mrbishi,

I can take off my fanny pack and lay it on the ground whenever I want to. But when its wet, snowy, muddy, or I'm up to my ankles in saltwater, I can leave it slung over my shoulder and work out of it comfortably; impossible with a backpack. I find this a great advantage over conventional backpacks, which is why I advocated it (maybe the OP has a fanny pack...). I often take everything off, including the vest, when setting up when conditions are favorable and I have lots of time. However, I find my set-up superior to a backpack for the transport and for more extreme conditions (both weather and terrain) when doing landscape photography and a lot of hiking away from civilization. It is better balanced, easier to scramble over rough terrain with and easier and faster to work with in unfavorable weather or when laying the pack on the ground would be undesirable.

Point taken, however, that my post was a bit off-topic. Hopefully my comments about building cardboard boxes for the lenses helped the OP a bit. Maybe the following will help too:

Here in Europe, when city-photographing, I carry my gear in a rolling backpack (with extendable handle and shoulder straps) that doubles as a carry-on when flying. I normally wear it on my back when walking the cities (who needs all that vibration from cobblestones, etc.) or when bicycling, but do roll it on smooth surfaces in airports, museums, etc.

For this set-up, I have homemade corrugated cardboard boxes with open tops for the 4x5 camera and four lenses (slip-on tops would be an easy thing to make if needed). The lenses are stacked around the camera box, two on one side, two in front. I find the boxes rigid and sturdy enough to not only protect everything, but to help partition the pack and keep things from rattling around. Filmholders are slipped in front as well. I can carry 6-8 easily at a time, which is usually enough for a day's shoot for me. Extras are at home or in the hotel. My spotmeter goes on top of the camera in its protective case, filters and accessories go in a front zippered pocket. Darkcloth goes in the main compartment strategically placed to keep things from rattling around. Tripod is in my hand or on the bicycle rack. I set the pack directly under the tripod when working for easy access.

Hope this helps too,

Doremus Scudder
www.DoremusScudder.com