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Author Topic: Photo Backpack Recommendaton  (Read 12128 times)

MattBurt

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #40 on: April 06, 2018, 05:36:09 pm »

I just looked at the latest LowePro bags and wow, they have a lot of choices now and some look pretty good. The newer Flipside looks a lot better than the old one I have. I don't like the center tripod carry system and would prefer a side carry.

The ProSport and Highline models look particularly good for how I like to shoot. Do any of you have experience with either of those?

Hard to resist those prices too. If the bags are any good, of course.
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hogloff

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #41 on: April 06, 2018, 07:08:08 pm »

I've given up on photography specific packs as they are too over designed for protection which adds significant weight to the empty pack, their harness systems are always an after thought and they don't come in enough configurations to properly fit different body styles. Not to mention they cost an arm and a leg.

I'd look at the Osprey packs like the Kamber series and get yourself an ICU from e-bay that fits nicely to hold your gear. I have been using Ospray packs for years and my back and shoulders thank me.

Previously I've used Lowepro, F-stop and other packs and they all collect dust now.
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sdwilsonsct

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #42 on: April 07, 2018, 04:26:30 pm »

...I just used my ... pack with my gear all in neoprene wraps...

This works for me, with a lowepro lens case on a hipbelt.

It's hard to take photo backpacks seriously when they don't list the volume of the non-camera compartments. Will the Whistler hold rain gear, fleece and lunch? Who knows.

Great thread, good suggestions.

shadowblade

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #43 on: April 08, 2018, 12:09:07 am »

I just looked at the latest LowePro bags and wow, they have a lot of choices now and some look pretty good. The newer Flipside looks a lot better than the old one I have. I don't like the center tripod carry system and would prefer a side carry.

The ProSport and Highline models look particularly good for how I like to shoot. Do any of you have experience with either of those?

Hard to resist those prices too. If the bags are any good, of course.

They only look decent if you only searched for 'camera backpacks' rather than 'backpacks which can fit a camera'.

As a general rule, Lowepro camera bags are overbuilt and overweight. They provide plenty of protection from minor bumps (probably too much, given that you will likely have clothing stuffed into the bag, as well as water bottles, hiking poles and tripods attached to the outside, all of which also provide protection from bumps) but scarcely any more protection from falls and heavy impacts (e.g. falling off a pack mule or out the back of a car) than lighter bags. And it's not the minor bumps which destroy your gear.

Lowepro harnesses are better than most dedicated camera bags (they also make outdoor gear, although their reputation there is so-so), but, by the standards of outdoor gear, their load transfer is poor. Unless you tighten the belt so much that it practically becomes a waist-bag, most of the weight will be on your shoulders.
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shadowblade

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #44 on: April 08, 2018, 12:25:43 am »

I've given up on photography specific packs as they are too over designed for protection which adds significant weight to the empty pack, their harness systems are always an after thought and they don't come in enough configurations to properly fit different body styles. Not to mention they cost an arm and a leg.

I'd look at the Osprey packs like the Kamber series and get yourself an ICU from e-bay that fits nicely to hold your gear. I have been using Ospray packs for years and my back and shoulders thank me.

Previously I've used Lowepro, F-stop and other packs and they all collect dust now.

The problem with these packs is access. Without a rear panel, you need to take the whole camera unit out of the bag in order to use it. This is time-consuming and cumbersome at the best of times, making it difficult to stop for a quick shot before moving on (by 'quick' I still mean using tripods, filters, etc. - not something you'd carry on a strap) and almost impossible to shoot in the city or other busy places. And, in many places, there simply isn't the space or the flat ground to take the camera unit out of the bag and put it on the ground.

Without going for a custom-made solution, what about an external frame pack? Just get the metal or composite frame, with harness and belt attached, then attach whatever bags you want to it. You can even attach normal camera bags (not backpacks) to it, as well as other bags or pouches for clothing, food, camping gear, etc. External frame packs are versatile like that. After all, if they can carry a deer carcass, they can handle a few cameras. Not much of a solution around town, though.
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armand

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #45 on: April 08, 2018, 05:41:04 am »

This works for me, with a lowepro lens case on a hipbelt.

It's hard to take photo backpacks seriously when they don't list the volume of the non-camera compartments. Will the Whistler hold rain gear, fleece and lunch? Who knows.

Great thread, good suggestions.

For whatever it's worth the Mindshift Professional that I have has the volumes and dimensions listed for each compartment: https://www.mindshiftgear.com/products/rotation180-professional

farbschlurf

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #46 on: April 08, 2018, 02:55:54 pm »

During my research I came across "Evoc"-Brand Backbacks. But there's little independent information available, and although it seems like it's a german brand I never saw such a backback in any shop. They claim (as all) they are capable and trekking grade. Prices are rather high, too. But, as I said, not really a lot can be found. Anyone ever heard of those?
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shadowblade

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #47 on: April 08, 2018, 03:37:50 pm »

During my research I came across "Evoc"-Brand Backbacks. But there's little independent information available, and although it seems like it's a german brand I never saw such a backback in any shop. They claim (as all) they are capable and trekking grade. Prices are rather high, too. But, as I said, not really a lot can be found. Anyone ever heard of those?

Pretty much every manufacturer makes similar claims. I've never seen one that actually stands up to hard use. Support-wise, many are little better than putting a pair of shoulder straps on a padded bag and wearing it like a backpack. F-stop backpacks come the closest by far. But, by the standards of actual hiking, climbing or military packs, they're pretty mediocre.

I would stop searching for 'camera backpacks' and, instead, start looking at normal backpacks in the right size range, with a view to how well they can camera gear, either as-is or with minimal modifications. You'll end up with a much better pack. If you need quick and easy access, it will be more difficult, but, if you're at the point of needing an all-in-one solution - good load distribution and support for carrying heavy weights all day (or for multiple days) as well as quick access to gear - you're probably looking at custom gear anyway.
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bikoutelis

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #48 on: April 08, 2018, 03:46:40 pm »

Hello all. I've been following this thread with great interest as I am looking for something similar.

As it seems like people think that the f-stop bags are average compared to other trekking backpacks, are there any suggestions for rear access backpacks that are considered better than the f-stop series in terms of comfort/load balancing etc?

Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk

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muntanela

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #49 on: April 09, 2018, 03:56:03 am »

My F-Stop Ajna arrived some days ago with a medium slope ICU. It is very well made, has a lot of interior space for non photographic gear and a very capable exterior pocket. I really like the possibility to access (all) photographic (and even non photographic) gear without putting the backpack on the ground. The padding of the shoulder and waist straps is really very poor. Particularly, the waist strap seems also poorly designed, offering little support, although in the field the sensations seem to be not that tragical (I could use it only during my short (two hours), rehab walks, but on a very steep and, for my physical conditions, hard enough path - max. heart rate 100 BPM, drugs slowed). If I had to give an advise, probably I would recommend to think about the Tilopa rather than the Ajna. (I hope to test the Ajna better in some walks in the Alps next summer, if I will survive until then ;D)
https://www.nikonclub.it/forum/uploads/ori/201804/25336549be322f7ac78f454b5595f5ff.jpg
https://www.nikonclub.it/forum/uploads/ori/201804/e21be816fcf11fc10c570314053fad97.jpg
https://www.nikonclub.it/forum/uploads/ori/201804/6d72ec5a1b8c0f66edc1d2eeb6c50f98.jpg


« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 04:05:00 am by muntanela »
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #50 on: April 09, 2018, 04:55:30 am »

This works for me, with a lowepro lens case on a hipbelt.

It's hard to take photo backpacks seriously when they don't list the volume of the non-camera compartments. Will the Whistler hold rain gear, fleece and lunch? Who knows.

Great thread, good suggestions.

I don't know all the websites, of course, but Lowepro gives a lot of data and information:

https://www.lowepro.com/whistler

IMO it is easy to gauge what their bags hold from their website.

NancyP

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #51 on: April 09, 2018, 02:30:35 pm »

One of the issues with rear-access backpacks is that it makes it difficult to impossible to add adjustable torso length or to implement some of the "trampoline" style ventilation panels. On the other hand, if the pack has a hefty belt, the rear-access backpacks allow one to shuck off the shoulder straps and swing the pack around to get at the pack without actually putting the pack on the ground.

Someone a few pages ago mentioned a rear-access mountaineering pack : https://us.mammut.com/p/2510-02222-3374/trion-pro/
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chez

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #52 on: April 09, 2018, 04:17:29 pm »

The problem with these packs is access. Without a rear panel, you need to take the whole camera unit out of the bag in order to use it. This is time-consuming and cumbersome at the best of times, making it difficult to stop for a quick shot before moving on (by 'quick' I still mean using tripods, filters, etc. - not something you'd carry on a strap) and almost impossible to shoot in the city or other busy places. And, in many places, there simply isn't the space or the flat ground to take the camera unit out of the bag and put it on the ground.

Without going for a custom-made solution, what about an external frame pack? Just get the metal or composite frame, with harness and belt attached, then attach whatever bags you want to it. You can even attach normal camera bags (not backpacks) to it, as well as other bags or pouches for clothing, food, camping gear, etc. External frame packs are versatile like that. After all, if they can carry a deer carcass, they can handle a few cameras. Not much of a solution around town, though.

The Osprey Kamber series is rear opening just like the F-stop packs and take an F-stop ICU if you like. Acc as to your gear is just as quick and easy as other photo specific packs. The Osprey packs are miles ahead when it comes to load distribution and ventilation. I took my F-stop bag to SEA one time and it was a disaster with the very poor ventilation and weight hanging off your shoulders.
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chez

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #53 on: April 09, 2018, 04:19:42 pm »

Hello all. I've been following this thread with great interest as I am looking for something similar.

As it seems like people think that the f-stop bags are average compared to other trekking backpacks, are there any suggestions for rear access backpacks that are considered better than the f-stop series in terms of comfort/load balancing etc?

Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk

Take a look at the Osprey Kamber series of packs.
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NancyP

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #54 on: April 09, 2018, 05:43:14 pm »

There's a women's version of the Kamber, called Kresta. XS = torso 13" -17" ; S/M 16" to 20"
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patjoja

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #55 on: April 11, 2018, 05:06:21 pm »

Don't want to hijack the thread, but: I'm also looking for a backpack and get slightly mad about that, slowly. Good to see some recommendations here. I find it especially hard to find a backpack that doubles as a (real) daypack and still offers some accessibility for the gear. Right now I even end up using a normal backpack for personal stuff and a additional shoulder back (I tend to change lens almost every shot ... my bad habit) but that pretty much the opposite of comfortable. I know there are those mindshifts with the rotational "belly-pack". I tried but at first experience I just don't get it using it ... do you get used to that?! Maybe a real user of those, here?

I am one of those that has a closet full of bags...I am so ashamed (head down...)  My wife looks at them and shakes her head.  There are even a couple of bags in there for her. 

Obviously there is no such thing as a perfect bag for everything, because there are just too many different situations.  Most of the time I will take two bags when I travel, one for all the extra gear I might need, and one with my main camera and a couple of lenses.  The main bag is an airline transportable roller bag, and the other one I generally use is a sling style shoulder bag.  I do like being able to swing it around to switch lenses or grab a fresh battery.  The problem with the one shoulder sling bags though is that one shoulder gets all the brunt of the weight and can really start to hurt after a while.

If I'm going to do some serious off road hiking or long term hauling, I like to use a regular backpack with foam pouches.  What I've found with most 'dedicated' camera backpacks is that they're just too darned heavy even without any gear in them.  Then add gear and the old back really starts to complain.  Regular backpacks are nice because they're actually designed to be carried heavy for long hauls.  It's all a matter of packing them.

Hope that helps, from a bag junkie. :-) 

Patrick
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Paul Wright

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #56 on: April 11, 2018, 08:42:43 pm »

Another strong vote for the ThinkTank Streetwalker Pro. There are not many bags I'm entirely comfortable wearing while I work with two bodies, one slung each side on Peak Design Slide Lite sling straps. It works because the bag is nice and narrow, and doesn't get in the way, and also has a remarkably light unpacked weight. My Streetwalker Pro is a bit like the Tardis. Carefully packed, it fits a 1DX, gripped 5D4, 70-200 f/2.8isII, 24-70 f/2.8II, 16-35 f/4is, two 600 EX-RT flashes, an external battery, a couple of filters & spare cards. That's tight but it works. Waterbottle, tiny rain umbrella and tripod/monopod go on the outside. 

-pw
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NancyP

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Re: Photo Backpack Recommendaton
« Reply #57 on: April 12, 2018, 12:00:39 pm »

I think pack choice also depends on shooting style and on goal. If my goal is to get to point X and set up a planned landscape photo, any comfortable pack will do as long as I have a way to attach tripod. If I am changing lenses all the time, a think-tank or other belt and lens bags will do, plus any light daypack for the water, food, jacket, and tripod, etc. I rather wish that more packs had Molle-type straps on the hip-belt, these are compatible with most of the velcro-plus-tab lens bags. In cold weather with minimal lens requirements (no superteles or lenses over 3 pounds) a vest will do nicely - there are photo vests, and then there are off-the-rack hunters' vests from Cabela's, Bass Pro, or other big box hunting store. If I am just walking around for a mile or two on easy terrain and stopping frequently to set up, more often than not I just use the default shabby Domke shoulder bag and the tripod in its OEM bag.

One other item: Cotton Carrier vest, for easy carriage and access of camera (or cameras, a second one can be attached to the hip belt). This CC vest works just fine under any backpack. Fine for camera with 400 f/5.6 lens or for 180 f/3.5 lens, with button attached to lens foot - allows use of both hands for hiking poles. Drape plastic bag or shower cap over camera/lens if it rains, or else wear an oversized raincoat and zip it with camera inside.

I confess - I am a tripo-holic and a bag/vest/belt/pack-oholic.
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