PDA

View Full Version : Large Format 4x5 Camera Hiking Backpack Question



jianglinxi
24-Apr-2017, 11:22
Hello everyone! I'm planning to take some landscape photos this summer but far from driving road which means I need hike 2 days to reach the location I want. I need to carry 4x5 camera with 4 lens with some accessories, sleep bag, tent, food, clothes. I have a friend is going with me, but he is not going to take any camera equipment. He told me that he can carry tent and some stuffs.

I's told that I need to use a professional hiking backpack instead professional camera backpack to carry camera gears and other stuffs. But all backpack for hiking has no foam protection layer, and fabric of hiking backpack is thin. Please give me some advises on camera gears protection. Thx

AuditorOne
24-Apr-2017, 11:36
I use an Intrepid 4x5 which is pretty small and light.

My longer lenses go in socks or, if flat enough and already in a lensboard, are wrapped in micro fiber cloth secured with rubber bands.

My camera gets wrapped in dark cloth. Ground glass is protected by this http://www.badgergraphic.com/opencart/index.php?route=product/category&path=2_82_166

Film holders are held together with rubber bands and then holders and spare film are tucked into the changing bag.

Tripod is attached to pack frame.

A small nylon bag from Delta Airlines that hangs from the outside of the pack contains odds and ends like loupe, etc.

Not too scientific but pretty inexpensive. Leaves lots of room for important things like food and water and sleeping needs.

faberryman
24-Apr-2017, 12:30
How far is a two day hike?

Peter Collins
24-Apr-2017, 13:01
I have used a light-weight top-loading backpack--ULA Circuit, and a panel-loading backpack. Now all my photo gear is in a Granite Gear panel-loading backpack. Panel-loading backpacks are much, much better than the top-loading kind for fishing photo equipment out of the pack.

When I have everything packed, there isn't much room for clothes, food, water, sleeping bag. This is not a problem as long as my photograph is not far from the car because tent, sleeping bag, food, water are elsewhere in the car.

If I were to undertake a 2 day hike to a location, I would reduce the number of film holders to just those I reasonably expect to use, leave my 90mm lens at home (you may lighten up in another way), and pack Mountain House freeze-dried meals, my Trail Designs' 'Tri-Ti' alcohol-burning cookset, a change of poly/nylon underwear, plus minimum clothes for the weather, sleeping bag, and my 1-person tent. Tripod lashed to the outside of the pack. And, believe it or not, an umbrella. Important clothes include a wind-resistant outer shell, water & wind resistant pants, and a hat that works in rain and sun--I love my poly Tilley hat. Take a stocking cap if you expect cold nights at high elevations; put it on and get into the bag, get warm, and sleep.

I hiked 120 miles of the Appalachian Trail (AT) last year, and persons with umbrellas were hiking in the rain, dry from the waist up. Worked much better than the poncho I took.

On my next hike I will take chocolate-covered roasting coffee beans. One afternoon on the AT my tail was dragging, and my sister gave me some of those beans. Eat 3 - 5 and in just minutes I was back in shape to hike the rest of the afternoon. A big stimulant. Actually, chocolate-covered coffee beans are useful in many other activities.

John Layton
24-Apr-2017, 15:18
put each film holder into its own ziplock bag...you'll be glad you did!

xkaes
24-Apr-2017, 15:28
I've taken one to seven day treks -- from Canada to Mexico -- with my trusty TOKO (NOT Toyo) 4x5 and lenses from 37mm Mamiya to 600mm Fujinon, PLUS 12.5mm to 100mm Minolta macros. With all the regular, essential camping gear and food, my backpack can easily top 60 pounds. All I have ever used is a standard framed backpack. It carries everything. I put my gear in a basic KIWI camera bag that fits in the top of the backpack. OK, not everything. I put my extra boxes of 4x5 film in a side pouch of the backpack -- but for photography before breakfast, after lunch or dinner, I just take the KIWI out of the top, unlash the tripod (on the side of the backpack), and I'm ready to go at a moments notice. Seven days has always been about my max. It's always possible to take shorter trips, which means less food weight, or take less gear, which means less photographic weight -- or both!!!

Keith Pitman
24-Apr-2017, 16:52
When I've backpacked, I put the camera gear in a small day pack attached to the top of my backpack with the camping gear. That worked well. I'd suggest you have a very light weight camera, limit yourself to two lenses, and also limit the number of filmholders you take or use grafmatics.

jp
24-Apr-2017, 17:15
I'd limit myself to two lenses rather than ditch film or film holders. You can save weight with a smaller and potentially less sturdy tripod and that's OK for occasional use.

xkaes
24-Apr-2017, 17:35
I solved the film holder "problem" by using the SUPER-thin, original, Mido holders. That saves at least a pound, depending on the number of holders you normally carry, but they are hard to find nowadays.

As to cutting down on lenses, you can always expand your repertoire -- simply and inexpensively -- with one or two close-up lenses. I know that sounds very odd, but check out:

http://www.subclub.org/fujinon/close-up.htm

jianglinxi
25-Apr-2017, 04:53
About 45KM two days

"How far is a two day hike?"

jianglinxi
25-Apr-2017, 06:05
Thank everybody for all useful advice!

jp
25-Apr-2017, 10:10
About 45KM two days

"How far is a two day hike?"

In New England where no path or route is straight, we regularly measure trips by time rather than distance.

neil poulsen
25-Apr-2017, 12:20
The best photo backpack I have was intended for hiking, with just cloth sides, etc. It's also the most comfortable. I cut a large, thick piece of foam to fit on the inside and then did cutouts to hold my camera and lenses. It works fine, and it's relatively light-weight.

I've found that the protection provided with "photographic" backpacks comes at the cost off substantial weight. I also find photographic backpacks to be less comfortable. I use them for smaller outfits. But in my view, they have a downside.

faberryman
25-Apr-2017, 12:31
In New England where no path or route is straight, we regularly measure trips by time rather than distance.
If you measure by time, it kind of depends on how fast you walk and how often you stop to take photographs. I've never seen a trail marked in time increments.

xkaes
25-Apr-2017, 12:43
It's odd, but he's right. At least in the "Old Days", the AMC's White Mountain Guide (New Hampshire) listed the time it took to hike the trail, not how long it was. It never made any sense to me. Maybe that's one of the reasons I moved to Colorado, but I've been to plenty of places out here in the West that do the same thing. It's probably the result of Easterners moving out here. But that's OK with me because most of the hiking I have ever done out here has been off trail -- not really feasible back East -- where I depend on a compass, a topo map, and my Toko 4 x5.

RocketScientist90
28-Apr-2017, 08:47
I am pretty happy with my F-Stop Ajna and the XLarge Pro ICU. The Ajna is too small if you also want to take some clothing, but the camping gear can be attached on the outside easily. I think if you go for a Suhka or a Shinn you'll have a camera and hiking bag that will fit your needs.

The Xlarge pro ICU fits my Toyo 45A, 3 lenses, 6 holders, light meter, LEE filters and some other small accessories neatly.
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C5CeorjWAAAL-Ad.jpg:large

Roy

jp
28-Apr-2017, 09:29
If you measure by time, it kind of depends on how fast you walk and how often you stop to take photographs. I've never seen a trail marked in time increments.

You kinda learn that if you are slower at driving/walking/etc then estimate high for the time to complete. Or if some place is 20 minutes away, then you need 20 minutes + photography time.

Larry the Sailor
3-May-2017, 05:13
I recently acquired a Osprey Aether 70 to tote my 4x5 stuff for off road expeditions.
I have no illusions of serious hikes lasting several days but I do plan to be hours away from the vehicle.
I use a couple of Mountain Smith padded inserts for my Toyo 45A and 3 lenses. Accessories go in smaller padded pouches and my film holders are in a plastic sportsman dry box in the lower compartment of the pack. Tripod is strapped to the side of the pack.
I have room for water, snacks, first aid kit, a little bit of extra clothing and rain gear along with a few comfort items and still keep the weight of the pack to about 35 pounds.

This video was part of the reason I made the choices I did.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qx8oa4I_YcE

trekkin
3-May-2017, 15:32
I fit my 4x5 Nagaoka camera outfit into a SMD lightweight backpack.

Vaughn
3-May-2017, 16:08
Must be younger than I am! For that distance I would have a quality backpacking pack. I suggest one with more volume that one might normally need. I have an internal frame top-loader...my 4x5 camera goes in last, with a little padding, on top of the shoulderbag holding the film holders, meter, etc. I only take one lens (150mm). If I want to make an image while hiking in, everything is right there.

Once at camp, the camera goes on the tripod. The darkcloth is over the camera and I slide a waterproof stuff sack over it and the camera (protects from rain, dust, and things that might poke the bellows, except bears). Everything else in the shoulder bag. Nothing has to be set on the ground, which is nice in snow, marshy areas, etc. or if you need to move quickly because of bears or other natural causes.

xkaes
3-May-2017, 17:16
That reminds me of an approach that I use to reduce weight while backpacking. Specifically, you can carry a lighter tripod than you might if, after setting up the tripod you drape the shoulder slap of your camera bag over the tripod. This not only holds the tripod down, it stabilizes the tripod. Perhaps best of all, if the top of the camera bag is left open, all of your lenses and other gear are within arms reach -- with no need to bend.

Drew Bedo
6-May-2017, 06:57
The best photo backpack I have was intended for hiking, with just cloth sides, etc. It's also the most comfortable. I cut a large, thick piece of foam to fit on the inside and then did cutouts to hold my camera and lenses. It works fine, and it's relatively light-weight.

I've found that the protection provided with "photographic" backpacks comes at the cost off substantial weight. I also find photographic backpacks to be less comfortable. I use them for smaller outfits. But in my view, they have a downside.

Of course, that is exactly what the now discontinued PhotoBackpacker system was all about. The bag was a Kelty Redwing variant and the protection and organization was provided by the semi-rigid boxes. There is still a need for this type of product line, but the market is apartently too small for someone to step in and replicate it. Yet I would think that the concept could be applied to DSLR/Mirrorless formats too.

RocketScientist90
6-May-2017, 10:47
Thats why I suggest the F Stop bags. That seems closest to that solution. Especially their largest ones.

Roy

Vaughn
6-May-2017, 15:12
That reminds me of an approach that I use to reduce weight while backpacking. Specifically, you can carry a lighter tripod than you might if, after setting up the tripod you drape the shoulder slap of your camera bag over the tripod...

True, but I tend to use my tripods a little roughly and appreciate the extra strength when scrambling off-trail. Plus I am tall -- so while the old Gitzo Reporter Performance is more than I need for the 4 pounds on the tripod (4x5, lens, filmholder and darkcloth), it extends to 56" without the center column, so I don't have to bend over with the head and camera on it (my eyes are about 67" above the ground.) The center column goes up another 24" (a two-part center column), which is silly high. The pod weighs about 5 pounds (w/o head), so I think that matches the camera weight nicely. And still does a decent job with the 5x7...but I also have a Gitzo Studex, the next size up for, everyday use.

My 8x10 equipment is not really pack-able. Size and weight of my 8x10 equipment is already at my limit for hiking...and at 62, slapping on a sleeping bag, shelter, and a hunk of bread for a several nights out is just not an option (unless with pack-animal help).

brad martin
6-May-2017, 20:32
So when you say "I need to carry 4 lenses" you're telling us you've never been on a hike before?

Mark Darragh
7-May-2017, 05:25
I second Vaughn's comments regarding using a quality backpack designed for hiking rather than photography. Their harness systems are much better for carrying loads on multi-day walks. I personally use old Photobackpacker and Gnass gear cases for camera and lenses (up to 6) and carry them along with all the other necessary hiking gear in either a One Planet or Macpac 90 litre pack. Using this system I've carried a 4x5 camera on trips of up to 10 days. It is a little more challenging in the post Quickload world but still perfectly possible.

If you want see what is possible with regard to large format wilderness photography, do some research on the work of Tasmanian photographers Peter Dombrovskis and Chris Bell and Rob Brown from New Zealand. Truly inspirational.

xkaes
7-May-2017, 05:35
True, but I tend to use my tripods a little roughly and appreciate the extra strength when scrambling off-trail. Plus I am tall -- so while the old Gitzo Reporter Performance is more than I need for the 4 pounds on the tripod (4x5, lens, filmholder and darkcloth), it extends to 56" without the center column, so I don't have to bend over with the head and camera on it (my eyes are about 67" above the ground.) The center column goes up another 24" (a two-part center column), which is silly high. The pod weighs about 5 pounds (w/o head), so I think that matches the camera weight nicely. And still does a decent job with the 5x7...but I also have a Gitzo Studex, the next size up for, everyday use.

My 8x10 equipment is not really pack-able. Size and weight of my 8x10 equipment is already at my limit for hiking...and at 62, slapping on a sleeping bag, shelter, and a hunk of bread for a several nights out is just not an option (unless with pack-animal help).

That's sort of funny since I use the Gitzo Reporter Performance myself. Great tripod, for super high and low shots. And the reversible center column is great for close-ups VERY close to the ground. For me, the big plus is that it is not nearly as heavy as what some people insist on carrying. With a Ballhead #2 (AKA 275) I'm good to go. And with my camera bag draped around the legs, it is super stable. The only problem I've ever had is using the camera with longer lenses in high winds, the problem is with the bellows and the dark cloth staying in place. And like you, most of my hikes are off-trail -- to get away from the crowds, among other things. I normally carry about a dozen super thin, lightweight Mido film holders and around eight to 10 lenses -- my four Minolta macro/micro lenses are all very small and lightweight, but I usually only bring two of them at a time.

Vaughn
7-May-2017, 08:33
Used a Gitzo #2 Ballhead with a set of Studex legs for years until that pod and camera (5x7) gear got ripped off from my truck in '95. Finally back to a ballhead for the 4x5 and Rollei.

I usually carry 5 to 6 film holders (and one lens) -- and if it is a two or three night trip, that might be all the film I take. Make 'em count!

jianglinxi
7-May-2017, 08:37
Hi everybody. I'm think if I can purchase a camera insert bag which is much more lighter than camera backpack (about 500g). And purchasing a professional hiking backpack. Put all necessary hiking equipment + camera equipment in the insert bag. It provides good protection to my camera equipment, and good for hiking.

angusparker
7-May-2017, 14:43
F64 pack is great for LF and if you use it for 4x5 you just might have enough to room for clothes, food and a sleeping bag strapped somewhere outside but I agree that a dedicated hiking pack would be better. Amazon sells a ton of small cases with foam which would probably be a good bet for the camera and another one for two lenses and the meter.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Drew Bedo
8-May-2017, 06:56
Hi everybody. I'm think if I can purchase a camera insert bag which is much more lighter than camera backpack (about 500g). And purchasing a professional hiking backpack. Put all necessary hiking equipment + camera equipment in the insert bag. It provides good protection to my camera equipment, and good for hiking.

This is a viable approach used by some. Do what works for you.

xkaes
13-May-2017, 12:07
Someone asked for pictures of my backpacking setup, so here it is. The three pictures are here and at:
http://www.subclub.org/toko/pack1.JPG
http://www.subclub.org/toko/pack2.JPG
http://www.subclub.org/toko/pack3.JPG

If I am doing an overnight I don't carry all of my lenses. I select them based on the type of terrain I will be in and the types of pictures I expect to take. For example, if I'm in canyon country, I concentrate more on wide-angle lenses, during flower season I have more macro gear, and above tree-line I'll concentrate more on longer lenses.

Here is where I start -- with my KIWI bag. I think it is a model 425, but they made a ton of bags in various sizes. This is one of their larger bags, and has a hand strap and removeable, adjustable, shoulder strap. I don't know if they are still in business, but their bags are great, reasonably priced and very rugged. I have several, and you can get used for next to nothing. This one is the perfect size for my camera, other gear and my backpack. Photo #1 shows the Toko Nikki II on one end -- just fits. And there is room on the bottom for lens -- in this case, SIX: Schneider 47mm XL, Fujinon CM-W 105mm, NW 125mm, NW 150mm, A 180mm, C 300mm.

164814

On top of that, I put my dark cloth -- a WOOD HOOD, silver on the outside and black on the inside with a flexible band around your head -- the best IMHO. Then I add another layer of lenses -- assuming I need/want more. In this case, I've added a Fujinon SWD 75mm, NW 210mm, and T 600mm, for a total of nine lenses from 47mm to 600mm. Sometimes it's more, sometimes less. It all depends. If I'm in the desert and need to carry water, it's USUALLY less -- but in the desert, I can often leave the tent behind.

164815

I don't close up the camera bag just yet. It has a pouch on the inside of the cover which is perfect for about 10-12 super-thin, double-sided, MIDO film sleeves. In addition, there are two pockets on the ends. One keeps the Mido sleeve holder along with my DOF charts for each lens. In the other pocket, I drop in my handy, tiny rangefinder (which I use with the DOF charts, to get what I want it focus, instead of relying just on my loupe. I also add in my pinholes and adapter(s), and well as a hand-held meter, lens cleaning tissue, cable release, self timer, filters, etc. I could save more space and weight in the main compartment, but all of my lenses are standardized to a 77mm filter, which means step-up rings. But that makes sense to me because it saves me time, finding and putting on and taking off adapter rings.

Then, after I have put everything else in the pack that needs to be there, I put the KIWI bag on the top -- usually at the trailhead.

164816

This is a REI TREKKER external frame backpack. They probably don't make it anymore, but I'm sure there are other similar ones out there -- and really cheap used. In the main upper compartment, I put clothes and the tent. For the tent poles, there is a place to slide them in through the top to the bottom. In the main bottom compartment, I put cooking gear and food. It has side pockets for other, smaller items such as water bottles. The pocket on the upper back, is actually removeable and turns into a great belt pack for short hikes. There is also a pocket on the top, which is where I put my film boxes under my film change bag. It is not seen in the picture but it covers the top and keeps everything dry. One the very bottom, outside of the pack, goes my sleeping bag and pad. All you can see in the picture are the external straps. My tripod -- a trusty Gitzo Reporter Performace gets strapped vertically on the outside -- note the strap on the upper right-hand corner.

Whether I'm hiking or in camp, all I need to do is remove the camera bag from the top, the tripod from the side, and I'm ready to go in less than a minute!

Alan9940
13-May-2017, 12:25
Based on an earlier post in this thread, I bought an F-Stop Gear XLarge Pro ICU (insert weighs about 2 lbs) that holds my Arca-Swiss F-line camera, 4 lenses, a few Grafmatics, and a dark cloth all of which fits beautifully into my Kelty P1 backpack. Compared to my previous backpack for this equipment, I lost about 4 - 5 lbs! Works for me!! :)

jp
13-May-2017, 14:23
I just bought one of these.. Hasn't shown up yet, so I don't know how suitable it will be. My major thing would be to not have to lug my tripod but it does make my arms strong. I'm thinking this sort of backpack might be able to hold a tripod centered in the double-rifle-holder that is supposed to hold upto 46" length.... Unknown how suitable the innards will be for cameras but the size bags look suitable for 4x5 film holders or my seltzer or gatorade bottle.

https://store.colddeadhands.us/collections/tactical-gear/products/b-tac-rifle-pack-bug-out-bag

Alan9940
13-May-2017, 16:22
My major thing would be to not have to lug my tripod but it does make my arms strong.

Carbon fiber...carbon fiber...repeat like a mantra. :D

AuditorOne
13-May-2017, 16:50
I just bought one of these.. Hasn't shown up yet, so I don't know how suitable it will be. My major thing would be to not have to lug my tripod but it does make my arms strong. I'm thinking this sort of backpack might be able to hold a tripod centered in the double-rifle-holder that is supposed to hold upto 46" length.... Unknown how suitable the innards will be for cameras but the size bags look suitable for 4x5 film holders or my seltzer or gatorade bottle.

https://store.colddeadhands.us/collections/tactical-gear/products/b-tac-rifle-pack-bug-out-bag

I guess we will both find out if it works for us. I ordered one as well. At that sale price it was pretty much a no-brainer.

Based on the dimensions it will pack my tripod and my 8x10 with extra gear.

During hunting season it can do double duty.

This is a twofer. :D

jp
26-May-2017, 17:09
The backpack I mentioned May 13 arrived. I think it will useful for my photography. Wearing it, the tripod seems very light on my back as it's well centered. Adjusting the shoulder straps places it where I want on my hips.

The backside, waist, and straps are padded.
The normal backpack interior easily holds 2 ammo boxes which hold 7 4x5 film holders each for me. (These are $5-10 water/dust resistant boxes from the sporting good section of Mal-wart or Cabelas.) This could also easily hold a camera and/or lenses.
There is a great deal of webbing about the backpack, so I could clip more items to it if needed such as an extra box of film holders.
The gun sleeve actually has a flexible divider so you could take 2 long guns if needed without them scratching each other. I use it for one tripod. Pictured is my Ries Junior (J series). I have not tried an A series in it yet.
It also has a handle at the top like a school backpack.
The tripod sticks out about 7 inches with the 3025 head shown, but there is plenty of clearance so I don't bump my skull on it, so it's fine.

165402

165403

xkaes
26-May-2017, 17:31
Where do you put your food, stove, tent, sleeping bag, etc? Curious minds want to know!

jp
26-May-2017, 17:38
Where do you put your food, stove, tent, sleeping bag, etc? Curious minds want to know!

I intend to use it for day hikes. I can put food and drink in the side pockets. I live with much woods around, so I don't have to go far to enjoy a variety of woods and be home by dark. If I did an overnight trip, I'd probably drop the tent, stove, etc. off where I intend to use it and then hike around for photos without all that.

xkaes
27-May-2017, 04:34
I intend to use it for day hikes. I can put food and drink in the side pockets. I live with much woods around, so I don't have to go far to enjoy a variety of woods and be home by dark. If I did an overnight trip, I'd probably drop the tent, stove, etc. off where I intend to use it and then hike around for photos without all that.

You still haven't said where you would put the "stuff" for an overnight trip.