Choosing A Camera to Travel With ( Part One)



I am writing this as a somewhat summary of the process that I underwent to choose my camera set up for a year-long trip across Asia, but first a little background.

I am a photographer by trade and honestly my passion lies in cameras as well as photography.

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Self Portrait with my new Intrepid 5×4 Film Camera.

Over the last 8 years I have explored and played with a wide range of both film and digital cameras, all in order to further my photographic process.When it came to planning this trip I knew that I wanted to change my camera gear to something that I would be happy carrying and using for a year.

My first question I needed to ask myself was both an important and ridiculous one.

Film or Digital?

I started to use film cameras when whilst doing my AS level photography and my love of 35mm grew from there. I have owned SLR’s, Rangefinder’s and Point and Shoot cameras all in the 35mm format and knew this would be the most sensible option for travelling with film ( most economical at 36 shots per roll). However this is a moot point as if I was to take a film camera it would HAVE to be Medium format.

I have played with and owned quite a few medium format cameras and this is my favourite film format ( with only just exploring large format with the camera above. Whilst travelling with Alex I have used two medium format cameras which are my two favourite cameras to use ever.

Hasselblad 500cm Vs Mamiya 6

To those people who don’t know anything about these two beasts of medium format cameras, I have added a link to the two websites which will go into more detail then I will here.

Mamiya 6-

Hasselblad 500cm-

I have taken my Hasselblad travelling to Spain on a holiday, and came across a few issues with the camera. Both of these cameras shoot a 6×6 film negative, this means on a standard roll of 120 film I would get 12 shots per roll ( Hardly economical).

The weight of my Hasselblad is probably the biggest issue between these cameras ( besides the fundamental difference between rangefinder and SLR. The Blad ( using the 80mm f2.8 Zeiss Lens) comes in at 1640g (3.6 Pounds), which by any measure is far too much for set up for Backpacking.

Now you may be wondering why I would think about taking this camera at all, well below I have added an image I took in Spain and I loved the results of almost every shot of my 10 rolls of film that I took.

Hasselblad 500CM 80mm 2.8 Portra 400


Now to talk about my favorite ever camera. THE MAMIYA 6.

I have nothing but love to say for this camera , the body, the way it feels, the lenses. It all works perfectly to me. For medium format, it might be the perfect camera.


I have dragged this camera from Reykjavik to Marrakech and have always loved the results that I have managed to achieve with it.  Between the three lens selection you cover most situation ( although I would love a wider lens), and with a weight of 1200g it slips into the realm of possible.

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Next I will go into why I ended up choosing Digital over Film.

Sorry if the writing is a bit all over the place, I am still learning the best way to express myself on type.




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