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  1. #1

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    Dec 2012
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    4x5 camera backpack recomendations

    I just got my first 4x5 field camera, a Chamonix F1. It's great to finally have something less bulky than my Calumet mono-rail. With that said, I wanted to know if anyone had any recommendations for a camera backpack. I just need a good way to transport the camera, three or so lenses/boards, holders, and all the other bits and pieces that go with 4x5. Also I currently have a Manfrotto 290 tripod, are the standard Manfrotto cases the way to go for it?

  2. #2
    viridari's Avatar
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    Dec 2008
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    Outside-the-box suggestion: have a look at Maxpedition. Their bags are military grade, full of pockets, and covered in webbing from which you can accessorize with other pouches of your choosing. I use some of their smaller bags for 35mm and 120 TLR "run & gun" gear, and also one of their smaller Versipack bags to carry film holders for my Crown Graphic (but I just carry the Graflex by its built-in handle; no need for a bag in my case).

  3. #3
    David Nardi's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
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    Ontario, Canada
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    I just use good 'ol Lowepro. I have a Super Trekker Pro for my 4x5. This bag has been discontinued. And I use the new Pro Trekker 600 AW for my 8x10. They're large bags but comfortably handle my needs. The Pro Trekker comes in 3 sizes (300, 400 & 600).
    David S. Nardi Photography
    'preserving the beauty in nature'
    www.davidnardi.com

  4. #4
    Mark Fisher's Avatar
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    I use a front opening backpack (REI version of a Kelty Red Wing). My lenses (3 plus some extra room) go in a fly fishing reel case with some extra separator that I got from Cabella's. I have a case from PhotoBackpacker for the camera, but I mostly just wrap it in the darkcloth. I can also fit in about 6 filmholders, a spot meter in a neoprene Zing case, loupe, etc in the bag somewhere. I mostly carry the camera on the tripod in the field. I think if I used LF more, I'd just get a shoulder bag to hold everything except the camera and have a separate bag for the camera and keep the camera on the tripod in the field.
    Your first 10,000 pictures are the worst - HCB

    www.markjamesfisher.com

  5. #5

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    you might want to check out photobackpacker.com
    bruce has been a member of apug for a long long time
    and from all reports his product is what others strive for!

  6. #6
    Dan Henderson's Avatar
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    I second John's recommendation for Photobackpacker. Bought mine when I shot medium format, was easy to buy different cases when I went to 4x5. Still have the cases and can switch back if I want to dust the Hassy off some day. Was easy to repack the camera cases in a Pelican case for air travel to Cuba recently, while carrying film onboard in the modified Kelty. A truly versatile system.


    web site: Dan Henderson, Photographer.com

    blog: https://danhendersonphotographer.wordpress.com/

    I am not anti-digital. I am pro-film.

  7. #7

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    Sep 2002
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    Oregon and Austria
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    I have used a largish lumbar pack in conjunction with a fly-fishing vest for a couple of decades now. The lumbar pack has a shoulder strap as well, so never has to touch the ground. I simply unbuckle the hip belt and use it slung to one side, strap cross-body, and work directly from it.

    I find this set-up allows me more freedom to scramble, climb and hike and is more balanced than a backpack.

    Best,

    Doremus

  8. #8

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    Oct 2004
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    San Jose, CA
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    I like my Panda 402 from Kata - it has the ability to separate the main compartment into two, which I have divided into an upper which holds my film holders and lenses, and a lower compartment where I keep the camera. There is a front pocket which holds all the other stuff (loupe, meter, etc). The pack has a zippered compartment which allows the straps to be enclosed, and the ability to add a wheelie thingie which makes it easier to travel with through airports. The one complaint that I have with it is the method for tripod attachment - it has facility to hold a tripod strapped to the side of the pack, but I think that this is because I have such a heavy tripod, need to invest in a C.F. tripod....
    Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #9

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    Well I checked photobackpacker, unfortunately their new backpacks aren't ready yet. In the meantime I've bought a camera case, and cases for my lenses. I'm just going to use a regular backpack to transport it until I can complete the photobackpacker system.

  10. #10
    Kevin Kehler's Avatar
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    Regina Canada (sounds more fun than it is)
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    I bought a Lowepro Rover Pro AW (what an awkward name!) a couple of weeks ago in order to do hiking/backpacking. I can put 40lbs of camera gear in it and walk for 2 hours without any real discomfort. If anything, I realized the need for a lighter tripod. However, the pack is great and very well thought out. I can put my 5x7 and related gear into it or I also had a full RZ kit in it with plenty of room. I would like one of the photobackpacker cases for the 5x7 but need to measure my bag first.
    Once a photographer is convinced that the camera can lie and that, strictly speaking, the vast majority of photographs are "camera lies," inasmuch as they tell only part of a story or tell it in a distorted form, half the battle is won. Once he has conceded that photography is not a "naturalistic" medium of rendition and that striving for "naturalism" in a photograph is futile, he can turn his attention to using a camera to make more effective pictures.

    Andreas Feininger

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