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Thread: how to pack smart for on location work????

  1. #1

    how to pack smart for on location work????


    Lately, I ve been doing more on location work with 4x5. This is my workflow now
    build camera& have it on tripod before actually photographing process,
    have a think tank backpack, with extra lenses+film holders+light meter+digital camera+changing tent+extra film, etc

    But I watched a LF video tonight, the photographer had 2 shoulder bags, one for film holders only, the other bigger shoulder bag has extra stuff in it. Feel like the advantages are
    1. one bag dedicated to film holders will give you better sense on how many sheets you have & have not shot, better for organizing
    2. shoulder bags are more free-standing friendly. my backpack always falls, never stands. this makes me worry about gear safety

    I am very curious about your workflow and how you'd like to pack your bags to make the process easier.
    Will you share your wisdom?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Humboldt County, CA

    Re: how to pack smart for on location work????

    When I am working with smaller cameras (4x5 and 5x7), working with the camera on the tripod and everything else in a shoulder bag is efficient.

    For 8x10 I prefer a backpack. I prefer packs that one can lay on the ground and unzip the front (instead of the top). That way everything one needs is easily accessable.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  3. #3

    Re: how to pack smart for on location work????

    what shoulder bag are you guy using?

  4. #4
    Silver Fox
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Ann Arbor, MI

    Re: how to pack smart for on location work????

    Another user of a 'panel loading' (as opposed to top loading) backpack. Like Granite Gear, which holds my 4x5 gear. I've used both types.
    Peter Collins

    "Growing older is not for sissies." --anon.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Northwest of Chicago

    Re: how to pack smart for on location work????

    I shoot 4x5 and use a Domke F2 to carry 4 lenses, film holders, filters, Lee hood, and assorted bits and bobs.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Oregon and Austria

    Re: how to pack smart for on location work????

    In the field: 4x5 field camera and 4-5 lenses plus filters in a lumbar pack with an additional shoulder strap. The pack carries with the hip belt, but can be used as a shoulder bag when the belt is unbuckled. My kit never touches the ground. I carry filmholders in a separate pouch slung over head and shoulders. Additional stuff (meter, etc.) is in pockets. In good weather I wear a short fly-fishing vest with lots of pockets. In colder weather I have a GoreTex coat with lots of pockets. Lightweight tripod is carried in one hand or strapped on the back of the pack.

    In the city: I have a rolling backpack, i.e., the kind designed for carry-on luggage. I carries everything I need and sits upright on its wheels/legs when I'm photographing. On smooth surfaces, I can take it off my back, extend the handle and roll it. However, I usually carry it on my back. In my home city of Vienna, I use my bicycle to get around for the most part. The pack rides comfortably on my back and the tripod is strapped to the rear carrier rack. When in other cities, I walk or take the public transportation with the pack. No problems at all.

    Usual contents of both kits: folding wooden 4x5 camera (Wista DX, etc.), 4-5 lightweight lenses from 90mm - 300mm (I like the Fujinon A series and the Ektar 203mm and WF 135mm a lot), Pentax digital spot meter, 6-8 filters in both 52mm and 67mm size, 6 filmholders, darkcloth, loupe, viewing filter, etc.



  7. #7
    Joe O'Hara's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Marlton, NJ

    Re: how to pack smart for on location work????

    I carry camera, lens shade, meter, filters, loupe, and lenses in an "f/64" backpack. For the 4x5 film holders, I use a small DSLR
    bag that fastens around my waist. Seven or 8 film holders fit nicely. I like not having to run back to the
    backpack to fetch a film holder once I have the camera set up.
    Where are we going?
    And why are we in this handbasket?

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Re: how to pack smart for on location work????

    Like Doremus, I'm a vest and pocket guy for the tiny things like filters, spotmeter, two or three filmholders, glasses, pencil , paper and others.
    No need to dive into backs or packs, everything is nearby my hands - I only have to remember which thing is in which pocket.

    On cold days I wear the vest under my jacket, so things stay warm.

    I like my very small tripod folding chair which can function either as a seat or as a table.
    Never use dried cow dung as a table:
    Decades ago I forget to clear the dung table; after a recall some hours ago, the forgotten lens was already grabbed by a farmer/gambler/cow/marmot.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    San Joaquin Valley, California

    Re: how to pack smart for on location work????

    Lately I've been getting lot of use from an Army surplus 5 gallon water can cooler---heavy insulated coyote tan canvas with a wood reinforced bottom and a HD zipper top with dust flap.
    Plenty big for 4x5 and 5x7, with 8x10 I'll add another bag for carrying the film holders.
    Since these don't look like camera bags I suspect that thieves won't find them as attractive.

    I've also used hard sided coolers but the bears in Yosemite have learned to read "Coleman" and "Igloo."
    Smart bears!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.

    “Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.” --- GKC

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