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Greg
16-Jan-2017, 17:23
Am interested in how others have approached this "problem".

For me I can relatively easily backpack up to my 8x10 with a few lenses and film holders for a mile or two up a trail or lot less distance following a stream up a gorge. Tripod over the shoulder. From one bad experience, a GG protector a must to have and use.

Using the 11x14 is a totally different experience. The camera, a few film holders, and a few lenses all easily fit within a customized/altered large vintage Sinar camera case. but it is very heavy and have to use and deal with it from the trunk of my car and transporting the equipment anymore than a short distance very unpractical.

Tried hauling equipment in a drag-behind-me cart but totally didn't work... trails I like to hike in New England too narrow and usually very rocky (vibration of equipment case really worried me). I tend to hike on class 3 and class 4 trails up mountains.

look forward to comments...

Two23
16-Jan-2017, 17:32
My Chamonix 045n plus three lenses is actually lighter than my Nikon D800E +lenses, so no problem there. I now have a 5x7 field camera (Gundlach Korona). Although it's not really heavy, I find by the time I add a stouter tripod and bigger film holders there is a noticeable increase in weight. So far, I mostly use the Chamonix for anything involving more than a two hour walk. A bigger issue is time. I generally only shoot LF when I'm by myself, not on a trip with family.


Kent in SD

Eric Woodbury
16-Jan-2017, 17:48
The bigger the camera, the shorter the walk. Besides, with only one good pic in ten (on a good day), what are the odds of finding it when tired and far from the car.

Oren Grad
16-Jan-2017, 17:52
It very much depends on the details of your outfit and the status of your strength and conditioning. A bare-bones ULF outfit can be not much more than 8x10 to carry, but that depends on having an ultralight camera and limiting the number of lenses and holders you carry. For example, a 7x17 Korona with a 270 or 305 G-Claron and two or three holders isn't that much more of a production compared to a typical 8x10 outfit.

The largest formats I've ever carried away from the car are a (relatively) lightweight 7x17 or 11x14 with one lens and a couple of holders, and even then I've never had the pack hoisted for longer than ten or fifteen minutes at a time between taking breaks for a setup or a rest. And this has been for casual day-walking on well-trodden trails. Unfortunately, I'm not remotely in shape for serious hiking with 8x10 or ULF. YMMV.

I do have a cart for wheeling heavy outfits around the neighborhood, but it's not appropriate (nor permitted, I think) for most trails I'd want to walk.

David Lobato
16-Jan-2017, 18:02
Scout the area beforehand, know the time of day, how far to hike, and what specific setups to get to. Then plan to return with the bare necessities (lenses, filters, film holders), plus a little more for contingencies. I just recently put together a very manageable kit with a light 8x10 Conley, a 12 inch Kodak Commercial Ektar, 4 film holders, cable release, and a light focussing cloth or a black T-shirt, and my iPhone with a light meter app. It fits in a medium backpack with room for water and outerwear.

I have an Empire State 11x14 camera and would use the same approach. Tripod, one lens, 2-3 film holders, lightweight focus cloth, light meter app. A lightweight extra lens is a definite option. An 11x14 might necessitate a larger tripod.

Lachlan 717
16-Jan-2017, 18:31
The key is a good backpack. No way I'd carry a box.

I've hiked miles and miles with a 4 lens/4 holder 7x17" kit in an 80ltr pack.

tgtaylor
16-Jan-2017, 18:35
For multi-day backpack trips (and bicycle trips) I take my Toyo 45CF. Weighing ~ 3.5 lbs the camera folds up with my normal lens - a 150mm Apo Sirona-S which gives the same field of view as a 75mm on my P67II which is my favorite 67 lens. The low weight of the camera allows me to use a series 0 CF Gitzo instead of the much heavier and larger Series 3 and the resulting weight and bulk of the traveling kit is less than the MF kit and the tripod and head fits compactly on the bikes rear carrier. I gave-up on readyloads long ago due to the weight and bulk and instead carry 4 or 5 film holders and a Harrison pup tent. Much better on the back and pack.

I'll day-hike with my 810 Toyo MII but wouldn't dream of backpacking with it unless I had a mule to carry it for me which, in my old age, will start doing. A few hundred dollars for a mule is looking more and more like a good idea for this senior citizen.

Thomas

Mark Sampson
16-Jan-2017, 18:55
I will be the first to quote the great Brett Weston, who used an 11x14 camera around New York City while in the Army in 1945;
"If it's more than fifty yards from the car, it's not photogenic."
And of course later in his career Brett used a Rolleiflex SL66.
The real answer is that you have to build a kit that will let you do what you want. Certainly scouting locations ahead of time is a good idea. Anything ULF won't lend itself to wandering in the hopes of finding something you like.
My decision, long ago, was to stick with 4x5, but I admire anyone who will take 8x10 or larger cameras into the field.

Eric Woodbury
16-Jan-2017, 19:06
I bumped into Dick Arentz photographing at Calf Creek....too many years ago. His first trip brought the tripod (Majestic with extra diamond plate welded to the head), second was the 12x20 camera, third trip was the lens, meter, film holder, etc. He only had to get 50 yards from his truck.

I'm just now having renewed interest in 8x10, but I'm not going away from the car with this. I can go a little further with the 5x7, further yet with the 4x5, and far enough with a Mamiya 7 and one or two lenses in my pocket. Then again, I don't print large nor with platinum.

faberryman
16-Jan-2017, 19:08
I'm not sure LF and ULF should be used in the same sentence with practicality. That's part of its charm.

Hugo Zhang
16-Jan-2017, 19:09
Greg,

I usually use a small camera like 5x7 with a few lenses to scout. If I find something I really like to capture with a big camera, then I just go back to my car and take that camera, either 11x14 or 14x17, with one lens and one holder to finish the shot.

Hugo

faberryman
16-Jan-2017, 19:13
I usually use a small camera like 5x7 with a few lenses to scout. If I find something I really like to capture with a big camera, then I just go back to my car and take that camera, either 11x14 or 14x17, with one lens and one holder to finish the shot.
If you're going back for the big camera, you can't have strayed too far.

Hugo Zhang
16-Jan-2017, 19:36
Yes, sometime I went back for a special shot after I developed and printed my 5x7 films.

Jim Fitzgerald
16-Jan-2017, 19:55
Anyone who knows me knows that I can carry a lot. At least I used to. I would hike with my 14x17 in my Kondos backpack for a mile or two. Now I have to be more realistic as I get older. I want to do this ULF thing for a long time. I love working with the big cameras. I will generally hike out with the 8x10 or just go for a walk and scout around. There are times when I see nothing or if I'm really seeing well I'll intuitively take the format I feel will work. Areas I'm familiar with it may be the 8x20 or 11x14 or 14x17. I'll use a cart or a wagon and if I have to go off trail I will. There is a lot to shoot close to my van I'm finding. So it is very practical I feel. Just do it.

Doremus Scudder
17-Jan-2017, 03:04
I like to get out in the backcountry, up on top of hills/mountains, deep into canyons, etc., with my kit. That's why long ago I decided to go no bigger than 4x5 and to keep my kit as light as possible.

When in the backcountry, I usually make a base camp and then take extended day hikes (5-9 hours). My kit for this is a Wista DX with a lens folded up in it, three or four other lightweight lenses, a meter, filters, darkcloth, tripod, six filmholders and accessories. I carry my camera and lenses in a lumbar pack (the darkcloth is rolled up and strapped to the pack) and the meter, filters etc., in a repurposed fly-fishing vest or Gore-tex overcoat, depending on the weather. Filmholders are in a separate pouch with a shoulder strap (carried cross-body). The tripod is usually in my hand, but I can strap it to the pack if I need my hands for scrambling. I weighed my kit last year: 22 pounds (10 kg) exactly. I carry 90mm, 135mm., ~200mm, 240mm and 300mm lenses (all small and lightweight). I have a 75mm lens that I'll swap for one of the longer lenses if I'm headed somewhere that I think needs wider shots.

When out on overnight or multi-day backpacks with the camera, I'll pare down this kit and carry my Mido holders instead of regular filmholders. Lenses get pared down to a 100mm WF Ektar, and 180mm and 240mm Fuji As.

I can't imagine doing what I do with even a large 4x5, much less 8x10 or larger. I'm happy with 16x20s an the occasional 20x24 from my 4x5 negatives.

FWIW, my day-hiking kit fits nicely into a small rolling carry-on/backpack combo and gets used in cities in that form. At my European home in Vienna, I carry this on my bicycle (pack on my back and tripod strapped onto the bike carrying rack). When on the road, I carry other cameras and lenses, but these seem to only get used fairly close to the car.

The main thing you have to decide is how far for how long and in what terrain you really want to work, and then, what format and how much equipment you can comfortably do that with (emphasis on the word "comfortably"). Or, you can take the opposite approach: decide which format you're really in love with and then find out the hard way how far and for how long you can lug it around and organize your photo outings accordingly.

Best,

Doremus

Stephen Willard
17-Jan-2017, 06:52
Have you ever thought about using pack animals such as llamas, goats, or donkeys?

I have two llamas. Each llama can carry around 100 pounds plus I carry a 50 pound backpack for a grand total of 250 pounds. i can stay out for 36 days in the Colorado backcountry before I have to return for provisions and film. I bring in a 5x7, 4x10, tripods, 10 lenses, film changing tent, film holders, and gear to sustain my life including an Inreach beacon which allows me to text my wife.

Hope this helps...

neil poulsen
17-Jan-2017, 07:15
I could carry my 3036 tripod, Arca Swiss F 4x5, seven lenses (all f5.6), film holders, etc., all over the place. But with age, I'm paring down on (camera equipment) weight.

> I'm thrilled with my Feisol 3372 CF tripod that Kerry sold me. (Good bye to my 3036 and its 475 replacement. I loved those tripods; but, they're heavy.)

> I'll still keep a 4x5 rail system. But for forays into the field, I have a Wista SP.

> I sold my trusty f5.6 90mm SA and bought a 90mm f8 Nikon.

> Ditto my f6.8 360mm Symmar-S (what a monster!) and currently have a 355mm G-Claron. Replaced a 240mm Symmar-S with a Fujinon 250mm f6.7.

> I built the following cart, which makes packing gear on streets and sidewalks a lot easier.

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?128968-Photo-Cart-Based-on-an-Old-Golf-Cart

I have four, relatively light-weight lenses for 8x10 and a Deardroff V8 for packing. Frankly, I've always been kind of a 4x5 guy, so 8x10 is an experiment for me.

Cameron Cornell
17-Jan-2017, 07:33
159916

159917

159918

159919

Here is the circus wagon that I knocked together so I can haul my 8x10 Ansco Studio No. 5 into the field. Obviously I am restricted to pretty smooth trails and paths. At least I can get her out of the house this way, though. It's fun.

Cameron Cornell
Washington State

John Kasaian
17-Jan-2017, 07:40
A small mule makes a great photographer's assistant!
The complication is you'll also need a trailer and a tow vehicle to take your entourage to the trail head.

I've never tried schlepping the 12x20, but an 8x10 can be do-able. The hardest part for me---besides the extra weight---is carrying the tripod.
My suggestions----
1) Get a comfortable pack that fits your camera AND you.
2) Leave your tripod head at home
3) Use a shotgun sling so you can deploy your tripod without taking off your pack.
This is a sling made for shotguns that doesn't require hardware to attach.
If you can do simple leather work this can be a DIY project as the cheaper store bought ones tend to be made of narrow webbing.
4) Take one small lightweight lens that can ride in the camera with the lens board reversed. Maybe take a 2nd lens if you've had your Wheaties.

YMMV, of course.

Jim Noel
17-Jan-2017, 10:28
"I will be the first to quote the great Brett Weston, who used an 11x14 camera around New York City while in the Army in 1945;
"If it's more than fifty yards from the car, it's not photogenic.""
This is taken from Morley Baer's comment that ,"There are no good pictures more than 50' from the car."

Vaughn
17-Jan-2017, 11:33
I have a friend who packs people into the wilderness with burros. I just might have to hire him to get my 8x10 out into the mountains -- I might be able to tag along when he takes someone else out. Having a base camp to work out of for a week would be sweet. I have only done that once before.

The 4x5 still goes on some backpack trips -- lately the Rolleiflex has gone out on the longer trips. A CF tripod might help matters with the 4x5 -- silly to have a camera that weighs 2.5 pounds with the lens on a 7 pound pod/head combo (Gitzo, old series 2).

Alan Gales
17-Jan-2017, 14:22
The 4x5 still goes on some backpack trips -- lately the Rolleiflex has gone out on the longer trips. A CF tripod might help matters with the 4x5 -- silly to have a camera that weighs 2.5 pounds with the lens on a 7 pound pod/head combo (Gitzo, old series 2).

I own A100 and J100 Ries tripods. Both have 1/4" and 3/8" tripod screws for the double tilt heads so I can use any camera on them. I recently bought a Mamiya C220f TLR so I'll just use the J100 with it. I'm not going to buy another tripod for just that camera especially since I am mostly going to shoot it handheld except for indoors with studio lights. I also own a tiny Fujifilm X100s digital camera. I always shoot it handheld but I've been thinking of taking out the Ries A100 with it on the street just to mess with people. :cool:

jnanian
17-Jan-2017, 14:55
Am interested in how others have approached this "problem".

For me I can relatively easily backpack up to my 8x10 with a few lenses and film holders for a mile or two up a trail or lot less distance following a stream up a gorge. Tripod over the shoulder. From one bad experience, a GG protector a must to have and use.

Using the 11x14 is a totally different experience. The camera, a few film holders, and a few lenses all easily fit within a customized/altered large vintage Sinar camera case. but it is very heavy and have to use and deal with it from the trunk of my car and transporting the equipment anymore than a short distance very unpractical.

Tried hauling equipment in a drag-behind-me cart but totally didn't work... trails I like to hike in New England too narrow and usually very rocky (vibration of equipment case really worried me). I tend to hike on class 3 and class 4 trails up mountains.

look forward to comments...

hi greg

the funny thing is that LF & ULF really are not practical at all.
people might say it is, they might have sherpas or mules or hot air balloons to get it to where
it needs to be, as you climb and hop from log to stone to log to ford a stream and then climb up a small wall ...
in the end it is all about what you are willing to put up with ...
bigger than maybe 5x7 might be a chore, but in the end none of that really matters
because you somehow got the camera and all its "stuff" where it needed to go.

while im sure if i really wanted to i could stick a camera and holders &c carefully in a yukka pack and do what i need to do
i don't bother traveling far distances or up, just here or there. i see what others have done / where they have gone ( with any size U/LF ) and i am pretty impressed.

john

Fr. Mark
17-Jan-2017, 17:15
A Sinar P 5x7 in its case with all the trimmings and a tripod sure are fun once they are set up. I bet 8x10 would be too but the llama thing appeals to me a lot. Meanwhile, I hope to put together a light 8x10 kit and hike that. Some day I'd love a whole plate kit for smaller size and 14x17 for special occasions and sometimes the idea of 8x20 (or 10x24)has its appeal. As does a Rollei TLR especially when family is along. Practical? That's an iPhone...or Olympus XA or...? I don't think this is about practical. To paraphrase JFK "we shoot LF not because it is easy but because it is hard (and worthwhile).

Mark Sampson
17-Jan-2017, 19:10
Another answer would be to find an assistant/acolyte. They can ride in the car, unlike llamas or burros, and with a little skill on your part, can be taught to work unpaid or for meals... or the 'life lessons' you can impart. Ha! That's a joke son! a joke! (cue Foghorn Leghorn)
And per Jim Noel... I realize that I don't quite know where I first heard, or read, that famous quote. I'll say that it was before I ever heard the name 'Morley Baer' but that proves nothing. A bit of folklore perhaps, what they like to call a 'meme' today? Like many 'quotes' from Winston Churchill, Mark Twain, and Yogi Berra, it does contain an essential truth.

John Kasaian
18-Jan-2017, 07:02
I agree with john nanian----it's not practical!
That's part of the charm, the how can I do this? challenge.
It is what forms a sort of Historic fellowship with Vittorio Sella, William Henry Jackson, Timothy H. O'Sullivan, etc..

Even before miniature cameras existed, a talented artist with a sketch pad could be considered far more practical at recording images, just as a Fujikon Mk 6000 Pixellator on a drone might be today--but the experience as well as the results would also be different.

I also agree that a lot can be found within fifty yards of the car, but try schlepping a 12x20 kit fifty yards! It ain't gonna be easy.

Alan Gales
18-Jan-2017, 10:49
My practical camera is my tiny Fujifilm X100s. My fun camera is my big Wehman 8x10.

Vaughn
18-Jan-2017, 16:15
I own A100 and J100 Ries tripods. ...

I have an A100 for the 8x10 and 11x14. I would not bother with CF for the 8x10 at this point. While heavier, the A-100 has gotten me into and back from places that a CF tripod would not have. It is a great climbing-assist tool when carrying a heavy pack off-trail...but I found it difficult to pack on the bicycle.

Alan Gales
18-Jan-2017, 17:33
I have an A100 for the 8x10 and 11x14. I would not bother with CF for the 8x10 at this point. While heavier, the A-100 has gotten me into and back from places that a CF tripod would not have. It is a great climbing-assist tool when carrying a heavy pack off-trail...but I found it difficult to pack on the bicycle.

Hi Vaughn! How do you strap your CF tripod to your bicycle? Do you use a rack over the rear wheel?

Vaughn
18-Jan-2017, 19:17
Hi Vaughn! How do you strap your CF tripod to your bicycle? Do you use a rack over the rear wheel?

Sorry for any confusion -- do not have a CF pod. I did strap the A100 to the back rack. If I had been riding on a road I would have put on a red flag on its end! The A250 head was over the raised part of the rack (in the front) so I did not have to worry about it sliding back.

The Gitzo (Al) series 3 pod I took on the bike tour was strapped on top of gear on the back rack. The pod, sleeping bag, and my tent were strapped on the back rack cross-wise. Day trips the Gitzo was strapped length-wise with bungi-cords. I would consider a closed-cell foam pad between the rack and a CF pod.

Alan Gales
18-Jan-2017, 20:46
Sorry for any confusion -- do not have a CF pod. I did strap the A100 to the back rack. If I had been riding on a road I would have put on a red flag on its end! The A250 head was over the raised part of the rack (in the front) so I did not have to worry about it sliding back.

The Gitzo (Al) series 3 pod I took on the bike tour was strapped on top of gear on the back rack. The pod, sleeping bag, and my tent were strapped on the back rack cross-wise. Day trips the Gitzo was strapped length-wise with bungi-cords. I would consider a closed-cell foam pad between the rack and a CF pod.

Thanks Vaughn.

I've been thinking about buying a bicycle for exercise. I can remove part of the bed to my Wehman and then use the strap to secure two 8x10 lens holders in it's place. I'd still have plenty of bed for my 250mm or even my 14" lens. I could carry that in a front basket along with a lens, loupe, spot meter and dark cloth. I was just wondering how I could strap my J100 Ries to it.

Well, got medical bills to pay, need new glasses, a new Jeep soft top, etcetera, before a bicycle. Always got bills! ;)

Willie
19-Jan-2017, 06:41
William Henry Jackson used mules to haul the gear. 18x22 glass plates.

http://www.historycolorado.org/blogs/hc/2015/08/26/mules-mammoth-plates-and-mountains-william-henry-jacksons-adventures-photographing-colorado-and-the-american-west/

Vaughn
19-Jan-2017, 09:37
Alan, I would say my experiment to bike with an 8x10 was a limited success. The pod was a little awkward sticking out that far behind, but not bad. I carried the camera body in its backpack on my back -- holders and lens went into the panniers. I do not like things on my back when riding, but I wanted the pack as I was going to walking over a lot of sand and did not want to push the bike over it.

The main problem was that I steeply decended about an elevation of 900 feet down an old road/trail and I stayed at the beach until sunset (the light finally got nice!). The trail was too steep to ride up on and it got dark on me before I got 1/4 way up the trail (and no flashlight -- and under the redwoods, it gets very dark very quickly!) Then I had development issues and none of the negs worked out...so it goes!

But other than that, I now know I can get around on the bike with the 8x10 -- with some modifications to my method. But the 5x7 would be a lot more practical!

Alan Gales
19-Jan-2017, 10:27
Vaughn, Thanks for replying.

I had a back fusion back in December of 1994. I've got arthritis in my back and I'm slowly getting worse as I age. I'm 55 right now. Walking is good for me so I have a membership at the local YMCA where they have a rubberized track. A bike would mix things up a bit and be more fun. I'll just be riding the streets in my neighborhood which are relatively flat. I figure a 3 speed comfort bike will work just fine. I was planning on getting a handlebar basket so I can pick up a few things at the local grocery store. We have a really nice park near us with a small lake with lots of ducks and geese. There are also some old buildings in our neighborhood to photograph. I know I could just take my Jeep but riding around on a bicycle with an 8x10 just seems like fun. :)

Alan Gales
19-Jan-2017, 10:33
Vaughn,

Here is the bike I'm interested in. It's a three speed with coaster brakes and a belt drive system like a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Economical and as maintenance free as you can get.

https://www.prioritybicycles.com/products/priorityclassic

John Jarosz
20-Jan-2017, 15:35
For me 8x10 is much easier than 8x20 to carry around. I usually only break out the 8x20 when I'm sure there's a good image beforehand (meaning I've been to that location before). The 8x10, one lens, and a couple of holders, dark cloth all fit in one shoulder bag. That's easy. The tough part is the tripod. I have 2 that can be used. I prefer the larger heavier one that's specifically for the 8x20, but for longer walks with the 8x10 I take the lighter one.
I'm going to be 68. It is getting to the point of being not practical. Sooner or later it will have to stop. But not yet.:D

Fr. Mark
20-Jan-2017, 21:51
build a lightweight 8x20 fixed focus? Or, as a pinhole? or near pinhole i.e. simple lens plus f64 stop or a series of card stops at f22, 32, 45, 64?? could be a massive weight reduction? I've seen designs where you use a changing bag to move film from a compartment in the back of the camera to the picture taking place (admittedly for 5x8 pinhole camera) and then you don't have to have film holders. Just trying to keep you at it longer. 68 doesn't seem as old as it once did...(I'm looking at 49 this Spring).

chassis
21-Jan-2017, 11:01
Greg, good question. What's your view on the comments so far?

My process lately has been to previsualize an image, or plan an image that I want to make. This previsualization can take days, weeks or longer.

Then I pack the camera, 1 film holder with 1 or 2 sheets of film, loupe, dark cloth and light meter, and the lens that works with my visualization. This is not a big burden. I think it would be manageable for 8x10 and 11x14.

Then I make an image.

After processing and evaluation, I decide if the image works or it doesn't. The process begins again if necessary. This works if the location can be repeatedly accessed, and the photographer is to some degree intimately familiar with it. To me, part of the reason for the impact Ansel Adams' images had and have is because of his intimate familiarity with the subject. There is a fair amount written on this, the intimacy between photographer and subject.

Clearly this doesn't work if the destination is once in a lifetime and the photographer is unfamiliar. In such a case I would either plan alot of time on location (days if needed), or use a smaller format or digital.

Vaughn
21-Jan-2017, 13:39
Vaughn,

Here is the bike I'm interested in. It's a three speed with coaster brakes and a belt drive system like a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Economical and as maintenance free as you can get.

https://www.prioritybicycles.com/products/priorityclassic

Too many hills here for a three speed! Here is what I may need 10 years from now (with a trailer!) -- I'll be in my 70s. https://www.radpowerbikes.com/pages/radrover

But for the next ten years, this is what I think I'd want to haul my 8x10 around on: http://surlybikes.com/bikes/big_dummy

Greg
21-Jan-2017, 16:40
Greg, good question. What's your view on the comments so far?

Thanks for all the input. Have been reading that more and more Platinum/Palladium printers, including Carl Weese, have gone to shooting digital and making digital negs. My FX digital camera and lenses about equal to my 8x10 outfit in weight. Backpack for the FX equipment is a circa 1980s Dana Design. Backpack for the 8x10 equipment a f64. The Dana Design rides on my back so much better than the f64 but back in the 1980s I paid much more for the Dana Design then for the f/64 two years ago. Scouting the area beforehand a great idea but just not for me. Will definitely be getting a shotgun sling for carrying the tripod... shoulder caring the tripod have been doing up to now, but shoulder gets sore at times and lowering my center of gravity with the sling a real plus when hiking class 3 and 4.

Alan Gales
21-Jan-2017, 17:36
Too many hills here for a three speed! Here is what I may need 10 years from now (with a trailer!) -- I'll be in my 70s. https://www.radpowerbikes.com/pages/radrover

But for the next ten years, this is what I think I'd want to haul my 8x10 around on: http://surlybikes.com/bikes/big_dummy

I've never seen either one of those bikes before. Cool!

Doremus Scudder
22-Jan-2017, 04:40
All this talk of bikes invites me to comment.

I carry my 4x5 kit on my bike a lot here in Vienna; it's the easiest way to get around the city and be able to see a lot while at the same time covering a lot of territory.

That said, I wouldn't think of carrying my camera and lenses in panniers or strapped onto the rack. All the rough streets and cobblestones would shake them to pieces. I had a 4x5 field camera come to pieces in a rolling carry-on just from the vibrations of running over the grout lines in the tile floor at the airport in Venice. Fortunately, all the parts were at the bottom of the bag and I managed to re-assemble everything at the hotel. I have my gear in a small backpack and well cushioned when I'm carrying it on the bike. I can't imagine doing that with an 8x10 or larger, though.

Does anyone out there carry 8x10 or larger on a bicycle? If so, how do you deal with the vibration problems?

Best,

Doremus

Robert Brazile
22-Jan-2017, 07:27
Doremus,

I do. The key, from my perspective, is to use a bike with fairly large pneumatic tires (not the hard rollers of a carry on) and good packing between the rack and the pack containing the camera. The camera I take on the road is an old Kodak 2D, and this is the bike I use:

https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3876/15076566916_6caf945e3d_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/oYgm5U)
DP2Q0092, P/R and the path traveled (https://flic.kr/p/oYgm5U) by Robert Brazile (https://www.flickr.com/photos/rbrazile/), on Flickr

I strap the bag holding the camera to the porteur rack in the front where I can keep an eye on it. It's worked well for me so far. I haven't gone far yet, though, nor carried a large selection of lenses. I'll also be happier when I get a good kickstand on the bike, instead of having to find a safe place to prop it up while I offload the camera. But that's not too hard a problem to solve.

Robert

Willie
22-Jan-2017, 08:12
Photographer Lois Conner use a bicycle to get around in China with her 7x17 camera. A small tow-behind 'trailer' might be the answer as it can be configured to absorb a lot of the vibration that would otherwise hit lenses hard.

John Jarosz
22-Jan-2017, 08:39
Here is the Midwest US there are a lot of railroad tracks converted to bicycle trails. Smooth going routes with easy elevation changes. I have a Burley child carrier for my bike that will accept either my 8x10 or 8x20. The floor of the trailer is fabric so it's a smoother ride for the camera rather than a rigid floor. Works well and I don't really know it's there, it doesn't make biking more difficult. These are expensive when new, but after the children outgrow them the trailers end up on places like Craigs list for cheap.
160157

tgtaylor
22-Jan-2017, 11:42
I've been thinking about getting one of these to haul my 8x10 Toyo MII around town:

https://www.rei.com/product/882667/burley-nomad-cargo-bike-trailer

I envision packing everything in my LowePro Pro Trekker 600 AW as normal: camera, up to 4 lens, film holders, spot meter, Gitzo series 3 CF tripod, spor meter...etc., and laying it in the trailer. If I see something that I want to photograph, simply park the bike and take out the pack and set-up. Simple!

Also I'd like to cycle the TransAmerica Trail https://www.adventurecycling.org/routes-and-maps/adventure-cycling-route-network/transamerica-trail/ and this trailer would be a better choice over panniers.

Thomas

AuditorOne
22-Jan-2017, 12:54
If there is a place to fish my 20 year old grandson will pack my Deardorff V8 into a lot of mountains and canyons. I carry the sleeping bags, tarp and fishing gear.

I never thought to ask him if he thought it was practical.

If it is me alone the biggest I carry is a Crown Graphic or my newly acquired Intrepid.

Vaughn
22-Jan-2017, 16:05
I've never seen either one of those bikes before. Cool!

The Surly would do away the need for a trailer. I thought front panniers would be nice, but not only over-kill but the frame geometry already puts a higher percentage of the rider's weight on the front wheel than a standard design. For my 6 months of bike-touring in NZ (camping, backpacking, and 4x5 photography) I had probably 25 pounds of camera gear and 55 pounds of other gear and food. Bike 25 lb, me (25 yrs ago) 220lbs, and gear 80lbs = rolling weight of around 325 pounds.

So by going from 4x5 to 8x10 add another 25 pounds, and I might have 100 pounds on the bike. It better have very low gearing! And going light weight as appropriate to my age, I might be able to get it down to 85 pounds with a weeks worth of food. Me 250lbs, gear 85 lbs, bike 40lbs? Adds up to a lot of weight to move around! That electric motor is starting to sound good!

John Jarosz
22-Jan-2017, 17:06
The Surly weighs 45 pounds :p

Vaughn
22-Jan-2017, 21:32
The Surly weighs 45 pounds :p

Yeah -- but is that the weight of the largest size? (Add a couple pounds, probably!) Hopefully that includes the panniers and back rack! If I got one, I might keep my hybrid for trips not needing the cargo space! I might be in Berkeley this weekend...there are some Surly dealers down there, I believe, so I should check them out.

photonsoup
23-Jan-2017, 12:18
I've packed a lot of dead weight out of some nasty country by lots of means. Mostly in packs but with some game carts. The ones withe wheels side by side are ok if your on an old closed logging road, but leave a lot to be desired on trails. If I ever buy another cart it will be an inline model like the Neet Kart (http://www.neetkart.com), It handle rocks, deadfall and narrow trails with ease.

But at this point in life I actually prefer to use a BVA Pac Bag (http://www.bvapacbags.com). The last two elk we packed out were in these bags, 7000 cubic inches! with the weight distribute between front and back 100 pound loads are easily done. Don't get me wrong it's still a lot of work, but its so much better than a backpack. After using these bags once, I immediately traded in my $500.00 Eberlystock rig for these bags. I haven't used them in summer so they may get a little warm, but I would not hesitate to load one up with 50 to 60 pounds and got 10 to 15 miles a day. I will NEVER pack out another elk in a backpack.

The llamas are a great option if you have a place for them and a trailer. I prefer pack goats, they are smaller and easier to deal with, they will even ride in the back seat of a car. They can carry ~50 pounds each for 13 to 15 miles a day on forest service trails. If I decide to go off trail I usually go 30 to 40 pounds depending on terrain and distances. they can go anyplace I can. On one boulder field we had to cross the goats did great, but I had to go back and carry the dog across!

Vaughn
23-Jan-2017, 16:03
I had the crew in the wilderness, packing mules and maintaining the trails. A couple of the women on the crew were not tall...5'4" give or take and inch. Packing the mules was not easy for them! Heck, I was the only one tall enough to pack Joe, our lead mule. Out in the Wilds, we came across a veteran with back issues whose burro had taken off on him. We found his burro for him and those gals wanted me to get a couple so badly. But you can't drape a misery whip over a burro without the handles dragging on the ground! And hauling 320 pounds of garbage out of an old hunters camp would have taken a few more trips!

tgtaylor
24-Jan-2017, 11:07
I thinking about replacing my 1998 Schwinn Le Tour - which was stolen from an outside storage locker - with a flat handlebar Salsa Marrakesh: http://www.cyclingabout.com/2017-salsa-marrakesh-touring-bike/ Past long distance tours always resulted in some nerve damage to my hands which prevented me from buttoning my shirt colors for 30 or so days. I imagine that this resulted from leaning forward on the handlebars for too long. A flat handlebar would prevent that from happening and personally I prefer riding upright than bending forward. All the gear can be carried in the Burley Nomad trailer and a front handlebar bag can carry incidentals like wallet, glasses, bug spray, 35mm camera. I thinking about taking the F6 for shooting transparencies along the route and either a Pentax 645NII and/or Toyo 45CF for more serious B&W photography. The lightweight and compact series 0 Gitzo will work for all three.

Thomas

Vaughn
24-Jan-2017, 12:55
I just do not like riding without my gel gloves -- otherwise my hands are toast. While there are not the number of possible hand positions available on the more mountain-bike style handlebar, I appreciate the control one has on a loaded bike on rough/gravel roads with ones hands towards the ends of the bars. I also have extra padding on center section of the handlebars -- not much, bit it helps.

Touring taught me a lot about proper seating and body positions! Since I was on the bike for 5 months, I had lots of time to learn -- and a bunch of pain that was the teacher! I thought locking my elbows was an easy way to ride and support my upper body. A few weeks later, I decided that, no, it was a terrible way to ride -- easy decision with my elbows yelling at me, on and off the bike. Hobbling around for a couple weeks halfway thru my adventure and unable to ride, taught me that using too much torque (too high of a gear) for a thousand miles with 60 to 80lbs of gear on the bike was not good my knees. Slow learner.

tgtaylor
24-Jan-2017, 15:18
I'll probably swap-out the stock handlebar for a trekking bar which allows for 4 different hand positions; 50lbs of gear would be max for me. You can buy food, fuel, wash clothes and get whatever else you need as you go - no need to stock it on the bike.

Thomas

Fr. Mark
24-Jan-2017, 15:52
I put upswept cruiser handle bars on my 1/2 road 1-2 mountain bike and I like it a lot better. I'd also like to mention recumbents can be away around nerve damage at several points of the anatomy.

jloen
24-Jan-2017, 17:43
A pro LF photograher that I knew said that he always arrived the day before a shoot to scope out shots and lighting.

Anything otherwise is high risk... of getting little or nothing.

Vaughn
24-Jan-2017, 23:51
I'll probably swap-out the stock handlebar for a trekking bar which allows for 4 different hand positions; 50lbs of gear would be max for me. You can buy food, fuel, wash clothes and get whatever else you need as you go - no need to stock it on the bike. Thomas

True...until you find yourself 70 miles from nowhere with a small bowl of granola for breakfast and a handful of nuts and raisins for the rest of the day. Actually poor planning and poor luck on my part -- I should have known that last store was going to be it for awhile -- plus I did not factor in that it was Christmas and any possible little shop along the way would be closed. I had just come out of the bush after a week of backpacking and had gone thru my food.

I did go over-board with the gear. Full Backpacking gear, tent, the 4x5, and did I mention I had my prescription diving mask and snorkel with me, too? After breaking a spoke, I decided to put any extra gear in the backpack and I shipped it by bus to the place I would need it next (about 16 pounds). For the above hike, I bought all the food for the hike in town, put it in the pack and had the bus drop it off the 45 miles up the road in the National Park. Made the ride up that gravel road enjoyable.

But yeah -- a credit card and a few changes of clothes and one can tour very light. Camping gear adds weight, but flexibility.

tgtaylor
25-Jan-2017, 22:31
If I do this trip there's one or two sections where there is a considerable distance between resupply points - like a days ride. I'll probable carry a couple of freeze dried backpacker meals with me for those and any like emergency that may arise. The main problem though is water and that's where the trailer comes in: I can carry 1 or 2 gallons of extra water in the trailer to pull me through those points. My total gear weight will be 50lbs max and that includes the 15lbs weight of the trailer.

But the real problem is developing film along the route. This trip will take about 3 months give or take and for me that's too long to go before developing.

Thomas