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12-27-2009, 05:46 AM   #1
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Rugged camera for travel

Hi all,

Am going to be travelling in the next few months and looking at my itinerary, I have neither the space, strength or inclination to carry my K20 across several different countries.

So, I'd like some recommendations on a rugged analogue camera to take with me. I'm looking for something compact(ish), sturdy, preferably mechanical and something that wouldn't break the bank!

So yes, if money wasn't a concern, I'd pick up an M4 and be done with it. However, I'd love some ideas...

Can be Pentax or anything else!

12-27-2009, 05:56 AM   #2
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I was wondering for a while as to why it had to be analogue, then i realised you're travelling for the next few months - haha.. that makes sense :P

but other than that silly revelation on my part, i don't really have any suggestions, sorry :P
12-27-2009, 06:13 AM   #3
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A MX would not go for too much. Pair it with a M28/2.8, a M50/1.7 and a M135/3.5 and you have a sturdy compact kit.

LX is another even ory sturdy alternative, but it costs a bit more.
KM or KX are cheaper, but not so compact.
12-27-2009, 08:25 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Nikonos III

Well, those are rugged and compact, but none too light, as I remember? Pretty temptingly-priced these days, though, and fun.

I suppose there'd be nothing wrong with a Pentax or Ricoh film body: even the biggest are smaller than a digital. There's plenty of film cameras out there that'll also fill the bill, but I think you may as well take advantage of the cross-compatibility for later.

If you can be spendy and like rangefinders, I'd be tempted by those new Cosina Voigtlanders, myself.

Hrm. Duplicate thread? I see it on the 'Off-brand' forum, too.

Last edited by Ratmagiclady; 12-27-2009 at 08:38 AM.
12-27-2009, 09:07 AM   #5
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No idea where you will be going but a good DC with raw capability should be much more portable than a large bunch of films. Not to mention the x-ray hassle at any airports.
12-27-2009, 01:16 PM   #6
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P30, ME Super, or a K1000. Carry a fast prime lens with you thats good for low light. Using a fast lens means you don't have to use film above 400 ISO which is not affected by X-rays in airports.

A good condition K1000 is probably the best camera for use in foreign countries, due to the fact the camera is not dependent upon batteries which may be hard to find in country for operation.

Film 800 ISO and above cannot be X-rayed, and will need to be hand inspected by the security guys. If you plan on carrying high speed film pack the film so its easy to pull out and hand over for inspection.
12-28-2009, 04:02 AM   #7
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My only experience with film cameras was with Nikons. We regularly used an FM-2n and 50 or 35-70 while doing fieldwork. Small, solid, and reliable.

12-28-2009, 04:45 AM   #8
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Another choice would be the venerable Olympus XA. Uses commonly found batteries for the light meter only (2x LR44/SR44); is very compact, pocket-able, in fact; unique clam shell design keeps the lens protected when not in use and has a very sharp 35mm, f/2.8, F.Zuiko lens (6 elements in 5 groups).

Check out Ebay and other sites for decent working units under $100.

12-28-2009, 05:31 AM   #9
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Super/Program/Plus or the MX/MESuper are nicely light in weight and small, though battery dependent. Slightly larger though still petite is the Nikon FE/FM series. Petite and not likely to be stolen would be a Fujica ST605 or similar - I just bought one for $3 to replace one I gave away.
12-28-2009, 06:42 AM   #10
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I used an Olympus OM-1n & three Zuiko lenses (wide angle, macro, telephoto) for 20 years when mountaineering, whitewater paddling, cycling, and hiking. Mechanical metal shutter, rugged, bomb-proof, works in all temperatures. Gave the kit to my film-loving brother when I went digital. Saw some used OM-1n's for sale for less than USD300 -- they're popular with astrophotographers, so if interested, search their forums.
12-28-2009, 07:24 AM   #11
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I would not take a K1000 because a self timer might be useful when you travel
A KM or KX is a better choice then. Here in Europe you get a KM for 30 Euro, a KM or a MX for 50-60 Euro.
12-28-2009, 08:06 AM   #12
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MX is ideal for compactness. but if you want sturdy camera. either KX or K2 is the answer. at least for me.
12-28-2009, 08:31 AM   #13
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P30 or P30t, if you don't mind the automatic DX encoding for ISO. About as small as the ME Super and very light, has exposure lock and DOF button. Works great with Pentax-A and Pentax-M lenses and can even use the DA 18-55mm kit lens for the Pentax dSLRs from about 24mm up. If it used manual ISO setting, it would be my favorite Pentax film camera.
12-28-2009, 01:44 PM   #14
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Try a Pentax KX and film 100ISO or lower. 100ISO/ASA is plenty fast for daylight outdoor use and is not as sensitive to being x-rayed. Try also getting a K55/1.8 or K501/.4 as your standard lens.

12-28-2009, 01:49 PM   #15
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I'd go with an ME Super and a 40mm f/2.8 pancake. You should be able to pick this combo up for $150 and it's rangefinder size, with SLR functonality.

However, for WAY less money, you can get a Canonet QL17 with an f/1.7 40mm fixed lens, which is pretty much multi purpose for long trips.

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