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Thread: M9 travel kit - smaller than I thought...

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    Senior Member bradhusick's Avatar
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    M9 travel kit - smaller than I thought...

    I just got back from a wine tasting trip to Burgundy and I brought two M9 bodies and four lenses: 50 lux asph, 35 lux asph, 90 apo-cron, and 28 cron asph. I used the 50 for 75% of my shots, the 35 for the other 25% and never touched the other lenses! If I had to take only one body/lens it would definitely be the 50 lux asph. It's interesting to see what we actually use.

    Here are some of the photos:

    http://husick.smugmug.com/Travel/Bur...7228653_F3MmVS

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    Subscriber Member weinschela's Avatar
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    Re: M9 travel kit - smaller than I thought...

    I agree. A Billingham Hadley can carry 2 bodies and about 4 lenses. I tend to travel with a lot of gear but then strip down to a body and a lens or two for walking around. I agree about the 50 asph Summilux, but my second lens more often than not is the Summilux 24. Sometimes the WATE. Either way, it is pretty easy to manage.
    Alan

    Selection of work: http://weinschela.zenfolio.com

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    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Re: M9 travel kit - smaller than I thought...

    My new bag (a Domke F-5XC) holds the M9 and 8(!) lenses, along with filters. A bit weighty but I'm a strong enough guy It's basically the size of two F-5XB's on top of each other and I can access all the lenses in the bottom compartment without taking anything else out of the bag.

    Incidentally the F-5XC also holds my Ebony 45S, two lenses and filter kit (I have two F-5XC's).

    The velcro can die in a fire though, I'll be removing it and maybe hot-gluing some magnets in.

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    Senior Member JohnW's Avatar
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    Re: M9 travel kit - smaller than I thought...

    Quote Originally Posted by thrice View Post
    My new bag (a Domke F-5XC) holds the M9 and 8(!) lenses, along with filters. A bit weighty but I'm a strong enough guy It's basically the size of two F-5XB's on top of each other and I can access all the lenses in the bottom compartment without taking anything else out of the bag.

    Incidentally the F-5XC also holds my Ebony 45S, two lenses and filter kit (I have two F-5XC's).

    The velcro can die in a fire though, I'll be removing it and maybe hot-gluing some magnets in.
    A friend gave me one of those Domke bags, but I couldn't deal with the velcro. You could have a luggage shop stitch in one of those plastic snap clasps under the flap. On my Domke J-803, I had the metal clip replaced with one of them from an old Tamrac bag and it's a big improvement. Domke gets a lot right, but those metal clips and all that velcro....

    John

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    Senior Member atanabe's Avatar
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    Re: M9 travel kit - smaller than I thought...

    Brad,
    I go with an M9, 50 collapsable Elmar M, 28, 75 in my vest pocket. No need for bags, very free feeling indeed.
    Al
    Al Tanabe my website https://www.altanabe.com

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    Re: M9 travel kit - smaller than I thought...

    It is remarkable how much more compact than most SLRs a Leica M is. My old travel kit with the M was a three or four lens set up ... body, 24, 35, 50, 90 mm ... plus meter, plus flash, plus plenty of film all fit in a Domke F5XB with room to spare. A Nikon FM or FE2 with 20/35/85mm lenses barely fit with little space for film and without flash, and those were reasonably compact SLRs in their day.

    By comparison, a modern pro-grade DSLR like the E-5 and Summilux 25mm f/1.4 (or ZD 11-22/2.8-3.5) without battery grip just fits in the same bag with only a little room for spare battery, travel charger, and card wallet.

    On the other hand, the Ricoh GXR with two camera modules (28 and 50 EFL lenses), spare battery, two optical finders, EVF, battery charger and a card wallet fits in that bag taking up less than half the available capacity. Add the M-lens module and Skopar 50/2.5 ... half the bag will still be empty!

    (One big plus in digital: for the digital cameras, a tiny wallet with four 16G cards in it amounts to carrying about 110 rolls of 135-36 film!)

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    Senior Member back alley's Avatar
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    Re: M9 travel kit - smaller than I thought...

    Quote Originally Posted by thrice View Post
    My new bag (a Domke F-5XC) holds the M9 and 8(!) lenses, along with filters. A bit weighty but I'm a strong enough guy It's basically the size of two F-5XB's on top of each other and I can access all the lenses in the bottom compartment without taking anything else out of the bag.

    Incidentally the F-5XC also holds my Ebony 45S, two lenses and filter kit (I have two F-5XC's).

    The velcro can die in a fire though, I'll be removing it and maybe hot-gluing some magnets in.
    i just got a 5xc and am getting used to carrying it...i usually use a 5xb and carry half my stuff...
    anyway, i use duct tape on 90% of the velcro - it still holds tight and is much easier to and quieter to use.

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    Re: M9 travel kit - smaller than I thought...

    Beautiful pics, Brad!

    I am like you...35 and 50 all of the way...Next big trip, I plan to take the 35 cron IV that you generously sold me, along with teh 75 cron, maybe throw in another lens like the 50 elmar, for a small, versatile kit of the highest IQ standard...

    Best,
    Ashwin
    Ashwin Rao
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    Senior Member Peter Klein's Avatar
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    Re: M9 travel kit - smaller than I thought...

    Lovely shots of the Burgandy region, Brad!

    Ashwin and Brad, I'm with you. Travel forces us to pare down to what we truly need, unless we're masochists. The classic trio of 35-50-90 (full frame) is all most of us need for most photography. Some do with only two lenses. But rangefinder lenses are small and light enough that we can even carry four with no strain. Mine go in a Billingham Small Hadley, or a waist pack.

    We all have a favorite focal length that is "normal" for us. I think most of use fall into the category of 35mm people or 50mm people. I was a 50mm guy on film, so I'm a 35mm guy with the M8. The M8 bumps all the focal lengths up a notch, with the 50 becoming an almost-75, which I find quite useful. So my old classic trio becomes a quartet, and I take slower, lighter lenses for my less-used focal lengths.

    On my trip to Israel with the M8 last fall, I took a VC 28/3.5, 35/1.4 Lux ASPH, 50 Summicron, and VC 90/3.5. At night, bopping around a city, I just carried the 35 on the camera and left the others in the hotel room safe. Brad, my usage pattern was a lot like yours in M8 equivalents: 35mm for most things, 50 and 28 next, and 90 least of all. But I did use the 28 and 90 enough that I was glad I took them.

    On some other trips, where I knew I wouldn't do much or any available darkness, I've taken a 35/2 Summicron IV instead of the Lux. A wide-angle person might substitute a 24 or a 21 for one of the lenses, but the same general principle applies.

    --Peter

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    Re: M9 travel kit - smaller than I thought...

    I don't own a Leica M camera. I will never own one. I have not used one. Actually I have not even touched one. But the first time I saw an M8 at the local store, I was surprised how BIG it was! From the pictures I'd thought it was like a big compact, but to me it looked more in the league of a small DSLR. But TBH, especially the M9 is really pretty small considering it has a FF 35mm sensor and all.

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    Senior Member Per Ofverbeck's Avatar
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    Re: M9 travel kit - smaller than I thought...

    Quote Originally Posted by emr View Post
    ... the first time I saw an M8 at the local store, I was surprised how BIG it was!.....
    The significant difference is in the size of the lenses; they´re downright tiny for the Leica M system if you compare them to their equivalents for SLR´s. So even a 2 or 3 lens outfit will indeed be much smaller than with even a compact SLR.

    Weight is another thing... No lightweight plastics in Leica gear, so they´re surprisingly heavy for their sizes.

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    Re: M9 travel kit - smaller than I thought...

    Beautiful photographs Brad, hopefully you will post some more.


    Tough decision on what to travel with, usually bring more than I will use. For an upcoming trip I plan on bringing the 24 Elmar, 35 Lux, 50 Lux, and 90 Elmarit.

    . . . . . what may sneak into the suitcase will be a VC 28/1.9 & VC 75/1.8.

    I suspect the 50 & 35 will be the work horses with the others playing niche roles. The AA bag I use supports M9 with a lens with two other lens. So I should decide on the three lens or just get another body and carry two bags!

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    Re: M9 travel kit - smaller than I thought...

    Nice work Brad!

    I have to travel all the time with a M ... between out-of-town weddings, travel to where ever my wife is running a marathon, and the usual vacations ... it makes me truly thankful to have an M with it's (mostly) tiny lenses and accessories.

    My bag of choice for a two M9 kit is a Kata DC-443, which carries the two M9 cameras with lenses mounted (usually a 28/2ASPH and 50/0.95), 2 additional lenses (including a 21/1.4 ASPH and old style bullet finder), a Sony NEX5 with M adapter, SF flash, 4 additional batteries and charger, SD cards, cable release, flash diffuser, WB card ... all in a bag that can barely accept a Pro DSLR with 24-70 zoom and little else.

    While I have a couple of Billinghams, I find them inefficient for my applications and the bag itself is to heavy. Kata makes very interesting bags that hardly add any weight to the kit, yet are very tough and well padded (Kata is actually a company more well known for making body armor for military applications). The interior is yellow, which I love because I can easily see the bag contents in the lower light I frequently have to shoot in.

    Speaking of light ... love the light in your shots Brad. I'm jealous since the weather in our area has been dismal. I shot a wedding in Boston last weekend for the daughter of a fellow Leica user (also dismal lighting conditions) ... and he brought a portfolio of M shots from the Middle East all done on film, and I marveled at the quality of light.

    -Marc

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    Re: M9 travel kit - smaller than I thought...

    Ha! I just wrote an article over the weekend on this very subject. A favorite trio of mine are the 28, 35 and 50 Color Skopars.

    http://lavidaleica.com/content/travel-kit

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