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

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    Senior Member ndwgolf's Avatar
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    Ther versatility or PITA of a Medium Format Camera as a travel camera

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Neil
    My all NEW Website can be seen HERE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Mexecutioner View Post
    J........ I didn't spend all that money to leave it in the closet gathering dust.
    Ha Ha Ha! I love what you said.
    It must be the statement of the year.
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    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Re: Ther versatility or PITA of a Medium Format Camera as a travel camera

    Hi,

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

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

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

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

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


    Shooting near my RV, P45+ in this case.


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

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

    Best regards
    Erik

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: Ther versatility or PITA of a Medium Format Camera as a travel camera

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

    Obviously I donít shoot Street, Portrait, Wildlife or Sports; none of my lenses are autofocus. Certainly the Fuji/Hassy systems are more versatile, and the FF systems a level beyond that. You can put together a compact and relatively light 54x40 system. It just depends on what system limitations are deal-killers based on what you like to shoot and how you like to work in the field.

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

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

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

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

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    Senior Member Joe Colson's Avatar
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    Re: Ther versatility or PITA of a Medium Format Camera as a travel camera

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ken

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

    I travel with Phase One XF and 3 lenses, using the backpack, really useful.
    It is a version NYA EVO 36 with special inserts from Phase One, but generic inserts are available for other cameras: https://www.nya-evo.com/collections/...amera-backpack
    - ErlingMM

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

    Quote Originally Posted by erlingmm View Post
    I travel with Phase One XF and 3 lenses, using the backpack, really useful.
    It is a version NYA EVO 36 with special inserts from Phase One, but generic inserts are available for other cameras: https://www.nya-evo.com/collections/...amera-backpack
    Don't you find the 36 too small for the XF? Which lenses are you taking with it?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    I really don't see Medium Format as being the PITA as much as it is just simply big heavy camera bodies with matching lenses, regardless of format.

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

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

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

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

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Mexecutioner View Post
    Don't you find the 36 too small for the XF? Which lenses are you taking with it?
    3 in the backpack: 35 and 150, 110 on the camera, and 55 in my pocket, if I need them all
    - ErlingMM

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

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

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



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

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

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

    Quote Originally Posted by erlingmm View Post
    3 in the backpack: 35 and 150, 110 on the camera, and 55 in my pocket, if I need them all
    Good to know. It seemed smaller in pictures. Thanks!

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

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

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    For travel the f-stop Tilopa with large ICU or the XL ICU fits the bill, but may get another smaller backpack that's why I was curious about the NYA-Evo 36.
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    Senior Member ndwgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Ther versatility or PITA of a Medium Format Camera as a travel camera

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

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

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

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

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne View Post
    I do all my serious photography with MF, and have for a long time. I grew up with Rollei TLRs! Although I have a Sony AR3 system for walk-about shooting, the image quality of MF simply demands I use it whenever possible.

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



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

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

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    Senior Member ndwgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Ther versatility or PITA of a Medium Format Camera as a travel camera

    I just looked online and I can get one of these here in Thailand https://fotofile.co.th/think-tank-ph...l#tab-product1Looks like this might work............anyone got one?
    Neil
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    Re: Ther versatility or PITA of a Medium Format Camera as a travel camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Mexecutioner View Post
    I have a shoulder bag for "city use" it fits the XF with 40-80 and 75-150 actually quite nicely. It is very sturdy and extremely well padded. Has a metal frame or added protection.
    That's a nice looking case. What is it?

    On the hiking bag front, my F-stop Loka doesn't fit me as well as I'd like. I'm looking at the Atlas Athlete. See, https://atlaspacks.com/

    This is turning into a dangerous thread among everyone here with First World Problems....

    ken

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

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

    Register a extra sporting goods bag. Most flight's I've been on will file camera gear under hiking equipment when I've called it. I've never had a counter attendant care since it was arranged before so they just slap another tag on it and chuck it in with the rest.
    I'm sure I am missing something, but honestly I am unclear on what this means: "Register a extra sporting goods bag" and "file camera gear under hiking equipment when I've called it". Just so we're clear, are you suggesting just checking your backpack? And using the "sporting goods bag" as a way to avoid baggage fee? Okay, yeah that's fine, but it's not been my experience; I would never check camera equipment, even the ancillary stuff, without a hard shell [e.g., Pelican] around it. And at that point, who really cares what it's called, unless one is trying to keep larcenous baggage handlers at bay [and I don't think this ruse works there]? FWIW, I would rather call it what it is and get 'FRAGILE" and "TOP STOW" stickers and tags attached to it. Insure your gear. Take photos of your gear. Inspect the bags while still in baggage claim.

    But maybe I am misunderstanding.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    That's a nice looking case. What is it?

    On the hiking bag front, my F-stop Loka doesn't fit me as well as I'd like. I'm looking at the Atlas Athlete. See, https://atlaspacks.com/

    This is turning into a dangerous thread among everyone here with First World Problems....

    ken
    The Atlas packs look nice, but they won't fit a 1Dx, GFX100, or other 6" high camera unless it lies flat. And they're heavy. Of course, they may be much better for the long haul than the UL Loka I'm fond of. I'm a weight weenie, so appreciate the f-stop UL series. I have a Tilopa that's bigger and heavier, and I picked up a Satori for $100 at some liquidation sale, but prefer the lighter packs - UL Guru and UL Loka.

    What DOES annoy me is the unavailability of >3" wide dividers. The velcro divider systems just about anywhere are designed for thinner lenses. First world, indeed.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    [snip]

    This is turning into a dangerous thread among everyone here with First World Problems....

    ken
    And whilst it'd doing that

    I've found the Ortlieb Atrack 25 litre a real benefit here. It carries really well and it's waterproof. We got swiped by the tail of yet another typhoon and it absolutely pissed down. My "waterproof" coat failed, the brolly was next to useless, my shoes filled up and the backpack was exposed to it all. It was completely and utterly waterproof where nothing else would have been. In that sort of situation every other backpack I know of will leak. The water just comes from every direction. That was real peace of mind.

    I do think the 35 litre would also pass muster as carry on....one of those might be in my future

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

    This is what I am using right now and all my Hasselblad gear fits in it but its heavy for a shoulder bag. The bag is sturdy and looks great but its not practical......not for me anyway.



    I think once I get my head around leaving the HC300mm lens at home I will be fine with a streetwalker or that other bag I posted above
    Neil
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    Re: Ther versatility or PITA of a Medium Format Camera as a travel camera

    Matt---my Loka is the original f/stop Loka (not the newer ultra light model though we did give one away at a Pigs) and when I add in the ICU the difference in weight to the Atlas becomes negligible. It's the internal hiking frame and hip belt (retro option) that attracts me. I thought about outfitting a hiking bag like the Osprey but the Atlas seems have done a good job of melding a hiking pack with photo pack. Most photo packs don't seem to concentrate as much on the hiking/support part.

    Ken

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

    Yes, bill what camera bag is that which is 8 inch deep, very anxious.
    R----

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

    Quote Originally Posted by ndwgolf View Post
    I just looked online and I can get one of these here in Thailand https://fotofile.co.th/think-tank-ph...l#tab-product1Looks like this might work............anyone got one?
    Neil
    I used one of those for one trip for a 5D4, one zoom and one prime, batteries and a couple other small items. I doubt all your Hassy gear will fit in it, itís rather small.

    I gave it away as the sling system was not to my liking, but a lot of people love them.

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

    For me it depends. But also I like to optimize my gear, rather than maximize it.

    When I travel with medium-format gear, it will mostly be with a backpack. That is the most comfortable way to carry the weight. The bag I use is an Osprey Farpoint 40, which works well as carry on, but over the weight limit. My lenses are on a pouch and belt system which allows me to take them out while I am working. The belt is nice because it distributes the weight around my hips.

    I also have a Fuji X system. That fits in a Mountainsmith Tour lumbar pack, that works as a shoulder bag as well. I have actually been using that more. The weight of the medium-format is getting me down, so to speak. The freedom of the lighter and smaller system as been really nice. It is certainly more spontaneous and, if you can keep your discipline, just as rewarding. It also lets you shoot in far more situations, not that I have not used big camera in all kinds of situations, but today places and others believe that large cameras equal commercial photography and will ask you to stop.

    The last time I went to Tokyo, I took my MFD system and shot for 30 days straight. For that particular project, urban landscape, it was the right choice. But I was exhausted at the end of it. Part of it was the weight, part of it was how slow it was working with the style, which required a lot of tripod work--I have used MFD handheld, but smaller cameras are better for that work. However, I am traveling more for work and the Fuji is far more practical. I am sure I could figure out how to take a MFD system, but there is more to photography than just hauling equipment.

    These are the questions I asked myself--what is the characteristics of my images that I enjoy the most? What contributes to the quality I enjoy? This is where technical criteria only work to a certain point. The small stuff we photographers seem to stress over, noise, resolution, dynamic range, etc., where not the deciding factor. When I looked at some of the medium-format work I had done in the past, smaller digital cameras compete on many different levels. They are not the "same," but rather reflect the characteristics of the quality that matter when standing alone, especially when printed (100% monitors views are just not a condition with which to judge photographic quality). This is when I started thinking about how to optimize my equipment, rather than just maximize it.

    And part of that is not feeling like a donkey...
    Will

    http://www.hakusancreation.com
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    Re: Ther versatility or PITA of a Medium Format Camera as a travel camera

    I've been thinking of adding one of the new Shimoda's X-Series (X50 to be exact) to list of kit. Considering it uses ICU's like the F-Stops but has adjustable Torso-Height and removable belt. I like to change things up when hiking or on trips with the kit sometimes being film+digital based (RZ67 + IQ or 4x5), other times its the DF+ or RM3Di (yes I'm very tempted but I'm holding firm on not doing an upgrade) paired with a rented small format, along with the occasional 8x10 trekking.

    To accommodate all these variations I have lots of backpacks (ex. Crumplers, Pac-Safe, RetroSpective, F-Stop) but really want to find one that can size back and forth in that intermediate range (filters, light meter, film + MF digital, snacks, phone, jacket, tripod, head, etc. - no 8x10). So, going to give the Shimoda a shot for a trip to the UK next year - pair it up with the X1D II (21 / 45 / 90) and Mamiya 6 (50 / 75 / 150), still can't decide if I want to drop a lensor two to take the TechCam + MFDB + 1 lens on that trip but, we'll see. In either case thinking it might work for what I need.

    Back to Neil's original question for me the location is what dictates what I bring. This may include how often I plan to visit a location and how much hiking I'll be doing but, if I can fit it in the MFDB does come for the ride.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by ndwgolf View Post
    Bill whats the name of that backpack mate? It looks like Hassy plus 3 lenses will fit no problem?
    neil
    Neil and R---,

    The case is made by Manfrotto. In its empty state it's about six ins. deep, but is flexible enough to bulge to about 8 ins. I have to lie the XF on its side, as in the pic, because it would be too wide to sit next to the 150 lens. It's very well made and has been around the world with me. My particular model may be discontinued, but I found what I believe is its successor at B&H. It's called "Manfrotto Advanced Gear Backpack M (Medium)". It's very good value for money. Comes with a rain cover as well.

    Of course, like tripods, I have several other bags - but this the one I use most.

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

    I buy smaller size backpacks on purpose. One reason, I am petite (5'2"), but the biggest reason is to force myself to take only the absolute necessary gear.
    I travel via camper van a lot these days for projects. I use multiple camera systems, but I do not have a lot of storage area to stow everything out of sight.
    Once a location has been determined, I usually have to walk a lot and shoot quickly bc being a petite female with expensive camera gear can cause anxiety.

    Sometimes my significant other travels by my side, but a lot of the time I choose to go solo. I never like shooting in front of people.
    To be honest, I can be quite the private soul that requires space to create, so my gear must not get in the way.

    I think having minimal gear is good for the creative soul.

    Kind regards,
    Darr
    Website: photoscapes.com
    Photo Blog: darrlene.com
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    Re: Ther versatility or PITA of a Medium Format Camera as a travel camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne View Post
    I use the Sony with the 24-105 G lens as back-up and prevail on my wife to carry it in her carry-on!
    I hate to admit how often this happens with "just one little thing."
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    Re: Ther versatility or PITA of a Medium Format Camera as a travel camera

    Being a believer of having the correct tool for each job, I cannot count the number of times that I have viewed what I perceived to be a great image while not having the perfect camera/lens combination for that scene.
    I suspect that I am not alone having that experience! My thoughts at those moments are about how I can ďmake doĒ with what I have or can I come back at a future time and hope for the same light or the same interaction of circumstances that I had in front of me at that moment.
    You canít carry everything; so some of time you just have to be lucky
    Stanley
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    Re: Ther versatility or PITA of a Medium Format Camera as a travel camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Mexecutioner View Post

    Click image for larger version. 

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    What is this bag Mexecutioner?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by jodad View Post
    What is this bag Mexecutioner?
    It is a Think Tank Photo Video Workhorse 19
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    Re: Ther versatility or PITA of a Medium Format Camera as a travel camera

    Quote Originally Posted by stngoldberg View Post
    Being a believer of having the correct tool for each job, I cannot count the number of times that I have viewed what I perceived to be a great image while not having the perfect camera/lens combination for that scene.
    I suspect that I am not alone having that experience! My thoughts at those moments are about how I can “make do” with what I have or can I come back at a future time and hope for the same light or the same interaction of circumstances that I had in front of me at that moment.
    You can’t carry everything; so some of time you just have to be lucky
    Stanley
    One of the advantages of a 150 mpx back is that you can often shoot with a wider lens than would be ideal (like the 80mm when you'd wish you'd bought the150mm) and crop extensively - and still end up with a pretty big file.

    I have found this using the 240 mm for wildlife where I'd prefer a 480 mm lens - I can crop to the equivalent of roughly 500 mm and still have a 37.5 mpx file. This is adequate for wildlife where one would rarely want to make a giant print. See my polar bear picture in the Fun thread - it's a fraction of the original frame and makes a very nice 16 by 20 print.

    Of course none of this helps if you wish you'd brought a wider lens!
    Bill CB

    www.billcaulfeild-browne.ca
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    Re: Ther versatility or PITA of a Medium Format Camera as a travel camera

    When I started to use my S-system I used it for all kinds including family, travel etc.
    What I usually do is bring maybe 4 lenses on the trip but only 2 max. 3 on a hike, so some lenses stay in the room. I think one of the big good things about the S is that it is not that much bigger than a DSLR. The x1d is even better (in regards of size). I dont know if I wanted to schlepp around a big Hassy or phase.

    With the L-mount cameras I sometimes prefer the flexibility of the zooms - for example the 16-35 or the 24-90 or the Telezoom, and also the SL primes are exceptional. I feel the IQ gap is not as big as it was 6 years ago.

    Lately I have used the S more often again. I do not only like the IQ but also the solid feel , simple user interface and optical viewfinder.
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    Re: Ther versatility or PITA of a Medium Format Camera as a travel camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne View Post
    Of course none of this helps if you wish you'd brought a wider lens!
    I simply make stitched panos...
    Will

    http://www.hakusancreation.com
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    Re: Ther versatility or PITA of a Medium Format Camera as a travel camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    When I started to use my S-system I used it for all kinds including family, travel etc.
    What I usually do is bring maybe 4 lenses on the trip but only 2 max. 3 on a hike, so some lenses stay in the room. I think one of the big good things about the S is that it is not that much bigger than a DSLR. The x1d is even better (in regards of size). I dont know if I wanted to schlepp around a big Hassy or phase.

    With the L-mount cameras I sometimes prefer the flexibility of the zooms - for example the 16-35 or the 24-90 or the Telezoom, and also the SL primes are exceptional. I feel the IQ gap is not as big as it was 6 years ago.

    Lately I have used the S more often again. I do not only like the IQ but also the solid feel , simple user interface and optical viewfinder.
    I also have the S007 with 4 lenses but I am trying to sell that gear as the IQ of the H6D100c is just so much better. I will take my H6D100c 50, 100 and 150mm and leave the 300mm at home
    Neil
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    Re: Ther versatility or PITA of a Medium Format Camera as a travel camera

    Quote Originally Posted by ndwgolf View Post
    I also have the S007 with 4 lenses but I am trying to sell that gear as the IQ of the H6D100c is just so much better. I will take my H6D100c 50, 100 and 150mm and leave the 300mm at home
    Neil
    What I also believe: For non pros it is really also important that we feel "good" with the gear we bring, that we enjoy using it, that we feel we can do what we like to do.
    If-for example-you feel the H6d IQ is the one which satisfies you (and the S not), and if you feel its fine for you to schlepp it round, thats all that counts for you.

    Of course my CL is lighter than my SL+16-35, but if I feel I have more fun with the SL than I bring the SL and accept the weight. The same for other cameras. As long as we are not doing really extreme hikes one can carry a lot if one wants to.
    If I can carry my paraglider in a backpack with 15kg of gear up a mountain than I can certainly also carry my MF gear on a trip.
    I think a good backpack and a wise selection/reduction of lenses helps to avoid the Sherpa-feeling.
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    Re: Ther versatility or PITA of a Medium Format Camera as a travel camera

    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    That's a nice looking case. What is it?

    On the hiking bag front, my F-stop Loka doesn't fit me as well as I'd like. I'm looking at the Atlas Athlete. See, https://atlaspacks.com/

    This is turning into a dangerous thread among everyone here with First World Problems....

    ken
    Iíve been using the Atlas pack for two years itís a great bag. I can fit my lenses in vertically in the adventure pack because itís over 9Ē deep. I also fit the H6D100-C on its side with a 100mm lens so the batter grip is facing up making it easy to QuickDraw the camera and lens out of the bag. A RRS pano rig fits perfectly on top in the drawstring area. If you want not to carry but to pack you can manage 5 lenses, camera, wine country 150mm filter system, big tripod, water, light meter, filters, lenses focusing hood, external monitor, etc very comfortably. For the last 5 years I use this solution, I pack three lenses with camera but I transfer two lenses to my waist belt, that reduces the weight when walking around and give access without going into the bag I have found no better way to work. These days when I go to shoot I plan better so I know what lenses I will use the most the rest stays in the car. If I travel the same applies I bring the kit but only take for the day what I know Iíll use.
    A bigger issue for me which has not happened yet is not taking a backup body in case the H6D craps out.

    And I wouldnít feel right without mentioning this....Has the H6D seen the end of its life-cycle?
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    Re: Ther versatility or PITA of a Medium Format Camera as a travel camera

    Many good comments here.

    My take-after my XF system with 5 lenses in an f-stop backpack got to 40-45 lbs I knew that was too much. That weight is without tripod+head.

    So I got an Alpa system for my IQ3100 at the time with 3 lenses and the weight dropped to about 10-15 lbs in backpack.

    I also got the Fuji 50R and all the GF lenses for AF needs. I do not carry more than the 23 (if landscape), 32-64, 100-200 plus 1.4x and occasionally the 250, but always the 50mm now which streetable.

    I use the roller TT bag Airport International V3.0, but it's not suitable for small planes.

    In order to force me to pack light I now use the Mindshift 26L. It holds the STC/IQ4150 and 5 lenses plus Q2 and 8-10 Phase batteries, etc. It can fit under Airbus and Boeing seats.

    I liked the 26L so much that I bought the 36L for local car journeys.

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    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: Ther versatility or PITA of a Medium Format Camera as a travel camera

    Great times to be a travelling photographer if you consider image quality and portability. In my small Manfrotto backpack I can pack: X1D body + XCD 21 + XCD 45 + XCD 90 + ProFoto A1 + remote trigger + charger for both cam and flash + spare battery camera + several SD cards + 2x ND filters + Macbook 13". When standing at the gate no questions needs to be answered, this complete backpack is approx 38 x 34 x 18 cm and weighs under 6 kg!
    Then for walking/trekking when taking out the Macbook and chargers I am at 4 kg. If I don't need the flash...well, then even less weight. Amazing considering the image quality.

    Alpa 12 Plus ē TC | Schneider 90N | Schneider 120N | Hasselblad X1D | XCD 21 | XCD 45 | XCD 90 | www.danlindberg.com
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    Subscriber and Workshop Member MGrayson's Avatar
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    Re: Ther versatility or PITA of a Medium Format Camera as a travel camera

    Quote Originally Posted by bab View Post
    Iíve been using the Atlas pack for two years itís a great bag. I can fit my lenses in vertically in the adventure pack because itís over 9Ē deep. I also fit the H6D100-C on its side with a 100mm lens so the batter grip is facing up making it easy to QuickDraw the camera and lens out of the bag. A RRS pano rig fits perfectly on top in the drawstring area. If you want not to carry but to pack you can manage 5 lenses, camera, wine country 150mm filter system, big tripod, water, light meter, filters, lenses focusing hood, external monitor, etc very comfortably. For the last 5 years I use this solution, I pack three lenses with camera but I transfer two lenses to my waist belt, that reduces the weight when walking around and give access without going into the bag I have found no better way to work. These days when I go to shoot I plan better so I know what lenses I will use the most the rest stays in the car. If I travel the same applies I bring the kit but only take for the day what I know Iíll use.
    A bigger issue for me which has not happened yet is not taking a backup body in case the H6D craps out.

    And I wouldnít feel right without mentioning this....Has the H6D seen the end of its life-cycle?
    Despite my collection of f-stop packs and ICUs, I gave the Atlas Athlete a try. The end result is like a Loka with large, shallow ICU, but the thing is a) put together beautifully and b) has interchangeable waist belts. The heavy duty belt is MUCH more comfortable than the one that ordinarily comes with the Athlete, so I have a really comfy rig for a GFX100, 23, 50, 100-200, and any guest lens that wants to come along. Aside from the waist belt, the design keeps the load very close to your back. The deeper ICUs (and the Atlas Adventure) allow more depth, especially the camera body taking up a lot less space, but that pushes the load back, and is harder on the back and shoulders.

    For the "silly photographer look" while walking (but it works well), I have the 100-200 (or 250) permanently on a BlackRapid, and the 23 on a ThinkTank lens pouch on the belt. That leaves the pack for less frequently used optics.

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

    I don't know whether to thank you or curse at you, Matt.

    But you've confirmed why the Atlas Athlete remains on my short list.



    Ken

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

    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    I don't know whether to thank you or curse at you, Matt.

    But you've confirmed why the Atlas Athlete remains on my short list.



    Ken
    Ken,

    You do lose the flexibility of shallow vs. deep ICU's. The depth on the Athlete is shallow enough that a Canon 1Dx, Nikon D5, or Fuji GFX100 won't fit in vertically, and so the body takes up a lot of real estate. That can be an advantage, especially if none of your gear is over 5" tall/thick. Of course, one could throw something in the top/outer compartment - I just haven't needed to yet.

    The Adventure is a much heavier pack, and is for people with stronger knees than mine - mostly because you'd feel silly taking a body and two lenses out in it, so it requires 5 lenses and a Gitzo Giant to look balanced. I believe it has "Graham Welland Edition" embroidered on it.

    I'm quite happy with the RRS TFC-14, and a kit that doesn't make me feel like I'm on the Great Pyramid construction crew.

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

    I believe the "Graham Welland Edition" comes in a two-pack with multi-system discount.


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

    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    I believe the "Graham Welland Edition" comes in a two-pack with multi-system discount.

    And 4-wheel drive
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