Camera bag/backpack suggestion

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by molested_cow, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. molested_cow

    molested_cow No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm looking to get the ideal camera and travel bag/backpack but I don't really know much about what's out there. I've looked at what Kata offers. I wish I can see them in person, but didn't find what I want on their website.

    Basically, the bag has to do a few things. I have 4 lens. 3 small ones(eg. 50mm prime and one 70~300mm zoom). I use a traditional SLR so I don't have to carry battery packs or electronic accessories. However, I need space for my 35mm negatives.

    Right now, I have a single-sling shoulder bag which allows me to swing the bag to the front and change lens swiftly, which I do a lot while traveling on foot. The bad thing is, the weight is bad for my shoulder and tires me quickly on hikes. Right now, there's no space for other things like water. I also have to carry my tripod separately.

    I also would want to take other stuffs with me on flights, like laptop equipments. So it will be ideal if the bag has laptop compartments as well, or the space to store them.

    So in summary, my idea bag stores both camera and laptop, allows me to access lens compartments easily(and safely!).

    I love the new Kata bag that changes from backpack to single-sling, but it doesn't take anything else other than the camera gears. Other bags they offer take both laptop and camera, but doesn't seem to accommodate for multiple lens. Again, I have to see it in person to know. Some of them are also really expensive.

    So if you know of any bag that I should consider, or if you have good experience with yours, please share! Really appreciate your suggestions, thanks!
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I have a Lowepro Computrekker AW, which sounds like it would meet your needs.

    I have several Lowepro bags and I highly recommend them. The Computrekker is a backpack with a laptop sleeve, extra storage space in the front/lid and a tripod carrier. The camera gear compartment is a good size and would probably hold your gear. It doesn't have a dedicated film storage area, like some older bags but I'm sure you could get around that. Being an 'AW' series bag, it has an all weather rain cover built into it...which is great. The front storage area is good for small travel items; pens, wallet/money etc...but it's just big enough to hold a light jacket, a bottle of water or a lunch etc.
    The straps are pretty good and they include a chest clasp and a waist belt...although the waist straps are not padded.

    It's not perfect though, there are some things that I don't like. For example, the way this bag opens, you basically have to lay it down and open the full top flap. This makes it very hard to do while standing. If you don't have a clean place to sit down or lay the bag down, you may have to get the straps dirty...which isn't ideal. A backpack obviously won't be as fast or easy to access as your sling style bag. Also, this particular backpack is fairly bulky and it sits pretty far off of your back...a good backpack should keep it's weight close to your center of gravity. This also makes it harder to navigate in busy places or tight spaces.
     
  3. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I recently bought a Lowepro Fastpack 350. It has two straps, but you can take off one strap and sling it sideways to get your camera out while standing.. Like the older slingbags. I had more to say about it here:
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/1566381-post15.html

    I finally put it to use this past weekend while photographing a car show. It worked out pretty good.
     
  4. molested_cow

    molested_cow No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    These are very useful information. Thanks guys! I will definitely check out the Fastpack 350. It'd be great if I can find one in a local store to see it for myself.

    One question, what's the difference between the 350 vs 250? Also, how safe(secured) is it to access the gears, such as changing lens, while standing?

    Thanks again. The more info the better!
     
  5. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I wanted a backpack I can carry stuff, it also holds everything I have... Tamrac Expedition 5x

    Every bag has pros and cons, they cant make everyone happy. You need to find out what you want, and what you can live without. For instance, on my backpack, I cant take out my camera while my backpack is still on me. I have to remove it first. Some bags you cna remove your camera while still wearing it, but its probably not as large, and probably is a shoulder bag or some sort... I wanted two straps over my shoulders like a standard backpack...
     
  6. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    LOL thats good...
     
  7. nickisonfire

    nickisonfire TPF Noob!

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    i have a lowepro fastpack 200 myself, it fits my camera with a lens attached, 3 other lenses and a flash, it also has a nice storage section for personal items
     
  8. molested_cow

    molested_cow No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I see that most backpacks that support quick access have the lens facing the front of the bag, not the side. When trying to change lens while standing, that means the lens pockets will be facing away from me. So how convenient are these side-accessible backpacks for lens changes?
     
  9. nickisonfire

    nickisonfire TPF Noob!

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    i find it okay for a lens change, although it depends how you configure the inside of your bag, as it is customizable. when i want to change the lens i just let my camera hang from my neck grab a lens quick by pulling the velcro apart which exposes a lens, then unscrew the rear cap, take off the existing lens, and then just swap them..


    that probably sounds really awkward, but it's not. i sware. haha it's just hard to explain..
     

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