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Thread: In need of camera backpack any suggestions???

  1. #1

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    Bernard Kravitz

    In need of camera backpack any suggestions???

    Im looking for a good quality backpack to carry my D300,SB900 Speedlight and 3 lenses (Nikon 80-400, Nikon 18-200 and a Nikon fisheye)

    i have looked at the Tamarc 5788 Evolution 8 and the 5789 Evoloution 9

    This foum has always provided me with good advise .

    Bernie

  2. #2
    herbert's Avatar
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    Re: In need of camera backpack any suggestions???

    Hi Bernie,

    I had a look at the Evolution when I was searching for a bag last year. It is certainly a good bag. However I did not need the laptop storage and felt that it moved the weight of all the camera stuff a bit too far away from my back (since the sleeve adds an inch thickness to the bag).

    I wanted to be able to put my camera and 70-200mm lens in the bag, have a rain proof cover and tripod rack. I did not want a sling bag and wanted a bit of extra storage for waterproof, lunch, etc. I get all of that with the Lowepro Primus AW:

    http://products.lowepro.com/product/...AW,1995,14.htm

    It is a nice bag and has served its purpose well. LowePro make some other good bags at a reasonable price so you should check them out too.

    When looking at bags you should note that some of them can get pretty large. It is always a good idea to check that they fit within the luggage size requirements for airlines. That way you can take your precious kit with you on the plane and not leave it to the 'throwers' in charge of the hold.

    Regards,

    Alex

  3. #3
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: In need of camera backpack any suggestions???

    My advise is to get the backpack online. Brick and mortar stores have an amazing mark-up on backpacks and camera bags. Amazon is a good place to buy a new bag or backack. Used bags are usually priced quite low. However, if you buy a used one on ebay - make sure it comes from a smoke free environment. Unless, of course, you smoke yourself...

    I have been using a LOWEPRO Mini Trekker AW for several years and have no complaints...

  4. #4
    shreds's Avatar
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    Re: In need of camera backpack any suggestions???

    When I am not using a Peli hard case, which are my favourite camera protection, (and have two sizes dependent upon the assignment), but are usually car assisted, I have a Lowe Pro Rover AW II which seems to accommodate a fair amount of kit and has the capacity to carry a tripod and sandwiches/clothes too.

    However, I wouldn't get too hung up on this bag or that. They are only an accessory, and equally the more you carry the more tired you will become on a long trek. You dont need to carry everything, I am selective, and I love to utilise the padded main insert from the Lowe Pro in other non photo bags.

    Then again, to go inconspicuous, I often put a camera bean bag and plastic 'air bags' for padding into a supermarket carrier bag, and no one suspects you are carrying around an expensive camera!

    Air bags are lightweight, inexpensive (or free) and offer the ultimate protection. (Try wrapping a few pumped up bags around an egg and projecting it out of an upstairs window to see what happens. (No promises mind!))

  5. #5
    krispix's Avatar
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    Re: In need of camera backpack any suggestions???

    Depending on what I'm doing I use a Lowepro Slingshot, Lowepro Mini Trekker or (if I need the kitchen sink too) the Tamrac Cyberpak 9. The Tamrac is the only one that will hold just about all my gear, but as I no longer lug a laptop round with me Alex's observation regarding the extra thickness is quite valid. But if I buy another bag my wife will beat me to death with it
    All I can suggest is find a shop with loads of bags and spend an hour or so looking for the one that will suit your needs. However, photography being what it is you'll probably be in the market for another bag in a year's time

  6. #6
    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: In need of camera backpack any suggestions???

    Quote Originally Posted by krispix View Post
    Depending on what I'm doing I use a Lowepro Slingshot, Lowepro Mini Trekker or (if I need the kitchen sink too) the Tamrac Cyberpak 9. The Tamrac is the only one that will hold just about all my gear, but as I no longer lug a laptop round with me Alex's observation regarding the extra thickness is quite valid. But if I buy another bag my wife will beat me to death with it
    All I can suggest is find a shop with loads of bags and spend an hour or so looking for the one that will suit your needs. However, photography being what it is you'll probably be in the market for another bag in a year's time
    Chris:

    You pretty well nailed it:

    1) I use a Lowepro Slingshot 300 - I never have to set it down to change bodies or lenses (except when I need a rest from carrying all my gear).

    2) If I buy another tripod it'll be me that's beat to death. If you buy another bag, you'll have enough capacity into which your wife can stuff your dismembered body.

    3) Come to Victoria, BC - the shop where I deal has literally dozens of bags in stock - but not cheap.

    4) Fact: You'll never find the perfect bag (or tripod).

    5) Now that I think of it - find a bag to which a tripod can be attached - mine can't and it's a nuisance.

    Glenn

    I carry the following in my 300 AWS
    30D + 5D + both manuals, EFS 17-55, EF 100 macro, EF 24-105, TSE 24II, three CPL filters, two battery chargers, two spare batteries, MultiDisk 5n1 diffuser, four CF cards, remote shutter release, 1.4 extender, Kenko tubes, 90 degree angle bracket, DOF charts for three lenses. If needed, I borrow a sink.

    One last comment. Although I really like the Slingshot 300, it's too heavy with one strap, so I've added another one so both shoulders take the load. Quite simple - any shoe repair shop can do it - get the extra strap from LowePro. I have pics if anyone is interested.

  7. #7
    ktuli's Avatar
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    Re: In need of camera backpack any suggestions???

    Bernard,

    I just posted some stuff about this recently, so I'll link to it here. I use the Tamrac Adventure 75 and a Canon 200EG. They are almost identical designs but the Canon bag actually cost about 1/3 of the Tamrac (a complete reversal of how you'd expect it to be). I don't know if you'd want a Canon bag for your Nikon camera though - not sure how brand loyal you are.

    Regardless, I highly recommend trying backpacks on. I borrowed my friend's Ape Case before I bought mine, and I it was completely wrong for my frame. But after trying on several, I found the Tamrac Adventure 75 to be perfect. It holds less stuff than my Canon Gadget Bag 1-EG which is a shoulder style bag, but really was not comfortable when it was full. But take your gear with you to the store and load up the bag before you buy it. Any store worth their salt will happily help you load the bags to get the best weight distribution and allow you to feel how it will actually feel full on your back.

    I know Richard suggests getting your bag online, but honestly, some brands - like Tamrac tightly control their prices, and you'll be unlikely to find it cheaper anywhere. So sometimes it is worth rewarding that brick and mortal store that helped you try out a dozen bags with a sale - just so long as the price difference isn't astronomical. Think how many more bags you'd have to buy and not like if you couldn't go try them on...

    Hope this helps.

    - Bill

  8. #8
    Loose Canon's Avatar
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    Re: In need of camera backpack any suggestions???

    When I chose a sack, I kind of had to keep in mind what I was going to do with it, Bernard.

    I use an Arc’teryx Axios 50. This is a pack designed for the trail. I use it mostly for carrying camera gear, but can overnight with it when I want.

    This is a different breed of sack than the usual camera sack. These types of bags will have a much better suspension system and will definitely travel much better, cause less fatigue, and be more comfortable if you are going to be wearing it for an extended time. It’s not a “city bag”. This particular bag is the most comfy backpack I have ever worn and that is saying something.

    These types of bags do not have dedicated camera compartments with foam separators. I have found that I really don’t need it. I can carry plenty of water, extra clothing, food, accessories (gps, compass, assorted trail stuff), and all the camera gear I need (incl. tripod, wide angle, 70-200L- heavier than a liter of water, 100mm macro, flash/modifier, filters, and whatever else), and not feel trashed at the end of the trail. Looking at around 25-30 lbs. with that load configuration! If I think I want to shoot while walking, I sling the camera over one shoulder and ‘biner it to the chest strap for safety. I’ve done 7-10 mile treks this way fairly comfortably and over rough terrian.

    This particular pack has side zips for easy access and nice big outer pockets for stuff you want accessible. Plus the lack of foam makes the pack lighter. And believe me, when you are in the Big Out There, every ounce counts! Especially when you are wearing it.

    One thing I would do if possible is go to a camera shop and try on different packs. Have the sales person add some weight to it when you do so you can check for fit and load distribution. This is crucial. Then, if you have an outdoor gear shop around, go there and try a few trail bags. Familiarize yourself with different suspension systems, their adjustments, and how they work. That way when you pull the trigger on a bag, you can feel fairly confident that you can wear it all day without it killing you.

    This may not be the type of bag you are looking for, of course, but I would just advise that for an all-around great pack that you can wear on the trail or on the street, there may be other options other than the dedicated camera bag makers. They tend to design less toward actual long-haul use. The main thing is the fit/comfort/weight suspension difference.

    For the price of that LowePro, you can get a top drawer trail bag.

    Anyway, just a Theory!

  9. #9
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    Re: In need of camera backpack any suggestions???

    Just to throw my two pents in....I use the Tamarac 5788 and I must say...I love it. I ride a motor bike half the year and it was the most comfortable that I could find and or had tried. I also do not carry a laptop in the provided spot. However I have carried books and or prints without damage to either and when empty it still keeps the gear from digging into my back while riding the FZ1.

  10. #10
    shreds's Avatar
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    Re: In need of camera backpack any suggestions???

    My wife loves buying bags too. I now have a maxim, will it hold the D3 too? Saved me a fortune!

  11. #11
    tbob's Avatar
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    Re: In need of camera backpack any suggestions???

    In my opinion avoid the backpack route and go for either a fanny pack or a modular belt system. I use the ThinkTank system with a harness. The advantages of a hip level carrying are 1) the weight is down on your hips where it is more comfortable to carry , 2) you have rapid and easy access to your gear by spinning the fanny pack or modules around and 3) the most important; you can change lenses, filters,batteries, flash units and what have you and never have to put anything on the ground or kneel. Mother Nature wants to eat your equipment, or at least return it back to the ecosystem, so reduce her attempts to fill your carrying system with leaves,rain,mud and insects or not allow you to "momentarily" place that filter on the ground then walk away or stomp it into the undergrowth.

    My two cents worth

  12. #12
    Harpo's Avatar
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    Re: In need of camera backpack any suggestions???

    Like Trevor above, I found the Think Tank modular belt system works great for me when Im walking, hiking, etc and want my camera ready to go. I like the option of the holster vs having the camera out & exposed to the elements and eyes. When I choose to go into a restaurant, its easier if its protected in a bag. I have a Luma strap connected to my camera and I can access my camera from the holster and use it like the cotton carrier concept.

    However, I have found from recent airline trips, that I would rather ALSO have a backpack as an option. I just ordered a Think Tank backpack at the recent photo expo. This will give me the option for having a backpack when I find I dont need the holster part. By purchasing both from Think Tank, the modular system belt can be reconfigured and replace the backpack belt on the fly. Both systems are complementary and work together. This also gives the pack a better waist belt to increase the comfort. (I used to lead backpacking trips for a living before and am a stickler for making sure whatever Im carrying is comfortable and not hanging on just one shoulder) I can simply pull out the padded compartments from the backpack and put the equipment in the modular packs and it fits in the backpack if I want a more secure way to travel with my equipment. I also will have a bag to keep the extra camera stuff, lenses if I only need to take certain items on the modular system when out and about. The backpack allows me to carry a tripod attached much more comfortably than with a modular waist belt system.

  13. #13
    Loose Canon's Avatar
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    Re: In need of camera backpack any suggestions???

    With any good backpack designed to carry a decent amount of weight for any time at all, the weight will rest on the hip belt. The shoulder straps are only designed to keep the pack cinched close to your back to keep your center of gravity tight and should not bear any weight.

  14. #14
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: In need of camera backpack any suggestions???

    Let me add two more comments...

    There seems to be quite a difference in weight between the different backpacks. I picked out the Lowepro several years ago because it was lighter in weight than a couple of other brands/models I researched. If weight means anything to you, research the different models from various manufacturers..

    Although I like backpacks for carrying my gear from Point A to Point B (especially while flying) I do not like to carry a backpack while actually shooting because it is fairly difficult for me to access gear from a backpack. Instead I carry my cameras and lenses on an Optech Dual Harness and carry the rest of my gear in my shooting vest.

    Some photographers like to carry everything but the kitchen sink while shooting, I am a minimalist when I shoot.

  15. #15
    Harpo's Avatar
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    Re: In need of camera backpack any suggestions???

    For what its worth… check out the POTN forum online… they have alot of camera bag discussions, advice and alot of them post their photos of their bag and how they pack it with their equipment, etc. It can be informative and some go into great depth in their reviews.

  16. #16
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    Re: In need of camera backpack any suggestions???

    Just to throw one or two thoughts into the melting pot:

    The bigger the back pack you purchase the more you will carry. I know this sounds obvious but if you are out in the field for many hours are you sure that you can carry all of your kit.
    Using branded camera luggage can make you a target for the low life scum out there.
    Do you really need all of your kit or will you be more creative with just one or two lenses, a couple of memory cards and a few batteries
    I tend to think the less camera looking the better.

    I keep my equipment, at home, in a padded case and then like to wear a vest out in the field.

    I have included a few links for vests.


    http://www.tilley.com/The-VOMP.aspx
    http://www.nicholsonprints.com/Articles/vests.htm
    http://vestedinterest.com/
    http://www.camerahobby.com/Access-Vests.html
    http://www.adorama.com/catalog.tpl?o...aphers%20Vests

    Hope this helps.

  17. #17

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    Re: In need of camera backpack any suggestions???

    I really like the idea of the Belt Pack type of system. I have used a Lowe fanny pack but it slips down easily. a belt with harness system would be ideal. I use the D3OO and the 80-400 lens along with two other lenses. Any suggestions would be great.

    Many thanks to all of you ... I am an amature but like to treat myself to the right stuff.

    Bernie

  18. #18
    tbob's Avatar
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    Re: In need of camera backpack any suggestions???

    You are welcome for the free advice (free advice is worth every penny you pay for it). Link to Thinktank site http://www.thinktankphoto.com/.

    As an aside, and not to steal your thread; but I am considering the 80-400. What is your opinion of the lens?

    Thanks
    Trevor

  19. #19

    Re: In need of camera backpack any suggestions???

    Backpack: Lowepro Mini Trekker if we're doing a lot of heavy hiking otherwise I use a Lowepro Slingshot.
    The only problem with the Slingshot is that it causes shoulder pain if we're doing a lot of climbing. The Mini Trekker is fine though.
    -mike

  20. #20

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    Re: In need of camera backpack any suggestions???

    Many thanks to all who suggested a variety of items. I ended up with a packbelt. for 40 buck i picked up the lowepro outback 200 I figured for the price its worth a try.

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