Camera Bags

My current bags are a Lowepro Fastpack 350 (backpack), and a Lowepro Nova 3 (mid sized shoulder bag). I used to also have a Lowepro Nova 5, but after a day at Silverstone with it loaded up with 2x SLRs and a bunch of lenses, my back told me that shoulder bags were not the way forward & I sold it on.

However I still find neither of these bags perfect, the Lowepro 350 can hold a LOT of kit

here is the Fastpack 350 with 2 bodies & grips, 3 lenses, 2 flashes, cleaning kit, plus batteries, filters etc hidden away, plus there’s the slot in the back for the laptop to hide in too.

or here with a single SLR set up and a few more lenses.

However one of my big bug bears with this, and a lot of other backpacks, is that in order to access your kit, you’ve got to put the side that goes against your back, on the ground. Lovely summer days, fine, after rain, snow, farm parks, this means putting it down in mud, crap etc, or carefully kneeling trying to balance the bag across your knees whilst you fumble with an SLR & 2 lenses…

Another backpack issue is you’ve also got to make damned sure the bag is zipped up before you (or someone trying to be helpful) pick it up, which then drops all your kit all over the floor… It’s also not useful at some motorsport events where you are right beside the course, and frankly there isn’t the time to zip it up before grabbing it.

The laptop slip on the FastPack 350 is also on the side too, so even that isn’t safe, if it had been top loading you’d have to turn the bag upside down to lose your laptop…

The Nova 3 is again very versatile, and can hide a lot of kit in what looks a small bag

whilst this looks full there is more hidden underneath

It’s a bit of a squeeze, but yes all that lot DOES fit. Though is does involve stuffing the OC-E3 (coily cable) & the blower case in the outside side pockets, the fisheye & small 19-35 slip into the pockets under the grip. However whilst filling this bag when I had a 400D & some lightweight lenses, you kind of regret taking this more than a mile or two with some heavier kit in it. However what I do like about this is you can just leave it over your shoulder and change lenses, when you put it down in the mud, it’s the side that’s going to drip on the floor in the mud, you can also pick these up whilst not fastened and gravity does all it’s work of keeping the lenses inside…

However I’ve got past the weight issues, and also ‘blatant camera bag’ theft worry issues, by stuffing the Nova 3 inside a top loading Adidas sports bag. this gives backpack advantages, but without the camera backpack disadvantages, It also gives you somewhere to keep your lunch/coat when doing hikes for double bonus. I also don’t care what anyone says about Crumpler & ThinkTank bags not looking like camera bags so not noticed by thieves, bullshit. Except for the opportunist & take any old crap crackheads, thieves specialise, if we can spot a Crumpler & Thinktank bag a mile off, so can a thief. So I think the mid sized shoulder bag hidden inside a non camera bag is a lot more discreet for when out in tourist thief hotspots & dodgy areas.

However recently I’ve traded the Tamron & Tokina lenses for Canon equivalents, and they’re a bit bulkier (especially the lens hoods), so I’m now probably going to have to look at this all over again at the Focus show in a few months…

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