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What do you do with 8x10 film holders when you go out photographing? How do you carry them? You can make a case out of plywood – heavy, very awkward, difficult to carry. You can buy a big picnic cooler case – the holders bang against each other and sometimes the slides pull out. If you use foam rubber to take up the extra space, it falls on the ground when you take a holder out. What a damn nuisance when you're trying to concentrate.


Towards the end of the real Zone VI days, after Calumet bought them, they sold a bag for 8x10 holders that held them vertically. I never liked it because, in a vertical position, when you’re taking one of those massive holders out, you might inadvertently pull out the slide from another holder. If you’re using older holders that are missing the “L” hooks, it’s sure to happen. Even with newer holders it happens if the hooks aren’t over the slides. What do you do?


This – Defender’s no-nonsense case holds up to 12 holders snugly and horizontally. Measuring 13” x 17” x 12,” it’s convenient to carry either with the handles or the shoulder strap. Padded inserts can divide up either section. If you only take 6 holders for each excursion, like me, you can divide the case in half. Then you have room for 6 holders, 2 lenses, 2 meters, a format viewer, screwdrivers, bug dope, lens paper, and an apple. Going on an extended trip? – with 2 cases you can take 24 holders, or 18 holders with all the accessories noted. The padding protects the equipment from rough handling and temperature. There’s a pocket inside the top for exposure records, and small items. I carry the folded focusing cloth on top between the handles.


The case is white, as are all our equipment cases. It keeps the film and equipment cool. One hot day during the RIT days - to settle an argument - we put dial thermometers in a black camera case and in my white camera case. Both cases were in direct sun. After 12 minutes the temperature in the black case was 18 degrees higher – in Rochester. In hotter climates it might be 30 or 40 degrees higher. White equipment cases are always best for photographic use.  


In the field I don’t use a case for the 8x10 camera - there's no need. Since I always left the case in the vehicle anyway I don't even take it with me. In my vehicle's hatch, I have a clean cargo blanket. I place the 8x10 camera down flat on the blanket with the focusing cloth over it. This case goes next to it, and then the tripod. When I get to a location, I mount the camera, carry it and the tripod over my shoulder. I carry the case in the other hand. It’s balanced and comfortable. Easy. The handles are long enough so that it’s easy to pick it up the case even with the camera and tripod over your shoulder.


The case is made of very tough Arco 600 with a heavy-duty zippered top. Arco 600 is a vinyl-coated (600-denier) polyester duck material. It’s durable, attractive, water and abrasion-resistant, and wipes clean easily. The entire inside compartment section is removable. Strips of hook and loop run horizontally within the inside compartment – this makes positioning the inserts easy. (If the inserts just adhere to the material, you have to fight to position them.)


If you want an easy way to manage 8x10 holders in the field, here's a comfortable solution. Your holders will be convenient and available when you need them, and safely tucked away when you don't. Like me, you’ll increasingly appreciate this Defender case every time you use it.



8x10 Film Holder Case

Expected to ship in April
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