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Should I bother flying with MF SLR kit?
Old 1 Week Ago   #1
Takkun
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Should I bother flying with MF SLR kit?

Hey all,
Right on the heels of my last trip, I'm flying out again Saturday—making up for not really leaving the state in the last 5 or so years.

This time, I'm out to Atlanta and Savannah for 10 days; SO is visiting family and attending a wedding, and I get to come along. A little time in each city with a little car travel in between social visits, but mostly on foot.

I fell back in love with MF this summer, picking up a new finder and lens for my Bronica and filling my closet with a GX680. She wholeheartedly thinks I should take the Fuji, but I'm not packing an extra bag just for one camera and tripod.

But MF is tempting. I don't mind carrying it around town here (I don't drive, so I'm used to carrying everything) and will bring one of the two on car trips, but traveling, when I'm carrying other junk with me, might be a hassle. Ditto on brining enough film to cover my bases.

The alternative is to just lug along my old standby with a film and digital RF each.
Or, if I was really tempted, Shot on Film Store has a Makina 67 up for sale, but I'm trying to keep the 'n+1 rule' of bicycles out of my photography....

Hope this isn't too redundant of past 'what do I bring' threads. The ones I've perused often are "I'm going to X and want to shoot Y" or "Family vacation to Z" type questions. Kind of curious what those with MF bring on non-photography-oriented trips.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #2
Timmyjoe
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I can't tell you what's right for you, but I can share what I've been doing for a bit. I have to keep traveling for work shooting, which is all digital whiz-bang. My passion is B&W film so I bring along a little B&W film kit. Of course it's easier because I'm driving, not flying, but I really enjoy having the kit with me when I finish work, or just see something that I think is interesting. I could probably survive without it, I mean I could always use my iPhone and then B&W it in post, but that's got no soul, and my little film kit does.

Just a thought.

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Old 1 Week Ago   #3
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Thanks Tim. I totally agree—got paid gigs this week for a friend modeling jewelery, and I know she’s a fan of my BW work, so I’m definitely bringing film for that shoot, once the “work” part is done. I don’t remember who it was, but I was reading an article about an agency photographer that started bringing a TLR on assignments just for fun, and those were the shots that ended up getting published.

I used to shoot for publication, and I hear you, I love photography regardless, but it’s film that gets the heart racing. And as I wrote in Rogers related thread, there’s pros and cons of both film and digital traveling (and I’ve had reliability issues with both), but thankfully this isn’t a mission-critical trip. I’m sure I could bring both MF and small-format, and honestly I probably won’t even shoot as much as I expect to...
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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
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I like medium format, Ian, and I've traveled with it a lot... Pentax 67, Fuji 645, Leica S2, etc. Not a big deal, no pun intended... I just don't try to carry a lot of pieces. Have a good trip!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
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Yes, definitely MF, definitely film. Do you like looking down or through? TLR classics aren't all that big (not the bellows Mamiya 220/330 set). Eye-level in 120 is great for the Fuji 645 RF - lots of shots per roll, nice field of view for either city/architecture or country vistas. If I'm really pressed for space, Rollei 35 is so easy. -alfredian
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6
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I shoot MF almost exclusively. When I want to travel light, I take my Perkeo II.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #7
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I recently took a trip to see the family and found a way to pack 5 days worth of clothes, a 500 C/M with the 60mm & 80mm CFi/E lenses, a tripod + ballhead, a bulb release (for family portraits) and enough film to keep me shooting the whole time. All this in carry-on luggage. Luckily it was summer, so clothing was light.

I shot relatively few images, but love the look of those I did. The scanned images stand out in my catalog among a wealth of digital ones. So glad I found a way to make it work. Will definitely be doing this again.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #8
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The size of medium format cameras is greatly exaggerated by the imagination.


sizes by Berang Berang, on Flickr


Take what you want to make pictures with.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #9
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My Rolleiflex is my default film MF camera for travel, and if I liked the results better it would be my Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 6x6 folder (not a fan of the Tessar on it).

I did have a Pentax 67 and I have a Blad and a Pentacon Six, but they are just a bit too big and bulky, and once you add in more lenses, it all gets a bit too much.

Edit - of course, if I have a good base and car at the other end, I do cart a lot more stuff in my hold baggage.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #10
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Take an MF kamera. You'll kick yourself if you don't.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #11
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I just flew Bangkok, (where I live), to Osaka, Japan. 'What medium format camera to take?' I asked. In the end, it wasn't the cameras that weighed heavily on my decision whether or not to take medium format on a long haul flight, but the bulky (and expensive) film. For a 2 week trip, I would need at least 30 rolls. I usually carry Mamiya 7ii, or a Mamiya 7ii and a 903 SWC, or maybe a Rolleiflex or two. But, ended up leaving the medium format at home and took 2 Leica M film bodies instead. Lots easier, especially at the airport for hand-checks of the film. Good results, too.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #12
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Well, true love is about putting in the hard work, I think, so dealing with the bulk and weight of an MF camera on this trip will be worth it.
As well, Savannah is a beautiful city so having a camera kit that you love using will help to show its best.
One last thing that may be useful to you is to split the load between both of your carry on bags.

Rob
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Should I bother flying with MF SLR kit?
Old 1 Week Ago   #13
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Should I bother flying with MF SLR kit?

Only flew a few times with my Fuji 6x9. Despite its bulk, it really isn't that heavy and quite a manageable machine. MF SLRs are quite a thing. I'd advise against the GX680 in favor of the Bronica.

35mm vs MF the latter is just a few notches above in quality, agility is in favor of 35mm but I found that Medium format has its own look and hard to replace with a small format.

I've shot some 35mm TMX during a short family visit and will see how the neg prints and compare with 6x9.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #14
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My default is a Rolleiflex. It's compact, light & i prefer the tonality from 6x6 negatives over 35mm. In some ways a Plaubel Makina would be ideal.....but for all its positive attributes, it's not a perfect camera either. I've travelled a lot with the Fuji texas Leicas, and the print output is great, but for a svelte travel MF I've been happy with the Mamiya 6, Plaubel or Rolleiflex. I've used the Pentax 67 and it wouldn't be my choice.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #15
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Agree with the other comments, a portable MF, TLR or folder, would be my choice too . I would consider bringing also a compact 35mm with a semi wide lens on it, for more spontaneous shooting. There isn’t always the time to set up the MF camera, or there are days you want to just keep a camera in your pocket.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #16
Bill Clark
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Quote:
Should I bother flying with MF SLR kit?
It’s up to you.

For me it’s little film use anymore.

My wife and I hiked in the Grand Canyon for 9 days, actually 7 as it took a day to get in and a day to get out. We are scheduled for a two week trip and on both trips my main camera is my iPhone.

Just what I use now.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chasfreeland View Post
I just flew Bangkok, (where I live), to Osaka, Japan. 'What medium format camera to take?' I asked. In the end, it wasn't the cameras that weighed heavily on my decision whether or not to take medium format on a long haul flight, but the bulky (and expensive) film. For a 2 week trip, I would need at least 30 rolls. I usually carry Mamiya 7ii, or a Mamiya 7ii and a 903 SWC, or maybe a Rolleiflex or two. But, ended up leaving the medium format at home and took 2 Leica M film bodies instead. Lots easier, especially at the airport for hand-checks of the film. Good results, too.
That's my thought, too. Already committed to taking the digital RF; there's no 'official' photographer at the wedding and would like to get some photos for them, plus I figure I should actually get some use out of it since I bought it...
I could easily slip a 35 film body in. And honestly, my Tenba bag easily holds all three, with an extra MF lens in the 'cupholder' pocket.

Film, and carrying it all in transit, I think is the limiting factor. I've found a handful of Rite-Aids (and locally, Bartell Drug) selling TMY, albeit at extortion prices, but good luck finding 120. (Then again, Bay Camera in SAV has a big stack of film on their FB page...) And I hate rationing film while traveling. Restraint is good, missing shots isn't.

You all are making me salivate with some of your kits. Yes, I'd love to have a MF RF/folder for this trip, and surprisingly my SO actively encourages this habit. Unfortunately I'm not going to get up to Shot on Film tonight, so oh well. We'll see what fits. Prest_400—yeah, no way am I bringing the 680. Not getting paid enough to lug that around. That's a road-trip camera.

alfredian (Alfred Ian?)—This summer I got my granddad's C33 working again, and that's what kicked off the MF bug and introduced me to the wonderful world of WLF. I paid too much for one for the SQ, but it really cuts down on bulk, even if I have to bring a meter. You're right, the C33 is a beast in itself, and the ground glass is a bit fogged and scuffed (next project), so it'll stay at home too. Lovely camera though, I need to take it out more.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #18
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Update: 2 Ms + 4 lenses, Bronica w/ WLF, lens and back, meter, and a handful of film packed in just fine. Accessing it all is a different story, but that'll get me on the flight. Thinking I'll just stick with an 80mm for now.

Now to fit an iPad, various chargers, and whatnot...My SO is bringing her instant cameras and the X100, so I hope she doesn't expect me to carry that, too.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #19
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If I was taking a medium format SLR and one lens, it would be a wide angle equivalent to a 35 mm, in 35 mm format.

I couldn't tell whether you meant 'medium format' or 'manual focus' by your original post, since your camera you compared to was auto focus and digital.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #20
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I am lucky if I get to take photos these days, and it is miraculous if I get to develop it .

But when I was more able to, I enjoyed my Mamiya Super Press 23, even before I got more than the 100mm lens. It is heavy, but I put up with that for the big negs before my back went south on me. About then I rediscovered bellows folders. Some are surprisingly good picture takers, and oh so light compared to the Super Press 23. I like to carry a Welta 35mm and MF, and if possible, have a Zeiss 9x12 in the car, with 6x9 back and several 9x12 neg holders. Sometimes I do without the 6x6 Welta.

But that is my solution, yours will no doubt be best for you. Enjoy it. Then let us know how it worked out for you.
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