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Thread: Camera Bag Idea

  1. #1
    Barry Kirsten's Avatar
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    Camera Bag Idea

    Inspired by Ken Lee's article "Carry Your Gear on a Buget" on his website, http://www.kenleegallery.com/html/tech/index.php I started looking at various items like cooler bags, and came up with a Stanley tradesman's toolbag. As the pictures show, it's a tough nylon bag with a strong moulded plastic base and a sturdy carry strap. Inside there are fabric loops sown into the inside walls into which chisels, screwdrivers etc can be inserted. There are also various pockets here and there, and in a separate zippered lid compartment, two plastic zippered envelopes which are handy for filters etc.

    I made some partitions out of 1 mm aluminium, which are bolted/riveted together, and slip into some of the tool loops around the inside edges. The whole partition system is covered both sides with high impact 3 mm rubber that feels like neoprene. I also stuck some of this material around the remaining inside surfaces of the bag to cover the unused tool loops and provide some extra padding. I also put some 1 cm high density foam on the floor. The bag is approximately 400 x 250 x 250 (16" x 10" x 10"), which I find is more than enough for 4x5 field gear. There are lots of different sizes available in this type of bag, maybe even suitable for larger gear and monorails like my Linhor Kardan Super Color, which I found impossible to back pack. Compared to buying dedicated camera bags, something like this is a much cheaper alternative in my opinion. I paid A$46 for the bag and another $20 approx. for foam and glue. A bit of mucking about, but my time's cheap now that I'm retired.

    In practical use I can carry a carbon fibre tripod layed across the top of the bag and fixed to the carry strap at each end by a loop of velcro.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Hope this may be of use to someone.

    Barry

  2. #2
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Camera Bag Idea

    But what if your name is not 'Stanley'?

    My initials are not MEI, but what the heck?! A travel pack I adapted for my 8x10. Comfortable to carry, too. About 45 to 55 pounds, depending on the food and water I take (it has side pockets that are hidden when not in use).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails PackInterior.jpg   PackExterior.jpg  
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  3. #3

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    Re: Camera Bag Idea

    Great idea, Barry. I use a cordura tool bag from Home Depot (big box hardware store in the U.S.) for my 8x10. It's got wheels and a telescoping handle and cost less than $50.00. A real camera bag similar to mine would cost as much as $200.00 or more.

    We need more ideas like this to save us all money so we can purchase more film, lenses etc.!

  4. #4
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Camera Bag Idea

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    But what if your name is not 'Stanley'?
    This is great.

    I use a Canon brand backpack. The 'Canon' badge is plastic. The 'C' broke off, so it's personalized as 'anon'.

  5. #5
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Camera Bag Idea

    Anon wrote a lot of great stuff...
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  6. #6

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    Re: Camera Bag Idea

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    Anon wrote a lot of great stuff...
    You sure got that right!

  7. #7
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Camera Bag Idea

    After carrying around 8x10 and 11x14 cameras, I find that walking around with the 4x5 on the tripod, and a small shoulder bag for the holders, meter, filters and notebook to be a pleasure (I only have one lens, 150mm, for the 4x5). For that I have a no-name top-zippered bag that doubles for my Rolleiflex. To protect the 4x5, the darkcloth goes over the camera, then a water-proof stuff sack.

    It is nice to be able to photograph and not have to set anything on the ground.

    For the 35mm cameras I use to check out to students, I'd find cheap insulated lunch bags. Padded and they don't yell out "Expensive camera gear in here!"

    Barry -- I like your use of the aluminium, though I might have put in another piece to prevent anything from sticking into the film holders and breaking a darkslide. What does the bag now weigh (empty of camera gear)?
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  8. #8

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    Re: Camera Bag Idea

    Currently my MPP technical camera lives in a large cooler bag I picked up at a grocery store at the beginning of the summer. The main section has a rigid plastic liner, and holds the camera, the spot meter, and a half-dozen film holders. The outer pocket holds the 90mm f8 and 210mm f5.6, filters and cable releases. It's a shoulder bag, not a backpack. Not ideal, but at $10 it is good enough as a stop-gap 8-) The thermal insulation is a plus.

  9. #9
    Barry Kirsten's Avatar
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    Re: Camera Bag Idea

    Good point, Vaughn; I could easily slip a piece of aluminium between the ends of the dividers to protect the film holders. Empty, the bag weighs 2.1kg or 4lb 10 oz, the price you pay for the heavy carrying capacity, I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    Barry -- I like your use of the aluminium, though I might have put in another piece to prevent anything from sticking into the film holders and breaking a darkslide. What does the bag now weigh (empty of camera gear)?

  10. #10
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: Camera Bag Idea

    . Just before Christmas there was a nice looking, but older (used), LowePro "Magnum 35" offered at $20 plus shipping. Call it $35 delivered. Would have dropped the hammer on that except for the priorities of family and friends.

    I already have one of these bags and pack my 4x5 kit in it with the tripod on top. Works great . . .I'd like another.

    I like it when other people think my name is "Magnum".
    Drew Bedo
    www.quietlightphoto.com
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

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