What's in your bag? (LF)
It's all about the prints... but I still enjoy the gear to a point. I especially enjoy reading about what others pack along with them, both camera gear and other bits. After getting some advice from Michael A Smith I added a compact mirror to use when it's difficult to access the aperture and shutter speeds on the front of my camera. This has really helped me on a number of occasions. I wonder if there is anything else I'm missing?
(I did a reasonable search and couldn't find a thread about this for LF gear forgive me if I missed it.)
F64 Large Backpack (black)
Pentax Digital Spot Meter
Nikkor 90mm SW f4.5
Fujinon 150mm NW f5.6
Nikkor 210mm W f5.6
Fujinon 300mm C f8.5 (lenses inside a Gnass Gear 4 lens case)
Lens hoods, rubber
Hoya HMC yellow, orange, red
Tiffen Polarizer - step up rings
6-12 Fidelity Elite Film Holders loaded with TMY2, HP5+ when I run out (holders in F64 film holder bags)
Soft brush / lens cleaning fluid / lens cloth
Compass / small tape measure
Folding mirror (think women's make up) for when I can't easily access the front of the camera to change the aperture & shutter speed
Moleskin / pen / marker / reciprocity table (Howard Bond Data)
Most of the small bits are in an old Lowepro S&F Utility Case
Gloves in the winter / extra socks and $1 poncho all year
Harrison darkcloth and fold up soft white reflector
Reis J100 tripod with double tilt head.
Tell me about good bags to use for LF then later i will tell you what i filled those bags with.
Bag?? I use a Kelty frame pack. It holds a Deardorff V8, four to six filmholders, a smaller bag with lenses, filters, meter, notebook, etc.; lunch, water, darkcloth, odd neccessities. The tripod can be tied to the top or bottom, usually the latter, the all-up weight is ca.45-50 lbs.
Originally Posted by TareqPhoto
One of my most useful items are a set DIY viewfinders made from black ABS sewer pipe fittings. When combined with a black matte board cutout glued to the front openings and calibrated for each matching lens's field-of-view, they exactly match the projected image on the 8x10 ground glass, when pressed to my eye socket.
I find that some of the most enjoyable LF photography time I spend is done before hauling out the camera, when I am just walking around looking at things. Much easier to use these guys (one for each lens I use) to do a quick ballpark assessment, then just keep walking.
If the composition is worthy of future consideration with the actual camera, I will often mark the spot on the ground with stones, or whatever else I can find, and make a note of the location. Then I can return later when the light, time, or weather are better suited. I have even used small spray-painted crosses if I think I might need to wait months.
Another useful item is my classic Brunton pocket transit (magnetic compass) from my long ago days working as a field geologist. I use this to record bearings of various subject matter if I feel the direction of light might be better during a different time or season of the year.
I have used such readings in the past together with various software applications (planetarium programs, Photographer's Ephemeris, etc.) to carefully narrow down dates and specific times when it might be better to return. Don't want to take a day off work and drive 200 miles in March when August would have been a better choice.
That was the case with this photograph, when, to get the glancing sunlight as I wanted it, I measured the orientation of the wall with the Brunton, then waited almost nine months to return on a specific day and at a specific hour of the morning.
And a third really useful item that I, and a lot of others, carry is a small battery-operated voice recorder for notes. The saved information density is much greater than with written notes. And I can use it in the dark when necessary. This is especially useful to me when, as described above, I am just walking around looking.
Whoa. Good stuff, Ken. That compass is bitchin'. I love that it has a tripod mount. =) Also enjoyed the picture you linked to, it's definitely all about the light!
Yeah, the rule of thumb was that when hand holding a Brunton, you should be able to read it accurately to within 1/2 of a degree. It's magnetically damped, so if your technique is good that's not too hard.
Originally Posted by Shawn Dougherty
But if it was tripod-mounted or used on a plane-table for precision work (which also automatically held it perfectly level), one should be able to read it down to 1/5 of a degree. That's about the limit of accuracy for setting the regional magnetic declination offset as well.
Not sure what the inflation calculators say, but I'm looking right now at the original Brunton box it came in on the book shelf above me, and the original price sticker on it says $150.30. That would have been around 1982-83.
It's quite a beautiful precision instrument.
The bag depends on the camera of course, but for small stuff (5x7/5x12) I have a Zone VI "cooler" white bag that can hold the Canham 5x7, several lenses, my Minolta Spotmeter F, cable release, and a half-dozen or more holders. If I'm packing the 5x12, the bag holds the camera plus five holders, and a second canvas Whole Foods grocery tote has the meter, lenses, cable release and Sawtooth Designs darkcloth. If i'm feeling particularly gutsy/insane, there's a Tenba shipping bag that hauls around the 14x17 plus the Saitta bag for the 5 14x17 holders. The canvas tote makes another appearance with that outfit hauling the two lenses, cable release, and meter.
Headlamp, matches, compass, toilet paper, Polish bivouac bag (XXL garbage bag), 6 year old PowerBar (gotta replace that) – along with the less important camera stuff.
Flapjacks and Green n Blacks choc bars are most excellent ROL:D