Bet you never heard this one before

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Dagwood56, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. Dagwood56

    Dagwood56 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I was wondering - is it possible to convert a regular backpack into a workable & safe camera bag?

    I would really like to have a backpack type camera bag. I posted awhile back that I wanted a bag with zippers as opposed to those hard to open [for me anyway] plastic clip fasteners. I'm on a very tight budget at the moment so spending even $50 on a camera bag when I already have a nice one, albeit its being a pain in the a** for me to open now, is out of the question.

    I have a nice light weight backpack that I bought a few years ago when I drove to Maryland for a day at a large farm fair there and I did stick my minolta maxxum camera in the bag, stuffing it down into a soft rain jacket I had taken along. But it was just the camera and lens nothing else.

    I have some ideas for padding, but not sure they would work. I googled it last evening and only found one site with rather tedious and cheapy methods\directions using corrugated cardboard and bubble wrap to make a sleeve for the camera and that was about it.

    I have an old camera bag stored in the garage, and I thought perhaps I could use it's padding to somehow line the backpack? My other thought was cloth covered styrafoam I have lots of it on hand [we have a parrot and he likes to shred it - keeps him quiet :lol:] But I'm wondering if that would be a bit too stiff.

    If anyone has any ideas I'd greatly appreciate them. Thanks.
     
  2. SrBiscuit

    SrBiscuit TPF Noob!

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    just a quick idea...
    you could line the inside of the bag with some thin foam, and then maybe line that with felt...then you could easily use the velcro "partitions" that are standard on photo bags. might be a good project.
     
  3. TheSon

    TheSon TPF Noob!

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    Here's someone who's done a writeup (it's pretty bad though, but it's a start):

    Tech ARP - DIY Camera Backpack Guide Rev. 2.0

    Hope that helps. Let us know how the process is going and if you're successful, make a better writeup for us. :D
     
  4. LarryD

    LarryD TPF Noob!

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    You can buy some 4 inch thick foam padding (craft shops) and cut to the shape of the bottom of the bag, and then cut out the shapes of the camera and extra gear to fit in. If you are really on a low budget, find an old foam pillow or sofa cushion and cut that up...
     
  5. Dagwood56

    Dagwood56 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yeah, this is the place i found last night. It is pretty bad.:lol:
     
  6. Dagwood56

    Dagwood56 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks for the input. I sort of thought foam might be better than stiff styrofoam and I should be able to cover the foam with some fabric I have to prevent the foam from breaking up with time & use. And velcro strips are really cheap and I already have the dividers from the other bags....this is beginning to sound more doable all the time. I think it will make a nice project.

    SrBiscuit - thanks fror your input as well.

    I'll keep you posted on how it turns out - or doesn't :lol:
     
  7. TheSon

    TheSon TPF Noob!

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    Don't forget about the duct tape. It's required in all DIY projects. :lol:

    Stiff foam may work, but you need a structure lined outside to keep the bags sturdiness (so it can't be crushed). Make sure you line the bag with waterproof material first. That'll come in handy down the road.

    Maybe try using a $3 fleece blanked from target to cut up and wrap around the foam. Or cut up an old parachute jacket and use that material.

    This definitely sounds doable and creative... Keep us updated...
     
  8. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Rather than converting your backpack, have you though of converting your camera bag? You may be able to cut off the clips and replace them with Velcro. Just a thought.

    -Pete
     
  9. Dagwood56

    Dagwood56 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That was actually my first idea, but then I realized that there is velcro under the flap behind the strips of webbing with the clips and believe me - it doesn't hold securely when the bag is loaded. :er: Proud to say I was smart enough to hold the bag over the soft bed when I picked it up to try it so nothing would get broken.:D
     
  10. Dagwood56

    Dagwood56 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Oh - Duct tape is my best friend!:lol: I use it for everything, including removing cactus needles from my fingers!

    This particular back pack is already waterproofed so I don't need to worry about that, and I do have an old Sony cam corder nylon jacket that I never wore that would make a good lining.

    I just tried what I thought would be an easy way to do this: I took an old camera bag that was stored in the garage [hope my husband doens't decide to use it again:lol:] and I cut the end pockets off, took the cardboard, stiff foam, and soft foam from inside its flap after I removed it from the bag and I put that into the bottom of the back pack. I then cut off all the old bag's straps and I pushed the bag inside the back pack..... it fit nice and snug in the bottom, but it just seems a bit junky for a 4 month old DSLR. Maybe I can rework it somehow, if not its back to the drawing board with some of the suggestions posted here.

    Thanks
     
  11. mrodgers

    mrodgers No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    EPS (Expanded Polystyrene, or Styrofoam ®) wouldn't work well as it is way too brittle. You want some EPP (Expanded polypropolene) or EPE (polyethylene). A shame that I don't currently have any or I'd tell ya to come visit me over here in Butler PA. I make molded EPP/EPE foam sheet and block. What I have would be way to heavy and dense than you would want.
     
  12. Dagwood56

    Dagwood56 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    :D well its the thought that counts, right? I'm going to guess that the EPE sheets you make are probably a larger scale version of the "stiff foam" I found inside the lid of the old bag I cut apart - it almost has the feel of plastic, yet not. So you're in Butler. I'm in Fleetwood. :D
     

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