View Full Version : product recommendation for single lens storage

Michael Gordon
14-Apr-2005, 13:14
This is a shameless recommendation for Cartom zippered neoprene storage 'bags'.

I have never been quite happy with the exisiting solutions for safe lens storage, especially for the person who deals with wind, dust, etc while working in the field. Moreover, many solutions are just bags or wraps without any additional protection. I'm well aware of the Gnass lens case, but I find it too expensive, heavy, and bulky. The SMALL Cartom bags are barely bigger than a mounted 4x5 lens, and offer 'ride' protection through the thick neoprene (and they weigh virtually nothing).

This is obviously not a solution for every lens, but it works well for my Schneider 120, Nikon 200 and 300, and my Fujinon 450C (all Copal 1 shutters or smaller, and all on Linhof-style boards). The prices for the bags are very reasonable.

Here's a couple of snapshots (showing my Nikon 200mm) :

snap 1 (http://mgordonphotography.com/NPN/cartom4.jpg)

snap 2 (http://mgordonphotography.com/NPN/cartom1.jpg)

I first found Cartom bags at Samy's Camera on Fairfax in LA, but you can also order direct from Cartom (the website design is a bit clunky):
www.cartom.virtual-space.com/photop.htm (http://www.cartom.virtual-space.com/photop.htm)
Scroll down for the NEO-PRO W-I-D-E MOUTH LENS CARRIERS. The snapshots I made show the SMALL size.

www.mgordonphotography.com (http://www.mgordonphotography.com)

Oren Grad
14-Apr-2005, 13:38
Those look nice for really small lenses. I'd be interested in recommendations for a pouch or mini-bag that can hold a big plasmat in Copal 3 - say, a 360 Sironar-N - mounted on a Sinar board (roughly 5.5" square). A 6" cube would be perfect, able to hold anything up to a modern 480. Haven't been able to find a padded mini-case like that, though. Any ideas?

John Flavell
14-Apr-2005, 14:28
Mike: Nothing wrong with shamless recommendations. I use the Calumet wraps. The only thing I use from them, I think. Your website is nice, also. Where are you getting your frames?

Oren, you might look at those Calumet wraps for the larger lenses. I use two large wraps around the field camera. Both completely cover it and fit nicely in the backpack.

Kerry L. Thalmann
14-Apr-2005, 14:39

Those look nice. I"ve been using some similar Zing pouches for years for my smaller lenses when backpacking. Like the Cartom cases, the Zing pouches are made from neoprene. However, they use a drawstring to close the top instead of a zipper.


Do a google on Outdoor Research padded cells. They have a 6"x6"x4.5" model that would probably work for your 360mm APO-Sironar-N (but not a big 480mm plasmat).


Kerry L. Thalmann
14-Apr-2005, 14:43
Here's a link to info on the Zing pouches (http://www.tiffen.com/Zing_pouches.htm).

I use the small size for lenses up to my 450mm Fujinon C on Toho or Linhof lens boards.


Jim Rice
14-Apr-2005, 14:48
I use older Outdoor Research padded cells. For a single lens on a 4x4 board the red one works well (a 5 1/2x5 1/2" board would be tight/impractical). For two modern (i. e. large 4x5~5x7) lenses on 4x4 boards the yellow one is very nice, though certainly impossible with the larger boards. They may still be available at your local outfitters. The new ones look nice too.

Michael Gordon
14-Apr-2005, 15:19
John: thanks for your comment. I have a wholesale account with Light Impressions for my frames.

Oren Grad
14-Apr-2005, 16:26
John - Thanks, I'll keep those in mind but I'm hoping for something with a bit more padding.

Kerry - I hadn't heard of Outdoor Research before, but their "Padded Cell #3" looks like the sort of thing I had in mind - should work well for a 300 and maybe for a 360 too. I see that they have authorized dealers not far from me, so I will go take a look. I hope some other vendor makes something just like it that goes to a full 6" so I can fit my 480 as well. Thanks - it's great to have folks around here who know their backpacking gear!

Kerry L. Thalmann
14-Apr-2005, 17:05

Another option for your 480 would be to buy one of the Gnass Gear 8x10 Multiple Lens Cases (http://www.gnassgear.com/products/product_detail.cfm?pcode=PG-85650). It would hold your 360 and 480 and still have room for one more big lens, or two compact ones.


Oren Grad
14-Apr-2005, 18:00
Kerry -

Thanks, the Gnass case looks handy too, although the OR pouch is a bit closer to what I need right now, which is a some sort of minimum-weight cushioned pouch for individual, large lenses that I'll be swapping among kits for different formats.

Struan Gray
15-Apr-2005, 01:26
Oren, the padded cases made for keeping a UK forces gasmask on a waistbelt are just right for a single big plasmat on a sinar board. I'm sure US troops use something similar. I still use a 5" floppy disk box for my 360 Symmar when it comes out and about, but a surplus gas mask bag I once tried fit nicely.

I like these bags a lot for working out of in MF:


and I recently picked up a mini model to protect my sinar-sized accessories (copal shutter, spare bellows etc) in a rucksack. It, or the micro version won't fit the lensboard as snugly as a Gnass case, but they are about right for single lenses.

Struan Gray
15-Apr-2005, 01:27
PS: neoprene is a nightmare if it ever gets wet.

John Z.
15-Apr-2005, 09:55
I must say the pictures on your web site are great! I like the one of the Joshua trees in particular. I use the Gnass gear case mentioned above, and can put 4 or 5 smaller lenses into it, which is a very economical use of space.

Dan Dozer
15-Apr-2005, 23:02
Here's a suggstion that came out of a similar thread that appeared a couple of months ago. Try looking at storage cases for Fishing reels rather than Camera lenses. The earlier thread showed a picture of a reel case from Orvis (they cost about $80 I think) and could hold up to 8 - 10 lenses on boards. Instead of Orvis (I think they are overpriced), I just got one delivered today from Cabelas (www.cabelas.com) that is just the same as the Orvis for only $30, and it will hold lens on boards up to 6" (from my Kodak 8 x 10 2D). While this case will work for multiple lenses, you might try the same approach for cases for individual fishing reels. Many serious fisherman are more insane about their gear than we are, so I'm sure that there are many different sizes available.

If there is interest in the Cabela case, let me know and I'll try to get a photo and post it later this weekend.

16-Apr-2005, 06:58