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Choosing Cameras to Travel With

The sadness of having to leave some, and not being able to take them all!

I don’t know if it happens to you, but every time I travel or spend a weekend away from the city, there’s the great dilemma: which camera should I bring?

If there’s one thing I hate, it’s to have to discard cameras because of their weight, ability to capture light, and other factors. But I think it’s good to have a base selection, those that can’t be left. Even though it’s still complicated to decide, at least the staples give you an idea of what definitely goes. My all-time companions are the LC-A+, the Holga, and Nikon FM2. And I think from now on I will also add the Horizon Perfekt.

The problem is with the rest, and I start thinking:

“And what if I go partying and need the Colorsplash?”
“And what if I need the LC-A+ with B&W and I have it with slide films?… Will I need the Olympus XA?”
“And what if I can take good portraits? But the Hasselblad is so heavy!”
“Should I take an instant camera? Instax Mini or Polaroid? Which Polaroid?”

And with such, I go through all the cameras!

When I traveled to New York, it was terrible! I think I carried more weight in cameras than in clothes. And I used them all, but missed some of my other cameras.

What about you? Which are your favorites that you can’t leave? How do you choose which ones to take on a trip?

written by iaki and translated by isabelbatteria

30 comments

  1. stratski

    stratski

    Ha, very recognisable! I always spend ages deciding which camera('s) to take. It tends to depend on what I'm going to do. Heavy hiking = light plastic camera; light hiking = 2 small camera's + 1 SLR; no hiking: go nuts and take at least 4 from a wide range - plastic, box, SLR, etc.

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  2. laurasulilly

    laurasulilly

    yeah, i know that feeling!
    but i like to travel light, so i also take my holga (ok, sometimes i take two: one for b&w and one for colour) and my lc-a,(for x-pro) both of which i carry with me all the time anyways.
    Moreover, i take my minolta x-700 for much much more b&w (since i process and print Minolta and Holga stuff at home). I always always leave my pentacon six tl behind (although it is such a great camera), but its just too heavy and mine's not very reliable, unfortunately- my Minolta has to do portraits instead, then...
    oh, hang on, If i'd go to the seaside (which i haven't done in ages) i would most probably ponder about taking my actionsampler as well. i wish i could take my diana f+, but i still haven't managed to control her in such a way to get decent shots...ok, there you go, i'm lost and will stop talking (and thinking) now ;)

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  3. alejandrolavin

    alejandrolavin

    i try and keep it simple: one SLR & one P&S. typically, it always comes down to my Canon FTb w 2 lenses, a 50mm & 28mm & either my Olympus XA 2 w/ A11 flash or Olympus Stylus Epic.
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  4. panchoballard

    panchoballard

    Yep, I've had the same problem. I recently visited Lisbon. I knew I was going to take two Holgas - one for black and white, one for colour. I also wanted a snapshot camera so took the Diana Mini and shot on half-frame. I then ended up taking the LC-A+ and La Sardina for the hell of it!

    La Sardina with 100 ISO film in it still struggled in the bright Lisbon sun, a lot of the highlights are completely blown out! Still cool shots though.

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  5. jeyku

    i know the feeling! i'm trying to be more disciplined and just take one or two and try to take better photos with those ones...

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  6. disasterarea

    disasterarea

    From my last holiday i learned to never carry more than 3 cameras, because with more than that your bag gets confusing and you end up swapping them so much you run the risk of having one stolen (like i did)

    Best Travel Combo for me is SLR + LC-A + Sprocket Rocket

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  7. hairil

    hairil

    I brought along my UWS and Holga 135 for my trip to Italy and Switzerland a few months ago. Those were the more "compact" cameras that I had with me at that time. I also brought a mixture of slide and negative films. I survived, but there were times during the trip when I wished I had a smaller alternative to the Holga 135.

    For my next trip though, I think I'll bring the Olympus XA/XA2 with me. And perhaps the Sprocket Rocket too. I prefer the ease of use and compact-ness of a camera when it comes to travelling - which means that I'll have more space for the stuff that I (might) buy when I'm abroad!

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  8. juuldeliette

    juuldeliette

    I always bring my Olympus OM2 with an extra wide angle lens, and Fisheye 2 + Submarine :D

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  9. jarvislomo

    jarvislomo

    Diana F+ with fisheye and superwide lens is always be my true companion. Plus Smena or holga bc if I want to take some 135 pictures ;-)

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  10. east99thst

    east99thst

    Love the post! My main cameras i bring are my minolta srt 201 and my holga 120cfn. I have a question I hope some of you can help with though. What do you do about your film when traveling. Some people say the airport scanners mess the film up, some people say they do not? Any help would be great. I'm about to go on a few trips :)

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  11. meliijoy

    meliijoy

    I went through the same process when packing for my trip to Disney World. The first time I went all I brought with me was my Diana F+, which was awesome, but I was constantly having to change the roll. This time around I ended up bringing my Diana F+, Canon FT QL, a point a shoot, and my Polaroid Spectra. I planned which cameras I would use at which park according to how many pictures I might possibly take, and limited myself to two cameras per park so I wouldn't have too much weight on me when I went on the rides. It worked out great! From now on I think I will try to stick with two per trip, unless it's a long one. We'll see how it goes...

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  12. nattykins

    nattykins

    Yes Im the same!!! God knows what security thought when I went through Manchester last year with a bag full of cameras and film!!!!!!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  13. stipley

    stipley

    At home lies the spinner, lca, diana mini, diana with instant back, disderi, home made pin holes, pentax auto110 and an ikimono. If it is only 1 to take it is diana mini. She can do it all. Granted I have to arm her with flash and filters and soon lenses, but she is my fall gal. This, however, is never the case and I am always found with lca, diana(s) and spinner! Yes, the heaviest options!! Plus an abundance of varying film.

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  14. hairil

    hairil

    @east99thst - Most (if not all) airport x-ray scanners these days are dubbed "film-safe". Sometimes you can see a tag or sticker on the x-ray scanner itself that says so. Some people use lead-lined bags specially for their films (those bags don't come cheap!), but the reality is that the security personnel will simply crank up the power on the x-ray scanner so that they'll be able to see what's inside the lead-lined bag (and that really isn't good news for your films!). I've also heard (unconfirmed rumours/speculations) that unprocessed films with higher ISO ratings (ISO 1600-3200) may come out foggy if they were to go through the airport x-ray scanner. During my previous trip, I placed my films in a Ziploc bag and requested them to be hand-checked by the security personnel. They obliged to my request and I was good to go, without having to worry about the state or condition of my films. Hope this helps! = )

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  15. east99thst

    east99thst

    @hairil - Thank you so much for your info! That really helps me out a lot :)

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  16. hairil

    hairil

    @east99thst - Not a problem dude! Enjoy your trip!

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  17. jourdanlynch

    jourdanlynch

    I go through this problem constantly -.- I have a spinner but have yet to use up a roll of film with it so far because of its size and weight... plus I live in quite near a dangerous area and a huge spinning camera draws allot of attention from idiots who would love to attack me for it haha. :'(... but normally on my regular little journeys around the city I always have with me my LC-A and Diana Mini.

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  18. jacob-siau

    Aaarghhh!!! What a dilemma!! Though, I'd always have the LCA with me coz it's damn reliable and the colors just brings back memories of each trip...

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  19. sedgetone

    sedgetone

    Recesky TLR & LC-A+ are my current favourite travel companions. Either that or I pair up my Diana Mini & Fisheye2. My camera bag will take two cameras plus spare films, cable release and Diana Flash (plus gels). I then also take a small 1.5m light weight tripod too. It's al too easy to get carried away. I think I need to swap the Diana Flash for the colour splash as I find myself reaching for the same couple of gels each time.

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  20. nicx

    nicx

    Oh man i feel you! With over 10 cameras i have this dilemma every time i go anywhere... The spinner is an always, so is my voigtlander, recently the lubitel, otherwise i have to try decide based on what i am doing! The ultimate challenge!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  21. dooby

    dooby

    Spinner!
    'nuff said
    o)-<):

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  22. ihave2pillows

    ihave2pillows

    I know! This age old dilemma. I took 6 cameras to Tibet and it was SO SO SO heavy but necessary!

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  23. orteke

    orteke

    i normaly take my yashica fx-3 super 2000 with a yashica ml 50 mm f 1.7 plus the xa2. i try and change my second camera from time to time. but my yashica is super ligth and does all the films very well

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  24. orteke

    orteke

    i normaly take my yashica fx-3 super 2000 with a yashica ml 50 mm f 1.7 plus the xa2. i try and change my second camera from time to time. but my yashica is super ligth and does all the films very well

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  25. megzeazez

    megzeazez

    It's the lomographer's ultimate dilemma! I generally always bring along my diana mini and my fuji natura classica, but I'm about to travel across the state (Texas, and that's a BIG state!) and I really want to make it special, thinking about bringing my Diana F+ as well...

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  26. roxanneross

    roxanneross

    hahah it's funny to see how we all do this around here :p when i go on holidays in the summer and i know i am going to be away for a month i take everything with me in a camera bag. other than that i usually take my fisheye and my lomo l-ca, and occasionally a borrowed camera if i know i have limited time to use it.. next summer is going to be tougher though because my number of cameras is increasing and i am looking for old ones in family.. :P

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  27. aspie

    aspie

    My Praktica MTL5 (usually loaded with b&w) and a Diana with slide film are now my essentials for photography 'trips', but other times a Canon sureshot with standard colour negative keeps me company. My girlfriend laughs at me sitting on the subway with cameras hanging round my neck like Dennis Hopper in Apocalypse Now.

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  28. iaki

    iaki

    :O!! thanks for translate! and all of you guys for to be interested =) It´s nice to see all your comments

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  29. emperornorton

    emperornorton

    I managed to haul seven cameras with me on a sentimental journey across the American West. Three were digital, three were analog and the last was a Bloggie video recorder. It amazed people when I reached into my bag to pull out one more shadow catcher to record the scene.

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  30. 110isnotdead

    110isnotdead

    Im planning a trip to Arizona right now and I am at an impasse with my cameras. I have my trusty Minolta X-370 which is a great all around but I want something small that I can fir in my pocket for "street photos."
    I got a Hanimex 110 which is cool but kinda hard to get good pics and the cost of film, processing... all that jazz.
    I feel your pain but the thing we all need to remember is its not the shots you get when you travel but the memories you make (wow, I read what I just wrote and that was pretty deep. lol)

    about 2 years ago · report as spam

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The original version of this article is written in: Spanish. It is also available in: Deutsch.