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08-22-2009, 12:39 PM   #1
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buy a smaller bag with attachments, or a larger bag?

i recently purchased a lowepro flipside 200, which is so amazing, loves it but may be a bit small. i knew it was a bit smaller than the 300, which has an extra side area, but i don't have many lenses so i figured it'd be pointless to get the 300.

but after putting all my stuff inside, space seems to disappear quite quickly hehe so i'm debating whether to get the 300, or keep the 200 and purchase a few lens cases and attach them to the bag.

Last edited by pete_pf; 08-22-2009 at 07:42 PM.
08-22-2009, 01:44 PM   #2
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what is the purpose of the bag, to carry some of your kit when on an outing, or hold all of it to transport?

I have wrestled with different bags for some time, and now have 3 photo napsacks and 2 shoulder bags.

in the end when travelling I want a small backpack to take a minimum kit, 2 bodies and 3 lenses. Even then, i also take a small shoulder bag, it gets packed in my suitcase and holds all my chargers etc (for phone, pda, cameras and AA for gps)

When I arrive at my destination, if I need my 70-200F2.8, i take the napsack, otherwise, I go out with either 1 or 2 bodies and 2 lenses, with the spare body/lens in the small shoulder bag.

If I am going somewhere to use as a base station, I might take a big photo napsack, with a ton of stuff, and the smaller one for out trips.
08-22-2009, 02:27 PM   #3
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I opted for the "attached lens case" (with a holster bag) option: sometimes I really do want to travel light, sometimes I'm willing to schlep a bunch of lenses. I like the flexibility.
08-22-2009, 08:06 PM   #4
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I would suggest that much depends on how much of your kit is taken up by your biggest thing: for instance, I rarely shoot much long tele, so it would make a certain amount of sense to have my regular carry stuff be fitted to a bag, and just have a case for the longer glass which I could stick on there. (In actual practice I put my big lens in another bag for my dear one to carry, if it's not on a camera. Usually with a body loaded with slower film as well. And a tripod. But I don't exercise this option without good reason. )

If you have a big lens which you usually don't carry, that's a good occasion to put that lens in a separate case. At least if you already have something comfy to carry the rest in.

If you have a big lens that you expect will mostly be on a camera all the time, this can also be an OK reason to have a case at your belt for it. (The last time I used big lenses or a medium format body or anything like that much, I'd just carry that lens and/or camera and any incidentals in a separate bag, from which I could just remove the big lens+body, sling it, and cache the now-nearly-empty bag somewhere. Which won't work on hikes but is good for sports, events, or whatever. ) Anyway, if you expect the big lens to be on a camera most of the time, it's not the worst thing ever to not get a bigger bag, but just have a usually-empty case at your belt. If you'll be actually chunking the lens around in said bag, you may just want a bigger bag.

Alternately, if you have a kit to which the big lens is central, you carry, you could build the carry arrangement around it, and just get additional cases for any extras you might want on some of those occasions.

09-01-2009, 11:34 PM   #5
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If I am on a "serious" shoot, I use my Domke F-6 and stuff my things. I also have an F-2 to cover the occasion where the F-6 is not big enough. For my "casual" shoots, I will put my camera and extra lenses in a backpack and not worry about any camera bag.

I sometimes do that for my light travels also. protect the body and lenses with sleeves made from diving suit material and put them into my lugguage or hand carry bag.

Super large lenses are handled as special case; they usually are only carried in the car trunk.
09-02-2009, 12:38 PM   #6
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I'm going to opt for a bigger bag - I've been thinking about how to deal with wanting to carry more stuff than I have room in my Slingshot 200. We took a 3 day travel trip with a fair amount of walking/hiking and I took the Slingshot with a separate Tamron shoulder bag for what didn't fit in the Tamron. The extra weight didn't bother me as much as constantly moving stuff around, the Tamron from shoulder to shoulder, changing lenses extra times because two lenses only fit in certain spaces, and so on. Since I was carrying a GPS on my belt, adding an extra bag or two for the excess wouldn't work so well for me - I'm not that big. I'm not going to give up the Slingshot, since I already own it (and the Tamron and a Lowepro fanny bag, and a Pentax holster bag), it'll just give me options depending on where I am and what I'm doing.
09-02-2009, 02:12 PM   #7
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i felt goofy wearing the flipside 200. Maybe I'm too tall? It feels tiny on me
09-06-2009, 01:53 PM   #8
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I'd go with bigger bag, providing I can still get it off the floor.

09-08-2009, 05:48 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by mtngal Quote
I'm going to opt for a bigger bag - I've been thinking about how to deal with wanting to carry more stuff than I have room in my Slingshot 200.
The AW 200 Sling will hold five lens, with two of those lenses being up to seven inches long, if you rotate the dividers.

The two slots on the right can hold the longer lenses. The left can hold them too, it is just a pain to get them in and out.

Old photo of what I used to carry in the bag.

Although I really like the AW 200 Sling, I'm waiting to see the LowePro Classified 180 or 220 sling in a store. I think one of these might be the "perfect" bag for me.

Thank you
09-08-2009, 12:16 PM   #10
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The Slingshot 200 has been quite good for my needs until I bought the DA*200 and DA*300 - I've only been able to manage everything with the sling 200 and an extra bag. Hopefully the Kata 3N1-30 will work better (I've ordered it sight unseen and have my fingers crossed that I'll find it comforable).
10-11-2009, 05:32 PM   #11
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Hmm ... Be interested in what you think of the Kata bag. Toying with this decision now. Do I go Lowepro Fastpack? Lowepro Slingshot? or Kata 3N1? seems ok but looks to be getting out of date as the newer bags are not even listed let alone reviewed

I'm after a day bag to walk around with - I tend to be the mule who carries everything and want a bag for my camera, six lenses, flash, ideally a tripod mount and snack/water/rainproof clothing. Not asking much, am I?

At the moment I have an old old case designed for an old video camera (shoulder bag) and a rucksack with lenses held in bags inside. Far from ideal!!
10-12-2009, 01:35 PM   #12
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I spent a week on vacation in Washington's Olympic Peninsula recently. We didn't do all that much hiking, just some short hikes/walks, no more than 4 miles at a time. I took the Kata 3N1-30 bag with the Kata tripod attachment all over the place, and I really like it, definitely better than the Slingshot for carrying heavy loads (I'm another one who just can't quite leave anything back because that's exactly what I'll want). The only time I left anything back was when I was hiking to Sol Duc Falls in the rain - I left the 540 flash in the car, along with the DA 55-300 (I let my husband use the weather sealed DA*50-135 on the K20 instead, opting for shooting pretty much only with the DA*200, switching to the DA12-24 only when we reached the falls, when it wasn't raining. It was an interesting exercise).

I was carrying around the following: K-7, DA*200, DA*300, DA*50-135, Vivitar S1 105mm macro, FA 77 Ltd, DA 12-24, DA 10-17, 540 flash, Gitzo 2541 tripod and head along with some miscellaneous accessories (and I can fit one more small lens in the top, with the flash, if need be or a snack. You could probably fit a small poncho in, but not a sweater or a jacket). That's more than I can fit in the Slingshot 200, by a significant margin.

All that stuff is really pushing the limits of how much I should be carrying - the bag is really heavy. But I was happier than if I had gone somewhere and not had something I had left behind.

For the most part I had the straps organized as a backpack without using the hip strap. That worked well enough most of the time as it allows one to use the pack much like the Fastpack, slipping the appropriate strap off of a shoulder to get into the particular side of the bag I wanted to access (unlike the Lowepro, you have access from both sides. I have the bag arranged so that two of my less-used lenses are on one side while everything else can be accessed from the other side). The last day I walked over 2 miles out on Dungenes Sand Spit, and my shoulders and back got tired. No problem, I just pulled out the hip strap, which transfers the weight to my hips instead of my shoulders and kept walking without a problem, something I wouldn't have been able to do with the Slingshot 200. In the past I had hiked longer than was comfortable with a fully loaded Slingshot 200, and about all you can do is reach back to awkwardly hold the bag off your shoulder with your hands. With the Kata, you can switch shoulders if you have it cross shoulder on only one shoulder, or switch to two shoulder straps or add the hip strap.

I've discovered that for the most comfortable/high weight carrying configuration is to have the shoulder straps cross-shoulder (rather than backpack style) and the hip-strap fastened. However, then you are always unsnapping two things for access (hip strap and one shoulder strap or both shoulder straps, like you would for a flip pack), which isn't all that big of a deal, but somewhat annoying, especially for shorter walks. It does provide more security as the bag can't slip off your shoulder that way, which is another reason why I thought it was superior to backpack style. I really like having the choice of what I want to use, and the straps I'm not using slip neatly away in the back of the bag.

My final conclusion is that Kata really designed their bag extremely well, with a number of well-thought out details. While I still have the Slingshot and can see myself using it on occasion when I can't or don't want to carry everything, the Kata is the way to go if you want to carry everything including the kitchen sink. But I'd also recommend having a much smaller bag for those times when you don't want to feel like a mule.
10-13-2009, 07:05 AM   #13
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That's useful information.

I've been woken up by the introduction of the 3N1-33 - a new version with a laptop storage facility. But, as usual, it isn't available yet. (I need it for next week! )

Rather than wait, I think I'm going to plumb for the Lowepro Fastpack 250 which ticks all my boxes except the tripod. Did briefly consider the Tamrac Aero Speed 75 and 85 which do allow you to strap on a tripod, but am advised that the Tamrac is not quite as easy to use - particularly through the side access.

So order to be placed for the fastpack, methinks


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