Anyone up for another tedious Bag thread?
I'm sure this has been done to death; I even checked my own posting history to make sure I, in my senescence, hadn't already asked.
What kind of bag do you all like for a 4x5 field camera (Chamonix 45n-1), three lenses in boards, film holders and readyloads, etc, a few small gewgaws?
I'm working mostly from the back of an SUV. I don't do much backpacking (if any) out afield.
Protection and easy access are paramount. Portability is nice when I have to schlep to a location---this will not be over rough ground but over pavement, mostly.
I just purchased a Photobackpacker Kelty P2 pack for a hiking photo clinic in a few weeks. Fits a 4x5 field camera, 3 small/medium 4x5 lenses, a rolleiflex, an F100 and a couple lenses for that. It's awesome. If you're just working out of a car, you could probably use any frontloader pack and buy photobackpacker.com's cases appropriate for your gear. When I was looking at the stuff I was more focused on the pack than the cases, but now that I have the equipment I would have to say that the cases are just incredible. Highly recommended for any pack.
My usual kit is a Chamonix 45N-1, three lenses, 10-12 holders, and accessories. I use a LowePro Mini-Trekker pack, and it seems just about perfect. I also have a Pelican 1510 rolling case with padded dividers, that offers more protection and is legal carry-on size. I've also used a Domke F4AF bag and it worked fine. You don't need to overdo it with the Chamonix--it's small and light, so why get a heavy bag?
I'd second the Photobackpacker cases as being excellent for the price. I'd get what you need from there and then figure out what kind of bag, case or box to fit them in.
One of the rolling suitcases would be good for moving them around and providing a little more protection as well.
Along the same lines, but probably pricier, would be one of the wheeled Pelican cases. I see those rolling through Manhattan all the time.
i use a tenba car case.
it is padded, has a center spot / 2 sides,
and comes with a lens case that has space for 3 boarded lenses.
i have maybe 5 or so lenses in there, lenswrapped, some small, some big.
the car case holds a rail camera inverted, or something more compact ..
as well as all your film holders, light meter, dark cloth and lunch
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It depends. Being unwilling to pay $$$ for a real camera bag, if I'm going for a hike more than a mile or two away from the car I stuff my Zone VI, three lenses, meter, focusing cloth, etc. into a standard sport-type backpack. I can either fit a couple of film holders into the bag, or can carry more (up to nine) in a seperate cooler bag (the insulated sort of bag sold to carry one's lunch, or a six-pack packed in ice.) If I'm closer to the car I just keep the camera & etc. in the (larger) insulated cooler bag I normally store it in. Camera, up to nine film holders, three or four lenses, etc. They work very well, I think. I have a system - red bags are 4x5, blue are 8x10. The same backpack works for both.
I've got an Asolo packsack, the 'Encounter 70', and it's the best pack for photographing I've ever had. The best feature is the front loading main compartment, accessed by a large inverted U shaped zipper that just fits my 10" wide x 15" long x 8" deep camera bag. No more dragging the camera bag out the top of the pack!!!!
The top compartment is more than large enough for emergency supplies and the bottom compartment easily holds raingear for myself, the camera and a focusing cloth. In winter the main compartment has enough wiggle room to fit in extra warm clothes. At the very bottom of the pack is a small pouch housing a rain cover that fits over the pack...a small feature with huge potential during the fall monsoon.
Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.
Lowepro Phototrekker AW II.
Originally Posted by MikeSeb
This bag has a bunch of huge advantages for me. It's big enough to carry:
Shen Hao 4x5 (similar size to your chamonix).
3 x lenses in lens wraps
meter (sekonic l558)
~10 film holders
assorted filters, cable releases, etc
Dark cloth (actually two black T-shirts in my case), ready load box, polaroid/readyload holder, etc.
It has an accessory backpack that clips onto the back which I find very useful for holding my dark cloth, accessories and film (e.g. if I'm bringing a readyload box & holder I put it in there, plus boxes of misc. loose film for travel), water bottle if I'm hiking, etc.
Very versatile bag. The all weather cover is useful too, if it gets wet and I'm outdoors. It has a tripod mount on the side (can be located on the rear if you're not using the clip-on accessory backpack) which carries my hefty 055B Pro manfrotto just fine.
It's pretty much the perfect bag for my 4x5. Access is quick, yet its easy to carry around. Not only can you wear it like a backpack but it also comes with a carrying handle, and I think it even has an included shoulder strap so you can lug it that way if you prefer (not sure where mine is as I never used it). While it is a backpack, it's also a very useful all-around bag for working from the car - no compromises here. I've used it that way quite a bit (especially during really cold winter months, not that I face so many of those now that I've moved to the west coast).
I've yet to find a "perfect" bag for my 35mm stuff (I keep jumping from bag to bag hoping to find the right solution), so I'm kind of picky... and this phototrekker AW II fits a 4x5 field system perfect.
The universe is a haunted house. -Coil
I like the largest Crumpler messenger bag with photo insert for my 4x5" Tech V. I've carried it all day with camera, 5 lenses, 4 Grafmatics, the usual accessories, and my tripod on a strap over my shoulder. It's a very easy bag to work out of, with everything accessible. The strap goes across your chest bandolier style, and there's another little strap to keep it straight, so the weight is distributed evenly. The one I have was called the Fux Deluxe when I bought it, but they have some other crazy name for it now.
The Chamonix is smaller than the Technika, so it should even fit in a smaller bag like a Domke F-2, but you would probably need to get different inserts than the one that comes with the bag.
I see by the number and speed of responses that the search for "the" bag never ceases to be of interest! I have a slew of them, and I'm constantly trying to figure out how to apportion my kit among them in the optimal way. It takes a while to learn what you really need in a bag; and by then you've accumulated an entire luggage shop's worth of bags that seemed like a good idea at a time.
Herewith, as best I can recall, for the amusement and mockery of my fellows here, my current bag inventory, accumulated over decades of buying and selling camera gear, and occasionally actually using said gear to make pictures:
1. LowePro Commercial AW MF: bought for Contax system, now holds Lumedyne lighting kit;
2. Pelican PCS104 rolling bag: huge beast, bought for studio strobes, stands, etc; sitting unused, just too damn big and cumbersome;
3. Lowepro MiniTrekker: bought for D70 outfit, now empty;
4. Lightware 1623: bought for ?whoKnowsWhat?, now holds Dyna-Lite gear;
5. Ginormous Halliburton case: can't remember what I bought it for eons ago, empty;
6. Small Halliburton case: came with Sinar gear bought 20 yrs ago, empty;
7. Domke F-1x: bought as "day bag" to work out of; houses Mamiya TLR stuff;
8. Domke F-6: bought for, and houses, Mamiya 7 system;
9. Think Tank Photo Airport International v.2: bought for, houses D300 kit
10. Pelican 1600 with dividers, non-rolling: bought for Contax kit and younger man's back; houses little used parts of said kit;
11. Pelican 1500 plus dividers, non-rolling: came with Contax kit, was outgrown; houses trimmed-down Contax "travel" kit;
12. Ancient Tamrac shoulder bag, about Domke F2 size, bought for Nikon F3 kit 20 yrs ago, holds filters and small gewgaws;
13. TTP belt pouch system: used for variety of systems when bag makes no sense
My wife mocks me relentlessly; I retort that, were I a golfer as she is, this number of bags would be as nothing.
My current operating principles re bags are that they must be lightweight and ride comfortably on shoulder or back; or, failing the lightweight part, must ROLL. It is also nice if they can be carried onto a commercial aircraft, should I bestir myself to travel. That winnows about half the above inventory, bought during less enlightened phases of life.
I am really liking the idea of the photobackpacker component cases---they could easily be configured into a Pelican rolling shell without that hideous foam or the more-useful divider set; that would preserve the option to add a backpack later if it becomes necessary. Heck, I could even maybe rehab one of my ancient Halliburtons for the purpose. Schwing!
I would never have imagined the Chamonix might fit into a small LowePro backpack, and since I have one unused, I'm going to give it a go. Great suggestion. As for the much larger PhotoTrekker: I once tried this one from a friend; it is a bruiser whose main virtue is accessibility of contents, so good for working out of a car; but very heavy, and too large to carry on an aircraft For a backpack that I'm actually going to put on my back, I'd just as soon go with the lighter (?) and more comfortable Kelty from photobackpacker.
Ditto the Domkes. Never thought of that, so I'll try it with one of mine. I really love those Domkes; great to work from, easy to carry.
Thanks all. More suggestions welcome.