Whats the best way to carry LF camera and 35mm equipment?

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by ted_stoddard, Feb 20, 2004.

  1. I am going on a trip and i am bringing my kodak view master 2-d ,
    minolta 35mm, with 6 lenses and a widelux F7 plus about 15 8x10
    holders with filters,film and misc items.... what is the best way to
    carry it all comfortably? Please help.... i have looked at a few
    backpacks and so on but confused on whats the best....thanks ted
  2. AFAIK there is no decicated backpack that will carry all of your equipment. I seriously
    doubt there are many backpacks at all that will carry it all and anything else at all. have
    you thought of the weight if you want to carry it all at once and all the time. I am adding
    up to well over 50 pounds just for the equipment.

    I sometimes travel with a similar outfit (4x5 Horseman FA with 5 lenses, 8x10 Phillips
    Compact II with an additional couple of lenses, Noblex F, digital camera, and all the film
    and stuff that goes along with the above). I never try and cram it all into the same pack. I
    have a couple of ATA approved cases that carry the gear and I do carry a f64BPX backpack
    that I use when trekking on the other end. Whenever I can I ship the gear in advance via
    DHL/Airborne or UPS ground.
  3. Ted, if you have to hike any distance with all that gear you may want to forget it. Even if not, hard to take great photos while at the same time keeping up with all that stuff around onlookers, nature and gravity. You definitely should look at the array of cases with wheels.
  4. A Sherpa.
  5. I use a backpack for my LF (4x5) equipment and the LowePro S&F Vest/Belt system for my 35mm equipment. Actually, I have a second backpack for my MF equipment too but, I don't take both MF and LF at the same time...kinda impossible to carry both backpacks at the same time.

    Obviously you know what a backpack is. The S&F Vest/Belt system is pretty versital. It's a padded belt with a vest type harness attached. Both the belt and harness have loops where you attach various pouches. I've got a padded lens pouch for each of my lenses along with several other pouches for carrying film, filters, metering stuff, cleaning equipment, a second camera body, and so on and so forth. I've modified the harness by attaching a quick release buckle on each shoulder. The mated buckles are attached to my shortened camera strap. That way I can carry my 35mm camera, hands free, and have another camera in a pouch attached to the belt.

    With the S&F Vest/Belt system worn I can still carry a backpack. I used this method while hiking Grand Teton NP, Zion NP, and Arches/Canyonlands NP. I'm 50 yrs old and had no problem with doing so but, I was psyched up and ready for the long haul. No doubt about it, I was a little tired at the end of each day but, it was worth it and is doable.
  6. ted:

    look into tenba cases.

    happy trails

  7. The Lightware BP1420. would probably hold and protect all of that, but you =
    probably would not want to backpack with it due to the weight.
  8. Depending on where you're going, how you're getting there, and what you'll be doing once there, the choices tend to lean in different directions. For most vehicle-based trips, I use a combination of a LowePro Trekker Classic backpack and a Tamrac rolling case, along with supplemental pouches that stay in the vehicle. I pull what I need from these at each specific location, depending on what I'm doing. If I need to go very far from the vehicle, and the terrain is reasonable, I use a folding golf cart to carry the two cases.
    The cart, fully loaded
  9. I found this late one night while surfing


    I am planning on getting one
  10. YOu have to start thinking that dragging all that stuff around is going to seriously interfere with the time, attention and energey you can devote to actually seeing anything. No? Not that I doubt your sincerity or your intentions but I think that if you lighten up you will see more and enjoy it more.
  11. 1°) A standard back-pack like my Lowepro Super-Trekker gives the best storage capacity but carrying it on the back presents some dangers and drawbacks :
    • I'm 55 years old and with 2 prostheses of hip, carrying the Super-Trekker on my back is very painful after a few hours !!.
    • the side torsion movement I do to unload the 20 kgs heavy backpack (plus the tripod) is a very dangerous operation for the vertebrae.
    • 2°) All photo backpacks with wheels (sometimes very small ones) are very convenient in railroad stations or airports, but, downtown, with the pavements and the inequalities of the ground, it is a true pain, and in countryside, forests, it is completely impossible.
      Following advices of some American large format "accros", I tried at first the system of luggage caddies and golf carriers :
      Because of the backpack's weight and the reduced spacing between the (very small) wheels, I found it very difficult to pull the caddy behind me without seeing it frequently rocking. Quite impossible into cross-country.
      Moreover, the two-wheeled caddy (even the two-wheeled Sherpa cart) can't be left without holding it when I stop walking.
      I tried another system : I bought a 3-wheeled baby-stroller, Everest model by french manufacture "Bébé Comfort" (you can see it on their website in english : http://www.mcd.bebeconfort.com/UK_2002/pages/site/nav.asp?pG=G3)
      This kind of stroller can be found everywhere, new or used.
      I fix the Super Trekker backpack on it, by means of straps or velcros fixed in the side passers.
      Advantages :
      • The wheels are very large and are equipped with inflatable tires mounted on shock absorbers, therefore carrying the backpack is very comfortable and vibrations are completely reduced. (Lenses, shutters and other precision equipments are protected).
      • I can use it downtown or in countryside, forests, on quite all ways (of course no hill-climbing...) but with no efforts !
      • On three wheels, the whole carriage is very stable, without swings, and it holds upright by itself when I stop walking.
      • It can be pushed or pulled, and it is easy to drive and raise it to cross the pavements and small obstacles.
      • I can stop immediately without holding the carriage, or laying the bag on the ground, and the bag never falls.
      • The stroller has a speed reducer on the front wheel (priceless in the slopes) and brakes on both aft wheels.
      • When stopping, the bag is never in contact with the ground (moisture, water, mud...) and, once opened, it presents all its contents as on an oblique cradle, allowing a total access to the camera and the whole equipment.
      • The stroller is collapsible, and all three wheels can be dismounted for stocking in the car.
      • Drawbacks :
        • The price (about $200 used in mint condition), but I consider that my health, and the cost of photographic equipment are much more expensive !
        • The weight of the stroller, in addition to the bag's one.
        • It is sometimes difficult to climb and descend the stairs (but not impossible)
      • Regards
  12. Congratulations, Peter Lerman, for your very clever and very judicious answer. I plenty agree with you.
    After reading what you wrote :
    "You have to start thinking that dragging all that stuff around is going to seriously interfere with the time, attention and energey you can devote to actually seeing anything.",
    I can also add that when using the stroller and the bag on it, I am much less tired when I find something worth to be photographied.
    I had forgotten that. Thanks again.
    When I carried all the gear on my back, I was often exhausted, and sometimes disgusted. "A 35 mm camera was so light and less cumbersome...Why the hell did I bought this d.. camera !"
    Since I use this system, as I am no more tired to carry the backpack, I found again a real pleasure to use the LF camera.
    Since then, I recovered my concentration to appreciate the beauty of landscapes and all what I see. I also avoid making multiple mistakes as I too often did when I was too tired.

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