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Thread: So I need a backpack too...

  1. #1
    thatguyfromvienna's Avatar
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    So I need a backpack too...

    Now that my amount of gear is constantly growing, my Lowepro Sling 102 has become too small.
    At least sometimes it is; when I know exactly what I'm going to shoot, I usually get away with camera plus lens and two additional lenses.
    But sometimes, I simply roam the streets and want more equipment with me.

    I'd need space for:
    My Sony SLT 55 with lens (quite small), one bigger lens (Minolta 100-200 - not a monster either but bigger), an additional four or five smaller lenses, my (quite big) Metz 52 flash and a tripod.
    Laptop and stuff will stay home.

    I am looking for another sling type bag but don't want one of the bigger Lowepro Slingshots because they have one thing going on that really bugs me: You can't access your lenses from where you access your camera from and I hate always opening up those extra straps and the zipper some more. It's just not handy.

    Any ideas what might suit me?

    Cheers in advance.

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: So I need a backpack too...

    Quote Originally Posted by thatguyfromvienna View Post
    Any ideas what might suit me?
    Alexander

    I use a Lowepro 200 AW with two 60 AW Sliplock pouches mounted on the sides. It is ideal for carrying the tripod loaded into the supplied holster on the back. Take time to get it set up correctly so that it fits you properly and you can walk for miles with it fully laden.

  3. #3
    thatguyfromvienna's Avatar
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    Re: So I need a backpack too...

    Donald,
    same issue as with my 102 AW - the lenses aren't directly accessible from the opening you grab your camera from.
    You have to open the straps first and then fully unzip it.

    It's a shame actually because otherwise, I totally love the Slingshot series.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: So I need a backpack too...

    I use a Kata 103 and it's great from an access standpoint; one large compartment. It was one long zipper and two pulls to access all lenses and camera bodies. For some strange reaison Kata has discontinued the bag and the replacements are more awkward to use.

    Newer it seems, is not always better.

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    tbob's Avatar
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    Re: So I need a backpack too...

    Not to throw too big a hammer in the works, but have you considered a modular belt system? I use the ThinkTank system http://www.thinktankphoto.com/catego...dular-set.aspx. The belt easily rotates to get access to the pouches and there is no need to ever put anything on the ground. As I have said in prior posts, nature wants to eat your gear and I contributed my share of filters, lens covers and even one lens before I smartened up and stopped setting things down. I wore this setup in China last year and although you don't blend in as a nonphotographer on the street your stuff is safe tied to your body

  6. #6
    thatguyfromvienna's Avatar
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    Re: So I need a backpack too...

    Manfred, bad news about the Kata.
    I too sometimes have a hard time understanding based on which decisions things get improved and end up worse than their predecessors.

    Trevor, that would be exactly the kind of gear I'd be wearing on a big trip abroad. But here in my hometown of Vienna, I think I'd feel kind of awkward geared up like a damn pro. ;-)

    Edit:
    You know, something like the bigger Lowepro Slingshots would be perfect - if only one could access the lenses from the main compartment.
    Curse you, Lowepro!
    Last edited by thatguyfromvienna; 2nd May 2012 at 07:36 PM. Reason: Forgot something

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    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: So I need a backpack too...

    I use the Lowepro Slingshot 300 - I must have the wrong one because all my lenses/bodies are in one compartment which is easily accessible.

    http://www.box.com/s/nqm3bsu3yy46m6ocgitc

    The only problem I've had with this one is that with the load listed below is that one shoulder strap is not enough so I've added a second one. When the waist strap is correctly adjusted, I can carry this for quite a while, and with the extra strap, I know of one photographer that rides his motorcycle with it.

    Load: two bodies (one with lens attached), 17-55, 25-105, 100 macro, TSE24II, extension tubes + 2.0 extender (equivalent to one lens), 500D closeup lens, two filters, two battery chargers, two extra batteries (one charger is in the outer pocket with the batteries), manuals for two bodies, 5 in one diffuser/reflector, extra tripod head. In effect, I have five lenses in the main pocket of this bag (one lens on camera), however admittedly none are extremely long (longest is about 135 mm/5.31").

    Mine is several years old and there is no provision for a tripod. Not good. Thinking of adding one.

    Details of extra strap:

    http://www.box.com/s/sehgkl4ndxjxnl22al18

    http://www.box.com/s/6kc56avffq9jx7n53uq4

    http://www.box.com/s/m8a2vskqjd2hjqan52ox

    Glenn

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: So I need a backpack too...

    Quote Originally Posted by thatguyfromvienna View Post
    Donald,
    same issue as with my 102 AW - the lenses aren't directly accessible from the opening you grab your camera from.
    You have to open the straps first and then fully unzip it.
    Aahh, I understand. I work at a much slower pace and fast access to lenses is not a requirement.

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    Re: So I need a backpack too...

    I had exactly the same reservations about wearing this getup. Ironically enough the most flack I ever got is when I first wore it in Dawson Creek, my local town of about 11,000 people. People who knew me thought it was funny because they know I am a rank amateur. Several people asked if I was going pro. My response was always that being a veterinarian wasn't paying the bills; so why not. But that was several years ago; now I back to being a local and known nutcase and can traipse about with minimal to no weird looks. Besides most of my photographic excursions are into marshes, forests and around old abandoned farms with tall vegetation. I have literally put a lens down, walked off about ten steps to shoot from a different vantage then spent the next 30 minutes sweating and swearing looking for a lens I can't afford to replace.

    So the tradeoff is massively in favor of the belt system. A few weird looks I can tolerate. And besides; the talking to myself loudly, wearing tinfoil on my head to stop aliens from beaming thoughts into my brain and the scruffy beard and clothes usually discourage too many negative comments anyway

  10. #10
    thatguyfromvienna's Avatar
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    Re: So I need a backpack too...

    Glenn, that's exactly what I don't want.
    If I need to access a lens, I have to open two straps and completely unzip the thing, making it very unstable to hold and change lenses.
    If those lens compartments were aiming into the same direction as the screen of your camera, it would be perfect.

    Trevor, living in a metropolitan area with over two million people (half of whom I know since I was working in the best bar while I was attending college) and especially in an area where you just don't use a car but public transport (which can be crowded), I don't see myself running around equipped like that.
    Like I said, for a big trip abroad, this would without a doubt be my first choice though.

  11. #11
    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: So I need a backpack too...

    Quote Originally Posted by thatguyfromvienna View Post
    Glenn, that's exactly what I don't want.
    If I need to access a lens, I have to open two straps and completely unzip the thing, making it very unstable to hold and change lenses.
    If those lens compartments were aiming into the same direction as the screen of your camera, it would be perfect.
    Alexander:

    It works for me. We get considerable rain all winter - it's not practical to set a bag down anywhere. With this bag I can access any lens and change it. The second strap must be unbuckled, but when that's done I can get any lens or accessory without putting the bag down on anything.

    There are two zippers so one side can be opened and a lens pulled out/put in without opening the whole bag wide open as in the first picture I posted.

    If everything came out as you suggest, you'd have to take out several pieces of equipment to get at something at the bottom. So the wide side must be the opening side - simple fact of geometry.

    Good luck on your search - if you find something, I'd be interested too.

    Glenn

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    Re: So I need a backpack too...

    For what it'sworth, I use a bag from TAMRAC - it took me a while to take the plunge (It's American, after all... but I'm not regretting it.

    I ended up with the 5608 (Pro 8) model and it has pockets in pockets - loads of 'em, so space is not a problem.

    I'm never in much of a hurry, and after taking out all the removable sections inside and leaving only enough to hold a DSLR/lens I tend to put the individual lenses in Manfrotto zip pouches - stops 'em bashing together when I walk... (The lenses, you understand...)

    The bag also has a neat tripod strap - WARNING: this is only really big enough for a smallish tripod (suits my Manfrotto Carbon Fibre down to the ground)
    Last edited by darkslide; 3rd May 2012 at 11:15 AM. Reason: Can't spell...

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    Re: So I need a backpack too...

    I consider myself a minimalist when it comes to shooting; even though I do carry more gear than the average casual photographer. Although I own a large amount of equipment, I usually decide beforehand what I will need to shoot in any specific venues and limit my gear to the necessary amount.

    When I travel, I carry my gear in a Lowepro Mini Trekker backpack. However, when I am shooting, I seldom carry any bag at all. Instead, I carry a pair of cameras on an OPTECH dual harness with two lenses attached. I wear a photo vest in which I will carry my extra gear such as CF cards, flashes, batteries, etc. When I carry a tripod it is usually on a strap over my shoulder or across my back.

    When I am shooting "normal" general photo and travel stuff, I have a 17-5mm f/2.8 IS and a 70-200mm f/4L IS on a pair of 1.6x cameras. Sometimes, I will also bring my Tokina 12-24mm f/4 in my vest pocket. If I am doing sports or wildlife photography, I usually have my 70-200mm and a 300mm lens on the cameras. Possibly with a wider lens in the vest pocket. If I mn going out for macro work, I will usually carry a single camera with my Tamron 90mm f/2.8 macro lens on my tripod...

    I will admit that my approach sometimes bites me on my bottom! An example was recently when I carried only my 300mm f/4L IS lens for butterfly pictures in a butterfly preserve; only to learn that the butterflies were so close that they were landing on my camera. People with P&S cameras and shorter lenses kept getting between me and the butterflies I was trying to shoot.

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    Re: So I need a backpack too...

    If you want to carry all that gear around in a sling bag and the 300 won't work for you then you need to re-think your direction.
    A larger sling (is there one?) will cause hell with your back and you'd not be able to control the load when it's open. Lenses would be falling out while you groped around in there. Take another look at the 300 or the Kata 3 in 1 -30. If you don't think these largest of the lines will suffice then you need a full backpack or better plan your trips and take less equipment.

  15. #15

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    Re: So I need a backpack too...

    I just got done doing a lot of research for a sling bag as well and I came across the Lowepre Classified sling bag. It has 4.5 stars rating at b&h with 50 different reviews. The most common comment I have read is that you can put way more gear in it than what lowepre says you can.

    It's also on sale at b&h, which prompted my purchase. $119 originally, on sale for $69.95. Not sure what shipping would be for you, but maybe you can get it locally.

    It would give you the access to all your gear without removing the bag, and can hold a tripod as well. It is an AW model so you have the built in weather bag as well. If nothing else, it might give you an alternative to look at.

    Mine comes in today. Looking forward to loading it up and going out this weekend.

  16. #16
    thatguyfromvienna's Avatar
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    Re: So I need a backpack too...

    Thanks for all the input, folks.
    And a beer for William.
    That thing looks exactly like what I am looking for.
    Will have to have a closer look at one in my local shop.

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