What do you use for a case - for the camera & for equipment??

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Ken, Nov 18, 2003.

  1. Ken

    Bandicoot Guest

    This is true, but if you really do need all the gear, a backpack is usually
    the most ergonomic way to carry it. I can't imagine carrying a fast 500,
    600, or 800mm other than in a backpack for any distance, though my 600 f4
    usually lives in its trunk and travels in the car.

    I keep a couple of backpacks with layouts that I am very familiar with and a
    _fairly_ constant set of contents, which lets me work fast when I am chasing
    the light.

    Still, if it is possible to travel light, then it is nice to dispense with
    the inconvenience of a backpack .
    I like the Op-tech ones a lot too. I use different coloured Op-tech Pro
    Straps to distinguish between multiple bodies so If I have all three LXs
    with me I know that the one with the green strap has Velvia, the red strap
    is E100VS and the grey strap is B&W - for example. Much faster than looking
    for the film reminder.

    I also have extra strap ends attached to the strap fittings on big lenses:
    that way when I fit one I can just unclip the strap from the camera and
    attach it straight to the lens without having any 'spare' straps dangling
    about. And, of course, I can just unclip them altogether when they aren't

    Apart from one of my MXs, I think I have these straps for all my 35mm SLR
    bodies, as well as the X-Pan and three MF SLR bodies. Oh, and a couple of
    pairs of binoculars and a light meter....

    Depends so much on what gear I am taking and how I am travelling. Long
    walks point to back-packs, car journeys to suitcase types.

    I used Billingham for years, but now, though I still like my old Billingham
    bags - they feel lived in, and are old friends - the LowePro backpacks and
    waistpacks see more use: easier on my back. Medium format usually travels
    in Halliburton cases, but for short field trips sometimes goes into a
    Billingham, and for longer walks one of my backpacks. Lighting gear goes in
    Lightware cases, mostly.

    The other reason I like LowePro is that it works well as a 'system' - I can
    make it very flexible by attaching lens cases etc. to the outside of packs
    so one bag can do several different jobs.

    Last February I did a two week trip to Arizona & Utah and took most of the
    gear for the trip in a LowePro Photo-Trekker backpack. With nothing hanging
    on the outside I got to take it as carry on, and on arrival I attached
    tripod and trekking pole to the outside, along with a small detacheable bag
    that holds the X-Pan system. This pack was absolutely full and extremely
    heavy, but despite my lousy health these days I had no problems walking some
    pretty steep trails.

    Bandicoot, Nov 21, 2003
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  2. I've gotten into using one on walkabout. Weight distribution is superb, and
    accessiblity is more than adequate if one stows things with some


    Bill Tallman
    William D. Tallman, Nov 22, 2003
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  3. Ken

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Quite a bit longer telephoto than I have any use, though I have used a 300 mm
    in the past. My 180 mm is the largest I carry, and even that one does not take
    up too much room in a bag.
    I wish I was that organized. Unfortunately, I am not tied to one particular
    operating mode, or subject matter, and the needs of whomever hires me dictates
    the contents of my bags.
    Nice idea. I would like to get more of these OpTec Straps. Only two so far. One
    is grey to go with a "chrome" body SLR, and the other is all black to go with a
    black SLR. Both are set for different lengths. I am replacing my other neck
    straps as they wear, or break, with this style of OpTec strap.
    With that big glass, it seems like you would need that. One reason I stop at
    300 mm, is that is the longest I feel comfortable using hand held. Another
    reason is the cost, since even a rental lenses longer than 300 mm costs more .
    .. . and definitely do not want to damage one.
    The array of extra side cases for LowePro is extensive. Several different lines
    of choices work with many bags across the system. The other thing I like is
    that they do not necessarily scream out "camera bag", so they are a bit more
    discreet than some other brands.
    If the carry straps are made well, then the bag becomes less trouble to carry.
    I added a wide waist strap to my Nova 4, and it keeps it very stable. This
    makes it easy to work out of it, when I need to walk with my gear. Luckily,
    most of my work involves just getting the gear to a location, so I don't need
    to walk with lots of gear very often.

    When I am working on ideas, fine art, or portfolio items, I often go minimal
    gear, and rarely more than two cameras. In those situations, a waist pack, or
    my old Jansen backpack with an extra shirt in it for cushioning, are more than


    Gordon Moat
    Alliance Graphique Studio
    Gordon Moat, Nov 24, 2003
  4. Ken

    Bandicoot Guest

    Unless I am really travelling light a 200 f2.8 usually goes with me. The
    'full' kit will add a 300, but it will be an f4 or f4.5 - a 300 f2.8 really
    only comes with me for animals (that leopard shot I gave John Riegle a copy
    of recently was done with a 2.8 wide open.)

    The 600 is the same: it only comes with me if I _know_ I'm going to have a
    need for it. That said, it is surprising how many landscapes I've used it
    for. There have even been a few flower pictures done with it - one of which
    is on my website, can you tell which one? ;-)
    Note the "fairly"! The one most often used has a set place for three LX
    bodies, meter, flash, a Kirk right angle bracket, a load of Singh Ray
    filters, holders and adapter rings, and such bits as magnifying finders.
    Other pockets have reflectors, repair tools, filter pouches for screw in
    types (polarisers, warm ups, and maybe a few others) and film. The thing
    that sees most change is the lens selection. The 200 and 300 always go in
    the same place, and there is a space that is laid out to take a 15mm and a
    28mm shift lens one above the other, though they don't always go with me.
    The other spaces are all sized to take almost any lens - one long lens, or
    two or three smaller ones stacked. What makes this work is that whatever
    I'm taking, I always work in a consistent way from where the shortest focal
    length is stowed to where the longest one goes. These lens places are also
    big enough to put a fourth body in one if I need it - though usually if I'm
    doing something that needs more than three then I'll be taking several bags

    The X-Pan 'outfit' of body and three lenses, lens hoods and finder for the
    30mm all fits into a LowePro utility Case that I can attach to the outside
    of this pack as well. If I'm taking a 400mm, then that too goes in a case
    on the outside (though it is a length I seem to use very seldom for some

    So that is my 'serious expedition' pack for 35mm landscapes.

    An even bigger pack needs to be used if big glass is going, and I have
    another that is a bit more focused on AF gear, motor drives, and so on for
    anything 'action'. This other pack also has an alternate layout that will
    take some 6x6 gear. Usually medium format lives in hard cases though.

    And a 'grab bag' always has an MZ-S and a couple of zooms, a 100mm macro and
    a few fast primes in it, ready to go. This also goes as my 'travelling
    light' bag, and if I restrict myself on lens selection I can just get the
    X-Pan in along with the MZ-S and some lenses for it.

    So it is moderately organised, but the need for flexibility means it is not
    as set in stone as maybe I accidentally implied!
    I find them the most comfortable, and the colour thing really helps me. The
    "three-LX" system I use so much of the time is usually Velvia, E100VS, and
    B&W. If the X-Pan is with me it will have another colour strap still.
    Yes, even at 300 I hardly ever hand hold, but a monopod is fine. The 600 I
    don't think I _could_ hand hold: it is too heavy. I've used it on a
    monopod, but it is really a tripod lens. Arca monoball with a Wimberley
    Sidekick, and a Manfrotto support to steady the body if possible.

    Rental is seldom an option for me: I live and work too far from the rental
    places and my work is also rather unpredictable - all depends on the
    weather! I'd never have got the 600 if it hadn't been for getting an
    excellent price on one used, but I have been very pleased with it ever
    Agreed. The X-Pan case is made of beautiful soft leather and has
    "Hasselblad" embossed on the front. Not one to take anywhere but the safest
    of streets!
    The 'grab bag' I use is a LowePro Orion Trekker. This has a waist belt and
    a shoulder strap, and I can use either or, often, both. I like the
    stability that comes with using both.

    Landscape often means a lot of walking, even though I can't walk as far as I
    did when I was a teenager. But my flower work, and architecture, is more
    often working out of a car.
    I enjoy working like that in places I know I can go to again. The more
    comprehensive outfits are often because I'm going somewhere I won't be able
    to repeat in the short term, and don't know exactly what I'll find when I
    get there. That and my bias against zooms!

    Bandicoot, Nov 25, 2003
  5. Ken

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Ah hah . . . a challenge! Okay, give me your site address again, my bookmarks
    are a disaster at the moment, and I seem to have lost yours prior to filing it.
    The velcro is so strong in the LowePro, that I rarely change much. It would be
    nice to have another set of velcro tabs, and just alter for different set-ups,
    but the tabs are not really cheap. Almost easier to just get another bag,
    except now I have too many bags.
    I didn't know you had all of them. Have you tried the 90 mm for getting out of
    focus backgrounds? Does it render a smooth defocus, of best to stick to stopped
    down shots?
    I am just not into landscapes that much. I guess the energy of the city is more
    to my liking, and reflected in my choices of gear. Those long lenses of yours
    would see little use in my photography, unless I went back to doing racing
    photography again.
    Never liked the hard cases. I had too much of that to carry when I was doing
    video. No matter how many rock and skating stickers you placed on it, it still
    had that look of "steal me".
    Okay, I take it back, you are not organized. ;-0

    You are still a bit more organized than I am, but I am Captain Chaos!
    (Actually, I was called Mad Man Moat for a while, but that is another story . .
    .. now most people just think I am strange).
    Headlines: Strapping Young Photographer Head Out On Photo Expedition . . . film
    at 11:00 . . .
    I have a very sturdy monopod, but I originally got it when I was doing video.
    It does not get too much use now, especially since my slow shutter hand held
    technique is much better.

    The huge tripod is also a Manfrotto, with the 3047. You could kill people with
    this thing, since it weighs a ton. Only goes on location shoots, or some of my
    night imagery. The carry sling helps, but weight is an issue after a while.
    Other than that, I have some Matthews lighting stands, and various grips.
    Gear cost for me eats into profits, so what I buy is what I use often. While I
    rent less now than a couple years ago, it is a nice resource, especially for
    lighting. When travelling for work, rental is almost the only option for some

    I don't understand why they do it that way. Too much like the Hermes Lieca bag,
    and way too much like Jewellery. It looks nice, but who takes photos at the
    country club, or yacht club. :-/
    That one is nice. It might be on my future "To Get" list.
    Surprised you don't just do large format, though the volume of shots is more
    Agreed on zooms. Other than video and motion film work I have done, I rarely
    ever use any zoom lenses. In fact, I do not own any. Outside of medium format,
    the choices in non zoom lenses for 35 mm often lead to older gear. Maintenance
    is one issue, though the many bargains on good lenses are too numerous to pass.
    I try to always have one camera with me, but the choice of lenses can sometimes
    be dictated by the camera, so there are limits, but not enough to justify zoom


    Gordon Moat
    Alliance Graphique Studio
    Gordon Moat, Nov 25, 2003
  6. Ken

    Paul W. Ross Guest

    I have gotten some of the nylon "stuff" bags from a camping
    outfitters. Great for the camera, lenses, flash, etc.

    For a really rugged field case, I got a "Sportsman's Dry Box," like
    hunters use. I use one for my range box for shooting (I shoot bullseye
    ..22LR pistols), and lined it withe 1/2" foam carpet padding (NOT the
    chopped up stuff). Keep it in place with double-sided carpet tape. $5
    worth of padding is a lifetime supply.

    The Dry Box (about $10) has an "O" ring seal that keeps out dust and

    I have one for my Mamiya C-220 -- carried body and 3 lenses, an
    another for my Pentax system -- one body and 4 lenses. Space also for
    flash, filters, etc.

    Get one of the boxes that has a lift-out tray in the top, which is
    good for the small stuff.
    Paul W. Ross, Nov 27, 2003
  7. Ken

    Bandicoot Guest

    Yes, I seem to accumulate bags too. I got lucky with LowePro dividers.
    Once I found a few in one of those 'everything 50p each' bins while I was
    waiting for my film order to be made up, and another time I had ordered a
    new backpack and it arrived missing about half the dividers: when I pointed
    this out they said it was easier to send me a whole new set than just the
    missing ones, so I got to keep the 'extras'.
    Hmmm, I use it mostly as a distant landscape lens, so haven't really looked
    closely at the OoF background effects. Good point: I should do so. I'll
    look through some slides and see if I can find an answer for you - if not
    then you've prompted me to take some shots and find out...

    Landscapes are my main work, alongside flowers and gardens. But still, I
    don't know many landscapers who use a 600mm they way I do. I use 300mm in
    landscape quite a lot.

    In the city I find 200 useful (your 180mm would be much the same) along with
    something in the 85-100 range, as well as wides. But 300 is sometimes good
    in the city too, compressing the lines and planes of architecture. Not that
    I do anything like as much of that sort of thing as you do.

    The Pentax (M* or) A*300mm f4 works well this way. This is very compact and
    by far the most hand holdable 300 I know. (On a tripod I prefer the F*300mm
    Agreed - I wouldn't use them if they had to be left out of my sight. I have
    zip on nylon covers for two big Halliburton cases which make them look much
    less inviting.


    Reminds me of some of the Ryder Cup coverage (down boy, Anni, down) last
    year that I caught by accident. The commentator kept refering to team
    captain Curtis Strange as "Captain Strange" - which I thought sounded like a
    super-hero who just maybe you wouldn't really want on your side after all...

    Yeah, my big one could support a howitzer - it's the Gitzo that, before they
    started using exclusively numbers and had 'names' for their tripods, was
    called a Tele-Studex Geant. With the emphasis on the 'Geant'...

    Otherwise a Manfrotto CF one gets most use, and if one of those backpacks is
    with me it is usually strapped to it.
    I wish I could rent more - would be better for a lot of things.

    Leica and X-Pan owners.... ;-)

    I really like it, and recommend it - it makes an excellent 'about town' bag.
    I bought mine because after injuring my back many years ago shoulder bags
    just weren't doing me any good. Christened it with a week in Prague and had
    less back trouble following that trip than I could remember in years, and
    I've used it all over since then.
    The market for flowers doesn't demand it, though medium format helps in some
    areas. For landscape it would help a lot in some markets, but it isn't a
    big limitation. Basically, I can carry a very versatile 35mm kit, or a much
    more limited LF kit: my way I get a lot more saleable images, though each
    image can maybe sell into only 90-95% of the markets that a 4x5 could. On
    balance, I think my way is more profitable, though it is a close balance.

    Where LF is truly demanded I can do it, but that is very seldom. I have a
    5x7 monorail, but it doesn't often come out of its box. 6x6 with a couple
    of shift lenses (one with tilts as well) and a 6x9 technical camera can do
    virtually everything 'architectural' I need. If I worked on new buildings
    for architects/builders it would be different: that market demands 4x5 even
    though it is almost never actually necessary, but for me it is hardly ever

    Even on my studio stand camera I almost always use a 6x7 RFB. Possibly the
    fact that I can scan a 6x9, but have to send out anything bigger (OK, my
    flatbed will do 4x5, but not at worthwhile quality) has some bearing on it
    as well.

    We fixed fl guys gotta stick together - we're a dying breed! Actually I do
    own some zooms (including one for medium format), and use them when
    travelling light, but I don't like to. On my last big trip I had a pair of
    zooms with the camera I had for grab shots with print film in it, but every
    'serious' shot was done with fixed fl lenses on manual focus bodies. My
    always with me camera has a fixed (28mm) lens, and I certainly don't miss a
    zoom on it - though I wish someone would make a quality pocketable camera
    with an 85mm lens.

    Bandicoot, Nov 28, 2003
  8. Ken

    Mike Guest


    Just wanted to help you with "bookmarks are a disaster" situation ;)

    There is a software called 1st TurboRun (http://www.turborun.com).
    Using it, you can find any bookmark in seconds. It works pretty
    simple: it shows all your bookmarks and narrows down the list as you
    type. For example you type "tri" and it shows you all bookmarks like
    "tripod" or "entries". Usually to locate a bookmark you just need a
    few keystrokes. Once you found a bookmark you can open it or show its
    folder. This program is very very fast and it can work for all your
    programs, documents, music, videos, downloads too!

    Just check: http://www.turborun.com

    Mike, Nov 29, 2003
  9. Ken

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Guten tag Peter,
    I took a look through your flowers gallery. Hard to tell what might be done
    with a 600 mm, but I would guess the image of the white flowers in the snow. Of
    course, I have a hard enough time trying to remember what I used on my own
    Yes, I would definitely be interested in the results. I do quite a bit of my
    imagery wide open, so I am curious. I have not completely given up on getting
    an XPAN, but I am looking more at true medium format gear lately.
    True, and I have used my 180 mm for some city photography. This is great for
    isolating details, or really throwing close objects backgrounds out of focus.
    The two worst aspects are the weight, and that it is a very noticeable large
    lens. Most people are surprised it is not a zoom lens.
    I have done hand held shooting with a rented 300 mm f4.5. I have also used a
    300 mm f2.8, but off a monopod, mostly due to the weight.
    Sort of like that crazy movie with the misfit super heroes. The name escapes me
    at the moment.
    Sad, but true. I do like to see beat to crap and brassed older Leica gear being
    carried around, but there are few people who use them anymore. Repair costs on
    older gear are likely one of the issues, especially parts.
    Scanning larger films slows down my work turnaround. If I had a newer, or
    faster, working set-up, then I would likely shoot more medium format. I am
    hoping to change that next year, and try to do less 35 mm based work.
    Tell me about it . . . though there are some nice bargains for careful
    I think you mean the Ricoh for the 28 mm. I agree with you about the 85 mm
    fixed lens camera, though at the prices of some medium format lenses, that is
    almost a true situation. However, a fixed telephoto 35 mm camera would be nice,
    especially in a compact size. Actually, the only 85 mm I currently own are both
    medium format, and quite old.


    Gordon Moat
    Alliance Graphique Studio
    Gordon Moat, Dec 2, 2003
  10. Ken

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Thanks Mike. Unfortunately, it is Windows only software, so not much help.


    Gordon Moat
    Alliance Graphique Studio
    Gordon Moat, Dec 2, 2003
  11. Ken

    Bandicoot Guest


    Nope. That one was done, if memory serves, with a 100mm. (And it is a
    terrible scan, I've just noticed - must redo that.)

    Actually it's the one of the daisies, middle picture in the upper 'row'.
    The OoF flowers in the background are actually from three or four feet to
    about seven feet behind the sharp ones. Nicer bokeh than you tend to expect
    from such long glass.
    Well, me too, often. But you lug around a 600mm and a tripod capable of
    supporting it, and you tend to remember...
    I'll try to remember to let you know what I think once I've tried it -
    wouldn't hurt for you to remind me if you hear nothing...

    Yep, the 2.8 isn't a very hand holdable lens. Mine is a Tamron (manual
    focus) one. It came with a little curved piece you could attach to the
    tripod screw that nestles in the palm of the hand when hand holding - this
    makes it _much_ more comfortable, though it still is much happier on some
    sort of support.

    I have a Minolta Dimage Scan Multi Pro - but it is too new for me to be
    getting the best out of it yet, and the bulk of the images I have scans of
    'out there' are older ones, from my old scanner.
    Yes, the Ricoh GR1v. My Night People SI shot was with this camera, and so
    is this week's Rogue's Gallery one.

    Bandicoot, Dec 8, 2003
  12. Ken

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Maybe a second guess, but offhand, it did not seem like that telephoto a shot
    at first. Of course, without knowing the foreground to background distances of
    the actual scene, it would be really tough to ever guess. I suppose that should
    be the goal, and if someone cannot tell how a shot was done, then it may make
    it more interesting . . . or at least get one to concentrate on the more
    aesthetic aspects.
    I tend to remember most due to circumstances, or from a particular roll of
    I'll give you until January!!! . . . . Just kidding.
    Will have to take a look at those. Busy weekend, so not much of this fun group


    Gordon Moat
    Alliance Graphique Studio
    Gordon Moat, Dec 8, 2003
  13. Ken

    Bandicoot Guest

    thanks - as in I'm glad the long-lens effect isn't obvious. I wanted really
    to pile up the flowers, and shooting along the length of this clump with the
    600mm gave the effect I wanted: as if it is a whole field of them, when in
    truth it is a small bed about two feet wide and seven or eight feet long.

    This is the main reason for me using a long lens in flower photography: to
    make an OoF background appear much closer to the foreground subject, so
    making what may actually be a sparse arrangement of flowers look much
    'denser' than it really is.

    I've just had an email from a friend about this week's saying how much she
    liked it which is really gratifying: it's a slightly 'artsy' shot and she is
    someone I wouldn't necessarily have expected to like it so much.


    Bandicoot, Dec 10, 2003
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