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08-02-2010, 10:12 PM   #1
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Suggestions for a backpack for Pentax 67 II Kit

Hi again,
Now that I have the start of a Pentax 67 II kit I'm now realising that my old Lowepro backpack just won't be able to accommodate this equipment. The kit I currently have is:
  • P67II Body + AE Prism
  • Lenses: 45mm, 55mm, 75mm, 105mm, 165mm and 200mm
  • Filters (Lee ND Grads, Warming and Polariser)
  • Pentax Digital Spotmeter
  • Cable Release, batteries, cleaning accessories
  • Tripod + Ballhead
Now I probably will settle on 3 lenses to take out on any one trip due to weight restrictions. I'm thinking 45mm, 105mm and 200mm for most of my landscape/nature photography. If I manage to get hold of a 100mm Macro lens I'll probably subsitute that for the 105mm.
I know there are a million choices are out there but does anyone have any Strong recommendations for a backpack which can accommodate this sort of equipment? Preferably I'm looking for someone who has used a backpack themselves for a reasonable period of time with exactly the type of kit above...
I think my main requirements are:
  1. Comfortable on the shoulders/back for long periods of hiking/walking on all types of terrain
  2. Able to attach the tripod
  3. Possibly attachments for water bottles, etc
  4. Lightweight
  5. Waterproof
  6. Configurable compartments
  7. Ease of access to equipment
Any help would be appreciated !
Rgds
Rick

08-03-2010, 07:25 AM   #2
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I use a big LowePro, I think it's a Photo Trekker for my 6x7 kit. It holds the body and all nine of my lenses as well as some accessories quite nicely.
08-03-2010, 08:19 AM   #3
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My Lowepro is a good size and will carry my 67, 3 lenses and accessories. But it doesn't have a waist belt and water bottle pocket. That, I've found, is really important for long hike. And I've taken it on some long, rough hikes. Mine must be for more walking around than a hike. So avoid that kind of a bag.

Yeah, you'll want to carry just 3 lenses. It's hard to leave one behind but on a long hike I found I need space for other things like food and non-photographic gear. The 45/105/200mm is a good choice. But notice that each has a different filter size which sucks for a BW shooter that does not like messing with stepper rings.

If you have a spot meter, why not get a waist level finder and save weight and size there? Granted the 67II prism weighs less than the 67 version but it sure makes it more compact and your camera battery will last forever too, well, on a 67 version anyway.
08-03-2010, 12:46 PM   #4
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Either a pack mule or a couple of sherpas.

08-03-2010, 11:46 PM   #5
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Choices

Thanks for the replies.

From the suggestions so far (on this and other forums I posted the question to) the main choices are:
  1. Lowepro (Photo Trekker/Vertex/Computrekker Plus/Pro Trekker)
  2. Tenba (Shootout/Rolling)
  3. Tamrac (777)
  4. Osprey (hiking backpack)
I am expecting to hike on occasions for potentially a few hours/half a day to get to locations, etc before shooting so comfort is probably one of the biggest factors. I'll take a look at the Manufacturers website on each of the above and then see if I can try a few in one of the shops here.


It was a good point about the need for the AE prism if I have the spotmeter. I'll certainly have a think about that.



Rgds
Rick
08-04-2010, 07:52 AM   #6
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I was at the camera store last night. And this thread got me thinking about my current backpack. I've been doing a lot of long day hikes this summer with my gear. I looked at a Pro Trekker 300 AW.

That thing is really made for hiking. It is similar to the Photo Trekker in size but made more for hiking. You get side pockets for water bottles, provisions for attaching stuff sacks for clothing and food plus a rain fly that will deploy over it. The Photo Trekker looks better for city and urban use but those packs are about the size you'd need for your 67 gear.

They make larger ones but I don't think you'd find them as convenient unless you really wanted to carry every piece of gear you own or may own in the future with you. They are like a suitcase with straps on them.

You really need to see them first hand. Looking at them on a web page really doesn't cut it. They look smaller on the computer than they really are. Hopefully there is a camera store that carries them where you can go see one first hand.

So I'd say either the Photo Trekker or Pro Trekker 300 AW would be a good choice in the Lowepro line. They also look like they would fit on an airplane's overhead stowage bin. You can take the waist belt off them for that. Anything larger and I don't think it would fit.
08-04-2010, 12:58 PM   #7
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+1 for LowePro

I second the lowepro recommendations or something from KATA, but the lowepros are very well thought out. For landscape use, I would consider the phototrekker or vertex AW series. really nicely padded waistbelts will make for a much better hiking experience. I've hiked in Patagonia with 2 K20D bodies, tripod and host of lenses and it really held up well.

If you're looking at humping it into camp though, just look for a good backpack and warp everything in microfibre cloths and something to seal out moisture. I normally negotiate the hike with a pack and alternate between handholding and slinging an SLR around my neck so that I can easily stop to take a shot. I imagine shooting with the 67 will be more involved and you will not be taking frequent breaks to haul it out. If that's the case though, just make sure it's the last thing you pack so that it sits relatively accesible toward the top of the pack or rejig the sleeping bag compartment so that you can access from there.

Cheers,
Lib
08-06-2010, 02:49 PM   #8
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I have both a lowepro nature trekker and a KATA HB 207 that I use for my P645 outfit. For me, the KATA is best. It carries as much or more than the LP, and is lighter by a few pounds. Also has nice touches like the bright yellow interior that makes it easier to find things. For travelling through airports, you can also purchase an accessory that converts it to a rolling backback.

08-07-2010, 08:29 AM   #9
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Thanks again

Cool, thanks for the replies. I will add Kata to my list and try a few of these out in the shop.

Rgds
Rick
08-08-2010, 01:43 AM   #10
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Follow up

Just a quick update... I was down at the camera store today looking at a few of the bags mentioned. Here's my initial thoughts:

Kata Bumblebee PL220 - Was told this was the new update to the HB207 recommended. Nice bag which seems very light. Nice and bright yellow inside making things easy to find. Rubberized straps for shoulders but not too much in the way of extra external storage

Lowepro Vertex 300 - Nicely constructed and design, looks robust but not really too much in the way of carrying anything aside from your camera gear/laptop (ie would be hard pushed to put any clothing/food/water, etc)

Lowepro Protrekker 300 - Probably the most suitable for what I am planning in that it seems more geared for hiking as pointed out by tuco above. Nice external storage options which all seem removable if you don't need them or want to cut down on weight. Also a side pouch for a water hydration system so you can have a tube coming straight out of that.

I think I'm sold on the Protrekker 300. It's probably big enough for what I want to put into it. Any bigger and I think it would be too heavy...

Rgds
Rick
08-08-2010, 11:30 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by rickbehl Quote
Just a quick update... I was down at the camera store today looking at a few of the bags mentioned. Here's my initial thoughts:

...

Lowepro Protrekker 300 - Probably the most suitable for what I am planning in that it seems more geared for hiking as pointed out by tuco above. Nice external storage options which all seem removable if you don't need them or want to cut down on weight. Also a side pouch for a water hydration system so you can have a tube coming straight out of that.

I think I'm sold on the Protrekker 300. It's probably big enough for what I want to put into it. Any bigger and I think it would be too heavy...

Rgds
Rick
Another thing to look for in something like the Protrekker 300 is how the pack carries on your back. In the store when empty it fits nice but loaded with a 67, 4 lenses, accessories and water it is heavy. They can tend to pivot at the waist belt and pull away from your back and the shoulder straps become uncomfortable on a long hike.

It has a lot of adjustment I see but keep that in mind when looking it over. I noticed the top of it didn't ride close to the back and up high.
08-09-2010, 06:49 AM   #12
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Another alternative is to get a real backpack with the features you need and the fit you like, and then buy inserts and such to put in it. I have done so with a large pack, I only use one insert from Tenba (people use these to turn messenger bags to camera bags) and it handles a decent 645 + other cameras kit pretty well, though all at the bottom of the bag. I could buy a second insert and keep less used bits on the bottom one. Billingham and Domke make such inserts as well.

This probably results in a less handily usable bag, from the pov of having access to everything. On the other hand, you get a 'regular' backpack with room for non-photo gear as well (the photo packs tend to skimp on this).
08-09-2010, 11:04 PM   #13
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Thanks

Thanks again. I think the Pro Trekker should be comfortable enough. Like you said it's hard to gauge without actually putting all your intended travelling gear inside it and carrying it for a mile or two... I don't think the shop would be too happy if I suggested that :-)

Anyway, I have ordered it now from Amazon so I hope it does work out!

Neester, yes, a couple of folk have responded to me saying that a dedicated backpack works best. But to be honest I don't think I will be hiking to location spots for more than a couple hours at most so I think a Photo-biased backpack probably works better than a Hiking-biased one. If the ratio of Hiking:Photographing was starting to skew more towards Hiking then I think you are right and I might need to reconsider...

Thanks again,
Rick
08-10-2010, 09:41 PM   #14
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I'd go with a regular backpack/daypack

I've been doing a bunch of hiking with my P645 and some lenses. High, Colorado mountains, so I need to travel with water, rain-gear, fleece, goretex and lunch. My camera is less than 1/4 of the volume.

I've been happy carrying the camera in hand or on my shoulder. The 645 strap is quite well designed, and the camera fits the hand surprisingly well.

My 1980s daypack held everything I needed, but... Just bought a new backpack with frame and air-space. Dieter (?) is the brand. Very high-quality, somewhat pricey (but I think I got top-end for $150). The belt support makes a big difference on my shoulder, allowing me to compromise with the camera strap.

In short: I travel with a Lowe-pro, padded camera case that fits in the overhead, and serves as a daypack. But, for real hiking, I have a good backpack into which I fit my MF camera and lenses.
08-19-2010, 10:22 PM   #15
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I use a 25 year old Camp Trails external aluminum frame pack with a foam block in the upper compartment cut to hold camera, lenses, meter, and filters. Tripod bungees on top. Accessories hide in the smaller compartments. I cover the pack with the same poncho that covers me in the rain. I usually carry a 45 or 55, 90, 165, 2x, and helicoid extension with Nikor 105 enlarger lens.
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