View Full Version : What do you guys carry your cameras in?

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tim k
10-17-2010, 08:22 PM
My 11x14 project is starting to look a little bit like a camera now. And it just occurred to me I have no idea whatsoever what to put it in to protect it while schlepping it around.

I found a nice little kids insulated soft sided lunch box for the 4x5, but thats not going to work for the 11x14. I read the suggestion that David made a few threads down, but I don't think I'm going to be spending that kind of money, although it looked like a nice solution.

I'm not looking for a backpack, thats another issue. So what do you guys use?


Sirius Glass
10-17-2010, 08:34 PM
I prefer a backpack to a shoulder bag, especially if the equipment is large of heavy. A backpack allows the weight to be transferred to the hips and it balances the load on the back. I like the Tamrac 750 and 752 top loading backpack. But since you do not want a backpack, a wheeled camera case may fit the bill. Of course a wheeled camera case is not great on a trail.


10-17-2010, 08:40 PM
I have gone with backpacks (up to 8x10), but for a 11x14, perhaps a wheeled hardcase piece of luggage? Of course, wheeling a big piece of luggage around town might get some strange looks. A line from a short story that sticks in my head -- "Daddy? Is that man homeless?" "No, Honey, that is a man with problems."

Richard Ritter in his instruction video for his 7x17 camera suggests a large suitcase (his was soft-sided). I have one (7x17) on loan and am using the cardboard box my iMac came in -- it even has a very substantial handle. Camera fits in perfectly along with a holder -- I'll have to have the lens and etc's in a daypack. I just won't be using the box once the rains start!

And there is always the baby buggy route (larger wheeled jogger style).

Christopher Walrath
10-17-2010, 09:06 PM
The biggest question is exactly to where do you intend to schlep it? Imagine your destination(s) then procure your conveyance(s).

tim k
10-17-2010, 09:07 PM
Thanks guys, I'm not asking about what to carry it in when I'm shooting, that I think would be a backpack or buggy of some sort. But rather just to protect it around the house, in and out of the car and while traveling.

10-17-2010, 09:14 PM
try a pelican/storm case. with the non-foam dividers. I've seen a butt-load on craigslist lately. bought a few the other day for a song :). a tad scratched and rubbed, but will give many, many years of faithful servitude :D


tim k
10-17-2010, 09:18 PM
Thanks Daniel, I suppose a Pelican would be just about the best protection there is.

10-17-2010, 09:20 PM
My 14x17 came with a really nice Tenba padded air shipping bag that fits it and a Saitta film holder bag with three holders.

10-18-2010, 12:07 AM
Whatever you put it in, then get a three-wheel jogging style baby stroller to push all the gear around instead of schlepping it on your back and shoulders.

10-18-2010, 12:36 AM
Whatever you put it in, then get a three-wheel jogging style baby stroller to push all the gear around instead of schlepping it on your back and shoulders.

You have that right, I've finally come to terms with the idea of a stroller/cart/buggy etc. after the last trip with my 8x10.


tim k
10-18-2010, 11:10 AM
I just priced the Tenba bags. They look like a very nice solution. But for the money, I'm liking Vaughns system. New computer with just the right sized box.

10-18-2010, 01:31 PM
Thanks guys, I'm not asking about what to carry it in when I'm shooting, that I think would be a backpack or buggy of some sort. But rather just to protect it around the house, in and out of the car and while traveling.

Around the house and transporting my 7x17 or 8x10 I keep them mounted on Ries tripods. To protect the cameras from bumps and the daily accumulation of dust I wrap the camera in a simple bath towel. When traveling I lay either or both camera-tripods out in a Toyota Highlander SUV. If carrying one camera the baby jogger goes in back with the camera and tripod. If two cameras I have a 2x4’ metal carrier that plugs into the trailer hitch. That carries the jogger when the SUV is full. Following is text from the LF Forum. The whole thread might be of interest at.
Re: Large format carrying stroller
Some very interesting ideas have been posted. I am 70 years old and have been using this baby jogger for five years. http://babyjogger.com/perf_jogger_lp.aspx. I use it for 8x10 and 7x17 cameras with Ries tripods. Most of the time I use it for following the towpath while photographing the OH & Erie Canal. I have also used it in cities and across open fields, not cliffs nor stairs.

Low center of gravity and a place to store film holders was mentioned. Note this baby jogger has two rails going between the front and rear axles. The rails are long enough to hold seven 7x17 film holders in a nylon bag. Alternatively I carry 8x10 film holders in a cheap Walmart bag bungied to these rails. I have not had a tipping problem. This may be because of the low center of gravity, the wide track of the rear wheels, or that I do not drink and drive.

I found a cooler bag that is about a one foot cube with 1/2 inch padded walls, top and bottom. This is my “stuff” bag. Inside are five lenses on boards in open zip lock bags, meter, 9” level, loupe, tools, stop watch and dark cloth. This bag rests in the seat.

For several posters carrying a tripod has been a problem. I mount either RH Phillips camera folded flat on a Ries head on a Ries tripod with the spikes extended. The jogger has a foot pad into which I have drilled two ¼” holes for the spikes. The camera is bungy corded to the top of the “stuff” bag for padding and hooked to the shock absorbers. The two holes are the only modification I have made.

I hike 8-12 miles a week with my two Labrador Retrievers. This has conditioned me so that I can easily walk the jogger two miles out and two back with all the gear. There are things beyond 50 feet-yards from the car that I feel are worth photographing. Beyond that I can usually find a parking place closer. I drive a Toyota Highlander or midsize all wheel drive SUV. I transport the camera mounted on the tripod on one side of the back floor, the collapsed jogger on the other. For long trips I have a steel 2x4 foot basket that plugs into the trailer hitch. I can carry the jogger in this and both cameras on tripods in the car.

I think Jerold makes two very good points here. “Also, it keeps your gear in front of you where you can see it so I like that if I am in crowds. If you are setting up in crowded areas, it allows you to seal off an area around your tripod and nobody is tempted to step over it like a backpack on the ground.”

I chose the jogger vs. the bike trailer because I see more at walking speed than I do at bike speed.

John Powers

Robert Hall
10-18-2010, 01:36 PM
I use backpacks. Some I have bought and one I made for the 12x20


I really like PhotoBackpacker.com stuff. I use that for my 8x10 and such. Can't be beat.

10-18-2010, 01:41 PM
I carry my 11x14 on an XXL Bull-pac game hauling frame http://www.bullpacs.com/ . I use some quilting around the camera and have 2 quick release straps to hold the wrapped camera, dark cloth and 3 holders on the frame. The Bull Pac is the only one I found with a perpendicular bottom shelf for the camera to rest on..Evan Clarke

tim k
10-18-2010, 04:32 PM
John, thanks for the link lots of good info.

Robert, I like the looks of the bag you made for the backpack. That might be all I need for general storage and around the house.

Evan, Interesting backpack. Never seen them before.

Seems like a simple solution would be to combine Roberts bag and Evans frame system.

Thanks again guys.

10-18-2010, 05:18 PM
The old Jansport pack frames had a shelf, too -- always thought one of those would work well for a ULF camera.

10-18-2010, 05:46 PM
I pretty much carry my camera in a Jeep. (Shooting mostly 8x10 these days) When I go walkabout I mount the camera to the tripod and carry it over my shoulder, with a small backpack on my back on to hold the detritus.

10-18-2010, 06:28 PM
Jason, what kind of Jeep? I've got TJ. Hardtop or Softtop, AC/noAC?

10-18-2010, 06:46 PM
I keep my Ritter 7x11/8x10 camera and lens - one back on the camera, other one packed - in a softside travel suitcase from one of the discount stores. Added sheet of thick foamcore for the bottom, pad it with the darkcloth and changing tent. Has pretty good wheels, have hauled it all over - grass, gravel, pavement...works great, plus it is a good place to store it at home. Still, most times I try to keep it in the trunk and shoot close to the car. A jeep would life a lot easier sometimes.

10-18-2010, 07:11 PM
Jason, what kind of Jeep? I've got TJ. Hardtop or Softtop, AC/noAC?

2002 TJ sunburst yellow, straight6, soft with half doors, 31x10.50's, safari rack, AC stuck on so I pulled the relay.