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Well what would your choice be


Active Member
Things have quietened down here lately; so, here is a broad equipment question for those dedicated Hassy V series shooters.

In my 35mm kit I use both SLR (EOS 1vHS) and rangefinder (Leica M7) gear - different horses.....

But in MF my beloved V series Hassy gear is the universe.

However, I wonder what other V series shooters here would select to carry on say a hiking trip, where size and weight of gear do matter - your V series camera? Some other MF camera you own or don't own .... yet!.

BUT, before you answer, there are rules:
1. you must nominate a 120 roll film MF camera;
2. you cannot even nominate an XPan which is IMHO for all intents and purposes really a MF camera that can shoot 35mm frames despite the fact it does not use roll film (Ah Ha, no this is not for discussion here and now!!

You must nominate any 120mm roll film camera you like no matter how old or new - one you own and would use in such circumstances, or one you "lust" for.

Now, I do know a wonderful German / Bavarian among us here and that he recently got VERY lucky when he added a marvellous 6x9 camera to his extensive kit, which I am guessing he might just nominate! But I won't spoil things by speaking for him

And if you like I'd welcome comments about the lens or lenses you'd pack in that hiking ruck sack too and why.

That depends where I go, how much I am prepared to carry on that occasion.

Hiking in the mountains: Hasselblad SWC.
Hiking on Galapagos Islands: 503CW with Distagon 50 and Sonnar 250.
Hiking on the moon: 500EL/M + Distagon 60.
Walking around the globe: 500C/M + Planar 80.

I made this decision for myself about 10 years ago and have not yet seen a reason to change it, although, from next month onwards, instead of a roll-film back, I will be carrying a CFV digital back and two batteries:

Hasselblad 205FCC
45 degree prism finder
FE 110mm f2 lens (plus polarising filter)
FE 50mm f2.8 lens (plus polarising filter)
Metz 40 flash with S390 Hasselblad adapter
Shutter Release Cable
Flash Extension Cable - 5 meters
Flash "big bounce" reflector
LowePro Trim Trekker bag *

Manfrotto Carbon Fibre Tripod
Ultimate Ball Head
Op-Tech Tripod Sling

* as the Trim Trekker is now discontinued and mine is looking decidedly shabby, I will be shortly be trying a new LowePro Slingshot 300 to see how it handles on a long walk.

The Trim Trekker bag was chosen because it is the smallest backpack that will contain the above equipment - with no room to spare. This helps avoid the temptation to throw more stuff into the bag. The Slingshot 300 is about the same size with the added advantage of being able to get the camera out without putting the bag on the ground. The potential downside is that the weight is mainly carried on one shoulder. Will I walk like the hunchback of Notre Dame? Hope not.

I chose the 205FCC for its built-in spot finder / Zone system metering which I have always found to be very accurate and intuitive.

The lenses were chosen for their speed and accuracy. The 50 gives could WA coverage and the 110 acts as a "slightly tele" normal lens. I do a lot of urban photography so a longer lens is not a normal part of my kit. When in the "big outdoors" I tend to look for big vista images so I rarely have a need for a longer lens. I don't know yet what switching to the CFV back (with its lengthening effect on apparent focal length) will do to my lens choice in the future.

I'd take my rolleiflex T. Its light, takes a great picture, can be used easily handheld, and I like the 75mm FOV.


Good question, Galbers.

I'm with Nik - my Rollei is the lightest, quietest, and most 'unfussy' I can take with me. Orange and Yellow filters, Lens Shade (small!), and my old Weston Master V. Some XP2 or CN. No batteries. No tripod. Nobody takes it 'seriously' anymore, so street shooting is a breeze, and it is about as quiet as the M3. (They think I have a Holga.)

Until it was stolen (sob), my Makina Plaubel67 was a joy to use, and the big negs were very sharp. It had a meter, and folded to half the Rollei size. One lens, of course, but a great camera. Someone is having fun with it right now.

Having said all that, my 'normal' travel pack is "scientifically arranged" into a very small shoulder bag, in which I can fit 503 and wlf, 50 (on camera), 80, 150, proshade, and 'stuff'. I normally carry my Sekonic Spot in the outside pocket. With the Rollei, I rarely use a tripod (any table or post will do), but I usually take the tripod with my V kit because if I don't that will be the day I need it for sure. (But in a pinch, I could live with the 503 WLF and 80, a hard shade, yellow filter, and a meter.)

Sometimes I ditch a lens and take the 45 Finder.

But with "feet held to the fire" by this thread, the Rollei is the lightest and tightest for restricted weight/size travel.

Horses for Courses, eh, Simon!



Like Urlik stated, it depends on the subject matter. If I were in Yosemite Valley 203 and 40mm, PM 45, if I was on a trail and going uphill 203, 80mm or 110mm weather and time of day dependent, with WLF.

Thanks for the quiz, Simon.


When I shoot 120 film, I use a Tamrac Model 752 Super Photo Daypack which loads from the top and put the weight on the hips. That way my back is not thrown off by carrying weight on one side like it would with a shoulder bag. Since it loads from the top, I do not worry about equipment falling out like it could with most photo back packs. This pack gives me the ability and room to carry as much or as little as I want:
Hasselblad 500CX
f/4 50mm CF B-60
f/2.8 80mm CF B-80
F5.6 350mm CF B-80
polarizer filter
skylight filters
red filter
lens cleaning cloth and lens paper
film [of course]
Sometimes a folding Certo Super Sport Dolly and/or Nikon N-75 with Nikon f/2.8 20mm to 35mm zoom lens and Tamron XR f/3.8 - 6.3 28mm to 300mm zoom lens

Basically, I take the lenses that I want and leave the rest in the car in case I need to retrieve one of them.

Normally I will only take one camera with me for the day and on occasion I will carry the others in the car as back up.

Thanks guys for playing and for your enthusiasm for such discussion. You've all posted some really interesting comments and gear selections.

I thought it is actually an interesting question as it makes me think more about the gear I have and why I chose it.

Obviously enough I think we all agree that the risk of mindless acquisition of gear leads to confusion when leaving the house to take photos as well as missed photo opportunities while fusing about through a bag full of unnecessary gear on site.

Such a situation that requires minimal gear etc does arise and the answers you've all given are great food for thought. I think we are all indeed very fortunate to have such wonderful gear and enough to make such choices from.

For me making a gear choice like this tells me 2 things that please me:
1. I am lucky enough not to need more gear for any specific task - among what I have something will do the job very nicely one way or another;
2. sometimes the obvious choice is not so obvious!

Seeing the choices you'd make is very interesting because they have made me think twice. My own short list was among these:

1. The Rolleiflex I have which I bought because it was manufactured in the month and year I was born and because it works a treat!

2. A simple mechanical Hassy body and 1 or 2 lenses (501CM with WLF, one film back, 60mm and 150mm lenses);

3. My XPan with the 45mm and 90mm lenses?

4. Why not one of my Zeiss Super Ikontas?

So, my final decision was: 501CM and CF60mm and CF150mm. If I could only carry one lens then I would take the CFE80mm.

BUT, if space / weight were a serious issue like "it must be carried on you" say in a pocket etc. Then my choice would be my very late model Super Ikonta 6x6 which I can easily fit in a coat pocket and weighs very little. The T* lens is a gem and the 6x6 frames deliver superb images, plus I don't have to worry about batteries. With that same size / weight constraint, I would attach the tiny VC meter II to the cold shoe.

So why the 50CM:
1. I would prefer 120 roll film since such hikes etc include images of much detail;
2. mechanical means no worries about batteries;
3. I'd have the VC meter II in my change pocket for when I'm not sure about my light value estimates. If it died I would still get on fine.
4. I could have 2 of the more compact and lighter lenses - the 60mm has that advantage over my 50mm; my 150 has that advantage over the 120 and 180 lenses and having a short tele would be nice for more compressed images.
5. It is much the same size / volume as the Rolleiflex. Last night I held the 501cm with the 60mm in one hand and the Rolleiflex 3.5F in the other. These 500 cameras are surprisingly compact (part of VH's brilliance!).
6. The XPan is a bit too specialist, but came a close 2nd!

So that is my story. But, we have not heard from Jurgen or Marc!!
QUOTE: When I shoot 120 film, I use a Tamrac Model 752 Super Photo Daypack which loads from the top and put the weight on the hips. That way my back is not thrown off by carrying weight on one side like it would with a shoulder bag. Since it loads from the top, I do not worry about equipment falling out like it could with most photo back packs. This pack gives me the ability and room to carry as much or as little as I want: UNQUOTE.


Please tell me more about that "Tamrac Model 752 Super Photo Daypack". How comfortable is it to carry? Can it be pulled snugly up against your back so it doesn't move around? Are the straps, wide and padded?

Like a lot of MF photographers who use their camera "on the road", I am always looking for the perfect bag, combining carrying comfort with ease and speed of access to equipment.

Side story: I found the ideal solution on a recent trip to climb Mount Phukradung in northern Thailand. It is not a difficult climb but is 9kms of continuously climbing track. There are a couple of steep bits but there are ropes and steps. But, I was still not looking forward to carrying camera backpack and tripod continuously for 5 or 6 hours up a steep slope. Then I noticed some strong-looking young guys who were waiting for portering work for the c&-ground on the flat top of the mountain. I hired one of them with the instruction: "wear this bag and carry this tripod, then stay 2 meters in front of me and stop when I tell you". It was very convenient to have the camera and tripod handy during the whole climb and be completely weightless myself. Some might call it cheating, I guess.


I have found the "Tamrac Model 752 Super Photo Daypack" very comfortable. The shoulder straps keep the pack high on the back. The shoulder straps are padded and there is a cross strap high on the chest to keep the shoulder straps from sliding off. There is a waist strap that keeps the bottom of the pack from bouncing up and down against the lower back. I am able to use the waist strap to transfer the weight to the hips.

It has plenty of storage space which temps one to throw in even more equipment - like I need the extra weight. There is room for food or other non-photographic supplies.

I wrap each unused lens in a padded lens wrap with velco strips. I have two film backs, and room for a 150mm lens [when I buy one] and a SB-800 Nikon strobe which I do not carry.

The upside is that the weight is evenly distributed and my back is not thrown off like a shoulder bag would do with Hassy equipment. The downside is that it is more fuss and bother to take off a pack than a shoulder bag. This solution works for me. YMMV.



Thank you for the information.

I might just get me one of these. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, my Trim Trekker is dying and LowePro have discontinued it.

Living in Thailand, I always have to get things like this on special order or get one through the online shops like B&H. Given that some bags works as advertised and some don't, I have a bit of a collection of very-slightly-used camera bags.

I am about to try the Slingshot 300 from LowePro. I like the idea of being able to swing the bag around to get to the camera without putting the bag down but I worry that the weight distribution will be a bit lopsided as it has only one diagonal shoulder strap. I will try the Tamrac 752 if the Slingshot does not work out.

Regards Peter
I cannot give you a direct URL.

Go to
Select Backpacks
Select search by "model number, name"
Look for model "752, Super Photo Daypack"
That will bring you to the description and photos

When you finally can afford a mercedes , you might be too old to drive that car .
When you can finally afford a 8x10 camera , you might be too old to carry this gear .

@ Simon , my friend

It's the classical dilemma , "we can can not live together and we can not live apart" .

I decide very well between situations , we encounter , when taking images .

When just strolling down the road , hoping for some good shots , i prefer my BRONICA RF645
with a FUJI ACROS B/W film . I am experienced in self development of B/W film , so there is no trouble . The RF645 is very compact and very easy to handle . Also , the weight is very low . My FUJI 6x9 is also a good candidate for that kind of shooting .

An alternative for me now , also is my 905SWC with the CFV attached , all mounted on a flash grip . Easy to carry and to use .

But in most cases of my work , I have been to the "location" before , and I get a very good idea of what camera to use and what lenses might be needed .
So , I must say , that the circumstances can be so extremely different , depending on what I am after , that I can not really answer the given question .

In many cases , a tripod is essential , in others not at all . But most of my shooting is done , using a tripod .

And . . . as many of us , I hate to carry a lot of equipment , which I do not need later on . But in many cases , we do not know in advance .

One of my current favorite HASSELBLAD gear is the 503CW (WLF) + DISTAGON 3,5/60 + CFV . (+tripod)

Painting with HASSELBLAD


503CW + DISTAGON 3,5/60 + CFV
It is indeed a superb image Jurgen and aptly named!

It was you my friend that I expected to nominate that wonderful last version of Fuji's 6x9 rangefinder camera for such situations (which I certainly hope you have used since you bought it!). But I see that you also have that clever Bronica RF645 - something that I have often thought of acquiring even though I have been tempted by some of the various Fuji 120 roll film rangefinders that have similar appeal.

What I found interesting among everyone's comments is that we all seem to be a very satisfied bunch - we should, I suppose, since we have one vital thing in common - we own Hasselblad / Zeiss equipment of some sort - what else could we really lust for?!

But, other than Jurgen, no one has much mentioned a rangefinder alternative. Col (maaaaaaaate Clarkie - to use his full name!
) and Nik were the only ones who strayed from V series gear of some description.

Interestingly not one Mamiya RF (6, 7, 7II) got a mention. So while RF makers position these cameras as having benefits of size, weight, quietness, optical design advantages and lower vibration during exposure; our small s&le here sees no such compelling reason to own one. Or, am I wrong and some of you do own one but just did not nominate it for this purpose.

I have to admit that whenever I am tempted to acquire a Fuji, Mamiya or Bronica RF camera, I splash cold water on my face and say: "but you will leave it at home every time preferring to take something with a Zeiss lens on the front!"

But then we have not heard from Marc!
Galbers, maaaaaate:

Yer right on. Again. But I did say that if someone hadn't flogged me Plaubel 67 (10 on 120), it woodagot the nod for sheer self contained (meter/folder/RF) ability. And yer coulda shaved with the bloomin' Nikkor 80 - it was as sharp as a fishwife's tongue.



PS Did yer see what our mate Marc said on another thread Quote "For years I used a mask with square sensor backs and hated them. I personally like seeing outside the taking area as it shows what you might be missing and definitely helps with anticipating
action shots".
Sounds like he's a RF guy, too. Heh heh.

I use a Mamiya 6. I have two Mamiya 6 bodies one of which has the panoramic adapter permanently affixed. I have the three lenses which were available for them. I find them to be very good cameras although the viewfinder display can be difficult to see.
They are only very rarely offered for sale on the second hand market which to me bears out my enjoyment of them.
As they are my only medium format cameras, one of these would be what I would take

As a matter of coincidence this question is easy for me to answer as I just finished preparing to do a final shoot of a remarkable series of small falls I prescouted along an alpine creek trail just south of Anchorage. I am writing this now because it started to rain hard here (not unusual, but thankfully not as common as it was in Juneau)

Anyway, the basic kit I use for such shoots are:

CW503 w/45 PM finder; 50 mm CFi; 100 CFi; 1.4XE teleconverter; Pentax digital spot meter; Spectra IV incident light meter; warm polarizer; .9 ND filter (all filters are 77 mm., I use a step-up ring and a rubber lens hood that can be retracted/expanded to accomodate all of the different focal lengths); Ries wooden tripod, backpacker model w/RSS large ballhead.

All of this is carried in a modified Kinesis backpack designed for carrying both camera and hiking gear (I always carry a basic survival kit when hiking in the mountains). Modified in this instance means that I had the backpack (stripped-down) and a tripod bag -- suitable to carrying the wooden tripod and a set of leg extensions -- permanently sewn side-by-side onto a packboard by a local sail maker. That was/is a piece of work in itself, in large part because we incorporated other modifications that accomodate my need to vary loads considerably, to respectively maximize load balance and compactness, and to simultaneously provide excellent protection yet ready access to the camera gear. That was a tall order, but facilitated by the fact that the basic pack is modular and purpose-designed by a photographer/mountaineer -- but even then, it still required further enhancement to suit my specific needs.

Depending on the scenery and/or what I want to achieve, I would add my 180 CF to the kit depending on whether its utility justifies the additional weight. If the terrain is such that the versatility of the Ries tripod set-up isn't necessary, I use a Gitzo 1228 carbon fiber tripod w/an Acractech Ulitimate ball head to reduce weight. On that note, I also have a Dutch Hill CF tripod that I specifically acquired for use in deep snow and near the sea -- its respective value is that it has no aluminum parts (a concern when shooting near/in salt water) and that it is similar to a surveyors tripod in that all of the leg adjustment controls are near the top of the tripod head rather than at the bottom of the legs (and thus less prone to fouling/icing-up when driven into deep snow).

All that just goes to show that choosing what camera gear to carry on a hike is just one consideration -- How to carry it and also support both it and oneself, are often as equally, or even more, important and almost as costly

When scouting a trail I generally use a SWC/M and a Leica MP w/a 35 and/or 24 mm. and a 75 mm; or, if the weather is inclement, then just the Nikonos V w/35 mm. that I recently acquired. In either instance, I use a belt pouch and harness set-up to carry the gear -- and, as mentioned, my basic survival kit.

As a final note, now that I have the Nikonos in hand I 'almost' regret having acquired the Leica kit this past winter. The latter was acquired with the intent of picking-up a M8 this year to serve as the typical companion to the SWC -- the MP was intended to serve primarily as a backup. As it turns out the M8 is going to be out-of-reach financially for some time to come, and it retrospect I regret not picking-up a 6x17 kit instead of the Leica kit: I continually run into scenes to which a panoramic approach would be ideal -- and I am not necessarily talking about broad mountain vistas either, close-in shots often beg such an approach also -- and a basic Gilde outfit would have cost roughly the same.

In msny respects, the ideal hiking/scouting outfit for me would be the Nikonos (or M8 w/24 and 75) and a Gilde 6x17 with a 90 mm and possibly a 180 or 210 mm. lens. An attractive aspect of the Gilde is that though somewhat cumbersome, it allows on-the-fly changes in format from 6x6 through 6x17. Do note that I seriously considered acquiring a XPan in lieu of the Leica kit last winter, but passed on it largely because it is battery dependent and I didn't much care for its film advance mechanism being motorized.
Quote: In msny respects, the ideal hiking/scouting outfit for me would be the Nikonos :Unquote.

Interesting. I used a Nikonos V (and its predecessors) underwater for 20 years until switching to a housed Olympus E-330 late last year. I then eBayed the Nikonos. Maybe that was not such a great decision. I had not thought of it as an all-weather hiking camera. But it certainly is rugged enough and has a couple of interesting lens choices, if you can find them.