Monday, October 27, 2008

Hiking with a camera

Pentax K10D + Zeiss Distagon 25/2.8

I love hiking, even though I don't do it as often as I used to. Of course, I like to carry my camera with me. Back in the time of 35mm film, I had a Minox ML ("the smallest 35m ever made") as my second camera for hiking or just carrying around. I was always amazed at how this small little thing could take such sharp images.

Focusing was manual, based solely on the user's estimate of the distance to the subject. But at f8 and for landscape photography I couldn't go wrong. And that little collapsible lens was soooo cool! I took some of my best photos with this camera. I don't believe there is a digital equivalent nowadays. I mean, a small, resilient camera able to take high quality, high resolution, low noise images. And a classic squarish look would be nice too. The Sigma DP-1, for instance, didn't live up to its promise of becoming a small size alternative to a digital SRL.

Therefore, I have to carry my K10D and a couple of lenses with me. This means extra weight and volume. For short walks my good old Domke canvas bag has always worked fine and is quite inconspicuous. I load it with two or three lenses plus the camera body, sometimes a flash. But for longer hikes, having to carry water, food and a jacket, I need a backpack. I'm still unsure whether the best solution is a regular backpack adapted for carrying the camera + lenses or a specialized photo backpack adapted for carrying food + water. So far, I'll be carrying the camera and the lenses in my regular backpack, wrapped in a cloth, between the sandwiches and the bananas.

No comments: