Thanks for all the responses - lot to think about here. I will take a look at each camera mentioned.
To be honest, I wasn't thinking about the tripod. Hmmm...suppose it will take a bigger one than I use with 35mm shots - that may be problematic on the bike. Well, I could still scout out stuff when Mt. biking, and then return on foot (ugh...I love wheels) to capture scenes if I had to.
EDIT: Hahaha...I had to laugh at the suggestion of turning my bike over and using for a tripod - and then I got to thinking...there's a good idea in there somewhere! :-)
Appreciate all the info, I will do some looking at all this. Never had a 4x5...must be sweet looking at the slide / negs.
I have carried a 4x5 on a mountain bike for a few thousand miles, so it is possible. But most of that was on roads (paved and unpaved) and just a little single track. My purpose on the bike was to photograph, so I was willing to compromise speed and agility of the bike to accomindate photography.
First off, I dislike greatly having anything on my back...don't like the higher center of gravity, the sweating wet back, the chance of falling and landing on my gear, nor the extra weight pushing my butt down on the seat. But my mtn bike had no suspension and rear suspension does make a rack and panniers difficult if not impossible.
I had two rear panniers for the gear and lunch, and the tripod fit nicely strapped on top of the rear rack with a couple bungee cords. With this set-up, just about any field 4x5 will do...just pad it well within the panniers.
If your bike has full suspension and can not take a rear rack/panniers, then think about picking up a used clunker hard-tailed mtn bike to return to places you see on your rides on the better bike.
I see a clash of objectives -- a desire for speed and a desire to get out there, fighting the slow-down type of photography that usually (but not always) seems to go along with view camera use. As long as photography is not the main reason you are out there on your bike, you might want to consider keeping with medium format. My first, biased, choice is a TLR -- especially a Rollei, then after that a folder. Light simple cameras with no extra lenses to haul around.
B&J press camera. Closed looks like a small kids lunch box. Metal body. Very cheap. Good front movements. Downside no rear movements. Won't take real long lenses. Call it limited to about 240mm? Will go fairly wide. No graflex back so only standard film holders or slip in rollfilm backs.
Like others I've travelled a few thousand miles with a bike & a 5x4, I always carried my Wista, wrapped well in a pannier, with a bracket to hold the tripod. Although I only use racing bikes I was often off road on rough tracks/terrain. In hindsight a Graphic would be better if you you can cope with the very limited movements.
I'll be biking with a 5x4 again in a few days (when I'm in the UK) and will have to use a Speed Graphic (no shutter) so will see how practical it is.
FWIW, my Wista DX folds up with a lens on it and weighs just over 3 pounds. It folds closed with small lenses from 100mm to 240mm (Kodak Wide-Field Ektar 100mm, Nikkor-W 135mm and 150mm, Kodak Ektar f7.7 203mm, Fujinon A, 240mm).
I carry the camera and 4 lenses in a fanny pack. Of course, you will need a tripod, but a small carbon fiber job and a ball head could by strapped on the bike somewhere. You'll have to figure out where the filmholders, meter, filters, etc. go... I do bike with my kit a bit, and sometimes for long day trips, but not in real rugged country.
Best and good luck,
Yup. My Toho is the only camera I own. Extremely light weight. Full movements on both ends. Very rigid and sturdy when locked down.
Originally Posted by Anthony Lewis
I've been using mine for six+ years; over a thousand sheets of film by now. I've backpacked it all over, up and down the mountains, desert, coast, rain forest, you name it. It's so good that I've not given other cameras a second thought.
I'll second that suggestion. Depending on what version you get it's about 2.5-3 lbs, and a couple of compact lenses and small filters don't add much weight, and you can use a fairly lightweight tripod. Add a couple of Grafmatics, and you can easily keep the whole kit under 8 lbs.
Originally Posted by Muihlinn
If you want the quicker setup of a folding camera, Ikeda Anba is a very light wooden camera, and if you want more functionality with out much more weight in a folding camera, then the Chamonix would be a good choice.
Here's my two cents...I routinely MB with a Wista DXIII. I carry the camera, a couple of lenses and other essentials in a Lowepro backpack without issues. The tripod and film on my seat post mounted rack (full suspension bike). It would be nice to have some panniers to keep a lower center of gravity but it doesn't hamper me since I'm used to it. Be prepared for a much slower go than you would without the extra weight!
Horseman Woodman 4x5 is about as lite as they come. Weighs in at about 2 pounds and folds up very smell & has more movements than a press camera. Good for biking/hiking but I would not want one as my main camera.