Camera Packing

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Camera Packing

Post by RedRoxx44 » Apr 07 2009 5:13 am

I find myself now carrying mainly two cameras--- a DSLR with a wide angle lens and a PS of some type with a long range lens and usually good macro capabilites. This is mainly to avoid changing lenses but also have a backup in case one camera acts up or I drop it ( haven't done that lately).
I obtained a Syncpac front carry pack from my friend who is letting me cycle through cameras right now for her store.
It's a lumbar style pack on a telescoping metal frame. I used the shoulder strap attachements and the optional hip belt attachments to secure it to my daypack, lower chest area.

Pros--- takes two cameras of size no problem and you have pockets for extras and two water bottle carriers. Plenty capacity.
Easy on and off---"clips" out of holder easily to get in and out of your pack.
Weight distribution--- excellent, mostly though the hip belt.
Access--quick in and out for camera and the pack doesn't "tip" on you if you crouch down or bend slightly.
I like the fact it stands out away from you a little, so you aren't smothered by the pack, a plus on hot days.

Cons-- Can partially detach if you are scrambling around very much
The attaching straps look suspect for long use.
Cost--pricey little booger at main website about 100.00
Heavy just to carry around or if you want to relocate it to back of your pack for scrambling. Does detach from frame but looks like a hassle.

I've used it once and plan on using it more so if anything looks exciting about it will post it here.

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Re: Camera Packing

Post by Al_HikesAZ » Apr 07 2009 10:02 am

Looks interesting.
Two questions - how much does it weigh? Is it 2.2lbs?
Can you see your feet when you are hiking downhill - like into the Grand Canyon?

I had been looking at the Ribzwear frontpack. Ribz seems lighter and more committed to ultralight (and it's less expensive). But maybe by the time I add padding to protect my dSLR and lenses it might not be lighter.

My experience with a jerryrigged chest harness in the summer was suboptimal because of the heat on my chest. And I hate hiking downhill where I can't see my feet.
Anybody can make a hike harder. The real skill comes in making the hike easier.
Not if we can help it UNCLE JACK. Not if we can help it.

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Re: Camera Packing

Post by Jeffshadows » Apr 07 2009 10:10 am

Front-packing looks ridiculous but is really the only way to go unless you want to fumble around and miss shots, IMHO. Every time I try to move my camera around it seems to scrape into something or be in a position that is difficult to access. I actually tried to put it lower on my leg like a tactical holster once. That made it quick to get to and seemed to be a great option until it kept banging into the rock sidewalls along the trail. I'd be interested to see if others have novel carrying ideas, as well...

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Re: Camera Packing

Post by RedRoxx44 » Apr 07 2009 12:23 pm

It's pretty low profile, I don't have any trouble seeing my feet. I usually use a lumbar pack but in the front for my camera carry as I don't like a lot of weight on my shoulders. The telescoping feature allows you to bend and twist and pack moves with you. The 2.2 lbs is pretty accurate I would say. It's frame is sturdy but heavy.
It's advertised for mostly on trail backpacking. It's when I was crawling under a fence or boulder scrambling this weekend it would tend to "pop" one arm out of it's little clips.

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Re: Camera Packing

Post by Thoreau » Apr 07 2009 1:37 pm

That definitely looks like something that would be worth a shot. I too find it a pain to keep my two primary lenses, camera body, and misc. odds and ends (filters, CF cards, extra batteries, etc.) handy while hiking. Lately I've been shooting primarily with my 70-200 2.8 lens which has a tripod mounting ring. Aside from the obvious uses tho, it also works decently for hooking the whole rig to the horizontal chest strap of my pack so long as I also use the neckstrap as a backup in case i jump around too much and the tripod flange slips off. Now to figure out a rig for using my 24-70 =(

Glad to see that someone out there is inventing stuff that could be/lead to a good solution to the problems us hiking photographers face =)

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