Weight of MF equipment in the field

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by jim_sidinger, Jul 14, 1997.

  1. This question was asked in the old format digest and my response was
    lost in the transition. Since I didn't see an answer similar to
    mine, I am opening this in the new digest to allow re-submittal of
    my response.
     
  2. I too have had to deal with the problems of carrying MF equipment in
    the field. My attempts to use an RB67 and heavy duty Bogen tripod in the mountains of Colorado, USA had me with perpetual sore
    shoulder-itus until I found a solution which worked
    for me (and my limited budget).

    <p>

    I agree that a backpack is superior to the shoulder pack and, after
    rejecting the photo-specific models as mostly too expensive,
    I went to a local outdoor outfitter where I found a wide variety of
    packs designed to be comfortable for carrying heavy loads all day.

    <p>

    I found one which was large enough to carry the equipment I normally
    want to have with me (including camera, extra lens, etc.) and which
    fit my budget. The one I eventually picked not only had a large
    main compartment but also several side pockets which were perfect
    for film, filters and the like. In addition, these packs have
    several straps (designed to carry sleeping bags and pads) which are
    well suited to strapping on my tripod.

    <p>

    I then went to a place which sold foam and found a piece which was
    large enough to fill the main compartment of my new pack. I carved it
    down to a custom fit size and also created custom cut-outs for my
    gear.

    <p>

    I have been quite happy with the results in that the solution is
    capable, comfortable and fit my budget. Also, it didn't require a
    lot of skill to make.

    <p>

    One last thing. The first time, I bought foam which was
    designated as "open-cell". This, I found out was a euphemism for
    "spounge" - not particlarly great where rain and snow can cause real
    moisture problems. I subsequently went back and found that there
    is a "closed-cell" type which does not absorb. It costs a little
    more but is perfect for the job.

    <p>

    Hope this helps.

    <p>

    Jim Sidinger - Denver, Colorado USA
     
  3. A little knowledge and imagination can save alot of money, eh?
    The only "real" camera bags I have were gifts. I also bought a general purpose backpack from a sports goods store.
     
  4. As a user of the P67 this problem is fully appreciated by myself. I have used Tamrac packs in the past (still do on short hikes) but much prefer a good heavy duty backpack (mine is a Dana) for the extra support offered. However, I don't particularly like to have to unsling the pack and dig down to get my camera gear for each time I stop to photograph so I rigged up a system where a smaller pack (an old LowePro) rests against my chest. It hangs from the shoulder straps of the Dana and attaches to the waist belt so it would flop around. It sounds (and looks) a bit odd I suppose but works well. It has the added benefit of being a counterweight to the backpack so under heavy loads you can stand upright very comfortably. However, it is not for those who need to be able to see their feet and it does tend to make you a bit sweaty. I tried it out on a X-country ski trip early this year and it worked well enough - except when I felt over it was a bugger to get undone. So it isn't a perfect system.

    <p>

    After more thought the best system I can think of is to find a panel opening (as opposed to a top opening) backpack so it is easy to get to and so you can place most of the equipmant towards to base of the pack (heavy stuff at the bottom!) and carry the bare essentials out front. I have looked but I have yet to find a good heavy duty panel opening backpack, though I have seen some external frame packs that come close. Anyway, I'm still looking for the perfect solution.

    <p>

    The most important thing is to get a pack that transfers the weight to your hips. Well, I hope this gives you something to think about.

    <p>

    Regards
    Paul
     
  5. Ansel Adams solved the problem initially by hiring a mule. These days, I'd guess a llama is more likely. Of course, the ultimate solution is an assistant. Get them to carry the tent and cookware, too! :)
     
  6. To Paul :
    A very good (maybe best) heavy duty backpack is the North Face "Snow Leopard". It is like a big backpack, 70 l, with top opening but it also has two lateral big zip on the two sides so that you can easily reach anything in the bag. It also has two side pocket that can be opened when you are carrying the backpack and it has a very large comfortable hip belt.
     
  7. P. Aing took the words out of my mouth (keyboard?). The North Face
    people have several models which could fit depending on the size that
    you want to have. That's where I found mine. Also, REI had several
    as well. These are USA firms which do mailorder. I am sure that
    other countries have their counterparts. I think, though, that the
    type of pack which opens as described is not as common in the
    "discount store" locations. If anybody has found some, they might
    let others know.

    <p>

    Jim Sidinger - Denver, Colorado, USA
     

Share This Page