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01-15-2013, 08:33 PM   #1
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Thoughts on Camera Bag

Hi,
I'm thinking of picking up the Mountainsmith Parallax Pro Backpack 10-81018R-01 B&H Photo Video Mountainsmith Parallax backpack. B&H has it for 121.00 with free shipping. I wasn't really looking for a backpack, but I want a bag that can consolidate all of my gear as my kit grows. I like that you can leave the waist strap on and flip the bag around to access the lenses without setting the bag on the ground, and it looks like it will hold a lot. It seems reasonably priced compared to other camera backpacks of anywhere close to the same size. I was just wondering if any of you had tried this bag and had an opinion on how good or bad it is.

Thanks for any input you can provide.

01-15-2013, 08:47 PM   #2
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Not that I would dissuade you from your course of action here, but I use to carry "all my gear" in a Lowepro 300 AW - then I got concerned about losing, damaging the gear (I take my camera EVERYWHERE).

I then switched up to a Large Tenba Messenger - which accomodates my business related documents, and a laptop as well as my Kr, 3 primes, DA 50-200 WR, and AF 540 FGZ. Some spare batteries, some ND FIlters and polarizer, caps, some micro firbre cleaning cloths - And I can carry it on when I travel for business too. When I'm not lugging work crap around, I throw in the ME super and a couple rolls of film too. I've been very pleased with the build quality and comfort while walking street and travelling.
01-15-2013, 08:50 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by robdewall7 Quote
Hi,
I'm thinking of picking up the Mountainsmith Parallax Pro Backpack 10-81018R-01 B&H Photo Video Mountainsmith Parallax backpack. B&H has it for 121.00 with free shipping. I wasn't really looking for a backpack, but I want a bag that can consolidate all of my gear as my kit grows. I like that you can leave the waist strap on and flip the bag around to access the lenses without setting the bag on the ground, and it looks like it will hold a lot. It seems reasonably priced compared to other camera backpacks of anywhere close to the same size. I was just wondering if any of you had tried this bag and had an opinion on how good or bad it is.

Thanks for any input you can provide.
Haven't tried that bag, but I have several other Mountainsmith products and they are all very well made. Their stuff is of the highest quality, you won't be disappointed in it from that perspective.
01-15-2013, 08:56 PM   #4
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I already have a smaller camera bag that can hold the camera with attached lens and maybe one other lens with a cpl, lens cloth, lens pen. I'm looking at this one to be sort of a catch all for my gear. I live in an apartment, so space is at a premium. Keeping everything together when I'm not using it, and for when I travel would be the general purpose of this bag.

01-15-2013, 09:05 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by robdewall7 Quote
I already have a smaller camera bag that can hold the camera with attached lens and maybe one other lens with a cpl, lens cloth, lens pen. I'm looking at this one to be sort of a catch all for my gear. I live in an apartment, so space is at a premium. Keeping everything together when I'm not using it, and for when I travel would be the general purpose of this bag.

Having grown up on the West Coast, I am wary of dampness causing a problem.

I use one of these..

Gracious Living Storage Tower, 5-drawer | Canadian Tire
01-15-2013, 09:10 PM   #6
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I have read several reviews of Mountainsmith backpacks (different models) that said they were well-designed but the seams tended to fail...
01-15-2013, 09:14 PM   #7
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I hear that. I'm in the St. Louis area and in the summer it is humid as can be here. I would be keeping the bag in a plastic tote with plenty of silica gel packs.
01-15-2013, 09:18 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
I have read several reviews of Mountainsmith backpacks (different models) that said they were well-designed but the seams tended to fail...

Really? I'm having trouble finding many reviews on them, but the ones I have found have been very positive. I'll have to keep looking around for more reviews.

01-15-2013, 10:22 PM   #9
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I use a Mountainsmith camera bag, but it is not the same one.
For what it's worth, mine is totally bombproof and nicely constructed.
It is a few years old and been through a lot, but shows no signs of wear.
01-15-2013, 10:26 PM   #10
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I have no experience with that particular bag, but I feel very comfortable with my Mountainsmith bag. Their stuff is really well made.
01-16-2013, 04:30 AM   #11
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Thanks for all your responses. I went ahead and bit the bullet and bought it. I will post my impressions of it when it gets here and I get it loaded up.
01-16-2013, 06:20 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by robdewall7 Quote
Thanks for all your responses. I went ahead and bit the bullet and bought it. I will post my impressions of it when it gets here and I get it loaded up.
I look forward to reading your review. From the picture, it seems the bag is quite thick, which can make it uncomfortable in the long run. But without trying it it's hard to tell.
01-17-2013, 01:48 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattt Quote
I then switched up to a Large Tenba Messenger
I have a Tamrac messenger style - its a medium size bag with a few simple modifications.

It can carry a tablet or netbook (personal travel), but my fully equipped 14" notebook (business travel) gets a bit snug. But the notebook only has to be in the bag during the flight part of the journey.

I found a second slim PC messenger style bag of the same general color/material as my photo bag. I removed the shoulder strap and use double-end snap rings (look in pet supplies) to attach the two bags back to back at the D rings. Nobody has stopped me claiming I am carrying two personal bags on to the plane - it looks a lot like one of the doubled security-friendly notebook bags.

At the hotel, I can ditch the PC part of the setup. I don't need as big a bag for field photography. And then I have a waist belt for the photo messenger bag. I wear both the shoulder strap and the waist belt to distribute the weight, and the waist belt keeps the bag from swinging and smacking into things when I walk and bend to take photos. The waist belt slides around me, but in transit allows the bag to mostly stay put either behind my hip, at my side, or in front of my thigh.
01-19-2013, 06:02 PM   #14
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I just got this one, in black, and I'm quite happy with it. Hangs well, can put my camera +5 lenses in it, store extra batteries, cloths, etc.
New Forest Green EXB-101 DSLR Camera Laptop Backpack 2 Colors f SONY NIKON CANON | eBay
01-24-2013, 05:21 AM   #15
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Ok, I got the bag. Let me start with my first impression of it. WOW, this bag is huge. It looks like a piece of luggage with backpack straps. It swallowed every piece of camera gear in my fledgeling kit with ease, and has tons of room left. The laptop compartment is huge and should easily hold even large laptops. I don't have a laptop to test the actual size it will hold. It seems very well built, and has a rain cover. It doesn't really scream camera bag to me. It just looks like a big backpack that has been stuffed to the gills. My only real complaint is one that I knew that I would have. The waist strap is not well padded. I knew that was the case from the few reviews that I had read, and they were right. It seems like they spent their whole design budget on the pack, and then at the end realized oh crap we forgot to put on a waist strap. There is also no way to adjust the height of the waist strap, and on me (6'0" tall) it does not hit the top of my hips. My only other complaint is that the area that you would put a camera with attached lens is too high in the bag. This means that the rounded top cuts too narrow to put my k-5 II in sitting flat on it's bottom. I had to turn in up on it's side. (hopefully I can post some pics soon to show you what I mean here.) It shouldn't really matter because the bag is so well padded, but all they would have had to do is make the center dividers a half inch shorter and it wouldn't have been an issue.

All in all though, it seems like it's going to be what I wanted. I already have a great daypack from REI that I plan to get a kit cube from mountainsmith to put in it for day hiking. I didn't really want a daypack. I wanted a camera backpack that could fit all my gear, and that I could leave the waist strap on and spin to the front for lens changes without putting down the backpack. I got that with this pack for far less money ($121.00) than any option from the major camera bag brands with the same features. It has been brutally cold here since I got the pack, but as soon as it warms a bit I will get outside and take some pictures while carrying it and report back here. Once again, thanks for your input and advice. So far I think this is a pack that I would recommend as long as you want a large pack. I'm not sure if it meets carry on requirements, but it would be a great travel bag.
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