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12-03-2021, 02:30 PM - 5 Likes   #1
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My Preferred Backpack Isn't a Backpack

Took insurance pics last night and figured since bags and packs get the most questions on the forum I'd share my personal solution for field work. Yes, I own several backpacks, a couple sling bags and a couple vests but day-in and day-out I just keep grabbing the Pelican cases of which I have several sizes.

Pretty much only shoot outdoors and in unpaved locations so sand, grit, dirt, snow, moisture and windblown "stuff" are things to avoid. Backpacks carry well--especially when trekking more than a mile. But backpacks aren't so great when trying to actually work...just set that pack in the dirt or snow or wet grass and see! The Peli cases aren't my choice for trekking, but for typical quick jaunts from the vehicle they can't be beat. And they carry like a briefcase for those little half-mile from the vehicle shoots. Set the Peli case on any filthy ground or soaked ground...all is good!

Tight packing and egg-crate lid foam compresses everything so there is no movement, even when some items are removed.

Big Kit is my pro pack:
K3II, 15 Ltd, 21 Ltd, 31 Ltd, 43 Ltd, 77 Ltd, 150 Macro w/Flash Bracket, FA*28-70, FA*80-200, 540 FGZ plus Polarizers, Pano Brackets, Flash Accessories etc.

Little Kit is my boat kit. Almost 100 Days a Year On the Water, plus I generally have the Little Kit with me when traveling with the Big Kit
K5 Silver, FA20-35/4 for people in action journalism type shots plus occasional landscapes, 100 Macro for gear and critter close-ups, F*300 w/1.4x for birds, otters and shoreline critters, 360 FGZ, Ricoh WG-M2 4K Action Cam

I have an action cam kit with several Ricoh WG-M1's and accessories...different discussion...

Again, though I own killer packs including Kinesis modular, nothing protects my gear even close to as well as hard-cases. And they are the absolute best for working in the field!

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Last edited by Ron Boggs; 12-03-2021 at 04:41 PM.
12-03-2021, 02:44 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Well, my initial and only thought about it is whether you feel the stuff jiggling inside.... other than that itís a matter of choice and convenience.
12-03-2021, 02:45 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Interesting point of view about backpacks. I guess it’s possible to adapt a Pelican case to wear as a backpack. That way, you could carry three loads of gear to site in one trip!
12-03-2021, 03:16 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michail_P Quote
Well, my initial and only thought about it is whether you feel the stuff jiggling inside.... other than that it’s a matter of choice and convenience.
No jiggling of contents, even when some items are removed. The lid compresses everything in place. I always carry 'em with the soft cases on to protect the lenses from jiggling.

---------- Post added 12-03-21 at 03:24 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
Interesting point of view about backpacks. I guess it’s possible to adapt a Pelican case to wear as a backpack. That way, you could carry three loads of gear to site in one trip!
I think Pelican used to make a backpack model?

I typically have one of the lenses with a tripod foot mounted on my tripod slung over my shoulder with the case carried like a briefcase. Doesn't matter what I look like, almost never see another human being when I'm afield...i.e. I don't walk the trails you find in guidebooks, other than an occasional pic of a cliche landmark that requires walking on public routes.


Last edited by Ron Boggs; 12-03-2021 at 03:27 PM.
12-03-2021, 03:42 PM   #5
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I'm so envious of your FA* zooms.
12-03-2021, 04:32 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by shyrsio Quote
I'm so envious of your FA* zooms.
I'm an FA* Fanboy. The good news for you is that they are dirt cheap nowadays on the used market and worth every penny!

So the early Made in Japan silver Limiteds--Three Amigos--don't make your knees quiver a bit too?

Oh, and almost every lens in both kits has an original Pentax SMC L39 UV filter. Not easy to find anymore...
12-03-2021, 04:41 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Boggs Quote
I'm an FA* Fanboy. The good news for you is that they are dirt cheap nowadays on the used market and worth every penny!

So the early Made in Japan silver Limiteds--Three Amigos--don't make your knees quiver a bit too?

Oh, and almost every lens in both kits has an original Pentax SMC L39 UV filter. Not easy to find anymore...
I have a FA* 85/1.4 and I cannot believe how lucky I am. I often fiddle with it just because for the pleasure of it. That lense is a monster, so this explains my love for the FA*, I wish I could get a whole collection of them some day.
About the Limiteds: I wouldn't want to bit off more than i can chew(or should I say Pay), but of course they are my ultimate goal, especially the made in Japan ones. the point is they are quite expensive form me nowadays.

12-03-2021, 07:52 PM - 1 Like   #8
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Nice work. I've got one pelican case that I got for use on the water.I bought mine with the pluck and pull foam so it fits the individual items with foam between them. I don't think anything could protect your gear better, from the elements, impact, vibration, or whatever.
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12-03-2021, 11:42 PM   #9
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Love the F*300, glad to see you do too Useful kits and with their original cases I can imagine little movement in the cases, no wonder the silver FA's still look pretty good.
12-03-2021, 11:51 PM   #10
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My Preferred Backpack Isn't a Backpack either. I still haven't found the perfect solution.
12-04-2021, 05:42 AM   #11
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That's an interesting solution with plenty of capacity

On the rare occasions I want to take a lot of gear with me, I use an IP67-rated waterproof case with padded dividers. I bought two of these some time back, initially for storage but now reserved for travel (as I store my equipment on cupboard shelves when at home, to keep them well-aired).





My original thread discussing this waterproof case is here:

Excellent IP67 waterproof storage case - PentaxForums.com

Last edited by BigMackCam; 12-04-2021 at 06:45 AM.
12-04-2021, 05:56 AM   #12
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I was searching for good backpack for months!! there are two categories - rugged or comfortable. But I'm 100% with Michail, putting all together without separators is a bit dangerous, imho.
12-04-2021, 08:10 AM   #13
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How about this:https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1580034-REG/rucpac_rucpacm_max_hardca...BoCmYUQAvD_BwE
12-04-2021, 09:03 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
That's an interesting solution with plenty of capacity

On the rare occasions I want to take a lot of gear with me, I use an IP67-rated waterproof case with padded dividers. I bought two of these some time back, initially for storage but now reserved for travel (as I store my equipment on cupboard shelves when at home, to keep them well-aired).





My original thread discussing this waterproof case is here:

Excellent IP67 waterproof storage case - PentaxForums.com
Yes, the dividers work great in the bigger cases. I have one that can fit both my smaller kits but it ends up too big for my near-daily boat trips. Great for cross county drives. And also yes, the reason for posting was to show how much increased capacity I attain with this soft case padding method instead of pick-n-pluck foam or dividers.

---------- Post added 12-04-21 at 09:16 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Lev Quote
I was searching for good backpack for months!! there are two categories - rugged or comfortable. But I'm 100% with Michail, putting all together without separators is a bit dangerous, imho.
And again, that's part of the reason I posted. With so much interest in how we all carry our gear, I want people to see an alternative designed for how it works during shoots and how it travels. Not suggesting everyone should do as I do, but rather suggesting that dialing in each of our own systems may not follow the usual bag research process.

Seems dangerous to have loose items in the case, but now 30 years of semi-pro photo work with just under 1000 paid published images and what seems like zillions of road, water and air miles without a single scratch. And I'm not easy on equipment (I've rolled down a tundra hill in Alaska with my kit, slid down rock scrum hills in Montana and sat through tremendous deluge rainstorms in Florida...stayed in Inuvialuit whaling camp on the Arctic Ocean eating caribou and beluga whale...my gear has been there!).

Hopefully nobody is confused and thinking my gear travels without cases...the Pentax soft cases are part of the reason this system works at all! The pics without cases was for insurance purposes and to show people what's in the kit. The kits travel and carry and work with everything in the soft cases!

Part of the key is to have the correct depth cases so the typical dimensions of cameras and lenses fit tighly enough that the egg-crate foam under the lid compresses everything. I have to push the lid down VERY hard to latch either kit. The gear is not loose inside at all! The smaller case is a Pelican 1400 and the bigger one is a 1500. Great interior dimensions for tight fit with camera gear.

Last edited by Ron Boggs; 12-04-2021 at 10:22 AM.
12-04-2021, 03:48 PM   #15
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I've tried to find the perfect camera case now, for over half a century. I've tried aluminum cases, backpacks,Lowepros, Cullmans.....

For my purposes, the best I've found is the Domke Original F2. I liked the first one so much, I bought another. Well built, top notch material,great shoulder belt, strong clips, very good internal lens/body/flash pockets that velcro inside the bags.

https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8...981&


I bought my Domke's in 2015 and have not even looked at another bag since that time.

Backpacks didn't work for me. As the OP said, try working out of one....I much prefer the traditional, stand up, flip over cover of the F2 Domke. Although I have kept one backpack, more for storage than anything else...a small Lowepro for my Canon G12 and Canon 430 flash.
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