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Lightweight film setup
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fdel13


May 20, 2009, 6:27 AM
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Lightweight film setup
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Any favorite, or recommended light weight film setups? I like my KM maxxum 5 with a 35mm prime lens, but have been wishing for something even lighter and more compact.

Maybe something with a plastic body even, if some kind of decent lens. I do need to be able to actually climb with it, not just have it in a pack.

Single focal length or a prime is fine. I think 35mm ish seems about right? Not sure what you guys have settled on for common focal lengths for climbing or landscape shots when out.


For digital I like using the Panasonic LX3. I actually think the Ricoh gx200 is a bit nicer but I've found the Ricoh's to still have dust issues.

thanks for any suggestions


chanceboarder


May 20, 2009, 3:59 PM
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Re: [fdel13] Lightweight film setup [In reply to]
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I used to have an old Nikon N80 which I sold years ago when I replaced it with an F100. It's a plastic body and light weight. It does what you need it to do for a film camera. Stick on your favorite prime and its fairly compact. I shoot mostly landscapes these days so the wider the better for me most of the time unless I'm trying to focus in on something specific.

You could probably get a set up for a couple hundred. The same could be said for most any system on the market as far as light weight film setups go. Plenty of used ones out there from most every manufacturer to pick from.

Jason


pico23


May 27, 2009, 3:01 PM
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Re: [chanceboarder] Lightweight film setup [In reply to]
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If AF isn't necessary, and really it's not with a prime semi wide (24-35mm). I'd recommend either a 24, 28, 35mm prime. Set the aperture to something reasonable and use hyper focal or zone focusing.

The Nikon F100 is robust camera, IMO (besides the F6) the best AF camera ever made from anyone. Strong statement for sure, but size to feature to robustness ratio are amazing. Of course Nikon somehow forgot to put mirror lockup on it. It was basically otherwise an easier to use downsized F5.

For me any Olympus or Pentax 35mm manual focus camera should do you right!

The OM series from olympus is robust and feature filled, plus it was actually the start of compacting 35mm cameras.

From Pentax, the ME Super has about the best viewfinder you will ever find in a $20 used camera (it's $20 because it was one of the best selling cameras of all time, and millions of them are in circulation), and simply blows away most 35mm finders. The MX is a bit more robust, and FULLY mechanical. When I say fully I mean the entire camera minus the meter works without batteries. As far as being compact, it makes compact 35mm look huge. The downside is there is no Av mode, it's fully manual! The ME Super allows for aperture priority and also fully manual modes.

Here is the MX with a 40mm 2.8 pancake next to a K1000 with 50mm 1.4. The K1000 is a lot smaller than most modern DSLRs (think Nikon D80 for comparison) so that should give you an idea of how small the MX is.




The main issue I have with the MX is again lack of mirror lockup, however, there is a trick to creating psuedo MLU with the MX.

Finally, for AF the smallest full featured 35mm film camera ever made was the (retarded name) ist* 35mm. The thing was so small that aside from backpacking, I used the battery grip 100% of the time, just to make it about the size of a K1000. Of course the grip filled with 4AA lithiums ran forever, in any weather. They are pricey, and I'd go with a F100, MX, ME Super, OM series long before that, unless you absolutely want 11 point AF, multi segment metering, 3fps motor drive, multi exposure, mirror lockup, wireless flash, IR remote, and all the other bells and whistles in a camera that weights half of the F100, and is about MX size!

Just a note if you did go Pentax, send me a PM, I have a guy that does amazing work on (Pentax) cameras. You are better off buying an AS is ME Super or MX for $10-70 and having him repair it (usually $60-100 depending on repair) than trying to buy a mint used camera, and not knowing if it will need a repair in a few months. Personally I'm still trying to track down a beat up LX for him to repair. For $300 I'll be out the door with perhaps the F100/F6 of manual focus cameras for decades of use!


noodles


Jun 1, 2009, 12:57 PM
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Re: [fdel13] Lightweight film setup [In reply to]
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Ricoh GR1s/GR1v if you can find one. It is a point and shoot but their optics have been said to be comparable to Leica and they are just slightly bigger than a pack of cigarettes. Along with a metal body, they are the perfect climbing camera in my opinion. They take professional quality pictures without the heft of an SLR

check out Andy Kirkpatrick's flickr page to check out some sick pictures taken with a Ricoh GR1s


pico23


Jun 16, 2009, 12:52 AM
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Re: [noodles] Lightweight film setup [In reply to]
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Never used a GR1 but those were well spec'd cameras. Only thing missing was full manual mode, although they did have spot metering (which I consider absolutely essential). If I was still investing in 35mm film equipment I'd love to shoot one of those. I think they are still coveted on the used market, so not many bargains out there.

As an addition to the Ricoh, the Contax G2 might be the most full featured camera that can fit in a pocket (and it will literally fit in a pocket). I think Conrad Anker used this camera on Everest, but I'll confess, I just remember he used a Contax rangefinder, and it might not have been this Contax rangefinder.

Not cheap, even used, but the fact that it's an interchangeable lens rangefinder with modern features makes it something to consider.

Camera has just about every bell and whistle possible, including spot metering and autofocus. It also has a shutter capable of 1/6000th second. Lenses are first rate too. This thing is a better featured poor mans Leica M7.

It's the type of camera that almost makes me want to reinvest in 35mm film, but the money tree isn't always in bloom, and 645/67 is sucking up my budget right now! Plus, I'd rather have a Fuji Medium format rangefinder, still smaller than a DSLR but the image quality is much higher than 35mm film.

Here is a size comparison of the G2 vs. a similarly compact digital G5 from Canon.



I have to admit, I'm a bit of retro camera guy, which is part of the reason I still like film, cameras like these, unlike say modern DSLRs tend to get me way more excited. It's weird but I feel more a connection when creating images with low tech cameras. I'm still hoping someone would produce a basic digital SLR with minimal features, I've even argued I could live without the LCD display, I suppose the Leica M8 is as close as they will come to producing such a camera.


noodles


Jun 16, 2009, 10:40 AM
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Re: [pico23] Lightweight film setup [In reply to]
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Are there any med. format rangefinders that you can realistically take on a climb? I have a Mamiya 645 and I don't think I'll ever leave the ground with that thing.


pico23


Jun 16, 2009, 11:31 AM
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Re: [noodles] Lightweight film setup [In reply to]
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would recommend it? Can't say, the biggest camera I carried on a climb is a Pentax K1000, next biggest a Program plus. So would I carry a medium format? Nope.

That said, my 645N is probably smaller and lighter than a Canon 1Ds and a Nikon D3X. I can say the D1H isn't mch lighter and actually covers more surface area than the Pentax 645N (I haven't measured but I did measure the K10D and it is about 5% bigger than the 645N and the D1H is probably 20% bigger than the K10D). I know people not only recommend carrying 1D/D3 size cameras, but advocate them. So if you're asking is it possible? Why not?

The Fuji rangefinders are quite small for the negative size. Here is a sample with some keys, keeping in mind this is a 6x9 negative or about 8 times the square mm of a 35mm negative. Basically, thats a crap load of information when given a high res scan, and no digital camera can touch the resolution of that size negative (yet).



Anyway, I'm not recommending them in terms of this thread, I was just saying that 645 and 67 basically is my money pit at this time, and I don't see the logic (for myself) in buying into more 35mm hardware, when the 645/67 negative is vastly superior. The only reason I keep lookng at 35mm hardware is because I am convinced if I get a different camera I will finish off my 17 rolls of 35mm Provia that has been frozen for 3 years!


atlnq9


Jun 19, 2009, 10:27 AM
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Re: [noodles] Lightweight film setup [In reply to]
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I take my fuji 6x9 and Mamiya 6x7 rangefinders on climbs all the time and I am just in love with the rangefinder system, format, compactness (about the same as a good dslr), etc. You should at least consider them. You don't need a long focal length lens either, just crop it and still be as good as 35mm...


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