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Help me choose my travel gear!
Old 09-08-2005   #1
sockeyed
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Help me choose my travel gear!

Every year I make a point of somewhere new; last year it was Vietnam, before that it was S. France, Turkey, India, China,...

This year is no exception. In just over a month I'll be heading to Indonsia and Malaysia for 4 weeks, to Bali, Lombok, Kuala Lumpur and East Malaysia.

The trouble is, I can't decide what gear to take. In Vietnam I carried my F-1 + lenses and found it manageable, but now I've got some RFs to consider. Here are my options as I see them:

1. Canon F-1 New + 24/2.8, 35/2 & 85/1.8
This kit is proven and reliable. It's heavy-ish. Good lenses.

2. Bessa R3A + Nokton 40/1.4, 75/2.5 & 25/4
Smaller, lighter, great lenses, but valuable. Also, the R3A has jammed 2x on me (not lately, but it's something to worry about).

3. Bessa R + 35/2.5, 75/2.5 & 25/4
Smallest, lightest kit, moderately valuable, great (but slower) lenses. No AE.

I'll be shooting Reala, NPH and probably Tri-X. I'll also bring 1 or 2 Stylus Epics to have handy and my digicam.

Any thoughts?
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Old 09-08-2005   #2
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Bessa R3a + 40Nokton
Bessa R + 25 and 75

That way, you will still have options if the R3a locks up. The R is so light it will hardly make a difference, plus you will waste less time switching lenses.
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Old 09-08-2005   #3
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The Stylus will come in handy. October is still monsoon season there, right?
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Old 09-08-2005   #4
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Thanks, Ray! The 2-bessa option is something to consider.

Good point about the monsoons. They don't usually hit Bali/Lombok until later in November, but Malaysia might be wet.
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Old 09-08-2005   #5
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Two camera bodies from the same system always makes a lot of sense. I had a Nikon FM2 jam up in Somalia in 1992-3 and shot the rest of the trip on one body. I'd personally stick with the rangefinders ... they're so small and light compared to the SLRs, and you're looking at comparable lenses.

Point and shoots, digital or film, are also good backups to carry. Because my primary work is no longer photojournalism, these days I usually travel with one film body and use the digital point and shoot (a Canon G1) as backup. I've actually published a couple pictures in my newspapers taken by the G1, a couple others taken by the Nikon RFs. Most of the time I travel with a company photographer and so am just taking the pictures for my personal satisfaction.
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Old 09-08-2005   #6
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What Ray said - the 2 Bessas and your 25, 40 & 75 CV lenses. Sell the F-1.

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Old 09-08-2005   #7
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No, don't sell the F-1, I hate to be tempted.

Yes, two Bessas and lots of film.
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Old 09-08-2005   #8
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i'm with ray.
2 bodies is a must.

oops, my (our) neurosis is showing...

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Old 09-08-2005   #9
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yeah two bodies - R as backup or second body - they are relatively light anyway, ain't they?

Last time, I took 20D and 10D with me and 4 lenses to East Malaysia - Sabah
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Old 09-08-2005   #10
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2 bodies is the norm. I go along with the recommended lenses as well.
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Old 09-08-2005   #11
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Both Bessa's, all four CV lenses and pickup a J8 50/2 before you go as a lowlight backup for the R.
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Old 09-08-2005   #12
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F-1 with the 85 for portraits, people, long landscapes
R with the 40 on it for lowlight / street / candid
stash the 25 in you pocket. You lose some redundancy but still have the P&S for that.
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Old 09-08-2005   #13
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Both Bessas and what Kin said about a J8.
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Old 09-08-2005   #14
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what traut said.
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