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Thread: What small lightweight lens for 4x5 backpacking?

  1. #21
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: What small lightweight lens for 4x5 backpacking?

    Quote Originally Posted by otto.f View Post
    Generally, Nikon has quite compact and lightweight lenses. I even have a very short 300mm which fits in the Chamonix canvas little bag (that comes with the camera) alongside the film holders.
    Otto, I see you use Chamonix holders as I do (I use 4x5). Have you figured out a good place to stick notes on them as to type of film, labelling, etc?

  2. #22

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    Re: What small lightweight lens for 4x5 backpacking?

    Quote Originally Posted by GoodOldNorm View Post
    Yes I believe a lightweight tripod is an essential bit of kit. Reducing the weight of my rucksack prevents blisters on my feet and aches and pains from the straps. I am talking about 3-4 day hikes over mountains.
    Lens choice can shave a few ounces off the total weight of the pack, but its negligible compared to other choices. In my experience, it's the number of film holders carried that makes the most difference, when considering equipment. Whether my water bottle is full or empty also matters. Then there's food. Anyway, lens choice is worth a look, but other stuff matters a lot more.

    As Alan notes, tripod weight is important. I carry a very light wooden tripod that most photographers would cringe at, but if the wind is calm, or at least there are lulls, the pictures are sharp. If it is windy, trees etc. move around and become blurry, even if the camera was bolted to bedrock.

    If you want to cringe, see:

    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...=1#post1572456

  3. #23

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    Re: What small lightweight lens for 4x5 backpacking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    Otto, I see you use Chamonix holders as I do (I use 4x5). Have you figured out a good place to stick notes on them as to type of film, labelling, etc?
    I use individual holder sleeves of different colors to specify the film type very clearly visually. Some vendors’ are reversible with different colors inside/out.

    I think that’s better than adhering labels.

  4. #24

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    Re: What small lightweight lens for 4x5 backpacking?

    Quote Originally Posted by mmerig View Post
    No cringing at all. My approach is similar to yours; a lightweight wood or aluminum tripod that's easy to carry but still sturdy enough to hold everything still when everything is still. I then hang my film pouch on the tripod to give it more weight and stabilize it. If I need more, I carry an empty nylon fabric "bucket" that I can fill with rocks or whatever and hang off the middle post.

  5. #25
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: What small lightweight lens for 4x5 backpacking?

    Excellent, Doremus! I have one of those 'buckets' -- somehow ended up with it, tried it backpacking, and found it was not worth its 2 or 3 ounces for keeping water in camp. Might be worth taking for the tripod.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  6. #26
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: What small lightweight lens for 4x5 backpacking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwi7475 View Post
    I use individual holder sleeves of different colors to specify the film type very clearly visually. Some vendors’ are reversible with different colors inside/out.

    I think that’s better than adhering labels.
    Do you have a brand name or link? Thanks.

  7. #27

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    What small lightweight lens for 4x5 backpacking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    Do you have a brand name or link? Thanks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    Do you have a brand name or link? Thanks.
    There’s this route...

    https://www.stonephotogear.com/films...x5singlesleeve

    and then the eBay ones:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/254379569537

    (Those are 8x10 but there’s similar ones for 4x5; they are reversible, black inside and red outside or viceversa).

  8. #28
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: What small lightweight lens for 4x5 backpacking?

    My 4x5 camera and Calumet IIN 150/5.6 when weighed together is just a touch over a kilo, not quite 2.5 pounds. Most my traveling with it was with a pre-carbon Studex w/ a ballhead...probably 6 to 7 pounds. But even carbon will not reduce as much weight as one might expect, as I am 6'3" and will not stoop to save a pound or two.

    But add holders (5 to 6), a changing bag, a couple boxes of film, meter, notebook, spare GG on a long trip, or whatever one needs and it all adds up. To save weight on more recent backpack trips, I take a small shoulder bag that I pack the holders, meter, notebook, etc in. Once in camp, I can walk around with the 5x7 on the tripod, with the bag over my shoulder. I'll take 5 or 6 holders for a 3 or 4 night trip and not worry about reloading...make 'em count!
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  9. #29

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    Re: What small lightweight lens for 4x5 backpacking?

    Had a 3.75" (basically a 90mm) W.A. Dagor years ago that was truly great...and very tiny. My current 90 is an f/6.8 Grandagon-N...still reasonably small but not like the Dagor. For something a bit more "normal" in terms of F.L. for 4x5, I can highly recommend the 135mm f/5.6 Sironar-N, and the 150 f/9 G-Claron. For something a bit longer, either a 210mm G-Claron or 200mm M-Nikkor would fit the bill for light weight compactness, as would the above mentioned 207mm E.K. lens.

    I'm a couple inches shorter than Vaughn...but at 6'1" - I find the Feisol "Tall Traveler" CF tripod to be a perfect combo when out and about with either my Calumet/Gowland ultralight 4x5, or my almost-as-light DIY 5x7 plywood "minimalist."

  10. #30

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    Re: What small lightweight lens for 4x5 backpacking?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Layton View Post
    Had a 3.75" (basically a 90mm) W.A. Dagor years ago that was truly great...and very tiny. My current 90 is an f/6.8 Grandagon-N...still reasonably small but not like the Dagor. For something a bit more "normal" in terms of F.L. for 4x5, I can highly recommend the 135mm f/5.6 Sironar-N, and the 150 f/9 G-Claron. For something a bit longer, either a 210mm G-Claron or 200mm M-Nikkor would fit the bill for light weight compactness, as would the above mentioned 207mm E.K. lens.

    I'm a couple inches shorter than Vaughn...but at 6'1" - I find the Feisol "Tall Traveler" CF tripod to be a perfect combo when out and about with either my Calumet/Gowland ultralight 4x5, or my almost-as-light DIY 5x7 plywood "minimalist."
    Hello, I have an ultra light Feisol CT-3401 with an extra center column. I thought I'd take it with me for a hike. Because of the plus of possibilities I installed the center column. Everything was solid, at home, at 20°C. Then it went into the cold and the rain. The three grub screws made of aluminum, that hold the center column, shrunk, the center column loosened as a whole in the tripod, everything wobbled like a cow tail. I saved 1.5 kg of weight compared to the Gitzo Reporter made of aluminium. but because the tripod became useless, I lugged 6 kg of equipment around for free. Now I always take a very thick and heavy swiss knife with me to be able to screw in loose screws. I removed the center column an glued the CB-50 ball head directly on the plate. Next measure: soldering the head on the tripod. That is somehow stupid ... with aluminium Gitzo tripods you don't ask yourself such questions. Tschau zäme

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