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Ther versatility or PITA of a Medium Format Camera as a travel camera

ndwgolf

Active member
Over the last 10 years (when I first started photography) I have had many camera systems my first being Nikon D700 then I got my first Leica M9. I was always blown away by the IQ of what others were shooting with MF so I saved up and got my first Leica S006 ..............I loved that system and basically used it as an everyday camera until all four of my S lenses **** themselves over a 3 month period followed by the leather wrapping falling off the S006. I got the lenses repaired and was convinced that if I upgraded to the S007 all the previous troubles would go away..........they did somewhat as the lenses were now fine with the upgrade and the S007 must have used a different glue as the leather wrap did manage to stay on.

One day back in (cant remember) I tried my first Hasselblad camera ( X1D) while visiting my home in Scotland..........I loved the size and handling of that camera but hated the IVF. What blew me away was the IQ of the Hasselblad images that I took and the colours were well lets just say WOW.

Over the next 12 months I was looking at and wanting to buy a Hasselblad H camera. While chatting about it on this forum I met one of the members who made me a fantastic deal on a brand new H6D100c and here I am today with just the H6D100c and a Q2.

So back to my question above "The versatility or PITA of a MF camera as a travel camera" ?

A few months back I took my H6D100c plus 4 lenses to Hokkaido Japan and traveling with all that gear was a real PITA especially with the airlines accepting that amount of gear as carry on as it well exceeded the 7kg limit. Once I got it there it just sat on the back seat of the rental car and was used as and when we saw a picture..............no problems.

Walking around with that camera with the HC 100mm isn't too bad but you wouldn't want to do it all day long, with any of the other lenses on it would quickly become a PITA.

Two years ago I took it all to Tanzania for a safari and that too was a nightmare especially when taking an internal flight in Tanzania again due to the size and bulk of the camera.

So my question to the gang is how do you guys manage when traveling with your MF gear or do you leave it at home and take a compact camera?

Neil
 

Mexecutioner

Active member
Over the last 10 years (when I first started photography) I have had many camera systems my first being Nikon D700 then I got my first Leica M9. I was always blown away by the IQ of what others were shooting with MF so I saved up and got my first Leica S006 ..............I loved that system and basically used it as an everyday camera until all four of my S lenses **** themselves over a 3 month period followed by the leather wrapping falling off the S006. I got the lenses repaired and was convinced that if I upgraded to the S007 all the previous troubles would go away..........they did somewhat as the lenses were now fine with the upgrade and the S007 must have used a different glue as the leather wrap did manage to stay on.

One day back in (cant remember) I tried my first Hasselblad camera ( X1D) while visiting my home in Scotland..........I loved the size and handling of that camera but hated the IVF. What blew me away was the IQ of the Hasselblad images that I took and the colours were well lets just say WOW.

Over the next 12 months I was looking at and wanting to buy a Hasselblad H camera. While chatting about it on this forum I met one of the members who made me a fantastic deal on a brand new H6D100c and here I am today with just the H6D100c and a Q2.

So back to my question above "The versatility or PITA of a MF camera as a travel camera" ?

A few months back I took my H6D100c plus 4 lenses to Hokkaido Japan and traveling with all that gear was a real PITA especially with the airlines accepting that amount of gear as carry on as it well exceeded the 7kg limit. Once I got it there it just sat on the back seat of the rental car and was used as and when we saw a picture..............no problems.

Walking around with that camera with the HC 100mm isn't too bad but you wouldn't want to do it all day long, with any of the other lenses on it would quickly become a PITA.

Two years ago I took it all to Tanzania for a safari and that too was a nightmare especially when taking an internal flight in Tanzania again due to the size and bulk of the camera.

So my question to the gang is how do you guys manage when traveling with your MF gear or do you leave it at home and take a compact camera?

Neil
Just like you do, you either deal with it (nightmares and all), or you leave at home and take something else. I am thinking of getting an XT for this very reason. At least I could throw it in my bag with a 32mm Rodie and take a 35FF camera with a couple other lenses for being a bit more "mobile". Sadly there's no silver bullet, MF is big, heavy and cumbersome, but the IQ speaks for itself. For me it depends; if it is a photo-centric trip or a holiday with the Mrs, and/or if I wanna deal with it or not. If it is a photo trip, I take it. I didn't spend all that money to leave it in the closet gathering dust.
 

ErikKaffehr

Active member
Hi,

Modern MFD gear may not be so heavy, you can check the X1DII or the GFX 50.

Of course, fast high quality lenses covering a large sensor will always carry a weight.

Back in 2013 I bought into MFD (bought a used P45+ and some Hasselblad V system gear). At that time I was flying a lot.

One way I solved my problems was putting all the lenses in Pelican style case and check in as luggage. The camera and back I carried in the backpack.

For me, the Hasselblad was and still is a 'in the trunk of the car' system. For a walk I generally use 24x36 mm.


Shooting near my RV, P45+ in this case.


Walking for 90 minutes with some significant internal overweight. Sony A7rII + a bunch of lenses.

This trip was driving with the RV from Sweden to the Dolomites. Weight was not a problem.

Best regards
Erik
 

sog1927

Member
I pretty much switched from 35mm to MF in 1989. I've been known to hike with a 503CW (with PME-5 and winder, of course), 40/50/80/120/250 lenses (and occasionally the 500mm), some tubes and a teleconverter, 2-3 film magazines, a tripod, and as much film as I could cram into a rather large backpack. My wife, however, finds all this paraphernalia to be really annoying when traveling, so the X1D has been a real godsend.
 

Pelorus

Member
All I can give is my current experience. I'm currently in Japan for a bit over a month travelling, as I normally do, by train or on foot. I'm travelling with a new, to me, camera and two lenses: The Fuji GFX 50R and the two zooms. It all travels in a small pro ICU inside a waterproof backpack, along with a brolly, coat, water, notebook...

I've got a seriously screwed back but this is manageable for me so far. I couldn't do it with the gear in a shoulder bag but the knapsack makes it work.

I usually have the camera and 1 of the zooms over my shoulder except when on the train - that's too hard with crowded trains in Tokyo. So without the camera and one lens the knapsack is a pretty manageable weight. In my main luggage I had a Gitzo monopod and an Arca Z ball and that's where they've stayed. I think in fact they'd break the deal if I had to carry them as well every day. That's part of the reason the Alpa is at home because, even with my best intentions it's generally used on a tripod and I CBF on a trip like this.

Having said all of that the Fuji's an imposing bit of kit on the street and sometimes I find myself hankering for an XPro or something with a pancake lens that will just disappear into my paw. So that's my 2 bob's worth.
 

dchew

Active member
Mine goes with me almost anywhere. It is one of the core reasons I use a technical camera. Backpacking in the Wind Rivers, bush plane / skiing in Alaska, kayaking here close to home, whatever. On longer trips I do bring a backup, either Sony or Leica MM, that doubles as a walkabout system. But, with a few small Leica lenses that kit can fit in a chest pouch.

Obviously I don’t shoot Street, Portrait, Wildlife or Sports; none of my lenses are autofocus. Certainly the Fuji/Hassy systems are more versatile, and the FF systems a level beyond that. You can put together a compact and relatively light 54x40 system. It just depends on what system limitations are deal-killers based on what you like to shoot and how you like to work in the field.

If I needed autofocus, an XF or HD would not be my choice.

Dave
 

tcdeveau

Well-known member
I skipped the H6D-100c upgrade and went for the X1D for this exact reason. Most of my travel these days is also for work or with my family, and traveling with a large kit isn't really practical anymore. I also don't have a great back and it's pretty easy for me to herniate a disc/pinch a nerve if I'm not careful.

I've also put together a tech cam kit, and at some point I can see myself traveling with a 2-3 lens tech cam kit supplemented with FF35mm (which I'm using for family snaps and doesn't have to live in my main camera bag).
 

Joe Colson

Well-known member
So my question to the gang is how do you guys manage when traveling with your MF gear or do you leave it at home and take a compact camera?

Neil
Neil, I travel with a Hasselblad X1D II (and previously with an X1D) and four lenses - XCD 21mm 30mm, 45mm and 90mm. I carry the kit in a Gura Gear 18L Bataflae backpack (the original model, not the Tamrac) and it all fits into the overhead compartment of most airplanes, including regional jets (in the US). Some years ago, I tried traveling with an H4D-50 and several lenses. That was a tough slog. I ended up using just the HCD 30-90mm lens to minimize weight. I'm now 72 and can't comfortably carry the weight on my back or shoulder that I once handled easily. For me, the X1D/X1D II is an ideal middle ground between a full-frame medium format kit (XF+lenses) and a 35mm full-frame mirrorless kit (a7RIV, Z7, etc.). In fact, my Hasselblad bag weighs less than the Nikon DSLR bag I once lugged around. There's a photo on my blog showing how I pack the backpack (taken before I acquired the XCD 21mm lens) here.

Joe
 

kdphotography

Active member
I really don't see Medium Format as being the PITA as much as it is just simply big heavy camera bodies with matching lenses, regardless of format.

My favorite travel camera is my Cambo WRS 1600 and IQ4150. It is not unusual for me to travel with a single lens (HR40 t/s) though it is easy enough to pack a couple more tech lenses. This tech cam kit is easily a lighter package than a 35mm DSLR and lenses (I used to use a 1Ds III). The Fuji GFX 50s is similar but adding lenses quickly makes this kit pretty heavy. Hasselblad's X1D is better at keeping it small. But I like the tech cam is better, and when considering photographic enjoyment, it wins every time.

I'm more conflicted with the size and bulk of my Wine Country Filter holder and my many filters. It works well but I'm going to transition to the H&Y filter system for compactness.

ken
 

drunkenspyder

New member
I really don't see Medium Format as being the PITA as much as it is just simply big heavy camera bodies with matching lenses, regardless of format.

My favorite travel camera is my Cambo WRS 1600 and IQ4150. It is not unusual for me to travel with a single lens (HR40 t/s) though it is easy enough to pack a couple more tech lenses. This tech cam kit is easily a lighter package than a 35mm DSLR and lenses (I used to use a 1Ds III). The Fuji GFX 50s is similar but adding lenses quickly makes this kit pretty heavy. Hasselblad's X1D is better at keeping it small. But I like the tech cam is better, and when considering photographic enjoyment, it wins every time.

I'm more conflicted with the size and bulk of my Wine Country Filter holder and my many filters. It works well but I'm going to transition to the H&Y filter system for compactness.

ken
Spot on across the board Ken. I don't see it as a PITA, so much as I see it as a choice of compromises and preferences. I do find myself conflicted between "do I take the Hassy" and have a broader range of lenses or "do I take the Phase and/or Cambo" and have even more desirable IQ. Lately, this has been tilting toward the Hassy for more compactness and lighter weight. [My Peak Designs 20L can hold two Hassy bodies, choice of lenses, filters, and an adequate tripod, all inside the pack.] I also love the Rodie 40TS as an all-around lens, though, and if most of my shooting will be deliberate, but I still need to go light, the Cambo/40/IQ4 is a natural combination. I expect the XT may tilt this even more back to the IQ4.150; I certainly hope so.

Gear choices have ripple effects, and it's not just the WCC monster filter system. Taking the Phase or IQ4.150 requires a better tripod; I can make do with a lesser tripod for the Hassy and maybe the XT. And the WCC filter system has a real impact. With the Hassy, I can carry the Formatt-HiTech 85mm system and have most of my filter needs met. That is a backpacking game-changer. With the XT, I can probably get by with the WCC or FHT 100 systems [the latter being smaller than the WCC, I am lately leaning that way]. I am looking into the H&Y myself, but am not yet done reviewing it.

And of course, there are the times when FF borders on a necessity, e.g., shooting moving wildlife. On a recent trip to Zimbabwe and Botswana, my kit was primarily Nikon Z7 and lenses. But I did manage to bring the X1D and the 21 along for the occasional landscape opportunity and a few wildlife shots, and the Q2 for almost-pocketability [either fits in a compact waist/fanny-pack]. All that fit within a Pelican 1535 Air [tripod in the checked luggage], but rarely on my back all at once. Still, when I can, I do my best to have at least one MF image maker with me. Or at least the Q2, which for me easily wins on the scale of IQ-to-unobtrusiveness.
 

Bill Caulfeild-Browne

Well-known member
I do all my serious photography with MF, and have for a long time. I grew up with Rollei TLRs! Although I have a Sony AR3 system for walk-about shooting, the image quality of MF simply demands I use it whenever possible.

When I'm driving I carry the whole kit and caboodle - camera and 7 lenses and Gitzo tripod. My travel kit for flights and overseas travel is shown below - the XF with back and 80 mm, 35 mm, 55 mm and 150 mm. The outer pockets carry 6 spare batteries, a few filters etc etc. If I anticipate wildlife, I often take out the 35 mm and put in the 240 mm.



This kit weighs 6.9 kg or 15 pounds and hiking is very comfortable with the padded rucksack. Dimensions are 15 inches long, 12 inches wide and 8 inches deep - legal for airline carry-on.

I use the Sony with the 24-105 G lens as back-up and prevail on my wife to carry it in her carry-on!
 

Mexecutioner

Active member
I have a shoulder bag for "city use" it fits the XF with 40-80 and 75-150 actually quite nicely. It is very sturdy and extremely well padded. Has a metal frame or added protection.

001.jpg002.jpg

For travel the f-stop Tilopa with large ICU or the XL ICU fits the bill, but may get another smaller backpack that's why I was curious about the NYA-Evo 36.
 

ndwgolf

Active member
I have a shoulder bag for "city use" it fits the XF with 40-80 and 75-150 actually quite nicely. It is very sturdy and extremely well padded. Has a metal frame or added protection.

View attachment 144878View attachment 144877

For travel the f-stop Tilopa with large ICU or the XL ICU fits the bill, but may get another smaller backpack that's why I was curious about the NYA-Evo 36.
Thanks for all the replies. I have decided to take the H6D100c with 50, 100, 1nd 150mm lenses and leave the HC300 at home, that in itself must weigh over 2kg.
I might have to get another back pack as the one that I have is massive (a grura something) I can fit the body and 3 lenses in a Harley Pro bag but its a tight fit and like most others its more comfortable to have it on you back rather than over a shoulder............I'm living in Phuket Thailand so the issue will be finding a suitable camera bag here as I am traveling next week :( :(
Neil
 

citizin

Member
A simple thing I've found for carrying extra non critical components to the kit on flights. Be them lenses you want to bring but maybe not need, extra speedlights, etc. Items that are packed well that you don't mind checking instead of carrying on.

Register a extra sporting goods bag. Most flight's I've been on will file camera gear under hiking equipment when I've called it. I've never had a counter attendant care since it was arranged before so they just slap another tag on it and chuck it in with the rest.
 

ndwgolf

Active member
I do all my serious photography with MF, and have for a long time. I grew up with Rollei TLRs! Although I have a Sony AR3 system for walk-about shooting, the image quality of MF simply demands I use it whenever possible.

When I'm driving I carry the whole kit and caboodle - camera and 7 lenses and Gitzo tripod. My travel kit for flights and overseas travel is shown below - the XF with back and 80 mm, 35 mm, 55 mm and 150 mm. The outer pockets carry 6 spare batteries, a few filters etc etc. If I anticipate wildlife, I often take out the 35 mm and put in the 240 mm.



This kit weighs 6.9 kg or 15 pounds and hiking is very comfortable with the padded rucksack. Dimensions are 15 inches long, 12 inches wide and 8 inches deep - legal for airline carry-on.

I use the Sony with the 24-105 G lens as back-up and prevail on my wife to carry it in her carry-on!
Bill whats the name of that backpack mate? It looks like Hassy plus 3 lenses will fit no problem?
neil
 
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