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10-18-2019, 11:59 PM   #1
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Need a recommendation for a rolling camera bag

I'm looking for a good rolling camera bag to take to the L.A. Zoo Photo day in about 3 weeks. I'm thinking it will be more comfortable than hauling all my gear on my back and not everything I want to take will fit in my camera backpack anyway.

I thought about a regular rolling suitcase as I've got plenty of those, but it seems really disorganized to use that. Do they sell a divider system that fits in a regular rolling suitcase? That's another option I suppose.

Here's what I'm planning on taking:
Pentax K-1
28-105 f/3.5-5.6
15-30 f/2.8
70-200 f/2.8
150-450 f/4.5-5.6
100mm f/2.8 Macro
Possible but undecided (24-70 f/2.8 and Sigma 50-500) The sigma has better reach, but worse IQ than the other lenses
Flash
Extra batteries
Remote release
Carbon fiber tripod (my video tripod with feet won't be stable enough for the long lenses)
Snacks,water and maybe a light jacket

Not looking to spend a lot of money, preferably under $200.

10-19-2019, 01:14 AM   #2
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Better get something specialised, like the lowpro photostream at B&H.
10-19-2019, 03:26 AM   #3
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the Accessories section above has a section for Camera bags and I found this review [ but I have no personal knowledge ]

Pelican Pelicase 1510 Carry On Case

Pelican Pelicase 1510 Carry On Case reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database

____________________

on Amazon, there appear to be various types of such cases

amazon.com: 1510 pelican case?tag=pentaxforums-20&

Pelican 1510 Case With Padded Dividers (OD Green)

Pelican Air 1535 Case No Foam (Black)

____________________________________________________________

when you find what you are looking for, perhaps you could add a review and give us the benefit of your experiences
10-19-2019, 03:39 AM - 1 Like   #4
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You aren't planning travelling light, are you! Yikes...

10-19-2019, 06:22 AM   #5
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Vangard also makes a hard-case on wheels, but I can't find a model name at the moment.
10-19-2019, 06:40 AM   #6
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I have one of the lowepros that turns into a backpack by removing the inner part. very versatile and useful.
10-19-2019, 10:00 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Craigbob Quote
Need a recommendation for a rolling camera bag
I bought the earlier version of this bag https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1385059-REG/vanguard_alta_fly_58t_rolling.html. I do not remember the model number for the one I bought, but looking at the pics it looks very similar. This version has a few more goodies that my bag does not have. I am totally happy with mine after about 4 years of using it. I used to bring a rolling Pelican case (I think it is a 1550 w/dividers) for my travels but when I got to my destination I had to have a soft bag with easy access to my gear so I chose the Vanguard. Actually, I got it at a deep discount (still paid about $200) at WPPI in Vegas a few years ago. This is a little over your budget but you buy these things once and they last a long time. One word of caution, your bag with all the gear you are going to put in it is going to get really heavy.

In my bag which is similar to the one I mentioned above, I bring the following: K1, k5iis, 70-200 Tamron, Pentax 28-105, FA 31, 43, 77, 105 Macro, Samyang 14, two Cactus flashes with two triggers, battery chargers, lots of AA rechargeable batteries, 15" Macbook Pro, portable external hard drive, small tripod with ball head. In another words, all that I need for a photo assignment. Again, this thing gets really heavy. As I mentioned earlier this was mainly for travel. I was able to bring it on board on flights as it is certified for carry on but the bag gets so thick that I was given a hard time on a couple of occasions when boarding flights. They wanted me to check it in as luggage to go below.

Hope this helps. Good luck with your purchase. You have tons of choices out there. If you get a chance, try before you buy.

Last edited by btnapa; 10-19-2019 at 10:07 AM. Reason: link update
10-20-2019, 11:08 AM   #8
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Maybe one of these will fit your existing luggage? dividers | B&H Photo Video

Since it's a one-time thing, you can do it very economically by making your own dividers. Create dividers by arranging shoeboxes or other small boxes, or by cutting and notching heavy foam board (craft store) or insulation panels (hardware store). Hand towels, socks, etc. can be used as padding in the dividers. Unless you are experienced at DIY projects whatever you build will not be good for frequent usage.

Check the zoo rules on what you are allowed to bring for photo day. They probably have a relaxed set of rules for the event, but they still need to make sure animals and guests are safe:
  • Is there a size limit on bags?
  • Will a rolling bag get in your own way even if it is permitted? Many zoos have narrow pathways and indoor exhibits that are awkward to navigate with a rolling bag. A rolling bag is also more likely to be stolen than a bag your wear.
  • Flash is likely forbidden in the dark indoor exhibits: it's harmful to the animals, and disturbs other guests who are trying to see their way in darkness.
  • Do you really need a tripod? For most animals you'll be using a reasonably fast shutter speed to prevent blur, so you may as well hold the camera. IMO the best reason to bring a tripod is if you can't hold the weight of your telephoto lens for long periods.
Regardless of zoo rules, I think you are bringing way too much gear. With 5 to 7 lenses you'll waste a lot of time swapping lenses. Consider bringing just the 24-70, 70-200, and 150-450. For a lighter kit, use the 28-105, 100 macro, and 150-450. Alternatively, the 24-70 and 50-500 does it with just 2 lenses (but the 150-450 is a better lens and a gap from 70 to 150mm might be too much for this 2 lens kit). All 3 of those combos have at least one f2.8 lens for low light.

10-20-2019, 11:19 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Craigbob Quote
I'm looking for a good rolling camera bag to take to the L.A. Zoo Photo day in about 3 weeks.. . . .
looks like a great event:
QuoteQuote:
Take your wildlife photography to the next level! This annual event – now in its 30th year – features a full day of VIP photography experiences throughout the Zoo starting in the early morning, with limited-loan equipment such as cameras and lenses and Paul’s Photo experts on hand to provide tips and tricks.. . .

For three decades, Photo Day has provided photographers of all ages and skill levels with unique access to the Zoo, our animals, professional photo equipment, and expert advice. GLAZA members, students with valid school ID, or Paul’s Camera Club members save $10 on Photographer admission. GLAZA members receive their discount code via email, and students and Paul’s Camera Club members can request a code by emailing PhotoDay@lazoo.org.

There is a $25 cancellation fee and no cancellations will be accepted after October 15. Registration ends November 9.

Questions? Contact PhotoDay@lazoo.org or 323/644-4773.
Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens L.A. Zoo - Photo Day - Photography Workshop

QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
. . . Check the zoo rules on what you are allowed to bring for photo day. They probably have a relaxed set of rules for the event, but they still need to make sure animals and guests are safe . . ..

I would email or call and ask about whether it would be a problem to do what the OP is planning

Last edited by aslyfox; 10-20-2019 at 11:27 AM.
10-20-2019, 01:44 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
Maybe one of these will fit your existing luggage? dividers | B&H Photo Video

Since it's a one-time thing, you can do it very economically by making your own dividers. Create dividers by arranging shoeboxes or other small boxes, or by cutting and notching heavy foam board (craft store) or insulation panels (hardware store). Hand towels, socks, etc. can be used as padding in the dividers. Unless you are experienced at DIY projects whatever you build will not be good for frequent usage.

Check the zoo rules on what you are allowed to bring for photo day. They probably have a relaxed set of rules for the event, but they still need to make sure animals and guests are safe:
  • Is there a size limit on bags?
  • Will a rolling bag get in your own way even if it is permitted? Many zoos have narrow pathways and indoor exhibits that are awkward to navigate with a rolling bag. A rolling bag is also more likely to be stolen than a bag your wear.
  • Flash is likely forbidden in the dark indoor exhibits: it's harmful to the animals, and disturbs other guests who are trying to see their way in darkness.
  • Do you really need a tripod? For most animals you'll be using a reasonably fast shutter speed to prevent blur, so you may as well hold the camera. IMO the best reason to bring a tripod is if you can't hold the weight of your telephoto lens for long periods.
Regardless of zoo rules, I think you are bringing way too much gear. With 5 to 7 lenses you'll waste a lot of time swapping lenses. Consider bringing just the 24-70, 70-200, and 150-450. For a lighter kit, use the 28-105, 100 macro, and 150-450. Alternatively, the 24-70 and 50-500 does it with just 2 lenses (but the 150-450 is a better lens and a gap from 70 to 150mm might be too much for this 2 lens kit). All 3 of those combos have at least one f2.8 lens for low light.
I thought about just taking the 24-70, 70-200 and 150-450 as well as the 100mm Macro. I think the 28-105 is sharper at the edges than the 24-70 but I'm wondering if I'd miss the extra 4mm at the wide end.

I'll have to see if the 4 lenses will fit in my existing Lowepro 250.
10-21-2019, 08:35 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Craigbob Quote
I thought about just taking the 24-70, 70-200 and 150-450 as well as the 100mm Macro. I think the 28-105 is sharper at the edges than the 24-70 but I'm wondering if I'd miss the extra 4mm at the wide end.

I'll have to see if the 4 lenses will fit in my existing Lowepro 250.
Here are thoughts about 24-70 vs 28-105 at a zoo. What are you planning to photograph at the zoo? Animals, people, buildings?

For most photos of animals, the corners don't matter. For buildings, 4mm wider is significant and weighs in favor of the 24-70.


Many zoos have dimly lit indoor exhibits. You might want the 24-70 f2.8 for low light. If you feel like the 70-200 will be wide enough indoors, though, you might not need the 24-70.
10-21-2019, 08:44 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Craigbob Quote
I thought about just taking the 24-70, 70-200 and 150-450 as well as the 100mm Macro. I think the 28-105 is sharper at the edges than the 24-70 but I'm wondering if I'd miss the extra 4mm at the wide end.

I'll have to see if the 4 lenses will fit in my existing Lowepro 250.
my thought not sure you would need the range of the .150 - 450 but I have gotten interesting photos using mine at zoos

definitely take the 100mm Macro

good short telephoto and you might use the 1:1 macro capability

if the 70-200 is the star F2.8 one, yes, you may need that aperture

______________


other issues photographing at zoos

reflections from glass windows - I've been told to use a polarizer but when I do, it doesn't seem to help, putting lens as close as possible to the window can and also changing your position

getting past the bars of the enclosure try different apertures

certain areas may not allow flash

Last edited by aslyfox; 10-21-2019 at 08:53 AM.
10-21-2019, 10:35 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
Here are thoughts about 24-70 vs 28-105 at a zoo. What are you planning to photograph at the zoo? Animals, people, buildings?

For most photos of animals, the corners don't matter. For buildings, 4mm wider is significant and weighs in favor of the 24-70.


Many zoos have dimly lit indoor exhibits. You might want the 24-70 f2.8 for low light. If you feel like the 70-200 will be wide enough indoors, though, you might not need the 24-70.
Primarily animals will be the targets and I agree that for the most part the corners are less important.

---------- Post added 10-21-19 at 11:28 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
my thought not sure you would need the range of the .150 - 450 but I have gotten interesting photos using mine at zoos

definitely take the 100mm Macro

good short telephoto and you might use the 1:1 macro capability

if the 70-200 is the star F2.8 one, yes, you may need that aperture

______________


other issues photographing at zoos

reflections from glass windows - I've been told to use a polarizer but when I do, it doesn't seem to help, putting lens as close as possible to the window can and also changing your position

getting past the bars of the enclosure try different apertures

certain areas may not allow flash

The last time I went to a zoo strictly for photography (San Diego Zoo Safari Park), I only had the 28-105, an old Phoenix 100-400 f/5.6-6.3 (very light to carry, but somewhat soft IQ) and an FA-J 18-35 f/4-5.6. Some of those pics are in my gallery here: Craigbob's Album: San Diego Zoo Safari Park - PentaxForums.com

I went to the LA zoo earlier this year with my family, but due to the nature of the visit, I didn't have the time to really wait for the optimal shot and I didn't get to all of the exhibits I wanted to.

I wound up using the 100-400 and the 28-105 for most of the shots, with a few with the 18-35 for wider vistas.

The 70-200 is the latest HD Pentax-D FA* 70-200mm F2.8 ED DC AW.

I have a large silicon lens hood for taking shots against glass to minimize reflections. Polarizers cut out too much light in a lot of cases.
10-27-2019, 11:14 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Craigbob Quote
I'm looking for a good rolling camera bag to take to the L.A. Zoo Photo day in about 3 weeks. I'm thinking it will be more comfortable than hauling all my gear on my back and not everything I want to take will fit in my camera backpack anyway.

I thought about a regular rolling suitcase as I've got plenty of those, but it seems really disorganized to use that. Do they sell a divider system that fits in a regular rolling suitcase? That's another option I suppose.

Here's what I'm planning on taking:
Pentax K-1
28-105 f/3.5-5.6
15-30 f/2.8
70-200 f/2.8
150-450 f/4.5-5.6
100mm f/2.8 Macro
Possible but undecided (24-70 f/2.8 and Sigma 50-500) The sigma has better reach, but worse IQ than the other lenses
Flash
Extra batteries
Remote release
Carbon fiber tripod (my video tripod with feet won't be stable enough for the long lenses)
Snacks,water and maybe a light jacket

Not looking to spend a lot of money, preferably under $200.
You can't beat Pelican cases for robustness and protection of your kit ; plus they're sturdy enough to stand on if you need a bit of extra height on occasion . They do rolling versions .

Otherwise , any of the reputable makes of camera bags have rolling versions ; although I don't have any rolling ones , I have two Lowepro Photo Trekkers , one for still kit and one for video , plus a smaller backpack I decant what I am actually going to use if going far from the car .

Not all soft bags are waterproof though .
10-30-2019, 12:03 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pontoneer Quote
You can't beat Pelican cases for robustness and protection of your kit ; plus they're sturdy enough to stand on if you need a bit of extra height on occasion . They do rolling versions .

Otherwise , any of the reputable makes of camera bags have rolling versions ; although I don't have any rolling ones , I have two Lowepro Photo Trekkers , one for still kit and one for video , plus a smaller backpack I decant what I am actually going to use if going far from the car .

Not all soft bags are waterproof though .
I agree about the robustness of Pelican cases. I've got a couple of them already for my astro gear. My daily driver is a LowePro 250, and I have a love/hate relationship with it. A larger backpack that can convert to a rolling one is what I'm looking for. I think LowePro makes one.

As I'm in So Cal and it doesn't rain a lot here, and the photo day is likely to be clear, I'm less concerned about the bag being waterproof.
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