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Thread: Hiking with LF equipment

  1. #21
    Jim Graves Jim Graves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Sacramento, Calif., USA

    Re: Hiking with LF equipment

    "Backpacking" is a little different for everybody. If you're a minimalist who cuts your toothbrush handle off ... or an over-niter it's a pretty big difference.

    For trips when food and gear severely limit photo equipment ... and you still want to take a view camera ... it's hard to beat a Pocket View 4x5 (Gowland, Calumet) ... Ready Loads if you can find them ... a 90mm Angulon (not Super Angulon) and a 203mm Kodak Ektar (both small, light, and capable) ... and either a carbon fiber tripod or an attachment for your hiking pole ("Monopod") to mount the camera.

  2. #22
    Vaughn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Humboldt County, CA

    Re: Hiking with LF equipment

    My LF pack would be very light if I had not gone up in format. If I did want to use my tiny 4x5 (PocketView) more while backpacking, I'd need to invest in a CF tripod. My 4x5 with the 150mm/f5.6 on it weighs 2.5 pounds, so if I can keep the rest of the gear to a minimum, it might be 20 pounds of photography-related items -- including daypack, tripod, 5 holders, changing bag, one lens, Pentax digital spot meter. That stuff adds up fast! I could be up to 25 lbs! The thing is, I'd love to take the 5x7, but nothing about my 5x7 system is light. And the 8x10 is a full pack just by itself, and definitely not a light weight model either.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Re: Hiking with LF equipment

    I have a small backpack that holds my B&J 4x5 folding view camera, 7-8 holders, 3 lenses, spotmeter, etc. The entire kit is about 15 lbs, and I have to carry the tripod on a shoulder as well. This is about as much weight as I am comfortable carrying anywhere now, so no more backwoods trekking for me. In my younger days, I used to go canoe-camping with 40 lb backpacks (including a Rolleicord) and a canoe perched on top of that, but arthritis is slowly taking over.

    For the larger cameras, I have a couple of lawyer's cases for legal briefs, on wheels with luggage-style retractable handles. I carry the same tripod on a shoulder, and pull the case, and of course I can carry it for short distances if a path gets a little rough. I'm looking to change out the wheels on one of the cases for 3-5" ones.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Toowoomba, Queensland

    Re: Hiking with LF equipment

    Bear in mind that a 'universal' camera that can use a larger variety of lenses and film sizes will be bigger. In my personal journey I started with a Shen Hao TFC45-II which is a compact 4x5 with a bag bellows. Then I thought I might try a 6x17 back. Problem is that lenses around 150-170mm and above couldn't focus at infinity (let alone anything closer) because the body of the camera would vignette the image. This is the same for almost all the 4x5 camera bodies and 6x17. SO. If you want 6x17 then think seriously about a 5x7 body which will not cause vignetting at all. If you want only 6x12 then a 4x5 is good. Bigger cameras can't use shorter focal length lenses easily either. As you'll probably want wide and wider lenses this means a camera body able to take say a 47mm SAXL. Lenses sitting in recessed lensboards are a real pain to use (ones fingers cant easily cock the shutter nor turn the aperture settings etc).

    My pick ?

    Try a TFC57-A from Shen Hao. I've never seen it but if it were to carry the Sinar 140mm lensboard you could run a 48mm SAXL in a recessed lensboard (EBay) with the Shen Hao 6x17 back for the 5x7. If you run a 4x5 reduction back as well then you can do 6x12, 6x17, 4x5 and 5x7 with crazily short focal length lenses. It looks to be a fairly small setup.

    If you don't want to go to seriously short (wide) lenses then go the HZX57-IIA which I have but I am limited to 72mm SAXL on the low end. I can go up to my 508mm though. All my lenses are used without vignetting.

    Shen Hao are a pretty competitive product but I will admit to having to 'trim' everything. I've only just this last month discovered another reflective surface in the camera and have just flocked it !! I've also had to resort to sanding parts to get a better fit.



  5. #25
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    SF Bay area, CA

    Re: Hiking with LF equipment

    Choice of focal length is largely a matter of personal style and preferred angle of view. There are a lot of excellent lenses to choose from, but I'll just mention a few
    distinct series that meet the demands of compact, lightwt, modern, and very crisp. You can choose from Nikkor M, Fujinon A, Fujinon C, and G-Claron. Almost impossible to go wrong with any of these.

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