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How do you organize your cupboard?

danlindberg

Well-known member
I have hesitated for a while now to start this thread. It is NOT intended to be a bragging thread, who has the most lenses and the sort. No, I am genuinely interested to pick up a few ideas of how to organize my cupboard better!!
Most of us have bits and pieces from decades of collecting stuff and I wonder how people store everything. There are ‘bag-threads’ but I have not seen any ‘cupboard-threads’.

In my particular case, I have sold a lot the past few years of my old stuff. Only keeping a few items too close to my heart to give up. My Olympus OM2 with the amazing Zuiko 21/2 lens which is rare I cannot let go. The beautiful Contax G1 with the 45 + 90 I must keep. And of course the GX680III with 65 + 150 + 250 is also a difficult to part with system. (not in the image, but I also have a 500CM + 80) But I have sold half a dozen other bodies and more than a dozen lenses the past 3-4 years.
On top of this I experienced a nasty burglary 6 months ago, where I lost 4 tech lenses and 2 digital backs. A huge blow and another reason to slimline and only go for stuff I really need.

With all this said, I still struggle to have a smart organisation for what I have!!! So, it would be great to see how you store all your hoods, extensions, plates, adaptors, filters, bits & bobs etc ??

I have another place (wardrobe) for my lights (Profoto), all tripods and all bags.

If you don’t mind, please do share how you organize all your stuff!



Sorry for bad mobile shot...
 

Bugleone

Active member
.....Very interesting, and I feel (afer a life-time of being with cameras) that i have o comment!

Right up front I should admit that all of my film era gear,..the 5x4's, Rollieflex's and CanonF1 kit is mostly wrapped up in towels and 'secreted' among the linen draws....NOT the best thing but then they have been thru a period of very low value where I could just not part with them and now they need to be evaluated and moved on I suppose.

Looking at your impressive cupboard, i have to say that you have done the perparatory work for 'Burglar Bill' very well indeed as he can see at a glance what is the good stuff to pinch!...SO well organised!

I do sympathise about your burglary and security worries which, living close to a major city, I share. My own feelings are that security, storage, fire risk and transport are irrevocably intertwinned so my current important stuff, such as it is, is in strong plastic snap-top boxes with internals made from yoga mat. These are (usually) in a British Army bergan rucksack 80ltr without the side bins. This hangs (usually) near to my front door and can be grabbed easlily.....it can be thrown into the garden in case of fire and the plastic boxes will guard the gear very well during the impact/water etc. This type of bag is very well designed for carrying of great weight and completely comfortable....when I was still using roll film I slid down a slate path on the Welsh hills and the cameras and lenses faired much better than my backside!

It's worth mentioning that when I was a pro photographer I often used cardboard boxes when out on big shoots as they work quite well and do'nt attract atention.....my faves were the 'Canomeat' dog food boxes that I bought my dogs food in from the cash and carry...these were surprisingly strong and voluminous!

When I worked from a commando carrier I managed to aquire one of the insulated containers that had been used for tranfering blood onto ship as I noticed tht these faired better on helicopters and kept the gear/film stock nice and cool......There's 'more than one way of killing a cat'
 

Shashin

Well-known member
Nope, not that organized...

Actually, I organize in bags. Each system/shooting kit has its own bag. Then I just store the bags. I do however, have more bags than systems. I consider those "extra bags" as subsystem bags when I am going light. I simply transfer what I want into them from one bag to the other. Right now I have been paring down and have two system bags and three smaller bags. I carry my Pentax medium-format in an Osprey Farpoint 40 and my Fuji X Pro2 in a Zero Point specialized pack for snowboarding. The Zero Point bag is very narrow with a very small profile. For smaller bags, I have a Mountainsmith Tour and Daypack lumbar packs with inserts and a Fuji branded Domke bag. The Domke bag looks very nice with leather trim and is my bag when I can't look like my usual scruffy self (actually, I look like my normal scruffy self, but just dressed in a nice suit with a nice bag).

Here is my Pentax bag that carried a body, 35mm, 55mm, 120mm, 300 mm and 1.4 TC. It also has odds and ends like filters, right-angle finder, batteries, level, stop watch, charger, etc.



I don't use bag with padding or divider systems because they have too much bulk and weight. For my Pentax, the lenses are stored in pouches on a belt system which I can simply take out and wear (the belt system is at the bottom of the bag in the fourth panel above). The pouches are the defacto dividers. (This is my normal scruffy self.)



My Fuji gear follows a similar principle, but instead of a belt system, my lenses are in a soft pouch with carabiners that can clip onto the outside of the bag where the straps meet the bottom of the bag. One of those bags is also in the fourth panel of the bag image (the purple thing).

My cameras are in GoreTex stuff sacks--you can see a bit of the bright yellow stuff sack in the bag image above. This can act as a dust shield as well as an organizer. I can slip them over a camera either around my neck of on a tripod if they need protection from dust of rain. Also, that means everything is covered if I have to open the bag in bad conditions.
 
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darr

Well-known member
I have a lot of gear, both digital and film, from 35mm to 4x5" and everything in between except FF digital (have no use for it anymore).

I know how expensive gear is especially if you need to replace an item due to neglect, accident or theft. I have been the unfortunate recipient of it all. I have had to devise a storage system that works for me that would be adaptable to the types of shooting I do. I come from the commercial, artist, and educator sides of photography, having had a commercial career shooting film and digital, teaching commercial photography professionally, and I am a practicing artist. I am no longer a young photographer, but I am still a young artist, and I am a teacher that enjoys sharing information.

I do have a cupboard type storage unit (armoire) that has plastic "parts bins" on the shelves. The bins are labeled according to the camera system (Nikon, Mamiya, Hasselblad, etc.) or gear type (filters, darkroom, etc.) and small items relating to the label in some way are stowed in each bin. I also have an old, beautiful chest of drawers used to stow more gear in. The problem I have encountered with the armoire and chest of drawers is the "out of sight, out of mind" mentality. I have accumulated a lot of little parts of gear, and think KEH Camera would enjoy going through my drawers!

I keep my "classic" art making tools such as my Mamiya 6, Rolleiflex, Nikon F3, etc. stored in their own bags or cases. Growing a classic system takes time, so I find keeping that gear separate works best for me.

I have gear for in-studio use only and portable studio gear kept in travel cases. Here is a photo from an article I wrote a couple of years ago about shooting a Rolleiflex in the studio. You can see my toolbox on the right. I love that toolbox and the top drawer is a mess! So many electrical and mechanical pieces are in there, but I know where to find what I need. The next drawer has light meters, macro tools, and various camera accessories. The bigger compartment of the toolbox houses macro equipment which I shoot exclusively in the studio. What you cannot see is a gear cabinet on a different wall that houses various lighting tools, tabletop props and other accessories. Along another wall are tripods, a studio stand and a lot of backdrops. I shoot product photography and need a studio, but I also travel for on-location work.




When I travel for personal work, I am traveling via camper-van and need to have my gear stowed out of sight and placed safely in the storage box under the bed. This may sound easy, but I faced a few challenges early on due to the limited amount of space. In the end, the storage solution that has worked for me over the years was easily adapted to work again for this limited amount of space.

For years I have been storing my lenses and cameras in individual cases. I write their ID on the case top, and stow them in bags, Pelican cases, and on shelves. I remove the dividers out of all my backpacks and most bags, and my gear travels stored inside their individual cases. This system continues to work for me when I work out of my camper-van. For van travel, I use plastic crates to transport and store my gear under the camper-van bed. I can quickly ID which gear I need and then place the items in a backpack or camera bag and go shoot.

Here is an article I wrote years ago titled: Camera Bag Versatility that helps explain the heart of my storage system.



Another thing that has worked for me, are my ThinkTank Airport Ultra Light backpacks I bought years ago when I was travelling internationally. I bought them because they fit inside Pelican 1510 cases that could be stow in the overhead bins on airplanes, and they fit inside my camper-van storage area too. Below are some quick photos of the gear I am using later this week on a *FILM* shoot. It took me less than five minutes to grab the gear from a shelf and pack. I use Gnass Gear (out of business), Lowepro, Hasselblad, Pentax and Sigma lens cases. I use Pelican 1150 cases for my digital backs.




I hope this info helps others that may be like me with many different types of camera systems. One cabinet, or two closets is not enough space for me. My home is built around my love for photography. Lucky for me, my significant other does not seem to mind. He never complains when we travel with gear and enjoys reading when I wander off to go find what I am looking for.

Kind regards,
Darr
 

JoelM

Active member
Wow Darr, impressive organizational skills. I am not that good at this at all. I have a body drawer (digital and 35mm film) along with some accessories, a lens drawer along with some filters and adapters, a medium format film drawer with body and lenses, a tripod drawer, and finally a catchall drawer which is an adventure each time it creaks open.:ROTFL:

Joel
 

Jeffrey

Active member
I keep the valuable equipment inside a fire safe. Filters, tripods, backpacks, and the like are scattered about in a second bedroom in my house. There isn't any logic to my scattering but I seem to find the items I'm looking for among the clutter.
 

darr

Well-known member
Wow Darr, impressive organizational skills. I am not that good at this at all. I have a body drawer (digital and 35mm film) along with some accessories, a lens drawer along with some filters and adapters, a medium format film drawer with body and lenses, a tripod drawer, and finally a catchall drawer which is an adventure each time it creaks open.:ROTFL:

Joel
Thank you Joel for the compliment. I do try to stay organized or I feel like I fall behind.

It sounds like you have a system in place that works for you.
We love our "catchall drawers" for sure!

Kind regards,
Darr
 

BFD

Member
It all lives in Pelican cases, separated by system. Batteries, iPads, computers charge on the shelves below.

IMG_7582.jpg
 
Thread has inspired meto organize all my gear.

It's literally laying all over the house right now. Lights, modifiers, bodies, lenses, backs.....:scry:
 
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