Patent application title: Lens cradle divider
Gordon Bryce Thatcher (Rexburg, ID, US)
Melanie Alexandrine Madsen Thatcher (Rexburg, ID, US)
IPC8 Class: AB65D8538FI
Class name: Special receptacle or package for an optical device or element (e.g., camera, telescope, binoculars, microscope, lens, filter, etc.)
Publication date: 2010-09-02
Patent application number: 20100219090
A Lens or other equipment cradling device and protector, supporter and
divider for camera, and other, carriers, bags and packs; specifically
suited for the use of storing and transporting photography equipment,
lenses and other delicate equipment
1. A divider constructed of soft and/or cushioning or cushioned fabric or
other suitable material capable of conforming to the shape of the item or
items it is to be used to support and protect, while being movably
attachable to another or other divider(s) and/or to supporting outer or
inner wall or walls of a bag, case, or pack 5 as in, for example, usage
in storing and/or transporting items of delicate equipment.A. As a cradle
shaped (figure eight or hourglass shaped) divider for use in conforming
to and cradling, protecting, separating and supporting, round-shaped
lenses or other delicate equipment while allowing efficient usage of
space and serving as a protective divider or dividers such as in a camera
or other bag, case, or pack for storage and/or transport.B. As a
rectangular shaped divider capable of conforming to the item or items it
is used to accommodate, having the longer two opposing sides of the
rectangular shape capable of flexing outward to conform to various shapes
or both sides simultaneously inward to form a cradle shape suitable for,
and capable of, supporting lenses and/or other delicate gear while
utilizing pace efficiently and having utility in dividing, protecting and
organizing lenses and other delicate equipment or items which could be
used to customize a photographic equipment carrier, case, bag or pack for
storage or transport.
2. A camera lens or other delicate gear protector, supporter and divider having a cradle shape which conforms to the shape of a lens or lenses or other shaped gear and having additional utility for dividing, separating, organizing and protecting delicate gear with efficient use of space of a camera bag, case or pack.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
Provisional Application 61/209,034 and U.S. 61/209,034
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
REFERENCE TO SEQUENCE LISTING, A TABLE, OR A COMPUTER PROGRAM LISTING COMPACT DISK APPENDIX
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to the technical field of storing, transporting and organizing delicate equipment within a bag, case or pack and more particularly to organize lenses and other delicate items, for example in photography for use as camera bag, case or pack dividers, protectors and organizers. Most Photographers prefer to customize the space in which he or she carries his equipment and straight wall or square-shaped dividers have generally been used for this purpose.
As photography has become increasingly accessible to more individuals who engage in many activities from climbing to skiing while also engaging in outdoor photography, sport photography and adventure photography, etc., the need for better protection for delicate equipment particularly lenses is greater than ever. Photographers have become more and more mobile, active and taking photography, literally, to ever greater heights. Keeping up with the pace and still being able to safely transport delicate lenses, filters, and other equipment while on the go has become an objective. Protection, conformity, organization and accessibility have become key factors in storing and transporting modern photography gear.
Further, Lenses are not presently square, they are round and having a divider that actually conforms to the shape of a lens would not only conserve and better organize space but would be advantageous in separating, efficiently using the available space while protecting, and cradling lenses with the perfect shape. One that would conform to such cylindrical shapes while also having the ability to accommodate items and equipment of other shapes and sizes would make such an invention even more useful. Another desirable feature would be to have the ability to function as dividers which were both flexible and versatile and independently operational. It would also be advantageous for those who are used to a particular bag, case or pack to be able to customize internal organization, protection and division between items while maintaining simplicity, function and versatility.
DESCRIPTION OF PRIOR ART
The following listed invention includes a camera case divider system which differs substantially from the present invention in complexity and while it has two walls which have a reverse curve shape to conform to the shape of a lens it does not cradle the lens and requires several other pieces to protect a single lens.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,356,004 Date of Patent: Oct. 18, 1994
Inventor: Robert Weinreb
The following mentioned Camera bag has a dividing system which compensates for longer lenses but it does not have any separate part or piece that cradles the shape of a lens but only utilizes narrow wall shaped pieces with circular openings in the top in which to hold the lens.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,610,286 Date of Patent: Sep. 9, 1986
Inventor: Jesselyn T. Cyr
The following named invention is a lens case which holds the lens in a bag for use on a belt and may be used as a divider within a larger case. However, easy removal would be impeded and it could take a large amount of space from the interior of a bag if used to store items inside another as a versatile protector, and further it does not assist the organization, safety or protection of other items that might be stored around it as does the present invention.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,373,980 Date of Patent: Dec. 20, 1994
Inventor: Galen Rowell
Unlike the present invention, the following named invention features a lens-gate divider for use with lenses. It is formed from a divider wall supported between two sidewalls of a bag or case with a hinged square or rectangular shaped door or opening that is designed to hold a lens but will not support the whole lens independently of other pieces, side walls or supports as does the present invention.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,775,496 Date of Patent: Jul. 7, 1998
Inventor: Ryan Cyr
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention is a lens cradle and photographic equipment divider, protector, separator, supporter and organizer for use in storage and in transport of delicate gear.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING
FIG. 1: is a perspective view showing the shape and construction of Lens Cradle Divider in figure eight or hour glass shape.
FIG. 2: is a side elevation view of Lens Cradle Divider showing connective edges, construction and shape of Lens Cradle Divider.
FIG. 3: shows two perspective views and details of Lens Cradle Divider in rectangular open position ready to hold items inside the Lens Cradle Divider.
FIG. 4: is a side elevation view of Lens Cradle Divider in horizontal position in use as a cradle divider inside a bag, case or pack with a flash device resting upon it.
FIG. 5: is a downward view of Lens Cradle Dividers used to organize space inside a camera bag or pack in vertical position with two flash devices inserted between dividers.
FIG. 6: is a downward view of two Lens Cradle Dividers used vertically surrounding two camera lenses.
FIG. 7: is a downward perspective of multiple Lens Cradle Dividers in usage to organize, divide, protect and cradle items in a camera bag, case or pack.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
This invention has been given the name of Lens Cradle Divider largely because of its cradle shape and its ability to cradle or conform to a lens or other equipment to provide protection, support, separations or division of equipment safely and effectively inside a camera case, bag or pack.
Referring now to FIG. 1, the Lens Cradle Divider (1) has, in this embodiment, four sides forming a rectangle. Opposing sides are the same length with two opposing sides (2) shorter than the other two opposing sides (3). The divider may be formed from separate pieces or sections of material pieced into the shape of an open rectangle with four sections, closed on the ends with folds or closures forming each of the two sets of opposing sides. It may be sewn, or otherwise constructed from a single piece of material of suitable hand and stability and foam or otherwise, molded along with soft gel or other cushioning insert material forming pillow cushions (4). The Cradle Lens Divider (1), or variations of it, may also be manufactured from four separate pieces of suitable material attached at the ends with opposing sides of equal lengths or it may be co or foam molded.
Referring to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, The Lens Cradle is shown to be composed of fabric and/or other soft material and is bound, covered or otherwise protected on the exposed edges if necessary to protect from jagged edges with soft covering or binding (5) or other suitable method of finishing on all the surfaces which will be touching items of equipment.
Referring again to FIG. 1, note that the Basic structure of the Lens Cradle Divider is a Rectangle. The rectangle may be formed from a long flat rectangular shaped material divided into four sections of which alternate equal length longer and shorter sections each of equal length or parts and then assembled by attaching the end of each side together.
Referring to FIG. 3, a view of the Lens Cradle in an open rectangle shape, this shape may be used to store, organize, and compartmentalize a camera bag, case or pack but it remains capable of being used in the shape of a figure eight or hour glass shape in order to fit the shape of round lenses.
Referring again to FIG. 2, the longer opposing sides flexibly compress toward each other forming a FIG. 8 or an hour glass shape. Though the long sides are flexible, they are stiff enough to support the weight of a camera lens or other equipment resting upon as it. Referring again to FIG. 2, the shorter ends (2) of the invention, are equipped with dual interlocking Velcro (6) or other attachable material or other means of attachment so that the Lens Cradle Divider may be attached to the inside of a camera case, bag or pack either horizontally or vertically and may also be attached end to end to additional Lens Cradle Dividers (1).
Referring and comparing FIGS. 1-7, the Lens Cradle Divider (1) has flexibility in the various cradle shapes to which it is adapted, either a full hour-glass like shape as seen in FIGS. 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 (as between two lenses (300) as seen in FIG. 6) or half an hour-glass shape (when a lens, flash (200) or other item is supported lying down on a flat surface) or referring again to FIG. 3, a rectangular shaped structure with an open center, depending on usage and according to whether it is attached in the center or has weight placed upon it or against it, such as when a camera lens is placed upon it or next to it, and it may conform to two circular shaped objects at the same time which may be seen by referring to FIGS. 6 and 7. Referring to FIG. 7, it is seen how the interior of a camera bag (400) might be set up with dividers inside (1).
Construction methods may include sewn, sonic welded, foam molded, injection or co-molding with gels or inserts and other method of construction, normally used to create soft goods and materials into an open and stiffened rectangular shaped support piece roughly half the diameter of the size of lens the cradle is intended to support or the hour glass or figure eight shape; although, a general size will accommodate almost any typically used lens size. The outer edges (5) should be finished and may be edged or piped or otherwise finished (5) with soft material again as seen in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3.
The rectangular shape is then closed like a loop and sewn or otherwise attached together at the two ends. The shape should then resemble a rectangular shaped open box. The longer sides of the box may be attached together from the inside at the center with Velcro or other soft connective means so as to maintain an hour-glass shape or used as a rectangle shape to be used to cradle or protect other items such as cords, boxes or other items. When used with a round object such as a lens, the Lens Cradle Divider (1) will assume the hour-glass shape whether it is attached inside at the center or not. If the center is attached inside the Lens Cradle Divider (1) then the inside openings that remain once the rectangle shape is closed which form a triangular shape may also be used to store items which fit in those spaces efficiently such as lens cloth or other small items. Alternatively, the Lens Cradle Divider may be left in an open rectangle position to store and protect other items such as cords, filters, and other items.
Referring to FIG. 2, opposing outside edges (6) that remain flat at all times are equipped with and have a dual connective surface both positive and receptive so that the divider may be attached to the walls or floor inside a camera bag (100) referring to FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 and (600) when referring to FIG. 7 or case and/or attached to other dividers through means of the connective surfaces (6). This creates further ease of handling and the ability to create a more permanent configuration inside a bag, case or pack; and for creating side by side, either vertical or horizontal use of several Lens Cradle Dividers (1) referring to all Figures, for usage with more than one lens or other equipment as shown in FIGS. 4, 5 and 6.
Referring to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 demonstrating how the surface of the cradle that will touch the lens or other equipment is padded, foam or co-molded (4), molded, quilted, gel inserted or otherwise plumped to further soften the cradle surface. The shaping should be such that it allows the rectangle to conform to the item it cradles when used with a round lens or lenses.
The Lens Cradle Divider may be laid out lengthwise or horizontally for use when it is desirable to place the lens lengthwise as shown in FIGS. 4. This is a particularly effective method for use with longer or larger lenses. An additional Lens Cradle Divider (1) may then be placed lengthwise over the top of the Lens for further protection.
Another way to use the divider is to place it vertically as shown in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 into the bag or case and insert the lens or other equipment to be protected vertically next to the Lens Cradle Divider (1). Again, a second or even third Divider may be used to form a protective circle around lenses and other equipment. Referring to FIG. 7, The Lens Cradle Divider (1) is easily used in many different configurations and in tandem with other traditional Dividers.
The advantages of the present invention include without limitation, the ability to conform to the shape of a lens or other shapes, to provide protection and to be capable of being quickly, efficiently and effectively placed to best organize and support delicate equipment. The divider is constructed to be used in a variety of ways due to its flexibility in conforming to a many different organizational configurations. It is effective as a stand-alone support without attachment to or from any other surface or item but it may be attached to various surfaces and to other Lens Cradle Dividers; which makes it more versatile. It can be used to customize any pack, case or bag.
In broad embodiment, the present invention is a useful and easy way to support camera lenses and other delicate items and equipment. It may be used in a variety of different ways in many different configurations either singly or in tandem with another divider or dividers and may be used in any carrier, bag, case or pack.
While the foregoing written description of the invention enables one of ordinary skill to make and use what is considered presently to be the best mode thereof, those of ordinary skill will understand and appreciate the existence of variations, combinations, and equivalents of the specific embodiment, method, and examples herein. The invention should therefore not be limited by the above described embodiment, method, and examples, but by all embodiments and methods within the scope and spirit of the invention as claimed.
Patent applications by Gordon Bryce Thatcher, Rexburg, ID US
Patent applications by Melanie Alexandrine Madsen Thatcher, Rexburg, ID US
Patent applications in class FOR AN OPTICAL DEVICE OR ELEMENT (E.G., CAMERA, TELESCOPE, BINOCULARS, MICROSCOPE, LENS, FILTER, ETC.)
Patent applications in all subclasses FOR AN OPTICAL DEVICE OR ELEMENT (E.G., CAMERA, TELESCOPE, BINOCULARS, MICROSCOPE, LENS, FILTER, ETC.)