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

  1. #1

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    Jan 2020
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    Help me choose a camera to hike 2000+ miles

    Hi all. I'm pretty new to large format photography but very quickly falling in love am looking to explore options for a camera to bring with me backpacking and need some guidance. The hike I'm planning is going to be a couple thousand miles and I want to try to bring a large format camera (or medium, i would also take recommendations on that front but I'm primarily interested in learning about LF options right now) so I'll need it to be pretty durable. On my last hike of this kind I saw sand, rain, and severe winter storms in the mountains, so I'm expecting to see more of the same—the camera needs to be durable if not bombproof. Weight is not a huge concern of mine as my pack's baseweight is ultralight in order to accommodate camera equipment. Durability is a primary concern. I'd like to find something that could be shot handheld if I choose but I'll also have a tripod with me. Thanks in advance folks.

    -Josh

  2. #2

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

    Quote Originally Posted by superman9 View Post
    Hi all. I'm pretty new to large format photography but very quickly falling in love am looking to explore options for a camera to bring with me backpacking and need some guidance. The hike I'm planning is going to be a couple thousand miles and I want to try to bring a large format camera (or medium, i would also take recommendations on that front but I'm primarily interested in learning about LF options right now) so I'll need it to be pretty durable. On my last hike of this kind I saw sand, rain, and severe winter storms in the mountains, so I'm expecting to see more of the same—the camera needs to be durable if not bombproof. Weight is not a huge concern of mine as my pack's baseweight is ultralight in order to accommodate camera equipment. Durability is a primary concern. I'd like to find something that could be shot handheld if I choose but I'll also have a tripod with me. Thanks in advance folks.

    -Josh
    You just described the Linhof Master Technika.

  3. #3

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

    I remembered a young man freshly graduated from Yale walked from east coast to west cost and then back with our Chamonix 45N2 camera. He took plenty of pictures and kept his vow of silence during his entire walk. He had a pull/push cart loaded with his stuff. It was a few years ago and some members in this forum met him during his long journey.

  4. #4
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Help me choose a camera to hike 2000+ miles

    You might not consider weight, but you should.

    Linhof Master Technika is too heavy. Full stop. I've hiked with it. Don't even consider it, there's no benefit to it in this situation.

    Intrepid ultralight "Black" model is the lightest I have used at 2.5 pounds, recently purchased, but durability in to physical damage may not be stellar. I would imagine a good shock will destroy the plastic parts, but rain shouldn't be a problem as it is all plastic and metal.

    The Chamonix 45n1 is about 3 pounds (newer models are heavier) and very durable - I've had mine in rain, knocked it over multiple times, and it just keeps going. I've had some issues after years and years of shooting, but nothing is impervious to damage.

    I would highly recommend the Chamonix, or the Intrepid if you don't mind some slight risk of physical damage (buy two and have one ready to send by a friend? Still cheaper than the others even if you replace it once or twice!).
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram | Portfolio
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  5. #5

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

    https://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/...t-art/1949441/

    Greg Hindy
    In silence. After a full year of walking, he made it coast to coast. This week marked the final stretch of a journey that started July 9, 2013. Greg Hindy grew up in Nashua, New Hampshire, where he was high school valedictorian and went on to enter the pre-med program at Yale

  6. #6

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    You might not consider weight, but you should.

    Linhof Master Technika is too heavy. Full stop. I've hiked with it. Don't even consider it, there's no benefit to it in this situation.

    Intrepid ultralight "Black" model is the lightest I have used at 2.5 pounds, recently purchased, but durability in to physical damage may not be stellar. I would imagine a good shock will destroy the plastic parts, but rain shouldn't be a problem as it is all plastic and metal.

    The Chamonix 45n1 is about 3 pounds (newer models are heavier) and very durable - I've had mine in rain, knocked it over multiple times, and it just keeps going. I've had some issues after years and years of shooting, but nothing is impervious to damage.

    I would highly recommend the Chamonix, or the Intrepid if you don't mind some slight risk of physical damage (buy two and have one ready to send by a friend? Still cheaper than the others even if you replace it once or twice!).
    Did you see that he said “hand held”?

  7. #7

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    You might not consider weight, but you should.

    Linhof Master Technika is too heavy. Full stop. I've hiked with it. Don't even consider it, there's no benefit to it in this situation.
    Thanks for the reply Corran. A couple things about the cameras you recommended is that those seem quite challenging to shoot handheld where as the Linhof master technika has the rangefinder. I do like the idea of the Intrepid, I have one that I really enjoy but I can't imagine trying to shoot it handheld. Do you have any recommendations for cameras that could be shot in situations where i cant set up a tripod? The second thing about weight is that my baseweight is a little under 10lbs so I can afford to carry a heavier camera.

  8. #8

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

    Thanks for the recommendation Bob! It's going on the list of potential cameras!

  9. #9

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

    Speed Graphic, or Crown Graphic. I'd personally lean towards a rangefinder medium format because the film would be lighter, enabling you to carry more of it and you wouldn't have deal with film holders.

  10. #10
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Help me choose a camera to hike 2000+ miles

    Wista RF, but you would need to use 135mm, 150mm or 180mm lenses, all Nikon btw, for the optimal experience.
    If you don't need movements, maybe the Chroma Snapshot or something like this:https://film.kolve.org/darkroomdiy/w...endly-cameras/

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