Quote Originally Posted by jakeblues View Post
Hi guys and gals,

So I will be travelling to South America with my girlfriend in 2 weeks, and I'm torn as to which rig I should bring down. I currently have 3 (!) systems: Pentax, Minolta, and Canon. The canon is out because I just don't love the rig.

Here's my dilemma: Minolta for the great lenses, or Pentax for portability?

Note: My girlfriend will be shooting too, so we'll have 2 camera bodies with us to switch out lenses. Here's what I have to work with:

2 - Minolta X-700s
MD 24mm 2.8
MD 35mm 1.8
MC 58mm 1.2
MD 85mm 1.7

Pentax ME Super
Pentax MX
SMC Pentax M 20mm 4.0
SMC Pentax M 35mm 2.0
SMC Pentax M 50mm 1.7
SMC Pentax M 50mm 1.4

Any other suggestions for gear to grab before I head out of town? Which rig would you take?
Both of these kits are incomplete for what you have in mind.

1. You said; " The Canon is out because I just don't love the rig."
" Here's my dilemma: Minolta for the great lenses, or Pentax for portability ?"

What counts, in the end is the quality of the image.
Swap the Canon & Pentax systems for what you need, for the Minolta system.
Or swap the Pentax lenses for something sharper like the Tamrons mentioned
here, & get rid of the Minolta system too.

Do put a motor on 1 of your 2 bodies. It gives you enormous capabilities,
but instead of removing it, when necessary, just keep one body motor free.

2. Get her, her own camera, like an Olympus XA.

3. I would look at getting a Tamron 90 mm f 2.8 Macro. You don't seem to have
any Macro lenses for your kits. It is incredibly sharp, but test the mounts by shooting
slide film with them first, they can be wonky exposure wise, ( even new ones ),
but once you find a good one, ( they have a 6 yr warranty on the mounts ), it should be fine.
Most camera stores will not give you any grief when swapping mount for mount, same brand,
if you bought the mount from them.

4. You would be well served to get a Tamron 80 - 200 mm f 2.8 ASL zoom lens,
if you can find one, ( try eBay ). Incredible sharpness, but keep in mind what I said
before about the mounts.

5. What about flashes ? You might do well to get an Auto Only flash, like a
Vivitar 285 HV. BUY USED ONLY ! Look at the bottom of the flash. It will say where
it was made. AVOID THE CHINESE MODELS ! If you can get a " Made in Japan " model,
do it. If the hotshoe has been modified, so much the better. The original hotshoe is
the weak point of this flash. However by doing this you will then need a flash bracket
as the hotshoe on the camera, will no longer be usable.

You could also find the high-end Sunpak 120 J TTL.
These would give you TTL flash capability, & the Sunpak would give you a better quality of light,
that doesn't requires a bunch of light modifiers like other flashes need to duplicate the quality of the light
available with the Sunpak 120 J TTL flash unit.
The Sunpak has interchangeable flash modules that will provide you TTL for your Minoltas, or Pentaxes.

6. For handholding a long-lens tripod flash use look at a Stroboframe VH2000.
Just replace the plastic nuts with flat washers, wavy washers & lock nuts.
This is an advantage in lighting & reliability;
In Lighting, because it keeps the flash above the lens whether shooting horizontally or vertically.
In Reliability because it keeps the weight of the flash from tearing out the camera's hotshoe.

7. For flash remote power, a Quantum Turbo variant will suffice.

These purchases will work for you, years after your trip is just images on film.

If you want tripod or monopod recommendations E-Mail me.