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Thread: Arca Swiss 8x10 - The Ultimate Carry Solution

  1. #1

    Arca Swiss 8x10 - The Ultimate Carry Solution

    Arca Swiss owners arenít very vocal across the internet. I figured Iíd lend a hand and help any potential buyers / existing users with a carry solution for work in the field. Obviously this solution could also work for any camera as Iíll describe below.

    LF is slow, I get that... but thereís no reason to make it even slower when it can be avoided. My biggest gripe with bag solution are first and foremost dimensions. There arenít many photo oriented solutions due to width dimensions on most 810ís. The options that exist are either terrible bags (F64, use it long enough and youíll be a return customer to your local chiropractor) OR bags that require you to unload and unpack everything to get to your camera etc.

    This took me forever to work through. A lot of iterations, small and large mods and ultimately dead ends. But alas, here is what I have found and why it works (at least for me).

    Ultimately, Iíve had to leave the photo market... they simply donít cater to us anymore.

    This carry system is based on a pack frame made by BULLPAC https://bullpacs.com/product/bull-pa...tandard-width/
    This is designed to carry 300 lbs of elk meat for hunters, built for life, American made, and just nice.

    The camera is stored in a Backwater Journal Canoe Food Box https://www.boundarywatersjournal.co...-poly-food-box

    The dimensions of this box fit the BullPac perfectly. I customized the box by adding a few layers of foam in the bottom. I then layered a few pieces of gym pad flooring and traced out the Arca carriers so that the camera floats perfectly in the center of the box. A piece of sound dampening foam (not really but thatís what the pattern reminds me of, it came from an old Pelican case) to protect the GG, and then foam wrapped in felt on each side to protect the exposed bellows. I cut out the corner of the foam to fit the Stone Photo Arca rail case. Without this cut I couldnít close the top of the box.

    I installed a handle on the pack frame as seen below. Conveniently the strap aligned with existing holes on the frame. Itís a simple rubber strap from Cabelas intended for kayaks.






    Inside this case, which I believe due to the rubber rim is at least water resistant, a number of configurations can exist. Four holders will fit in front of the camera and the rest of the space just holds a dark cloth. Ideally nothing is stored on top of the camera as the bellows are exposed.

    Now... where some creativity was needed. I didnít like jamming holders into the box nor did I want to carry an additional bag. I want everything on my back.

    On the side of box is a Greyman Tactical Rigid Molle panel https://greymantactical.com/collecti...ts/10-75x17rmp

    To this I will add a Hill People Gear Bino case for a few lenses and a meter etc. Again, if a monsoon appears I can also remove this from the molle and throw it in the box for protection from the elements. https://hillpeoplegear.com/Products/.../ProductID/120



    Iíve since replaced the straps (orange) with really nice cam straps. They do a much better job cinching down. https://pacificriversupply.com/shop/...ies/cam-straps

    Finally, I added a metal shelf on the bottom of the bag to add some structural support to an outer bag. This bag is made by Hill People Gear, itís called their Decker bag. I sewed up on strap that fit on the pack frame to extend out and attach to the side release buckles on the bag. I wasnít pleased with the lack of padding and so I made a foam support system to give some structure. This adds protection and will fit 4 holders with room on top for sundry items.





    Why did I work hard for this build? Because once I set down the bag I donít have to unlash / unpack anything. Everything is there, right next to me ready to go and work.

    It ainít cheap but it works so dang well. The addition of the front bag was a major improvement over my initial set up.

    End of rant, hope this helps! I remember finding a lot of not so great solutions on the forum and this would have helped me. Like cameras, this solution isnít the cheapest but I tried to recycle as much as I could from other bags to help keep the cost down.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  2. #2

    Re: Arca Swiss 8x10 - The Ultimate Carry Solution



    My homemade foam base, janky but it works. I ended up using spray adhesive and tape to join pieces together. The foam is from Harbor Freight, wicked cheap ... like 9 bucks for 4 decent sized squares.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    423

    Re: Arca Swiss 8x10 - The Ultimate Carry Solution

    This looks really elaborate. How many miles can you hike with this thing?

  4. #4

    Re: Arca Swiss 8x10 - The Ultimate Carry Solution

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwi7475 View Post
    This looks really elaborate. How many miles can you hike with this thing?
    It really isnít though... the only elaborate part is initially strapping things in, once thatís done youíll never unclip a single buckle.

    Itís really just a lightweight bag strapped to a lightweight plastic box all mounted to an external pack frame.

    I havenít gone too far yet but the pack is designed for hunters hauling out quartered elk meat, wayyyy heavier than any camera.

    Ben Horne shows his pack online and for every composition he has to put his backpack down, reach in and find X pouch that has this, another pouch under that with his Y accessory, finally on the bottom is a Vanguard case that comes out and sets up. Then break down and repack the puzzle. This solution is pop the lid, get what you need, put it back, put the lid and go. Nothing is on top of anything.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Suwanee, GA
    Posts
    679

    Re: Arca Swiss 8x10 - The Ultimate Carry Solution

    It isn't going to win any design awards but I applaud the effort. Where do you mount the tripod(s)? For smooth land use you could put on some tall wheels on the frame that are removable.
    Adventure is worthwhile in itself. ... Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. -- Amelia Earhart
    http://www.searing.photography

  6. #6

    Re: Arca Swiss 8x10 - The Ultimate Carry Solution

    Excellent, were you the yankee I was chatting with on the HPG Forum a few months back? If so, I'm glad your new camera container solved the deformation you were getting with the Lightware case--looks like a great solution. (FWIW, my 8x10 Sinar involves an HPG qui-Ya with a docked Connor--I might post a few pics at some point just to freak-out the gram weenies.)

    BTW, if you're looking for a tripod-carry solution, the HPG "Gear Bucket" can come in handy--it looks as if you've enough attachment spots. Otherwise, now that you're "molle capable," the fstop Harney pouch (now discontinued, sorry) works well if you've got a molle field to work with.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Washington D.C.
    Posts
    202

    Re: Arca Swiss 8x10 - The Ultimate Carry Solution

    This looks awesome! It's a good solution for 8x10 shooters. Years ago I had a custom backpack made to carry my 8x10 gear. It's ridiculously huge but can carry camera, lenses, holders and tripod internally. If I only want to take one lens, a couple of holders, tripod and camera then it's too big.

    -Joshua

  8. #8

    Re: Arca Swiss 8x10 - The Ultimate Carry Solution

    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua Dunn View Post
    . Years ago I had a custom backpack made to carry my 8x10 gear
    By Dan McHale perhaps? If so, I'm definitely jealous--if I made my living through LF, I'd definitely pay a visit to the Predator Moose, especially since I'm a challenge to fit.

  9. #9

    Re: Arca Swiss 8x10 - The Ultimate Carry Solution

    Quote Originally Posted by CreationBear View Post
    Excellent, were you the yankee I was chatting with on the HPG Forum a few months back? If so, I'm glad your new camera container solved the deformation you were getting with the Lightware case--looks like a great solution. (FWIW, my 8x10 Sinar involves an HPG qui-Ya with a docked Connor--I might post a few pics at some point just to freak-out the gram weenies.)

    BTW, if you're looking for a tripod-carry solution, the HPG "Gear Bucket" can come in handy--it looks as if you've enough attachment spots. Otherwise, now that you're "molle capable," the fstop Harney pouch (now discontinued, sorry) works well if you've got a molle field to work with.
    Iíd love to see that! The issue with the Arca is simply the exposed bellows. I have a few packs that fit the camera but are all either side zipper requiring a full unpack for each shot OR big bags that donít carry things effectively.

    I went down the F Stop Shinn route based on some information for Michael Strickland and I donít see how that bag actually worked. It fit the camera in the icu and lenses above but had room for maybe 2 holders and it definitely felt tight. For such a large bag it just doesnít really pack all that efficiently.

    I like the mil spec stuff better ... nothing grinds my gears more than a 500 dollar bag made in China with single stitched seems and cheap hardware.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Washington D.C.
    Posts
    202

    Re: Arca Swiss 8x10 - The Ultimate Carry Solution

    Quote Originally Posted by CreationBear View Post
    By Dan McHale perhaps? If so, I'm definitely jealous--if I made my living through LF, I'd definitely pay a visit to the Predator Moose, especially since I'm a challenge to fit.
    Indeed it is a McHale pack. His suspension system is pretty good at balancing large loads.

    -Joshua

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