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View Full Version : One camera, one lens (not the usual thread)


Roger Hicks
07-03-2008, 23:33
For travel, one camera and one lens sounds to me like a really rotten idea. If the camera and/or lens stops working, what are you going to do?

More than two cameras, on the other hand, and you can be looking at a lot of weight and bulk, especially if you're walking much. There's also the point that you may spend more time wondering which camera to use than you will spend taking pictures.

The only way I'd carry one camera is with another -- good, cheap, reliable -- camera that I can leave in the room without worrying too much if it's stolen (Konica SIII in a locked suitcase) or in the hotel safe (e.g. Nikon F + 50/2, both of which are cheap nowadays) or even in my pocket if it's small and light enough (Retina IIa).

But as this is part of my livelihood I normally carry two Leicas, or one Leica + 1 MF (Alpa or Linhof). With the Alpa 12WA, the body is just a spacer and can't really go wrong, but I carry 2 lenses, 2 backs and (following the time I forgot, on a trip to India) 2 viewfinder masks.

Has anyone had a problem with taking just one camera that then breaks/is lost or stolen/otherwise fails to deliver the goods?

Cheers,

R.

zuikologist
07-03-2008, 23:43
No problems so far with manual cameras, more usually with digital SLRs, where even a seemingly fully charged battery suddenly discharges and I am left high and dry.

My usual holiday or short trip combination is digital SLR with general zoom and one good prime (usually a 24mm, to give about 35-40mm fov), one mechanical rangefinder (usually a Bessa R with Nokton) or mechanical SLR (Pentax MX with 50/1.7) and a Vivitar slim & wide (21mm fov) or Pentax Espio mini (which has a great 28mm lens and is surprinsingly versatile). This usually comes with a mini tripod and film, 2 charged batteries for the SLR.

It is difficult to shake off the paranoia of being without a camera of some sort......

marcust101
07-03-2008, 23:44
Roger

I was in the Alps once (mid winter), with an OM 1 which was performing very nicely. My girlfriend of the time spilled some water on it accidentally, and didn't tell me then I took it outside.....

The unfortunate thing froze up, luckily it was only the exterior controls and not the workings inside that got wet.

Once it thawed and dried it was fine. Ever since I bring a spare of some kind and I still use the OM regularly

regards

Marcus

pvdhaar
07-03-2008, 23:53
For travel, one camera and one lens sounds to me like a really rotten idea. If the camera and/or lens stops working, what are you going to do?
Enjoy the trip. At least, that's what I did when my Hexar completely froze when I was on holiday in France three years ago. I figured out what was wrong (mid-roll rewind button stuck) two days after. But I did manage to have a jolly good time without it..

maddoc
07-04-2008, 00:04
Until recently it was always only one camera / one (or two) lense(s) and I never had any problem (either with my DSLR or film camera) Now, I carry one Leica / one lens with me and a TLR. Leica for BW film and TLR for color, all in 400 ISO. I have a quite large messenger-style bag and carry both cameras and some rolls of unexposed film with me, already exposed film kept in the hotel room.

pinafore2
07-04-2008, 00:37
An older, but reliable, manual SLR with at moderate zoom (35 - 105) and/or Retina 1a

ChrisN
07-04-2008, 00:57
I took my Pentax dSLR out for a walk once, and forgot to put in a memory card. I felt very silly.

Anyone ever forgotten the film?

kuvvy
07-04-2008, 01:06
i've never had a problem on holiday. come to think of it, I've only had one repair to a camera in over 30 years. Not bad going.
When on holiday I tend to take a main shooting camera and a pocket compact. The main shooter could be anything from a DSLR plus short zoom, my CLE plus 25 & 40 or my Hexar Silver. I don't really shoot with long lenses so any of these suit me fine. Depends on where I'm going and what I fancy using at the time.
The pocket option is usually my Espio Mini, like Zuikologist mentioned above.
I have been away with just a compact in my pocket and shot the whole holiday on just that and to be honest I can manage quite well, though you sacrifice some control. That said I would still take two compacts, one as backup.

maddoc
07-04-2008, 01:09
I took my Pentax dSLR out for a walk once, and forgot to put in a memory card. I felt very silly.

Anyone ever forgotten the film?

Music festival with interesting local bands, memory cards prepared (two of them), battery charged (Nikon D1x, was eating batteries ...) and once arrived at the festival site I realised that I had forgotten the battery in the charger at home... :bang: :bang::bang:

D.O'K.
07-04-2008, 01:18
Some years ago I acquired a secondhand Rolleiflex T which looked as good as new and appeared to work well. I duly took it to Turkey (a brilliantly photogenic country) and over 10 days shot a vast number of pictures. Almost all were out of focus. It transpired the taking lens was misaligned internally, probably (said the repairer) because the camera had been dropped. Externally the lens plate was parallel to the body, so offering no clue to the horrors within. Stupidly, it was the only camera I took on the trip.

A terrible disappointment: but for the totally failed focussing, many of the pictures might have been very good...

Regards,
D.

PS: Ironically, Roger, I've just remembered that the whole sorry episode was ultimately your fault! I'd bought the T as a cheap way into MF as a direct result of reading your Medium Format Handbook (Blandford 1986, pps.30-32).

Happy ending though: post-repair the camera worked perfectly, I've loved it ever since, and it did get me seriously interested in MF. So thanks, really--
D.

literiter
07-04-2008, 01:32
If I travel by car I'll take just about the whole kit. If I travel by air, I'll go pretty basic, perhaps the 35mm SLR and 3 lenses.

sebastel
07-04-2008, 01:36
[ amateur_mode ]

i do not understand the possibly underlying paranoia. usually, cameras do not just fail. if you plan a trip to areas that put special requirements on your camera - well, then you should know about that beforehand.
and if your camera happens to fail in spite of your planning ahead, be happy if you have your credit card with you and a camera shop nearby.

[ /amateur_mode ]

[ professional_mode ]

if you get paid for taking pictures, having one or more replacement bodies with you is mandatory anyway, and the question should not come up in the first place.

[ /professional_mode ]

Roger Hicks
07-04-2008, 01:58
Enjoy the trip. At least, that's what I did when my Hexar completely froze when I was on holiday in France three years ago. I figured out what was wrong (mid-roll rewind button stuck) two days after. But I did manage to have a jolly good time without it..
Dear Peter,

Good point. But although I'd not go as far as my late friend Colin Glanfield ('If I couldn't take my camera, I'd not bother to travel') I'd certainly hate to be without a camera when I was travelling. That was true even before I started earning money with the camera -- which is so long ago I've pretty much forgotten what it's like not to rely on a camera...

Cheers,

R.

varjag
07-04-2008, 02:41
Roger, when traveling I take just one camera. Currently it's the M4, which haven't ever ruined a single frame to me so far. If it fails, I'd buy an inexpensive p&s with 35mm lens.

But certainly on a once in a lifetime photo opportunity it pays to take a backup.

kshapero
07-04-2008, 02:57
I still have not learned this simple precaution. Back in 1991 I was hired to shoot an art tour in the USSR. I took a Minolta 9000 (they were paying for it) and a boatload of lenses. I had just finished a PR shoot in NYC with Olympus and had a beautiful OM-4Ti kit. After some deliberation I decided to go to the USSR with the 9000 alone. The camera kept malfunctioning. AF finally stopped all together. if you think doing MF in an AF world is hard now, try it in 1991.
And yet I recently returned from a 2 week trip. All I took was a Zeiss Ikon and a CV Heliar 50mm lens. It was awesome.

Toby
07-04-2008, 02:58
I've had a Pentax 67 break its winder in Israel - they didn't export this camera to Israel so no chance of getting it fixed even though I was there for two months.

Had a sigma zoom break in Cuba - it was almost new, so I've never bought a Sigma lens since.

Both cases I was young and skint with patchy back up, much more belt and braces these days, but it is my living.

denkrahm
07-04-2008, 03:09
Like others have said ........ are you traveling to take pictures or are you travelling and take pictures on the way. On a (short)(business)(solo) trip alone just one camera, one lens. On a longer (holiday) trip with my girlfriend I have learnt that taking pictures gets in the way of a good time together (=the aim of the trip). In these cases I take more with me for those moments (I'm an early riser and she's not) that I go out alone for a hour or so. Often to places/spots we'd seen together before and enjoyed without the camera bag as third party!

Dirk-Jan

oftheherd
07-04-2008, 03:33
When traveling for pleasure, I have always driven, so I could take what I wanted. That usually included my Fujica ST 901 and Yashica TL Super with several lenses. The Fuji can work without battery in case of emergency, but I always carry a spare battery. I would also take my Super Press 23 and lenses.

About 5 years ago I put together a kit for a trrp to Germany that I never made after all. It consisted of a Yashica FX 103, 50mm Contax 50mm f/1.4, three zooms; 18-28, 28-70, and 75-150. A backup Yashica FX 3 body, a Yashica 221 dedicated flash, a 2x teleconverter, an odd filter or two, and film. Also a Welta 6x6 folder and a Gossen Luna Pro. It all fits in a small bag about 8 1/2, by 14, by 6(including the pockets). I keep and often have that in my car while commuting to work. I am considering replacing the Welta with a Zeiss Ikon non-rangefinder(light) or a Moskva(heavy).

As an aside, I have several zooms, but find I don't like even as small as an 80-200 most of the time. I am surprised how many photos a 50mm can take. I also have learned to prefer primes, 18mm, 24mm, 28mm, 135mm. But as I said, I like the kit above too, for the versatility of the zooms. And that for weight as well.

To the point of your question Mr. Hicks, I don't recall ever having a camera fail while on a trip or work. Even a Yashica 124 MAT that slipped out of my hands and hit a rock while changing film still worked, even though I had to rachet the film advance. My main cameras, the ST 901 and the Super Press 23 have worked well for over 30 years. I have had cameras fail, but never on a trip.

Matt White
07-04-2008, 03:54
I take everything my baggage allowance permits. Not because I'm scared of breakdown, but because holidays are my most important and least repeatable regular photography opportunities, and I like to mix scenery, wildlife, people and whatever else is worth making images of. So I take whatever I can carry, and then choose day-by-day what gear to go out with, leaving the rest in hotel or apartment. I lock stuff away when I'm not using it if I can, but if I can't, I try not to worry: it's all insured and nothing is irreplaceable except exposed film and image storage devices - which I always put in a safe if there is one.

Oliver H
07-04-2008, 04:00
When I travel around I always have just one body and one lens with me. One of my favourite combinations for cities and countryside trips is a Bessa L with the 15mm lens. In October my girlfriend and me are going to Lanzarote again - then I will be pretty high-tech: zeiss 4,5/21mm and the bessa r2a.

I`d never take two or more lenses with me - I want to concentrate on a special angle of view and compose my photos depending on this.

Regards,

Oliver

Nikon Bob
07-04-2008, 04:38
I don't do photography for a living but travel for pleasure. If it is to a place I may never see again then I take a back up body. Luckily my wife likes to snap too so having a back up is not a problem. OTH I have not had a body fail on a trip, touch wood.

Bob

Livesteamer
07-04-2008, 05:18
Take Two. In 42 years of shooting film only one failure. My honeymoon I had only one Nikon F and two lenses. The F lost all speeds above 1/60th so I got very little. OK, I bought it used from Wall street photo in 76 and put several thousand rolls thru it in college but I never expected an F to let me down. Joe

Al Patterson
07-04-2008, 05:35
[ amateur_mode ]

i do not understand the possibly underlying paranoia. usually, cameras do not just fail. if you plan a trip to areas that put special requirements on your camera - well, then you should know about that beforehand.
and if your camera happens to fail in spite of your planning ahead, be happy if you have your credit card with you and a camera shop nearby.

[ /amateur_mode ]

[ professional_mode ]

if you get paid for taking pictures, having one or more replacement bodies with you is mandatory anyway, and the question should not come up in the first place.

[ /professional_mode ]

That depends on where one is going. A few years ago, I took three cameras to Durango, CO for a rail charter trip. One day it rained, if if I hadn't had the Pentax 90WR weather resistent camera as the backup to my two SLR bodies I would have had less pictures at the end of the trip.

Now if I'm rained out a few blocks from home, I can go back another day or swing by the house and get another camera.

like2fiddle
07-04-2008, 05:46
So far, not a problem with mechanical cameras. Have had numerous "temporary" problems with battery-dependent cameras over the years (dead batteries).
I don't travel often, but generally carry one M and one or two lenses; Also an ultra compact digital P&S as backup - fits in shirt pocket.

ClaremontPhoto
07-04-2008, 05:51
I'd only ever take one camera.

So long as it was a quality camera.

Why buy a good camera, and then take a back up?

mfunnell
07-04-2008, 06:17
I take everything my baggage allowance permits. Not because I'm scared of breakdown, but because holidays are my most important and least repeatable regular photography opportunities, and I like to mix scenery, wildlife, people and whatever else is worth making images of. So I take whatever I can carry, and then choose day-by-day what gear to go out with, leaving the rest in hotel or apartment.Matt: very wise words. Unfortunately, in these wonderful days of "airline security", I find "whatever I can carry" can be remarkably limiting.

A cautionary tale, however:

Last year (ie. June 2007) I and my father went on a wildlife photography course organised through Australian Geographic magazine. I took a 2nd near everything. Lots of people (especially including Dad) pointed and laughed. Too much gear! 'Till Dad dropped his camera, with external flash on, and ripped the hot-shoe off. He took over my 2nd camera. Someone else's card reader failed. I had a spare, which I loaned them. Another had a shutter failure - but I had a film body as "2nd spare", so they could use that. I had hard-disk space (external), film (b&w and colour), spare USB, network and telephone cables, etc. etc. (most of which, one way or another, someone used).

None of which could have been found within a 200k (120mile) drive (and way worse in terms of road conditions). OK - it didn't help me because I had nothing fail or break (mostly by good luck rather than good management) - but I was amazed at how many things did go wrong. And also amazed that nobody but me had a backup plan ...

...Mike

(P.S. my usual and more "general" travel backup plan is an Olympus mju-II aka Stylus Epic which cost almost nothing, takes nearly no space and still takes a good photo. But for "one off" trips like the photo course / rainforest trip I do a little more.)

mfunnell
07-04-2008, 06:27
I'd only ever take one camera.

So long as it was a quality camera.

Why buy a good camera, and then take a back up?Because even good cameras can break. And Mvrphy's Law says "at the worst possible time". And even smart people can do dumb things that break or lose a good camera.

Sure, don't plan on it. But if it really is a once in a lifetime photographic opportunity, well, then I'm paranoid enough to want backup.

...Mike

oscroft
07-04-2008, 06:39
When I was living in Thailand in the 80s and regularly traveling around SE Asia, I only had one camera for most of the time - a Pentax Spotmatic, which never went wrong. But had it broken, I would have bought a new camera.

I did eventually splash out on a Nikon F3, and an Olympus XA2 for sticking in a pocket, and the XA2 was a lifesaver once when I was out walking in jungle in Malaysia and got caught in a downpour - I thought I had the F3 well protected, but when I later found somewhere to sit down I placed the camera on a table and was horrified to see a pool of water pour out from the Nikkor 35-135 lens. If it wasn't for the XA2 (which was stashed in my bag in my room), that would have been the end of my photos for the next week or so. (The Nikkor lens was ruined, but the F3 was fine).

Gumby
07-04-2008, 06:52
Matt: very wise words. Unfortunately, in these wonderful days of "airline security", I find "whatever I can carry" can be remarkably limiting.


I couldn't agree more. And, it is getting worse with the fees for checking luggage and the associated congestion of the onboard storage bins. Often I would check a bag of clothes, even if it was small, so I could take a bit more camera gear. Now I carry-on my bag and take only one camera/lens and a lens hood to keep the weight/bulk down. A couple of weeks ago I flew to a wedding and took a Retina IIIC as the sole camera for personal photography. The shots I got were great, but I didn't get as many pics as I should have/could have with another (heavier) camera. Maybe I'll return to Nikon F3/MD4 as my standard carry-about camera since I think I can do more with it. Unfortunately that is the camera that came up with a "false positive" once at airline security checkpoint for traces of explosives... which was a rather inconvenient experience!

jbh
07-04-2008, 06:55
I'll often take along two different types of cameras, for example a Rolleiflex and the SWC, not because I'm afraid of a failure but because I want to do somewhat different kinds of work. Of course if one failed I could work with the other.

Of course on a paying job or one of those once-in-a-lifetime trips I'd carry backups for backups.

-jbh-

raid
07-04-2008, 06:56
In a recent trip to the Middle East, I took with me a Canon P and a Contax T2 as my "full size" and "light" cameras. I often would take with me only one camera and I left the other at home.

ferider
07-04-2008, 06:57
When I travel I mostly fly.

I take camera and film in carry on.

I have other stuff to take, too, like laptop, etc. Simply no room for much else but 1 body.

I'm with Jon. We put all this emphasis on the quality of our cameras, how light "travel combos" should be, etc. Then why carry a backup ?

Of course I imagine a pro having different requirements.

Roland.

Roger Hicks
07-04-2008, 06:58
I'd only ever take one camera.

So long as it was a quality camera.

Why buy a good camera, and then take a back up?

Because nothing made by man is perfect.

Leica M2; jammed shutter. Hasselblad 500C; back screws loose/falling out (vibration on a motorcycle tour). Vivitar Series 1 lens, interior lens group unscrewed (same cause, different motorcycle). MR meter; corroded contacts. MPP Mk VII; light leak. Linhof Tech IV; broken ground-glass. Mamiya 645; defective back latch.

That's just me. Another friend shot an entire assignment with a Rollei 35 because the airline lost his main camera outfit for 5 days. Others have had cameras stolen, or dropped them, or even in one case stopped a bullet with one (fortunately a Nikon F).

Edit: It looks as if the amateur/pro divide is wider here than I had imagined. I had assumed that more amateurs took their photography as seriously from choice as professionals have to. Seems I was wrong -- which interested me. Thanks, guys!

Cheers,

R.

mfunnell
07-04-2008, 07:00
Unfortunately that is the camera that came up with a "false positive" once at airline security checkpoint for traces of explosives... which was a rather inconvenient experience!I think you used rather too few, and rather mild, words for how much fun that must have been :eek:

...Mike

ferider
07-04-2008, 07:02
It's funny: some people (like me) depend professionally on their laptop. If on a business trip, it would break, I might as well return home.

Ever seen anybody travel with two laptops ?

:)

Roland.

Tin
07-04-2008, 07:02
I used to carry three cameras when traveling---two Nikon bodies and a compact such as Olympus XA or a Rollei 35. Nowadays, I only carry one camera and one lens (Bessa R2 with CV25, Ektachrome 100 film) and a digital camera (Sony R1). I use these cameras as each other's backup. I also use the zoom lens on the digital camera as my tele lens, so I do not need to carry a tele lens for my Bessa. I also use the digital camera for indoor pictures, so I do not need to take a fast lens nor fast film for the Bessa.

With regards to camera breakdown, that has occurred to me only once. It wasn't the camera's fault, but an accident. I was at the start of a China trip a number of years ago and had the Nikon FM2 in my hand. I tripped and fell and landed with my whole body weight on the camera. It made a dent on the side of the top plate and jammed the rewind mechanism. I ended up using the XA for the rest of my trip.

The XA also came to my rescue on another China trip. But that was my fault. I was on the mountain top of Huangshan viewing sunrise. To my surprise, the batteries in the meter of the Nikon ran out of juice. Of course I didn't check the night before, and also left the handheld meter in the hotel room. SO I had to use the meter in the XA to take a reading so that I could calculate the proper exposure for sunrise. BTW, the sunrise pictures turned out fine.

Tin

Gumby
07-04-2008, 07:05
Ever seen anybody travel with two laptops ?

:)

... or two cell/mobile phones... ? :) :)

Roger Hicks
07-04-2008, 07:07
It's funny: some people (like me) depend professionally on their laptop. If on a business trip, it would break, I might as well return home.

Ever seen anybody travel with two laptops ?

:)

Roland.

Dear Roland,

Ever seen anyone lose all their data?

If I travel with a laptop, the data is backed up and I can use the jump drives/CDs anywhere. No-one gives a toss about letting you use their computer, and a new laptop doesn't cost much in the unlikely event that you have to buy one.

Getting another Leica is another matter.

Cheers,

R.

mfunnell
07-04-2008, 07:11
It's funny: some people (like me) depend professionally on their laptop. If on a business trip, it would break, I might as well return home.

Ever seen anybody travel with two laptops ?

:)

Roland.Yes. Really. Because they were going somewhere where buying a 2nd laptop (or any PC) wasn't a possibility.

...Mike

Gumby
07-04-2008, 07:12
Edit: It looks as if the amateur/pro divide is wider here than I had imagined. I had assumed that more amateurs took their photography as seriously from choice as professionals have to. Seems I was wrong -- which interested me.

I once took my personal photography as serious as my professional photography. As a pro I would carry triple-redundancy backup, and shoot triple-reduntantly. Only had two memorably significant failures (once it was a 'no man-made machine is perfect' scenario and another time it was a 'no man is perfect' scenario). As time has gone by, I take personal photography much less seriously and prefer more to enjoy the experience itself than photographically documenting the experience. But that's just me...

gb hill
07-04-2008, 07:21
I thought Leicas didn't break?:eek:

ferider
07-04-2008, 07:31
Dear Roland,

Ever seen anyone lose all their data?

If I travel with a laptop, the data is backed up and I can use the jump drives/CDs anywhere. No-one gives a toss about letting you use their computer, and a new laptop doesn't cost much in the unlikely event that you have to buy one.

Getting another Leica is another matter.

Cheers,

R.

Yes. Really. Because they were going somewhere where buying a 2nd laptop (or any PC) wasn't a possibility.

...Mike

Dear Roger & Mike,

of course there are extreme situations where backups are needed, even a 2nd laptop, etc. In Iraq, on Safari, whatever.

My point was more that most of our trips don't fall in the above category, and offer replacement possibilities for almost everything. Most of the locations where I travel, I can buy/rent a laptop, a cellphone, or a good camera, get data access, etc.

I see how renting is not an option on a long motorcycle trip. In particular when you earn your livelyhood by reviewing equipment, among others. Very special requirements though, when compared to the average traveler, IMO. Because if not, you would not go by bike. What do you do when your bike breaks down ? Much more likely than your MP breaking down.

(on my own motorcycle trips (on a BMW as well), room is extremely sparse and usually gets occupied rather with another sweater or pair of shoes for the wife than another camera).

We seem to be more paranoid about photo equipment failures than about other stuff, and at the same time, we make a big point about getting the most reliable, battery independent, etc, photo equipment out there. Feels like a contradiction to me.

Roland.

charjohncarter
07-04-2008, 07:34
My last trip: two cameras. A very small digital P&S (Canon SD10), and my Konica C35 auto. Both cameras are truly pocket cameras. I have an 8 inch tripod to go with them. I take both (all three) everywhere on my trips, no fuss. If you go by the axiom that the best lens is a tripod, no problem with image quality.

back alley
07-04-2008, 07:36
my very simple solution is to just stay home...;)

oscroft
07-04-2008, 07:45
Ever seen anybody travel with two laptops ?
Well, my time here in Thailand is partly business, and I'd be screwed without a computer. So as a backup I bought a new desktop machine when I first got here this time, installed the appropriate software and copied all my stuff on to it.

And I'm glad I did, because the laptop I came with has broken.

gb hill
07-04-2008, 07:47
My sightseeing trips nowadays are pretty local, but I have every confidence my cameras are going to function flawlessly. (& I shoot Bessas). which are known for the wind on levers locking up. Tomorrow I'm going to the Heavy Rebel Weekend & it will be one camera, two lenses & plenty of film. Unless my wife decides to go with me, then I'll take two cameras & have her carry one for me.;)

Bingley
07-04-2008, 07:54
I just got back from a two-week road trip to the pacific northwest. I took along a Minolta X700 so I could use my 50/1.7 Rokkor lens for some landscape photography. I've used this camera for years w/out a problem, but about four days into the trip and before I could get to the location where I'd intended to use it, it simply stopped working.

I was very, very glad that I had a couple of mechanical rfs along (Canon P and Bessa R).

CK Dexter Haven
07-04-2008, 08:00
I've never had anything stolen, even though i often travel to Brazil, which has a bad reputation in that respect. The theft potential has never been a consideration toward what i travel with. I almost always travel with as much gear as my large case can contain. I recently bought a Tenba Roadie (small), which has wheels, and a great laptop compartment. I take a Hasselblad, Canon 5D, Zeiss Ikon, a 35mm film SLR, and a couple of compacts.

But, when i go out to shoot, from the hotel/apartment, i take only one or two of those cameras, and one to three lenses, tops, depending on what i'm shooting. If i'm just aimlessly wandering around, or if i'm out for some purpose other than photography, i take one small camera and that's it. If i'm out touring, with or without a guide, it's probably the Hassy and an SLR or Ikon.

I've never thought to chain anything down in a hotel. Maybe i should.... I used to use hotel safes for a camera or two, but they're usually too small, and i haven't felt the need recently.

No, i can't imagine ever taking a plane somewhere, and bringing only one camera. Not because of the potential for theft or malfunction, but because i can't ever be satisfied with just one camera. I need variety, and i have too many different objectives. I sorta envy those who can do that, though.

Shac
07-04-2008, 08:06
Last year I was in northern India for 6 months – took a D70 with 18-70, a Coolpix 7900 and an 85/1.8, plus an M6 35/2, 50/2 & 90/4. By the end of the trip (this is a very dusty environment) the 18-70 zoom function had quit so naturally I was very pleased to have the 85. Dropped the 7900 and damaged the battery cover but the camera continues to function fine. Didn’t use the M6 as much as the 2 digitals, and of course had no problems with it. I’d always have some sort of back-up, although off tomorrow on a 5-day backpack trip and uncertain whether to take the D300 or the 7900 – not both.

ferider
07-04-2008, 08:07
No, i can't imagine ever taking a plane somewhere, and bringing only one camera. Not because of the potential for theft or malfunction, but because i can't ever be satisfied with just one camera. I need variety, and i have too many different objectives. I sorta envy those who can do that, though.

And that's what it's all about. Failure redundancy is just a pre-text :D

Roger Hicks
07-04-2008, 08:08
Thanks, everyone. This really is very interesting, with many points well taken. It is very easy indeed to assume that our own prejudices/fears are universal, the more so if they remain unchallenged for years at a time.

Many of my paranoid preconceptions are clearly due for examination, and I hope that others (especially the overconfident) feel the same.

Just one specific point, to Roland: there's a lot more I can fix on an old BMW than on an old (or indeed new) Leica, and one of the reasons I like my 1972 Land Rover so much is that I can fix even more myself. Same with my 1895 Gandolfi, come to think of it.

Cheers,

Roger

pachuco
07-04-2008, 08:31
I hate, and I mean hate taking a backup body with me but I do it for work with my DSLR , the reasons mentioned in above posts explain why. I recently walked for hours through the Amazon jungle with what seemed like a ton of gear and all I could think of was my M3 and how light it would be to carry (and that I could take more water with me if that is all I had) but once I arrived at my destination it really paid off to have all that gear. Then, I had to carry it back.

Nh3
07-04-2008, 08:33
I don't go downtown without two cameras let alone a foreign country.

wallace
07-04-2008, 09:09
I always take an Olympus 35RC as a backup. Fully mechanical, very small, excellent lens.

wallace

back alley
07-04-2008, 09:17
the grd makes a great backup camera.

for travel, i like 2 bodies and 3 lenses.

i could take the zi plus 35 and the entire cle kit, it would all fit in one bag and i would be covered from 28 to 90.

jan normandale
07-04-2008, 09:37
I had a brand new Mamiya 6 crap out in Phoenix en route to the Grand Canyon. The local pro shop said.. "this is bad, got to go to the specialist or Mamiya" I ended up shooting with an Olympus OM1. Very glad to have had that or I'd have had nothing.

Travel/camera issues are becoming more frequent I believe due to inept baggage handling or lost luggage and finally ham handed baggage inspectors during pre boarding.

Take a "cast iron" manual camera as back up.. your choice.

sockeyed
07-04-2008, 10:09
I tend to travel far too heavy. On my last trip to Thailand and Laos, I carried my Canon 5D plus two L zooms, plus my Leica M6 & Bessa R4M with a lens each. The reason I brought my 5D was that I was shooting for several NGOs who needed high quality digital files. I carried the rangefinders for black & white work. Of course, add onto this the weight of extra batteries and chargers, two portable hard drives, lens cleaning gear, memory cards and film. It was all entirely ridiculous. This year I'm heading back to Laos, but I'm hoping to leave my 5D at home. Either I'll shoot colour film for the NGOs, or I'll pray for the release of an affordable digital RF (please, Epson or Nikon or ...)

However, in 2002 I travelled around Turkey carrying just the great little Olympus Stylus Epic with its prime 35mm f/2.8 lens, and rolls of Provia. I had a wonderful time and came back with some very satisfying images. The Epic often still finds its way into my bag as a backup.

lewis44
07-04-2008, 10:38
Most times if I'm out for a day or two I just take the M7 and 50mm C-Sonnar. I may stick a 35 in my pocket if I expect I'll need it, but that's it. For long trips I do throw a small bag with my Nikon F2, a 35, 50 & 200. I know these will work and I'll be able to use the F2 to hammer a nail or two if the need arises

vincentbenoit
07-04-2008, 10:57
Has anyone had a problem with taking just one camera that then breaks/is lost or stolen/otherwise fails to deliver the goods?I'd never go on a trip without any backup of some sort. Last time I went travelling in West Africa one of my Leica bodies (M6 TTL 0.58x) died early on in the journey, which made me glad I'd brought the second one. Then at some point I dropped my 50mm Summicron in the sand and had to stop using it for fear of causing irreversible damage; fortunately the 35mm Summicron made it through unscathed.

I consider myself very lucky never to have had any equipment lost or stolen. (Although I came close once, when some thugs deprived me of all my money at knife point but failed to notice the camera in my bag).

Leaving some of the gear in the safety of the hotel room is not always an option when backpacking.

And then there's always the nagging possibility of losing exposed film, but that's another topic altogether...

Cheers

Vincent

kxl
07-04-2008, 11:06
I usually pack a second camera (a digital P&S) since my wife and other traveling companions always insist on typical tourist snaps with me in the picture. It's invariably easier to hand over a digital P&S for a snap rather than explain how to shoot a rangefinder.

pfoto
07-04-2008, 11:20
I take two MPs (one 0.72x and one 0.85x) and three lenses; 24, 35 and 85 in a small satchel. Seems to cover most eventualities.

35mmdelux
07-04-2008, 13:04
Travelling all my photo life -- one camera one lens.

Beginning in 2006 -- Leica M7 & two lenses (28,50); Contax T2 (backup).

Today? Probably Leica MP & 35mm Lux, Plaubel Makina, and Epic PS.

[EDITED for clarification]

raid
07-04-2008, 13:30
I enjoy taking with me two cameras or even a third small camera.

On certain days, it is more appropriate to have a pocket camera and on other days it is more important to choose a specific lens on a full sized camera. This is important to me. I don't thinkof it as back-up but as having alternate choices available to me.

John Robertson
07-04-2008, 14:32
I used to take just a Leica 111g, and 28mm Orion lens. If it broke would buy a good (i.e. Kodak or Fuji) disposable. Once forgot my cameras, bought a Konica panoramic, and in the Lake district got some lovely shots!!
Now I often just take my Foca Standard with its 35mm lens.

John.
P.S. Have either you or Frances processed Ilford SFX in T.Max??:o

besk
07-04-2008, 14:53
I always carry two cameras of some sort when traveling a distance from home.

Had a Nikkormat to jam in 2005. My wife is from Belarus (Eastern Europe.) and has an apartment there. I go there every two years or so for a few weeks and we travel around from there.

In 2005, I took the Nikkormat with a 50 lens to leave at her apartment "just in case" and to keep from hauling it back and forth in my luggage. However, it was not working upon arrival.
I also had a Rollei TLR and an Epic as my main cameras.

A Olympus Epic is so small it is hard for me to understand how a person can not have room for one as a back up.

Chris101
07-04-2008, 15:37
Like anything mechanical, a camera will only break when you really need it not to. So I only take multiple cameras to non-reproducible sessions. To shoot a mountain, or factory, it will look pretty much the same tomorrow as it does today, so I take one camera. For photographing a wedding, a meet and greet, or the arrival of a statesman, I will take 3 or 4 cameras, a bunch of lenses, lights, reflectors, and a laptop!

I prefer to have less camera/lens choices, and spend less time fussing over what equipment to use. My photography is improved by simplicity.

Doug
07-04-2008, 18:33
In pleasure travel, for me the main pleasure is in photo opportunities and interaction with the people, often in combination. For my wife it's the shopping, and also we both enjoy getting around and seeing the sights. She has her little Nikon digicam.

I don't take another camera as a backup, but I usually have three cameras. A tiny Canon ELPH with APS b&w film on my belt for occasional use. Two main cameras for different purposes or film or focal lengths. One good combo has been a Fuji GA645Wi with its 45mm close-focus lens plus a Bronica RF645 with 65mm.

Last Fall in Puerto Rico and St Thomas I had two Contax G2 with different lenses on (& the little Canon of course). I'd have the bag in the trunk and grab whichever camera suited the opportunity. But on a walk around Old San Juan I carried the bag with both cameras and four lenses, switching shoulders as discomfort mounted. Should have carried just one camera and another lens.

This Spring for a guided tour of Malta and Sicily I took a Leica M8 with spare batteries & cards, two card readers, and a spare M body because this was my first trip with a digital camera and I was not at all sure of reliability. (Again the Canon in its pouch too.) It ran fine though, and I only used that one body and two of the four lenses I brought. The "backup" body stayed safely in a roll of bubble wrap in the bag left in the hotel. BTW, we had his'n'hers cell phones and Apple laptops along plus a USB backup hard drive. After the busy tour we kicked back and recouperated on Lanzarote. All quite interesting and the M8 performed flawlessly, so now I wouldn't hesitate to take it alone.

There have been other times I've had only one camera on an overseas trip; one time a Fuji GS645S, another time a CLE+40mm, a couple times a single Pentax 67. On a road trip more gear can come along; to San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Yosemite a couple years ago I had a P67 (for landscapes, mostly with 75mm lens) and both Bronica RF bodies, one with color for people shots and the other with Tri-X film. Good to have a bit of different gear to handle a variety of opportunities.

Matt White
07-05-2008, 03:56
Unfortunately, in these wonderful days of "airline security", I find "whatever I can carry" can be remarkably limiting.

Travel with children: they get a full baggage allowance but only need to carry small clothes and a Nintendo DS. Up to the age of five or so, they're still naive enough to believe it's a privilege to carry Dad's stuff through security checks in their Barbie and Power Rangers rucksacks. Once they get older and wiser, they're still easily bribed into porterage with Coke and chocolate.

Johann Espiritu
07-05-2008, 04:48
I take my M7 and two lenses (28 and 50), one mounted on the camera and one on the Leica M lens carrier (eliminates the need for a bag - an awesome accessory).

Some rolls of film in the pocket, and a Leica Minilux for backup...

lemalk
07-05-2008, 11:34
I take a digital P&S (D-Lux 3) just in case.
Of course, it doesn't give me the same quality as my RF or DSLR, but the moment captured imperfectly is better than missing the moment entirely.

How I wish that would've always been the case. I'd give anything to have pictures (or snapshots, even) of what now seem like important moments in the past.

lawrence
07-05-2008, 12:24
I'd only ever take one camera.

So long as it was a quality camera.

Why buy a good camera, and then take a back up?

The reason is that even 'good quality' cameras can fail. For the RFF meet up in Berlin in April I took an M6TTL, not expecting any problems, although the thought had crossed my mind to take the M5 as well. Anyway, the damn thing developed a wind-on problem and the shots that did come out were double exposed (althogh, as it happens, I do quite like three or four of them). Fact is that if something is mechanical or electronic it can fail and there is a law that says if you don't have a backup then failure becomes more likely. Over the years I have normally carried two cameras, so natually on the trip I decide to take only there has to be a failure.

There are other good reasons to carry more than one camera:

1. The best opportunities always happen when you are on frame 36
2. You can put different lenses on each body and not waste time switching lenses (much quicker to switch to the other body)
3. You don't have to go to the gym to work out any more (not that I've ever felt the desire to do this personally).

Of course there is the option to leave one body in the hotel, as has been suggested, but suppose you're miles away when the failure happens -- do you really want to go back to the hotel and waste most of the day? No, your time is too precious and opportunities too few to risk all this -- just carry a backup and have done with it.

Roger Hicks
07-13-2008, 12:07
Why buy a good camera and then buy a back-up? Well...

I've just got back from Arles. At the (quite good) hotel, the socket into which I plugged the M8 charger went off when I turned the bedside light off. After a 420-mile ride the previous day (Sunday) and visiting a LOT of exhibitions on Monday, I slept well and didn't wake up in the middle of the night to notice the problem.

So: Tuesday morning, I have one battery maybe one quarter charged, and the other maybe 50% discharged. I normally get through one-and-a-half M8 batteries on a reasonably busy day.

Fortunately I had also packed my Retina IIa so I was not deprived of a camera. I was also able to find another socket that stayed on all night...

Cheers,

Roger

vincentbenoit
07-13-2008, 12:34
Hehe... Film cameras do have a future - as backup for digital cameras.

Vincent

Roger Hicks
07-14-2008, 01:47
or would that be tasteless? All I have to work with these days is the little sigma miracle, and it is just as slow and thoughtful as the rf645... I would love to come back and hang out here again. I miss RFF.

Well, I certainly have no problem with it -- and I love the idea that it's as slow as an rf645. I mean, my Alpa has no RF, and there are TLR and even SLR users here. How do others feel?

Cheers,

R.

Silva Lining
07-14-2008, 10:04
Recently meeting up with my father on joint a trip to Ireland, my father remarked that I didn't appear to have that much photographic kit with me..., I had an EOS40D, Leica M6, Panasonic Lumix LX1 :).....Actually that was me traveling light, I left the 'Blad and Texan Leica at home...!! Point is I always have a back-up as I can never choose which camera to take, so take as many as my method of travel and luggage will allow...just in case I fancy using the Fuji GW690 II....

I'm not pro, but always have more than one camera even if the second one is 'just' a LX1 P&S. In situations where I have to act 'Pro' - such as when I get roped into phtographing a wedding, I will always have a back-up for that particular situation.

Silva Lining
07-14-2008, 10:07
or would that be tasteless? All I have to work with these days is the little sigma miracle, and it is just as slow and thoughtful as the rf645... I would love to come back and hang out here again. I miss RFF.


Cool for me, heard a lot but not seen too much from the DP1...personally I'd love to see what miracles the Sigma can deliver.

Roger Hicks
07-14-2008, 10:08
BTW Roger, I just had a look through your website. Excellent. Made me want to set up a wet DR for the 35/4x5 again. I'm on the road for all of May through August every year and haven't found a simple way to pull off a portable film processing system.

Thanks for the kind words.

Consider a Nova Tent. Put an automotive air filter on the input blower and it doubles as an overnight film dryer...

Cheers,

R.

amateriat
07-14-2008, 11:29
I took my Pentax dSLR out for a walk once, and forgot to put in a memory card. I felt very silly.

Anyone ever forgotten the film?
Now, that, near as I can recall, I've somehow never managed to do (my lifelong M.O. has been to load the camera(s) before I leave or just as I'm heading out the door...wherever that door happens to be).

As far as the old what-to-bring-what-to-leave dilemma goes, I solved that one when I decided to ditch my steamer-trunk-sized SLR system* for a two-body, three-lens RF setup that fits in a sensibly-sized bag. This bag never gets unpacked, since there's next to no extra gear to sort (save for maybe a second flash unit if I feel the need for it). So I often take the whole kit, even if I'm just out for the day if I'm in a more-than-happy-snaps mood. As I've said before, it's quite a liberating feeling.

If I'm more into traveling light, or have other important stuff to do, then it's just one camera: either the Konica Auto S3 (hint to people here using small fixed-lens RFs like this: get a wrist strap for it and attach it to the lug of your choice, then let it dangle...fast, handy, and sometimes a conversation-starter), Ricoh GR-1, Konica Lexio 70, Konica POP, Holga 135, or, on the rare day I "feel digital", the little Casio EX-850. Once in a while I'll take two of the above with me, but mostly feel no need for it, as I've next to never had equipment failure without the camera giving me some kind of heads-up. And the few failures I have endured largely concerned the camera's battery, and that's an easy fix (at least with film-based cameras): bring a spare. They're small.


- Barrett

(*Well, there's still an SLR over here, but, to steal a Monty Python line, "it's a small one": Olympus OM-2n, with a 50 f/1.8 and Old-ish-but-good-ish Sigma 21-35 zoom, which I largely use as a Tinkerbell-class view camera these days. Finally, a good excuse for keeping and using my tripod and monopod!)

sykotec
07-15-2008, 12:40
Because nothing made by man is perfect.

Leica M2; jammed shutter. Hasselblad 500C; back screws loose/falling out (vibration on a motorcycle tour). Vivitar Series 1 lens, interior lens group unscrewed (same cause, different motorcycle). MR meter; corroded contacts. MPP Mk VII; light leak. Linhof Tech IV; broken ground-glass. Mamiya 645; defective back latch.

That's just me. Another friend shot an entire assignment with a Rollei 35 because the airline lost his main camera outfit for 5 days. Others have had cameras stolen, or dropped them, or even in one case stopped a bullet with one (fortunately a Nikon F).

Edit: It looks as if the amateur/pro divide is wider here than I had imagined. I had assumed that more amateurs took their photography as seriously from choice as professionals have to. Seems I was wrong -- which interested me. Thanks, guys!

Cheers,

R.

Put me in the amateur who takes backup category -

fortunately no problems with any gear, but a recent trip to Las Vegas (everyone - visit the neon museum boneyard!) meant the IIIf with Summitar and CV 15, and the Hexar Silver. Each has their strengths of course, but each was also the 'just in case' should only one make it. Airport security, amusingly, had a different 'routine' at each airpoty - my favorite was popping each roll of film from one compartment of the bag out of the cannister to swab it, yet ignoring the comparement with the other half of the film!)

Russ
07-16-2008, 13:39
I always take an Olympus 35RC as a backup. Fully mechanical, very small, excellent lens.

wallace


I too, prefer the OLY RC as a back-up. When about town, usually just one SLR and a wide to medium tele. When traveling for an assignment, I'll have no less than three SLR's, a few quality zooms or primes and a couple of poppers. And the indestructable Nikon FM is always included in that kit.

Russ

myoptic3
07-16-2008, 14:52
ChrisN,
Sadly, I did just that. Went out and shot what I thought were killer photos one morning w/ a camera I don't shoot w/ much. I noticed that the film advance seemed unusually smooth and light about the 5th shot. Hmm, I thought, this camera seems a lot nicer than I remembered. Then I looked to see what film was in it. Surprise! It was a roll of that invisible film. It's funny now but I felt pretty silly at the time. Fortunately, I have made FAR worse mistakes, so it was no big deal. It's all relative.

sheepdog
07-19-2008, 13:16
Had a trip where everything went kinda awry last year.. Brought my analog and my digital maxxum 7s with good glass, and my m3 cv 21 and 35mm as well as a laptop. I saw this as a mostly digital adventure maybe with the occasional K64 shot as I'd gotten 4 rolls earlier that spring.

Upon arriving in Turkey (i'd used the m3 as my pocketcam thus far), I discovered that I'd brought 3 nearly empty batteries for the 7D and ... no charger. I think I managed 20 shots with it in all.

The local one-hour only carried Fuji Superia 200, so I shot some of that as well as the K64. Upon receiving the rolls back from Dwayne's a month later, I noticed that I had messed up my exposed/unexposed system and therefore exposed one roll twice, while another was blank. These two rolls on one ofcourse contained all the most memorable pictures..


This year I went with the 7D (with batteries and TWO chargers), and the M3. Used the latter more often, with the dSLR coming in handy for stitched panoramas and the like.

Roger Hicks
07-20-2008, 00:56
You know, I may just do that. I've dug out one tank and reels and ordered up some fresh chemistry. Four wooden clothespins and the hotel bathroom will have to serve till I investigate the tent further. I'm trying to keep everything that I need for four months on the road in two carry-on-sized roll-aboard suitcases.

The tent is a big bugger, about the size of a large cricket bag when collapsed: perhaps 3 foot long and a foot square, so if you're flying frequently, it's not really an option. But if you're travelling by car, it's well worth thinking about.

Carry three yards/metres of nylon string to make 'clothes-lines' whenever needed: often, the shower/bathtub layout is some way from ideal for film drying.

Alternatively/as well, bend some wire S-shaped hooks to hook over things. Straightened-out BIG paper-clips are useful, especially the plastic-coated variety.

You can easily process even sheet film with one of these:

http://www.rogerandfrances.com/photoschool/ps%20how%20orbital.html

Cheers,

R.

Roger Hicks
07-20-2008, 01:06
Upon arriving in Turkey (i'd used the m3 as my pocketcam thus far), I discovered that I'd brought 3 nearly empty batteries for the 7D and ... no charger. I think I managed 20 shots with it in all.

The local one-hour only carried Fuji Superia 200...

Then the pro-digi 'batteries aren't a problem' brigade starts calling you names for being so careless/ stupid/ non-anal-retentive -- as though you hadn't beaten yourself up enough already!

But it's certainly a lot easier to find film than a new Canon charger. Or laptop charger. My US/EU 110v/220v converter blew itself and the charger up in Germany when I was covering photokina a few years back and I had hell's own job (and considerable expense) in finding a replacement charger locally: obviously mail order wasn't much use. Easier now with multi-voltage chargers but you need a lot of plug adapters or pieces of electric string if you travel much.

And your experience with the Superia is why I ALWAYS wind film off completely (leader in) -- much harder to double-expose.

Cheers,

R.

kkdanamatt
07-20-2008, 17:44
I had a brand new 105mm Nikkor fail to stop down during an extended West Coast vacation in 1970. All my Kodachromes were horribly overexposed. Years later, I went to Europe for the month of October in 1984. First stop: Cologne for Photokina. My Leica CL's light meter quit on the very first day! Thank God the Leica techs at the Leitz booth were able to fix it the same day. Since then I've always carried a backup body and lens on every trip.

mike goldberg
07-20-2008, 21:25
Hi all,
I just happened onto this Thread, and I'm delighted to hear of the popularity of the Oly 35 RC. I had some difficulty in focusing mine, and Ruben got in under the top plate, and installed a small piece of ND gel near the RF. Voila; this darkens the field of view somewhat, and it's much better. Yes, the Oly RC is a great small camera with a terrific lens.

kalokeri
07-21-2008, 06:17
Has anyone had a problem with taking just one camera that then breaks/is lost or stolen/otherwise fails to deliver the goods?

Never had that kind of problem, but I always fear I will.

Travelling light aka one camera/one lens is really liberating. But a backup like you suggested is always a good idea as long as you don´t have to take it with you all the time ...

Thomas

dee
12-02-2008, 12:03
Hmmm .
I am strictly an amateur considered snapshooter , so usually take more than I will ever NEED ...
Buy I am a pro Designer / illustrator of Interiors, so would I venture out withot a spre pencil , Rapdograph pen nibs , pens , eraser etc ?
Would I heck !
Back Up is essential when someone is payimg me to achieve a result .
In any field , I guess ?

wlewisiii
12-02-2008, 12:26
Went on my annual whitetail deer hunting & Thanksgiving trip this past week. I only took my Kiev 4a with an uncoated (prewar) collapsible 50/2.8 Tessar for the lens. I got a few good landscapes of the woods I was in but before the big family function for Thanksgiving, the camera decided to stop working. No family snappies this year.

This is not as big a deal as if I'd been on assignment, but it does remind me of Roger's OP and the delemma it poses. I had enough things to carry and so decided against a second camera (probably would have been my Contaflex) and chose the Kiev by default as due to a fall on a concrete sidewalk, my Contax II was already out of service.

I'm no closer to a solution as I prefer the idea of a one camer and one or two lens setup. But the reality of problems is there. Wish I could afford a R2C as that would be a big help to me at times like this.

William

FrankS
12-02-2008, 12:59
The beauty of carrying/using 2 bodies is that it allows you to use different film emulsions in each, either B+W and colour, or different film speeds; it allows the use of 2 different focal length lenses without the need to change lenses in the field; and if one camera decides to pack it in, you have a backup body to continue shooting with.

Now, I'm not suggesting that you need to carry 2 bodies on your way to the village corner store to buy a newspaper and cigarettes in the morning, but if you are away from home and plan to be taking pictures, I believe it would be prudent. Certainly if you are on a paid assignment and certainly if you are on holiday. I have 2 M2s for this reason.

Lilserenity
12-02-2008, 13:18
I have tended to carry my Oly XA as my notebook and backup camera and the EOS 3 as the main camera. The XA is so small and light that when in my pack on big hikes (most recently a week of walking 100 miles) I never notice it. So it's a quality small backup. I was only walking with a 35mm prime anyway. As it happens I had Delta 400 loaded in the XA and HP5+/Tri-X in the EOS 3. The XA never got used.

That said, when I do the North Downs Way (131 miles) I'll again take the XA but my main camera will be my Leica M2 which I'm picking up on Saturday all being well. But a backup is important to me. I like to travel light but I remember when my EOS 5 died a few years ago, and how did that spoil Christmas for me. I do get the grumps when things don't work*.

(* : And this is why I question why I ever ended up working with computers!)

dreamsandart
12-02-2008, 17:10
Maybe I've been lucky... On a 2 year bicycle trip it was just an M4 and a couple lens, no problems. And although making photographs is one of my main enjoyments 'seeing' when I travel I still carry just one camera. Having a very high quality compact outfit is my main consideration and not being loaded down with gear that can make the type of travel I do a backache. I'm basically a one camera, one lens (at a time) kind of photographer anyway. For the last 10 years or so even though I have a great Leica outfit I've taken a single Rolleiflex (love the square and big picture), also without problems in dust and cold/heat.

Now that said all it would take is a one time camera failure to change this. And if I was going some place where I really thought I was going to be changing lenses a lot I would probably take a couple cameras (one Leica and the Rollei or two Leicas) with the idea I had a 'back-up', but till then I guess I'll stick with the easy to carry way to go - knock on wood.

Rob-F
12-02-2008, 18:48
That depends on where one is going. A few years ago, I took three cameras to Durango, CO for a rail charter trip.

@Al: Sounds like maybe you took the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge railway (DSNGRR)?

@Roger (et. al.) My Leica M2 was my only camera for about 10 or 12 years, before I started buying more stuff. It went all over the world with me, Asia, Europe, SW United States. Never a failure. I did manage to break my Nikon FE2 transport during a Colorado trip. Fortunately, I had a spare FE2 as a backup, plus the M2.

Roger Hicks
12-02-2008, 23:30
That said, when I do the North Downs Way (131 miles) I'll again take the XA but my main camera will be my Leica M2 which I'm picking up on Saturday all being well. But a backup is important to me. I like to travel light but I remember when my EOS 5 died a few years ago, and how did that spoil Christmas for me. I do get the grumps when things don't work*.

(* : And this is why I question why I ever ended up working with computers!)

Love the footnote!

Like others, I've had very few camera failures in 40+ years, but as you say, it only takes one...

And as a dear, long-deceased friend once said, "I don't think I'd bother to travel unless I could take my camera." He was my gaffer when I started as an assistant in London in the 70s. Photography is clearly more important to some of us than to others.

Cheers,

Roger

SimonSawSunlight
12-03-2008, 05:43
I often take LOADS of gear. different bodies, different lenses, film and digital, sometimes even 2 dslrs, because they all lead to a different way of photography and therefore to a more versatile view on the whole trip. but I mostly end up using my Leica M4, my EOS 1D and maybe one of my yashica 124 / 124g almost all of the time and the rest, such as my canonet ql17 giii, my yashica 44s or the minolta x-700 system only come out for special use.
when the weather really sucks big time, I'm happy that I have my Nikon f5-tank to rely on (although the 1D and the m4 tolerate a lot, but I somehow feel less anxious about the f5. plus it can serve very well in terms of self defense. you never know!).
then again, I just take the m4 with me on some trips - as it is my all mechanical, trusty and sturdy everyday/everywhere camera - and happen one more body + 1 lens max, if any.

Frank Petronio
12-03-2008, 06:52
I think theft is a greater risk than break down, so I don't want to be leaving spare Leicas in hotel rooms or rental cars, much less checked baggage. If I can't carry it, it shouldn't come.

A credit card is your best spare camera on vacation. Unless you are on an expedition or off in the third world, you're never more than 45 minutes away from a perfectly usable $500 D40 or Rebel from a Walmart or Best Buy. You can always resell it for a slight loss later. Even the $90 digital cameras they sell in the Supermarket/Drug store aren't so bad.

It's easy enough to bring extra digital or 35mm cameras on a serious job, even 120 cameras, but once you start getting into large format it makes more sense to bring tape, tools, and a spare ground glass.

The busiest local pro in my town has twin Mamiya-Phase One set-ups, $80K invested. He says he simply has to have a back up and doubles the price of everything he buys. It's a shame he's a hack! lol

Roger Hicks
12-03-2008, 13:30
I think theft is a greater risk than break down, so I don't want to be leaving spare Leicas in hotel rooms or rental cars, much less checked baggage. If I can't carry it, it shouldn't come.

A credit card is your best spare camera on vacation. Unless you are on an expedition or off in the third world, you're never more than 45 minutes away from a perfectly usable $500 D40 or Rebel from a Walmart or Best Buy. You can always resell it for a slight loss later. Even the $90 digital cameras they sell in the Supermarket/Drug store aren't so bad.

It's easy enough to bring extra digital or 35mm cameras on a serious job, even 120 cameras, but once you start getting into large format it makes more sense to bring tape, tools, and a spare ground glass.


First bold and second: agree completely.

Third bold: disagree completely. Even if you're in the USA and don't mind an unfamiliar camera with a rubbish standard zoom, it's a lot quicker to pull out your other Leica than to go from Bug Tussle, Arizona to the nearest city with a camera store. Elsewhere in the world: do YOU know where to look for a camera in Lyon, or Athens, or Madras?

Fourth bold: and a spare lens in shutter, of course. In fact you can always fake the ground glass.

Cheers,

R.

parsec1
12-03-2008, 14:51
Bought a couple of Nikon F90x's in 1996. Both packed up on me on third use in the middle of a riot. (Live animal export protestors) phoned Nikon and got the usual'please leave a messge'crap so held up my cell to record the riot and left a 'terse ' message about their new cameras. Next day Nikon biked two new bodies down to me. Now almost totaly dig but always carry a Leica M film camera 'just in case'.

parsec1
12-03-2008, 15:00
By the way Roger if you still think press photography is 'irrellevent' take a look at the whole page pic on page 5 of todays Sun by my friend and collegue Arthur Edwards. For those not able to view it a whole page pic of a Para back from Afghanistan missing a left arm and two legs who still managed to walk to HRH Prince Charles to recieve his bravery decorations.
If that pic does not do something to your emotions I would respectfully suggest another planet might suit you.

alcaraban
12-04-2008, 09:19
do YOU know where to look for a camera in Lyon, or Athens, or Madras?

I'm unsure about Madras. In Athens, Lyon (well, in Lyon there is a lovely gentleman that sells second-hand equipment... but I think that's not the point) or Chicago, I could have one of my other bodies at the nearest DHL office in less than two days if I can phone my brother in Spain. I usually carry a mechanical fixed lens rangefinder just in case, though.

ClaremontPhoto
12-04-2008, 09:40
I haven't read every post on this thread; but sufficient to get the flavor.

Why do so many of us buy the very best there is, typically a Leica, and then take a back up in case it doesn't work?

It's been working fine for many years so why should it stop working next week?

Next time I travel I really must take a back up Omega watch, a back up Nokia phone, and a back up Mercedes-Benz.

alcaraban
12-04-2008, 10:29
It's been working fine for many years so why should it stop working next week?

Murphy's Law, I guess.

Nevertheless, none of my cameras (cheap as they are: fed-2. yashica fx-3, contax 139, ricoh 500g, minolta hi-matic 7s and maxxum 7) has ever stopped working except because exhausted batteries. I traveled to Lisbon last March with just a body and a lens with total confidence.

By the way, if you ever get bored of Montemor you are welcome at my apartment in Badajoz.

ClaremontPhoto
12-04-2008, 10:44
By the way, if you ever get bored of Montemor you are welcome at my apartment in Badajoz.

Many thanks. You are most generous. I'll remember that.

I've always wanted to photograph that modern bridge (the one that we take from Portugal to the hypermarkets) and also the weird underground car park at El Corte Ingles.

I'd also like to photograph inside the dining places at Pryca hypermarket and similar - they are so banal and totally dull. I wouldn't eat in there though; I tried it once!

Badajoz is a very fine city just 1km or so over the border, and yet so different from Portugal.

Roger Hicks
12-04-2008, 12:24
By the way Roger if you still think press photography is 'irrellevent' take a look at the whole page pic on page 5 of todays Sun by my friend and collegue Arthur Edwards. For those not able to view it a whole page pic of a Para back from Afghanistan missing a left arm and two legs who still managed to walk to HRH Prince Charles to recieve his bravery decorations.
If that pic does not do something to your emotions I would respectfully suggest another planet might suit you.

I'd be the last to deny the power and importance of press photography, so there are two possibilities.

1 You are confusing me with someone else

2 You have grievously misunderstood something I have written. If that was the result of lack of clarity on my part I apologize and I'd be grateful if you could point out where it is so that I can clarify it.

Cheers,

Roger

parsec1
12-04-2008, 13:16
Evening Roger,
Perhaps there may have been some misunderstandings.
Afew months ago there was a 'discord' on this forum regarding the M8. I was complaing that the camera was made up of the cheapest components available with very poor quality packed into an over expensive body and ultimatley
sold on the basis of the Leica stamp at a price which was far in excess of it true photographic capacity...hence the need for upgrades and then inevitably an M8.2 which in itself isn't worth the extra cost.
Having used Nikons and Leicas for years I had expected something much better.
It was at this time you said and I quote "Press photography is largely irrellevant"
Regards
Peter D

parsec1
12-04-2008, 13:42
I often take LOADS of gear. different bodies, different lenses, film and digital, sometimes even 2 dslrs, because they all lead to a different way of photography and therefore to a more versatile view on the whole trip. but I mostly end up using my Leica M4, my EOS 1D and maybe one of my yashica 124 / 124g almost all of the time and the rest, such as my canonet ql17 giii, my yashica 44s or the minolta x-700 system only come out for special use.
when the weather really sucks big time, I'm happy that I have my Nikon f5-tank to rely on (although the 1D and the m4 tolerate a lot, but I somehow feel less anxious about the f5. plus it can serve very well in terms of self defense. you never know!).
then again, I just take the m4 with me on some trips - as it is my all mechanical, trusty and sturdy everyday/everywhere camera - and happen one more body + 1 lens max, if any.
At the Daily Express (and no I'm not 'name dropping' I worked there !) the chief photographer was a Victor Blackman some may even have heard of him, anyway we were sent to a 'race riot' in a notorious part of London ,I shan't mention the locale as things have changed there, approached by a large group of rioters hell bent on stopping us shooting (pictures) Vic suggested we swing our Leicas on the end of the straps in circles to 'dissuade them' it worked but there were a few thuds. Making it back to the office we checked over our M4ps wiped off the blood and hair and put them back in the bags for the next days work. Those were the days. LOL

Ruvy
12-04-2008, 13:59
I took my Pentax dSLR out for a walk once, and forgot to put in a memory card. I felt very silly.

Anyone ever forgotten the film?
This one is funny - many like this have happen to me during the years the most amusing (scary?) was opening the camera to get the memory card and seeing its not there... Being resourceful I have connected the camera directly to the computer and..... all the images were there (no card in the camera)... didn't take long to realize my card have been sitting in the card reader... During unpacking I simply forget I have placed it there earlier... Age does wonders - with time, events get more creative than me.

Roger Hicks
12-05-2008, 01:06
Evening Roger,
Perhaps there may have been some misunderstandings.
Afew months ago there was a 'discord' on this forum regarding the M8. I was complaing that the camera was made up of the cheapest components available with very poor quality packed into an over expensive body and ultimatley
sold on the basis of the Leica stamp at a price which was far in excess of it true photographic capacity...hence the need for upgrades and then inevitably an M8.2 which in itself isn't worth the extra cost.
Having used Nikons and Leicas for years I had expected something much better.
It was at this time you said and I quote "Press photography is largely irrellevant"
Regards
Peter D
Dear Peter,

Could you provide a little more context?

To the way that most non-press photographers shoot, yes, press photography (in the sense of which camera to use, and how) is irrelevant. Getting the shot, and getting it back to the newspaper, take precedence over almost everything else.

Thus for an amateur (or indeed a fashion photographer or an advertising photographer or indeed just about anyone except a press photographer) to model his camera choice on what the press uses is as foolish as for a press photographer to use only a tripod-mounted 8x10.

This is a very long way from saying that press photography is irrelevant qua photography, and I apologize if I did not make this sufficiently clear at the time.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to clarify this.

Cheers,

Roger

parsec1
12-05-2008, 04:15
Dear Peter,

Could you provide a little more context?

To the way that most non-press photographers shoot, yes, press photography (in the sense of which camera to use, and how) is irrelevant. Getting the shot, and getting it back to the newspaper, take precedence over almost everything els
Thus for an amateur (or indeed a fashion photographer or an advertising photographer or indeed just about anyone except a press photographer) to model his camera choice on what the press uses is as foolish as for a press photographer to use only a tripod-mounted 8x10.

This is a very long way from saying that press photography is irrelevant qua photography, and I apologize if I did not make this sufficiently clear at the time.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to clarify this.

Cheers,

Roger

Dear Roger,
Perhaps I was very fortunate but because of a weekend/school break job at a local camera shop I was able in the early 1960s to buy as my first serious camera.. a Leica M2 and a 35mm. I also belonged to the local camera club and a 15 yr old with a Leica did not go down very well with many of its members and even less so when I won a couple of photographic awards using it. After Uni and because of an odd incident, I was on a train that was derailed killing some people and I photographed it using my last 5 flashbulbs on my M2. Phoned the 'Mirror' and was asked to get a taxi and bring it to their then Holborn office. The 'heady' atmosphere in the newsroom and
my first publication.....a front page and two inside pages on the Daily Mirror and I was 'hooked'.
Lets not confuse the importance of getting a picture back to the office to 'getting the shot'.
Very rarely do you turn up at a news 'job' take a 'snap' straight away and run which seems to be the view of many of the less well informed on this forum. As for cameras as you must be aware there was for most of us only Nikon, Pentax (Just hold a pentax) and Leica. That also applied to the many amatuers who were inspired to own one of these cameras.
Now we are spoilt for choice in fact there are too many cameras on the market now and the usual conversation is what kind of camera do you own rather than can I see some of the pictures you have shot.
I retell the story of a couple of years ago.I was in Southend using a couple of Contax G2's one with a 21 and v/f along comes this guy parading the promenade with a huge dslr and a 18 to 500mm or whatever zoom sticking out of his midrift and turning his nose up said to me" Wow thats a couple of 'oldies' you've got there." Such is the power of some camera manufacturers and their advertisers to brainwash us in to buying what they want us to have rather than what we actually require.Hence no more G2s or a decent digital M.
Regards
Peter.
PS the success of the Bessa's and Cosinas and the reputation of the new Zeiss M lenses might be a good time for a rethink about the current obsession with 'plastic dslr's'.
P

Roger Hicks
12-05-2008, 10:29
Dear Roger,
Perhaps I was very fortunate but because of a weekend/school break job at a local camera shop I was able in the early 1960s to buy as my first serious camera.. a Leica M2 and a 35mm. I also belonged to the local camera club and a 15 yr old with a Leica did not go down very well with many of its members and even less so when I won a couple of photographic awards using it. After Uni and because of an odd incident, I was on a train that was derailed killing some people and I photographed it using my last 5 flashbulbs on my M2. Phoned the 'Mirror' and was asked to get a taxi and bring it to their then Holborn office. The 'heady' atmosphere in the newsroom and
my first publication.....a front page and two inside pages on the Daily Mirror and I was 'hooked'.
Lets not confuse the importance of getting a picture back to the office to 'getting the shot'.
Very rarely do you turn up at a news 'job' take a 'snap' straight away and run which seems to be the view of many of the less well informed on this forum. As for cameras as you must be aware there was for most of us only Nikon, Pentax (Just hold a pentax) and Leica. That also applied to the many amatuers who were inspired to own one of these cameras.
Now we are spoilt for choice in fact there are too many cameras on the market now and the usual conversation is what kind of camera do you own rather than can I see some of the pictures you have shot.
I retell the story of a couple of years ago.I was in Southend using a couple of Contax G2's one with a 21 and v/f along comes this guy parading the promenade with a huge dslr and a 18 to 500mm or whatever zoom sticking out of his midrift and turning his nose up said to me" Wow thats a couple of 'oldies' you've got there." Such is the power of some camera manufacturers and their advertisers to brainwash us in to buying what they want us to have rather than what we actually require.Hence no more G2s or a decent digital M.
Regards
Peter.
PS the success of the Bessa's and Cosinas and the reputation of the new Zeiss M lenses might be a good time for a rethink about the current obsession with 'plastic dslr's'.
P

Dear Peter,

We are in very substantial agreement, except that I took it for granted that 'getting the shot' means 'getting a BLOODY GOOD shot' -- which means we are in agreement too. Likewise about Nikon, Pentax and Leica.

I'm not totally convinced by your 'down' on the M8 but I'll cheerfully agree that I'd rather rely 110% on a 'real' (film) Leica, though I have to ask myself if this is simply lack of experience of the reliability of M8s (mine hasn't failed yet, though it's ony at about 10,000 pictures -- I had the problem of counter resetting with unformatted cards) plus the fact that the internet by its nature attracts whingers in disproportionate numbers.

As for falling short of perfection, well, you must remember the F36 motor drive, which worked perfectly half the time, and the other half the time shot off the rest of the roll.

Cheers,

Roger

parsec1
12-05-2008, 11:56
Dear Peter,

We are in very substantial agreement, except that I took it for granted that 'getting the shot' means 'getting a BLOODY GOOD shot' -- which means we are in agreement too. Likewise about Nikon, Pentax and Leica.

I'm not totally convinced by your 'down' on the M8 but I'll cheerfully agree that I'd rather rely 110% on a 'real' (film) Leica, though I have to ask myself if this is simply lack of experience of the reliability of M8s (mine hasn't failed yet, though it's ony at about 10,000 pictures -- I had the problem of counter resetting with unformatted cards) plus the fact that the internet by its nature attracts whingers in disproportionate numbers.

As for falling short of perfection, well, you must remember the F36 motor drive, which worked perfectly half the time, and the other half the time shot off the rest of the roll.

Cheers,

Roger

Good evening Roger,
Thank you for taking the time to engage in this disscussion with me.
It does indeed seem there is 'substantial agreement' between us..... including that F36 'thing'.
I wish you and the 'Mrs' good fortune in the future.

Very best regards
Peter D

Turtle
12-05-2008, 20:26
I'd only ever take one camera.

So long as it was a quality camera.

Why buy a good camera, and then take a back up?

Because even good cameras go wrong...

I normally take only one camera if just popping out for the day but on big trips - rarely, although I did take only my Mamiya 7 to india recently due to weight/bulk considerations.

Normally I would take two on a big trip, such as two MPs or Mamiya 7 and MP.

Just is not worth being in some remote location with no working camera. Two Leicas can be a wonderful combo because of small size and speed of handling. I am really looking forward to my next India trip which will probably done this way. 2 x M, 3-4 lenses (prob 21,28,50 and maybe 90)

lawrence
12-06-2008, 00:28
I am really looking forward to my next India trip which will probably done this way. 2 x M, 3-4 lenses (prob 21,28,50 and maybe 90)

I agree about the Leicas. I have two M6TTL (0.58 & 0.72) and my lenses are 21,28,35 & 50 (the 28 on the 0.58 and the 35 on the 0.72).

Somewhat off-topic but how do you feel about visiting India after the recent events there? Personally I have always wanted to go to Rajasthan because my great-grandfather photographed there (http://www.ecimpey.info) during the 1860s.

Roger Hicks
12-06-2008, 09:11
I'm unsure about Madras. In Athens, Lyon (well, in Lyon there is a lovely gentleman that sells second-hand equipment... but I think that's not the point) or Chicago, I could have one of my other bodies at the nearest DHL office in less than two days if I can phone my brother in Spain. I usually carry a mechanical fixed lens rangefinder just in case, though.

Ummm....

Two days without shooting. Let's suppose you're in Dharamsala on March 9th, 2009, seat of the Tibetan Government in Exile, and your camera packs up. March 10th is the 50th anniversary of the Lhasa Uprising against the Chinese invasion in 1959.

Or for that matter you're at Arles for the Rencontres; just the first week. Two days is a third of your shooting time.

Or even that you're shooting ballerinas 15 miles from home. If one body packs up, it's only an hour's round trip -- and the end of the dance class. (That's the last time one of my Leicas packed up, an M2, some time in the 90s. Of course I had a backup).

Carrying a second body sounds like REALLY cheap insurance. What's an M2 cost nowadays, after all?

Cheers,

R.

Roger Hicks
12-06-2008, 09:20
ISomewhat off-topic but how do you feel about visiting India after the recent events there? Personally I have always wanted to go to Rajasthan because my great-grandfather photographed there (http://www.ecimpey.info) during the 1860s.

200 people out of 1.1 billion died, and another 300-odd were wounded. Of course that was a tragedy for those who died or were injured, but so is a motor accident, a considerably greater risk.

Viewed rationally, terrorism in India (or most other countries) is not a risk I'm going to lose sleep over. I'm thinking of going back next year and the slaughter in Mumbai is not a factor that will sway my choice.

Cheers,

Roger

JoeV
12-06-2008, 12:27
Interesting point, Roger. This article (http://jeffreygoldberg.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/11/how_to_stay_alive_in_a_terrori.php)quotes Bruce Schneier (http://www.schneier.com/blog/), the noted security expert, who has frequently commented (and written several books (http://www.schneier.com/book-sos.html)) about the tradeoffs of the security business. As he indicates, terrorism, although highly in the public's mind, is by statistics a rather rare phenomenon.

Yet my heart goes out to the victims and their families. And all those who are yet to be affected by the "collateral damage."

~Joe

Roger Hicks
12-07-2008, 02:03
Yet my heart goes out to the victims and their families. And all those who are yet to be affected by the "collateral damage."~Joe

Dear Joe,

Of course!

But this is also why I believe in treating terrorists like common criminals, rather than inventing special laws to glorify them.

The perception of risk and the reality of risk are often very different -- as is illustrated on this very forum whenever child photography is discussed. The big risk of child molestation is from relatives and friends of the family; the risk from strangers on the internet, or indeed from passers-by with cameras, is incalculably small.

Last night I was talking to a friend about this, and he pointed out that the risk of being caught up in something like the Mumbai atrocities, for a visitor, is even more vanishingly small than I suggested.

For easy mathematics, let's say there were 500 killed and wounded out of 1,000,000,000. Odds: 2,000,000:1 against. Now let's say that one quarter of these were visitors/tourists. Odds: 8,000,000:1 against. Now let's say that the odds of such an attack are once every 5 years (60 months) and that you are there for 6 months. Odds: 80,000,000:1 against. If you're there for a month it's 480,000,000:1 against; at ten days, it easily tops a billion to one.

Of course some locations are higher risk than others, but even so, you'd need to be incredibly unlucky.

Cheers,

Roger

SimonSawSunlight
12-08-2008, 03:35
At the Daily Express (and no I'm not 'name dropping' I worked there !) the chief photographer was a Victor Blackman some may even have heard of him, anyway we were sent to a 'race riot' in a notorious part of London ,I shan't mention the locale as things have changed there, approached by a large group of rioters hell bent on stopping us shooting (pictures) Vic suggested we swing our Leicas on the end of the straps in circles to 'dissuade them' it worked but there were a few thuds. Making it back to the office we checked over our M4ps wiped off the blood and hair and put them back in the bags for the next days work. Those were the days. LOL

:D better don't try that with mrs big fat nikon f5, it could bring you to jail for a long long time.


I agree about the Leicas. I have two M6TTL (0.58 & 0.72) and my lenses are 21,28,35 & 50 (the 28 on the 0.58 and the 35 on the 0.72).

Somewhat off-topic but how do you feel about visiting India after the recent events there? Personally I have always wanted to go to Rajasthan because my great-grandfather photographed there (http://www.ecimpey.info) during the 1860s.

and I thought you were going to sell your m6 due to lack of reliability :eek:

lawrence
12-08-2008, 06:01
Viewed rationally, terrorism in India (or most other countries) is not a risk I'm going to lose sleep over. I'm thinking of going back next year and the slaughter in Mumbai is not a factor that will sway my choice.

While I agree with you on a rational level, there's another level to this as far as friends and relations are concerned. Sadly I have had to cancel my Indian trip for this year and now off to South America instead (I guess this is just asking for an earthquake in Lima).

tom_uk
12-08-2008, 12:17
Dear Joe,

Of course!

But this is also why I believe in treating terrorists like common criminals, rather than inventing special laws to glorify them.

The perception of risk and the reality of risk are often very different -- as is illustrated on this very forum whenever child photography is discussed. The big risk of child molestation is from relatives and friends of the family; the risk from strangers on the internet, or indeed from passers-by with cameras, is incalculably small.

(snipped for brevity - apologies, Roger)



Apologies for keep this thread firmly off-topic, but I found the UK Government's 'National Risk Register' a very interesting document. Here's a link:
http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/reports/national_risk_register.aspx

Basically, they agree that terrorist attacks, although quite likely, don't present a very 'high risk' to the country and its society (though terrible and fatal for those involved, of course, and I don't minimise the impact on them). No, the biggest risk the country faces is a major influenza pandemic. "Up to one-half of the UK's population could become infected, and between 50,000 and 750,000 additional deaths (....) may have occurred by the end of a pandemic..... Normal life is likely to face wider social and economic disruption, significant threats to the continuity of essential services....".

I was pleased to see the document published, and disappointed that it raised so little public discussion.

parsec1
12-08-2008, 12:35
:D better don't try that with mrs big fat nikon f5, it could bring you to jail for a long long time.





and I thought you were going to sell your m6 due to lack of reliability :eek:

Oddly enough it was an attack on me that destroyed two of my F90xs by a very well known snooker player ..first name Ronnie. that bought me my first two F5s

ruben
12-08-2008, 12:53
For travel, one camera and one lens sounds to me like a really rotten idea. If the camera and/or lens stops working, what are you going to do?

More than two cameras, on the other hand, and you can be looking at a lot of weight and bulk, especially if you're walking much. There's also the point that you may spend more time wondering which camera to use than you will spend taking pictures.

The only way I'd carry one camera is with another -- good, cheap, reliable -- camera that I can leave in the room without worrying too much if it's stolen (Konica SIII in a locked suitcase) or in the hotel safe (e.g. Nikon F + 50/2, both of which are cheap nowadays) or even in my pocket if it's small and light enough (Retina IIa).

But as this is part of my livelihood I normally carry two Leicas, or one Leica + 1 MF (Alpa or Linhof). With the Alpa 12WA, the body is just a spacer and can't really go wrong, but I carry 2 lenses, 2 backs and (following the time I forgot, on a trip to India) 2 viewfinder masks.

Has anyone had a problem with taking just one camera that then breaks/is lost or stolen/otherwise fails to deliver the goods?

Cheers,

R.


Although I am not supposed to, I will go back to the original first post - kind of hijacking the thread back.

For me buying a new camera was always buiying two, at least, and then the third. No matter if we are talking about system cameras or fixed lens cameras. Although with system cameras the bulk is lesser.

Why ?
Because it doesn't cross my mind to go wherever without a back up camera.

But if I am already taking a back up camera, it doesn't cross my mind to leave it at home or at the hotel, instead of taking advantage of it, by using it.

Along my medium size photographic life, I have seen different photographers distributing the labor among the two cameras according to different perceptions.

Most take advantage of the second camera to mount on it a second lens. I myself give each camera a different ISO and/or type of film too.

Now, I don't agree that a third camera may add confusion, provided it rests in peace inside my bag - in the same way that three or more lenses shouldn't add confusion if they also rest in peace within my bag untill duty calls.

Of course that when you are walking with two cameras outside they must be of the same type, clearly differentiated by color finish or color of leather lower case.

And you should also be clear about which is your primary camera and primary lens, mounted on your primary camera.

Now, you can understand that if you dream about a Leica M7, or even a ZI, with me it is even further away: Two Leicas or nothing, two Zi's or nothing (i,e, nothing).

Yet, all this small gear talk is not but an issue of personal preferences and perhaps even personal caprice. There is no bible for creation, no bible for Photography.

Cheers,
Ruben

Roger Hicks
12-08-2008, 13:40
Although I am not supposed to, I will go back to the original first post - kind of hijacking the thread back.


Dear Ruben,

I didn't know you weren't supposed to! Your contribution is very welcome. All I'd add is that the two main cameras need not be identical -- pretty much any two film Ms will do, except perhaps M3 if you use 35mm (I do) or M1/MD/MDa -- and that if you carry a third, there is a fine tradition of 2x Leica + Nikon SLR for longer lenses. I used to carry that in India in the '80s (M4-P, M2, F) and indeed it's what I took to China a couple of years ago (MP, M4-P, F).

As for the earlier hijacking, that's fine too. Realistic risk assessment is a lot more important than worrying about cameras!

Cheers,

R.

cjm
12-08-2008, 14:09
Although I am not supposed to, I will go back to the original first post - kind of hijacking the thread back.

THANK YOU!

For a second I though I clicked on the wrong thread. Just looking for a little one camera one lens discussion. :rolleyes:

Migracer
12-08-2008, 15:30
Any camera with no electrics. My first choice is my Kodak RF35 2nd choice is the Argus C3. Both of these 50mm lens cameras still amaze me with the clarity and sharpness of their output. Both are as close to indestructible as anything and are easy to jury rig to work if they fail.
I was shooting a 8 hour endurance sport car race this past week and then a charity fund drive and an awards ceremony and banquet. I decided since it was very cold I would only take what I could put in the pockets of my parka. The inventory was two Lumix digitals, and three point and shoot 35mm. A Canon Sure Shot Classic 120 loaded with Kodak Chrome 64, a Pentax IQZomm 200 with Fuji 200 and a Canon Sure Shot 60 in case all else failed. During the banquet and awards ceremonies, the digitals both ran out of power, the fast pace of the presentations did not allow for battery change they almost made it to the end. The lat ten pictures were taken with the Sure Shot 60.

alcaraban
12-09-2008, 01:37
Ummm....

Two days without shooting. Let's suppose you're in Dharamsala on March 9th, 2009, seat of the Tibetan Government in Exile, and your camera packs up. March 10th is the 50th anniversary of the Lhasa Uprising against the Chinese invasion in 1959.

[...]

Carrying a second body sounds like REALLY cheap insurance. What's an M2 cost nowadays, after all?


I never had a camera packed up, so I'm more worried about "something" ruining all my cameras (bag dropping from height, water/humidity, ...) or a fault of my own body (a broken arm e. g.).

As a mathematician, I couldn't help seeing a N-th M2 like a cheap insurance if my N-1 cameras pack up. ;)

BTW, I enormously enjoy taking/making pictures, but if I can't shot I just enjoy the trip.

Regards

Roger Hicks
12-09-2008, 01:54
I never had a camera packed up, so I'm more worried about "something" ruining all my cameras (bag dropping from height, water/humidity, ...) or a fault of my own body (a broken arm e. g.).

As a mathematician, I couldn't help seeing a N-th M2 like a cheap insurance if my N-1 cameras pack up. ;)

BTW, I enormously enjoy taking/making pictures, but if I can't shot I just enjoy the trip.

Regards

Bold 1: It only takes once... And sure, failure includes theft, damage, etc.

Bold 2: Well, yes, except that the likelihood on one camera failing is small enough that a second camera is all the insurance you are likely to need. As a mathematician, multiply the probabilities...

Bold 3: I don't, not least because I have to take pictures of publishable quality to persuade the tax-man that the trip is allowable.

Cheers,

R.

alcaraban
12-09-2008, 03:24
I have to take pictures of publishable quality to persuade the tax-man that the trip is allowable.

Oh, that's a good reason! In that case, I would find very difficult to go not with only one camera, but with only a system. When I go 10-15 days abroad without weight limitations I usually carry:

* Two SLR with primes from 24mm to 400mm (main system),
* Another SLR with two zooms covering 24mm to 300mm (nice when I have to bring things like a backpack, food for 1-2 days, etc.),
* A little fixed-lens rangefinder for non photography related situations (mostly dinner&beer related).

But all that gear is not intended for redundancy or backup, but for having the ability of choosing the right tool every time. If I had to justify the trip with pictures it would be even worse (change main system for a MF).

On the other hand, what are the more likely incidents to happen, in your view? I can mainly think about theft or some kind of fall, so a main lens (often attached to the camera and very likely to suffer the same fate) backup seems to me as (un-)important as a body backup.

Roger Hicks
12-09-2008, 04:04
On the other hand, what are the more likely incidents to happen, in your view? I can mainly think about theft or some kind of fall, so a main lens (often attached to the camera and very likely to suffer the same fate) backup seems to me as (un-)important as a body backup.

No, I have had (very rare) equipment failures. With Leicas, once with a IIIa (which took years to sort out, as it was a distorted spring) and once with an M2 (jammed shutter). I have also had a Hasselblad back unscrew itself (all 12-16 little screws fell out) and an internal lens group in a 200/3 Vivitar Series 1 unscrew itself -- both as the result of travelling long distances on dingle-cylinder motorcycles.

With theft, yes, I've lost 2x 21mm lenses (21/4 Nikkor and 21/2.8 Elmarit-M) and one 65mm lens (Super Angulon in 'baby' Linhof fit) at the same time as the Nikkor.

Damage from falls is one reason for buying Leica kit: it's surprisingly tough. My 35/1.4 once fell 6 feet onto cobbles, and a friend lost his in the bilges of his boat for 6 months (he thought it had gone over the side). We're both still using the lenses in question, though his did need cleaning and servicing.

Quite honestly, if I had 2x M + 35mm and 75mm, my basic film outfit, I'd REALLY miss the 35mm, which is why I carry either an Ultron or a Color-Skopar as a backup, in a pocket, in the car. in the hotel safe -- NOT in the camera bag. Neither lens is worth very much, and neither is very big. The 75mm would hurt financially but I could live without it for the rest of most trips.

As a matter of interest, why would you switch to MF? I seldom travel much with MF any more, at least not far, except sometimes with Alpa. Most MF is too big, too heavy, too expensive to run, too few pictures (bear in mind that a lot of what I'm shooting is illustration) and no more salable than 35mm or M8 digital.

Cheers,

Roger

Berliner
12-09-2008, 05:08
Never a problem. My trips are very short & rushed, usually combining a couple days of business and 1 or 2 of pleasure. Any trip could involve any number of: Planes, trains, taxis, metro, foot, bikes, cart, and pachyderm even! An M & 2/35, is strapped around me messenger-style, or in my brief case at all times. I figure, worst case scenario--I have to buy an emergency back-up camera somewhere-but it hasn't happened yet.

Robin Harrison
12-09-2008, 05:37
I agree with the two camera philosophy. I like my secondary camera to offer something the first cannot provide. My history of gear selection on big trips, with an explanation of the back-up choice:

China - Leica CL w/ 21,40,90 lenses. Secondary camera: Yashica T4 (more point-and-shootable than the CL, minimum optical sacrifice, and with a built-in flash for when required)
Peru - Hassleblad X-pan w 45 lens. Secondary cameras: Olympus XA (obvious pocketability, reliable, discreet) and Canon A1 (waterproof for a rafting trip, flash for when absolutely needed)
Colombia - Fuji GS645 w/ 75 lens. Secondary camera: Olympus XA (how I wish I'd taken more shots with the XA - the Fuji developed an undiscovered light leak and the trip was a photographic write off)
London-Mongolia - Leica M8 w/ 15,25,35,75 lenses: Secondary camera: Olympus SW 1040 (waterproof, shockproof, dustproof, in keeping with digital main camera, flash, movies)

If your primary camera satisfies 100% of all photographic opportunities, you don't have to think this way. But for me, I like to feel I'm plugging some hole left by the primary camera, even if it's used for only 1% of all shots.

ruben
12-09-2008, 08:54
In the very latest posts we are like going back to our very first photography days, in which we were not aware that lenses should be exchanged with care, gear should be packed in the most simplistic bag (and extremely well paded at home) to minimize theft, theft awareness should be our sixt instinct, and the camera should never be lifted without a strap or wrist.

What is hapening here ? What brings us to the most basic ABC ?

I know. We are missing those days when we were richer than afterwards, when the Big GAS tzunami took us off shore :bang:


Cheers,
Ruben

alcaraban
12-11-2008, 01:14
As a matter of interest, why would you switch to MF? I seldom travel much with MF any more, at least not far, except sometimes with Alpa. Most MF is too big, too heavy, too expensive to run, too few pictures (bear in mind that a lot of what I'm shooting is illustration) and no more salable than 35mm or M8 digital.


I took for granted that MF pictures would be more salable than 35mm. Besides that, I find the 36 frames too long, I think I would prefer 10-15 exposures rolls and/or interchangeable backs. Also, MF cameras don't weight much more than big film SLRs (e.g. my Maxxum 7 weights 800 g. ~ 28 oz.) so total gear weight is not too much increased (maybe I'm wrong, I should check some numbers like lenses weights).

Last but not least, I don't like too much the 2:3 aspect ratio. I find a 4:5 or 6:7 more natural especially for vertical shots. Obviously there is nothing wrong with 24x36, but with me.

As a footnote, be aware that I never had to make a living from pictures, so I could be saying even more silly things than usual.

ClaremontPhoto
12-11-2008, 02:10
As a footnote, be aware that I never had to make a living from pictures, so I could be saying even more silly things than usual.

You're my sort of person, and welcome at my table any time.

Ko.Fe.
03-17-2019, 11:15
Reviving this thread. I'm the one who went on many trips with only one camera, one lens. Even with one roll of film loaded.

In fact for decades we have only one camera for entire family. Guess what, it worked. FED-2, I-26M, ORWO slide film. Nothing else. Or EOS300 with kit lens. France, UK, USA trips.

I would like post here real examples. Not sure if it will keep this thread "unusual". But without pictures it doesn't mean much, IMO. Pictures might reveal if one lens and one camera is right or wrong approach.

December 2018, trip to Boston and Vermont.

M4-2 and Jupiter-3 few rolls of film and nothing else.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4814/46490478155_98c80969c2_o.jpg


https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7901/46490478065_c6857562dd_o.jpg


https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7869/46682424524_f67fa73279_c.jpg


https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4813/32463618347_358fc0d372_c.jpg

I already posted more from this trip in another threads and at RF gallery.

And to be honest, don't we all have second camera these days? In the mobile phone.

steveyork
03-17-2019, 11:56
For travel, one camera and one lens sounds to me like a really rotten idea. If the camera and/or lens stops working, what are you going to do?

More than two cameras, on the other hand, and you can be looking at a lot of weight and bulk, especially if you're walking much. There's also the point that you may spend more time wondering which camera to use than you will spend taking pictures.

The only way I'd carry one camera is with another -- good, cheap, reliable -- camera that I can leave in the room without worrying too much if it's stolen (Konica SIII in a locked suitcase) or in the hotel safe (e.g. Nikon F + 50/2, both of which are cheap nowadays) or even in my pocket if it's small and light enough (Retina IIa).

But as this is part of my livelihood I normally carry two Leicas, or one Leica + 1 MF (Alpa or Linhof). With the Alpa 12WA, the body is just a spacer and can't really go wrong, but I carry 2 lenses, 2 backs and (following the time I forgot, on a trip to India) 2 viewfinder masks.

Has anyone had a problem with taking just one camera that then breaks/is lost or stolen/otherwise fails to deliver the goods?

Cheers,

R.

About ten years ago, while shooting polar bears up in Churchill, Canada, one of my film cameras broke through operator error. Fortunately I had a second camera. Since then I traveled overseas with only a Leica film M, because of weight considerations, and didn't have any problems. I'm not a professional, so no absolute need to get shots and if a camera breaks w/o a backup, then I'll just enjoy the remainder of the trip with my eyes. I guess you could always use a cell phone as a backup. But usually I'll take at least two cameras, typically SLRs, with no more then three lenses, and that seems to work. I would probably go back to a single film M with one lens if my traveling involved planes, ect., and weight was again a consideration.

I've had other cameras fail over the years, but other then the aforementioned trip to Canada it has always happened at home. Just had one mechanical SLR suffer a catastrophic shutter failure -- working one moment, then not. It can happen to any camera I suppose.

A corollary to the questions raised, what's the minimum number of cameras to keep if you always want two working for outings? My answer to that is at least 4, maybe 5, taking into account breakage, cameras out for periodic service ect. This too is based on experience. where one trip I had to scrounge around to find enough working cameras. So much for minimalist me.

narsuitus
03-17-2019, 13:28
Has anyone had a problem with taking just one camera that then breaks/is lost or stolen/otherwise fails to deliver the goods?


Many years ago when I first started working for a newspaper, I usually carried only one 35mm camera. When I was given an assignment to cover the maiden voyage of a new plane that the University had just purchased, I decided to borrow an extra camera to take with me.

At the beginning of the flight, my 35mm camera stopped working. Thank goodness, the borrowed Yashica medium format camera allowed me to complete the assignment.

Godfrey
03-17-2019, 16:23
The only time I've ever had a camera fail when on a trip is when my friend's son, running to get into the picture with his mom and dad, hit my arm and launched my Rollei 35 Classic Platinum off the patio onto the concrete driveway below. That was an expensive repair. I bought a disposable camera which I used for the rest of that segment of the trip.

I almost never carry more than one camera anymore, and usually at most two lenses. My last trip I carried nothing but the Light L16. It did a superb job.

G

michaelwj
03-17-2019, 18:50
And to be honest, don't we all have second camera these days? In the mobile phone.

This.
Unless it a photography centred trip (in which case take it all), a phone will suffice until I can either get to a shop and buy another camera or get home.

I forgot my film once heading overseas for a week, had only the half roll that was in the camera. Didn't go past a shop where I could buy film, so just used my phone once I ran out of film (I also didn't realise until I went to reload that I'd forgotten it). Still a great trip.

FrozenInTime
03-17-2019, 20:08
Yep,

Most people would feel insecure leaving a room, let alone going outside, for even five minutes without the their phone.

Hari
03-17-2019, 21:38
I always just have one camera one lens going out.
But I've got many formats.

michaelwj
03-17-2019, 23:34
Yep,

Most people would feel insecure leaving a room, let alone going outside, for even five minutes without the their phone.

Good point.
Which phone should I get for a backup? What if my phone stops working! Ahhhhhhhh. I need a backup now, no time to wait for suggestions.

Ko.Fe.
04-17-2019, 19:15
Thread must go on...

One day they sent me as not even secondary, but third person for overnight job in Washington. You know, Pentagon and such. I have seen it on taxi ride.
We spend more than twelve hours non-stop, no food, no seats behind the racks at some tv station. And went back to Ontario.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/40667103133_17cea7d18a_o.jpg

I like small planes and short flights.


https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/47633500791_9eabe23508_o.jpg


We spend well above 200USD for two hotel rooms to be in the beds for ... 40 minutes or less...


https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/40667103003_eb75e6e674_o.jpg

I took a few while running back from hotel after check out.


https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/33756188418_fe00f2dff5_o.jpg


https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/33756188348_5873af372f_o.jpg


Most of the pictures were taken in two airports and onboard.


https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/33756188278_df49a10089_o.jpg



https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/47580696502_ceecd80ed8_o.jpg



https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/40667103243_4ea0faa593_o.jpg


All were taken with M4-2, Summarit 35 2.5. No meter was used.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/47633500861_5313904d35_o.jpg

I came back with unfinished roll...

jja
04-17-2019, 19:47
Ko.Fe.--That's a highly enjoyable set, thank you (I've scrolled up and down several times now :) ).

Ko.Fe.
04-19-2019, 07:58
Thank you, JA.

And special thanks to Roger...
I hope I'll be able to keep this thread alive for sometime...

Next week I'll work as junior on one tv site near Dallas Airport. I think, I'll take M-E and one lens. But I'm not sure if I'll get a chance to get somewhere after work...