith-Victor BH-2 (tripod head)
Sundry digital items for occasional testing and video.
A few immediate reflections. First, I am very, very glad I didn't take the 4x5. Not really becuase of weight, but because my photography ended up being heavily mixed with events involving family, friends and work. If I was shooting along with someone, the Hasselblad allowed me to work quickly enough without feeling rushed. The Pressman would have made a lot of my photography impossible-- I am sure I would have come out with interesting and different results, but this set-up allowed me to balance events pretty well. The Canonet was also a great decision, really didn't add much weight, and gave me an easy walk-around camera. The meter knob saved time and trouble, and mine is quite accurate (as long as you are thinking while you shoot, and not just trusting it blindly).
If I were going again, I would do a few things differently, for sure. I would bring at least 2x backs, maybe 3x (I am in the market for another now). 75% of the way through the trip, my film insert took a nasty fall and bent a little on one corner. It still attached and wound fine, but I had to live with a bit of anxiety about it's performance. I used electrical tape around the edge it fell on to be sure, and the rolls I have developed have no indication of light leeks, so I consider myself lucky. My current 2nd back is in need of a tune up (irregular frame spacing) but I wish I had it along for reassurance. One of the strengths of the camera, and shame on me for not utilizng it... backs are small and good insurance.
I woud also bring a more rigid tripod. The size was comfortable, but I am in the market for something a little more refined next time. I wasn't always 100% happy with how 'tight' everything felt when set-up. Finally, I would definitely bring the 250mm. A little to my suprise, I was often in need of more reach. Never the less, the 60mm was the most used lens. Maybe the 60mm and 250mm would be a better 2 lens kit? Odd to say, since most of the time the 120mm is my favorite lens.
Finally, my backpack was a bit bulky to carry around, due to excess equipment, film, etc... I am currently looking into getting a simple military canvas backpack and modifying it to have holders for the essential kit (3x lenses, body, 2x extra backs, 10x rolls of film). This would lack the padding and space needed for travel, but could be folded into my checked luggage next time and used for extending outings. We'll see... A lot of the time on this trip, I would just pick 1 lens in advance for a session and toss the camera over my shoulder and carry the tripod.
All in all, I would say to those wondering, do not be afraid to travel with a Hasselblad! This was my first heavy trip with it since obtaining the camera, and I found it to be much more satisfying (suprisingly) than the previous trips I had done with nothing but a Rolleiflex. I am still developing film, but am very pleased with the results so far.
Next time you might have the option of the 4x5 Travelwide...