another boring question about weight, sorry... : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I work on 10x8 and carry approximately 50lbs/25kg of equipment including body, lens, 5 x 10x8 and 5 x 5x4 darkslides, reducing back, tripod, rucksack and case.

Does this seem excessive weight? How does it compare with the average 10x8 kit?

Thanks to you all, as alwa

-- Stephen Vaughan (, March 25, 2002


IMHO, if you can carry this weight easily then "carry on"...but if you find it a struggle then try stripping the outfit down to a bare minimum. Do you NEED to carry 5x4 (reducing back and dark slides??) ALL the time? Just a thought!

-- paul owen (, March 25, 2002.

I've never weighed my stuff, but I carry about the same things as you. I carry the camera, 300 mmm lens mounted, and a 19 inch lens in a backpack with frame, and the rest of the stuff including a reducing back and 4x5 holders, and the extension rail fits in a shoulder bag. and the tripod over my shoulder. Its so heavy i take frequent breaks and thats an excuse for a picture. The weight slows me down makes me think more clearly. I'd like to have a mule but instead I have kids who are no help at all.

-- jryder (, March 25, 2002.

Stephen: What others carry does not seem to me as important as what you feel comfortable with. IMO such a heavy load can only affect your concentration and creative juices. Sooner or later it may bother your health too. Do you think a concert pianist would play very well after lugging your 8X10 gear around? If you use the 4X5 often enough (reason for you to carry a reducing back)I'd give up on 8X10 altogether. In the days when films were primitive as it was the case in Ansel's days 8X10 may have been the only way to get technically good pictures. Yes, a good 8X10 can be impressive but the law of diminishing returns still applies. Ansel found that out and ended with a Hasselblad. With all due respect to the dedicated 8X10'rs in the LFF. Cheers.

-- Julio Fernandez (, March 25, 2002.

Being smart about carrying the 8x10 is always a good idea. Pre- scouting an area even without a camera is a very good idea to explore for compositions that you can come back to specifically for the 8x10. One does not have to physically experience what Hillary felt on his Everest climb to experience large format photography with this format. I know a guy here in Colorado that regularly lugs his 8x10 camera to the Far East for his work that would not have it any other way. Could he do it with a 4x5? Absolutely, he could probably do reasonable well with medium format, but he told me that the results would like like one of many rather than him. Everyone has to select the format that works for them. For some, 4x5 is the top of the mountain. Others can feel comfortable with 2 1/4 or 35mm. And on the other end of the spectrum their are Michael and Paula Smith and many others that express themselves with the ultra large formats and consider 8x10 their minimum. My point is that the format and the proportional weight issues are not the dominant criteria, only the comfortability that the photographer feels when he wants to express him or herself with their chosen format. Where there is a will, there is a way.

-- Michael Kadillak (, March 26, 2002.

50 lbs sounds like a lot to me. I carry a Deardorff 8x10, about 12 lbs, three lenses, probably another pound, three film holders, probably 2 pounds, a dark cloth, maybe another pound, and the usual accessories - light meter, filters, etc., perhaps another pound or two, say 18 pounds total, plus the weight of the F 64 8x10 pack itself which I don't know since I never carry it empty but I'm guessing 4 lbs, a Gitzo 1325 tripod, 4 lbs, with Bogen head, say 2 lbs. Grand total comes to about 28 lbs, round up to 30 lbs, more than I thought when I started this (no wonder I can't hike more than a mile with it!) but still quite a bit less than your 50 lbs. And ignore the suggestion to get rid of your 8x10. As people who use 8x10 know, it's an entirely different experience from 4x5.

-- Brian Ellis (, March 27, 2002.

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