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07-13-2010, 02:18 PM   #1
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Kata 3n1 20 lens access & comfort?

I'm really interested in this bag, but the ability to do what Russell-Evans did in the link below to make multiple lenses accessible in the Slingshot 200 by rotating the dividers 90 degrees is a deal-breaker for me. Unfortunately I can't try the Kata bag anywhere near my location.

Can anyone with a Kata 3n1 tell me if the setup below is possible with the Kata 3n1 20?

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3129/3162701281_543701391d_o.jpg

The dividers are setup so that there are multiple "channels" down into the bag from the quick access side (not the wide face of the bag), instead of of just 3 channels. In other words instead of having 4-5 lenses all accessible in a grid of dividers from the large opening, they are accessible in a grid of dividers from the small quick access opening. It's really brilliant, though I've done a terrible job in explaining it.

I'm also a little concerned about the Kata's comfort in the sling mode for day hikes -- most people seem to end up using it as a normal backpack which is not what I want.

Thanks!

07-13-2010, 04:31 PM   #2
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I have a 3n1-20 set up basically as you describe -- not exactly, but pretty close.

In the side opening goes the camera (K20D, in my case) with a lens on it, and also accessible from that same side opening are a Tamron 70-300, a Takumar 200/3.5, my AF360 flash, a little bag with a blower bulb and miscellaneous cleaning items, and I can kind of reach a couple of small lenses of my choice (usually a couple of Takumars).

With the dividers that come with the bag, you can't really make a full "grid" like this as far as I can tell. But you can set up a section for the camera, a section for the flash, a section for the big lenses (Tamron & 200mm Takumar), and underneath a flap will fit the small lenses. With everything stowed like this, the entire TOP compartment of the bag is still free to hold additional items, like delicious sandwiches! Or if you're me, forget the food and add more heavy old metal lenses.

There's no divider between the Tamron and the big Takumar, but I keep the big metal Takumar in a neoprene lens bag so it doesn't smash around. If I bought some additional dividers I might be able to make that happen, though.

I'll see if I can take some pictures and post them in the next day or so. I can't recreate the exact setup because I recently sold the Tamron and I don't have any comparably large lenses to put in its place, so you'll have to use your imagination for that part.

It's a comfortable bag for me, but that might depend on your build. Loaded with Takumars, it gets pretty heavy for a single shoulder strap, but it's doable, and if I were hiking I'm sure I would lighten the load considerably by bringing only essential lenses. Even fully loaded, it seems to be a strong and secure bag, and I'm never worried about anything ripping.

I like it. I have never used it as a full backpack, but I suppose it's nice to have that flexibility.
07-13-2010, 06:24 PM   #3
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I had the 3n1 30 - all of the sidewalls are full fabric which the Velcro can attach to so the short answer is yes!
07-13-2010, 08:42 PM   #4
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Thanks for your answers I'd hold the terrible distribution of Kata bags in bricks and mortar against them, but then, I shoot Pentax and Konica.

In the photos I can find of the 3n1 20 it looks like it won't work because it only has velcro strips which are not really in the right place on the opposite access panel that I'll keep closed and need as the "floor" of my lens grid. I'm happy to be proven wrong... preferably with photos

07-14-2010, 04:29 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by mgoblue Quote
I'm really interested in this bag, but the ability to do what Russell-Evans did in the link below to make multiple lenses accessible in the Slingshot 200 by rotating the dividers 90 degrees is a deal-breaker for me. Unfortunately I can't try the Kata bag anywhere near my location.

Can anyone with a Kata 3n1 tell me if the setup below is possible with the Kata 3n1 20?
I have my 3n1-20 set up like that, all gear is accessible through the "quick access". In fact the only time I opened the full bag was when I set up the dividers this way for quick access Since then I only use the quick access. May take and upload a photo of it when I get home (if I don't forget it and my daughter leaves me alone for 10 min lol ).

Edit: here are the pics.


Last edited by simico; 07-14-2010 at 11:00 AM.
07-14-2010, 11:19 AM   #6
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Simico -- That is perfect -- the best setup Kata I have seen on the net for sure...and I've been scouring. Thanks for the visual evidence. I think you just made a sale for Kata. Can you fit lenses on the left side where the flash(?) is as well?

Last edited by mgoblue; 07-14-2010 at 11:24 AM.
07-14-2010, 06:07 PM   #7
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Well, I'll skip posting pictures because Simico's setup is almost exactly the way mine is, except I don't have the divider on the right between the two lenses.
07-15-2010, 02:12 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by mgoblue Quote
Simico -- That is perfect -- the best setup Kata I have seen on the net for sure...and I've been scouring. Thanks for the visual evidence. I think you just made a sale for Kata. Can you fit lenses on the left side where the flash(?) is as well?
No problem, glad it helped Yes, you can fit lenses on the left too. I just don't have that many lenses, so I keep my Metz flash there (you can see it on the pic) and my Panasonic handycam used to go to the upper part above the flash. On the first pic the center part is the place for my K-m + DA 17-70 with hood attached (in normal, forward position), above it is the WR pouch of the bag. I could put some limited pancakes there if I had any

So when fully loaded, my bag contains: my wallet and either a small bottle of water or my raincoat (depending on the weather), spare lithium batteries and lenspen in the top (non-photo gear) compartment; cpl filter, spare lens caps and body cap in the side pockets; Panasonic videocam, Metz 48 flash, bag's WR pouch, K-m + DA 17-70 with hood, A 4/100 Macro, M 2/50, DA L 50-200 in the bottom photo-gear compartment, all accessible through the "quick access".

Now I just need to get my commision from Kata

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