Analog Junkie’s Guide to Traveling (1): Prep Your Gears


“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” –Alexander Graham Bell

Most of analog photography enthusiasts who love traveling bring lots of photography stuffs they wouldn’t use later. Analog stuffs are heavy, especially mechanical cameras, even the amateur ones, not to mention in a long duration trip (more than a week), it’s necessary to bring a lot of film rolls. So, bring only the essentials.

Remember the magic words for choosing your photography equipment: “Keep the weight to minimum without losing the flexibility to shoot at any place, any moment.” Here are some tips to get you prepared:


  • Bring two cameras: one loaded with color film and another with B&W. But if you’re a monochromatic purist, B&W films with different ISOs are enough.
  • Go for 35 mm. In traveling, the key is mobility, smaller is better. Your cameras shouldn’t burden you to move with haste.
  • Always carry a mechanical camera. In a long duration trip, especially to remote places (mountains, distant islands) a mechanical camera acts as a safety net. It needs no battery to operate and usually built tough to endure all kind of condition.
  • A panoramic camera is a plus. Only the pussies stitch two or more overlapping pictures with software. Full frame panoramic camera rules!
  • Limit your shots. A 35 mm film roll has only 36 frames and it weighs 21.7 gram. If you’re a trigger happy person with the expense of 20 rolls a day, traveling in a week would cost you 3.038 kg baggage, that’s fucking heavy. For non-essential shots such as narcissist pictures, use your mobile phone instead.
  • Bring two fixed lenses (One wide lens: 28mm/35mm + one “normal” lens: 40mm/50mm) or one zoom lens (35-70mm/18-55mm) is adequate enough to cover all kind of trip. Once, I even brought only 28mm lens during my 10-day trip from North Sumatera to Aceh.
  • IMG_0999Carry a compact, shoulder bag. Remember, in traveling, you’re already carrying a backpack/daypack. So, don’t trouble yourself with another medium-sized shoulder bag or another camera backpack unless you have the budget to hire a porter everywhere you go.  I use a Domke F-5xb because for such a small bag, surprisingly, it can fit many cameras than it looks. Consider other options: ThinkTank Retrospective 5, Billingham L2, LowePro Event Messenger 100, or Vanguard Pampas II 22

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