carrying a 4x5 in a backpack

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by dave42, Jul 10, 2005.

  1. hi everyone-
    just wondering what people used to house their 4x5 while backpacking. I
    have a galvin 4x5, pentax meter, 3 film holders, and of course film. thanks!
  2. I have a Lowepro Mini Trekker and an f.64 Large backpack. The MiniTrekker can just fit a
    basic field camera kit.

    The f.64 has plenty of extra room.
  3. Hi David,
    I carry a Lowepro MiniTrecker AW with:
    Shen-Hao HZX45-IIA, 5,6/150; 5,6/210; 5,6/90; 6 Sheet holders, compendium, dark cloth, Gossen Starlight (lightmeter), zwo filters and a reducer ring and on the outside a Berlebach 9013 tripod. Works very well.
  4. There is a ton of threads about back packs in general, look through the "carrying equipment" older questions. It doesn't sound like you need a very large pack. I have seen some 4 x 5 photographers use a very small back pack and carry their tripod in hand and others who prefer to have the tripod fit in or on the pack.
  5. I am using Tamrac backpack with my Linhof 4x5 master 2000. The one and most major reason is that this backpack design has such a great depth (nearly 6 inch or more) that i can skip my camera into it perpendicular into! By this way of storage, much more space can be used for other acccessories!
  6. I've used things as small as a Domke 35mm shoulder bag to carry a 4x5 Tachihara, BTZS dark cloth, 2 small lenses, 2 holders, and a Lee rubber band filter system (meter on belt, eye glasses on face, no food, water, or accessories) and as large as my present F64 8x10 size pack for a 4x5 Linhof Master Technika, 5 lenses (4 very small, one medium size), up to 15 holders and/or two boxes of Readyloads plus Readyload holder, meter, eye glasses, BTZS dark cloth, 10 screw-on glass filters plus adapter rings, spanner wrench, lens cleaning cloth, other small accesories, rain cover for pack, water, snack, and still have room left over. I've also used a Domke Photo Backpacker (good price, relatively small and light weight, but for me too inconvenient because of all the pockets and zippers) and a LowePro Photo Trekker AW backpack(too bulky and heavy for me, just barely large enough for my basic equipment, too small for extras like food and water).
  7. Only a photographer would consider food and water extras =-- I am glad we all have our priorities straight. Water is only really necessary if you are going to process film.
  8. It's interesting that you ask what people use when backpacking...

    Many here have talked about what backpack they use for their camera, but have not talked directly about backpacking. If I am reading right, you are going to do some back-country backpacking and want to take your 4x5 camera along?

    As an avid backpacker who shoots 4x5 I have found that the best option for me is to use a smallish camera bag (one intended for a large 35mm setup) to store my camera (and holders if possible--though I now use Readyloads and a Readyload back) and have my lens(es) in lens-wraps.
    If you are doing back-country backpacking then you know that you need to go as light and as minimal as possible.

    My best item for backpacking was the purchase of my Toyo 45CF and the use of the 150mm lens because the lens can be left on the camera, the camera folded and placed in my pack. Together the lens/camera weigh only a bit more than a 35mm setup and are just a little bigger in size (not including the Readyloads and back). I'd highly suggest a similar setup if you are going to be doing a lot of backpacking.
  9. pvp


    I use a Lowe Super Trekker AW to carry my 4x5 (Tachihara) plus 3 lenses, meter, filters and about a dozen film holders. With the add-on outside pouch I can also add a Polaroid holder and a box or two of Readyload film. Tripod straps on the outside. Now if I can just find someone else to carry the thing...
  10. There have been a few of these threads on the forums before and it always seems to get the same responses at first. Most of these answers are by people using a camera "backpack" to dayhike and not actually backpack. Yes for those few who don't understand, backpacking is the outdoor activity where one goes off hiking usually more than a mile from trailheads with all the gear required to overnight in the backcountry. And not car campers that camp beside a road at a campground or whatever and then day hike out into backcountry. I'm not a big person. And carry a huge pack when out for a week or more. Certainly there are not going to be many view camera users that can take the physical demands carrying big loads up mountain trails.

    Camera backpacks are not intended to also carry basic backpacking gear. Of course one can strap a sleeping bag on one of them and do a half-a overnighter, but such is not a serious solution. I've backpacked a great deal for three decades. A couple dozen as a serious photographer of 35mm then 6x7 and then 4x5. For my own solution I have always used a concept of using a camera daypack which either fits inside or piggybacks onto a larger conventional backpack. Personally I have always used custom piggyback systems using Quickrelease latches. The advantage of that strategy is flexibility. When hiking down a trail with the full gear, if I wish to wander off from the trail to do some photo work, it is simply a matter of unlatching the daypack and off I quickly go. On return it is likewise simple to snap on the Quickreleases. Note I carry a big 6pound Gitzo 1325/Foba and about 20 pounds of camera gear. My field camera goes into a dirt cheap $1.84 ordinary10x10x6 inch corrugated paper shipping box and three lenses into 4x4x4 inch like boxes. Those boxes, film, and the rest all go into my 2200 cubic inch climbers daypack. No sections just a big compartment. I just had to replace the box for the field camera after a year of heavy field use because the corners were starting to soften up structurally. Afraid it might get crushed I bet? Lens boxes too? Believe me I am not Mr Gentle with my gear. I take my pack off and it drops to the ground without much nonsense. When I set my gear up in the field, I often just turn the whole pack upsidedown and it all just spills out onto the ground. A lightweight shipping box will do just fine in a daypack unless one whips it over a cliff.
  11. I have a Mountainsmith Paragon Camera Daypack. The main compartment holds a 4x5 Tachihara, focusing cloth, 3 lenses, Pentax digital spot meter, focusing loupe, Linhof universal viewfinder.

    The separate large zippered bottom compartment holds a Quickload holder, Polaroid 545 holder, one box of Polaroid 54 film and two boxes of Quickloads.

    Scattered among several inside and outside pockets are a selection of filters, adapter rings and an assortment of other small items.
  12. Thanks everyone for the answers... David and Brian hit it right on the mark! thanks guys!!! can't wait to start shooting...
  13. An interesting option for backpacking is the Osprey Aether 75. Its a great backpack from a backpacking perspective. You can purchase the optional Osprey Daylite daypack that is designed to attach securely to the outside of the Aether 75. So the camera gear stays on the outside of the main pack where it is easily accessible. You can also detach the daylite and hike with just the camaera gear. The Daylite is not huge but should hold most of your 4x5 gear. The combo gives you a great backpack plus great camera stoage.
  14. Not entirely sure what the question is (I have an old Arcteryx Bora 80? -- something like that. If you go out >1 week, or in winter it'll be too small) but I find that the Domke 4 compartment insert such as comes with the F2 or F6 is real handy for carrying 3 compact lenses + meter. Well, maybe not the Pentax meter. Much more convenient than wraps, though I could wish the bottom were padded (easy enough to add a bit of foam in each compartment, though) -- at least for Technika/Tachi/Wista/Shen Hao size boards. Just be careful not to upend the thing or everything will fall out. If your Galvin takes Sinar size boards or you just have to have your 90 SA-XL or 300/5.6 you might be stuck with wraps. For the film holders, the elegant way is a folding file from Gnass Gear (they also have a very slick lens case, but I already had the Domke ...) -- hangs on your tripod, which is very handy if it's wet out or you're in a swamp, kinda spendy. The cheap and almost as easy way is an insulated lunch bag, about $7 from Target. I think I managed to jam 8 holders in one, although 6 is more comfortable. A film box or two, an empty film box or two, a dark cloth and you're set.
  15. I converted a Kelty redwing. Most camera-oriented backs dont seem to be designed for walking more than a mile. I used to try to hike (10 miles or more) with a tamarac and that was just ugly. In the Kelty I can fit a 4x5, 4 lenses, eight holders, light meter, water and strap a wooden tripod to the side. It's thirty something pounds but it feels lighter than a ten pounds felt in the tamarac.
  16. Here's a crude website I put together that shows how I pack my kit.
  17. Oddly enough, my LF kit is actually lighter and smaller than my digital kit. The camera is an old Speed Graphic Pacemaker that I've fitted with a neoprene strap that I can carry over a shoulder, and the film holders usually live in a converted camcorder pack. If it's a really sunny day I'll just dispense with the tripod and use the Speed Graphic's onboard cloth shutter and hand-hold the thing. Otherwise there is a tripod slung on a strap over my other shoulder.
  18. Wal-Mart has this tiny Samsonite "backpack" (in the camera section) which is a perfect fit for my Shen Hao 4x5. And even better, it is also a perfect fit for four fidelity style 4x5 film holders.

    There's not a lot of extra padding or dividers in these "backpacks" so not much added weight. Cut off the backstraps to get rid of more weight. I use another one for the accessories. That's three total - very lightweight - all tuck nicely into the backpack - everything's organized.

    Good luck,
  19. LowePro Mini Trekker is my backpack of choice also. It holds my Linhof Technika, an extra lens, 6 film holders, a box of film, Minolta Meter with spot attachment and the trusted Berlebach 3002 tripod on the outside.


Share This Page