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Thread: Help me choose a camera to hike 2000+ miles

  1. #21

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    Re: Help me choose a camera to hike 2000+ miles

    Quote Originally Posted by interneg View Post
    Or a Fuji 6x9 - but yes, I'd agree that if handholdability & weight matter, a good medium format RF will often provide a better compromise of quality and ease of use than dragging an LF camera along. The Linhof is less of a monster than many appear to be suggesting, but it's far too much camera for straightforward handheld work where weight is a principle consideration.
    Did you ever meet Mary Ellen Mark? She was quite small, but used the MT hand held with no problem.

  2. #22
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Help me choose a camera to hike 2000+ miles

    I hope you get a chance to make lots of images with a 4x5 camera before your trip. That experience will tell you what you need for your adventure. It may be with experience, you'll find hand-holding is not as important -- or perhaps still super important.

    For me, one of the major advantages of LF over roll film is image management (the camera movements and how they affect the image)...and that weighs heavy on the camera design I use in the field. For backpacking I use a Gowland PocketView 4x5...2.5 lbs with lens and most movements (except rear shift and rear rise/fall), but not designed to be hand-held.

    If hand-held is still important for you, I'll second a Crown Graphic (lighter than the Speed) and it does have a usable front tilt. But look at the Busch Press Cameras, also, as their front tilt is a little more straight forward.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  3. #23

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    Re: Help me choose a camera to hike 2000+ miles

    Thanks Ari,
    If I go the Pentax route—how concerned do I need to be about using the camera in rain and snow?

  4. #24
    Foamer
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    Re: Help me choose a camera to hike 2000+ miles

    Fuji gs690w.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  5. #25

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    Re: Help me choose a camera to hike 2000+ miles

    Quote Originally Posted by popdoc View Post
    consider a Speed Graphic with a rangefinder.
    Less expensive, battlefield proven
    Looking at them right now and I think that might be a great choice! Thanks popdoc.

  6. #26
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Help me choose a camera to hike 2000+ miles

    I'll not reiterate what Vaughn said, but it's def spot on!

    Which trail are you looking at? Just curious, as I live about 10 miles as the crow flies from the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.

    I've seen a lot of portraits from the AT. It's not something I find super interesting, but if it were me, I'd probably either go with a small and lightweight TLR to capture more "instantaneous" moments, or if insisting on 4x5 with the option of handheld use, a Crown or Speed Graphic cherry-picked to have a good lens with accurate RF. Lens choice will be a bit personal and depend on your sensibilities, but the 135mm Xenar will be common and easy to find with hopefully that RF working properly, or the Kodak Ektar 152mm f/4.5 is another option I've seen on Graphics.
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  7. #27

    Re: Help me choose a camera to hike 2000+ miles

    Quote Originally Posted by superman9 View Post
    Lot's of portraits, environmental and otherwise.
    That sounds like a great adventure! Any time "portraits" are on the agenda, I think I'd automatically second Ari's recommendation of a Pentax 67, with either the classic 105/2.4 (or, if you're a bit shy) the 165/2.8. Either would work as a nice "normal" to short tele landscape option as well. (NB, you'd probably want to pick up a couple of extension tubes--about the only problem with the old Pentax 67 lens designs was that the MFD leaves something to be desired.)

    I will say, however, that for myself at least packing a film camera isn't so much about the weight as it is the cubes: as someone who's primarily looking to shoot landscapes, I've found that my Horseman "technical" camera with a roll film back packs away a lot smaller than my P67 kit, even if the weight is somewhat comparable.

  8. #28

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    Re: Help me choose a camera to hike 2000+ miles

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    I'll not reiterate what Vaughn said, but it's def spot on!

    Which trail are you looking at? Just curious, as I live about 10 miles as the crow flies from the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.

    I've seen a lot of portraits from the AT. It's not something I find super interesting, but if it were me, I'd probably either go with a small and lightweight TLR to capture more "instantaneous" moments, or if insisting on 4x5 with the option of handheld use, a Crown or Speed Graphic cherry-picked to have a good lens with accurate RF. Lens choice will be a bit personal and depend on your sensibilities, but the 135mm Xenar will be common and easy to find with hopefully that RF working properly, or the Kodak Ektar 152mm f/4.5 is another option I've seen on Graphics.
    I'm planning a second hike of the PCT though the AT is definitely on my list! I also see a lot of mediocre portraiture from the trail which I'm not super interested in—I'm more inspired by the early press photographers and would like to try and document the trail in a similar style. The speed graphic seems like it definitely would be a good options.

    Do you have any TLR's you'd recommend? I have a Mamiya C330 and she's definitely a beast but boy do I love her.

  9. #29
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Help me choose a camera to hike 2000+ miles

    Yeah those Mamiyas are big, way bigger than more simple TLRs. I have a few different Rolleis, so probably would choose one of those based on weight, condition, and lens (I am quite partial to a very early model Rolleicord with a Triplet lens, which is also the lightest I think). Get it serviced before you go.
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  10. #30

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    Re: Help me choose a camera to hike 2000+ miles

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    Did you ever meet Mary Ellen Mark? She was quite small, but used the MT hand held with no problem.
    I know folk of the same build who use Arri IIC's and 235's handheld, but they don't try trekking across the country with them in a backpack! The MT is fine to use handheld, but what I was getting at was my wish that Linhof had made something more like the Linhof Technika Press in 4x5...

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