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Thread: Medium format travel photography.

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    Medium format travel photography.

    My name is Amr and I am a Gear-a-holic.

    I am going to Paris for thanksgiving and , as always, the question of what gear to take comes up. this trip, I am planning to take all medium format gear and leica M9 and monochrome.
    I am curious to know what the medium format shooters take with them in personal trips. For those who are Paris aficionado, any tips, tricks, or secret places to shoot; places outside the icons.
    I searched the internet and I got mixed messages regarding the use of tripod in public/outside, so, please share your personal experience.

    Posting your favorite paris photos is a bonus for all of us.
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    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    My mini-setup consists of Alpa TC + SK35XL + SK72L + DB. Accessories are Leica D5 + Gitzo 2 series + Linhof micro3D head + 2x 16gb extreme pro 90mb/s + 4 batteries and charger.

    This fits in a small, light bag and covers a lot of possibilities.
    Alpa FPS • MAX • TC | Alpagon 32Hr | Helvetar 75 | Schneider 120N | Leaf Aptus II 5 • Leaf Credo 60 | www.danlindberg.com
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    Workshop Member Bryan Stephens's Avatar
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    I know in NYC you need a permit to set up a tripod in certain areas, due to "security" concerns. I am not sure about other areas.
    Bryan

    “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” — Ansel Adams

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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    There is a saying . If it fits.........
    ........... Lol
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    A monopod can greatly expand the situations where you can get your shot, decrease your strain (if your camera is heavy you are no longer holding it up; it rests on the tripod when shooting or when resting), and usually don't trigger the same scrutiny as tripods.

    A small tech cam can give you fantastic quality in a very compact package. However, it's a very different kind of shooting and I'm not sure I'd recommend such a switch right before a big trip (better to have time to practice and get used to the new system). The Cambo RC400 and Arca Swiss Factum are good alternatives to the TC/STC.

    But back up for a second. The first step in planning anything is to define your goals. When packing for a trip I first ask myself this essential question: "is it ok (for this trip) if there is a shot I can't get?". When the trip is professional in nature the answer is often no, in which case I'll pack more zooms, more lenses total, bigger flashes, and more than one body (backup and the ability to have two lenses ready instantly). If the trip is personal the answer is often yes, in which case I pack less lenses (only my favorite primes), only one body, and a small flash (if any). Sometimes on such a trip a potential image comes up that I can't reach with my lens/body/flash combo, but it does not bother me.

    I find often that too many options are beyond my photographic ability to take advantage of. In other words if you put me in a situation with a single prime lens I will often come out with better images than if you give me three primes and an ultrazoom. There are very likely much more talented photographers out there who can pre-visualize compositions in multiple focal lengths simultaneously; but I can barely think through compositions in a single focal length.

    From this point of view I think I would suggest either your M9 OR your Monochrome. Since you bought the Monochrome that implies you enjoy the idea of being limited to one kind of rendition (B+W). So embrace that! If you're bringing your medium format kit think about what situations it will excel in over your Monochrome and stick with the lenses/bodies/accessories for those situations. Having "full coverage" to me is vastly over rated for personal shooting.

    On one personal trip I took an infrared digital back on a tech camera with a single lens... to shoot a football game. There were any number of shots I could not get, but I just let them fly by me without concern; the images I did get are very meaningful to me.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    Doug's points are well taken. Working with a single camera lens makes you think harder. Here are a few with a TLR in Paris, early morning. The last one works better larger.
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    I take my Pentax 645D with a 35mm, 55mm, and 120mm lenses and a small Manfrotto table-top tripod and ballhead for a trip to urban locations. This was taken with the 645D, 55mm lens, and that tripod (put on a window ledge):



    (not Paris)

    I have never been able to get along with monopods--that is just me. I have done a lot of documentary work with medium format (6x6, 6x12, and MFD) and simply prefer to hand hold my camera. Getting sharp images at 1/60 of a second is easy with the 645D. I can get down to 1/5, but the success rate goes down with that. The mirror in the 645D is really well dampened and I am not sure about other MFD bodies. If I have room in a checked bag, I do put in a real tripod, but I find I just don't take it out of the hotel.

    I have a small camera back pack. That is my limit. If something does not fit, it does not go. I take all the dividers out of the bag and put my lenses in a Think Tank belt system and pouches (not the padded belt). When I work, I just throw on the belt and wear the empty pack. If I tire of the belt, it goes back in the bag. The bag is also go for maps and the other stuff you need to carry. Like Geoff, I am also happy just to stick one lens on the 645D and leave everything in the bag. I have been doing a one lens, one camera thing for 25 years and so it is no big deal, other find it rather scary if they are not used to it. I would then recommend one lens on your MFD and one lens on your M Leica and go walking around with those.
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    I did a 10 day trip to Uganda in the Summer with a Leica S2 with just two lenses: 35mm and 120mm. I did miss a longer lens for the wildlife but managed nevertheless...and enjoyed carrying a reasonably compact and lightweight bag (Bilingham 307) that sat next to me in the jeep, easy to access. I did not take a tripod and did not feel I missed too many shots at the time, because of that. But in retrospect, I would take the tripod if I went again, not so much for landscapes but for some staged people photos - from experience in other developing countries (like Morocco) I know that people (especially kids) get interested in what I am doing when I do the "serious photographer" with a tripod. This tends to break the communication barrier and makes it easier to ask interesting groups of people to pose for an impromptu staged shot. Thinking about our trip with hindsight, I realize there were a number of such potential interesting shots that I could have taken but the idea felt awkward / inappropriate to just stop the car and ask people if I could take a quick "tourist snap" of them - I believe now, that had I spent the time, set up the tripod, allowed people to peep through the finder and view the images on the LCD, I could have brought an extra number of interesting shots. This is just my recent personal experience, I don't know if it is relevant for you. Have a good trip.

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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    it really depends on what kind of photographs you want to do !
    For street photo, I do not use MF (I bought the D800 for that) : M9 is fine !
    If you want to do cityscape, architecture MF is good (be careful with distortion !). I use mainly the 28 mm, a little 50 mm. Early in the morning or in the evening tripod is good, but do forget Paris is a very busy city. You can use your tripod everywhere at condition you don't disturb (if you do, you'll be wipped out by the crowd lol)

    with 28 mm and 50 mm I mainly shoot handheld

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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    You have received some excellent advice on selecting your equipment . I ve made 5 trips to Paris specifically to shoot for a week to ten days . Here are a few non equipment tips .
    1. Trip Advisor is superb resource for apartment rentals . You can get a great apartment in a central location for much less than a hotel .

    2. Get familiar with the public transportation system. The metro is great starting point for many of the best venues . The Batabous river boats operate like a water taxi and are a great way to cover the major venues .

    3. Get the travel guide that is organized around walking the city . The first trip I walked every walk in the book and learned the metro system .

    4. Get the movies "paris at midnight" and "julie julia ". Think like a film location scout .

    Find the Cafe on Il St Louis ..next to the bridge between Cite (where Notre Dame is located ) and Il St Louis . I consider that bridge to be one of the most central locations for street shooting .

    I ve found that street shooting requires lots of wandering and discovery ..but it helps if you get to the best starting points when the light is optimum . This requires some planning . For example you want to know when the lights come on at the Louve and the Eiffel Tower .

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    I ve been thinking about the same equipment issues on for my next trip to shot in Paris (probably next spring ) . Two questions can help ...(1) what are the primary types of shooting that you will be doing and (2) how will you transport and secure your equipment .

    My typical kit for Paris would be Two M bodies and 6-7 lenses . When I go out to the street I will be using two bodies and 3-4 lenses . Start with the 28 on one and a 50 on the other . Thanksgiving means winter skies,short days and lots of available light . I would want summiluxes for this trip .

    This means I have to secure 3-4 Leica M lenses when I am out . The advantage of an apartment is that no one is coming in un announced .

    I have an S2 and keep thinking ..I must take this to Paris . The venues to shoot are spectacular but the issue is I have to manage two sets of equipment .

    At this time of year the MONO will be the most fun to work with . One of my good friends shoots in Paris frequently and he swears by the MONO and the 35/1.4asph fle . He favors the point of view thats "its the places you go and the people you meet ...not the equipment you use " . With that said he loves his MONO because it frees him to shoot without concern about high ISO technique.

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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    A monopod can greatly expand the situations where you can get your shot, decrease your strain (if your camera is heavy you are no longer holding it up; it rests on the tripod when shooting or when resting), and usually don't trigger the same scrutiny as tripods.

    A small tech cam can give you fantastic quality in a very compact package. However, it's a very different kind of shooting and I'm not sure I'd recommend such a switch right before a big trip (better to have time to practice and get used to the new system). The Cambo RC400 and Arca Swiss Factum are good alternatives to the TC/STC.

    But back up for a second. The first step in planning anything is to define your goals. When packing for a trip I first ask myself this essential question: "is it ok (for this trip) if there is a shot I can't get?". When the trip is professional in nature the answer is often no, in which case I'll pack more zooms, more lenses total, bigger flashes, and more than one body (backup and the ability to have two lenses ready instantly). If the trip is personal the answer is often yes, in which case I pack less lenses (only my favorite primes), only one body, and a small flash (if any). Sometimes on such a trip a potential image comes up that I can't reach with my lens/body/flash combo, but it does not bother me.

    I find often that too many options are beyond my photographic ability to take advantage of. In other words if you put me in a situation with a single prime lens I will often come out with better images than if you give me three primes and an ultrazoom. There are very likely much more talented photographers out there who can pre-visualize compositions in multiple focal lengths simultaneously; but I can barely think through compositions in a single focal length.

    From this point of view I think I would suggest either your M9 OR your Monochrome. Since you bought the Monochrome that implies you enjoy the idea of being limited to one kind of rendition (B+W). So embrace that! If you're bringing your medium format kit think about what situations it will excel in over your Monochrome and stick with the lenses/bodies/accessories for those situations. Having "full coverage" to me is vastly over rated for personal shooting.

    On one personal trip I took an infrared digital back on a tech camera with a single lens... to shoot a football game. There were any number of shots I could not get, but I just let them fly by me without concern; the images I did get are very meaningful to me.
    Doug's reply is perfect. It only miss one thing; you state you are a gear-a-holic. Thus perhaps ask if your quest is to play with the gear, or to captur good images. If your answer is to capture good images, then consider your gear and grab what feels best in your hands as a tool with just choice of one lens. It will enable you to captue good images. If your answer was to play with gear, well...then you will simply carry more gear, and gear you will not use, perhaps come back with many more images, but not as many really good ones.

    Lastly, forget images you have seen of Paris, now focus on what is there, as seen through just what you bring.

    Simple.

    I could also state my first travel with Leaf back fresh in hands was to dusty India with two lenses...

    Best regards,
    Anders

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    There is a saying . If it fits.........
    ........... Lol
    Hmm, we'll we both know Amr so that's dangerous advice because I've seen how much he CAN ship and carry!

    As a fellow gear slut with poor packing selection skills I'd actually take just a small M outfit. I think you'll get more out of the shooting experience particularly within the city. The M9 and/or mono with maybe 50 APO and perhaps something wider like a 28mm or 35mm on the other body would work well. The new small Cambo with your P45+ or IQ with sensor plus and maybe a single light lens like a 43 or 47 would also work if you get it in time. (As you know, I'd take my TC/47 & P25+ for a trip like this).

    As said though, as a fellow "enabler" I'm probably not a good role model
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    Crap I didn't read the first line!

    Had I realized it was Amr I would have changed my response entirely!

    Amr, you have to bring EVERYTHING. If not you know you'll regret it!
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    18 workshops and I NEVER seen anyone like Amr and the amount of gear he travels with and Graham your right behind him. Lol

    But I love there enthusiasm and love of photography. That supersededs the hundred pounds of gear any day.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    18 workshops and I NEVER seen anyone like Amr and the amount of gear he travels with and Graham your right behind him. Lol
    Guilty as charged. Amr and I did a trip together to the Salton Sea recently - we're living proof that two photographers can completely fill a full size SUV with camera gear with no room for passengers ... and that didn't include the luggage!

    Carry-on luggage restrictions are pretty helpful in focusing the mind on what to bring when traveling. I can understand why many folks have swapped over to the high MP dark side (D800 etc). With medium format it's much easier to take the SUV and not worry about having to pack down. It's tough to travel with ONLY MF gear either due to size/weight or the need for a more universal camera for use in low light or more social situations.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    Bonjour Amr., I was born in Paris , I live near my town. The best photos I've shot anywhere in Paris were with my M9 ,24 or 28 WA ,35,and 90 all Leica lenses . You'll have to walk a lot , so forget your MF(believe me I also have a Blad) and a tripod that you can't use in museums, churches and in the middle of our avenues or boulevards . Have a nice trip, et faites de bonne photos . Cheers .
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by andreleon View Post
    Bonjour Amr., I was born in Paris , I live near my town. The best photos I've shot anywhere in Paris were with my M9 ,24 or 28 WA ,35,and 90 all Leica lenses . You'll have to walk a lot , so forget your MF(believe me I also have a Blad) and a tripod that you can't use in museums, churches and in the middle of our avenues or boulevards . Have a nice trip, et faites de bonne photos . Cheers .
    Not born in Paris, but as a german travelling to Paris from time to time i can only agree. For me, Paris is THE home of street photography and best discovered by walking around (and you will walk your feet off), so a M9
    is perfect for this.

    However, if you'd like to enjoy a day of silence and MF photography, spend a
    saturday or sunday in La Défense (La Défense - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).
    It is the business district and not too many tourists go there (and if so, they take a picture of the Grand Arch and go back to the city).

    You'll find everything from modern architecture to 70th's style buildings.
    A shift lens would be good here.

    Enjoy your trip,
    Ralf
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    I really appreciate all the responses. They are very helpful. Keep them coming
    It seems less is better (relatively speaking). I will

    Amr

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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    As a instructor of workshops i can tell you without a doubt less is better. Graham and Amr excluded here but the issue becomes your so focused on the gear that your spending way to much time doing the tech stuff than the art. The weight, bulk and worrying about what to use and not to use sometimes is just way over folks head. It also becomes a big issue with2 or more systems . Say a MF, Nikon or Leica system along for the ride. Than you start questioning which to use or try to get it with both.

    In all honesty as i have seen it so many times the key is less is better. For MF shooters with like a DF you may only want 3 or 4 lenses tops and call it a day. Tech cam again 3 lenses is mostly what you will use. Sometimes trying to have the Tech cam and the Df and share the back is also a nightmare. Than you have your back floating in the wind between systems.


    EVERY job i do, I analyze exactly what i need to do and what would be the best tool. I gather all that and make a primary bag of that gear. Than i may have a second bag of secondary gear and throw that in the trunk and if I need something beyond the primary its close by. Now for travel think a small roller bag to transport gear, than a small shoulder bag for the daily outings and maybe leave some gear in the hotel safe in your room. I do this a lot is take a pretty good size kit but knock it down for the day ahead and put in small shoulder type bag. Which usually is a bag that folds good to put in main luggage with cloths. This way if you really really need something than its in your hotel room and not 6k miles away.

    But really less is better and i can almost guarantee you that you will get better images every time. Don't burden yourself physically or mentally.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    I just returned from a two week trip to Spain and Portugal. I use medium format for shooting architectural details and color studies. I took Leica S2, tripod, and the 35 and 70MM I was tempted to take my 120, but as I was shooting on the street working out of a bag instead of a roller case, I wanted to forego the extra weight and bulk. I found this to be an ideal kit.
    Last edited by aboudd; 12th February 2013 at 04:27.
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    I have the same strategy. Take with me on the trip what I can carry. Then everyday I take with me one camera and two lenses, maybe 35 & 90 mm or two ww lenses, or one T/S and one normal lens, just how I feel that day.

    Stefan

  23. #23
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    Wherever I am, whatever I'm doing, equipment is kept to an absolute minimum. Anything other is a drain on my mental, physical and creative wellbeing.
    http://www.keithlaban.co.uk
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    In fact when i travel i may carry many things, and i leave in the hotel what i don't need and hiking with the necessary gear, i mostly go out with 1 body and 2 lenses, hardly i carry 3, but i plan my outs so then i don't shoot thousands subjects, with that i need 2 bodies at least and 5 lenses.

    I did carry my MF once only in the past when i visited USA, i was going around with only 2 lenses, HC80 and HCD28, i was using H3DII-39 that time.
    Tareq

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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    Everything is diminishing returns. With the freedom of stitching, I use my 55mm lens 95% of the time. My 35mm lens picks up 4.9% with the 0.1% taken up by the 120mm. I keep my 300mm in the bag so I don't get blown away in the wind.

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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    My setup was a little hardcore by my standards.

    Hasselblad 503 CXi
    501 CM
    50mm CFi
    150mm CFi
    2 film backs
    Kenko teleconvertor
    Gitzo 2541
    40 rolls of film

    I needed some digital convenience as well. So I had a Nex 5N and a kit lens as well.

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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by aeaemd View Post
    My name is Amr and I am a Gear-a-holic.

    ...............I am going to Paris .....
    Posting your favorite paris photos is a bonus for all of us.
    Amr:


    OK, from some old files:
    Based on the replies from those who know you, I suspect you bring way too much; I understand, as I do the same. My advice is to bring as much as you might need, but carry a minimum. I have walked around Paris with a 35mm, a 645 and 6x7. If your interest is only architecture and big prints , take the MF and a tripod; otherwise, the M9 and a few lenses.

    Pentax LX, Jardin du Luxembourg:





    LX, Japanese tour group at Notre Dame




    Pentax 645N :



    This is how the Louver looks in January :




    Pentax 67:

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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    Carry-on luggage restrictions are pretty helpful in focusing the mind on what to bring when traveling. I can understand why many folks have swapped over to the high MP dark side (D800 etc). With medium format it's much easier to take the SUV and not worry about having to pack down. It's tough to travel with ONLY MF gear either due to size/weight or the need for a more universal camera for use in low light or more social situations.[/QUOTE]

    Graham, I did 27 shoots involving international flights in the last 12 months and this has really focussed my mind on what I take and DON'T use. Since I started paying attention to it, my kit has reduced massively.
    These days my "personal" kit has distilled down to my Alpa STC ( I hope to reduce this further by getting a TC soon) and Rodie 23 and 40mm lenses, a few Lee grads, polariser for the 40mm, IQ180 and 6 batteries, charger, small Gitzo
    Mountaineer Carbon and Manfrotto Magnesium head. Easy as...
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    Bryan,

    Yes I completely agree. The tech cam travel outfit can be remarkably small. I always have a backup of some sort though which depending on the destination will be my Fuji X-Pro1 or a D600 & 24-120VR II. I'm currently on a workshop in the desert SW so I also brought my full spectrum D800 and a 35/1.4. My main outfit is my STC with 32, 47, 90 & 150 with the IQ160 & sundries.

    If I were going to Paris then it would most likely just be the Fuji or the D600.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

  30. #30
    New Member michali's Avatar
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    Weather in Paris at this time of year may be a limiting factor in terms of what equipment to take. It tends to rain regularly in winter. You may not be able to use an MF camera with a tripod or monopod. For this time of year, my suggestion is to travel with a lighter kit.

    I live in the south of France and travel to Paris once a month. For the past 2 trips I've wanted to take my Hasselblad 503CW & CFV50, both times prior to departure I've checked the weather and have opted to take the M9 instead. When traveling with the M9, I normally pack the 28-35-50mm Tri-Elmar (invaluabe travel lens) and the 50mm Summilux f1.4 as well as a super wide either 16-18-21mm Tri-Elmar or 24mm Elmarit.

    I recently received my Monochrome and am heading back to Paris at the end of the month with it.

    A few images made with the M9 and Tri-Elmar on my last visit to Paris 3 weeks ago.

    Attachment 65380

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    http://michali.zenfolio.com/
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    I'd second the guys who suggested traveling light. I was in Paris and Brantome earlier this year and was pounding the streets of Paris with my wife. Had an Xpan with 30/45/90 lenses and my X100 most of the time. MF gear was kept in the hotel until we got to Brantome and rented a car, and then drive around the countryside for shots.

    If I were to do it again, I'd bring my M9P, Monochrom, with a 21, 35 and 50 lens, and X100 as a backup. If the H4D had to come along, I'd pack the 28 HCD and the 100 with my 1.7x teleconverter or my HTS1.5 for landscapes and architecture.

    I was cautioned by several Parisians in my workplace not to carry fancy equipment as times are tough and I might get accosted. In the Louvre, I found the top zip of my Thinktank waistpack opened, but I think whoever opened it found a bag of film up top and left it alone, and didn't notice the Xpan kit under it -phew-
    My images on 500px : http://500px.com/ghoonk
    H4D-40 | Xpan | Leica M9P | Leica M Monochrom | X100 | Hasselblad 500CM | 501CM | 503CXi

  32. #32
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    I travel on a weekly base around Europe and usually have to carry as much as 3-4 digital backs, 3-4 lenses and then cables, chargers, batteries, adapters for different cameras and a tripod. All this on top of one 645DF body and sometimes also a V-grip, an iXR body and an Arca-Swiss Rm2D with a lens

    I use a cheap carry-on trolly with a pelican insert fitted which I can re-organasie fairly quickly. For example last week I spent 2 days in the Czech Republic, came home at night, unpacked and repacked and then went to Paris in the morning for another 2 days, with different kit.

    Fully loaded this often get to 20kg but most airlines do have any issues with that. Going through security is a different story but I try to get there 5-10 minutes early to let them take the whole thing apart:-)

    The tripod is a small Induro C114. It's not really made for medium format but it's a 4-section so folds nicely into the trolly.

    In addition I take a backpack with a laptop and all other stuff (including a toothbrush !) which has enough room (just) for one body with a lens. Usually this would be the Arca with a lens and one back in a small pouch.

    The Arca is wrapped in a neoprene sleeve so if I know that I will have time for a walkabout I leave everything in the hotel and just take that with or without a tripod, 2-3 batteries in the pocket, a grey card and an LCC diffuser and that's it.

    Enjoy Paris!

    Yair
    Yair Shahar | Product Manager | Phase One | Mamiya Leaf
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  33. #33
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    My own experience is that I get the best picture from a situation when I have the appropriate camera:
    -landscape and architecture : I essentially like pictures an alpa, and even more when used with a tripod
    -portraits & street photography : I essentially like pictures from a Contax 645
    -low light, street, point & shoot : I am happy when I can bring some souvenir pictures back with a Nikon 3 Dx
    Of course, I like some street photography and even portraits I shot with the Alpa, I like some portraits and landscape from the Nikon, etc.
    Of course what really matter is the subject, the light, etc, and much more beautiful pictures than mine were taken with any other type of camera.
    Of course I capture much less pictures from the Alpa and Contax than with a D3x, any DSLR or an M9. But the few I get, I like them a lot.

    But the taste for nice equipment, the search for progress in photography (technically & artistically) brought me where I am with too many systems. I like them all and I find that each of them has specific and unique advantages.
    So at the time of packing for a travel, it is always a cornelian choice … I often take 2 systems “only”, upon travel conditions and typical photography I would take …

    Everything can fit in a reasonably sized bag, which is OK for the plane, but too heavy and not convenient for a day walk in a city. There I want only 1 camera, so I alternate : the alpa on a sunny day, the Contax the second sunny day, the D3x in the evening or in the rain, … or even best, I take 1 camera and my wife takes the D3x …



    For Paris, where I lived about 15 years and that I keep visiting very often, I now like to take the Alpa only. If you don't know Paris yet, your M9 would be perfect !



    Some suggestions for Paris, nothing special, just the areas where I like to go and walk. Paris is for street photography, especially with your M9, so don't forget good choes !

    1st axis : cross Paris by foot, 2 days …10/10 for architecture, urban landscapes
    -Start from the oldest bridge in Paris, “le Pont Neuf”, nice views over the Seine, you can go down to the river from the “quai des orfèvres” and have a nice view of the series of bridges.
    - Still on the “île de la Cité” : see place Dauphine (very quiet),
    - Do not miss the Sainte Chapelle (visit the Conciergerie first and buy a combined ticked, you will avoid the long security line to the St Chapelle, which is actually the security control to the court next to it)
    - on Sunday morning, see the birds market on Place Louis Lépine,
    - reach Notre Dame (I never climbed to the top, I hate waiting in lines, but HCB took a famous picture from there)
    - Go through square Jean XXIII, views over the Seine, reach Pont de l’Archévéché and walk along “Quai aux fleurs”, views on Ile Saint Louis, views on city hall on the opposite side of the Seine,
    -Take some time on bridge Saint-Louis for street photography, enjoy an excellent café-croissant early in the morning on the terrace of Le Flore en l’Ile (alternately you can eat there late at night), this is the quintessence of Paris. You can also taste an ice cream from Berthillon. All shops on the Ile St Louis sell this ice cream, no specific interest to look from the original store.
    -Walk along the quai d’Orléans and reach the bridge “de la Tournelle”. Views over Notre Dame. (when crossing you will see the restaurant “Tour d’Argent” which overseas the bridge and offers a great view over Notre Dame …to be avoided if you still need some budget to purchase a camera or lenses)
    -Walk backwards along quai de la tournelle, turn right after square René Viviani, see the shop “Shakespeare and company”, see street St Julien le Pauvre and its church, street Galande.
    -continue to the “Greek” area, with many kebab restaurants around street de la Huchette. Many tourists. Sandwiches restaurants are not clean and I must say I had some difficulties eating there for the first time, 20years ago, but it didn't kill me, not so bad neither.
    -Reach place St Michel then rue St André des Arts. See the “passage” behind the Procope. Continue Rue de Buci and reach Bd St Germain.
    -Walk along ST Germain to Eglise ST Germain, bar “les deux magots” (the place to be with a Leica)
    -Back to the Seine via rue Bonaparte, reach the “pont des arts”. This bridge offers the best views of the Seine and the ile de la Cité.
    -Cross the bridge and enter the Louvres (cour carrée, then pyramide on the left)
    -See the Rivoli street and reach the Jardin des Tuileries
    -Turn right to see Place Vendôme (don’t go with your wife if you need some budget to purchase a new car)
    -Continue to the Opera.
    -Then Bd Hausman and enter Galeries Lafayette, see the Coupole on top of it. Again, an area to avoid with your wife …
    - Reach Place de la Madeleine. Taste a croissant from Fauchon, have a look to Hédiart, reach the “rue de Suresne” with the best shop of whiskies in France, then rue du fbg St Honoré, with fashion shops and French presidency.
    -Back to place de la Concorde.
    -Then a walk on the right side on the Champs Elysées. If you turn left to avenue Montaigne you will find shops for your wife and this will lead you to the Seine with a nice view over Eiffel Tower, Orsay museum, Grand Palais.

    Other places to walk though :

    2. Le Marai : 8/10 for street photography, architecture
    -city hall, rue de Rivoli, rue Vieille du Temple, rue des rosiers, back to Rivoli, rue St Antoine, rue de Sévigné, place Ste Catherine, rue de Turenne, rue des blancs manteaux, place des Vosges. Try the restaurant l’Ambroisie, one of the very best in Paris, unless you still want to buy a digital back.
    -Back to Rue St Antoine south via rue de Birague. Taste a glass of wine on the opposite side of the street (vins des pyrénées).
    -Walk to Place de la Bastille.

    3. Père Lachaise cemetery : 10/10 for art photography
    - an impressive old cemetery

    4. Bercy & the large library : 6/10 for street photography
    - cour St Emilion : old wine warehouses transformed into restaurants and movie theater
    - Grande Bibliotheque

    5. la Bastille : 6/10 for street photography
    -Rue de la roquette and rue de Lappe are popular places, with many bars and restaurants
    -From La Bastille you can also reach « la coulée verte » along avenue Daumesnil : a railway that was transformed into a green path.

    6. Mouffetard, Arènes de Lutèces, Panthéon 9/10 on Sunday morning for street photography
    - start from the low Av des Gobelins / square St Médard.
    - take rue Mouffetard, a nice market on Sunday morning, musicians & singers of old French songs
    - reach place de la contre-escarpe, have a drink, reach rue Monge and "les arènes de Lutèces" (roman place, very calm and nice)
    - continue rue Descartes, rue Clovis, Panthéon, la Sorbonne

    7. Jardin du Luxembourg : 9/10 for street photography, again ideal on Sunday morning when children play with small sailboats

    8. Montmartre, place des Tertres : needs to be done once, almost only for tourists today, but nice views over Paris, nice photogenic stairways : 9/10 for urban landscapes
    The area of Pigalle and the Moulin Rouge are not really nice to walk around in the evening.

    9.La Défense : La Grande Arche is a nice architecture, there are nice views over Paris also. Do not come in the evening (not safe) or over the week-end (empty). Don’t go there if you live in NYC, Chicago or Hong Kong, you could be disappointed. 8/10 for architecture.

    10. Parc Monsouris or parc des buttes chaumont : nice parks, 7-8/10 for parks and street photography. (if you are at Monsouris, don’t miss see the Square de Montsouris).

    11. I had almost forgotten the Eiffel tower ... but not sure this is for photography ...

    I do not mention museums : Louvres, Orsay, Grand Palais, Picasso (closed at this time), Rodin, etc, are places to visit. You can take very nice pictures inside but you can't used tripods as far as I know.
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  34. #34
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    Le Pont Neuf (Alpa, Sinar 54lv)
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  35. #35
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    View from Pont de la Tournelle

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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    Notre Dame (Contax 645, Sinar 54lv, 45mm)

  37. #37
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    Le Louvre, Contax
    All handheld ... interiors could be sharper (very slow speed ...) but results are still OK

  38. #38
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    Marché aux plantes et aux oiseaux, ile de la cité, Alpa

  39. #39
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    Place Dauphine, Contax

  40. #40
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    Pont des Arts (this is how the bridges are decorated today ...)
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  41. #41
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    Jardin du Luxembourg, saturday morning, Contax 120mm

  42. #42
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    That's all, enjoy your trip !

  43. #43
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    I'm travelling in the Canadian Rockies presently and although I've rented an SUV, I hike a lot so the size/weight of my kit is important.

    I have a fairly small (quite a bit smaller than airline carry-on size) Lowepro that has literally been all around the world with me (and to both top and bottom!). It holds the DF with the 150 mm fitted, the 45, 55 and 80 mm lenses. The side pockets carry a few filters and a cable release, the front pocket has 6 batteries and several CF cards.

    My Gitzo and Cube go into a duffel bag with my clothing wrapped around them, along with my battery charger. And that's it.

    I do have both a 28 mm and 300 mm but I rarely use them and only carry them if a specific trip seems to call for them.

    Interestingly, on this trip through the mountains I've only used the 45 once, the 35 most and the 80 and 150 about equally.

    Bill

  44. #44
    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    Hey Bill,

    Just curious but what does your travel kit weigh? I have a big trip in 2014 with a 20kg max limit (for everything!)

    Graham

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne View Post
    I'm travelling in the Canadian Rockies presently and although I've rented an SUV, I hike a lot so the size/weight of my kit is important.

    I have a fairly small (quite a bit smaller than airline carry-on size) Lowepro that has literally been all around the world with me (and to both top and bottom!). It holds the DF with the 150 mm fitted, the 45, 55 and 80 mm lenses. The side pockets carry a few filters and a cable release, the front pocket has 6 batteries and several CF cards.

    My Gitzo and Cube go into a duffel bag with my clothing wrapped around them, along with my battery charger. And that's it.

    I do have both a 28 mm and 300 mm but I rarely use them and only carry them if a specific trip seems to call for them.

    Interestingly, on this trip through the mountains I've only used the 45 once, the 35 most and the 80 and 150 about equally.

    Bill
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

  45. #45
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    Graham, I can't remember offhand but I know it's comfortably less than the airlines' 10 kg (22 lbs) limit for cabin baggage. I'll weigh it and send a pic when I get home on Sunday. My best guess is about 10-12 lbs which is quite portable as a backpack.
    Cheers,
    Bill

  46. #46
    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    That's great news. I'm off to Antartica in 2014 and I've been torn over planning what to take. It may be be just a few sets of my ExOfficio underwear (superb btw!) to the chagrin of my cabin mate. I really, really want to go MF vs the easy DSLR Nikon option. More camera gear, less clean undies
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

  47. #47
    Senior Member GMB's Avatar
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    That's great news. I'm off to Antartica in 2014 and I've been torn over planning what to take. It may be be just a few sets of my ExOfficio underwear (superb btw!) to the chagrin of my cabin mate. I really, really want to go MF vs the easy DSLR Nikon option. More camera gear, less clean undies
    A Leica S, with the 30-90 zoom (if it delivers as well as I think it will) should cover a large portion of your shooting. There is the 24, if you want to go realy wide. On the long side, you can add either the 180 or a Hassy 300 with the adapter. A weather sealed 3 lens kit. That's what I would take on a trip like this. (Plus a mono pod in addition to the tripod.)
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  48. #48
    Workshop Member Bryan Stephens's Avatar
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    Talking Re: Medium format travel photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Hmm, we'll we both know Amr so that's dangerous advice because I've seen how much he CAN ship and carry!

    As a fellow gear slut with poor packing selection skills I'd actually take just a small M outfit. I think you'll get more out of the shooting experience particularly within the city. The M9 and/or mono with maybe 50 APO and perhaps something wider like a 28mm or 35mm on the other body would work well. The new small Cambo with your P45+ or IQ with sensor plus and maybe a single light lens like a 43 or 47 would also work if you get it in time. (As you know, I'd take my TC/47 & P25+ for a trip like this).

    As said though, as a fellow "enabler" I'm probably not a good role model
    I take it Amr is not bringing his gear sherpa on the trip....
    Bryan

    “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” — Ansel Adams

  49. #49
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    Guys,

    This thread is awesome! I'll travel to Paris next week for the 3rd time this year - all your tipps are very welcome.

    Will take my H4D for the girls and just my D600 + 50 mm for the city.

    Regarding the tripod: had my Gitzo with the H4D @ Trocadero at night (you know ... ) - lots of Gendarmerie, but no problems - although in darkness this combination (incl. The 50-110 mm Zoom) looks like a mobile rocket launcher ...

    Can't wait ... :-D

  50. #50
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    Re: Medium format travel photography.

    I have been to Paris only 3 times but Paris for me menas:
    -a lot of walking
    -shooting during day but also a lot during night
    -catching the moment, the people, the scene is the point

    Thats why I would bring the MM with some lenses (probably more on the wider side...21,35,75)...and probably would leave my S2 at home.
    If I planned to print big big it would be the S2 with 35 (24 or 30 would be even better but I dont own one of those) and 70 and the MM with 35mm.

    I dont you dont need color in November in Paris
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