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Thread: Ideal MFD travel kit

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    Ideal MFD travel kit

    Wise elders,
    I currently shoot with the IQ280, sometimes with the DF, 120m, 75-150 and sometimes with the Alpa, 40HR, 70HR.

    Over the last few trips in and around Australia (where I reside), I have had some serious issues with the rest of the family objecting with the following various taunts:

    1. Wife: you love your cameras more than your family.
    2. Wife: if I leave, you will just cuddle your camera (this one's probably true)
    3. Son: Just get on with it, man. I'll grow up by the time you finish your photograph (he's technically correct).
    4. Son: Do you really have to use an old man's camera (re. the Alpa kit).
    5. Son: There's no time for your tripod and stuff now. Chop chop...
    6. Daughter: Help, I'm stuck (she's two)..

    So I have finally made up my mind about the situation. The Phase/Alpa kit will go only on 2-3 dedicated shoots a year. The rest of the time, I will have to "make do" with a more family friendly, travel friendly kit.

    For a while, I thought I am not going to jump on the sony-nikon-canon bandwagon of recurrent upgrades and dealer enrichment. I have a Leica M kit that does not satisfy me with my landscape requirements. ( I would like the ability to print large at some point, and occasionally I do ). So I would really appreciate what MFD travel kit people thought highly of in this forum...

    The few brainwaves I had were:

    1. Sell the M kit and consider a Leica S. (Should I get the typ 006, or wait for the 007 ?? ). Not sure how the CMOS would hold up, but I have no idea how the 006 performs at iso 640 and above which would mostly be needed for evening and dinner family shots.

    2. Consider the 645z. again, unsure on the system as a whole. The whole Leica gestalt is too much to neglect.

    3. wait for the Canon high MP issues.

    4. Do nothing and save the money ....

    As my daughter would put it, Help, please help, I'm stuck !!!

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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    My hard learned lessons that I will share with you. I have far too many hobbies that are best done solo - photography, golf, race track, kayaking. We have 3 kids 6,4,2. I travel for work likely 3 weeks out of 4 and go all over the place and often to pretty cool places like South Africa, Argentina, Thailand, Israel......and Australia...

    What I have learnt is to focus on one purpose for each trip. When I am working, I don't take any camera kit. I go on golf trips, and cameras are not allowed. I am currently on a family trip to Antigua, no camera. I went to Death Valley last month, and took all my gear, but no kids, no clubs. Next month I have a trip planned to Yosemite, again, only camera stuff.

    My lesson was that I muled all this kit on family trips, fought to get things in carry on, competing for space with diaper bags and formula, and when we got to whereever it was we were going, there was no time for Photography.

    So now, I commit to one thing, and do it well. Kids are happy, wife is happy. I do carry the A7R around, but only for family stuff. I try and make it interesting, like on this trip in Antigua, I brought just a Nikkor AIS 50mm 1.2 that I have not used much. I am hoping it will give me some interesting shots over dinner.

    As for anything focused on Photography, I don't think anything can touch your IQ280/Alpa. It just takes more time and focus to get things to line up well with a kit like this.

    PS. a great outcome of this has been that everyone is happy to send me off on a 3-4 day photography trip every 2-3 months. No complaining, no judging, and I get to focus on just photography for that time.
    Last edited by jagsiva; 10th March 2015 at 18:31.
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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    The Leica S with lens attached and two other lenses would fit in a backpack with a carbon fiber tripod attached to the outside. The other bits and pieces would fit as well. And, I guess your Alpa would fit too, but the Leica system would be much faster to set up and can even be used handheld. Waiting on the next best system seems to me to be a waste of valuable time, but I am an old man! My first Airline trip with my H4D60 system in a backpack terrified me, not knowing whether they would let me carry it on the plane. I had made my mind up that I would cancel my trip rather than let them put it in the luggage compartment. I have no idea what my wife would have thought about that. The Canon is a totally different animal. I have considered buying one, but would never consider giving up on MFD.

    Greg
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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    Take the Alpa, leave the wife and kids at home...

    You gotta a have priorities, man.

    A Pentax 645Z with the FA 45-85mm zoom. Or if you prefer primes, the 645Z with the A 35mm, DFA 55mm, and FA 120mm Macro or FA 150mm. I think a Leica S system would be great too. I believe there is a nice wide to short tele zoom. Personally, I would probably be happy with your IQ280 on an Alpa TC and a 40mm lens--zone focus and be happy.

    I travel with my 645D and three or four lenses plus a Sony RX-1. I find that a great combination. Maybe the IQ280, Alpa TC, a simple compact wide and then something like an a7 with a good zoom would be good to travel with.
    Will

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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    Before this gets out of control, here's one person's view of the "fork in the road". For some folks, there are workable non-MFDB answers that give flexibility AND quality, and can meet your needs.

    Then there are the rest of us, stuck with having to make tough choices. I don't think there is a "can-do-it-all" answer, so the question then becomes what are you willing to give up? Having been through the issues of family trips, the following suggestions are offered:

    - find some way to keep the family happy. They (and you) only go through this once, and you want it to be good, for them and you.
    - make sure you have a camera to get family and travel shots you all like. Else what you missed sticks in the gut, full of regret.
    - if you can't resist doing fine art photog, find (or sneak) time while everyone else is sleeping and go out for a while and shoot. Limit the incursion on their time to one day a trip, preferably just ½ day.

    Can gear help? Two suggestions as to something that can slip in and ease some of the gap between family/travel and hi-end photog. First, the RX1 does very well, has a full size sensor with plenty of resolution and character, is very flexible and will take credible shots. I suppose the A7 is in this same category but there is something very good about the RX1 and that Zeiss lens that doesn't come off! Its not quite art-making for me, but its close, and can do in a pinch.

    Another option is the Monochrome - which will take MFDB equivalent shots, is small, travels well, and works in poor light. Color rendition is…. well, interpretive. If you like that, its great. If not, back to the RX1.

    I've hauled MFDB gear all over the place with family, and managed to work it out. But only in doses…else unhappy faces add up. Best to have something to keep them (and you too!) happy.
    www.gigi-photos.com
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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    Dan Lindberg seems to be able to take his MF gear everywhere and has no worries at all.

    My wife encourages me to take my camera, then complains that I am taking far too long to set up my shots, walks over, rips out her iPhone, loudly declares "nailed it" and walks away deriding my photographic abilities.

    If I am going on holidays, I take an X100 and leave the MF gear behind. If I am travelling with the intention of taking photographs then everything comes with me. I find this keeps everyone happy.
    Stop chasing gear, start chasing photos instead.

    Jeff, but my friends call me Dogs
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    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    Shooting exclusively with Alpa does work for me perfect. Yes, I do have a Sony A7R but it does not thrill nor inspire so that is parked 97% of shooting time in the safe.
    Alpa Max outfit for complete photographic freedom, somewhat heavy bag but it can do everything I need it to do.

    For hiking and travelling I use Alpa TC with one or at the most two lenses. I do use tripod almost always, but do not hesitate to shoot handheld if that is what it takes! Neckstrap supporting waistlevel shooting, composing blindly but level cam by big circular bubble on top. TC, SK72 and down to 1/60 I get pinsharp results. I am very steady though....
    The ultralight Gitzo 2 series is sturdy enough for longer exposures with a TC setup so my travelkit is most of the time smaller and lighter than many dslr shooters....and I would not swop, no matter what...
    Alpa FPS • MAX • TC | Alpagon 32Hr | Helvetar 75 | Schneider 120N | Leaf Aptus II 5 • Leaf Credo 60 | www.danlindberg.com
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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    Hi,
    I also have 2 kids and kind of know what you are talking about.
    Can you imagine I bough a used Alpa4 weeks ago and have found the time only once to use it.
    I also own some mirrorless cameras, and Leica M and Leica S.
    Here is my take:
    1) The Leica S is a clear step ahead in IQ over the mirrorless and M. Probably a combination of sensor and lenses. I love the bokeh and look of the S images. The S system is pretty fast and works very well handheld, as long as you have enough light. I have a medium size daypack/backpack where I can fit the S + 1 lens attached + 1-2 additional lenses. Its a backpack which I can access without having to put it on the floor- so I can access camera and lens quite fast during a hike. Also the camera is weatherproof, so I dont have to handle it like a "raw egg".
    I bring this camera quite often to holydays, vacation, sunday trip to the zoo or whatever we do with the kids.

    I have the S006 and I am happy with it. However the CMOS of the 007 with better high ISO would extend the situations where you can use the S to low light situations. I dont know yet if I would be ready to pay so much cash, plus at the moment the 007 isnt available anyways.


    2) Still there are occasions where the S is too big and heavy (I usually dont bring it when we go on bike rides for example) - here I think a mirrorless like the EM1 or a Leica T (my favorite mirrorless at the moment) or a Sony A7 series is a good system. It also serves you when there is not enough light for the Leica S system.
    However - in my case I take clearly better images with the S. Might be the viewfinder, or the lenses, or that I have a better "connection" to the camera, but I dont feel 100% connected with those mirrorless cameras, as good as they might be in theory.

    3) Pentax vs S....I thought about this several times. The S has the advantage of having a smaller and less obstrusive body. Also the S is more reduced regarding the user interface. I love this but others might prefer to have more buttons like the Pentax.
    The S also gives you the freedom of (near) "perfect" lenses, at all kinds of f-stops. You just dont have to worry, just shoot each lens even wide open if necessary. Beautiful!
    The Pentax seems attractive because it offers you a lot for much less money, has multiple AF points, and a different side-ratio. It also offers you the CMOS sensor with 50MP.
    I handled one at Photokina and must say, I much prefer the S body and lenses, but if the S didnt exist my choice would be the Pentax.

    4) If you really enjoy shooting the Alpa: Dont sell it. Just dont try to do everything at the same time. Rather shoot the Alpa not so often but if you do tell your family you need 3 hours alone because you want to take some images with the Alpa.

    Good luck with your decision.
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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    Thanks for the elaborate thought, Paratom. Is there a link to any of your high ISO images with the S(006) ?

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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    Marry a creative who is intent on making her own images. Worked for me

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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    The images say "photo no longer available" or "bad link"...

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    The images say "photo no longer available" or "bad link"...
    Matt,

    ...it's big, blank, and white-----because that's the sort of quality images taken when you have family along...


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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    The images say "photo no longer available" or "bad link"...
    Hi sorry. Let me know your e-mail and I will send you some images per Mail.
    I dont want to spread too many family images over the internet. Hope you understand.

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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    Oh, I understand completely.

    It's dangerous (for us) to spread Leica S images around, too.

    --Matt

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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    Thanks for the august replies.
    It may have appeared to some that I was asking for some relationship advice !!, so apologies for that. I am not trying to decide between my family and my camera, rather between the available options for camera systems !!
    Let me therefore frame my dilemma very specifically.
    I am presently torn asunder between deciding for the Leica S (006) and the Pentax 645z. I am not quite sure for the S (007), since I have not much use for video (the iPhone suffices) and in that case, I might as well go for the 645z if I am opting for the CMOS sensor. Personally, I feel that the micro-contrast and rendering of the S (006) is better of the two, in that the 645z would require a bit of processing to please me, while the S (006) files are already ‘there’.
    Any opinions on the weather sealing differences between the two?
    Any opinions on the higher ISO renderings of the S(006) ?
    Thanks again !

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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    Don't agree on the Leica S. It costs more than your Alpa kit AND it's very bulky.
    The Canon 5Ds Dyname Range leaves more to be desired.

    Depending on what you shoot. If you don't need Shift/Tilt, then I'd get Sigma DP123m as a kit. IQ would rival your Alpa setup (lower resolution)

    If you need Shift/Tilt, then grab a Nikon 800e and a 24mm PCE. Very cost effect, enormous DR. Also versatile for the family shoot when you need it

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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    Quote Originally Posted by satybhat View Post
    Thanks for the august replies.
    It may have appeared to some that I was asking for some relationship advice !!, so apologies for that. I am not trying to decide between my family and my camera, rather between the available options for camera systems !!
    Let me therefore frame my dilemma very specifically.
    I am presently torn asunder between deciding for the Leica S (006) and the Pentax 645z. I am not quite sure for the S (007), since I have not much use for video (the iPhone suffices) and in that case, I might as well go for the 645z if I am opting for the CMOS sensor. Personally, I feel that the micro-contrast and rendering of the S (006) is better of the two, in that the 645z would require a bit of processing to please me, while the S (006) files are already ‘there’.
    Any opinions on the weather sealing differences between the two?
    Any opinions on the higher ISO renderings of the S(006) ?
    Thanks again !
    I use ISO800 without any hesitation, and 1600 if I have no other choice. ISO1600 does show some clear "destruction" of IQ at pixel level and is a compromise, but it works for smaller prints.
    That fact that the Leica lenses are very good wide open also helps when yo do not have that much light.
    PM me your e-mail-adress and I can mail you some 800 and 1600 ISO images.
    I cant talk about the Pentax weather sealing but I have used the S006 both in heavy rain and also in heavy snow at 0 degrees Celsius - meaning really wet snow and it worked without any problems in these conditions. Also the hoods of most S lenses are pretty long and a good protection for the front glass of the lens.
    Loyd Chambers has some extensive testing of Pentax645 and Leica S lenses on his paid site. I am not a big fan of his writing and would rate a big part of it as an opinion, but if you like to read another opinion you can go there.
    Maybe you have a chance to check out both systems before you buy.
    Also you coud go for a used S2 which you can get for attractive prices at the moment and its technically not much behind the S006. This way you could check the equipment out without the risk of losing much money if it doesnt work for you.

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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    Thanks Paratom,
    have PM 'ed you my email.
    Will wait and watch for now, but may have to decide by next week

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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    Sigmas seem like a really good way to go as well.

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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    With family along, if you intend to bring or use a tripod at any point----forget it. In my experience with family members present, it does not matter what system you use. You will run into issues #1-6 on your list. At this point, any small capture device does well such as the Sony A7r, grab the shot, scout the area, and return later by yourself if the location is worthwhile.

    If by chance the family does not mind you setting up a tripod, I'd use your Alpa and one lens (i.e., HR40) and do what I call the "One Lens Wonder." You'd be surprised how well you can do and how much fun it is limiting yourself to a single lens.

    Even considering Leica and Pentax options, I bet the family dictates of #1-6 say "No tripod on this trip, honey" and you will still be better off with a single lens approach for speed and ease.

    On second thought, we really haven't heard enough from actual Pentax 645z users at GetDPI. Go ahead and get the camera and let us know how it works out for you....

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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    I probably do not belong on this thread, but Satybhat's post resonates with me.

    Years ago, before the kids had flown from the nest, I too had similar problems. My family would walk a little distance behind me, saying 'we're not with him' to any passerby. Those days I had the tripod and my Canon 60D along with a few lenses all in belt pouches or in a backpack. DSLRs were rare (this was 2002 after all) as were large cameras in general. The 6MPx camera was my new toy and the new love of my life. I couldn't get enough of it and it went everywhere with me.

    Later when my wife and I went alone she would still complain "you look ridiculous with that big lens on (it was just a 70-200 f4), look around, is there anybody else lugging a big camera?"

    Over the years, she has graduated from being super conscious of my bumbling around with a big camera to actually helping me carry some of my gear. The kids are now much older and actually quite supportive of what I do. I suppose a lot of it has to do with the fact that they now see me as a serious photographer and not just somebody with a new fancy toy. My wife will now point out great angles or opportunities (she has a good eye) when I am photographing something.

    The best part is when my kids ask for my prints to decorate their new apartment and when my wife says can you give a copy of your book to so and so?

    The journey has been long and quite arduous, but getting here from there has been well worth it and tremendous fun to boot.

    Pradeep
    Too much to list, let's just say I have a bad case of GAS.........
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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    Sounds like an excuse to BUY MORE GEARS - not that there's anything wrong with that. But to answer your questions:
    1) Do not mix photo trips and family trips. Many people have said that. Just don't.
    2) If you have the money to consider the Leica, why even consider the Pentax? If you need to watch your budget, sure, but if the Leica is within your budget, even if you have to stretch, then just buy it and be done with it. Otherwise, it's always going to be - damned, I wish have that XYZ

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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    I sometimes take my Contax 645 with three lenses (for example 35/55/140) as a travel kit. The camera (w/ prism viewfinder, w/o battery grip) with the 35 fits into a belt bag, the 55 and the 140 (one on top of the other) into a pouch which I originally purchased for a Canon 70-200f4 lens. So the whole setup is not much bulkier and heavier than a 5D cam with battery grip and three lenses. Same could do with Hasselblad H, Pentax 645, Mamiya/Phase 645, Leica S.

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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    I don't understand why you would consider the Pentax since you already have the 645 DF. The two cameras are about the same size and weight.

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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    I don't mean I consider for me, but others with the mentioned systems would end up with similar size and weight.

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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    Not you, Chrismuc. The original poster, satybhat, said in his first message that he has a 645 DF and is considering a Pentax 645z. I don't understand why the Pentax would be more "family friendly" than the DF.

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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    Quote Originally Posted by jerome_m View Post
    Not you, Chrismuc. The original poster, satybhat, said in his first message that he has a 645 DF and is considering a Pentax 645z. I don't understand why the Pentax would be more "family friendly" than the DF.
    Because the available light shooting would avoid tripod requirement, available wide angle zoom (less costly than the 40-80 Phase), amazing weather sealing..

    I'm just not a fan of the 645DF+. Seriously, I think Phase should have put all that research into a better body, before all the zooms.

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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    Quote Originally Posted by satybhat View Post
    Because the available light shooting would avoid tripod requirement, available wide angle zoom (less costly than the 40-80 Phase), amazing weather sealing..

    I'm just not a fan of the 645DF+. Seriously, I think Phase should have put all that research into a better body, before all the zooms.
    I understand better.

    What I would do, however, is to get the 28mm (or 35mm) for the DF and get a monopod (actually, I am doing just that, but with Hasselblad stuff...). It would still be quite compact, the monopod is much faster than a tripod and sufficient in many cases when travelling and with the huge amount of pixels of your IQ180, you could crop a bit to zoom and still end up with more pixels than on the Pentax (or Leica S).

    But if you don't like the DF camera at all, I understand that using it may not be an option.

    Of course, you could simply wait till Sony issues a stabilised A7r and use that with the impressive 35mm 2.8.

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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    So my mostly uneducated opinion is that ANY MF is going to provide much better IQ than any small sensor. That being said I think it's all about finding a balance between size, ease to pack, and quick AF.

    I think for a travel camera for a discerning IQ will always be important but also thing about a camera you can hand to someone and they can use well enough to get a picture that's in focus when it's not opportune to setup a tripod. For this I'd recommend something like a pro body Canon, Nikon, Sony, or a Micro 4/3 camera. They all have lenses that are "good enough," bodies small enough, and autofocus. In a perfect world I'd recommend a Leica M because they are just amazing photographic instruments if 35mm is large enough for you but I've had enough experience to know you have to zone focus any shot you want to be in focus if you ask a stranger to take your picture.

    I say all of this because it will be more important to your family to actually be engaged with them, in the moment, and in the pictures than what camera you took them with or even IQ. Sometimes it really is the little things.
    Sony Visible Light & IR Photographer
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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    Quote Originally Posted by HiredArm View Post
    So my mostly uneducated opinion is that ANY MF is going to provide much better IQ than any small sensor. That being said I think it's all about finding a balance between size, ease to pack, and quick AF.
    .
    I would agree, so long as you are prepared to shoot either in good light or off a tripod / monopod. If you want to wander around and shoot handheld then I'll wager that most of the image quality benefits of the MF platform melt away once you've had to compromise with sharpness.

    Now if I had to choose the smallest MFD travel system though it would be an Alpa STC & 40HR with my IQ150. Surprisingly small, light and agile but I'd also have a tripod with me.

    Personally I'd go with the small Leica M outfit or equivalent. I do many trips only with my Sony Rx1r.
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 13th March 2015 at 17:15.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Take the Alpa, leave the wife and kids at home...

    You gotta a have priorities, man.

    A Pentax 645Z with the FA 45-85mm zoom. Or if you prefer primes, the 645Z with the A 35mm, DFA 55mm, and FA 120mm Macro or FA 150mm. I think a Leica S system would be great too. I believe there is a nice wide to short tele zoom. Personally, I would probably be happy with your IQ280 on an Alpa TC and a 40mm lens--zone focus and be happy.

    I travel with my 645D and three or four lenses plus a Sony RX-1. I find that a great combination. Maybe the IQ280, Alpa TC, a simple compact wide and then something like an a7 with a good zoom would be good to travel with.
    I agree.

    I have traveled with just the 40mm HR-W / IQ160 / Arca Rm3Di and made some really nice images. No need to carry much more than that if your trip is shared with family and it's not exclusively about photography.

    It's about the experience. If things get in the way get rid of them.
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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    The 645z with a 75mm lens is a wonderful thing.
    But the Leica S is gorgeous too. I'd end up with the z though for one reason, which is ISO performance.

    I'm in Mexico right now with the DP series from Sigma and wish I'd just brought the z now. ISO 100 is more limiting than I thought.
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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    I was pondering similar choices of late.

    Don't have an Alpha, but sold my P45+ and associated goodies will sell soon. Got the 645Z for the sale price of the P45+. Easy trade off to me.
    I shoot with an S (006) friend and I just cannot see it as desirable since it is pretty much old technology for a very high price when compared to the 645Z.

    I have Canon gear and decided I would even sell that and opt for the large photo site 51MP 645Z instead of getting the 50MP due out soon. Now this 645Z is a modern camera and should take me many years before I feel the need for another system. (I am keeping my digital M's for discrete street work). Just think you can set the optimal f stop for the MTF graph if you want or option for greatest DOF if wanted.

    Wow! Is all I can say. I find the 55/2.8 a terrific walk around and/or tripod lens. It is water resistant and well sealed. The 90/2.8 macro is also another weather sealed fantastic lens. Wide-I got the last 25mm in the US I guess, but many like the 35 very much. I feel the 28-45 is not the best for travel. but being a new lens with weather sealing and shake reduction (Like the 90) it offers a possible one lens setup with 22-35 equivalent FL.

    Guess this sounds biased, but I could not be happier with this system.

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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    IMO and experience I believe even shot handheld MF gives better IQ than FF/35mm sensor cameras.
    I see it all the time when I look at images I took with the Leica S vs images I tok with the 5dIII (which I dont own anymore) or the A7II or the Leica M. These cams all produce good IQ but I feel the S images are one clear step ahead.
    Tonal transition, color, bokeh. IMO the difference between the lowest resolution digital MF back and 35mm is clearer than the differences between the various MF options.

    Regarding the S being old technology...maybe the sensor is not the latest and greatest, on the other side its not bad at all and the lens selection is impressive. And the body is very ergonomic. I think the best thing is to handle and check out the various systems since user interface is a very personal thing.
    Last edited by Paratom; 14th March 2015 at 12:24.
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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    The S lenses are excellent and that is important, but at what cost. For a travel camera one does not need an S. Then there is the pricing which is way overboard IMHO. I bought my entire 645Z setup with 8 lenses for less than cost of the S body alone.

    I was using one of those lenses today and its results are fantastic even at 100% on the LCD. Then there is the 37 to 51 MP difference. From 37 up to 51 that is a 37% increase in pixels!
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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    if you want a Leica S , buy it. My S2P works for me as a daytime and tripod travel camera. I usually travel with the contax adapter and the 55 mm. lens. It is a nice and light for MFD walk around setup.
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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    If you're with your family taking photos, you are not up at 6am or out on location at sunset when truly frameable pictures would be taken. For your holiday snaps stick with your Leica M.

    Keep your Alpa and when on holiday get up before your family and go take a shot at a good location during sunrise/sunset and return to the family for the daylight activities with your M.

    I am lucky in that my girlfriend (who has no interest in photography) likes to hike pre-sunrise and stay out til sunset in some inhospitable locations. She does get a little impatient as well though
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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    Quote Originally Posted by algrove View Post
    The S lenses are excellent and that is important, but at what cost. For a travel camera one does not need an S. Then there is the pricing which is way overboard IMHO. I bought my entire 645Z setup with 8 lenses for less than cost of the S body alone.

    I was using one of those lenses today and its results are fantastic even at 100% on the LCD. Then there is the 37 to 51 MP difference. From 37 up to 51 that is a 37% increase in pixels!
    No question the Pentax-body comes at a lower price. In regards of lenses its mixed. The new wide angle from Pentax is very expensive as well, and the 90 which seems one of the best Pentax lenses isnt cheap either. Some report to be very happy with Pentax lenses, other report they have to stop down to get good results with some focal lengths.
    I love the fact that the S-lenses have focus info on the chip so one doesnt have to dial in focus-fine-adjustment into the camera.
    The Pentax has the advantage of higher ISO and some more MP (if you need them). The User interface is very different. I also find the S looking more like a traditional SLR to probably catch less attention/prefer the form factor.
    I think both are great systems.
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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    Morning

    I travel a lot, mainly crap places but always interesting places, even when I'm travelling with people who aren't photographers. For me, being somewhere different is exciting and I always want the best pictures I can get, being away for me doesn't mean that I want less from the shots.

    For me the Leica S is simply the best camera I have ever used, personal and commercial work has taken on a new depth and I am just disappointed with my other cameras. Travel now is just the S 006 and the 70mm, I can do everything I want with that and even handheld in low light, the results always blow me away. The size isn't an issue when looking at the results.

    I will say that looking at retail prices is a little off putting but since the announcement of the 007, 006 bodies can be bought at a good price, my ex demo S with just over 1k shots on it was not a huge amount more than the Z and having used both, the Z is an entirely different camera, the files are different, the handling different and for what I do, the extra megapixels are not worth the switch.

    Looking at all the shots I took with the D800/E they are different, because there is so much latitude in the shadows, I tended to push them a lot, not because it helped produce better pictures but because I could, looking back a lot of them have lots of detail but they are flat, the S files I actually embrace the shadows and end up with far richer, deeper files that are beautiful to me. Obviously we all like different things.

    If you are interested in the S it's worth trying it out, it is extremely simple, beautiful to hold, the viewfinder is amazing and the lenses are superb no matter how you shoot them. I love using manual focus and compared with 35mm cameras the ease of focussing is a revelation.

    I have run a couple of landscape workshops with Z owners this winter, both Z's struggled with the cold, both lost use of the top screen, not that that affected the output but still compared with the S it put me off.

    Only you can know what is right for you but I hope you find something that fits you as well as the S does for me, I have hundreds of shots taken up at ISO 800 and they stand up against every other camera I have owned.

    Good luck with finding the right tool, it's amazing when you get it just right!

    Have a good Sunday.

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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    No question the Pentax-body comes at a lower price. In regards of lenses its mixed. The new wide angle from Pentax is very expensive as well, and the 90 which seems one of the best Pentax lenses isnt cheap either. Some report to be very happy with Pentax lenses, other report they have to stop down to get good results with some focal lengths.
    I love the fact that the S-lenses have focus info on the chip so one doesnt have to dial in focus-fine-adjustment into the camera.
    The Pentax has the advantage of higher ISO and some more MP (if you need them). The User interface is very different. I also find the S looking more like a traditional SLR to probably catch less attention/prefer the form factor.
    I think both are great systems.
    Have you ever used a 645Z? I have used an S 006. The S tired my hand much worse than I would have thought from a DSLR like camera . The S with its 37MP is now hardly MF in MP against the Nikon and Sonys at 36MP, albeit in a smaller format (which is why we prefer MF anyway). Since I often crop having any extra MP goes a long way toward the end result. Like on many counts Leica is behind the technology power curve, but ahead of the pricing curve. Believe me I know since I have owned until recently around 70 M and R lenses and still own many M lenses and M bodies.

    Now, let's compare pricing since you say the Pentax 25 is expensive at $5000. Well, the comparable Leica 24 is priced at $9250! The 75/2.8 Pentax I got for $600 (even though I prefer the Pentax 55/2.8 with weather sealing) and the Leica 70/2.5 is priced at $5000. The Pentax 90/2.8 macro, weather sealed with shake reduction, is $4500 and the Leica 100/2.0 although not a macro and f2.0 is $8000 whereas the 120/2.5 macro is $7250.

    The 30-90 Leica is $11,750 and is a nice lens since I have used it. I have the 28-45 Pentax at $5k which is weather sealed with shake reduction and I have used it hand held with stellar results.

    Hey, we each have our preferences, but dollar for dollar, the Pentax is the way to go especially since it is at the cutting edge of MF technology for a while and is giving Pjase and Hasselblad a run for their money what with using the same sensor and getting more from it than those other two.

    On Lula just read carefully Micael Reichmann's essay on using the 645Z. He makes extremely compelling arguments backed up with his facts, findings and 30+ years of user experience with every camera you could buy in that 30 year span of time..
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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    Algrove man, it's not personal, people like different things, it's all good. There are choices and budgets and technology, buy what you want and enjoy it, if you find the kit that helps you make killer photographs and enjoy the process than more power to you.

    All systems have benefits and weaknesses, if there was one system that did everything then that would be boring too. You can buy a Z and older lenses, you can buy an S and a contax adapter and have amazing zeiss af lenses for next to nothing, there are choices for everyone. If your hand gets tired holding an S but not a Z then all good, I never understand the point of defending your choices, who cares whether anyone agrees with what you get, it's just pointless to be defensive.

    Enjoy whatever works for you!

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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    Quote Originally Posted by algrove View Post
    Have you ever used a 645Z? I have used an S 006. The S tired my hand much worse than I would have thought from a DSLR like camera . The S with its 37MP is now hardly MF in MP against the Nikon and Sonys at 36MP, albeit in a smaller format (which is why we prefer MF anyway). Since I often crop having any extra MP goes a long way toward the end result. Like on many counts Leica is behind the technology power curve, but ahead of the pricing curve. Believe me I know since I have owned until recently around 70 M and R lenses and still own many M lenses and M bodies.

    Now, let's compare pricing since you say the Pentax 25 is expensive at $5000. Well, the comparable Leica 24 is priced at $9250! The 75/2.8 Pentax I got for $600 (even though I prefer the Pentax 55/2.8 with weather sealing) and the Leica 70/2.5 is priced at $5000. The Pentax 90/2.8 macro, weather sealed with shake reduction, is $4500 and the Leica 100/2.0 although not a macro and f2.0 is $8000 whereas the 120/2.5 macro is $7250.

    The 30-90 Leica is $11,750 and is a nice lens since I have used it. I have the 28-45 Pentax at $5k which is weather sealed with shake reduction and I have used it hand held with stellar results.

    Hey, we each have our preferences, but dollar for dollar, the Pentax is the way to go especially since it is at the cutting edge of MF technology for a while and is giving Pjase and Hasselblad a run for their money what with using the same sensor and getting more from it than those other two.

    On Lula just read carefully Micael Reichmann's essay on using the 645Z. He makes extremely compelling arguments backed up with his facts, findings and 30+ years of user experience with every camera you could buy in that 30 year span of time..
    HI there,
    I only have handled the 645z for half an hour at Photokina, thats it. I have owned and used a Pentax K5,K5iis and K3 and I believe the AF of the 645z is similar to those cameras. I spent a lot of time with trying to adjust AF-fine-adjustment without being totally succesfull. I also checked out 3 16-50mm and each one was different. Thats why I dont trust in quality control of Pentax lenses. (And yes, I also have owned Leica-M lenses which I needed to send in for adjustment, so I dont say Leica is perfect)
    My own impression is more important to me than that of some internet reviewers, so I know what I prefer.
    I don't say the S is a better product for everybody but I do know it suits me better. I just try to post pros and cons and my own experience and opinion.
    If you feel the Pentax 645 is more comfortable to hold and if you are happy with the lenses,...perfect.

    I don't believe the number of pixel is the criteria of being medium format, IMO it is the sensor size. I don't even need 36MP, I would happily use the S if it would have just 24MP.

    Nothing against the 645z. You prefer the Pentax, I prefer the S. If it was just about bang for the buck we should probably both use a Canon 6d or a Nikon 600. We can always discuss between very expensive and even more than very expensive.
    I repeat myself, I believe both are good systems, the Pentax is priced lower, the Leica has more consistent lens quality, and the user interface is quite different.
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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    If budget is not the issue, I think the biggest difference between the Pentax and Leica MF cameras is the format. Do you prefer 4:3 or 3:2? Personally, I prefer a 4:3 camera. I know others that get along with 3:2 better. But I have found the format a not so insignificant factor.
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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    If budget is not the issue, I think the biggest difference between the Pentax and Leica MF cameras is the format. Do you prefer 4:3 or 3:2? Personally, I prefer a 4:3 camera. I know others that get along with 3:2 better. But I have found the format a not so insignificant factor.
    Yeah I agree and it depends on what you shoot more. I think for portraits 4:3 seems a lot more natural but when shooting wides for landscape 3:2 (or even 16:9) seems more natural to my eyes.

    Regarding the Leica S v. the 645z. The Pentax has the more advanced sensor. The Leica has the most technically advanced lenses. I wouldn't kick either "out of bed" as the saying goes. It's like choosing between Scarlet Johanssen or Beyonce (for a pop culture analogy.) For use with flash I'd probably go with the Leica. For natural light the Pentax... Personally speaking.

    Neither is wrong just about how you envisioned the picture in your head.
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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    HI there,
    I only have handled the 645z for half an hour at Photokina, thats it. I have owned and used a Pentax K5,K5iis and K3 and I believe the AF of the 645z is similar to those cameras. I spent a lot of time with trying to adjust AF-fine-adjustment without being totally succesfull. I also checked out 3 16-50mm and each one was different. Thats why I dont trust in quality control of Pentax lenses. (And yes, I also have owned Leica-M lenses which I needed to send in for adjustment, so I dont say Leica is perfect)
    My own impression is more important to me than that of some internet reviewers, so I know what I prefer.
    I don't say the S is a better product for everybody but I do know it suits me better. I just try to post pros and cons and my own experience and opinion.
    If you feel the Pentax 645 is more comfortable to hold and if you are happy with the lenses,...perfect.

    I don't believe the number of pixel is the criteria of being medium format, IMO it is the sensor size. I don't even need 36MP, I would happily use the S if it would have just 24MP.

    Nothing against the 645z. You prefer the Pentax, I prefer the S. If it was just about bang for the buck we should probably both use a Canon 6d or a Nikon 600. We can always discuss between very expensive and even more than very expensive.
    I repeat myself, I believe both are good systems, the Pentax is priced lower, the Leica has more consistent lens quality, and the user interface is quite different.
    Just about the 16-50 lens you used on the 645Z. It is probably one of the worst FL to use in that it is not a current built lens. The 55/2.8, 28-45, 90 macro and the now to be rereleased 25. I love my 25, but they have stopped making it for the time being I am told.

    As for bang for the buck, I vote for the Leica C. Amazing little beast.

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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    If budget is not the issue, I think the biggest difference between the Pentax and Leica MF cameras is the format. Do you prefer 4:3 or 3:2? Personally, I prefer a 4:3 camera. I know others that get along with 3:2 better. But I have found the format a not so insignificant factor.
    I agree. It's part of why I shoot MF as 4:3 or 6:7 or even 6:6 seem natural to my eye. 3:2 only works in landscape orientation for me.
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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    Quote Originally Posted by algrove View Post
    Just about the 16-50 lens you used on the 645Z. It is probably one of the worst FL to use in that it is not a current built lens. The 55/2.8, 28-45, 90 macro and the now to be rereleased 25. I love my 25, but they have stopped making it for the time being I am told.

    As for bang for the buck, I vote for the Leica C. Amazing little beast.
    No, I used that lens on the K5IIs. I wanted to find a good sample but never did.
    The 20-40 was fine, the 50-135 needed a new AF motor to finally work, the 31/1.8 was great besides some CA wide open, overall my 35mm experience with Pentax did not really increase my trust in Pentax lenses, some very nice lenses but more sample variations than I had expected, at least for he 35mm lenses.

    The 645 lenses might be different. I read the 90mm should be a very good lens as well.

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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    FWIW, ignore the prices of Leica S2 lenses that some are quoting here, i.e. Leica 70/2.5 is priced at $5000 whereas the 120/2.5 macro is $7250....

    You can get EXCELLENT used copies of Leica 70/2.5 for around $3,000 and 120/2.5 for around $4,000. S 30-90 zoom is a bit harder to come by used, but can be had for about $8,200 or less. How do I know all this? Well, I have personally bought the S lens trio of 35/70/180 for $8,800 and 120/2.5 for $4k. I am talking of non-CS versions.

    I bought a used S2 body, with 1 year Leica warranty for $9k - that was more than one year ago. Now S2 bodies can be had for under $7k. Just wanted to give data points so the OP can make the appropriate choice.
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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    Of course, all lenses from just about any company can be had in the 50-60% range of new, Penatx also. I bought my 90 macro from Japan for $3k whereas its priced at $4500. My lens looks new to me and never used.
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    Re: Ideal MFD travel kit

    Thanks for the responses so far.
    From the looks of it, it is very likely that I will go for a Leica S system.
    Have to offload a lot of M gear for that
    On that note, I would like to hear from anyone with experience what they think about the 30-90 zoom on the S (006). As I understand it, the CCD sensor will limit the usefulness in cloudy / shady situations. There is not a lot of information out there about it, on the S section of Leica forum, it has both been maligned and praised. Its also quite pricey TBH. The option is to go for the 70 and the new luscious 100 (with only a 2K difference). Any thoughts?

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