Before every trip I pack my suitcase and face the same difficult decision:
Which camera(s) will I take with me?
I often let myself be guided by whether I’m in the mood for film, Polaroid or digital. In addition the existing space in the suitcase plays an essential role, because someone has to carry it.
And, of course, the „What and where will I take pictures?“ is very important.
The word „cameras“ already tells – most times I can not or do not like to decide on a single camera and pack two or three… 😎
If a digital one comes in the case the choice is usually the easiest.
I always have the smartphone with me, that’s why I can do without a better digital, if that is not so essential. Otherwise, I currently have the choice between the Fuji Finepix S3pro and the Nikon D3000s. Both are not mine, but my girl usually entrusts them to me.
The Fuji is a bit older, but a little more compact. But needs batteries, which I have to pack extra. The Nikon is our „workhorse“. Top picture quality in all situations and reliable in all situations. It’s a little more heavy, but the internal battery saves the extra batteries.
As a small fine alternative I still have the a small, robust and compact Panasonic DMC-FT3, with which I could make FullHD videos and underwater shots.
When choosing the right Polaroid camera, among other things, the film inventory in the refrigerator is crucial.
My film inventory is sometimes more, sometimes less well stocked and consists actually only of Impossible 600 and I-type films. The Fuji Instax films are already announcing. On the other hand, the energy supply also plays a role again.
My Impossible I-1 Camera can handle both 600 and I-Type films. But it also always requires a fresh charge of the internal battery. At night it hangs on the stream and during the day I always have my power bank with me. For the 600 films I have a few cameras to choose from. On the one hand the Polaroid SLR 680, handy, reliable, flexible and on the other hand the 636 Close-Up. The last one is already a oldie, but still works flawlessly. Both cameras do not require extra batteries.
Even with the Polaroids I still have limited alternatives. There is, among others, the Polaroid ProCam. It has always served me well. For the Polaroid EE 100, EE 60 and the Polaroid 330 I have no more 100 Peel-a-part films. All still work, both EE’s requiring batteries, which can only be replaced if no film is inserted into the camera. The 330 also needs a small flat battery, but it lasts forever and can be tested before you travel. Maybe I’ll get a film for these one day.
In the meantime I also own a Lomo’Instant Square-Kamera. This give me the possibility to shoot also on Fuji Instax Mini and Square films. A review can be found here. I co-financed the camera on Kickstarter: Lomo’Instant Square Camera.
For small or medium format cameras, the choice is already difficult.
For the medium-format cameras I have the Kiev 60 and the two-lense Seagull 4a-1. On the other hand I have various Holga’s (classic with flash, without flash and with glass lense and two-lense) and also a Lomography BelAir. The cameras do not really need batteries. Exceptions are the internal light meter of the Kiev and the BelAir or the flashes or the ring flash of the Holga. The Kiev is usually too heavy for me on the way and the BelAir has not given me any reasonable results yet.
There are also a few choises on small film cameras. My favorite is the Nikon F80. Small and handy is the Nikon F55. Then there’s the compact Nikon L35 AF2 and the stylish Blackbird,Fly. In addition, I also have a small film-back for the Holga. All cameras, except the Blackbird, need batteries – the F55 even needs special photo batteries.
Meanwhile, good camera suitcase teams have emerged.
However, as new cameras are still added or broken down, the situation changes from trip to trip, so I face the same difficult decision every time. The suitcase is usually full – so or so… 😉
About the subject of black&white or color film, I’ll write another time…