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Thread: Backpack for 8x10 Dorff...

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    God's Country

    Backpack for 8x10 Dorff...


    I now have a Dorff 8x10, 3 lenses, dark cloth, a 5x8 slider reducing back (takes 2 5x8 images on the same piece of film), and about 8 holders in my kit and was wondering what other 8x10 users use for a backpack.

    Is a backpack with a frame better than a frameless model?

    Where do you buy your backpacks from?

    What sort of weight do you carry with you on a day shoot?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    Life in the fast lane!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Orange, CA

    Re: Backpack for 8x10 Dorff...

    I use a Lowepro Super Trekker AW II pack for my 8x10. It is not the lightest pack in the world, but it has an excellent suspension system for a tall person like me (6' 4") and has plenty of room for my camera, basic traveling lens set (150, 240, 300, 450), accessories and up to four film holders. It is extremely comfortable to wear, which takes some of the edge off of carrying its weight around (total packed weight is around 35 pounds). I may also start using it as checked baggage when traveling by air (with film and possibly the ground-glass taken as carry-on), as it should be sufficiently padded to protect my equipment in the harsh airport environment (I'm thinking of using a TSA-approved lock to help secure the pack). I bought mine through EBay from a Canadian retailer, which at the time was cheaper than buying in the U.S.

    When hiking, I frequently target no more than one or two photo targets per hike (I photograph almost exclusively during golden hour, which doesn't give me much time), so usually I don't need my full lens set or a large number of holders. This helps keep the weight down to around 30-32 pounds. If I do want to take more than four holders, I carry them in a separate bag.

    In general I think internal frame packs are more comfortable than external frame packs, as the pack is carried closer to your body and is better balanced. I also prefer dedicated camera packs versus general-purpose backpacks, as they are more convenient (better organized, front loading) and as I don't do really long hikes I don't mind the added weight. If I was more of a backpacker, then I'm sure I'd look at general-purpose internal frame backpacks from sources like REI.

  3. #3

    Re: Backpack for 8x10 Dorff...

    I have a Lowe Pro Supper Trekker. It's very comfortable. Some people complain about the excess weight. I don't mind the extra weight because it means extra protection. I used to carry everthing in a Jansport frame pack. It was comfortable but I always worried about my lenses. Now I don't worry. The Supper Trekker carries a wehman 8x10, a 4x5 reducing back, a 1200mm with 800mm element, a 120mm WA, a 300mm and a 480mm + filters, meter, loupe. I can also fit 3/4 film holder's in if I don't pack the reducing back but usally carry my film holders in a insulated beverage cooler. You may be able to work things around to fit all your film holder's too. But I'm not totaly sure on this.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Baraboo, Wisconsin

    Re: Backpack for 8x10 Dorff...

    I used the f64 large pack with my Deardorffs, I liked it a lot but I didn't take hikes longer than a day at the most. I had the same # of lenses as you but I couldn't get 8 holders in it, 4 was the maximum and that was crowding things. I also carried meter, dark cloth, filters, loupe, and a few other accessories. The f64 is pretty light because it doesn't have a lot of padding but when I fell backwards about 10 feet down off a rock and landed on the pack everything was fine, even the glass filters.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Oct 2005

    Re: Backpack for 8x10 Dorff...

    Arcteryx makes one of the finest packs on the market - REI carries a limited number. I carry my 4X5 in an Arcteryx Bora 55. Their Bora packs are top loading, light, tough and waterproof - your 8x10 may not fit in the Bora 55 but they have other larger Bora-Series packs. The main compartment is a single large waterproof cylinder. My biggest problem with this setup is its top-loading feature. I recently saw Tuan's Super Trekker set up in person - although it is well illustrated here: - seeing it in all three dimensions has me seriously considering this pack. With one zip you have access to everything. With my system (though lighter, a better carry, and more water tight), I have to dig everything out before getting started. Panel loaders like the Super Trekker are not as watertight. With the Super Trekker you have the AW cover, but with the cover deployed your tripod has to be hand carried.

    (Has anyone figured out how to carry a heavy tripod on a Super Trekker with the AW cover deployed?)

    These days frame packs are for caribou carcasses - but I'm sure that there are those with a trusty Kelty or Jansport from the 70s who disagree.

    The Canadian Mecca for outdoor gear is - looks like they carry Arcteryx.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by Eric James; 12-Aug-2006 at 14:24.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    Re: Backpack for 8x10 Dorff...

    Like Brian I second the F.64 large backpack.

    I have one & after a bit of research a number of people complained about them but I feel it's from earlier models

    I am however using it for 4x5 & not 8x10 but there's plenty of room.

    Good Luck

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Re: Backpack for 8x10 Dorff...

    How are you making out with the V8?

    Don't waste your money on "camera" backpacks, I've seen a few, and I wouldn't carry 20lbs a mile in any of them.

    I use a Kelty frame pack; in the upper compartment is the camera and 6-8 holders, darckcloth on top. The lower compartment holds a soft 35mm camera bag that has lenses, filters,meter and etcetera. Side pockets hold the food and water.

    I usually tie the tripod to the top. This pack has a hip harness, a neccesity if you are carrying any weight any distance.

    This rig weighs 45 to 60 pounds, and I have done 20 miles with it in the course of a very long day. Average is about 8.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    No. Virginia

    Re: Backpack for 8x10 Dorff...

    I use the large f/64 for my Deardorff with 3 lenses, spotmeter, darkcloth, filters etc. I find that it carrys three holders easy, four stuffed. I think of it more as a camera bag that you carry on your back. Makes sense with a 8x10. The most I've gone is a mile with this outfit and mostly a couple of hundred yards. Anything more and it's 4x5 time. I stopped real backpacking 30 years ago so the age thing comes into play here.

    For real hiking I think that you need a better pack. I'm not convinced that a Lowe-pro is the way to go. While better than a f/64 they are very heavy. I have one sitting unused in my basement. A true camping pack will offer more strength and support at lighter weight.

    I believe it comes down to, miles vs. yards times age over condition divided by ambition.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Marion, Indiana

    Re: Backpack for 8x10 Dorff...

    I use an REI Redwing to carry all my DD 8x10 stuff. The older models with the slots for CC skis work great for slipping a leg of the tripos into and then the whole pack weighs about 30#. It worked great for hiking in the Rocky Mtn Nat. Park. The waterfall image and the tree roots image were taken there using the pack to carry everything.
    Last edited by Michael Daily; 13-Aug-2006 at 17:57.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Olalla, WA

    Re: Backpack for 8x10 Dorff...

    I just hope the f-64 XL is good for day long hikes since I have one on the way from B&H for my 8X10 Dorff.

    Good luck


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