Tim Layton Fine Art | DIY 8x10 Large Format Camera For Backpacking

DIY 8x10 Large Format Backpacking Camera 

Welcome to our DIY 8x10 Large Format Backpacking Camera project page.  You can find all of the latest information on the project here.  


I have been backpacking with my 8x10 Large Format view camera for many years in the Ozarks, Great Smoky Mountains, and Rocky Mountains.  

I came to the conclusion that I wanted to build a simple 8x10 large format camera with common materials that would help reduce the weight of my pack.  I reviewed the current options that were available from commercial camera makers and either the quality didn't meet my standards or the price was too high and this is how I first arrived at turning this idea into a DIY project that you can be a part of too.  

I reached out to fellow 8x10 large format landscape and nature photographer Jon Paul for his input and help. Jon is an internationally collected fine art photographer based in Lake Tahoe California with decades of experience.  You can connect with Jon in his website and YouTube channel.  

Jon hikes and backpacks in the mountains as a part of his daily life, so I knew he would be a fantastic resource to partner with on this fun project. 

You can visit this page at any time for the latest updates on the project and join my Free Darkroom Photography Newsletter so you never miss an update moving forward.  You can watch all of the video updates on my YouTube Channel and follow along there too.  

Free Darkroom Newsletter with Tim Layton


We started the project in August 2018 with the idea that we wanted to reduce the weight of our current 8x10 cameras from 9.5 pounds (Tim) and 9.2 pounds (Jon).  My total slimmed down 8x10 backpacking kit currently weighs about 25 pounds before food, water and tripod, and Jon's backpacking kit is about 40 pounds.

We would like to cut the weight of the camera in half because hiking with 5 less pounds at altitude in the mountains is a significant improvement.  

We need your help and input during every step of the project.  

More to follow soon...