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06-15-2010, 08:29 PM   #1
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How much weight do we carry?

Recently I have been hiking with a 645 system and tripod.
I have back problem and I am not very good at carrying weight for long period of time which is driving me to reconsider taking MF when hiking.
Out of curiosity I weighted the different combination of equipment that I take with me from time to time.
I included only basic equipment, not the bag itself or filters...
I have attached the list in a PDF file is you are curious.

Any of my MF set (645 or Hasselblad) weight in around 6+Kg with tripod.
The LX with a very nice set of lenses is at 5Kg.
Handheld without tripod, LX or MZ-S come at less than 2Kg.

This is no surprise that the tripod "tip the scale" one way or the other.

Cheers,

Luc


Last edited by lbenac; 07-14-2012 at 07:05 AM.
06-15-2010, 10:43 PM   #2
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Camera bag of accessories plus Hassy 500CM, 60/80/150mm, light meter and compact tripod add up to 18.5 lbf (= 8.4 kgf). And I carry that around all the time. I'd expect my 6x7 with WLF and equivalent three lenses to be a little more.
06-15-2010, 11:25 PM   #3
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I have often wondered about the weight trade-off with the different formats. I don't own a scale, but I estimate that the Chamonix 4x5 view camera with two lenses and two 120 roll film holders and the requisite tripod is about 14+ lbs (6.4 kg). I could probably shave about a pound off if I had less involved tripod legs. The articulated center column on the Giottos 8360 is nice, but heavy.

On the other end of the spectrum is my Ricoh XR7 with a three lens kit (28mm, 50mm, and 70-150 zoom) and light-weight tripod. I figure about 4-5 lbs (2.3 kg) max. The whole Ricoh kit takes up about the same amount of space as just the Chamonix body.

While the weight and even the bulk of the Chamonix is about the same as your MF kits, there is a huge difference in usability. You guys can actually move around with the camera. I have a friend locally who shoots with a Hassy and wants to go shooting with me and the view camera. That should be an interesting experience to compare what it takes to get the shot with both cameras as well as the results that come out.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 06-15-2010 at 11:34 PM.
06-16-2010, 06:22 AM   #4
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When I go out shooting seriously I take the following:

- 2 x 645N bodies (different films)
- 35mm f/3.5 FA
- 75mm f/2.8 FA
- 120mm f/4 FA
- 200mm f/4 FA
- 1.4x TC
- Manfrotto 055PROB legs w/ compact ballhead

The whole thing adds up to just under 20 lbs (~9 kg)

When I hike I don't carry that much:
1 x 645N body
35mm f/3.5 FA
75mm f/2.8 FA
120mm f/4 FA
1.4x TC

Adds up to about 10 pounds (4 kg).

I have started to think lately about the fact that I don't take many print-worthy shots on my day hikes, though, so I may start to pack my 35mm gear... but I'm not quite ready to part with my gear yet!

06-16-2010, 06:27 AM   #5
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Also, I'll add that my whole view on carrying camera gear while hiking changed when I bought my Lowepro SlingShot, along with the accessory attachments -- my favorite is the water bottle pouch. It's extremely comfortable and gear is pretty easy to access. Great for travel, too.
06-16-2010, 06:40 AM   #6
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Although I'm likely to change my mind, so far I haven't considered the 645 a hiking camera. If I want MF (and that's usually the case) I throw in a TLR or one of the folders to go with whaterver 35mm film kit I'm taking.
06-16-2010, 07:05 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by andycogbill Quote
Also, I'll add that my whole view on carrying camera gear while hiking changed when I bought my Lowepro SlingShot, along with the accessory attachments -- my favorite is the water bottle pouch. It's extremely comfortable and gear is pretty easy to access. Great for travel, too.
I use a Roots Pro camera backpack. It is fairly compact and seems to fit everything conveniently. It has straps at the bottom to attach my tripod horizontally.
If anything it might be a little bit too small as far as comfort on the back but this is debatable.
I have three of them so ....
For the lighter kits I also have a Domke backpack which was something of a semi disappointment.
I have found that carrying the gear on flat is just fine but last week-end we went up a an 18% average grade with scrambling over dead trees and rocks and I started to get tired after a while.
We usually go for day hikes of 4 to 6 hours no more.

Cheers,

Luc
06-16-2010, 07:07 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
Although I'm likely to change my mind, so far I haven't considered the 645 a hiking camera. If I want MF (and that's usually the case) I throw in a TLR or one of the folders to go with whaterver 35mm film kit I'm taking.
Why the TLR for hiking? Are they typically lighter / more compact?

And which folders do you use?

06-16-2010, 07:19 AM   #9
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How many use a ball head on their tripod with MF?

I put back on a regular altitude/azimuth head. I found it more convenient at the expense of some weight. With a grid focus matte, I find it easier to setup for leveling because I often need to aim the camera up or down from the shot's composition to use say the horizon with a line on the matte and then just swing the head back to composition. With the ball head I had I could not do that. Each change required a re-level either visually or by bubble.

Similarly using the split screen focus on the matte. Once level and composed, I often need to point the camera somewhere else to get a good line in the split focus and then swing it back to composition and it's still level.
06-16-2010, 07:36 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by andycogbill Quote
Why the TLR for hiking? Are they typically lighter / more compact?
Yes, both. In my case, that 18.5 lbf I quoted for my other gear would drop to 1.8lbf (= 0.83kgf) for my Rolleicord IV (no tripod) and a fraction of the bulk. And I wouldn't take a tripod with that camera. You only get one lens with it though. The more coveted Rolleiflex could weigh up to 2.8lbf (= 1.3kgf). But there are lots of different TLRs with different sizes and weights.
06-16-2010, 07:42 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
How many use a ball head on their tripod with MF?

I put back on a regular altitude/azimuth head. I found it more convenient at the expense of some weight. With a grid focus matte, I find it easier to setup for leveling because I often need to aim the camera up or down from the shot's composition to use say the horizon with a line on the matte and then just swing the head back to composition. With the ball head I had I could not do that. Each change required a re-level either visually or by bubble.

Similarly using the split screen focus on the matte. Once level and composed, I often need to point the camera somewhere else to get a good line in the split focus and then swing it back to composition and it's still level.
Definitely a matter of personal preference, I'd say. I had a pan/tilt head on my first tripod and hated it so much that I never used my tripod. I found the need to think in terms of left/right OR up/down very handicapping.

My general approach is to focus first, then compose, then level, then tighten everything and shoot. For this, the ballhead works wonderfully as I loosen it and the middle column and can move my camera *almost* as though I were freehanding with it. Then when I find my focus and composition, I just level and tighten.

The fact that both exist suggests to me that some will disagree!
06-16-2010, 07:53 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by andycogbill Quote
Why the TLR for hiking? Are they typically lighter / more compact?

And which folders do you use?
TLR's are much lighter than the 645, and more compact. I have a Yashica Mat 124G and a Ricoh Diacord. Tuco gives some good info above.

Folders, the same thing: you have the one lens. But as they fold these really fit into the corner of a bag, to use when needed. 6x9 folders such as the Voigtlander Bessa series from the 50s make amazing landscape cameras. I also have a few older 6x6 or 6x4.5's that can work well - but there's no substitute for 6x9 and a nice more-modern lens.

Both TLRs and folders are light enough and balanced enough that a very light tripod does the trick - usually a 35mm camera with big lens will be less balanced and heavier, so a tripod that works there will be more than enough for these cameras.
06-16-2010, 07:59 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by andycogbill Quote

The fact that both exist suggests to me that some will disagree!
I'm definitely not trying to disagree. Both are good. But in my case using a grid line on the matte for leveling, which I find more accurate than a bubble, you can see the ball head does not work well.
06-16-2010, 09:49 AM   #14
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you should try hauling an 8X10 view camera around...you don't know what pain is until you do....but the results are totally worth it.
06-16-2010, 11:56 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
you should try hauling an 8X10 view camera around...you don't know what pain is until you do....but the results are totally worth it.
I feel your pain! I backpacked my 4x5 up a 3000-foot (914m) elevation gain once plus other hiking gear. The tripod has to be one of my larger ones and that really adds weight.

Edit:

Nothing too spectacular about this shot except I felt I had to take/post it for all the effort to get the camera up there. I would have been better off staying at a lower elevation and shooting there with better morning light. By time I reached my destination, it was the typical high afternoon Sun and I wasn't going to hang around until sunset.


Symmar-S 180mm/f5.6, 320TXP, PMK, Yellow Filter

Last edited by tuco; 06-16-2010 at 12:50 PM. Reason: Add A Picture
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