Lens Cases

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After some bad experiences with backpacking large format lenses with standard velcro cloth covers, I am interested in find out if I can find a place where I can purchase a box to protect my investments by placing them in a simple plastic/fiberglass boxes. The boxes I am interested in acquiring are the kind that the bottom piece fits inside the upper piece and a rubber band could hold them together. My Canham lensboards are a reasonable proportion beyond the lens and a thin layer of foam glued to the inside of the box I think would work great. I take as many as four small sized lenses on treks with the 5x7 and waste a lot of time finding where I placed the lenses in the pack to protect them. There has got to be a better way.

Any idea where I could find such a box? Has anyone else found a workable solution for protecting lenses in the backpack?

Thanks in advance.

Michael Kadillak

-- Michael Kadillak (m.kadillak@home.com), January 05, 2001


How about "Rubbermaid" containers, they have quite a few sizes and are about as waterproof as it gets. A little foam in the top and bottom and you should be in business.

-- Steve Clark (agno3@eesc.com), January 05, 2001.


Although not exactly what you have described, there are some lens cases, they are like cubes made out of cordura with a zipper enclosure. There is padding so there is some added protection from jostling. They are great for putting in a backpack, and I know they will work with Canham boards 'cause that's what I have.

Go to: http://www.filmholders.com/ and look under cordura cases.


-- Steve Nieslony (sejn@pacbell.net), January 06, 2001.

Michael, I have had a similar problem and I looked for some similar boxes,but I was not able to find anything suitable. I had previously made bags for each of my lenses using what we call "bubble-wrap" and "duct tape" - I found that the corners of the Linhof lensboard would break through the plastic quite quickly - and I could forsee disaster. I ended up by buying a sheet of 4 mm plywood and some 12mm pine and I made my own. After a few tries I came up with a design that has worked well over several rough trips through some dirty,dry and dusty country. The external measurements are 140mm x 120mm x 110mm ( for Linhof panels)- this size suits 5 of my 6 lenses. The sides are ply and the top and bottom are 12 mm pine. The lens panel sits verticallly and two cleats glued to each side of the box hold the lens panel and thus the lens in place. I placed a layer of 12mm foam on the base and use 2 rubber bands to hold the lid on. I have a box for each lens and carry those that I hope will be appropriate for each trip. Each box weighs about 120G . I found them to be so successful that I have subsequently made a similar box to carry my Technika - this one is lined with 12mm foam - it is a bit bulky but has served its purpose well . Then I got a bit carried away and made another to take my cams, cable release etc.etc. I carry all my gear in a Macpac Cascade backpack (made in New Zealand unfortunately).Better than any "photo backpack" IMO Obviously one needs access to some tools and some rudimentry woodworking skills to make these up. If you are interested, contact me off the forum and I will send a drawing. John Quinn

-- John Quinn (jaqu@bold.net.au), January 06, 2001.

Lately, I have been using the new lunch boxes made for kids!!! They are made of tough nylon and have sturdy zippers. The insulation provides a bit of padding, and the inner lining is waterproof. They weigh very little, are reasonably priced at discount stores, and don't "advertise" the value of the contents.

And besides, it gets a few laughs when I pull the Donald Duck and Barbie bags out of my backpack...

-- Dave Richhart (pritprat@erinet.com), January 06, 2001.

Michael....I've had similar problems when I go on extended backpacking trips (7-10 days). All the 4x5 lenses go in a smaller daypack that ends up in a larger internal frame pack. I always worried about the lenses moving around even though they were wrapped in a lens wrap. I finally resorted to using what backpackers use. They are made by Outdoor Research and are called "Padded Cells." Backpackers use them to carry stoves, lamps, etc that may need protection. They are available everywhere but you can view them on Campmor's internt site (www.campmor.com). The sizes are not always perfect and you may have to use some insulation inside to keep them stable. I use two sizes....the 6x6x4 for carrying a single lens with board and the 10x5x5 for carrying two lenses with boards (with a foam seperation between the two). They work great, are adequately padded and reasonably priced. Steve mentioned an excellent company that makes lens cases, but their 6x6x4 size is $44 where the one by Outdoor Research are only $13.95. Outdoor Research also makes "Cell Blocks" which are not padded but come in a variety of sizes. Like other photographers, I've found that the backpackers supplies for transporting equipment (like packs) are often of a higher quality and better priced.

-- John Wiemer (JFWiemer@aol.com), January 07, 2001.

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