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09-03-2012, 08:45 PM   #1
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Tamron SP 400: how carry?

I've had a Tamron SP400 f4 Adaptall-2 for a while but just tried it on my K-5. WOW! It is crazy sharp across the frame and Lightroom 4.1 easily took care of the CA and purple fringing. So now my question is: How do I carry this beast, hiking, into where I would want to use it for wildlife? Yea, I know- get a sherpa! Seriously though - shoulder sling bag? Is there a backpack with a center space long enuf for it?
any other ideas?
thanks

09-03-2012, 09:52 PM   #2
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I have the same lens and I love it. But I haven't found a bag or backpack to carry that long lens, I usually carry this lens in it's own bag. But this isn't to say that bags or backpack aren't available. Look at some of the larger backpacks by Tamrac and Lowe Pro at your nearby photo store, and you might be able to arrange the compartments to accomodate the lens. That lens is pretty big so this will take some effort. Best of luck. BTW, I'm hoping my Pentax processing can take care of that CA and color fringing...
09-04-2012, 04:21 AM   #3
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I have the SP 200-500/5.6 and have not hey attempted to pack it in any where. I normally carry it using a shoulder strap on the lens strap connections, or mounted on my tripod with gimbal mint over my shoulder. This works for up to 1-2km.

It would fit into my lowepro phototrekker bag if I arrange the compartments, and I may try this on thanksgiving
09-04-2012, 04:46 AM   #4
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I don't have a lens nearly as large, but if I did, I would make a trek over to REI. I know that there are several in your area - or at least in the Seattle area. I doubt that they have any photo specialized bags - at least the one down here doesn't but I am sure that they have one that can be adapted for the purpose. I would be sure to take it and the body with me to REI and see what may be available.....



09-04-2012, 05:07 AM   #5
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I have a lowepro hiking backpack that lets you redistribute the inside using the folded/velcrow paddings.. I picked up the bag for a little over 100 bucks and its great. I can fit my dslr with the Tamron 300 SP (including attached lens hood) on it in the middle with plenty of space above and below. It fits securely this way and I have cubby holes on both sides of the setup for all of my smaller lenses as well.

It gets heavy but its worth it end result.

There's also a tripod strap on the outside of the bag but its not the best Ive seen. It holds it just fine but it could have been much better. Sometimes I just carry this in my hand as my tripod has a handle on it
09-04-2012, 07:00 AM   #6
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Have a look at Deuter backpacks - those people know how to make heavy items carried on your back easy. Especially the Alpine series, which have various methods to attach long items like skis and poles, in our case tripods to the outside.

Also, depending on where in the world you are hiking, I do not recommend carrying long metal objects on their own over your shoulder - you know, places like Gaza, Iraq, US border states...
09-04-2012, 10:15 AM   #7
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One other thing to consider, I don't know the 400/4 but the 200-500/5.6 requires a tripod and gimbal head to really use effectively. So you are packing the tripod too, not just the lens.

Although much lighter than the 600/4 from any vendor, I did see a canon shooter with a 3 wheel baby stroller (high price jogging type) to carry his gear in the bush. Had something like 14 inch air inflated tires on spoked wheels
09-04-2012, 11:54 AM   #8
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thanks everyone! Some good ideas here. I do have an REI nearby and I will try there first for a backpack. Yes I will carry a tripod too and a water bottle so I will see what I can find. Unfortunately, the big camera store (Glazers) is a ways away (thru bad traffic) so don't go there often.
The baby stroller idea is great! I could see that working in a lot of situations. I could paint a baby face on the large hood and nestle it up with a pink blanket. Way cool!

09-04-2012, 12:01 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by atekant Quote
Have a look at Deuter backpacks - those people know how to make heavy items carried on your back easy.
QuoteOriginally posted by seadog Quote
The baby stroller idea is great! I could see that working in a lot of situations. I could paint a baby face on the large hood and nestle it up with a pink blanket. Way cool!
I have a Deuter kid-carrier backpack. No kidding, it made my son feel much lighter while hiking in the mountains, but I think a 400mm would have to grow legs to fit into it comfortably!
09-04-2012, 12:11 PM   #10
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I am really torn on the packing issue. I love the 200-500 that I use, but it is just not hand holdable, or even really useable with a monopod, due to weight and poor balance. I flip flop back and forth on the 200-500 or my K300/4 and 1.7x converter as my 500 mm option, Walking about, the 300/4 plus 1.7x is an easy carry with the camera body, easy to hand hold and easy to focus (even not considering the AF converter). the issue with a really big lens is that the holding place and or the focusing collar, is off balance, and therefore it is not an easy hand hold solution, this leaves me leaving behind the 200-500 all too often, in favor of a more useable although slower option.

I think of a really big lens as a wait for them to come to you lens, and a light hand holdable lens as a go stalking lens.
09-04-2012, 02:45 PM   #11
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QuoteQuote:
I think of a really big lens as a wait for them to come to you lens, and a light hand holdable lens as a go stalking lens.
That's a good way to look at it. I have the 55-300 but it isn't so hot on the long end. I am considering the DA 300 or the FA300 (if I can find one) with a TC also. Then I can choose my kit according to if I want to stalk or wait.
I am also interested in getting into astrophotography (the Astro thread here on PF is GREAT!) And I want to try the SP400 for that.
09-05-2012, 03:11 AM   #12
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Try Kinesis (kgear.com). I carry my K5 with Sigma 500 f4.5 ina L511 lens case mounted inside a P450 Journeyman pack. I have used their gear for years and highly recommend it for hiking or travelling with photo gear.
09-06-2012, 09:16 AM   #13
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@Lowell Goudge: In addition to my SP 400mm f/4, I also have the Tamron SP 200-500mm f/5.6, and yeah a tripod is a good idea while using this lens, though I have had better luck using a monopod when I got rid of the rounded base tip at the bottom and replaced it with a flatter base rubber tip that is normally used in a cane or crutch, that I bought at a medical supply store. That tip does a much better job staying put enabling me to get the shot, wheras the rounded tip slipped a lot and only added to the poor balance of the big zoom.
The 200-500mm is an ideal lens when I'm shooting auto racing, especially on roadcourses, but also for wildlife too.
09-06-2012, 11:58 AM   #14
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LKNights

I pitty your back/ I tried a monopod, but the balance makes it tough, I think an extender plate like I use for the gimbal head, to at least center the mass would be a big help, but generally, I think this is a tripod bound beast. I am waiting for the 560/5.6 to decide if I will finally go for a real birding lens or not. but for now, the 200-500 is doing a good job
09-06-2012, 01:44 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by seadog Quote
I've had a Tamron SP400 f4 Adaptall-2 for a while but just tried it on my K-5.
I've been through this and the options get very few when you get into this territory. There are two bags from lowepro that should do the job the lens trekker pro which I just bought a used version of the first one and it is great for me. I think the second version is a little longer. Then they have the pro trekker which is sized for a 600 as well and allows you to carry some extra gear. I have some different inserts that I can throw into the lens trekker for carrying extra lens if I want to take more with me and then there are several daisy chains on the outside for adding extra gear.
I think Kata has a long lens backpack and the kinesis gear is pretty good. I think for this kind of thing you really need good shoulder straps and a sturdy waistbelt. Kinesis has the backpack platform that you can add some of thier long lens cases too and that might work for you but it is pretty pricey when you start adding it up.
Then there are the DIY options. I have tried a baseball bat equipment bag, a wide mouth tool bag from lowes or homedepot(added some upholstery craft store foam to both for the padding), there are external frame packs without the bag that you can try lashing things to. But in the end for me I am planning on sticking with the lens trekker for the cost and ease of use since it was made for this type of application I don't have to do as much work to get it ready and save the cost of modifying some of the DIY options.

Its been great to get out and hike and see what I can find, it gets old driving around and hoping you come across something close to the road. Found this guy out on my second hike with the lens trekker.
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