help to decide which lowepro pouches

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Gianni Rondinini, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. hi. i hope this won't be off topic.

    at the moment i always use my lowepro mini trekker or photo trekker to
    carry my cameras and lenses. depending on what i plan to shoot at, i
    take the smaller or the bigger one.

    sometimes, however, a backpack is very unconfortable because you need
    to switch between lenses often so i was thinking about buying some
    soft pouches to carry with a vest or similar. i saw lowepro has some
    vest/harnesses (i hope i'm using the right words) which have d-rings
    to attach pouches and other accessories and i planned to buy one of

    i understand that a small lens will fit in a big pouch and not the
    contrary, but larger pouches take more room and i'm afraid it won't be
    very comfortable to have 4 or 5 larghe pouches attached to you.
    this is why i'd like somebody to help me understand the smallest
    pouches that will fit my lenses, that i'm going to list here under.
    lowepro gives interior sizes for all their pouches, but i can't
    understand very well what will be the best for me, since, for example,
    3 different pouches are said to carry an 80-200/2.8.
    i'd like the pouch to host also the hood --reversed, in case-- because
    i very often use them.
    of course, i don't think about bringing all the lenses with me
    anytime, but understanding what i'd need to carry each of them can
    help me with deciding which pouches to buy to be have a setup as
    flexible as possible.

    if you have some time to loose to help me, here we go with the lenses.
    all the lenses are nikon, where not specified otherwise.
    af-s 17-35/2.8
    af-s 28-70/2.8
    af-s 70-200/2.8g vr (i'd be interested with or without a tc-20e ii 2x
    teleconverter attached)
    af-s 17-55/2.8g dx (the lens i use mainly on my d100 body, which i use
    mainly at work)
    af-d 20/2.8
    af-d 28/1.4
    af-d 50/1.4
    af-d 35/2
    af-d 85/1.4 (this should fit with the hood mounted, since the hood has
    got to be screwed on filter thread in front of the lens and it takes
    time to do it)
    85/2.8 pc micro
    af-d 105/2.8 micro
    sigma 120-300/2.8 hsm (in case, with 1.4x sigma teleconverter

    some of these came with their respective hard leather case, but
    they're not comfortable to travel with and they get scratched quite
    easily, then i don't want to take them with me.

    all the lenses have a uv filter mounted, then they are about 4mm
    (3/16") longer than usual.

    thank you very much in advance.

    Gianni Rondinini, Jan 26, 2006
    1. Advertisements

  2. Two (or three) quick suggestions:

    1) Lowepro offroad 1
    Hip/waist bag. I find it brilliant when I don't have much stuff (my
    default bag).
    Holds a body with lens + 2 lenses in side pouches.
    To give an idea: 200mm f/4.0 lenses fit in the pouches, or even two
    compact primes head-to-toe in each.

    2) Lowepro offroad 2
    I don't have it, but it is a bigger version of the "1", maybe better for
    your digicam & zooms.

    3) Lowepro Trim Trekker
    An excellent cross between a backpack and a shoulder bag. Does both jobs
    decently; not quite as easy to access as a good shoulder bag and not
    quite as comfortable as a good backpack, it is ideal IMHO when you need
    to walk a lot *and* shoot a lot (no need to put the backpack on the
    ground etc.
    About the size of a medium camera backpack. Bottom "drawer" holds a
    400mm tele.

    Buona fortuna!
    Chris Loffredo, Jan 26, 2006
    1. Advertisements

  3. You might be surprised, actually.

    I routinely use a belt-pack system, combined LowePro, Tamrac, and
    assorted odds & ends, and lug a pretty good amount of weight with it -
    about 25 lbs (12 kilos). Part of the trick is to distribute it evenly, so
    you're not putting more weight on one hip over the other, and the other
    trick is to allow your legs full forward motion, so smaller pouches in

    Using the Street & Field series, you can get a Camera Holster, for
    instance, and add lens pouches onto the side of that for anything from 15
    to 135mm. Put that on one hip, and two long lens pouches on the other,
    and you're pretty much balanced.

    I've gone with and without shoulder strap augmentation. It
    definitely helps for long hikes, but is typically unnecessary for shorter

    And yes, I hate backpacks - many of the places I shoot, I have no
    desire to set a pack down (and watch it wash away), and they're not
    exactly quick or subtle when a subject shows itself suddenly.

    The tripod goes straight down my back, hanging from two straps like
    a backpack. I use neoprene straps such as those made by Op/Tech, and they
    do wonders for comfort - seems to cut the weight literally in half. The
    only hazard is getting whacked in the back of the head by the top of the
    tripod if I jump across streams or down an embankment.

    LowePro interior dimensions are tight. If your lens is 3 inches in
    diameter and LowePro specifies 3 inches, it will be a very snug fit -
    often, snug enough to make getting the lens out a little difficult. I
    would definitely recommend going slightly larger than your lens
    dimensions. And make sure that you include the hood, if you keep it on
    the lens reversed, and tripod mount.

    It can also help to go a few inches longer for the smaller lenses,
    so you can drop them into the pouch with the hood still mounted for a
    quick change, and not have to fumble with dismounting the hood and
    capping the lens. It is also a good idea to have a pouch for every lens,
    even if you plan to leave one mounted on the camera within the bag. This
    lets you remove it from the body and drop it into a pouch, then uncap the
    next one and slap it on the body. Trying to remove the wanted lens from
    its pouch, take one off the camera, and put it into the recently vacated
    pouch while still holding the wanted lens, is asking for trouble (and
    there's times when I still do it, unfortunately).

    Good luck!

    - Al.
    Al Denelsbeck, Jan 27, 2006
  4. Gianni Rondinini

    That_Rich Guest

    Totally agree with your observations about backpacks although I still
    use one. Mainly for *aesthetic* reasons.... vests and belt packs are
    really high on the nerd scale :)

    That_Rich, Jan 27, 2006
  5. I was taken aback by this, until I realized you were talking about
    *faux* tographers. Different animal altogether.

    Not to mention I'm in a college town, so backpacks carry THAT
    connotation. Makes me itch just thinking about them...


    - Al.
    Al Denelsbeck, Jan 27, 2006
  6. cool :)
    12 kilos is quite a bit. if i'm not going to take the big sigma, 12kg
    is almost as much as i'm able to fit in my photo trekker. this year,
    in south west, i've spent 16 days with my wife hiking with a 15/16kg
    photo trekker on my back and i had more than the average that i carry
    with me when i go taking some photos.
    that's right.
    well, if you can carry about 25lbs with a belt-pack system i think i
    can go for it. my idea was to get a lowepro s&f vest harness to use
    together with a belt.
    "unfortunately" i'm quite thin (1.69m, 64kg trying to lower it to 61
    :), then i have to get a shorter belt, but idea remains the same.
    good. i'll keep this in mind.
    my idea was to get that both for higher comfort and for the higher
    load capacity. in case you need it...
    how much time does it take for you to... ehm... dress for a
    photographic hike? :)
    no, they're awful if we talk about speed. in south west i had my wife
    15 times a day to pass me the lens i wanted and to put the other one
    back in my backpack. she's going to be saint in 2 years ;)
    the nice thing with backpacks is that they carry a lot of things with
    high comfort, they protect well all the things you carry inside and
    that a backpack stands in the less intrusive position: your back.
    but when you go shooting and you need to change lens often, they suck
    i had the same impression when i started using a lowepro backpack
    instead of a normal non-photographic backpack.
    hehehe :)
    i'll be careful with this :)
    i own a manfrotto 322rc2 head, the one with the side handle, than i'll
    be even more careful since it's quite large.
    thanks, this is what i wanted to hear.
    i'll keep it in mind. indeed, even if it doesn't seem very large, the
    quicklock plate makes a big difference, just like the filter does.
    70-200 doesn't fit any more inside its nikon soft pouch with the
    quicklock plate attached and all the other lenses don't fit in their
    leather cases when the uv filter is attached.
    ok, i'll go for a pouch each lens. they're amazingly cheap in usa
    --just like *anything* photographic item, indeed-- but also here in
    europe you can get some for a decent price,
    i agree.

    thanks for your long post: i've learned a lot from this.

    should you come to italy, i owe you a beer or a "piadina col
    prosciutto" that is a sort of tortilla with ham made only in an area
    of 10 miles of radius from where i live :)


    [1] pardon le français, but i saw that quite a bit of american people
    use "suck" many times. i thought this was a sort of slang or something
    to use confidentially --at home, with friends and so on--, but not few
    people used this word with us even in "formal" conditions. did i
    understand well or i'm completely wrong?
    for example, when we arrived in our best western motel in moab and we
    said that for the fifth day our luggage hadn't made it to our previous
    motel [2], the girl at the reception said "oh, that really sucks. i
    hate when luggage doesn't make it" then i replied "yep, me too".

    [2] yes, our luggage took 6 days and a half to reach us in our motel.
    people at british airways + america west airlines messed up quite a
    lot the things. fortunately, we hardly get hungry when we're on
    holidays, that is once every 2 years. the funny thing was having
    rented an 8 seat ford expedition for 2 persons and having *nothing*
    but our photographic backpacks in the very back of the expedition and
    *nothing* else on it... it seemed me to drive an out of service bus :)
    Gianni Rondinini, Jan 27, 2006
  7. thanks for your suggestions. i'll check for them.

    Gianni Rondinini, Jan 27, 2006
  8. eheheh :)
    it depends: being an "extreme" setup, with which you show all that you
    have with you, it can be ultra-nerd or make you seem ultra-pro,
    depending on who whatches you :)

    here in italy belts are very uncommon, than perhaps you may be seen
    like a martian or a venusian or whereverelse-ian :)

    howdy howdy :)
    (what does exactly mean this cheer? i've been cheered this way in zion
    once this summer)
    Gianni Rondinini, Jan 27, 2006
  9. this is too subtle for me: would you explain it? :)
    i'm really curious :)
    eheheh :)
    i remember the time of my secondary school --in italy, it's when
    you're 14 to 19 years old-- and i had a massive 10 to 12 kilos
    backpack with tons of books we've never opened... :)

    Gianni Rondinini, Jan 27, 2006
  10. It is a reference to a previous thread, where I posted a story and a
    play on words and several people on the newsgroup turned it into a major,
    and quite amusing, thread.

    See for the whole sordid affair. And please
    note, I was wearing my beltpacks at the time! ;-)

    - Al.
    Al Denelsbeck, Jan 27, 2006
  11. Only seconds, really. Usually just clip on the belt, though
    sometimes the bags have slipped a little and some slight adjustments are
    needed - these may have to take place under the eyes of the companion
    with one shoulder bag, who frets and fidgets for the entire seven seconds
    this requires ;-)

    Using basic suspenders, I just clip the belt closed, then slide
    into the suspenders. I have just ordered the S&F harness attachment and
    I'll let you know how that works in a week or so, but I imagine largely
    the same.

    The additional shoulder straps give a slight advantage, in that
    when you're had the belt on for a while and your waist is hot and itchy
    (though the wide pads minimize this quite well), you can unclip the belt
    and simply let it hang from the shoulder straps while you adjust,
    scratch, air out a little, and so on.

    I have received comments on the overall appearance, but only from
    other photographers. The way I see it, I'm more directed by function than
    appearance, and since I'm asked semi-routinely if I'm a professional, I
    suppose the effect isn't too horrendous. As yet, no one has ever asked if
    I'm off my medication or anything ;-)

    You're absolutely right, actually - it's a crude slang term that
    refers to exactly what you think, but it's come into such common usage
    that it is now moderately acceptable. But then again, the States are kind
    of crude overall anyway ;-)

    Ouch! One of the hazards of airline travel, and unfortunately, for
    a decent trip you can't pack it all in carryon luggage. You did, of
    course, keep the camera equipment with you?


    - Al.
    Al Denelsbeck, Jan 27, 2006
  12. Very old, formerly western US slang, a shortened version of "How do
    you do?" (or "How are you?"). Used to be western, then migrated across the
    south, and still bears a rough relation to those areas. Often used
    satirically, though in your case it was probably serious.

    - Al.
    Al Denelsbeck, Jan 27, 2006
  13. Gianni Rondinini

    Bandicoot Guest

    In the same vein, look at the Orion Trekker as well. By using both the
    shoulder and waist straps I can sling (the bottom component of) this on my
    hip or out in front and find it very comfortable: better access than a
    backpack (which is still what I use for really large amounts of gear) and
    much easier on my back than a shoulder bag.

    Bandicoot, Jan 27, 2006
  14. I actually have one, but never got the hang of it. I'll give your method
    a try...

    Chris Loffredo, Jan 28, 2006
  15. Gianni Rondinini

    Father Kodak Guest

    There is a new company in northern California,
    They also make a belt-pouch system. I believe that they were started
    by former LowePro people.

    I have no experience with this system, so I'm not recommending it over
    any of the others. In fact, I'm thinking about a belt-pouch system
    and I would like to get other people's opinions on the various models.

    Father Kodak
    Father Kodak, Jan 29, 2006
  16. Gianni Rondinini

    Father Kodak Guest


    Are you saying that you could attach Tamrac pouches to the LowePro
    Street and Field belt? When I looked at both the Tamrac and the
    LowePro belt-pouch systems recent, the store clerk told me that
    LowePro had the larger selection of pouches, so I'm wondering if you
    prefer some of the tamrac to the LowePro pouches, yet still want to
    use the LowePro S&F system.

    Also, in case you missed my other post, what is your opinion of the
    belt-pouch system from ThinkTank Photo, ?
    Good points!
    How so?

    URL for op/tech?
    Do you think it's a good idea to use one longer pouch for say two
    shorter lenses?
    Father Kodak, Jan 29, 2006
  17. Gianni Rondinini

    Father Kodak Guest

    Rich and everyone else using a beltback system:

    I don't care so much about the "nerd factor,"although my wife won't
    like a beltpack. But my concerns about a beltpack are how easy/safe
    it is to use one, when you're not actually taking pictures. For

    1. How safe are you in an urban environment with a beltpack system?
    Are you just "begging" thieves to try to snatch one of the pouches?
    As compared with your typical backpack or shoulder bag?

    2. When you travel, either locally or by plane, how practical is it to
    transport all your gear if it's in pouches? When I travel by plane, I
    have all my gear in my shoulder bag and the whole thing goes through
    the xray machine in one lot (except for film, which I still use ...)

    3. How does your beltpack system affect you when you're walking down
    the aisle of a plane. Or on a subway train, or in the station, etc.
    Does it make things more difficult for you?

    I think you get the idea.

    Father Kodak
    Father Kodak, Jan 29, 2006
  18. Gianni Rondinini

    no_name Guest

    Father Kodak wrote:

    Nah, the lens you want is inevitably on the bottom so you gotta' fumble
    with both of 'em whenever you want it. By the time you get finished
    changing, you've lost the moment.
    no_name, Jan 29, 2006
  19. Gianni Rondinini

    That_Rich Guest

    Hi Padre,

    I use a backpack. Guess it could be confusing the way I wrote it (I'm
    good at that). When traveling with my family they think I look silly
    with a backpack filled with lenses ...etc. I'm sure they'd think the
    belt pack would be very nerdy. I agree with you and Al that the nerd
    factor doesn't really make a difference as belt packs and vests are
    certainly a better way to carry photographic gear.

    I remain,

    LowePro micro-trekker 200 user,

    That_Rich, Jan 29, 2006
  20. Actually, at the moment it's the reverse - LowePro pouches on a
    Tamrac belt, but in a few days my LowePro belt and harness should arrive,
    and I can see the differences.

    I just built up over the years, starting with a Tamrac zoom holster
    and a hardware-store toolbelt. I can say the padded belts are much nicer

    There's a little of everything. One bag is a Denali multi-section
    fanny pack I picked up at an outdoor store years back, now holding the
    digital camera (cheesy little Canon Pro 90 IS), another bag is a no-name
    thing I use for film, that I cut the bottom of the strap apart and added a
    snap to make it mount and dismount from the belt easier.

    And one recent acquisition, to carry a spare body, is a US military
    canteen pouch, being modified right now ;-)

    Overall, looks fairly similar to LowePro's S&F system, though it
    appears they might have gotten a little smarter with the long lens pouches.
    Comparing prices seems a little tricky right now.

    I found, in searching, that many long lens ppouches have to be strung
    along the belts, and are hard to add to the back of the belt without
    unstringing the other bags/pouches you have. I find I want the long lens
    pouches on the back of my hips, out of the way, and don't always want to
    take them along. Getting them on and off easy is a necessity, as far as I'm

    The belt alone is usually adequate for an hour or so, but beyond
    that, the weight makes it creep and bunch up with your trouser waistband a
    bit lower than you like it. The shoulder straps help keep it at a proper
    height, and allow you to leave the belt a tad looser if desired.

    I get nearly everything at B&H, and they can be found there, though
    in my case, I picked up the pair at closeout at Wolf Camera. I had been
    wanting to try them out for a while, but was reluctant to shell out $25
    each for something I wasn't sure would work. $6 apiece was fine ;-)

    Depends on how often you want to switch, and how tight you are on
    space with the other things you're carrying. If you have the space on the
    sides of other pouches (like a holster) or on a vest/harness, I'd go for
    that, since you'll want the one on the bottom and have to dig for it.

    Right now, my teleconverter and extension tubes are stacked, but I'm
    never in a hurry when I'm taking them out - almost always working from a
    tripod. It's a mild hassle, but ideal would be their own pouches.

    Also check the options on other bags carefully. LowePro likes making
    bags with multiple access, and even the holsters can be set up to have a
    lower compartment with separate openings, and that may work for you.

    - Al.
    Al Denelsbeck, Jan 30, 2006
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.