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Author Topic: Photo Backpack Recommendaton  (Read 12125 times)

Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #20 on: April 03, 2018, 04:19:02 am »

For 1 day outings/trekking I use a Lowepro flipside Trekker 350:

https://www.lowepro.com/flipside

The photo compartment takes two Sony A7 plus two lenses, and assorted bits and bobs. The top compartment carries food, drinks, and other miscellanea.

When I want to carry more gear, plus 13' laptop, I use:

https://www.thinktankphoto.com/collections/urban-approach-backpacks/products/urban-approach-15

shadowblade

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #21 on: April 03, 2018, 08:24:45 am »

For 1 day outings/trekking I use a Lowepro flipside Trekker 350:

https://www.lowepro.com/flipside

The photo compartment takes two Sony A7 plus two lenses, and assorted bits and bobs. The top compartment carries food, drinks, and other miscellanea.

When I want to carry more gear, plus 13' laptop, I use:

https://www.thinktankphoto.com/collections/urban-approach-backpacks/products/urban-approach-15

With the sole exception of F-stop gear for certain uses, I've given up on commercially-made camera backpacks. Far too often, the 'camera' bit is the only consideration, with the 'backpack' bit given barely any thought. They mostly have very poor load transfer, insufficient frame rigidity (if they have a frame at all) and poor back ventilation, making them less than ideal for serious carrying. To top it off, most of them are made to look as if they contain $10k worth of camera gear, with or without a tripod strapped to the outside.
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Jack Hogan

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2018, 09:32:42 am »

With the sole exception of F-stop gear for certain uses, I've given up on commercially-made camera backpacks. Far too often, the 'camera' bit is the only consideration, with the 'backpack' bit given barely any thought. They mostly have very poor load transfer, insufficient frame rigidity (if they have a frame at all) and poor back ventilation, making them less than ideal for serious carrying. To top it off, most of them are made to look as if they contain $10k worth of camera gear, with or without a tripod strapped to the outside.

Hear hear
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NancyP

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #23 on: April 03, 2018, 12:35:35 pm »

A local photographer has given an enthusiastic endorsement of the Mystery Ranch Scree 30L pack, with Y shaped front zipper giving full access to inserts. I recently bought the women's equivalent (slightly different shoulder harness) MR Cairn 30L, it holds an f-stop large ICU easily. It seems very comfortable over short distances, I have yet to take it out fully loaded (20#) for a long (8+ miles) hike. The packs have adjustable torso length, load lifters, good belt, and some daisy chains (useful for tripod).
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Joe Towner

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #24 on: April 03, 2018, 12:39:33 pm »

There are so many different, and often conflicting, requirements for different tasks that it's impossible to fulfill them with just 2-3 bags.
......
Multiple configurations for each situation may be needed, depending on exactly what you need to carry (tripods/monopods, tripod heads, long telephotos, UWAs, etc.).

Most photographers can get down to 2-3, and yes, some of the situations you lay out do require even more specialized gear thus more bags.

But at the same time, you missed my point about photographers and the search for the 'One' bag.  There is a reason for the 'bag of the month' comment - lots of photographers buy bags without a specific purpose or without verifying all their 'current' gear will fit as needed.  Gear changes (dslr/mirrorless/MF), activity changes, even conditions changing will change up the bag used.
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NancyP

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #25 on: April 03, 2018, 07:03:59 pm »

There is no ONE bag. Small shoulder bag, small backpack, large backpack, a belt - and - pouches system - these all have different uses.
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #26 on: April 04, 2018, 05:15:28 am »

With the sole exception of F-stop gear for certain uses, I've given up on commercially-made camera backpacks. Far too often, the 'camera' bit is the only consideration, with the 'backpack' bit given barely any thought. They mostly have very poor load transfer, insufficient frame rigidity (if they have a frame at all) and poor back ventilation, making them less than ideal for serious carrying. To top it off, most of them are made to look as if they contain $10k worth of camera gear, with or without a tripod strapped to the outside.

The OP was asking about backpacks for 1 day outings. I mentioned the two that I use and that I think are appropriate for such occasions. That was all.

All the negative points that you mention do not apply, IMO, to the models I made reference to.

As for F-Stop, I am not familiar with them, as they are not commercialized in Portugal.

muntanela

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #27 on: April 04, 2018, 05:49:12 am »

Until now I have been using the old big Kata waist-pack w94 together with a mountain backpack (37L+).  After my cardiac catastrophe I have decided to downsize to the F-Stop Ajna.

https://www.nikonclub.it/forum/uploads/ori/201405/p18nour2jj1mq813e21dlpta9rhg6.jpg

http://www1.nital.it/uploads/ori/201007/gallery_4c30b6e41e05b_DSC0030hundejahre.jpg
« Last Edit: April 04, 2018, 05:56:12 am by muntanela »
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NancyP

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #28 on: April 04, 2018, 11:26:11 am »

Paulo, most photo-specific backpacks are "one size fits MOST", and most photo-specific backpacks are used to cart gear for short periods of time (10-20 minutes from car) to the photo shoot location, so for many people, harness fit is irrelevant. If you aren't part of the "MOST", the fully loaded photo specific pack can be excruciating for all-day carriage on the trail, as opposed to setting the pack down every few minutes. I can attest to the utility of the stretchy mesh "trampoline" style back panels for use in summer. I have yet to find a photo pack that is comfortable for all day carriage of 15 pound load - the women's specific f-stop model comes close, but due to my specific measurements (very short torso length, busty), the shoulder suspension is not ideal.

Yes, hikers/campers/paddlers/etc also are subject to G.A.S.   ;)
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HywelPhillips

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #29 on: April 04, 2018, 01:53:05 pm »

Far too often, the 'camera' bit is the only consideration, with the 'backpack' bit given barely any thought. They mostly have very poor load transfer, insufficient frame rigidity (if they have a frame at all) and poor back ventilation, making them less than ideal for serious carrying.

Hear, hear!

I can scrape by with a Lowpro Photosport 300 for day walks - A7R2 with a zoom lens, one extra lens (two at a push if you're not too concerned about stacking say a 28mm and 55mm in one lens slot- it does have a tensioning strap which seems to hold them fairly steady). I can also get basic mountain gear in that (first aid kit, safety shelter, head-torch, down jacket, couple of litres of water, compass, etc.) and ice axe/walking pole and a lightweight tripod strapped to the outside.

It's the only one I've found that isn't just plain hideous for a full day's walk in the mountains. The photo gear rucksacks are all too short, for me, so the belt never seems to properly get the weight onto the hips.

I've not found anything bigger in the way of photo-specific rucksacks that work for me. I end up trying to cram a soft camera bag into a 65L Lowe Alpine Atlas "proper" walking rucksack for anything which also requires a tent or more clothing.

I don't understand why they don't make hybrids with more photo gear capacity. Or a custom-made insert to turn (say) the bottom compartment of their own 65 L walking sack into a proper padded camera compartment.

I guess the market is small compared with the "good for 30 minutes from the car" market. But given that Lowe for example do crampon bags especially for rucksack exteriors you'd have thought a camera compartment would be worth a punt.

Cheers, Hywel Phillips


« Last Edit: April 04, 2018, 03:27:54 pm by HywelPhillips »
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #30 on: April 05, 2018, 04:31:57 am »

Paulo, most photo-specific backpacks are "one size fits MOST", and most photo-specific backpacks are used to cart gear for short periods of time (10-20 minutes from car) to the photo shoot location, so for many people, harness fit is irrelevant. If you aren't part of the "MOST", the fully loaded photo specific pack can be excruciating for all-day carriage on the trail, as opposed to setting the pack down every few minutes. I can attest to the utility of the stretchy mesh "trampoline" style back panels for use in summer. I have yet to find a photo pack that is comfortable for all day carriage of 15 pound load - the women's specific f-stop model comes close, but due to my specific measurements (very short torso length, busty), the shoulder suspension is not ideal.

Yes, hikers/campers/paddlers/etc also are subject to G.A.S.   ;)

I know that, I have been using photo backpacks since for ever:) Given the OP requirements (using for 1 day outings), I think there are several good options today. Including the one I mentioned, the Lowepro Flipside Trekker series.

I have taken it on my back in several treks, including going up Pico mountain in the Azores. Very comfortable, for me.

shadowblade

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #31 on: April 05, 2018, 04:46:00 am »

Let's look at what the OP is carrying:

GFX 50S - 920g including EVF, single battery and memory card
23/4 lens - 945g excluding hood and caps
32-64/4 lens - 975g excluding hood and caps
110/2 lens - 1010g excluding hood and caps

That's 3850g so far, and that's just body and lenses.

D4 - 977g

He didn't mention which tripod, but let's assume the RRS TVC-34L (that, or a similar Gitzo, would be fairly typical for this kind of high-end, non-ultralight setup utilising a D4 head) - 2146g (assuming no levelling base or other tripod accessories).

Now it's up to 6973g.

Add in another 1000g for typical accessories (spare batteries, charger, cards, quick release plates, cleaning gear, remote release, CPL, solid ND filter). With a full filter system and L-plates, this could easily reach 1500g.

Add in another 2000g for reasonable non-photo gear for a day (snacks, water, spare/bad weather clothing, tissues/personal hygiene).

Then you have the weight of the bag itself - probably 1.5-2.5kg, regardless of whether the bag is good or crummy.

You're dealing with 11.5-12.5kg on your back. Although not particularly heavy (hikers will carry a lot more), it's not insubstantial either. You can get away without a proper pack if you're just carrying it 20-30 minutes before putting it down to shoot from a static position, vehicle or other place where you're no longer carrying it around, but you wouldn't want to be carrying it on your back all day without a well-designed, load-distributing pack.

Neither the Flipside Trekker 350 nor the Think Tank Urban Approach 15 has a proper frame (the Lowepro has a frame, but not a rigid one that can bear weight; the Thinktank doesn't seem to have one at all). The Think Tank doesn't even have a waist belt, so couldn't distribute the load even if it did have a frame. Fine for dragging gear short distances, but your shoulders would be killing you if you were carrying 11-12kg around all day.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 07:04:48 am by shadowblade »
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TommyWeir

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #32 on: April 05, 2018, 06:47:38 am »

I've a developing bag habit... trying to ignore it for much the same reasons as listed above.

On a side note, I'm considering my next from about the Tenba Cineluxe range, aimed at filmmakers.   I really like the 'doctor bag' opening and the flexible aluminum inserts I have to say.
https://www.tenba.com/uk/collections/cineluxe.aspx

Fan of Tenba generally, their Cooper Slim is a great walkabout bag if you have mirrorless kit.

NancyP

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #33 on: April 05, 2018, 10:59:25 am »

f-stop packs are actually very well designed, should their frame and harness fit you well. One of the f-stop packs is 52L, which certainly can contain both camera gear and simple camping kit for a weekend.
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HywelPhillips

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #34 on: April 05, 2018, 01:59:49 pm »

Ah, f-stop look really interesting, thank you everyone. Just found that they do have distribution in the UK, and they're producing exactly what I was after (walking rucksack with a range of dedicated camera inserts).

Sometimes it is worth moaning on this forum, as people provide you with the answer!  ;)  ;)  ;)

Cheers, Hywel
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shadowblade

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #35 on: April 05, 2018, 02:15:00 pm »

f-stop packs are actually very well designed, should their frame and harness fit you well. One of the f-stop packs is 52L, which certainly can contain both camera gear and simple camping kit for a weekend.

'Well-designed' compared to the poor standards of camera packs, anyway.

Compared to real outdoor packs from Osprey, North Face, Mammut et al., they're actually rather mediocre, particularly with regards to back ventilation and the load transfer characteristics of the waist belt and lumbar pad.

Still, unless you're prepared to spend well over a thousand dollars on a custom pack, it's the best you're going to get. (Apart from maybe putting a F-stop insert inside a regular hiking pack or daypack, with all the equipment access problem that entails - possibly not a problem for landscape photography, but problematic if you can't spend a few minutes unpacking and repacking your gear every time you want to take a photo).

As for custom packs, they may be worth it, expensive as they are. After all, you might drop 1600USD on a Cube, which you might use for 80-90% of your shots. You might spend a similar amount on a f/1.4 portrait lens, which doesn't even get brought along except when you're specifically there to shoot people. But a pack which you're carrying all day, every time you go shooting? I mean, we spend $200 or more on a single filter...
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viewfinder

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #36 on: April 05, 2018, 04:33:49 pm »

Interesting topic and some great relies.....

My own take on this is to reject purpose made photo packs for landscape photography out on the hills as they don't really work for me and are very expensive.  In addition they scream what they contain when you need to come down into towns and villages.  Also, use here in the Uk tends to be wet, windy and muddy!

For these reasons my solution has, for some years now, been the ex British Army 80ltr 'bergan' rucksack designed by Berghaus with army special forces input during the years after the Falklands War in the early/mid 1980's.  The bag is excellent in use being very comfortable, well designed and adaptable for purpose.    A 24inch tripod is easily carried inside the centre of the bag in a cardboard tube, spare clothing in plastic bags go at the bottom, food packs and flask of tea next and then the photo gear in snap top plastic boxes ready for use near the top...it takes seconds to unclip the lid, pull tripod and unsnap box with main camera.....     The bag has alluminium frame, wide and adaptable shoulder belts and a very comfortable waist belt which keeps much of the weight on the hips.  There are side belts to compress the bag into manageable shape/size.   The plastic boxes are lined with foam in layers cut from a yoga mat.     The 'lid' pocket always contains a waterproof poncho (actually German mil kit!) which can be pulled in seconds during sudden wet squalls on the hills and covers everything including rucksack while walking.   there is a small back pocket in  which I keep a black plastic sack to place quickly on wet ground before putting down the bag.   The bag is in faded and sunbleached DPM pattern and very unobtrusive, nondesscript and non 'flashy'...never attracts any comment in villages or country inns etc.    In short; it works very well and is inexpensive and highly adaptable.

On two occaisions this rucksack has saved my gear from deluge and possible destruction...once when I slid for some distance down a hill path on slate chippings (Wales!)
« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 04:38:42 pm by viewfinder »
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NancyP

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #37 on: April 05, 2018, 05:49:13 pm »

You are right, shadowblade, about f-stop not keeping up with newer trends in hiking packs such as adjustable torso height, trampoline back panels, better designed suspensions and belts for women's bodies, better integration of pack with belt. Still, IF the f/stop packs fit you, they are logically arranged. I will point out one issue that many of the day-pack size hiking packs (20-35L) with ventilated "trampoline" style back panels may present. Many or most of these seem to have a bend in the interior pack volume to fit the pack better and bring the weight closer to the back for easier carrying and stability. Your rectangular large insert may or may not fit in the smaller "trampoline" back type packs. On the plus side, some people have been able to slip their pre-chilled water reservoir between the pack back fabric and the trampoline panel. (Not for me! I like to eyeball the fluid level and make sure that I meet hourly hydration target volumes. For this, drinking from a hand held bottle works better than sipping from reservoir tube.)
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MattBurt

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #38 on: April 06, 2018, 12:32:30 am »

I did a week long climb last summer and I just used my Osprey pack with my gear all in neoprene wraps and an insert inside it. To have a camera handy I added the Black Rapid strap that you can add to any pack. I had to downsize considerably from what I would normally shoot with or risk being too loaded down.
My system worked reasonably well but it wasn't perfect. For near home I have  Timbuk2 Snoop for MF and a Lowepro Flipside 250 for smaller gear that has a bad tripod carry design. It works for short distances but is pretty primitively designed compared to nice hiking packs. It would be terrible to go any distance with it and there is no room for non-camera stuff.

I'm always interested in these threads but skeptical The One is really out there and affordable.
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NancyP

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #39 on: April 06, 2018, 11:26:08 am »

F-stop does have a daisy chained and D-ringed tripod bag good for even the largest tripods. You figure out the rigging to your pack. I would really like to have a smaller and lighter bag for my small (19" folded) hiking tripod, maybe I will see if one of the custom hammock or ultralight pack makers will make a skinny stuff sack-like version with daisy chains - expensive, but cheaper than me buying a sewing machine to do it. Too complicated to attach daisy chains to existing stuff sack, much easier to do the daisy chain attachment before sewing the panels into a tube.
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