How many quickloads can you carry on a trip... : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Dear all,

The posts on this and other boards soon convinced me of the huge advantages of fuji quickloads and I'd talked myself into the idea of using nothing else for a five-week trip to the Levant in september. Until that is I got to the shop and saw how big a 20 sheet box actually is. Given that I'll be backpacking and was planning on taking ~250 sheets, I fear I have no option but to take a dozen filmholders and 5x50 boxes of normal Provia plus my Harrison Pup changing tent(and several cleaning brushes...) Can't help thinking that 12 boxes of QL would take up more space than me (and I'm not slim)! Shame really since with all that dust out there, the QL's would have been neat. I'm assuming it won't be readily available in Damascus or Amman so restocking out there isn't an option. Which brings me to the big question for all the avid quickloaders out there - when travelling abroad, without a car, just how much film do you actually manage to fit into your bags? Did toy with the idea of sending a few boxes to myself and picking it up poste-restaunte in Beirut but given the quality of postal services out there it seems too risky.

-- Stuart Whatling (, July 11, 2001


Stuart, perhaps as significant as the "space" issue is the weight problem: Quickloads can get pretty heavy. Compared to 50-sheet boxes of sheet film you're shlepping around a lot of cardboard (most of the weight of a box of QL's is actually cardboard). Whether all of this weighs less than your Harrison tent and a dozen filmholders, though, is something to consider. I'd give you the weight of the QL boxes but I don't have a scale; perhaps someone else does and can.

Space-wise, note that if you take the QL's out of the interior silver pouch you can comfortably put 7 more into each box (27 total per box). Putting 8 into a 20-box is do-able but it gives you a bulging box, and adding 10 more to a 20-box doesn't let you fully close the lid. You might want to tape closed these repacked (27-sheet) boxes to keep dust out (and stuff something like a rolled-up Ziploc freezer bag alongside the QL's in the box so they don't rattle around too much once they're out of the silver bag), but when backpacking I routinely carry 4 boxes' worth of Quickloads or (old-style) Readyloads in only 3 boxes using this method. Let us know what you choose to do and how it works!


-- Micah (, July 11, 2001.

P.S. You've probably considered this option already and rejected it, but if I were backpacking with a view camera for 5 weeks with no prospect of replenishing my film supply, I'd use a 6x12 or 6x9 rollfilm back and fill my pack with 120 or 220 film. Space, weight, and dust issues solved (at the expense of some image area, of course). Fwiw, I've had better luck with Horseman backs than with Calumets, but if you do use anybody's 6x12 back do carefully pretest for barrel like distortion due to film curl.


-- Micah (, July 11, 2001.

That should read "pincushion-like" distortion.


-- Micah (, July 11, 2001.

Thanks Mica,

I think I'll just have to take the plunge and get the quickload back and a couple of boxes (I did have a suspicion that like Polaroids there may be some spare air-space in those boxes) then experiment with different containers. I did see a post recently from someone suggesting pro-size video tape boxes with the spindle removed...

As for the roll-film back, I've got a Wista 6x7 back and will be using that extensively for recording small details and inscriptions (I mainly shoot Roman architecture) but I don't want to have to skimp too much on the big shots. Since I'll be rephotographing sites which I've previously visited with a big Pentax, I'm looking forward to comparing the 6x7's! As for Panoramic roll-film backs, they sure are tempting but this trip's for a specific book project and I only need 3 specific panoramic shots, so I reckon I'll save on the weight and just mask a few 5x4s.

Cheers, sw

-- Stuart Whatling (, July 11, 2001.

12 boxes of Fuji Quickload measures slightly less than 12"x12" x12".I know because I just measured. I'll guessthat the weight is about 2lbs. per box, so we are talking 24lbs. Yep that isn't light, but not as bad as you seem to be fearing. I disagree that most of the weight in a box of Quickloads is the cardboard.

Why don't you contact Fujifilm and see if there is a professional outlet or dealer in Beirut or Damascus that they can arrange a drop shipment too? I'll bet they have some sort of way of getting sensitized safely into either country.

Start with and explore from there.

-- Ellis Vener Photography (, July 11, 2001.

"I disagree that most of the weight in a box of Quickloads is the cardboard."

Sorry. As I said, I don't have a scale, but I can't believe that a 20-sheet stack of 4x5 film weighs more than a few ounces. In light of Ellis's own statement that a box of 20 Quickloads weighs 32 ounces, I think it's safe to say that "most" of the weight is not film but rather packaging and sleeving (which I summarized as "cardboard," even though I know other materials are involved).


-- Micah (, July 11, 2001.

Also rememberthe very significant time savings you have using Quickloads over standard Lisco/Fidelity./Elite holders. And yes considering the sleeving as being part of the packaging, Micah you are probably right. I haven't weighted a box of Quickloads; the weeight maybe more like 1.5 lbs for all I know.

-- Ellis Vener Photography (, July 11, 2001.

Also rememberthe very significant time savings you have using Quickloads over standard Lisco/Fidelity./Elite holders. And yes considering the sleeving as being part of the packaging, Micah you are probably right. I haven't weighted a box of Quickloads; the weight maybe more like 1.5 lbs for all I know.

-- Ellis Vener Photography (, July 11, 2001.


As others have mentioned, a lot of the weight/bulk is in the packaging. Ellis' weight estimates are also a bit on the high side. An unopened box of Quickloads with all original packaging weighs 1 lb. 5 oz.

Like, Micah, I re-package my Quickloads to fit more per box. I tend to put either 24 or 25 inside a one gallon ZipLoc bag. 24 fit easily. With 25, it's a bit more diffuclt to get the ZipLoc to seal, but not all that hard. The ZipLoc serves a couple purposes. First, it keeps out both moisture dust. Since I hike and backpack in both the Pacific Northwest and the Desert Southwest, I'm pretty mucg fighting either moisture or dust everywhere I go. The ZipLocs do a good job protecting the film from the elements. Also, the ZipLoc keeps the Quickload packets from rattling around inside the box and possibly loosening a clip. 24 Quickloads in a one gallon ZipLoc in the original box weighs 1 lb. 7 oz. Even at 25 seets/box, you're less than 1 1/2 lb. per box.

With 25 sheets/box you're down to 10 boxes for 250 sheets. Still, that's a lot of boxes (at 4 1/2 oz. per box). You might want to try repackaging the film 25/ZipLoc into two or three larger boxes. Or, is there anyway you could eliminate the boxes altogether? Perhaps just double ZipLoc bags, or ZipLoc bags sandwiched between two sheets of cardboard to prevent bending?

I'm planning a ten day backpacking trip around Mount Rainier next month. Fortunately, I can mail ahead film and food to a couple locations along the route, so I'll never have to carry more than about three days worth of film/food at any one time. If you don't trust the postal service, and Fuji can't arrange to have the film delivered to your destination, perhaps you could use Fed-EX or one of the other international couriers to ship some film ahead. I believe Fed-EX will allow you to ship it to one of their offices and hold it for you to pick up when you arrive.

You would save some weight and bulk by taking a dozen holders, conventional sheet film and a changing tent, but the saving isn't that huge - and you have the hassle of reloading after every 24 exposures, and the associated problems with dust. With 25/sheets per box, 10 repackaged boxes of Quickloads would weigh less than 15 lbs. (less if you could elminate some or all of the boxes). 12 convential film holders weigh 4 1/2 lbs. I don't have an unopened 50 sheet box of film handy, but an opened box with 30 sheets in it weighs 8 1/2 oz. So, an unopened box would weigh about 12 oz. - there's another 3 3/4 lbs. A decent size changing tent and brush to clean the holders probably weighs close to two pounds, so you're over 10 lbs. - and constantly reloading in the field. It all come down to your priorities: ~15 lbs. and no reloading or dust problems, or ~10 lbs. reloading every 24 shots and the potential for dust on the film.

Good luck. Let us no what you end up doing and how it all works out.


-- Kerry Thalmann (, July 11, 2001.

Thanks Kerry, for correcting my guesses.

And good luck to you Stuart, have a great trip.

-- Ellis Vener Photography (, July 11, 2001.

Thanks everybody - informative as ever!

The cardboard weight question isn't really an issue for me - I don't mind heavy packs; it's getting the volume down so I can fit my bags into buses and "service taxis" easier that I worry about. I like the idea of being able to pick up film drops from one or two places en- route though (and return the exposed ones) since apart from anything else it means I won't be exposing the precious filmstock to five weeks of heat and dust.

Ellis, I followed your suggestion and contacted Fuji (their ProNet service is only available on your side of the pond) and they responded straight away with the address of a supplier in Beiruit, so I think I'll follow that option, with the FedEx route as a back-up.

Cheers chaps.

-- Stuart Whatling (, July 12, 2001.

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