Modular sytems - anyone using them - thoughts, ideas, experience?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by WesternGuy, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. WesternGuy

    WesternGuy Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Messages:
    5,238
    Likes Received:
    1,196
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I am currently looking for a system to carry my equipment when I am hiking (short hikes) in local parks, bird sanctuaries, wildlife conservation areas, etc. in and around the city and neighbouring countryside - mountains, prairies, etc. I have looked at the Lowe system and the Think Tank system, both of which have modular components designed to hang on a waist belt/shoulder belt system. I want to get my camera off my neck - it gets a little cumbersome after a kilometre or so on a footpath and I am currently limited to a fanny pack that will accommodate two lenses, three if they are friendly. The fanny pack is a bit of a nuisance and you always have to be aware that you have something attached to you that sticks out behind ('nuff said [​IMG] )...so I am thinking that one of the new modular systems might fit the requirements, because carrying a pack on my back is also a nuisance as you have to stop, take the pack off, remember which part of the pack the lens is in...well you get the idea..not that efficient. Anyway, I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has used a modular system - pros/cons, and your experience with them - I am currently favouring the Think Tank system, but am still open to others - no commitment yet. Thanks in advance for any thoughts you would care to share.

    Cheers,

    WesternGuy


     
  2. cgipson1

    cgipson1 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    17,144
    Likes Received:
    4,355
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Haven't used the modulars, although I have looked at them also. I currently use a Lowepro Flipside 300. It is handy in that you can just drop the shoulder straps, swing the pack around on the waist belt, and it supports itself. You can open it and access / deposit gear without having to take it off. Works pretty well. The 300 is bare minimum though.. two large lenses with hoods, a body and a flash fill it up. There is a pocket up top for little stuff, and one on the side I put batteries and SD cards in. I also like that I can carry a body and lens on my Black Rapid shoulder strap, and it is still comfortable with the backpack.

    Post what you get, and how you like it... I am still considering something along those lines when I don't need as much gear. Be interesting to hear what you have to say!
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    24,740
    Likes Received:
    4,489
    Location:
    UK - England
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
  4. loopy

    loopy Brave little froggy...

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    Messages:
    389
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Southern Alberta , Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I don't use a modular system, but I also do a lot of hiking (also in Southern AB) and here is what I use:

    Clik Elite Obscura Backpack (Obscura | Clik Elite I took a chance ordering this from the US without trying it on. I'm glad I did - I love this bag. It's small enough for day trips but I have used it for backcountry camping trips and it was tight but I was able to fit my camping/photo gear (25lbs). There is a pouch near the bottom of the bag for easy access without taking the pack off. I feel this pouch might be too small for some of the large DSLR bodies, but I generally carry my body, a 18-55mm and/or a 55-300mm in this pouch. The pouch is fairly long so I like that I can keep an alternative lens in here for easy switching without taking my pack off.

    Eventually, I'd like to add this Chest Pack which is compatible with the Obscrua. Access | Clik Elite
     
  5. WesternGuy

    WesternGuy Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Messages:
    5,238
    Likes Received:
    1,196
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    You are right about the $$$, but when you consider that you can spend more than a few $$$ on a good pack system, I find they tend to be comparable, and for me it is one of convenience. I do have a couple of backpacks, but I find I am still carrying my camera around my neck as well as the pack on my back, so I am not gaining anything. With the modular system, I feel this would be good for "day trips" sort of things. I will have a look at the vests though and thanks for the link.

    Cheers,

    WesternGuy
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2011
  6. WesternGuy

    WesternGuy Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Messages:
    5,238
    Likes Received:
    1,196
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    As I have indicated, I am looking for something that will get the weight off my shoulders as I have a couple of backpacks and I find they fit the bill if I am trekking into an area to do specific photogrpahy - don't do too much of that anymore - but I still like to do daytrips/hikes with my wife to the parks and sanctuaries around the city and the Kananaskis (you know where that is for sure) and I find a pack is just too frustrating, because when I see something to photograph, I want to be able to get my hands on my equipment ASAP - I think it really boils down to a "personal thing" and what you feel comfortable with. Thanks for the reference though - looks like something I might have used many years ago in my misspent youth...;)

    Cheers,

    WesternGuy
     
  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    44,817
    Likes Received:
    17,033
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Do LEGO's count as modular systems??? lol

    I dunno...I have a backpack, two compartmented shoulder bags, a photo vest, a backpack, a messenger bag style slim shoulder bag, pouches, and two small Rockports...and two Wal-Mart fanny packs: don't laugh: the fanny packs came with two, 500 ML water bottles with mesh side pocket holders with elastic string retaining cords...those water bottle pouches both work GREAT for the 135/2, 180/2.8, or 70-300 VR lenses, etc, or smaller. It's almost a PERFECT fit for the 70-300 or other lenses with similar barrel diameters and overall lengths. That leaves the main compartment and the front pocket for holding a d-slr body with "smallish" lens attached...pretty convenient....also has a loop for lashing to other packs, hanging up,etc,etc. They also do not look like camera bags...

    ANother trick if you shoot Nikon is to tape or epoxy two rear lens caps back-to-back, using the interlocking lugs they come with...try it...those 50 or so interlocking "teeth" on each Nikon rear cap means that two wraps of strapping tape makes a bond that is damned near impossible to break! This allows you to carry TWO lenses in one compartment designed for a 'single lens', and also speeds up lens swaps as well as bringing out a second lens each time a "pair" is pulled out of the bag...then you can just drop the lens back into the back, and the "open", female end of the rear cap is right there, pointing upward, so that when the lens in use is dismounted, it is waiting right there, for you to just place into the open rear cap and quickly turn the removed lens and boom! the lens is stowed and capped in no time, no fumbling, no effing around looking for the cap...

    For me, the SMALLER the bag or pouch, the more-likely it is that it will get carried. The larger the carryingh device, the LESS-likely I will be to use it. THat to me is what the modular systems seem to offer...smaller options, not just the whole ball of wax every time.
     
  8. WesternGuy

    WesternGuy Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Messages:
    5,238
    Likes Received:
    1,196
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit


    LEGOs as modular systems - good one...:lol:. Your "pack around equipment" sounds a bit like what I have - 3 backpacks (LowePros of different vintage and variey - one with wheels), a fanny pack, a prehistoric "hand bag" and a Think Tank Urban Disguise 70 V2.0 plus various and sundrie shoulder bags for carrying longer lenses - you know the kind that come with those big Canon lenses - usually useless and I wish Canon would drop them - don't know anyone who uses them...but I digress...your thoughts on modular systems are similar to mine - small bags/pouches that can be carried only on an as needed basis - if I don't need the component - don't carry the pouch...

    Interesting trick with the Nikon rear lens caps - have to check my Canons...

    Cheers,

    WesternGuy
     

Share This Page