LF pack: Something to stand on.

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Bruce Osgood, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council

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    I'm not an unusually short person (5' 6-8") and I find myself out with my 4X5 press camera and would like to stand on something because of the elevation I would like to shoot at.
    I'm wondering a couple of things:
    Do others find this problem, or does your ability to raise the lens provide sufficient height for your style of shooting?
    I'm not going to carry a step stool but wonder if there is a camera bag/box that will support the weight of a person to stand on -- that is also quite portable?

    Thankyou in advance,
     
  2. Bill Mitchell

    Bill Mitchell Member

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    There's a story told about Ansel Adams (6'2") and Edward Weston (5'6") photographing together at Lake Tanayka. They set up the 8x10s in almost identical places, and then looked at each other's ground glass.
    "I like my composition better," said Ansel.
    "So do I," replied Weston, "but I'm not tall enought to set the camera that high."
     
  3. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    Five gallon hard plastic bucket from the hardware store. If you're lucky, you can get one that chain was shipped in free. If not lucky, you can buy one in the paint section for a few dollars. It's cheap, has a handle, and you can use it to carry stuff until you turn it upside down to stand on.
    juan
     
  4. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Wouldn't a folding stool be lighter then any case?
     
  5. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    Unless you're a total lard-ass, a Pelican case should do the trick. They're intended to be strong enough to withstand baggage apes at the airport, and even a car driving over them. Then it does double duty, and you'll not have to worry about someone snatching your gear while you're under the darkcloth - you're standing on it!
     
  6. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Bruce,

    Having seen movies on the lives of Edward Weston and Ansel Adams, last time I bought a car I tried to get an all wheel drive vehicle whose roof rack would support a sheet of plywood, 8x10 camera, tripod and me. 150 # capacity seemed about top. My doctor the car sales people and I all had a good laugh. I noticed that RobertP bought a Land Rover Discovery which would do that, but I was not comfortable with their Consumer Report service ratings.

    If you are not going far from the car a small cooler with a flat lid and non skid tape from a marine store can be a double purpose item. If you have lots of room a three foot step ladder is useful.

    I am curious about your measurement "I'm not an unusually short person (5' 6-8")" My waist line goes out and in with diet, but I haven't found anything that makes me grow two inches taller. How do you do that?

    John Powers
     
  7. raucousimages

    raucousimages Member

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    You can purchase a step stool/tool box from hardware stores. basically a tool box you can stand on with short legs. One of our members uses one. He carries the camera on the tripod and meter, film holders etc in the tool box when working in the shallow water of the Great Salt Lake. It lets him set it down but the legs keep the box out of the water and works as a seat als:blink:n some parts of the lake you can walk for miles and only get your ankles wet.

    Several years ago I saw a pack that was an strong aluminum box on a pack frame to carry delicate survey equipment in remote areas but I don't know where to find one.
     
  8. leeturner

    leeturner Subscriber

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    This is what you need :wink:

    Box/Rucksack

    I particularly like the illustration in the case.
     

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  9. raucousimages

    raucousimages Member

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    P.S. I have back problems from the Marines and years in construction. I am 5' 10" in the morning and 5' 9" in the evening (5'8") if I have been lifting heavy lumber in the day. This is due to compression of the discs durring the day and streaching at night. If you drive to work, sit all day and need to adjust your rear view mirror when you drive home, your back is shrinking. Ain't getting old fun?
     
  10. Richard Kelham

    Richard Kelham Member

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    High heeled sneakers?


    Seriously though, when I was doing quite a lot of architectural work using a Sinar which came in a hard case – just like the one Lee Turner showed – I often had to stand on the box to get the right composition, and I'm 6' tall. Those Sinar boxes will take a lot of punishment, and carry your kit safely, but I wouldn't want to have to carry it any great distance. In fact now my back is buggered I wouldn't want to carry it at all.


    Richard
     
  11. Bruce Watson

    Bruce Watson Member

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    The flip side of this was Frank Lloyd Wright. He was about 5'8" and designed his buildings for his height (not the height of the guy footing the bills). In particular, Taliesin, his home in Wisconsin, had very low ceilings in the hallways leading to his office. He could sit at his desk and watch his taller and younger assistants hunch over as they walked down the hall to see him. I suspect that he enjoyed that view about as much as the view out the windows, which was beautiful indeed ;-)

    Stories aside, I'm about your height Bruce (both of us would feel at home in Taliesin). I can't remember the last time I wanted to set the camera higher up than I can reasonably operate it. I've more often wanted to set it in mid-air a few meters into the river valley where I could see around the trees, or midway up the side of the ravine where the slope is about 80 degrees. Other than that, if I can't scramble around on the rocks and find a perch that I like, I just move on down the path.

    There are way too many compositions out there that want me to work them -- I don't spend much time on the ones that don't want to cooperate!
     
  12. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member

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    That's funny - I quite often want a taller tripod and a ladder. And I'm 6'4"!