View Full Version : Back pack for Deardorff 8x10

21-Apr-2017, 12:22
Hi all

First a big thank you to all the people who helped me source a Deardorff 8x10. It hasn't arrived yet, but I can feel it is near.

I've been able to secure a few lenses as well, a Ries tripod and head, Black Jacket, Loading tent, film, film holders etc. So almost ready to head out.

My mind is now turned to a suitable back back. I was wondering what suggestions folks might have.

The obvious choice is the f.64 pack. But I sense there may be better options. I've heard the harness system isn't great.

I'm looking for a pack for day hikes. So camera system plus a bottle of water, rain coat and a sandwich type thing. I'm tall so a longer frame is good.

Any thoughts appreciated.


Eric Woodbury
21-Apr-2017, 12:33
You will get several good answers, but this isn't one of them. I don't pack an 8x10 now, but I have hauled my 57 Deardorff many a mile. I use a small Tamrac or equivalent to carry lenses and holders and sandwiches. The tripod with camera attached (ready to go) is on my shoulder. I put a foam pad on my shoulder to help. Problem here is that I don't find Ries compfy on my shoulder. Instead, I use Gitzo or Miller or Paillard tripods.

My 2 cents. YMMV.

Happy snapping. I wish I had my old D'orf. NFS, but it was a good solid unit. --ew--

Pali K
21-Apr-2017, 12:42
Hi Murray,

I use the F.64 and posted pictures of my setup when I first got the camera and the bag that might be helpful. See this link for my setup: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?119079-Deardroff-8x10-What-to-look-for-and-value&p=1220358&viewfull=1#post1220358



21-Apr-2017, 12:54
I've only ever used a Kelty P1 backpack for my 8x10 bought from Bruce when photobackpacker.com was around. Therefore, I really don't have any basis of comparison, but I really like this pack and it distributes the weight of the gear nicely. You might look out for a used one or see what's currently available in Kelty backpacks. There is nothing special about the backpack I have as far as any tailoring to carry camera gear.

Good luck!

21-Apr-2017, 14:05
If the backpack has any signature or logo that claims "photographic" it is over-priced.

Jim Noel
21-Apr-2017, 14:29
I got mine at a local high end camping outfitter. It has an internal frame making it easy to load and carry. Take the camera with you when looking for a pack.

karl french
21-Apr-2017, 15:42
The Lowepro Photo Trekker AW I or II makes a fine choice for an 8x10 camera and a few lenses.

21-Apr-2017, 16:37
I use a f/64 backpack for my 8x10 Chamonix outfit. I also have 4 of their FH 4x5" detachable film pouches, 2 strapped to each side of the backpack. These used for non-photo items. Weight of the backpack no problem (will be 70 yrs old this year), but shoulder harness could be better. I can easily carry twice the weight of my f/64 backpack (fully filled) in/with my old Dana backpack and the Dana will ride on my back much more comfortably. Unfortunately my 8x10 system just will not easily fit into my Dana backpack... and oh have I tried to adapt the Dana to my 8x10 system.

David Schaller
21-Apr-2017, 16:43
If the backpack has any signature or logo that claims "photographic" it is over-priced.

I'm also of this school of thought. I use a decades old backpack that I used to use for backpacking, before I upgraded to a Dana Designs Terraplane. Go to an outfitter that has a bunch of internal and external frame backpacks, and throw a punch of weight in then see which one is most comfortable/adjustable for your body.

David Lobato
21-Apr-2017, 19:11
I used an old panel loading Gregory pack for my Deardorff. It has plenty of space for extras. The reason I like it is because once it's on my back and buckled up, it carries very well on trails.

21-Apr-2017, 19:19
Many years ago our local camera shop gifted me with a Canon camera backpack which I've used for a Linhof Super Technika carry.

Its 'Canon' logo is a thick plastic logo. I snapped off the 'C' so it reads 'anon'. So very cool.

21-Apr-2017, 22:15
I use an old Kelty Trekker that I have had around for ages. I can tie almost anything to it. There is more than enough room for my 8x10 Deardorff along with lots of other stuff if I feel up to it.

22-Apr-2017, 17:08
Thanks everyone. Very helpful.

I might take my camera into a trail store and see what packs they have to offer.

If can't find one suitable, then will look to the f.64 or similar.

Drew Bedo
23-Apr-2017, 06:32
How far do you plan to go? How rugged a trail will you hike?

If you are really getting out there you might consider the PhotoBackpacker approach where the backpack is a true hiker's technical article designed for load carrying over long distance . . .and adapting that pack to protect your gear.

Another aspect of this is that the pack won't look like camera gear.

A different concept is a modified golfg-bag pull cart. I attached a stripped Kelty pack frame with U-bolts and hose clamps, then just hung a big LowePro Trekker and walked along the beach and over the meadow. Not a back-country solution, but works abouty anywhere else. you can bring a full picknick and a chair too.

Andrew O'Neill
24-Apr-2017, 08:27
I have been using the f.64 backpack for my 8x10 (Canham) for several years, and it's pretty decent. But... I don't recommend it for long hikes.

Mark Darragh
24-Apr-2017, 19:15
Murray hello,
A couple thoughts you might find useful to consider.

You have already alluded to the harness system being an issue. If you intend to carry a descent load any distance (and an 8x10 with lenses, film holders etc is on a full day walk) then having a good harness is obviously fundamental. If the weight is killing your shoulders, back, hips etc your are going to be miserable. Most of the photo backpacks I have looked at or tried have pretty ordinary harnesses to say the least.

The second point is how durable the pack is. Many of the photo backpacks and even many hiking packs from northern hemisphere manufacturers are made from fairly light weight material and have all sorts of straps and pockets and other paraphernalia on the outside which is fine in more open mountain and forest areas they are probably designed for. Spend a few days off track in average NZ or Oz scrub conditions and you may find they come up wanting. On a trip to the Arthur Ranges in South West Tasmania a couple of years ago, we ran into a young American chap who was carrying his DSLR and other gear in a relatively new F-stop pack. His trip through the scrub in the Western Arthurs had torn it to pieces.

I gave up on photo backpacks years ago and went back to using one of my hiking packs (old Macpac Cascade or One Planet McMillan). More recently I bought a front loading pack, a One Planet Ned 70L which has the same excellent harness system as One Planetís hiking packs. They are made from canvas so quite water resistant and bombproof. Iím pretty sure it will still be one piece long after my knees give out. My 8x10 gets carried in a lightly padded audio mixer case inside the Ned. Lens go into Photo Backpacker cases. These are sadly no longer made but quite a few on the forum seem to be using fishing reel cases which have a similar design and are quite affordable.

You should be able to find One Planet gear in NZ to have a look at. Cactus Outdoor who are a based in Christchurch also make some great canvas packs. They may well have something that fits the bill too.

All the best

25-Apr-2017, 01:05

The One Planet is s very interesting option. They do sell them in NZ. Thank you.