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Sweep
30-Jun-2017, 06:13
I am in desperate need of a way to carry my 10x8 camera and ancillary equipment.
I have ventured out with it once in a sports shoulder bag, with the equipment wrapped in bath towels, but that was not the most comfortable experience of my life to say the least. I managed about 25 yards from the car before the strap started biting into my shoulder.
I need to carry the following:
Wilderness V 10x8 camera approx. 6kg (13lbs)
Schneider apo-symmar 240 5.6
4x DDS
Sekonic L-508 meter
Dark cloth
GT2542 + GH2780 head
Cable release

But I would like to have sufficient room to add the following when funds allow:
a 360 or 480 copal 3 'slowish' lens
A Lee filter system

There seems to be plenty of reviews of the F64 BPX but I can't find a supplier in Europe for this item so I have also been considering the Mindshift Firstlight 40L
I am drawn to the Mindshift as I can buy it from a supplier in England for 250, am covered by our 30day returns regulations, and it looks more modern than the F64
I would need to import the F64 from USA which I could do for around 190 but once purchased I would have no option to return.
I also looked at the Arja after searching the previous posts but this seems to require the additional cost of a pre-formed insert system and I don't seem to be able to find a local stockist
So, if you own a Mindshift or F64 for 10x8, and have had to make the same decision please let me know your thoughts, or is there any other brand I should be considering?

thanks ...Sweep

Drew Bedo
30-Jun-2017, 06:54
There are plenty of good backpacks that will meet your needs I am sure. There will be many posts to follow with great suggestions.

In the meantime, think about adapting a serious trekker's backpack or mountaineering rig to carry your gear. The now out of production "PhotoBackpacker" line of gear used a Kelty Redwing backpack as the base and inserted a Velcro or hook-and-loop board to hold everything together. A DIY project would be to construct your own liuner from hook-and-loop fabric glued to stiffened foam substrate combined with a serious hiking backpack.

It may be that a padded insert that meets your needs is available on e-Bay or Amazon wich saves time and effort.

This approach gives you a backpack that may be more comfortable for serious hiking that will protect and organize your gear but will not advertise that you have thousands of Dollars, Pounds or Euros in photogear packed inside.

Cheers.

esearing
30-Jun-2017, 08:58
Take a look at Fly Fishing packs from Orvis UK. The safe passage pack is roomy enough to put in a reel case to hold your lenses and accessories.

MikeL
30-Jun-2017, 09:39
I found an Evoc 35L on ebay and have been really happy with it for my 8x10 and accessories.

Greg
30-Jun-2017, 09:45
After purchasing and using several photo dedicated backpacks I came to the conclusion that none of them comfortably rode on my back like a full sized backpack made for carrying a lot of camping equipment.

In the end bought a large "vintage" Dana backpack and filled it with inserts. Inserts are available on Amazon. Just do a search with come combinations of the words: Camera Insert, Camera Bag Inserts or Insets with Sleeves. Filled full with photo equipment and with a tripod attached to one side of the pack, the backpack is a pleasure to use. Way more comfortable and balanced that any dedicated photo backpack that I have ever owned.

Peter Collins
30-Jun-2017, 10:31
The Photobackpacker that I use for my 4x5 rig is a fitted-out Granite Gear pack. ('Fitted out' means I have Photobackpacker cases for lenses, meter, camera. I carry about 20 lb--9 kg in it very comfortably. For a while; but 'for a while' is mainly due to my age: I'm 72. I would buy it again.

Andrew O'Neill
30-Jun-2017, 10:50
I have the F64 backpack. It's great but so so when it comes to long hikes. I pack as much into as I can, including 6, 8x10 holders, 8 lenses, filters, metre, etc. The strap has broken a couple of times (where it connects to the bottom of the pack...probably because I pack too much and picking up by one strap and swinging it onto my back!). I have taken it as carry on (with side pouches removed) many times.

mathieu Bauwens
30-Jun-2017, 11:21
Here, in France, you can find the F64 backpack ; http://www.adaflex.com/pages/accessoires/sacs.htm

Vaughn
30-Jun-2017, 15:22
What I use:

https://meipacks.myshopify.com/collections/hiking-packs/products/trekker-ii

Detachable front daypack holds five 8x10 holders easily. Keeps them out of the main pack. I built dividers out closed-cell foam (old backpacking sleeping pads).

Comfortable with a 45 pound load (Zone VI 8x10, 3 to 4 lenses, 6 holders, etc) over miles of trails and off-trail. I have sent it on airplanes.

The only issue I have is that I need to tighten the waist belt occasionally -- but I have had the pack for 20+ years and it has seen a lot of hard use. All the seams are fine, zippers still good.

I am considering buying their next size up for my 11x14. I hope you can find an equivilent in Europe!

pjd
30-Jun-2017, 16:48
I use an F-stop Guru with an 8x10 Kodak 2D, it just fits. I can also add a couple of holders, tripod block, dark cloth and meter, or a holder and the extension rail. It's a very good bag, though I'd like to get one of their larger bags.

Unfortunately F-stop has a reputation for slow delivery if you purchase direct. There are vendors in the EU who have them in stock. I was lucky to find my bag second hand (craigslist). It's been around quite a bit and still looks like new, very robust and light.

I think whatever bag you buy, you'll need to try it out with the gear you've got, so your idea about getting a bag with return rights is sound. Good luck!

David Schaller
30-Jun-2017, 17:20
I use an old (25+ years) Lowe backpack. It's a top loader, and I have the Deardorff wrapped in my dark cloth, and holders in old laptop cases, and lenses, light meter and filters in a lumbar pack, all stacked inside. Get a real backpack that is comfortable to carry the weight. You can go to charity shops and find stuff for little money.

Drew Bedo
1-Jul-2017, 05:36
I use an old (25+ years) Lowe backpack. It's a top loader, and I have the Deardorff wrapped in my dark cloth, and holders in old laptop cases, and lenses, light meter and filters in a lumbar pack, all stacked inside. Get a real backpack that is comfortable to carry the weight. You can go to charity shops and find stuff for little money.


Charity begins at home, try looking at:

www.shopgoodwill.com

Sweep
3-Jul-2017, 15:30
Thanks for your replies guys, which I have been adding to my research, and my apology's for my delayed reply.
Whilst the idea of partitioning a non-photo rucksack to suit my camera, and retaining the likely comfort-carrying and low profile security (i.e. they don't look to be stuffed with expensive equipment) advantages of such a bag, I really don't want to start another construction project or end up with something that looks amateurish. Furthermore I really want to get out with my camera!
I am surprised how expensive the F64 bags are in France and it does look buying directly from the USA and including the import duties would be so much cheaper.
So unless anyone shouts 'STOP' in the next 48 hours I guess I will be buying the Mindshift.

...Sweep

John Kasaian
3-Jul-2017, 15:52
I currently use a Kelty Redwing.
Tried the LowePro but it was just too doggone heavy.
Just sayin'.

Sweep
3-Jul-2017, 16:28
thanks for adding to the confusion John :-)
What size Redwing do you use for your 8x10 as they seem to come in several different litre size?
It appears that only Amazon sell Kelty over here in England

...Sweep

Vaughn
3-Jul-2017, 17:54
I'll take something that looks "amateurish" that does its job perfectly for 20 years! ;)

John Kasaian
3-Jul-2017, 20:46
thanks for adding to the confusion John :-)
What size Redwing do you use for your 8x10 as they seem to come in several different litre size?
It appears that only Amazon sell Kelty over here in England

...Sweep

Mine says Redwing Classic LG and I ordered it from REI. It will hold the 'dorff, 4 film holders easily (5 if I put one in the camera) dark cloth(doubles as padding,) meter, release cables and loupe, filter kit and up to two lenses mounted on 6x6 boards (tight fit---not recommended) three if one rides in the camera reversed, but I never pack more than two with the smaller lens( 240 G Claron) inside the camera for added protection.
I've had this for nearly 10 years plus it's been to Boy Scout Camp with my son on numerous occasions (we replaced it three years ago with an Osprey so I don't have to share my Redwing anymore!)
The Ries tripod I now carry separately using a shotgun sling. The Redwing does have a daisy chain for lashing it aboard but it makes taking the pack on and off real clumsy---Ries are just too big for that nonsense, IMHO.

Sweep
4-Jul-2017, 00:12
I'll take something that looks "amateurish" that does its job perfectly for 20 years! ;)

Yeah , but you haven't seen the quality of my work Vaughn. I would probably take a couple of months to think about the design, another few weeks to weigh up the material options, get bored, and never start it anyway ��

John Kasaian
4-Jul-2017, 06:30
I just noticed that Vaughn's pack is a local (for me) product.
MEI is about two miles from where I live.
I need to check this out!

angusparker
4-Jul-2017, 10:30
Another vote for F64 backpack. It is a little underspec-ed for a heavy 8x10 or lots of fast lenses - but does very nicely otherwise with an 8x10. My Ritter 8x10 just fits but my Ebony 810RW is a perfect fit. The real limitation is the number of holders you are willing to carry. I'd say about 3 is optimal given the set-up. They don't really fit in the outside zip area.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

M.B.
4-Jul-2017, 14:09
Hi,
maybee is the Evoc CP 35l a good choice.

Sweep
5-Jul-2017, 01:20
Had a look at the Tenba, Kelty, Fstop Evoc, and MEI but availability in England is very poor.
I did find a retailer for Kelty but they only listed an awning to attach to a car.
I do like the look of the Evoc but, again, availability is non-existent in England.
I could buy most of these, excluding the F64 and MEI, from Amazon but it would mean ordering the lot and sending most back which I don't fancy doing.
It seems the only brands that make a sizeable pack that I can get are Mindshift Firstlight 40L and the Lowepro with their Whistler 450.
I do recognise that the established first choice should be the F64 BPX but this is only available from the USA or the Firstlight only because of a review on YouTube where a guy actually uses it for 10x8 and I can get one.
Not an easy choice now that we don't have real high-street shops anymore but I guess we are all to blame for their demise

John Kasaian
5-Jul-2017, 06:45
Most of the larger army surplus back packs will digest an 8x10 with it's accoutrements. They're generally not the most comfortable nor stylish but they will get you outdoors and for very little coin until something better can be found.

Sweep
5-Jul-2017, 14:48
Thanks for the idea John.
I checked out the UK's premier military surplus outfit and they certainly do some pretty big packs, most in various shades of green, or green and brown, or brown and green etc :)
www.silvermans.co.uk
In the end I have decided to order the Mindshift online and see what it looks like as this way I can, by law, send it back within 14 days for any reason. It is a lot more than I was hoping to spend but I really needed to make a decision and get something ordered so I can take out my camera.
Once I get it I will post some pics with it loaded.

Thanks ...Sweep

Greg
5-Jul-2017, 16:42
Most of the larger army surplus back packs will digest an 8x10 with it's accoutrements. They're generally not the most comfortable nor stylish but they will get you outdoors and for very little coin until something better can be found.

I agree that they are not the most stylish. As far as being comfortable, used one for years that was designed for carrying 3 or more times the weight of my 8x10 outfit... It rode quite comfortably on my back till I tried on a large DANA backpack that put it to shame... but then the DANA cost me probably 8 times the price of the army surplus backpack. For years I drove around and stored my equipment in plain sight in the back of a compact station wagon. Found a large army surplus cloth case in which I put my newer and 300% better looking DANA in. To a passerby, the surplus cloth case gave no indication that inside were thousands of dollars of LF equipment.

David Schaller
6-Jul-2017, 06:35
Speaking of Dana, I just got a Mystery Ranch daypack, with the three zipper design. If I had the money, I would get a Terraplane in this design, which has the advantage of a panel loader but looks much more durable. Dana's suspension systems and ability to customize the fit are the best I've ever experienced.

MikeL
6-Jul-2017, 11:20
Speaking of Dana, I just got a Mystery Ranch daypack, with the three zipper design. If I had the money, I would get a Terraplane in this design, which has the advantage of a panel loader but looks much more durable. Dana's suspension systems and ability to customize the fit are the best I've ever experienced.

The original Dana Designs Glacier ruined me for other packs. They are worth every penny. My experience with them is why the EVOC 35L was worth it for me for my 8x10. Poor ergonomics and stability take a lot of energy out of you when packing in certain conditions.

seezee
6-Jul-2017, 11:21
There are plenty of good backpacks that will meet your needs I am sure. There will be many posts to follow with great suggestions.

In the meantime, think about adapting a serious trekker's backpack or mountaineering rig to carry your gear. The now out of production "PhotoBackpacker" line of gear used a Kelty Redwing backpack as the base and inserted a Velcro or hook-and-loop board to hold everything together. A DIY project would be to construct your own liuner from hook-and-loop fabric glued to stiffened foam substrate combined with a serious hiking backpack.

It may be that a padded insert that meets your needs is available on e-Bay or Amazon wich saves time and effort.

This approach gives you a backpack that may be more comfortable for serious hiking that will protect and organize your gear but will not advertise that you have thousands of Dollars, Pounds or Euros in photogear packed inside.

Cheers.

In the many similar threads that have come up here over the years, I always see mention of the Kelty Redwing. But I also see many proponents of their external frame packs. Look for one of the older, USA-made versions on FleaBay — the brand-new overseas-manufacured ones are supposedly not as well made.

The external frame packs sell for as little as $30 if you don't mind some stains, more for a pristine one.

Here's a primer on external vs. internal frame packs. (http://outdoors.campmor.com/internal-vs-external-frame-backpack/)

David Schaller
6-Jul-2017, 19:53
The original Dana Designs Glacier ruined me for other packs. They are worth every penny. My experience with them is why the EVOC 35L was worth it for me for my 8x10. Poor ergonomics and stability take a lot of energy out of you when packing in certain conditions.
I use the Dana Designs Bomb Pack for my 4x5 kit, and I am going to try the Mystery Ranch Scree pack instead, for the new three zipper opening system. I took it for a hike yesterday with my medium format camera and two liters of water, and the suspension is great.

Drew Bedo
7-Jul-2017, 04:42
I thought that "Redwing" was a line of Kelty branded backpacks . . .?

Sweep
9-Jul-2017, 15:28
As promised, here are a few photos and comments about the Mindshift Firstlight 40L.
Bear in mind that this is the first and only rucksack/backpack I have ever bought so I cannot offer legitimate comparison to other makes.
I think it's great. It is expensive but overall I am very please with it.
The thing is quite large, but not ridiculously so, and whilst it holds all my current kit, it does have sufficient spare capacity for maybe an extra 3 slow lenses, or 1 fast and 2 slow lenses. That being said, I have shown the rain cover/ground sheet pouch stored inside the bag which is pretty silly of me as I would have to put the bag down to take it out! It makes more sense to place that pouch in one of the outside mesh pockets which would free up more room inside.
Realistically I will probably only get another one slowish 360 or 480 lens which will leave sufficient room for filters and the like. On the right-hand-side there is a bladder pocket which might make a nice store for the Lee wide angle hood. If I did manage (to afford!) to fill the thing I could always expand with the rather nice matching Filter Hive.
So far I have arranged it to accommodate the following:
Wilderness V 10x8 (positioned upside down as the locking screw knobs stick a little wide and fit the natural midpoint 'swell' of the bag)
Apo-Symmar 240mm f5.6
Dark cloth
Sekonic L-508 in pouch
Rain Cover/ground sheet in pouch
Wista loupe
2x 2-off double darkslides. Each pair in rather thick laptop sleeves with one sleeve inside the main compartment and the second in the front pocket
Cable release
Lens spanner/key
Gitzo GT2542 + GH2780QD

All of the above fitted pretty snugly but I think things would be a little easier by reducing to 3x DDS or getting less padded sleeves.
On the back it feels pretty good, after following the instructions to get the weight on the hips and not the shoulders, with the all-up weight at around 14.5kg (32lbs).
There are, of course, a load of spare dividers which will never be used so will need to be stored somewhere.
if anyone has any questions or wants more feedback after I have been for a hike with it let me know and I will do my best to answer as honestly as possible.

...Sweep

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