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View Full Version : Help Me Choose My Camera Gear: You Decide!


raid
05-30-2006, 19:12
I am ready to let you decide which camera gear to take along on my upcoming trip to China for one week. It will be to two cities (Tianjin and Beijing), but I hope that there will be possibilities for side trips. Basically, my wife and I will most likely not be able to visit mountains and natural wonders, but we will see what is available around Beijing.

I was going to take along two rangefinder cameras plus the tiny Fuji Natura P&S with the 24mm/1.9, but I will let you decide what I will take along!

Which acceptable rangefinder cameras do I have available?

1. Leica M3
2. Bessa T
3. Leica CL
4. Canon P

I don't want to experiment with newly acquired old cameras which require me to cut the end of the film and so on, which leaves the Leica IIIc and the Canon IVsb out.

Which focal lengths do I prefer?

24mm ~ 135mm

Lens Options:

1. CV 25mm/4 (if chosen, then the Fuji Natura stays home)

2. Rokkor 28mm/2.8 Canon 28mm/3.5

3.Canon 35mm/1.8 or Summicron 35mm/2 with goggles

4. 40mm/50mm lenses:
Summicron C 40mm/2
Summicron rigid and collapsible
Canon 50/1.2 50/1.8 502.8
Nikkor 50/2
Zeiss 50/LTM (pre-war)
FSU J-3 50/1.4 J-8 50/2.0 I-61L 50/2.8

5. 85mm~90mm

Summicron 90/2
Elmarit 90/2.8
Elmar 90/4

Canon 85/1.9


6. 135mm

Hektor 135mm/4.5
Canon 135mm/3.5
Nikkor 135mm/3.5


A small set of lenses would be sufficient.

Michael I.
05-30-2006, 19:22
Leica CL Canon 35mm/1.8 everyday;Canon 50/1.2 lowlight;Canon 85/1.9;Fuji Natura as backup and wide

back alley
05-30-2006, 19:23
m3 and cl

rokkor 28
50 summicron collapsible
elmar 90/4
no 135

small, lightweight easy to carry.
small bag keep the 28 on the cl, the 50 on the m3 and the 90 on either.

raid
05-30-2006, 19:26
Wow! That was quick. I will abide by whatever this Forum advises me to do.

aad
05-30-2006, 19:29
I don't cut no stinkin' leaders! IIIc, baby.

Otherwise, M3/Bessa T

leafy
05-30-2006, 19:34
You need no viewfinder, get the T!

dostacos
05-30-2006, 19:42
I am ready to let you decide which camera gear to take along on my upcoming trip to China for one week. It will be to two cities (Tianjin and Beijing), but I hope that there will be possibilities for side trips. Basically, my wife and I will most likely not be able to visit mountains and natural wonders, but we will see what is available around Beijing.

I was going to take along two rangefinder cameras plus the tiny Fuji Natura P&S with the 24mm/1.9, but I will let you decide what I will take along!

Which acceptable rangefinder cameras do I have available?

1. Leica M3
2. Bessa T
3. Leica CL
4. Canon P

I don't want to experiment with newly acquired old cameras which require me to cut the end of the film and so on, which leaves the Leica IIIc and the Canon IVsb out.

Which focal lengths do I prefer?

24mm ~ 135mm

Lens Options:

1. CV 24mm/3.5 (if chosen, then the Fuji Natura stays home)

2. Rokkor 28mm/2.8

3.Canon 35mm/1.8 or Summicron 35mm/2 with goggles

4. 50mm lenses:
Summicron rigid and collapsible
Canon 50/1.2 50/1.8 502.8
Nikkor 50/2
Zeiss 50/LTM (pre-war)
FSU J-3 50/1.4 J-8 50/2.0 I-61L 50/2.8

5. 85mm~90mm

Summicron 90/2
Elmarit 90/2.8
Elmar 90/4

Canon 85/1.9


6. 135mm

Hektor 135mm/4.5
Canon 135mm/3.5
Nikkor 135mm/3.5


A small set of lenses would be sufficient.

Leica and Bessa T but include the 24mm wide

back alley
05-30-2006, 20:02
Wow! That was quick. I will abide by whatever this Forum advises me to do.


this forum will never arrive at a consensus...;)

raid
05-30-2006, 20:31
Leica and Bessa T but include the 24mm wide

Do you mean the CV 25mm/4 or the Fuji Natura P&S with the 24mm/1.9 lens?

raid
05-30-2006, 20:32
this forum will never arrive at a consensus...;)

Joe:I will go with majority votes.

rbiemer
05-30-2006, 20:32
Raid,
I voted for "other". I think you should take all of your choices and a camera porter. I might know some one who would work for airfare and food... :D
Really, though, I would suggest the Natura and which ever other camera you feel most confident using. Along with the 50 and 85/90 you like the best.
Rob

FrankS
05-30-2006, 20:36
I'd take the M3 and CL bodies.

J3 on the M3 (sounds right, doesn't it?)

Canon 35 f1.8 on the CL. (just use the whole viewfinder outside the 40mm framelines)

CV25 at the ready.

Elmar or Elmarit 90 optional. (You really can take portraits with a 50.)

small flash

Just my suggestion.

sf
05-30-2006, 20:38
Really, I'd just take the CL. Smaller is better for so many reasons - and so is FEWER. 25mm is very wide.

Maybe, you could take the M3 + 50mm and the Natura for the wide shots.

FrankS
05-30-2006, 20:52
B+W film in the M3, colour neg or slide fikm in the CL. Keep the 25 finder on the CL to check when the wide lens would work. You also need a small light meter. (Handier than using the CL meter to set the M3 esp. if you have diff ISO films.)

You can switch the lenses around: 50 on the CL or 25 on the M3 when you want. (The only weakness is using the 35 on the M3, which would require another external finder, or you just "wing it".)

This is a bit of gear, but you are going someplace far away and exciting.

raid
05-30-2006, 21:40
Raid,
I voted for "other". I think you should take all of your choices and a camera porter. I might know some one who would work for airfare and food... :D
Really, though, I would suggest the Natura and which ever other camera you feel most confident using. Along with the 50 and 85/90 you like the best.
Rob

Rob: So you favor one full-sized camera plus the P&S. Makes me thinking about such a lighter plan.

raid
05-30-2006, 21:44
"I'd take the M3 and CL bodies.

J3 on the M3 (sounds right, doesn't it?)

Canon 35 f1.8 on the CL. (just use the whole viewfinder outside the 40mm framelines)

CV25 at the ready.

Elmar or Elmarit 90 optional. (You really can take portraits with a 50.)

small flash

Just my suggestion."
__________________

B+W film in the M3, colour neg or slide fikm in the CL. Keep the 25 finder on the CL to check when the wide lens would work. You also need a small light meter. (Handier than using the CL meter to set the M3 esp. if you have diff ISO films.)

You can switch the lenses around: 50 on the CL or 25 on the M3 when you want. (The only weakness is using the 35 on the M3, which would require another external finder, or you just "wing it".)

This is a bit of gear, but you are going someplace far away and exciting.



Frank: I only know how to use the Pentax Spotmeter even though I was given a couple of smaller meters with dials. As for using a flash, I wouldn't know where to start with theM3 since it needs one of those little adapters. The CL would be more suitable for a small flash. If I used the 35mm/2 with goggles, then I have to use the M3, but with the 35mm/1.8, I could use either camera suggested by you. I conclude that you do not favor the Natura P&S and prefer the 25mm/4 lens.

Greetings,
Raid

raid
05-30-2006, 21:45
Really, I'd just take the CL. Smaller is better for so many reasons - and so is FEWER. 25mm is very wide.

Maybe, you could take the M3 + 50mm and the Natura for the wide shots.


This would be a minimal outfit indeed. It may be sufficient.

FrankS
05-30-2006, 21:55
I would not take the googled 35 lens - too bulky, and only works on the M3. You could get away with just the 50 on the M3 and the 25 on the CL.

(I like the CV25 lens (and viewfinder) on the CL.)

Let your wife carry a P+S camera with a 35mm lens.

You're a lucky dog, going on such a trip! :)

Will
05-30-2006, 22:17
m3 and cl

rokkor 28
50 summicron collapsible
elmar 90/4
no 135

small, lightweight easy to carry.
small bag keep the 28 on the cl, the 50 on the m3 and the 90 on either.


Add the 24, 28, 35, as you go to Benjing, you for sure will go to the old palace, you need something wide, very wide...

As you go to the old districts, you need something fast, so with a fast 50/1.2 or 50/2

Take the 90/2.8

JohnM
05-30-2006, 22:22
My pick - the M3 with 50 rigid and a 90, either the Elmarit or the Elmar. Speed won't be that important for the 90, so take whichever one works better for you.

The Natura is almost a no-brainer as well - small, tidy, f1.9, etc. The CL makes sense as a backup.

BJ Bignell
05-30-2006, 23:28
It seems I voted for the most popular option:
Leica M3 + CL ++(25mm/Natura) + 35mm +50mm+ 90mm

I would modify it slightly as this:
Leica M3 + CL + CV25mm + 35mm +50mm+ 90mm

Three bodies is too much. Two bodies with four lenses is about right. As Frank suggested, b&w in the M3 and colour in the CL. Take the 35/2 Summi with goggles, the 50/1.2, and the 90/2 Summi.

As mentioned, take a small hand-held incident meter, or if you haven't one, a small handheld reflective light meter. Take an hour or two before you go to figure it out, and to ensure that it works properly.

Most importantly: take lots of film, shoot it dead, and have fun.

RML
05-31-2006, 00:14
I can't decide this for you, Raid! I wouldn't go for an Leica M anymore. The Bessa T would also not fit in my choices, just like the P. Only the CL carries my vote on this one.

Does CV have a 24/3.5? I only know of a 25/4 but I love that lens.
I'd also go for the M-Rokkor 40/2, the Jupiter-8 50/2, the Carl Zeiss Planar T+ 50/2 ZM and the Jupiter-9 85/2. Only the J-8 is in your line-up.

Choose what you want, Raid. Cull your choices down to the bare essentials and be done with it. :)

lubitel
05-31-2006, 03:51
I think 2 bodies and 3 lenses is definitely enough. I'd pick 25mm 50mm and 90. or just 25 and 90. put a 50 on m3 and 25 on the T or CL and you are set.

Richard Black
05-31-2006, 04:53
After a report by a well-known contributer on the CVUG, Baba, about how Chinese airport security treated one of his cameras, I think I would take the one I would least miss if damaged. That said, the Bessa T and the 28/50/90 of your choice and the Fuji for all around and backup.

pvdhaar
05-31-2006, 04:55
I'd say an M3 plus a T.

M3 with 50mm, classic combo all the way..
T with a 25, as it has a low profile, even including a finder..

RML
05-31-2006, 05:04
After a report by a well-known contributer on the CVUG, Baba, about how Chinese airport security treated one of his cameras, I think I would take the one I would least miss if damaged.

Richard, can you update us on Baba's story?

My experience with Beijing airport and the Erlian railroad crossing border guards and security people is not bad at all. I've never had any trouble at all, and wouldn't expect to have either. Though I kinda dislike the official regime and mentality of the Chinese, I find the people professional, courteous and efficient. Not like the VoPo guards at Checkpoint Charley where we were held for several hours while absolutely nothing happened, got checked or stamped.

Spyderman
05-31-2006, 05:34
I voted other. I would recommend this:

bodies: M3 + CL (+ maybe Natura as backup)

lenses: 24 + 35 + 50 + 90

With natura instead of 24 lens, you are stuck with shootng the film which is in the natura. If you take a 24 lens, you can have different film in the bodies, and use the lens with the film you wish. Also, sometimes you might want some maual override even with the 24.

But take the natura as a backup, it's so small it fits anywhere...

Marc-A.
05-31-2006, 06:30
I don't cut no stinkin' leaders! IIIc, baby.
Otherwise, M3/Bessa T

Kinda agree with that. I don't see the problem with the IIIc provided it works well. It's a fantastic camera ... (but you know that story).
But the Bessa T has the advantage of providing a meter and it is in M mount. So it seems to be the easiest solution (better look than the CL BTW).
Definitely M3/Bessa T, then.
Best,
Marc

Benjamin Marks
05-31-2006, 06:36
Urban areas favor wides in my experience. I voted for 35-50-90. But on further reflection I would take 25-28-35-50 and leave the 90 home. I would shoot with the M3 and take the T as backup only. If you can narrow it down to a favorite lens, try one lens/two bodies. If I had to choose only one, it would be M3/35mm. The only trouble I see is taking a 60 year old camera on a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Age and reliability notwithstanding, you are potentially one tumble down a staircase or trip off a curb from having no working camera at all. When I went to Japan I took, M6, M3 and Fuji 645 and for lenses, 35, 50, 90. It was really a little too much gear to haul around (also: film, light meter, table-top tripod, extra batteries etc.). I like the T as a backup because it is nice and light.

Hey - whatever camera you take, don't forget to SEE as well as LOOK. And have a great trip.

Ben

raid
05-31-2006, 07:17
I can't decide this for you, Raid! I wouldn't go for an Leica M anymore. The Bessa T would also not fit in my choices, just like the P. Only the CL carries my vote on this one.

Does CV have a 24/3.5? I only know of a 25/4 but I love that lens.
I'd also go for the M-Rokkor 40/2, the Jupiter-8 50/2, the Carl Zeiss Planar T+ 50/2 ZM and the Jupiter-9 85/2. Only the J-8 is in your line-up.

Choose what you want, Raid. Cull your choices down to the bare essentials and be done with it. :)

Hi,
You caught a couple of errors in my list of equipment;
I have the CV 25mm/4 and not the 25mm/3.5.
Plus, I forgot to mention that I have the Summicron 40mm/2 for the CL.

You go for modern, practical equipment.

Regards,
Raid

FrankS
05-31-2006, 07:20
M3 + J3
CL + 40Summicron, CV25

raid
05-31-2006, 08:36
M3 + J3
CL + 40Summicron, CV25

Frank: I could live with such a basic outfit for large cities.

raid
05-31-2006, 11:48
So far, and based on your votes, The M3 seems to be a "must", and so are the 50mm and the 90mm lenses. This is based on the common choices for the top three categories (25 votes). Then, it is either the Bessa T or the CL, and the 35mm and/or (25mm/4 or Natura).
Believe it or not, but I am getting a lot of valuable comments here that will definitely assist me. What a great crowd of people we have here!
Thanks. Danke. Merci. Shukran.

FrankS
05-31-2006, 19:03
I'd go with this:

raid
05-31-2006, 19:29
Frank: Which lens is the shiny one in front ? This is a nice outfit. The J-3 seems to be on the M3 and the 40mm Summicron is on the CL. I have the same outfit, so far.

Regards,
Raid

wlewisiii
05-31-2006, 19:29
m3 and cl

rokkor 28
50 summicron collapsible
elmar 90/4
no 135

small, lightweight easy to carry.
small bag keep the 28 on the cl, the 50 on the m3 and the 90 on either.

I agree with joe given the choices you list. Personally I'd take only the CL with the collapsible Summicron mounted and the 28 & 90 hooked onto one of those two ended rear caps in my pocktet for when needed.

William

raid
05-31-2006, 19:34
I agree with joe given the choices you list. Personally I'd take only the CL with the collapsible Summicron mounted and the 28 & 90 hooked onto one of those two ended rear caps in my pocktet for when needed.

William

William: I will look for one of those two-ended rear caps. Where did you get yours, and what are they listed under?

Regards,
Raid

back alley
05-31-2006, 19:35
need 2 bodies, just in case. the m3 could be left in the hotel safe if not needed/wanted etc.

back alley
05-31-2006, 19:36
William: I will look for one of those two-ended rear caps. Where did you get yours, and what are they listed under?

Regards,
Raid


glue 2 m rear caps together. i would if i had 2 extra ones around.

wlewisiii
05-31-2006, 19:56
Raid, I've seen them listed at various places, but never when I've had the money. Given what was being asked for them, I think they were Leitz manufactured :bang: I really can't remember the official name for them. joe's got a good idea of glueing two regular ones together.

William

FrankS
05-31-2006, 20:05
The 3rd lens is a CV25.

raid
05-31-2006, 20:35
The 3rd lens is a CV25.

Frank: My CV 25mm/4 is black, and I have never seen this lens in chrome finsih.

Raid

hth
05-31-2006, 23:33
I voted for the closest to what I think, though I think you should leave the 90 at home. Do bring a reasonable fast 35 (f2). That and the 50 will probably do very fine.

Two bodies are nice to have in case of a breakdown, and you can have one for ISO100 and the other with faster film for evenings.

/Håkan

hth
05-31-2006, 23:55
On second thoughts, if you like the Natura with its wide angle lens, it might be an idea to bring it too for some occasional use.

/Håkan

raid
06-01-2006, 07:08
I voted for the closest to what I think, though I think you should leave the 90 at home. Do bring a reasonable fast 35 (f2). That and the 50 will probably do very fine.

Two bodies are nice to have in case of a breakdown, and you can have one for ISO100 and the other with faster film for evenings.

/Håkan

Hakan: I am still debating about taking along a 90mm lens or not. The 90/4 is tiny and very light, by the way, and it is great for portraits. As for 35mm lenses, I do own a 35/2 and a 35mm/1.8 as fast lenses.

The Natura is a possibility. We'll see what this poll will advise me on.

raid
06-01-2006, 07:09
I checked out my CL last evening, and I found the rangefinder to require adjusting. I will take the camera today to my local camera repairman. The M3 was recently overhauled and the Bessa T is like new, so I know that if the CL cannot be fixed on time, I will have the option to take the other two cameras.

PeterL
06-05-2006, 15:55
Hi,

I voted for Leica M3 + CL+ (25mm/Natura)+ 50 +90mm because it's closest to what I would take. You probably want a spare body just in case, so take that tiny CL for that purpose. Then, the 25-50-90 (28-50-90 in my case) works very nicely. 35mm is too close to 50mm. And more than 3 lenses, you'll be juggling around a lot. Oh, and leave that CL in the hotel room or safe until your M3 breaks (but of course, it won't).


Peter.

PeterL
06-05-2006, 16:10
Oh, seen the fact that your CL might be off, I'd go for M3 with 50&90 and the Natura separately. I've had a lot of fun with my SLR+90 and a 28mm P&S before. 28-90 is a great combo and I've travelled the world with it, but these days I like my 50 a lot.


Peter.

raid
06-05-2006, 16:26
Oh, seen the fact that your CL might be off, I'd go for M3 with 50&90 and the Natura separately. I've had a lot of fun with my SLR+90 and a 28mm P&S before. 28-90 is a great combo and I've travelled the world with it, but these days I like my 50 a lot.


Peter.

Peter:
I will tomorrow get back the CL with the adjusted rangefinder. I was told today that I may have dropped the camera or hit it at some time. I also find the 35mm close to the 50mm focal length, but if I shoot both color and B&W on the same day, it wouldn't be so bad to have both lenses; one for each camera.

Regards,
Raid

PeterL
06-05-2006, 16:46
I also find the 35mm close to the 50mm focal length, but if I shoot both color and B&W on the same day, it wouldn't be so bad to have both lenses; one for each camera.

But since I would definitely leave one body in the hotel, I wouldn't take both :) The last year, I've gotten irritated of the weight I'm carrying while I just wanted to take a stroll through a nice city. I'll be testing my iiic+Summitar as the only camera as soon as I get it back and for the foreseeable future. But that might be too extreme for your particular trip. Cities require WA, other scenes sometimes requires tele.


Peter.

raid
06-05-2006, 17:14
Loading the III requires you to first cut a 4-5 inch strip off the end of the film. This is not something I like to do during such a trip. Plus, its viewfinder is very small. I got also a IIIc plus Summar (not Summitar), and the lens was tested by me last two weeks or so.

John
06-05-2006, 18:01
You could take the M3 and CL and trade them in for an MP and a M7 while in Hong Kong. :D

raid
06-05-2006, 18:07
You could take the M3 and CL and trade them in for an MP and a M7 while in Hong Kong. :D

John,
We are flying to China via Japan and will not stop in Hongkong. :bang:
The M3 is special to me because it is in mint condition and because of its history as the first M camera made. The CL is dispensable though.

Raid

John
06-05-2006, 18:20
Tony Rose is likely cheaper and better than Hong Kong anyway. :D

raid
06-06-2006, 10:28
I am not in the buying mood these days. Maybe one day I will get an M6TTL or just the M6 classical. It seems to be a wonderful camera.

John
06-06-2006, 13:38
Now I want an M6! :D :D