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Thread: Trip advice for backpacking light

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    Trip advice for backpacking light

    Hi Everyone,

    I am hoping for a bit of advice regarding a trip next week.

    My typical systems are Leica Ms, medium format digital. Next week, I am going to the Sierras to hike for a week in the Desolation Wilderness. All of the systems above are pretty heavy for ultralight backpacking trips of over 50 miles at altitude. Even an M9 with one lens is over 2 lbs, though I could do it if I had to. The group will be moving, so not time for tripods or tech cam during the hike and the camera needs to be quickly available. Pulling an M9 out of the pack/replacing it while others wait or using the narrow strap for hours would not be great; I need it light enough to be in a pocket and available.

    It dawned on me that I have a like-new Contax TVSIII that shoots 35mm film and weighs under a lb. Rather than buy another camera for the trip, would it be reasonable to carry the Contax, then scan the film later? I will be taking landscape and hiking group photos. If the film idea is sane, what film would you choose? I have been away from film for awhile and admit some ignorance here. Would the Contax allow for a reasonably sized print?

    Any advice will be appreciated!

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    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: Trip advice for backpacking light

    My favorite film is Portra 160, but I also use Portra 400 and Ektra 100. For black and white, I use Kodak BW400CN because it is C41 and can be developed quickly at my local lab.
    The Vuescan Bible by Sascha Steinhoff gives a general calculation of scan sizes. "You want to scan a 35mm slide that is 24x36 mm. Converted to inches, the size is 0.94"x1.42" (rounded). With a scanning resolution of 2000 spi , the resulting file will be 1880 pixels (0.94" x 2000spi) by 2840 pixels (1.42" x 2000 api)." Spi is samples per inch. Find the resolution of the scanner and do the math.
    Sounds like a fun trip.

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    Re: Trip advice for backpacking light

    Thank you Cindy,

    I picked some up today.

    steve

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    Re: Trip advice for backpacking light

    you should run a roll or two and get them processed to check if everything is working correctly. good luck.

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    Re: Trip advice for backpacking light

    I would go with the Leica M9. Save weight elsewhere. Don't skip the strap, but use a top load pack clipped on to the front shoulder straps. For a tripod, bring a hiking pole and thread a RRS quick release clamp on top. Very little added weight.

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    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
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    Re: Trip advice for backpacking light

    Have you thought of an Olympus XA, the version with the rangefinder? This camera gives amazing results - and is so tiny! They are complete steal on ebay and you could buy two and use 160 in one and 400 in the other (or any other combination). For night work they are wonderful. You literally sit them on a trip or a rock and let them work out the speed up to 30 seconds.

    Incidentally, I agree with Cindy - Portra for landscape work is the way to go.

    LouisB

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    Re: Trip advice for backpacking light

    Less is more I think. I just took a trip to Switzerland and took M9 + 28/50/90 Summicrons, Rolleiflex 3.5f and M6 Ti because there was room in my bag. M9 can be a pain with dust on sensor, I have 300 shots I like, most with 28 Summicron but somehow got dust on sensor from about shot 150-300. The shots I like best were with Rolleiflex + Velvia/Provia. Should have just taken Rollei and X100 and my back would have been happier.I think Velvia for Landscape for sure. BUt I like bold colors. A couple from my trip below.

    Matterhorn, CH by BigHausen, on Flickr


    Rorschach, CH by BigHausen, on Flickr


    Matterhorn, CH by BigHausen, on Flickr
    David
    Auckland, NZ.

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