View Camera Case : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

For the past 10+ years I have been using a graphic view camera that fit into one of those government issue "fiber boxes", which was great for the type of location work I have been doing. I recently bought a toyo view cx and am now looking for a fiber case or some sort of "lugging around" case that I can tote maybe some film, a meter, and at the very least a few lenses. I was leaning towards a tenba ccv45 case, I know it is a soft case :(, has anyone run into a source for other types of inexpensive yet rugged cases that will fit a camera ( 19x14x12) and accessories? Thanks in advance for your help! - john

-- John Nanian (, April 03, 2001



You may want to check out Case Design Corporation at:

They make the Fiberbilt cases and a whole lot more. They can custom fit foam to a case, add dividers, and just about anything else you could want in a case.

I recently had a large trunk made for my 7x17 camera for air travel. They do nice work. You will have to get the catalogue and then call them to discuss the specifics of what you need. I'm sure they can put one together that will meet your requirements.


-- Michael Mutmansky (, April 03, 2001.


I have the Tenba 45 Air Case and its great. Aside from being a good fit for the CX you can almost live out of it. The car cases seem pretty good too and if you don't see yourself shipping the camera or putting it on the airline would be a good choice.

-- Kevin Kemner (, April 03, 2001.

In the same price range as the Tenba cases are the cases from Lightware, Inc. I like the construction of the Lightware cases over that of the Tenba cases and in my experience with stand cases Lightware did a better job of standing behind their warranty. But cheap they are not. My impression is that both the Lightware and Tenba cases offer more protection than the Fiberbilt cases, but I haven't looked at Fiberbilt in over ten years.

-- Ellis Vener (, April 03, 2001.

I just stopped yesterday in the used department at B&H ( call the 800 number to speak with the used department directly) and saw a few items that looked brand new--probably just discontinued models--that would work well. One was an aluminum box-type case made by Toyo for a 4x5" (should be exactly what you're looking for), and they also had a few large rolling soft cases with reinforced padded sides (like the Tenba air cases) made by f:64. The f:64 cases could probably hold an 8x10" camera or a 4x5" with a lot of stuff. There was also a smaller rolling f:64 case (briefcase size) for a medium format or smaller 4x5" kit.

I've bought a new but discontinued f:64 case from the B&H used department, and it's worked out fine, and it was substantially discounted from the regular price.

-- David Goldfarb (, April 03, 2001.

Wow! Thanks for all your help :)

I really-really appreciate it -john

-- John Nanian (, April 03, 2001.

In other threads I mentioned i bought a Calumet cc401 recently- not a scratch on it and in the original case from 1964. This may be one of those fiber boxes- it is a stark reminder of how much stuff in general has improved in my lifetime- The case is clean and functional, but still, the clasps don't quite line up, you see painted 2x4s separating the compartments, it would never survive say, a fall down a flight of stairs.... Home Depot has better products of moulded plastic for $19.95.... we are fortunate to have these options....

-- Chris Yeager (, April 03, 2001.

i cant stand huge heavy cases, and never found a single hard case that i liked. the lightware and similar cases, as i remember, cost a small fortune, though i am sure they are nice. however, one day at a Target store, i found a large "california Cooler" collapsible soft- sided case (made to carry stuff for picnics or something) in the sporting goods section. it was made of sturdy and handsome material, completely lined on the inside, had great padding on all sides, and just happened to be exactly the right size for my cambo 4x5. i bought it for $29, added a piece of thick foam at the bottom for some extra cushion, and it has been the perfect LF case for several years already - i really like it.

-- jnorman (, April 03, 2001.

In my experience, Lightware has the best divider system in the business. Each divider is custom cut to length, and they all interlock with velcro strips. This allows you to make any compartment layout you want.

-- Chris Ellinger (, April 03, 2001.

The best view camera backpack that I've found is just like the Lightware system, except that it's one inch thicker and about 10" longer. It's huge, and it works just great. It's lightweight, etc. In fact, had I known about the Lightware system, I might not have gotten a Tenba for my MF equipment. (Note that the Tenba has been quite satisfactory.)

As opposed to the system of internal dividers on the Lightware system (expensive), you might consider getting a cut to size piece of foam rubber of the same internal dimensions. You can use an electric knife to cut out rectangular spaces for your equipment. I leave borders that are 1"-1 1/4" thick for verticle sides and 1 1/4" to 1 3/4" thick for horizontal supports, depending on what needs to be supported. You can special order black photographic-style foam rubber that is more durable and not as spongy as the white stuff you purchase in variety stores.

Unfortunately, I've never been able to locate the MEI backpack that I scoured LA to find back in the 80's. If the Lightware system is large enough for your needs, it's the type of backpack that works best for me.

-- neil poulsen (, April 05, 2001.

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