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How to carry the gear in this situation ...
Old 04-15-2015   #1
Matus
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Question How to carry the gear in this situation ...

Hi,

I have recently got myself Olympus E-M5II with 12-40/2.8 and 40-150/2.8. I am planning to carry it together with Rolleiflex 2.8E on our trip to Norway.

Currently I have only a messenger-style bag which can fit the digital stuff or the TLR with the camera and the smaller zoom. But since the bag is not padded, it fold flat and not always easy to get get out or in.

For the TLR I have recently got a Think Tank Skin 50 pouch that can be attached to a waist belt (or shoulder strap of a larger bag - that works too) - so the TLR would not have to necessarily fit inside the new bag I am looking for here.

So I am looking for a new bag, but there is one more problem. At least part of the time I will either carry a medium sized backpack or our 1.5 year old daughter (in some sort of child carrier backpack). So simply getting a new shoulder bag for the camera stuff may not always work well.

I am quite at a loss what would be the best solution here - I would really appreciate your input and ideas.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-17-2015   #2
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Seems that I am not alone having hard time to find a reasonable solution.
Currently I am thinking of getting medium sized shoulder bag and separate lens pouch (maybe from thinktank) for the 40-150. The bag would have to allow to attach the pouch externally on the side as well as the thinktank Skin 50 V2.0 pouch with Rolleiflex on the other side. When carrying a backpack I could than attach those 2 pouches directly to the harness of trhe backpack and carry the (relatively small and light) shoulder bag normally. How usable or comfortable such a solution would be is something I do not know yet.
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Old 04-17-2015   #3
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A couple things come to mind based on my experiences with various methods of packing my cameras traveling:

1) Consider buying a padded insert or two. I have several, but have gotten the most use out of a Timbuk2 Snoop Messenger insert and the Crumpler Haven. This allows more flexibility since you can move the insert between backpack and messenger bag, or even pack your camera gear into a suitcase while in transit. It also lets me pick the best bag for a trip, even if it's not specifically a camera bag.

2) You might look into camera clips that let you carry your camera on a bag strap. I use the Peak Design Capture clip but also have a Cotton Carrier as well that I received as a gift. The Capture clip works really well with something like the Olympus + 12-40mm lens. You can mount it to the backpack or child carrier shoulder strap. Frees up your hands, no camera swinging around on a strap, and you don't need to access your bag to shoot. When I hike I carry my camera on the clip and usually have an extra lens in the bag. Perhaps you can use something like that to keep a camera handy but out of the way until you need it, and carry your TLR and spare lens in an insert or camera bag.

Last note: might be worth bringing a small pancake lens like the 20mm f/1.7 with the E-M5II, in case you just don't feel like carrying all that around some of the time while you're out.
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Old 04-17-2015   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matus View Post
...At least part of the time I will either carry a medium sized backpack or our 1.5 year old daughter (in some sort of child carrier backpack). So simply getting a new shoulder bag for the camera stuff may not always work well. ...
I don't think it is possible to find a shoulder bag that will work well in combination with any form of backpack. Personally, I would look into some type of large waist bag that could be worn in front when wearing either the backpack or the child carrier.

You may find one that can switch between being a waist bag and a shoulder bag. I'm not familiar with current offerings, but I have two older bags (no longer made) that have worked well for several decades. One good for a body and 2-3 lenses and the other is rather large but is capable of holding my old Nikon kit (F, F3, 20, 35 1.4, 55, 105 macro, 300 4.5) or my old 4x5 field camera kit (wooden camera, 2 lenses, film holder, meters,...). Those old film kits are long gone and the larger bag is now for storage, but the smaller one is in regular use. It now houses a Pany G-1, 14-45, adapted 50mm Takumar, and accessories that include an 8" Windows 8.1 tablet when traveling.
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Old 04-18-2015   #5
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Thank you. Padded insert is a good idea - could even work with my current bag (Courierware messenger). The camera clips look interesting and it could indeed be a solution to get my hands free quickly (like if I have to run after out 1.5 year old daughter ).

Getting a smaller lens is on the plan too, but after I have spend quite some money for the setup I need to spare some cash for the travel

I am thinking getting one of the Retrospective bags - maybe a smaller one that I can reasonably well with some other stuff on my back and some Lens Changer (think tank) pouch for the big zoom lens which I could then either attach to the bag or to the waist strap on the backpack.

The bag I really want is the Wotancraft Ryker, but it does not quite seem to be the solution for this situation ... unfortunately.
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Old 04-20-2015   #6
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My solution, when I had to do that was a bit of bubble wrap. Buying fancy stuff at high prices to use once is a waste of money that should be spent on food, film and ............ (supply the missing word).

Nowadays, I either go on trips to take photographs or on holiday to relax and enjoy life. I don't think you can do both at the same time. So when I am on holiday I take a good P&S and another P&S as back up.

Regards, David
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Old 04-20-2015   #7
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Taking a walk yesterday I realized that what I need is to be able to take the camera out of the bag and pout it back quickly - having the camera dangling from my neck is not practical. So I have just orderd 3 ThinkTank bags (Retrospective 10, City Walker 20, Urban Approach 10) and will compare them at home and hopefully one of the will work for me. I would not go though this hassle for me (and, after all, for Amazon too) if there was a decent photo shop in our area.

I have also realized that to carry a TLR and E-M5II with 2 large zoom lenses (well only the 40-150 is really large and heavy) at the same time is not an ideal solution irrespective from how do I carry them so I will probably be swapping the TLR and the tele-zoom lens which will allow from smaller and lighter bag at the same time and only carry both when it will be reasonably feasible.
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Old 04-20-2015   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Hughes View Post
My solution, when I had to do that was a bit of bubble wrap. Buying fancy stuff at high prices to use once is a waste of money that should be spent on food, film and ............ (supply the missing word).

Nowadays, I either go on trips to take photographs or on holiday to relax and enjoy life. I don't think you can do both at the same time. So when I am on holiday I take a good P&S and another P&S as back up.

Regards, David
I'm at the same place in regards to travel. On holiday with the wife I take a mirrorless camera with zoom and/or a small P&S digital for backup. That way I don't drive her completely crazy My photos don't seem to suffer due to a lack of gear.

The camera bag with lenses stays home unless I'm on a photo vacation.
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Old 04-20-2015   #9
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You make good points about the holiday and photo trip. But in the past we (it was just two of us back then) traveled New Zealand and my wife actually accepted me carrying around 4x5" camera (which I admit was not the best idea and I would stay with "just" medium format for the future) and since our trips will not be too long or hard (because of our little daughter), some decent photography should be possible ... or so I hope.

I will post once I will get my hands on those 3 bags mentioned. Funny thing is - the bag I really want since a long time is the Wotancraft Ryker (very expensive, leather, not too large), but it would not fit this kind of travel at all ...
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Old 04-20-2015   #10
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Not sure if you saw this one before. But it looks like a practical solution for your situation. It can be carried in the front as a chest / waist pack and allows attaching the Skin 50 on the side.

http://www.thinktankphoto.com/products/changeupv2.aspx
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Old 04-20-2015   #11
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That is an interesting option indeed. I will have a closer look. Thanks.
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Old 04-21-2015   #12
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Pick one and enjoy the trip. Do not be a pack rat.
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Old 04-21-2015   #13
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Pick one and enjoy the trip. Do not be a pack rat.
It really hurts when you put it in such straight forward manner ...

I do hope to pick one. But I am not such a pack rat after all - the last bag I bought was the Courierware messenger some 4 or 5 years ago and even sold one small Crumpler backpack and shoulder bag in the mean time. That is also why I am so picky - I would like to keep the bag for years to come.
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Old 04-21-2015   #14
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I have a Billingham Hadley Pro will fit a Rolleiflex in the middle, with a smaller body (usually an M4 or Fuji XP1) +lenses in the outer divisions of the main compartment. My Domke F2 does this more easily, but it isn't as slim as the Billingham. ThinkTank's larger bags in the Retrospective series will also do the same thing.
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Old 04-22-2015   #15
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So - the 3 bags arrived - here are my impressions:

The gear to fit in:
- Rolleiflex 2.8E
- Olympus E-M5 II
- 12-40/.8
- 40-150/2.8

Urban Approach 10:
- very lightweight and the smallest of the bunch
- Able to fit all the gear with no extra room other than the front pocket
- bit too "weak" for a gear this heavy, but would make a great bag with lighter stuff
- relatively thin dividers (save space), but IMO safe enough

Retrospective 10:
- the heaviest and most bulky of the bunch
- with 15cm the deepest of the bunch and would be suitable also for larger DSLR bodies
- very well done
- with the setup as above the internal compression pocket can not be used anymore
- IMO very nice outer and inner materials
- With the velcro silencers in place there is nothing left that keeps the gear inside - no additional flap, or buckle on the main flap.

City Walker
- surprisingly lightweight for the size
- has removable insert that would take about as much geat as the Retrospective, just not quite as deep
- the photo insert does not occupy the whole interior and since it is attached with a velcro it does not slide around. I find that very practical.
- could also carry a 1 liter bottle INSIDE the bag
- has 2 stretch pockets that each could hold a bottle (say 0.5 - 0.75 liter) water
- dividers like Urban Approach bag

All the 3 bags share very similar shoulder pads that are really nice. Similar are also the front pockets - I would wish these could be closed with a zipper. All 3 can carry the gear and even store the 40-150 mounted on the camera in vertical position. None of these 3 bags have any additional cover for the interior other than the flap and depending on what you carry inside it could be relatively easy for rain water to enter the bag without the rain cover (which takes some of the space in the front pocket when not in use). To have an additional zipper flap on the top (which could be tucked away when not in use) would be welcome IMO.

But I have decided to do it the 'snobby' way - send all these 3 back and get the Wotancraft Avenger. I really like the style, size, zippered pockets and all those clever little features (I really appreciate when thought is given to details). It is expensive (very, to be exact), but I can see myself using it for many years so I decided to take a plunge. I will be ordering it soon (have some questions to ask the seller first)

****

Oh, and one little funny story - as I unpacked the Retrospective bag - I found inside a filter pouch with 5 (!) multicoated Hoya pol filters in sizes from 52 to 77. Somebody must have sent the bag back before me and forget them inside. I hope Amazon (I have already contacted them) will be able to get them back to their owner as the total value must be around 200 - 300
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Old 04-30-2015   #16
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The Wotancraft Averger just arrived - really nice. Obviously very different from most bags, but that is, after all, part of the reason I ordered it. The canvas feels very nice and the leather even nicer. I am obviously going to need some time to set it up and get it out in the field, but I think it is going to work for the purpose intended well. I'll come back with more impressions later
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Old 04-30-2015   #17
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For recent vacation travels, I've been using a Timbuktu unpadded messenger bag (advantage: comfortable to carry and doesn't look like a camera bag), along with one or two LowePro padded pouches (the kind you could wear on a waist belt) which I use as inserts in the messenger bag. One of the LowePro pouches is big enough to carry a TLR; the other is just big enough to fit a barnack Leica. I incorporate (or not) one or both of the pouches depending on what I'm carrying that day, and it leaves room for other stuff in the messenger bag. YMMV.
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Old 04-30-2015   #18
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Quote:
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The Wotancraft Averger just arrived - really nice. Obviously very different from most bags, but that is, after all, part of the reason I ordered it. The canvas feels very nice and the leather even nicer. I am obviously going to need some time to set it up and get it out in the field, but I think it is going to work for the purpose intended well. I'll come back with more impressions later
A little fishy, but for something completely different (at 1/20 the cost), try a chest / waist pack:

http://www.cabelas.com/product/CABEL...ST/1729404.uts
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Old 05-01-2015   #19
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Now you start posting cheap bags I did have a look at some waist-packs, but somehow did not decide to go that route.

I will surely also use the bag without the insert with just a camera (either the OM-D or the Rolleiflex) in its own pouch (or case) - I will just need to find out how to keep the pouch from moving around inside the bag.

I played a bit with the bag (not much - have to prepare our apartment for visitors) - it can indeed with the OMD, 12-40, 40-150 and a Rolleiflex comfortably (but also with no more room left inside the insert).
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Old 05-01-2015   #20
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Domke made camera/lens wraps some years back that might work better than dividers.

I'd forget the long zoom as I bet you will Use it for no more than 1% of the pictures. I found changing lenses and carrying kids does not mix well. For me my focus became have fun with my sons then photography. Though there were shots I just had to get (progress seems to be important to some partners when kids are envolved, stoping for a frame or two.....)

I ended up forgetting my RFs and going with a Ricoh GR for several years. As the kids got older the RFs came on trips again.

B2 (;->

Another thing I just thought of, you illuded to it by way of saying cameras dangling around the neck didn't work too well. Get very good quality wrist straps (e.g. Gordy Strap) for each camera. I found that long stamps don't work as well with cameras and kids.
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Old 05-01-2015   #21
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Before I bought the long zoom I though really hard about out (rather large, heavy, but optically perfect) — and on our trip to Denmark I used it for about 50% of the photos (and even more when visiting Zoo in Leipzig). But indeed - it will not be joining us every day.

Yes - I already have one of Gordy's wrist straps - it is really nice (but took quite some time to 'wear-in' as it was rather hard and stiff). The Rolleiflex has a nice cloth neck strap (with proper clips - from Fotodioxpro.com) - I am not sure whether it would be comfortable to use Rolleiflex with a wrist strap - it would probably have to be longer.

I will have a look at the Domke wraps, but my experience was that wraps (or lens pouches - I used those with Mamiya 6 lenses when traveling) are bit too slow to put the camera in or out.
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