1 day in Venice, what camera(s) to bring along

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Holger

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I have a customer in Venice whom I will see for the first time on monday afternoon. I have never been to Venice before (I grew up in Rome, but never made it to Venice), so I decided to travel tomorrow, saturday, and take a first glimpse at the place on sunday and (at least a few hours) on monday morning.

At first I wanted to bring my RB67 and tripod, but thinking it over I thought I should travel light the first time I see this place, come to know it a little bit and maybe come back later with heavy equipment. So I decided to take just my Leica M2 and some XP2. But then... what if... and so I also packed my old Rolleiflex, just in case, one never knows.... plus some film, and so on.

Now, my M2 with the 50 Summicron and the Rolleiflex have more or less the same effective focal length (or better, field of view), so except for the format and IQ there is no real difference. So I unpacked the Rolleiflex, happy to be able to travel lighter, and... but what if I met the great moment, the perfect light, the perfect subject, and me with just that little negative, no mf? That's when I got stuck.

So, this probably is one rather stupid question, but how would you spend your first day in Venice? One camera, one lens, travel light and just use the eyes before coming back with lots of lenses and bodies? Or leave the M2 at home, make it one Rolleiflex-day and never look back? Or take both and decide on the spot?

I shoot faster with the M2, more discrete with the Rolleiflex (looking down), handling film is much easier with 35mm, but IQ much better with mf.

How would you decide? Not much time left, I know, but a little input will probably help me think it over and decide.

Thanks a lot in advance, enjoy,

Holger
 

eddym

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Depends on how you like to shoot. If you like to travel light and shoot street scenes and people, leave the TLR behind. If you intend to shoot some of the architecture, then by all means bring both cameras.
For that matter, a Rollei TLR can be a great machine for street shooting, too... So maybe leave the Leica behind instead.

I'm not helping much, am I? :smile:
 

Eric Rose

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Go for the Rollei. If you get that once in a life time shot it will be on MF film rather than 35mm. I have both Leica M's and a Rollei and I find the Rollei gets a higher percentage of really good street shots. But naturally YMMV.
 

Pinholemaster

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I visited Venice for one day while on a ski holiday in Austria. I took my little Minolta CLE rangefinder with a 40 mm lens. Never regretted it. Lightweight, quiet, discreet, and I was free to take it anywhere I wanted. At the end of the day my back was not tired from carrying a brick on a tripod.
 

Larry.Manuel

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If you take the M2 [I would], and make an appealing composition; an interesting photo, the smaller format is of no concern. My Rolleicord would tempt me, too. Either one, Not both.
 

mopar_guy

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If I were going to be traveling to a unfamiliar location, I would think of it more as a scouting trip. Usually, "once in a lifetime" shots require more preparation and less chance.
 

PeterAM

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I've been there a few times and would suggest taking the 35mm camera as it is the smaller of the two and will give you the most opportunities with the least amount of bulk. It is such an astounding place that you should see as much as possible on your first visit and then plan the next visit.

You didn't mention the weather; if it's flooding, you'll want to carry as little as possible.
 
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Holger

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Thank you so much! I had expected one or maybe two answeres (with only a few hours left before departure), but never that much. Well, travelling light on the first time seems to be the right thing to do. Weather will not be perfect either (at least it should not be flooding, but there might be snow on monday), and checking my fridge I found I had lots of 35mm XP2, but only two rolls in 120 format. The rest of my roll films is PAN F, and in this season, with no tripod (thought about it, but won't bring it along) ISO 50 seems a little bit too slow to me.

Edward, if I had a 645, maybe something like the Fuji RF, it would be the thing to do, but since I don't own one...

Thanks a lot to all of you, you have been of great help.
Holger
 

Ian Grant

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Having been to Venice 4 times so far, all approx half day visits, I'd say take the TLR, perhaps I'm biased because that's what I've used on 3 of the 4 occasions. I've also taken a 6x17 camera.

Venice is full of small side streets etc with fewer open spaces than most cities and the main tourist areas tend to be crowded, I actually re-found my use of the square formatr shooting in Venice, and it's a fast way of working hand-held (compared to my more usual 5x4 or 10x8).

I've been shooting Delta 400 @ 200 EI in mt Yashicamat which is ideal but also Fomapan 100 @ 50 EI, but is your there in the winter you will need a faster film, a tripod might be useful in the quieter areas.

Ian
 

Laurent

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I'd go for the Rolleiflex (but have never used a Leica). I'm partial however since the MX-EVS is my all-day camera, particularly when travelling for business.

Some of my keepers have been shot this way (on business trip)
 

PeterAM

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If you are lucky enough to be in Venice while it's snowing (and hopefully sans tourists) you should see something really magical. Post some of your pictures, please.
 
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Holger

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Sorry, been there, taken my M2, left the Rolleiflex at home... and will take it next time for sure! But I was happy with it, fast and light for a first impression of Venice, so I'll be prepared next time when I'll come with the Rolleiflex. One point was the cold: I was quite happy not having to change film every 12 exposures. It was freezing, absolutely freezing cold, I nearly did not feel my hands anymore, so 36 exposures in stead of 12 before having to change film again was a great advantage.

I will post some pictures (or a link to my gallery) as soon as I will have my neg developed and scanned. May take a few days, though. Peter, I got snow, but hardly enough to even see it falling, let alone covering something. But only few people, no crowds (people here told me the week before christmas is the worst for them, no tourists at all. Good for me, that is).

Thank you so much for your input,

Holger
 

Edwardv

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An other camera I know would go nice would be the Plaubel Makina 67, 80mm or 50mm. NOTE: The lenses are not interchangeable; permanently fixed to the camera.
 

Rick A

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Quick-run out and buy a Mamiya 6 or 7!! Medium format with the convienience of the Leica.

Rick
 

PeterAM

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Some very nice work. Next time that you are there, go over to Guidecca. Quite a bit different than the rest of the city. Venice is a fantastic place, especially if you can manage your visits when the tourists are not about.
 

Edwardv

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I used one and the police didn't say anything. I kept it away from crowded walk ways and when there wasn't too many people I put it where I wanted it. Some of the people stopped and looked in the direction where the camera was being pointed and took photographs in that direction. I would say, "think safety and use common sense in the placement of the tripod.

Good luck.
 
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