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Author Topic: Towards a better travel camera backpack  (Read 793 times)

NancyP

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Re: Towards a better travel camera backpack
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2017, 12:48:28 PM »

I like the f-stop tripod bag because it has daisy chains and D-rings, a roll top (less fussy), and I can rig it to pack. But then, I am hiking in the USA, and I am looking for "not having dam' thing shifting around, and not having it strapped so I can't get at it quickly".

What are the measurements of the tripod/head you like to take? You might be able to take a commercial long/narrow stuff sack / tent pole sack (in a non-black color) to a gear repair guy at an outdoors outfitter and have D rings or other strapping option attached custom for you. Granite Gear has some long narrow relatively sturdy stuff sacks.

Face it - you may need diy solutions. Do you know anyone who sews? It would be dead easy to get a bit of rip-stop nylon in whatever color and matching thread, a bit of padding from your local friendly closed foam camp pad retailer (Walmart), attachment hardware and closure hardware, and sew your own, on a regular machine. If you know someone with a heavy duty machine you might be able to work with cordura heavy nylon fabric, and skip the padded (shaping) insert. Just search "make your own stuff sack", patterns and tips.

Check out the ultralight camping forums.
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Martin Kristiansen

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Re: Towards a better travel camera backpack
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2017, 01:16:01 PM »

I hate backpack type packs for day to day shooting. Every time you want to change lenses or bodies you have to take the thing off your back and basically put it down on the ground while changing lens or body or whatever.

I shoot frequently in downtown Johannesburg. It's bloody dodgy. I keep moving and I keep light. Two bodies, one flash, three zoom lenses and sometimes three primes as well. I do light by shooting mirrorless. A pair of little Sony's. Sometimes a RX100 as well. I use that often in informal settlements, shack towns, slums. It all goes in a messenger style bag.  I have had cops chase me out of areas that they said they were afraid to loiter in. So far I have been lucky but my luck could run out. When I am really uncertain I just carry one camera and lens. If it gets nicked I will just buy another one. They are not crazy expensive.

My point is being safe and quick in tough places doesn't just depend on the bag. Sometimes it requires a complete rethink of what goes in the bag. Carry nice big flash DSLR's and get mugged and you have no photo at all. Makes no sense to me. You have to be alive and have a camera to take a photo. I just want photos, I don't care what I have to use.

The bag is the least of the problems in my opinion.

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shadowblade

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Re: Towards a better travel camera backpack
« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2017, 05:08:31 PM »

I hate backpack type packs for day to day shooting. Every time you want to change lenses or bodies you have to take the thing off your back and basically put it down on the ground while changing lens or body or whatever.

I shoot frequently in downtown Johannesburg. It's bloody dodgy. I keep moving and I keep light. Two bodies, one flash, three zoom lenses and sometimes three primes as well. I do light by shooting mirrorless. A pair of little Sony's. Sometimes a RX100 as well. I use that often in informal settlements, shack towns, slums. It all goes in a messenger style bag.  I have had cops chase me out of areas that they said they were afraid to loiter in. So far I have been lucky but my luck could run out. When I am really uncertain I just carry one camera and lens. If it gets nicked I will just buy another one. They are not crazy expensive.

My point is being safe and quick in tough places doesn't just depend on the bag. Sometimes it requires a complete rethink of what goes in the bag. Carry nice big flash DSLR's and get mugged and you have no photo at all. Makes no sense to me. You have to be alive and have a camera to take a photo. I just want photos, I don't care what I have to use.

The bag is the least of the problems in my opinion.

Two bodies, three primes, three zooms and a flash is more than I would be carrying. And I'm using A7r/A7r2 bodies.

I don't shoot in dodgy cities, or dodgy parts of a city. Usually it's because I can't find anything worth shooting there - I'm not a street photographer. But things still happen in non-dodgy cities, and non-dodgy parts of a city (e.g. where I was stabbed and shot at the other day). So it helps to be able to carry gear in a way that doesn't look like you're carrying gear,  while still having the functionality of a dedicated camera backpack.
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shadowblade

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Re: Towards a better travel camera backpack
« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2017, 05:12:15 PM »

Speaking to a custom gear maker tomorrow, while working out potential designs. I'm going to need one for myself, at least. If there's interest, it may also serve as a prototype for a Kickstarter project for a limited production run.
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Farmer

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Re: Towards a better travel camera backpack
« Reply #24 on: May 17, 2017, 05:52:40 PM »

outdoorphotogear.com does and they carry the Mindshift line.  I personally use two Mindshift Backlight 25L for many of the reasons that you noted.

Thanks for the tip!
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Phil Brown

NancyP

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Re: Towards a better travel camera backpack
« Reply #25 on: May 18, 2017, 11:32:43 AM »

Shadowblade, be sure to let us know, you might have customers. I for one wouldn't mind a small daisy-chained stuff sack a little lighter than the f-stop tripod stuff sack I use now - I just haven't got around to making one, because time and energy are limited due to day job.
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VincentR

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Re: Towards a better travel camera backpack
« Reply #26 on: May 18, 2017, 02:21:50 PM »

Quite an interesting topic. Like many others, I've tried many (too many?) different backpacks, including Clik Elite, F-Stop, LowePro, ThinkTank... I've recently came to the conclusion that I may never find a perfect bag: there's always something off like weight distribution, lack of room for personal items, screaming PHOTO GEAR all over the bag or no room where to put a bottle of water. I travel light (moved to m43 camera) so I've decided to try using my Osprey backpack and put a camera insert in it. I've just received my two inserts yesterday, haven't had the chance to test either, but pretty sure they will be a pain to deal with in the field when I have a lunchbox sitting on top plus extras clothing...

Both inserts were found on Amazon:

www.amazon.ca/Camera-Insert-Waterproof-Shockproof-Olympus/dp/B00VHV8P08/

www.amazon.ca/dp/B01I4LC4D2


edit: typos
« Last Edit: May 18, 2017, 06:46:28 PM by VincentR »
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David Sutton

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Re: Towards a better travel camera backpack
« Reply #27 on: May 18, 2017, 10:25:01 PM »

I don't think a bag can exist that does everything, and nothing screams "valuables" like a large backpack.
My take on it has been that I firstly have a bag that gets me into a country with all my gear. For me that's an Airport Antidote V2. Took all my Canon gear and now the Fuji stuff fits fine. It's small enough not to attract the attention of counter staff at airports.
On arrival I switch to an anonymous day bag holding just what I need for that day. I use a battered and dirty 123-go-10 with the labels removed, but anything would do as long as it sits comfortably over the back of a chair in a cafe.
It's a pain having to fit the extra bag into my suitcase, but worth it for the flexibility on arrival.
David
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