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Cruising outfit confusion
Old 12-26-2018   #1
iphoenix
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Cruising outfit confusion

I'm not sure if I'm a collector or an "accumulator", I'm certainly not a photographer of the standard of many of the members here. However, I do own a fair number of good quality film cameras. There is my problem - choosing which one to use.

For my last few cruises I've used an M6 plus 35 and 50 Summicrons and either a 90 Elmar or a 135 sm Canon. With another coming up (South Pacific), I'm considering a Leica R-E with 50 Summicron plus 2X convertor, as well as a Leica IIIF with 25 and 35 Canons.

I am now in my (early) 70s and can only carry 1 camera at a time, so I'm thinking the R-E aboard ship and the IIIF on shore.

Other choices may be: Nikon S2 plus 35, 50 and 135
Nikon F2 or F3 plus 24 or 28, 50 and 135 or 200
Nikon FE2 or FG20 with above lenses
Canon F1N plus 28 or 35, 50 and 135
Even an Olympus XA or Mju2 to replace the other
wide angle lenses.

Thank you for your recommendations and "HAPPY NEW YEAR"
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Old 12-26-2018   #2
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Ah, a familiar problem. For me, it's become too many 35mm cameras and associated lenses. My solution for 2019 is to ignore them all and shoot medium format instead. Far fewer lenses to select from. Less frames to shoot too (I always had trouble filling up 36exp).

But if I had to pick from your list I'd take the XA and the F3 with the 24 and the 200. The other focal lengths are a little "me too-ish" whereas I would go for the extremes.
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Old 12-26-2018   #3
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The prospect of using medium format unfortunately eludes me (processing eludes me), though I have cameras.
The possibility of the XA is one I've thought of, even as an addition to an SLR/RF main camera. Thank you.
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Old 12-27-2018   #4
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Leather chaps and vest would be my cruising outfit of choice.

It was too late when I decided to sell off some less used film gear but by then they no longer fetch much money so I use them when opportunities arise. I am very partial to M Leica and would stay with the M6 kit.
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Old 12-27-2018   #5
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What are you going to do for a light meter with the IIIf? Seems like the answer to that question might add some weight to the rig. In any case, I recently traveled to Tokyo and took an SLR (Pentax K-1) and a rangefinder (M9). I'm going to suggest an un-fun algorithm for solving your dilemma: it doesn't matter what gear you take. Take the equipment you are comfortable using. For me, that wouldn't be a IIIg, but that's just me. If you are committed to a 50mm lens, I really like the S2 -- you've got the whole one-eye-open; framelines-imposed-upon-the-world thing going on.

I do like the SLR/RF travel combo. Each is good at things the other isn't.
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Old 12-27-2018   #6
David Hughes
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Hi,

The little XA or XA2 is an "inoffensive" camera and you can get a lot of shots without people going into that I-don't-like-being-photographed state or worse the "I-love being... ". And you can carry it around in your shirt pocket and go in cafes with it and so on.

Regards, David
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Old 12-27-2018   #7
Larry Cloetta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iphoenix View Post

For my last few, I'm considering a Leica R-E with 50 Summicron plus 2X convertor, as well as a Leica IIIF with 25 and 35 Canons.

I am now in my (early) 70s and can only carry 1 camera at a time, so I'm thinking the R-E aboard ship and the IIIF on shore. R[/b]"
There is nothing on your list of options which makes more sense than this, to me, for a couple of reasons. One, the Leica-R and Summicron-R are a great combo, probably all the camera anyone would ever need, for any real life situation, plus, SLRs are better for framing than rangefinders if you want more perfect landscapes (seascapes?) taken from on board. The iiif is a great pocketable camera for knocking around onshore where getting the horizon level isnít so critical, and itís vastly superior to the XA without being significantly larger. And you already, I am guessing, know how to use it, so the fact that others donít shouldnít weigh on your decision.

Second, the choice above, that has already risen to the top of your list, got there, Iím imagining, after you have given your options a fair bit of consideration. You know yourself, you know your cameras, and you are more familiar than most with what life on a cruise is like. Good ideas can sometimes come from voices in the crowd, but no one here is as familiar with all the particulars as you are. Your initial stated preference makes a lot of sense, just go with that unless someone here suggests some superb combination you havenít already thought of, and provides a logical reason for that combination that is compelling to you.

Mostly, enjoy the cruise. Iím jealous.
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Old 12-27-2018   #8
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It looks like you like Nikon, SLRs. Take one and XA as backup.
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Old 12-27-2018   #9
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Leica R-E w/ 50... done
Just enjoy the trip...
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Old 12-27-2018   #10
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I would probably choose the F2, 24, 50, and 200 and Nikon rangefinder with either the 35 or 50 for shore trips. Both cameras are mechanical and they focus in the same direction and both systems are noted for durability.
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Old 12-27-2018   #11
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I'm going to suggest an un-fun algorithm for solving your dilemma: it doesn't matter what gear you take.
I find these kind of questions inane. It doesn't matter what brand of camera you take; you'll end up with the same images regardless.
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Old 12-27-2018   #12
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I'm going on a week long cruise in February. I'll bring two cameras: my MiNT SLR670a and its flash, with four packs of film, and my Light L16. Both together are a compact and lightweight kit to carry.

On other trips, I've carried just one camera and max three lenses, usually two.

More than that is a photo assignment, not a holiday. A cruise is a holiday: I'd rather enjoy the cruise than juggle equipment.

G
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Old 12-27-2018   #13
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I find these kind of questions inane. It doesn't matter what brand of camera you take; you'll end up with the same images regardless.
I wouldn't call it inane. I think part of the fun of photography mixed with travel is seeing how other folks solve these problems. I view it as an invitation, by a photographer, for other photographers to share what works for them. And this, in turn, is part of what RFF is all about. BTW, when I took the rangefinder and the SLR to Japan, I did indeed come back with similar images from both systems. But it was much easier to take the kind of pictures I wanted to produce with the rangefinder. Just my experience, of course.

Full disclosure: I asked almost the identical question as the OP in this thread before my Japan trip and enjoyed RFF's collective response a good deal. So I am guilty as an "inane question asker" and thus biased in my response.
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Old 12-27-2018   #14
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I wouldn't call it inane. I think part of the fun of photography mixed with travel is seeing how other folks solve these problems.
It's like buying six or eight cars, parking them in your driveway, and then starving to death because you can't decide which one to take to the grocery store.
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Old 12-27-2018   #15
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Why not have each camera and the lenses you use most with it, in identical bags and then just grab one as the last thing you do before going out, that way you won't spend time analysing which one to take and you'll have the fun of having to work with what you've got when you are out?
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Old 12-27-2018   #16
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It's like buying six or eight cars, parking them in your driveway, and then starving to death because you can't decide which one to take to the grocery store.
LOL. Yeah, it is kind of like that. Still, the bags do get packed, and the trips do get taken.

I see it as the flip side of the question, "do I buy Brand X or Brand Y?" of which you see a lot on the internet. At one level, a great artists can probably make great art with any tool. On another, I think most of us agree that the tools matter. Just all part of the fun . . .
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Old 12-27-2018   #17
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I find these kind of questions inane. It doesn't matter what brand of camera you take; you'll end up with the same images regardless.
One may well end up with the same images but I will argue that how we get those photos is 1, a large part of the fun. And, 2, us folks here at RFf are generally self selected to be in a group of people that find the "how" part especially important to our enjoyment of this hobby/passion. If we weren't, just using whatever camera is in our phones would be enough, wouldn't it?

As to the OP's question, I can only agree with Larry Coleta's assessment.
However, if I were choosing from among the options listed, I would choose from the cameras there that I have not used, so S2 and all three lenses. Or F3 and 24, 50, and 135. Or, I might just go with whichever camera and lenses I am most confident in mechanically.

Or, a completely different idea: 4x5 camera with a 150, film and chemicals, a changing bag, and a Stearman SP-445 tank. Plus the XA.


Have fun on your cruise!
Rob
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Old 12-27-2018   #18
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In general I like to take those cameras the I like using the most, and which weigh the least.

For me, that means two Leica Ms and two lenses (28 and 50).

Your plan of R-E onboard, and IIIF on land make sense.

One lens for each is plenty.
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Old 12-27-2018   #19
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Benjamin: My first SLR in the late '60s was a meterless Zeiss Icarex, so using a hand-held meter is no problem for me; in fact at times I prefer it as getting a meter reading is far less noticeable than holding the camera to my eye.
I agree about the S2. I took it to the U.K. in 2003 and thoroughly enjoyed using it. It's not as pocketable as the IIIF though, which is another consideration.

Thank you to all for your comments and advice. A factor in my selection of the IIIF was the fact I fitted an orange "gel" into the rangefinder window. It improved ease of focussing no end.
The inclusion of a spot meter and low noise (for an SLR) were factors in my consideration of the R-E.
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Old 12-27-2018   #20
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I too mull over the selection of what camera to take on trips. And I think about likely photo opportunities, what sort of scenes might be presented. Helps in choosing focal lengths... As a starting point generally I'll pick what I use most of the time around home.

So, on board the cruise ship and on port excursions, what scenery will you be presented with? On a cruise early this year to South America I took a Pentax K-1 and the 31mm and 77mm lenses. I did not use the 77 at all, though there were a few times it would have worked well. As it turned out most everything was nearby aboard and on shore. I just adopted a 31mm frame of mind and went with it. Simple, easy, convenient.

Hope you enjoy your trip!
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Old 12-28-2018   #21
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Hmmm, well, I like to travel light and that affects my choice of camera.

I started with the Olympus 35-SP because it was small and light (at the time) and had a decent lens on it and spot metering. So it covered a lot of shots I wanted to get.

Later on I swapped it for the Leica CL and Minolta CLE because it gave me 90mm for details etc. The CLE lasted for one roll because I kept forgetting it had to be switched on. Luckily I was able to undo the trade in and got my CL and still have it.

For a while the Pentax ME and a couple of lenses worked nicely but I started to feel I wasn't travelling light and so that led to the Olympus XA but it was somewhat fragile and after a repair and a complaint about the repair I fixed on the XA2.

When the XA was repaired I noticed a traded in one that was cheaper than the repair and that started me looking at trade-ins and collecting slowly at first.

Nowadays I'm still favour the XA2 and sometimes the Olympus Ķ-I and II and there's the Ķ-V with its neat zoom and so on. Konica A4 and Pentax ESPIO 928 spring to mind as excellent travel cameras.

And for digital I like the Panasonic LX5 and leave the M9 at home. What worries me about the M9 is that there's this nice neat black leather case with "Leica" on it and inside a collection of Leica and CZ lenses, flash and a body that have set me back thousands and could be stolen in seconds. Friends have had cameras stolen from hotel rooms and so on...

And there you have it; my experience since the 60's... Make of it what you will.

Regards, David


PS And if you want to get the best out of your camera you need a heavy, awkward to carry tripod. No tripod means you will find handheld is a great way of levelling the differences in lens quality...

Last edited by David Hughes : 12-28-2018 at 01:52. Reason: Finger trouble...
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Old 12-28-2018   #22
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I think it comes down to if you are the type that photographs more when you travel or when you are at home. Also, are you into trying to make art or are you into memories. I`m not a huge travel photographer because I only go to that place for a short amount of time and I am with my wife usually. To me, that is not the best way to get anything but tourist shots. I feel a lot better photographing my city that I am in all of the time. That I get to know better by being there always. If you are into travel photography, and this is your style of photography, then bring serious gear. If not, bring something small and light and enjoy the trip.
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Old 12-29-2018   #23
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Quote:
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Leather chaps and vest would be my cruising outfit of choice.
Sounds nice; unfortunately though, it may stand out a little on a cruise in the tropics
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Old 12-29-2018   #24
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What are you going to do for a light meter with the IIIf? Seems like the answer to that question might add some weight to the rig.
Just realised my earlier response didn't totally cover your suggestion. I use a very accurate (and small - 1 ounce) Gossen Sixtino 2). It covers the amount of light I'm likely to be taking pictures in, and is faster and easier to use than some of the supposedly better ones in my collection.
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Old 12-29-2018   #25
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You have many good answers here. But for me on vacations I like simplicity: for me a 28mm lens set at 10 feet and f8.0 you can shoot from 5 feet to infinity. And having focusing problems with older eyes and need good viewfinder RF. I have a IIIF but really prefer my Bessa R (meter) with any lens I choose.

I used to take two Pentax P3n cameras with a 28 and a 50. But focusing really was a killer. So now I may take one P3n with a 28 set as above but it has auto shutter. And the Bessa R with a 50mm
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Old 12-29-2018   #26
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I think it comes down to if you are the type that photographs more when you travel or when you are at home. Also, are you into trying to make art or are you into memories.
I take photographs far more when I travel and, whilst creating memories as my priority, would hopefully not exclude art.
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Old 01-02-2019   #27
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Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. Something of everyone's post/s helped me to come up with this decision, based on picture quality, confidence in camera, weight, ease of use, and (the slight chance of) art.

Aboard ship: Leica M6 plus 35 and 50 Summicrons and 90 Elmar.
Ashore: Leica IIIF plus 25 and 35 Canons and 50/3.5 uncoated Elmar (maybe also a wartime 90 coated Elmar as well). Only one lens would be used ashore at each port.

David
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