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Traveling Abroad - Camera Dilemma
Old 06-14-2019   #1
Creagerj
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Traveling Abroad - Camera Dilemma

I am traveling to Germany and I can't decide what camera to bring along with me. I want to pack as light as possible, so 35mm sounds like a no-brainer. On the other hand, I personally prefer medium format. I plan to stick with one camera either way.

I have some options to choose from:

- Leica M2 + Summicron 40mm
- Bronica RF645 + 65mm or 45mm
- Rolleiflex

If you were in my shoes, what would you bring?
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Old 06-14-2019   #2
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None of those. I'd buy a tiny Konica C 35 or a Retina !a. Thy're much smaller and lighter than the cameras you mentioned, and will deliver results that are nearly as good or just as good as your Leica. You want something that will be unobtrusive and quick to use. Don't underestimate the safety factor either. No one will want to steal those, the Leica and Rolleiflex are going to attract the wrong sort of attention when traveling.
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Old 06-14-2019   #3
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Whichever is your favorite to use. The importance of smallness in packing a camera is hugely overstated.
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Old 06-14-2019   #4
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Rolleiflex, lovely camera and gets a lot of people chatting.
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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

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Old 06-14-2019   #5
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You're a Leica owner. How could you go to Germany and not bring the M2?
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Old 06-14-2019   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AAlfano View Post
You're a Leica owner. How could you go to Germany and not bring the M2?
That would apply equally to the Rolleiflex . The Rollei as you know is actually a quite small "package" - if you prefer 120 then the choice seems clear
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Old 06-14-2019   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AAlfano View Post
You're a Leica owner. How could you go to Germany and not bring the M2?
Noooo, those envious Germans will try to steal it back

Seriously, I am surprised how “safety” issue pops up always when somebody discusses travel. As if “non travel” is somehow different in terms of safety. Cmon, we are talking Germany in 21st century... I don’t think even Romans were so much concerned about barbarians stealing from their legions
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Old 06-14-2019   #8
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Some black tape over the logo will eliminate any would-be thieves.
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Old 06-14-2019   #9
Creagerj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tunalegs View Post
Whichever is your favorite to use. The importance of smallness in packing a camera is hugely overstated.
My heart agrees and my neck wishes my heart would mind it's own business.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesDAMorgan View Post
Rolleiflex, lovely camera and gets a lot of people chatting.
Absolutely my favorite thing about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shac View Post
That would apply equally to the Rolleiflex . The Rollei as you know is actually a quite small "package" - if you prefer 120 then the choice seems clear
It does pack fairly well and it makes the choice of lens very simple.
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Old 06-14-2019   #10
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I used to take Rolleiflex to all my travels (I still do sometimes), but for street photography it was a bit too slow and heavy, so I bought Fuji GA645 - now it’s my favourite travel p&s.
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Old 06-14-2019   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by css9450 View Post
Some black tape over the logo will eliminate any would-be thieves.
Brilliant!
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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 06-14-2019   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valdas View Post
Noooo, those envious Germans will try to steal it back

Seriously, I am surprised how “safety” issue pops up always when somebody discusses travel. As if “non travel” is somehow different in terms of safety. Cmon, we are talking Germany in 21st century... I don’t think even Romans were so much concerned about barbarians stealing from their legions
Those that got out alive, of course.

I have been to Germany more times than any other country. In that time I have never once worried about criminality, other than my Londoner habit of jaywalking. This is the most serious crime I've seen, including numerous trips back to my hotel in Frankfurt via the red light district (it's where you find the banks too).
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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 06-14-2019   #13
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Me? Probably the Rolleiflex.

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Old 06-14-2019   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Creagerj View Post
... I want to pack as light as possible ...

I have some options to choose from:

- Leica M2 + Summicron 40mm
- Bronica RF645 + 65mm or 45mm
- Rolleiflex
..

A simple Decision a mean.

If medium format is important look for a folder like Ikonta, Moskva or so.

Perhaps a Folder with 6x9 format.
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Old 06-14-2019   #15
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You are the only one that can decide which camera is the right one for you to carry when traveling. I wouldn't give anyone else's opinion any weight.
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Old 06-14-2019   #16
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One thought on travel in Germany: think hard about the type of photography you do. If you are in the older parts of cities or in cathedrals, etc, you will probably want a lens with a 28mm or even 21mm aspect ratio, at least in my experience travelling in lots of German towns and cities. If your Rollei has the 75mm lens, you might be able to use it as a general purpose camera. Carrying your both your Leica with a WA and the Rollei would not be a great burden though. My next trip, I'm definitely going to include a MF camera in the kit. Gute Reise!
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Old 06-14-2019   #17
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Since you personally prefer medium format, take the Rolleiflex. If it were me, I'd take a Rolleiflex and one very small 35mm camera, like an Olympus XA or a Rollei 35.
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Old 06-14-2019   #18
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Oskar managed perfectly well with a 40mm Mikro Summar on the prototype but settled on 50mm later on. So I'd say the M2 etc. Just don't look in any camera shops and, if travelling in company, send them into the shops for film. Too much temptation in German camera shops...


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Old 06-14-2019   #19
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My only recommendation would be to take cameras that you have experience using, and have used and know well.
You don't want to be trying to figure out a new camera, and/or dealing with an unknown and possibly unreliable camera while you're travelling.
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Old 06-14-2019   #20
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^Plus 1 on that!


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Old 06-14-2019   #21
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M2 with 35mm lens.
Because I ditched 40mm lens and MF .

Then VM went abroad, didn't she left the Flex at home as well?
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Old 06-14-2019   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptpdprinter View Post
You are the only one that can decide which camera is the right one for you to carry when traveling. I wouldn't give anyone else's opinion any weight.
Exactly, we don`t know how they photograph and what they photograph. Who better to know you than yourself? These threads usually come down to - I know I should bring the Leica and enjoy myself, but I really want to take the Rollei -
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Old 06-14-2019   #23
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You would do fine with any of your three options. Take whatever you like. If you have enough time to prepare a shot, the Rollei would be my choice.

In a trip to Germany I took a 35mm SLR and found myself mostly using 28mm focal distances. A wide is really useful in the old city areas. It depends a lot on what you like. There will probably be interesting opportunities indoors, so make sure you have either a good aperture or fast enough film, or both. ISO 400 is right for most cases.

Light weight is VERY important on trips. If you are tired, photo opportunities mysteriously start to disappear.
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Old 06-14-2019   #24
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Whichever of those pleases you (for me the M2 and 40 for portability).....and remember to pack the charger for your iPhone!
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Old 06-14-2019   #25
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It might be better to inform yourself about the strict new laws regarding photographing people (strangers) in public (DSVGO, came into effect on may 25th this year). Germans are very concerned about their right of privacy, especially when being in public spaces.
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Old 06-14-2019   #26
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No love for the Bronica RF645? Surprisingly compact camera...
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Old 06-14-2019   #27
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You need a 50mm lens to re-take Oscar's photo in the old town at Wetzlar
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Old 06-16-2019   #28
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Unless you're traveling by yourself or with other photographers, I'd take the Bronica. Your preference is MF, and this is about as fast to use and light as the Leica. Come to Frankfurt and let me try that Bronica.



I wouldn't worry about the legal restrictions. Photographing people has been restrictive in Germany before the DSVGO, essentially one owns the rights on one's likeness and exceptions are made in the name of panoramic freedom, press work, and art (among others). Although AFAIK there are no rulings that would apply the new DSVGO to photography, it most likely doesn't change a thing as these exceptions will still apply.
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Old 06-16-2019   #29
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Paper and a pencil, Sir. That is how HCB rolls.
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Old 06-16-2019   #30
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This guy brought only his Rolleiflex and some B&W to his trip to Paris. It's in German but the subtitles works sufficiently. It's all about relaxation he explains:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yWZe7CMBZ0
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Old 06-16-2019   #31
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Travelling light is also about films and availability. 135 vs. 120 means packing more / all
rolls to the luggage in case of 120. 135 is still easy to find in most places.


But I agree - personal preference for a system or camera should stay the first point when such
a decision seems to get difficult.
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Old 06-16-2019   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fjäll View Post
This guy brought only his Rolleiflex and some B&W to his trip to Paris. It's in German but the subtitles works sufficiently. It's all about relaxation he explains:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yWZe7CMBZ0
Paris has become so dirty and ugly, with all its former typical soul gone away, that 12 MF photos in a 3-days trip there are plenty possible and enough indeed.

I fully recommend the "Rolleiflex only" experience when travelling. I once did that on a 5-days trip to Toronto. I took more than 12 photos but having taken the Rolleiflex and nothing else worked out perfectly.
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Old 06-16-2019   #33
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Of the three I wouldn't hesitate to take the Bronica. I’ve travelled extensively with mine as it is very compact for MF, and an advantage (at least for me) for travel is automatic exposure. However, if you can manage, take both lenses. If only one I’d pick the 45 for cities.

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Old 06-16-2019   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Creagerj View Post
I am traveling to Germany and I can't decide what camera to bring along with me. I want to pack as light as possible, so 35mm sounds like a no-brainer. On the other hand, I personally prefer medium format. I plan to stick with one camera either way.

I have some options to choose from:

- Leica M2 + Summicron 40mm
- Bronica RF645 + 65mm or 45mm
- Rolleiflex

If you were in my shoes, what would you bring?

Each time I have a similar dilemma, the Rolleiflex does the trip. Small, very high quality, GREAT negatives in the end...
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Old 06-16-2019   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Creagerj View Post
I am traveling to Germany and I can't decide what camera to bring along with me. I want to pack as light as possible, so 35mm sounds like a no-brainer. On the other hand, I personally prefer medium format. I plan to stick with one camera either way.

I have some options to choose from:

- Leica M2 + Summicron 40mm
- Bronica RF645 + 65mm or 45mm
- Rolleiflex

If you were in my shoes, what would you bring?
I wouldn't be in your shoes (I'd have more than one camera with me, even the most cared for equipment can occasionally catch you out, besides which, I'm personally hopeless at paring my camera options in the first place). But don't lose sight of some fundamentals. Take a camera you like to use. If you personally prefer medium format I don't know why the Leica is even a candidate. It's got to be the Bronica or the Rollei, surely? What is the point of bringing camera A, if you'd really rather be imaging with camera B, C, D or F? (Assuming, naturally, all the various candidates are suitable for your intended purpose).
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Old 06-16-2019   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Creagerj View Post

- Leica M2 + Summicron 40mm
- Bronica RF645 + 65mm or 45mm
- Rolleiflex
I have done many a trip with a single camera and lens that were the equivalent (or the same) as the three above. Always returned with nice results regardless, albeit the results are different depending upon the camera.

Toss a coin when you pack and put the one that comes up in the bag.

G
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Old 06-16-2019   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Creagerj View Post
- Leica M2 + Summicron 40mm
I was actually in exactly your shoes about a month ago planning for Paris, this is what I chose for my trip and could not have been happier. As much as I enjoy MF I never end up wanting to walk about with my Rollei on trips, so I stopped taking it. The M2 and Summicron-c is a more than capable combo for any kinda of sharpness qualms. I hung mine around my neck like a normal tourist and shot away, lots of interesting people to photograph there.

Anyways best of luck with your choice and enjoy the trip!
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Old 06-16-2019   #38
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Quote:
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That would apply equally to the Rolleiflex . The Rollei as you know is actually a quite small "package" - if you prefer 120 then the choice seems clear

I didn't say not to bring the Rollei!
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Old 06-16-2019   #39
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I wouldn't give anyone else's opinion any weight.
Apart from mine.
Take a camera.
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Old 06-16-2019   #40
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Personally, I would take the Leica. Small, compact, excellent pictures, and available film. I have been travelling this year (for work mainly but not exclusively) with my Contax iia, and it fits into my computer bag. I have been having a lot of fun with it in my spare time. Travelling as a tourist you do have more options. Some trips (personal) I took my Fuji XT-2 + 18-55mm zoom plus my Contax iia.
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