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by Jan Wegener on Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:53 am
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Jan Wegener
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Hi all,

I haven't bought a backpack in a while, but I definitely need one or two new ones and I was hoping you guys could point me in the right direction.

For my airtravel I use a LowePro Computrekker AWII. That just fits a 600 L IS II and a few smaller lenses and bodies.

However, I am looking for a solution for longish walks. Most of the time I just carry the camera attached on the tripod on my shoulders, but it's killing me. 
So I absolutely need a solution there. I would like to carry the 600 as fully assembled as possible, ideally with lens hood attached and maybe even the camera attached to it, too. I wanna be able to set up and shoot really fast, not fiddle with everything for minutes.
Are there backpacks that are that long and comfortable to carry?
That still leaves me carrying the tripod but it's still better than having the whole set up sit on my shoulders.

Secondly, what small backpacks are you guys using for just a small set up (5D, 100-400, flash and maybe one more lens)?

Thanks so much for your help!!
Jan
NEW Website and Blog: http://www.vogelfotografien.de
Birdphoto Agency http://www.birdimagency.com
 

by Swissblad on Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:23 pm
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Hi Jan
I'm very happy with the Lower Lens Trekker 600 (http://store.lowepro.com/lens-trekker-600-aw-iii), which allows you to carry lens mounted to a pro body - without extended lens hood though.....
For smaller gear I use the Lowepro Flipside 400.
HTH, S.
 

by Brian E. Small on Fri Feb 10, 2017 2:04 pm
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Jan,

This is what I've been using for years................not sure it's exactly what you want. But, for just carrying the body and lens along with a few accessories it's perfect:

https://www.thinktankphoto.com/products/glass-limo
 

by Mike in O on Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:19 pm
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I picked a R3 Rugged at B&H that is designed for the 600 for about $120.
 

by Richard B. on Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:32 pm
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Look at this maybe -

http://www.vertexphoto.com/biglensbag/

Carries a long telephoto with t/c and camera attached in a camera up position that is quick and easy to withdraw. High quality. Side pockets for accessories. Comfortable shoulder straps, but no waist belt. Weight will be on both shoulders. Also designed to be strapped upright to passenger seat of a car for quick retrieval.

Richard
 

by baldsparrow on Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:21 pm
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Richard B. wrote:
Look at this maybe -

http://www.vertexphoto.com/biglensbag/

Carries a long telephoto with t/c and camera attached in a camera up position that is quick and easy to withdraw. High quality. Side pockets for accessories. Comfortable shoulder straps, but no waist belt. Weight will be on both shoulders. Also designed to be strapped upright to passenger seat of a car for quick retrieval.

Richard


I have an earlier version of this (or if not exactly this it's very similar - mine was called a ScopePac when I bought it) without some of the apparent new features and have found it to be excellent for ease and speed of access. Put your camera or spotting scope head down in the bag with the tripod legs sticking up and away you go - simply reach over your shoulders and pull it up and out. On a down point, your bag of sandwiches gets squashed unless you are careful - keep one of the side pockets free   :)

Image
 

by Richard B. on Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:20 pm
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Interesting - tripod in the case. Careful walking through the bush!

The Vertex case is entirely taken up with the lens / camera assembly, including the hood in position. No room for tripod. Given all the straps and connecting points I'm pretty sure you could attach a collapsed tripod to the exterior. You could put a sandwich and a water bottle in the side pockets. I had them add one extra larger pocket to carry a second body so I had the crop body on the lens in the bag ready to go and a full frame body in the back pocket,

Richard
 

by Jan Wegener on Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:05 am
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thanks a lot guys!
I will look into these. What a jungle out there. if anything researching has made me more unsure what I actually want. lol
Jan
NEW Website and Blog: http://www.vogelfotografien.de
Birdphoto Agency http://www.birdimagency.com
 

by ChrisRoss on Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:03 am
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I've got the lowe 600 trekker older version can only hold the camera/lens with the hood reversed, anything that can do that or carry the lens with the hood right way round is too big for air travel. If you want that capability you need to check that bag (I stuff mine in a duffle) and use something else for carry on. I'm using a think tank streetwalker hard drive which holds my 500, might be a squeeze for a 600 though, you could look at a glass taxi by think tank or there is the gura gear line. The think tank stuff is well built and holds up better than the lowe gear in my experience.

The other option is a standard carry on size roller bag and fit it out yourself with foam to carry on your lens, then you look just like the everyone else looking for overhead space and don't attract the attention of anyone wanting to weigh your carry on. (it'll fail no matter what you have if there's a 600mm inside)
Chris Ross
Sydney
Australia
http://www.aus-natural.com   Instagram: @ausnaturalimages  Now offering Fine Art printing Services
 

by Stuart Clarke on Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:49 pm
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As someone that spent many years in the Outdoor gear industry i was always disappointed with the backpacks for camera gear and essentially a way of comfortably carrying a camera and tripod over my shoulder,   that I eventually designed my own using an Osprey Ski touring pack with a custom made aluminum frame made from old Leki hiking poles with shock absorbers so that when I slung my tripod over my shoulder it rested on a crossbar just above my shoulder that then transmitted the weight down to my hips.  It made a huge difference on long hikes.  Well today out a local shop looking for blind material I happened upon what may be the best pack design I have seen yet for slinging a camera over your shoulder. http://www.badlandspacks.com/gear/packs/ox-frame   It would have excellent load transfer down to your hips it does look like it has an adjustable crossbar to make it so the tripod sits just above your shoulder.  I have never carried this pack so no first hand experience but it looks better then anything else I have seen for aiding in carrying a camera on a tripod ready to shoot.   
 

by Gary Gulash on Sun Feb 26, 2017 6:14 pm
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Stuart Clarke, I looked at the ox-frame by Badlands that you linked to above. The frame looks sturdy and hi-tech but I can't see this working personally. Isn't the frame too narrow to support a tripod with head, camera and lens? It seems like a big investment and bunch of "stuff" just to provide a crossbar for resting the tripod on...again assuming this would even accomplish that. Maybe I am misunderstanding how this would work? I am also looking at a comfortable way of moving heavy gear around in the field. I have the LowePro long lens bag presently. It works as advertised but you still have to dig into a bag to get at the goodies.
 

by Stuart Clarke on Mon Feb 27, 2017 5:01 pm
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Gary Gulash wrote:
Stuart Clarke, I looked at the ox-frame by Badlands that you linked to above. The frame looks sturdy and hi-tech but I can't see this working personally. Isn't the frame too narrow to support a tripod with head, camera and lens? It seems like a big investment and bunch of "stuff" just to provide a crossbar for resting the tripod on...again assuming this would even accomplish that. Maybe I am misunderstanding how this would work? I am also looking at a comfortable way of moving heavy gear around in the field. I have the LowePro long lens bag presently. It works as advertised but you still have to dig into a bag to get at the goodies.


I think you are underestimating the cross bar, most camera bags are not very good at transmitting weight down to your hips, essentially everything hangs off your shoulders add to that a camera and lens on a tripod over your shoulder and after a number of years you will find like me and many other photographers, our shoulders don't work like they used too.  Having the camera supported by the crossbar transmits most of the weight down to your hips and load bearing muscles in your legs, it will make a huge difference over the course of a long hike. As I have said I have not tried the Ox frame and yes the width may be an issue.  I measured my setup and the inside of the "goal posts" is 14"  with room to spare with a gitzo 3 series.  I feel it would still be effective down to about 12-12 1/2"   One thing with the ox frame is you could strap in a camera bag to the back of it having a modular system depending on your needs for the day.   Here is a pic of my setup which I hiked close to 1000km with last year.  
Image


 
 

by Gary Gulash on Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:59 am
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Thanks Stuart for taking the time to respond. I definitely think you are actually onto something with the crossbar to "shoulder" the weight. I was mostly concerned about that width factor with the Ox frame. I may pull out my camera bag(s) and see if I can "McGyver" something up similar to what you have done first. I guess another factor is how high the whole tripod affair is sitting before it starts feeling unbalanced. Thanks again!
 

by Stuart Clarke on Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:39 pm
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Gary Gulash wrote:
Thanks Stuart for taking the time to respond. I definitely think you are actually onto something with the crossbar to "shoulder" the weight. I was mostly concerned about that width factor with the Ox frame. I may pull out my camera bag(s) and see if I can "McGyver" something up similar to what you have done first. I guess another factor is how high the whole tripod affair is sitting before it starts feeling unbalanced. Thanks again!


Yes I would definitely play around with your own design if possible.  The pack with the stiffest frame and hipbelt is best.  This being a ski touring pack has very tough side pockets which allowed me to put in wooden ends that the frame structure securely seats in.  The height is very important,  build it too long first so you can shorten as you go, I found 1-2"  above your shoulder is ideal for the best stability.  Mine is built from old hiking poles so has shock absorbers built into the uprights to lessen the pounding on the lens and tripod on rough trails.     Ideally you want the crossbar under the load lifter straps (the straps that pull the pack into the top of the shoulder harness)  at the top of your shoulder so when you cinch them down it pulls the hole frame snug.  My first attempt was all made from wood and worked great too, this one came about trying to lose a bit more weight and the shocks help too.  
 

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