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View Poll Results: Do you take your best gear?
I take my best gear. I want to make the best possible photographs, regardless of the hazzards. 166 63.60%
I leave my best gear at home. I want to know that it will be waiting for me when I get back. 20 7.66%
I only have the best. For me, there is no choice to be made. 41 15.71%
Nothing I own could ever be put in the same sentence with the word "best." 34 13.03%
Voters: 261. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-07-2018   #121
Takkun
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Never had much of a worry on this, especially since I've switched almost completely to RFs. Virtually everything I own fits in a small SLR-sized messenger bag.
Of course, the few times I've had malfunctioning mishaps were far, far away from home, so the X100 comes with me.

With SLRs I never cared for zooms, so it was juggling (quite literally) a bunch of prime lenses, and when I was younger and had far more energy, two camera bodies. Got some great shots while traveling, at the expense sometimes of actually enjoying anything else.

As for safety and security, again, no worry carrying a RF. Everybody has a DSLR now so carrying one doesn't make you stick out anymore, but they're still a big-ticket consumer item target for theft. My Leica looks old, my Fuji looks REALLY old, and the only people that have ever noticed were other Leica owners. Stick it in my pocket if I have to.

A few years back I spent a week and change photographing in North Philadelphia, and not once did I feel like I was a theft target. I did get chased by a guy a block or two, but turned out he was a cinematography student who wanted to chat about cameras.

I hike a lot, and have considered getting an older SLR as a take-along, since gear tends to get banged up a lot (and I don't know how Ansel did it with LF)...but honestly my RFs are small enough that they are easy to get in and out of a case so I'm less tempted to have one swinging around my neck.

As for losing or misplacing a camera: only did that once..last week at a bag locker at IKEA. Only realized it once I got home and braved traffic to get it back.
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Old 09-07-2018   #122
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Preparing to go on a week long camping trip and bringing my Rolleiflex SL66 and SL35e.

I suppose some of the lens could be expensive but I got my equipment to be used, no as collectible.

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Old 09-07-2018   #123
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Further to my earlier post about selecting travel photo gear for portability and versatility as the main considerations, it galls me no end that to get the full frame experience, which personally I find important, it remains that film cameras are still much lighter and usually more compact than full frame digital gear. Which is one of the reasons I still use film.
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Old 09-07-2018   #124
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A good truly pocketable camera won't get in the way or be a burden to carry.

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Old 09-07-2018   #125
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I bought my cameras and lenses to use and i have them insured to the hilt - therefore I take them with me to make photographs, which is what i bought them for to begin with.

If a location comes with a high risk of me being robbed, beaten, maimed or killed - I will not go there and will choose another place to photograph.

No body of photographic work is worth dying over.
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Old 09-07-2018   #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pyeh View Post
Further to my earlier post about selecting travel photo gear for portability and versatility as the main considerations, it galls me no end that to get the full frame experience, which personally I find important, it remains that film cameras are still much lighter and usually more compact than full frame digital gear. Which is one of the reasons I still use film.
Do you factor in the bulk of all that film to equal the quantity of pictures that can be stored on one large card?
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Old 09-07-2018   #127
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Darthfeeble, no I don't, since I don't shoot a lot of film per day, maybe 1 roll every 2 days when I travel. When I walk about I don't carry more than 2 extra rolls of film whereas with digital I'm carrying two extra batteries per camera and extra cards, mainly because I'm neurotic about battery exhaustion and card failure. In some countries film is readily available retail and cheaper than home, so I don"t worry about running out of film. This is not to mention the battery chargers and cords plus power adapters for foreign countries that I pack when I fly.
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Old 09-08-2018   #128
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The problem with one large card is that they hold a lot of photo's and if anything goes wrong you lose the lot; better to take a few small one, imo.


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I am going to the Philippines for 10 days
Old 12-23-2018   #129
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I am going to the Philippines for 10 days

Going 5 hours drive out of Manila. Weight is a consideration for me as I will always carry a camera. So I am thinking one body, MP, plus 3 lenses, 21f3.4, 35f2 and 50f2. Even that will weigh a bit. My other body, M4 needs repairing. So no back up body.
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Traveller's dilemma indeed
Old 12-23-2018   #130
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Traveller's dilemma indeed

Matt,
That's almost exactly the kit I often take when I travel, although I might have a 24 instead of a 21. I agree it's a lot of weight to carry for distances. And if you add a back-up body then it's even more to cart around. But if you don't take a second body then it means faffing about changing lenses. What to do?
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Old 12-23-2018   #131
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I was going to Hong Kong early next year, but I've cancelled as work is really hectic at this time. My kit would have been the M9, 21/2.8, 35/1.4 and 50/2 and the Panasonic GX85. In Hong Kong, I feel pretty safe to carry a bit of gear with me, even in the touristy places. There used to be a lot of pickpocketing and such in Hong Kong in decades past, but it is much safer now.


When I'm in less savoury places, I take the smallest but best quality camera I can, which can mean the Ricoh GR, Panasonic LX10, or now the Sony RX0. The Sony is frankly a revelation for wide angle street photography. Super small, extremely robust, and with surprisingly good image quality which is better than the LX10 at f4. It is totally silent and focuses well.
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Old 12-23-2018   #132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pyeh View Post
Matt,
That's almost exactly the kit I often take when I travel, although I might have a 24 instead of a 21. I agree it's a lot of weight to carry for distances. And if you add a back-up body then it's even more to cart around. But if you don't take a second body then it means faffing about changing lenses. What to do?
A possible backup body would be the Zeiss Ikon or Leica CL. Both are much lighter than the usual film or digital M.
Another possibility is a decent film camera like the Contax T3 or T2, Nikon 35Ti or 28Ti, or the equivalent Minolta. You could use that as your wide while enjoying the 50 on the M.
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Old 12-24-2018   #133
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Archiver, I'm with you on the large plus small idea, except I'm not keen on autofocus film cameras, because you can't chimp them to check focus, and I don't have a particularly high quality one anyway. I have taken an MP and a CL together and that kinda works except for the difference in operation and feel. I have also taken two CLs together and I'm thinking now of taking two CLEs.

Regarding digital, someone on RFF said some years ago, and he may have said it again in this thread, that his ideal is an M9 and 50 lens paired with a Ricoh GR. I'm tempted to try that combination too. Would be very versatile. Only downside is schlepping two sets of batteries and chargers.
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Old 12-24-2018   #134
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For me that´s an easy decision in 2018/19. It is a huge difference to what was possible in 2007 when
this thread started I think.
Nowadays my tiny compact digital (25-500mm, panorama) slips in a pocket and I´m ready to go everywhere.
Depending of duration and expected places there might be the APS-C body with prime in the
luggage. Backup is the IPhone and - go
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Old 12-24-2018   #135
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I went to Kyoto two weeks ago. Rain was in the forecast so I took the Contax N1 with 24-85 zoom. It did rain at times heavily and I was able to shoot with one hand while holding an umbrella with the other. Otherwise I only use manual Leicas and Rolleiflex.
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Old 12-24-2018   #136
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pyeh View Post
Archiver, I'm with you on the large plus small idea, except I'm not keen on autofocus film cameras, because you can't chimp them to check focus, and I don't have a particularly high quality one anyway. I have taken an MP and a CL together and that kinda works except for the difference in operation and feel. I have also taken two CLs together and I'm thinking now of taking two CLEs.

Regarding digital, someone on RFF said some years ago, and he may have said it again in this thread, that his ideal is an M9 and 50 lens paired with a Ricoh GR. I'm tempted to try that combination too. Would be very versatile. Only downside is schlepping two sets of batteries and chargers.
That person with the M9 and GR is probably me, haha. I feel that way a lot when it comes to high quality digital stills and travel. Although, I would more likely include a fast 35 and a 21.

Two CLE's would be a really slick combination if you want a very small RF footprint. Put a tiny Voigtlander 21/4P on one with a viewfinder and it's practically a pocket camera. Put the 35 or 50 on the other and you're ready for just about anything.
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Old 12-24-2018   #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Axel100 View Post
For me that´s an easy decision in 2018/19. It is a huge difference to what was possible in 2007 when
this thread started I think.
Nowadays my tiny compact digital (25-500mm, panorama) slips in a pocket and I´m ready to go everywhere.
Depending of duration and expected places there might be the APS-C body with prime in the
luggage. Backup is the IPhone and - go
In 2007, I traveled to China with the Canon G7 and Fuji Natura Black because I didn't want the bulk or possible theft of my Canon 30D. The G7 had a tiny sensor with a 35-210mm range. These days, you can get a Panasonic with a 24-360mm lens and a 1" sensor; I would have committed illegal acts for a camera like that in 2007. The Natura Black could be replaced with the Ricoh GR. It's amazing where camera technology is today, eleven years after this thread was started.
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Old 12-24-2018   #138
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My way has changed dramatically since 2007.
I slowly had changed to digital for internet pro work.
I began with Pentax Optio with 3.5 MP.
Contrary to most posters on forums, small files were perfectly acceptable.
I noticed at "Nikon Image" at Contact Toronto, the projections were 640x480.
I used to carry a Nikon kit, 2 bodies, 5+ lenses, flash, filters and FILM.
Following a harrowing experience at a certain London airport UK, extra scans of my film in South Africa!.
i decided to stop using film cameras.
I carried a few point and shoot cameras, spare rechargeable AA batteries.
charger, many SD cards, two used as back ups.
The joy of freedom, cameras easily under a shirt or pocket.
I love film but travel it's way too much trouble.

My M3 is very worn but I see no point in "losing" it!
So worn, that if I visited a Leica Boutique, the staff would disinfect the place my camera had been!
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Old 12-24-2018   #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafael View Post
How do you choose the photographic gear that you take with you on trips to countries where for meteorological reasons or for reasons of public safety you face the very real possibility that your gear will be damaged, stolen, etc.?

... Do you take your best gear?
I would take my best equipment but I would keep it light and small. Also, I would make sure my insurance coverage is valid before leaving.

Places where your equipment could be damaged or stolen are also likely to be places where the photographer could be damaged or kidnapped. Since I only travel for pleasure, I wouldn't go to those types of places.
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Old 12-24-2018   #140
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Since I take the best photo equipment for the situation, I am not sure how to vote in this old poll.

For the times when I must shoot in a hostile environment, I take backups. For example, if my photo equipment may be lost, stolen, or damaged, I take ...

a. The inexpensive 75-150mm f/3.5 Series E mounted on a Nikon EM to substitute for the more expensive 80-200mm f/2.8 mounted on a Nikon F2.

b. A less expensive Pentax 35mm system rather than a more expensive Nikon 35mm system.

c. A less expensive Contax 35mm rangefinder system rather than a more expensive Leica 35mm rangefinder system.

d. A less expensive digital compact camera rather than a more expensive digital SLR or mirrorless camera.

e. A weather resistant camera or an underwater camera instead of a camera that may be damaged by rain, snow, condensation, or salt water.


Nikon EM vs. F2 by Narsuitus, on Flickr
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Old 12-24-2018   #141
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I just acquired a Ricoh GR which offers excellent IQ in a very pocketable package.
As previously mentioned I also use a slew of truly pocketable 35mm film cameras.

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Old 12-24-2018   #142
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Changes occurs in travel plans
My current job gives high chances for travel. If it is three or less days, no check in luggage paid.
Nor I want to deal with check-ins on connection flights.
So, it means on carry on backpack. I went for five days trip and used M4-2 with Jupiter-3.
Ten rolls in small box, but I used four in six days.
If digital, I would have to get GRII for its size and usb charging, but film and M is more fun and no batteries.
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Old 12-24-2018   #143
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I am a big fan of photo minimalism. Europe hiking trip + Paris+ Reykjavik. Rolleiflex T. & an IPhone for email & the odd photo. Ski touring in Japan with a Leica MP 35 Summaron & 21 mm. I’ve learned over the years, choose your photographs. Don’t regret the ones you can’t make. After all it’s not your first rodeo....remember looking at those Nikon ads that made you wish for everything from a fisheye to a 500mm..... travel isn’t like that .
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Old 12-24-2018   #144
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I also like to travel light, Nikon FE with 28mm f3.5 and 135mm f3.5 Nikkor lenses.
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Old 12-24-2018   #145
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I find that having with me a reasonably fast 35mm or 50mm lens is the only mandatory issue when traveling. A second camera and lens is for the fun of it.
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Old 12-24-2018   #146
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You should have only one camera. One lens only if possible. Nail your style and keep doing it.
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Old 12-24-2018   #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leicapixie View Post
My way has changed dramatically since 2007.
I slowly had changed to digital for internet pro work.
I began with Pentax Optio with 3.5 MP.
Contrary to most posters on forums, small files were perfectly acceptable.
I noticed at "Nikon Image" at Contact Toronto, the projections were 640x480.
I used to carry a Nikon kit, 2 bodies, 5+ lenses, flash, filters and FILM.
Following a harrowing experience at a certain London airport UK, extra scans of my film in South Africa!.
i decided to stop using film cameras.
I carried a few point and shoot cameras, spare rechargeable AA batteries.
charger, many SD cards, two used as back ups.
The joy of freedom, cameras easily under a shirt or pocket.
I love film but travel it's way too much trouble.

My M3 is very worn but I see no point in "losing" it!
So worn, that if I visited a Leica Boutique, the staff would disinfect the place my camera had been!

The big advantage of digital over film happens when throwing your digi camera thru the xrays x begging mercy for your exposed film.
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Old 12-24-2018   #148
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Quote:
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The big advantage of digital over film happens when throwing your digi camera thru the xrays x begging mercy for your exposed film.
How deep is your rock?

I was traveling with M4-2 to USA from Canada and back at beginning of 2018 DECEMBER. In Boston MA (forgot how this carp hole airport called, nice people, 1980 airport) international terminal, they have it in written - if your film is bellow ISO 800 - no worries. They have to run it twice via xray with my 400 film. I forgot to put some electronic sh_t on the tray.


This is how this film looks like after three x-rays. At least. It was imported from UK to USA and from USA to Canada as well.



Welcome to 2018.
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Old 12-24-2018   #149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt335 View Post
Going 5 hours drive out of Manila. Weight is a consideration for me as I will always carry a camera. So I am thinking one body, MP, plus 3 lenses, 21f3.4, 35f2 and 50f2.
I was in the Philippines in July... shooting the rice terraces of Batad / Banaue about nine hours drive north of Manila... we started at midnight to avoid the traffic in the city and the tricycles in the country. I was using a Nikon F3P w/ 50mm f/1.2 and 28mm f/3.5 with a Fuji x100t as backup... tripod and ND Grad filters... mostly Neopan 100 and Kodak Gold 200... great time, enjoy.

I always do a shoot in December / January in northern Japan so for the F3P with 50mm or Leica MP with 28mm I always have extra batteries against the cold weather... I have shot in -20°C with windy conditions, so the camera stays inside the jacket when not being used... small lenses work best ; )
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The Traveller's Dilemma
Old 12-24-2018   #150
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The Traveller's Dilemma



Traveling with 4 or 5 lenses? Wow.
It's out of my mind. I would like to know how fast, and how often do you rotate between them?

In my Domke:

M6
Rolleiflex or another medium format camera/ or backup M6 body
21mm
35mm
Flash
Trix
Batteries.

My "everyday setup" is for real EVERYDAY
If it's enough in my town, it's also fine for trip.

This is how I understand idea of photo gear.

Greetings!
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Old 12-24-2018   #151
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So many ancient treads really deserve to be flushed down the proverbial round hole rather than resurrected - not this one. As someone has already said, super cool!

In six decades of travel with cameras, I've eft home and headed for the airport with just about every camera kit going - I once went to Southeast Asia for two months with a Nikkormat (four lenses), a Linhof Technika (three lenses, two backs) and a Rollei. And survived, if barely. On this journey I used the Nikkormat 50-1 to the Rollei 8% and 20-1 to Linhof.

The first image I sold as stock from this trip was from the Linhof, nothing from the Rollei and maybe a few dozen from the Nikkormat. Ah, the good old days.

My heavy travel era has now long passed. To (mis)quote a French sage, "chacun a son gear" - the It Depends Rule now prevails, and what I take when I go away depends on what I want to shoot, but baring in mind that at age 71 I no longer care to (or can) lug heavy cameras and multiple lenses.

Today, with film, I would take a Nikkormat with 28 and 85 lenses or a Contax G1 with 28 and 90. Lens hoods, a few filters, and of course too much film. Neither would attract much attention from would-be criminals, especially the way I dress.

With digital, my now antiquated Nikon D700 (purchased new in 2010 with 135,000 mileage, so well and truly out to pasture, tho functioning perfectly okay) with my usual 28 and 85 Nikon D lenses, hoods, a few filters. Two cards and two batteries. I have the D700 autogrip (or whatever it's called) but usually either leave it at home or in my hotel room.

More and more I err to minimalism in gear, and in future I can see myself hitting the road with an even simpler kit - my Rolleicord Vb, a 16 exposure kit, lens hood, two filters, and a Weston Master V.

Yes, it's all armchair theorizing, but it's amusing to read the odd combinations some of us cart with us, and also (almost) as much fun to opine as to what to take to the far-flung parts of the world, as it is to actually pack and carry the stuff.

But a Linhof, again? Not in this life...

Truly, I'm greatly enjoying this thread. Many thanks to all who have posted, and I hope many more will. Noel!
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Old 12-24-2018   #152
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For what it may be worth, an unusually (for me) brief aside re travel and cameras.

In November my partner went to Ipoh, Malaysia for a family reunion - ten days away with only carry-on bags, a 7 kilogram baggage allowance - fortunately for said traveler, the airline didn't bother to weigh the bags, which had considerably more than the allowed weight but nothing near even a small suitcase.

Took a Nikon D90 with a 35-70 zoom lens, one battery, one card. Shot everyone and everything in sight. Overall, superb results. Many hours of slave toil at the laptop ahead for me to post-process the hundreds of family snaps and beaut landscapes.

The concept of think light, think small, take the very minimum and use it to its best, seems the way to go - as so many others have said in this thread.
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Old 12-25-2018   #153
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I travel about 4/5 times a year and prefer to travel light.
I only take 1 camera & 1 lens (Leica M-A & Summilux 35 II of Summicron 35 V), some film and no camerabag.

And always using a carry on bag (mostly 7 kg baggage allowance) using the Fjallraven Splitpack duffel.

Thats all i need.
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Old 12-25-2018   #154
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I travel two or three times a year to a foreign destination as a tourist. I still have aspirations of being a photographer even though the results often don't support those aspirations. On my last foreign trip (Scotland hiking 80 miles around Loch Ness), I carried an MP240 with 25/35/90.

The lenses were small and light and I wanted to take a film Leica as a backup but things just get too complicated. Next time I may just take the 35f2.8 C Biogon and leave the others at home. And digital does beat film for ease of travel. I did carry a FujiX70 but loaned it to the wife and she let it get soaked in the bottom of her backpack. It did not survive.
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Old 12-25-2018   #155
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The OP ask what gear to bring when traveling to places where for meteorological reasons or for reasons of public safety you face the very real possibility that your gear will be damaged, stolen, etc.

I never traveled to such places, but I imagine if the risk is serious I would take my Bessa or Nikon FM2 (if shooting film) or my Leica X1 if going digital.

Reasons are size, weight and not high economical loss if lost but still keeping high quality of images. And all cameras which do not attract attention.

And I'm now used to keep gear minimal, one camera one lens when traveling.

But of course much depends on the reason for which I should travel in a "dangerous" place. If this is a professional reason like to make a reportage about something specific this could influence the choice. Lens for portrait or more suited to landscape photography.

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Old 12-25-2018   #156
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Going to San Francisco with my son to see a New Year's Eve concert with the Mermen, a really cool surf instrumental band. Will spend about five days in the city in total.

Traveling light. Will probably take a Nikon D600 with two Nikkor lenses: a 20mm F1.8 and 85mm F1.8. Plus my M2 w/Abrahamsson winder and a 50mm 'Cron version 3. The 20mm is for street scenes, architecture - the 85 is for people, detail. I will probably shoot Hp5+ in the M2.

I would love to bring my 200mm F4.0 Micro - a killer lens but pretty heavy.

I have some balance issues, so I'll use a cane. If I get mugged, here's my wallet, here's my bag. It's only stuff - what the hell. =)
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Old 12-25-2018   #157
Rayt
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I have standardised my travel gear into 3 formats. Kit 1) 4x5 Ebony SW with 72/150mm Schneiders; 2) Rolleiflex 3.5F and Rolleiwide; 3) Leica M7 with 3 lenses. If I need the movements then 4x5 it is else medium format is often good enough if both are shot on a tripod. For general travel photography it will be the Rollei 90% of the time. The Rolleiwide makes this all so possible. Before I was shooting Hasselblad and even one body with 2 lenses is crippling for my shoulders after walking a mile. For unfamiliar places where exploring and walking for more than 10 miles a day is required I will bring the Leica kit. Next destination will be Lahore Pakistan in a month and I will bring the Leica.
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Old 12-25-2018   #158
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I think about the risks sometimes when packing. But, really, what's the point of having excellent tools if you are afraid to use them.

Just got back from two weeks in Tokyo.
Leica M9, 15mm Heliar, 24 2.8 Asph, 28 Summicron, 35 Summicron Asph, 50.1.4 Asph.
Pentax K1 and 31, 43, and 77 Limiteds.

Most used lenses: 15 and 24, and the 31 Limited on the Pentax.

This approach would not have worked without a safe place to store my gear. I usually only carry one camera and 2-3 lenses so as to keep the weight down for a day of walking.

You got the gear? Use the gear.
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Old 12-26-2018   #159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Marks View Post
But, really, what's the point of having excellent tools if you are afraid to use them.
I wonder how many people have an expensive car to keep in the garage and a cheap jalopy to actually drive around in? In my book the same applies to cameras. Life is risky - so be it (and always insure your gear!).
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Old 12-26-2018   #160
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In 2010, I went to Japan with a friend with my M9 and Ricoh GRD III. There was a few hours in the afternoon where I took no pictures at all because it was pouring with rain, and some time where I had to keep putting the M9 away because of water. At that time, I wished I'd had a Nikon D700 with weather sealed 50 or 24-70.


These days, Olympus makes cameras with superb water resistance, which is why I purchased the Olympus E-M5. I'd use that, or a Panasonic GH camera with the Panasonic 12-35 f2.8. As long as there's a UV filter, I'd be quite confident of using it in the rain.


As mentioned above, the Sony RX0 is a surprisingly good pocket camera, and since it is waterproof and shock proof, it would be perfect to use in the rain. Years ago, I was walking through the City in the rain, and had put my Canon 5D Mark II in my waterproof shoulder bag. I came across a startlingly good wedding party, and wished I'd had a small camera that I could whisk out of my pocket. This lead to the Ricoh GRD III, but it's not waterproof. The Sony RX0 is, for me, the perfect pocket backup and weatherproof camera. It fulfills the needs of that day, years ago.
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