So goes the saying. It's in the bag. I thought I would expand upon one of the questions I am asked most often. It seems that every Tom, Dick and Jasper is interested in how I carry my camera. For many years I used a common beer cooler. I still use that cooler from time to time. Just stop to think about it. Pound for pound, the garden variety cooler provides the maximum protection for the view camera. That tends to work for roadside shots. Take the cooler for a stroll and the journey gets old very fast. Enter the modern day back pack. Lightweight and custom tailored for comfort when schlepping camera gear. The problem with most camera backpacks is that they are designed for a much smaller camera. For years I searched high and low for a pack that would fit the size, shape and design of my panoramic camera. That search ended in the spring of this year. Enter the Langly Company. I tripped over the Langly camera bag while trolling Pinterest one night. I found a pin of a hard core wax coated canvas bag. My interest was now officially peaked.
The Langly website was punched into Firefox. The measurements of the bag proved to be on the edge of perfect. The interior was the usual mess designed for the Digital SLR camera. Nothing that couldn't be fixed. There was only one option left. The color. Black is great for a gas grill or an oven. Not for a camera bag in the hot sun. The drab olive was just that. Drab. Ah....the natural color. Sweet. Best of luck keeping it clean, yet I accept the challenge. Natural it is. The bag was ordered in the nick of time. The natural color went out of stock as soon as I hit the add to cart button. Anticipation set in as I waited the seven to ten business days. I know what your thinking. Getting excited over a backpack to carry a wooden camera sounds rather sad and pathetic. Guilty as charged. My passion to get the shot starts to fade after the fourth visit to the chiropractor. A comfortable fit goes a long way into the golden years of retirement One must think of these things when planning for the future.
The bag arrived in about a week. I tore open the box with a savage passion not seen in years. I unzipped main compartment and set about the task of removing those pesky dividers. That was not as easy as it sounds. Imagine a cloth covered leach and you get the visual of how the dividers latched back onto the bag when removed. Pruning shears took care of that little problem. The Ebony 4”x10” panoramic camera was then placed into a horizontal configuration. The fit was like that of a glove. Pack in some film holders, a few lenses, a dark cloth and a bologna sandwich and we're there. The real test was the fit. I give it a solid 4 out of 5 stars. The best part is that I can fit everything I need in one bag. The bottom loops will even hold my new lightweight German state of the art tripod. That's another story.
Here is the pack loaded and ready to go. The 4"x10" view camera is resting comfortably on top of focusing cloth. There are two additional lenses in cloth wraps above the camera. The film holders, light meter cable release and other accessories are tucked safely away in the various compartments. Th total weight of the loaded bag is around 18 pounds (minus the tripod). I can also swap the 4"x10" for my 8"x10" if the need arises. I am now heading out to field test the setup. The summer road tripping season has been a disappointing time due to excessive heat and humidity. I am now holding out for cooler fall weather. The Appalachian Mountains are particularly spectacular in the fall. More on that later. For now I will sign off and head for the solitude of the foothills of western New England.