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

  1. #71

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

    Quote Originally Posted by superman9 View Post
    Corran,
    my plan is to attempt to document the experience of thruhiking one of america's scenic trails—not so much create a work of landscape photographs though of course I'll make some along the way—but moreso to try and capture the human experience of the trail. Lot's of portraits, environmental and otherwise.
    Superman, you've had lots of great advice here. Your statement here really does point more in the direction of a medium rather than large format camera. With LF, besides the extra weight and technical problems you'd lose much of the spontaneity involved in photographing the "human experience of the trail." As far as cameras themselves, a Pentax 67 would be like carrying a kettlebell. They're big and unwieldy and depend on batteries. The Mamiya 6 & 7 also are electronic and battery dependent. I think your best choice is one of the mechanical cameras Rolleiflex, Plaubel Makina, or Fuji GW67,8,9. Your choice. Stunning large prints can be made from any 6x6, 6x7,6x8,6x9 neqatives.
    Last edited by Greg Y; 29-May-2020 at 12:53.

  2. #72

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

    I've read all of the posts (with interest) and agree, 4 x 5 should be disregarded, roll film the only way to go

    If it was me, I'd take two Cameras. The first a light weight TLR (not one of the Mamiya series), the second a Horseman VH (and a few lenses). With the TLR you have 'the hand held option' and with the VH, plenty of movements. All in all, imo a good marriage

    Good luck and regards

    Andrew

  3. #73
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: Help me choose a camera to hike 2000+ miles

    And now an alternative thought on backpacking with LF:

    Packing-in all the gear for LF work for a long trek in the deep-wild may not be practical without pack animals . . .OK.

    But on a 2,00 mile trek the trekkie will have to do the trips in legs with regular resupply and probably outside support of some sort. If shooting MF along the way there will be a need to exchange exposed rolls of film for fresh, maybe batteries too. Why not plan on picking up a 4x5 kit with loaded film holders at one of these supply points and doing a few limited day hikes or bare-bones overnights to special places. Return to the supply point , drop off the 4x5 kit, pick up the full trail pack and move out.

    Whoever is doing the supply/.support can see to it that the film holders are reloaded and the shot film processed, then bring it all to the next planned photo drom.

    A lot of planning has to go into a walking trip of this sort. If phot5ography is to be a major part of the experience then factoring in a 4x5 drop and resupply should be workable a addition.
    Drew Bedo
    www.quietlightphoto.com
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

  4. #74

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

    I may have missed it, but I did not see much discussion about accessibility. LF takes time to set up and I could imagine many cases where you wouldn't be able to get the shot you wanted because of that. Then there's the issue of managing sheet film. I assume you're not going to carry all your unexposed and exposed film through the entire through hike. So now you have multiple boxes to deal with and all the attendant handling. Much easier to do this with roll film.

    As to reliability, simpler is better. The more features, the more that could go wrong. I think a recently CLAd 6x9 folder (perhaps with new bellows) might be best. You could even bring 2 - 1 for a backup. Have a 3rd with someone who could mail it to a resupply point. A tiny meter, like the Sekonic Twin Mate, will be fine when you can't rely on sunny 16. The biggest drawback is that they all have "normal" lenses and you might prefer a more wide lens.

    Alternatively, with a camera that has a removable lens and shutter, you can carry a spare lens/shutter (assuming that the lens/shutter is the weakest link). For example, with a Mamiya C220 (lighter and simpler than your C330) you can easily carry both a 65mm lens and a 80mm lens.

    There's the Horseman 2x3 cameras, but I think by the time you add a roll film back you've increased the bulk significantly.

  5. #75

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Y View Post
    As far as cameras themselves, a Pentax 67 would be like carrying a kettlebell
    One of the best descriptions of the P67 yet...I called mine the "Beast of the Southern Wilds."

  6. #76
    Angus Parker angusparker's Avatar
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    Re: Help me choose a camera to hike 2000+ miles

    Quote Originally Posted by GoodOldNorm View Post
    Fuji gsw6x7iii (more shots per roll than 6x9) yellow/green filter and a polariser, lots of asa 400 film a light tripod or even a Gorilla pod and a Sekonic L308 light meter. Carry it in a chest pack except when you need to place your feet on tricky terrain.
    The Fuji GF670 is the modern version of this camera with built in light meter. Itís a folding camera so it takes up less space. Can be used handheld with iso 400 film.

  7. #77

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

    I have both versions of the GF670 - Wide and Normal...wonderful cameras for hiking, great "access logistics," in terms of readiness and minimal interruption of other workflow (like walking). Great viewfinder (clear, sharp - very close to that on my Leica M-6) allows for quick and decisive arrival at compositions, and the extremely smooth shutter release translates well to slow(ish) speed hand-holdability. Also nice to pair with a lightweight tripod (Feisol tall traveler in my case). Decent metering although I sometimes bring along my Pentax digital spot meter.

    Regarding the "normal" (folding) version...some might point out (with partial correctness) that the bellows and strut mechanisms might be vulnerable when the camera is unfolded, and I might add to this that a repeated, days on end hiking experience...possibly accompanied by an equally days on end wet weather event - might add up to some type of mechanical failure and/or fatal ingress of moisture. Thing is, this camera is compact enough when folded to be placed quickly into a small, padded dry-pack, or simply slid beneath an outer water-resistant shell layer of clothing...whereas such quickly accessed protection might be untenable, logistics-wise, with a bulkier camera.

    The wide version (GF-670W) is inherently better protected as it lacks a bellows mechanism, and is likely better sealed than an interchangeable lens camera. I've done multi-day hikes in NH's White Mountains with just this camera by itself, and find the combo of the 55mm focal length with the 6x7 format to be extremely versatile.

  8. #78

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

    ps...a hint about hiking with LF if you insist - something light (and metal) like a Gowland 4x5, or perhaps something cheaply cobbled together with plywood and sealed with a penetrating finish (my own "minimalist" 5x7 for example - see photos) - and keep the camera (with a compact, wide or semi-wide lens) mounted on a light tripod, place a plastic bag or waterproof stuff sack over either just the camera or the camera plus tripod, and keep the whole thing secured to the outside of your pack (ready to grab and set up quickly), for the duration of your hike. Again...do a shakedown hike first to get things worked out. Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #79

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

    Hmmm! Hiking 2,000+ miles with a 4x5? You really must be Superman! Good luck on your journey and watch out for kryptonite.

  10. #80
    Maris Rusis's Avatar
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    Re: Help me choose a camera to hike 2000+ miles

    I went to New Zealand a couple of years ago and covered about 2000 kilometres in the North and South Islands. Drove nearly every day, hiked nearly every day, covered some rough terrain, and went out in good weather and nasty weather, photographed every day.
    Technical solution: Camera Fuji GSW680, Film Ilford Delta 3200, red filter for clouds if needed, everything hand-held - no tripod needed. All the 300 or so negatives came out fine. The "big" negative size meant no intrusive grain, no loss of sharpness, and useful opportunities for creative cropping.
    The high speed Delta 3200 film (rated EI 1000 by me) enabled fast shutter speeds even on dark and stormy days so no camera shake. This was the first hand-held camera work I had done since 1977. I normally specialise in 8x10 and 4x5 camera work but for this kind of hard going travel the sheer photographic productivity of a big range-finder focussed roll-film camera puts it way out in front.
    Photography:first utterance. Sir John Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society. "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..".

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