My Gear Bag Ebony 4x5

Large format systems tent to be on the heavier side when it comes to current technology trends in photographic equipment. This means you need a serious pack when it comes to carrying all of your gear into the field. Wile there are a few companies making packs designed for this type of load, more options now than when I purchased the Whitney, there still isn't really a pack designed specifically for a large format system on the market. I wanted the comfort and design of a backpacking system and the Gregory Whitney 95 was the largest pack I could find. As the name suggests this is a 95 liter pack designed to carry loads up to 70lbs. What makes this pack great is the custom fit suspension (CFS) comprised of dual aluminum stays bolstered by a supportive cross stay. Three sizes S,M,L with adjustments made to fit your torso and waist sizes. Weighing in at 6lbs the Whitney 95 is a versatile pack with an expandable spin-drift collar, giving you a lot of extra volume. There are three access points to the main compartment and plenty of extra pockets for essentials. This pack is also hydration bladder compatible and it has an integrated sleeve and tube ports that connect to you solder straps. All in all its been a great pack and fits my needs when carrying my 4x5 system. For my actual camera system I use a F-Stop Gear large ICU that fits safely inside the main compartment. 

Gregory Whitney 95

Gregory Whitney 95

Inside the Whitney are all the components you see pictured below. My camera body an Ebony SV45TE and 3 lenses,  Schneider 90mm f/8 Super Angulon,  Schneider 120mm f/5.6 Super Symmar, and Rodenstock Apo-Sironar-S 210mm f/5.6. All great lenses however the f/8 aperture on the Super Angulon can prove difficult to use when lighting conditions are not adequate. I carry two sets of bellows, one is a standard and the other is a wide angle, both shipped with the camera body. Four 4x6 100mm neutral density grad filters and LEE100mm filter adapter kit. ND filters are the LEE 2 stop hard, LEE 2 stop soft, LEE 3 stop hard and the Daryl Benson Reverse ND Grad from Singh Ray.  I also have a LEE Filters VH-95 Bellowed Video Hood, which comes in handy as a lens hood with 2 slots for ND filters and a 95mm filter thread I use for attaching my Heliopan 95mm Circular Polarizer. This helps when it comes to different size filter threads as the LEE adapter is much less expensive than buying several polarizers. I carry two view finders, one for each format I shoot, my 4x5 and my 6x17 roll film back. If I could recommend a tool for visualizing and composing it would be one of these view finders. They are small and can be taken along when scouting a location and they force you to close one eye and see in 2d which is extremely helpful as a photograph is a 2d representation of the subject photographed.  I also carry a Rodenstock 4x Lupe,  stop watch, compass, led headlamp and puck light, lens cleaning kit,  Giottos rocket blower,  2 cable release,  journal and pencil, rain cover, dark cloth and a Pentax digital spot meter. Lastly is my tripod a Gitzo Systematic with a Really Right Stuff bh-55

Ebony 4x5 system

Ebony 4x5 system

All in all its a heavy kit but all items are essential for large format photography. If you have any questions relating to this post please drop me a line under the contact page located in the menu bar above. Also check out my posts related to loading large format film holders and an introduction to the view camera here on my blog.


In may last post titled "Ebony 4x5 view camera", I mentioned an app I use to calculate depth of field called pCAM. Originally created in 1998 for the Palm Pilot by a working Camera Assistant, pCAM is an app for iOS devices "sorry android users" that helps quickly obtain calculations for a multitude of functions related to still photography and cinematography. I highly recommend this app and as I stated I use it all the time for depth of field and hyperfocal distance calculation. The focal length matching function is another handy calculation for determining focal length over several different formats such as 35mm to 4x5.  other functions include...

  1. Depth of Field, Hyperfocal Distance & Image Circle

  2. Splits-Aperture Finder

  3. Field of View (Image size) with 8 Preview Illustrations & Angle of View.  Works in both Portrait and Landscape camera positions.

  4. Focal Length Matching

  5. Relative Size (compares digital sensors or film apertures)

  6. Triangulate

  7. Exposure (compensating changes in Shutter Angle, FPS Speed, Filters, Film Speeds, Exposure Time & Light foot-candles or lux)

  8. Running Time to Length

  9. Shooting to Screen Time

  10. HMI Flicker-free

  11. Color Correction (filters and mireds)

  12. Diopter

  13. Macro

  14. Time Lapse

  15. Underwater Distance (flat ports)

  16. Scene Illumination

  17. Light Coverage

  18. Mired Shift (with Suggested Color Correction gels)

  19. Light (eye-light, catch-light, miniature softbox, or for tabletop photography.

  20. Light Effects (Animated light effects such as fire, strobe, lightning, police lights, blinking neon, flashbulbs, etc.)  Can be used on HDTV screens via AppleTV and AirPlay.  Playback Light Effects on HDTV screens!

  21. Conversion Calculator(Length, Distance, Kelvin/Mired/Decamired, Footcandles/Lux)

  22. Siemens focus Star

  23. Insert Slate

  24. Reference (Technical charts, lists and tables: Cine Film Stocks, Cine Lens Manufacturers, False Color/Exposure Change Miniature Shooting, Safe Panning Speeds, Zone System).

  25. Includes all common professional Still Camera, Film & HD Camera Formats

  26. User-definable custom Camera Formats, CoC & Filters