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03-28-2015, 06:52 AM   #1
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another 645Z bag question … for Iceland.

Heading to Iceland in May. Looking to take the Z and the 28-45/45-85/85-160 and if I can sneak it in, the 150-300. I need a bag for the body and the first 3 lenses. Being able to strap on a tripod would be a plus as I might still be walking around aided by then( had a hip replaced recently) I am asking for suggestions.

03-28-2015, 07:28 AM   #2
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Are you thinking of a photo backpack? If so, F-Stop gets rave reviews for the carrying comfort of their packs such as the Tilopa BC, with various sizes of inserts available to hold the gear.

I've been using a LowePro Flipside 500 AW backpack for the past few years and it will hold all four zooms you mentioned, 645D/Z body, and accessories. And it fits US airline carryon requirements for the overhead bin. What I like most is that full access is via the side of the pack that is against your back. This allows accessing lenses without removing the pack by sliding it via waistbelt around to the front, it keeps the straps clean when setting the pack on the ground, and it provides extra security from slash 'n grab theft while wearing the pack. It does have an external tripod attachment on the back. The comfort is fine to me for carrying approx. 1-2 miles, but I am considering the F-Stop packs for long hike comfort.

Last edited by SeattleDucks; 03-28-2015 at 07:53 PM.
03-28-2015, 07:40 AM   #3
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Gura Gear 18L. Best. Bag. Ever. Gura Gear | Bataflae 18L Professional Photography Backpack

Though my Uinta gives a run for its money if I also want to pack food, a jacket, etc.
03-28-2015, 09:02 AM   #4
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My choice is the Kata 3-N-1 series.

I've had the 3-N-1 35 PL for several years, originally used for my Sony FF gear (pre A7R, which is now my "light" rig, with the Z my "heavy" rig). Here's the series page: 3N1 Family - 3N1 Series | Kata Bags

To my mind, what is ideal about the series is:
  • It's right hand/left hand agnostic---can be set up in sling mode either way
  • can act as a standard backpack
  • can act as backpack and a sling simultaneously (neat trick!)
  • loads of room, upper and lower compartments, exterior pockets, lashing points
  • tough exterior, rain cover
  • very comfortable hip padding with belt(shoulder straps are narrower, but still comfortable)---all the weight can be shifted to hips
  • Still comfortable with over 25 pounds of gear---weight-wise, it holds more than airline carry-on allowances (but still fits in the overhead)
  • has a special sleeve that allows for a trolley to be inserted
  • compatible with other Kata add-on pouches
I don't like backpacks because, although they can carry more weight theoretically, and are best for long tele lenses , you have to take the whole pack off to get to your gear. These Kata bags with their sling capabilities enable you to shoot on the fly when you need to. The downside is that they are, like Think Tank, a bit pricey. After Kata I love Lowe bags, and Lowe warranty is the very best.


Last edited by texandrews; 03-28-2015 at 09:09 AM. Reason: add text
03-28-2015, 10:48 AM   #5
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F-Stop Tilopa BC + Peak Design Capture Pro

I recommend this combination of bag and exterior clamp for both weight bearing and 'on the fly' photography.

1. I can't stand the larger bags that rotate around to be opened to access kit as this is about as bad as it gets for the 4th lumbar vertebrae; ergonomically speaking. Had too many opportunities spoiled by that sucker going out and rendering me immobile.
2. The F-stop Tilopa BC is superbly built and has extremely comfortable straps and a very versatile range of protecting inserts and exterior accessories. These include lens holding cylinders that strap to the waist belt.
3. The Peak Design Capture Pro clamps onto the pack straps and can easily carry the 645Z and 28-45mm allowing virtually instant access. In so doing it transfers weight from the back of the pack to the front which is actually even more comfortable.

The bag may seem big but it doesn't feel that way on my back.
03-28-2015, 11:04 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by unkipunki Quote
3. The Peak Design Capture Pro clamps onto the pack straps and can easily carry the 645Z and 28-45mm allowing virtually instant access. In so doing it transfers weight from the back of the pack to the front which is actually even more comfortable.
Hey, first of all I've enjoyed your images here---I liked that roaring river one, for instance. I gravitate towards cloudy/rainy/moody/dark . Especially nowadays when there are so many spectacular/beautiful mountain scenes shot by so many. I love them, but it's like too much chocolate or coffee or good wine (I love them too, but there's a limit...).

But I'm very curious about your experiences with this peak design system (and some of their other things). Maybe you'd consider a separate "gear post" with some pix of how you are using it?
03-28-2015, 11:09 AM   #7
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A +1 for the F-stop Tilopa. I use Tilopa for carrying a large amount of gear for longer distances. Given your list of equipment, you might also look at the Loka or Guru, the smaller siblings of the Tilopa. I have a Guru that I use for 645z, 35/2.8, 55/2.8, 75/2.8 and 120/4. Holds all of Pentax gear with plenty of room for jacket, snacks, etc.
03-28-2015, 11:26 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by texandrews Quote
Hey, first of all I've enjoyed your images here---I liked that roaring river one, for instance. I gravitate towards cloudy/rainy/moody/dark . Especially nowadays when there are so many spectacular/beautiful mountain scenes shot by so many. I love them, but it's like too much chocolate or coffee or good wine (I love them too, but there's a limit...).

But I'm very curious about your experiences with this peak design system (and some of their other things). Maybe you'd consider a separate "gear post" with some pix of how you are using it?
I will try and get round to doing a 'gear post' as I am very happy with the setup I have. Time being somewhat at a premium just now I can't guarantee it being soon.

03-28-2015, 11:59 AM   #9
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Another vote for the Kata 3N1. I don't doubt that it is bad for my 4th lumbar vertebrae but it doesn't know it or maybe know it yet. Frankly, some of the stances that I have to get into to take a photo are bad for my back. The sling bag option is invaluable, even if you end up putting it on the ground to take the gear out, which I do most o the time, the 645Z just isn't made for a quick run and gun on the fly shot so I'm not normally panicked to take a photo.

In my view, being able to hold a lot of gear and it being accessible are two different and distinct things. I have 4 bags in my closet that I bought specifically for the 645Z. The backpack is used for photography outings but if it is a short jaunt then the Domke F2 I think it is with a $40 ebay insert whose name escapes me is ideal.
03-28-2015, 02:16 PM   #10
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I have the Fstop Satori and the Loka. The Satori is the best bag I have ever used by far. It's not carry on compliant so I remove the ICU and pack my clothes in it and check it in, then put the ICU into a roller bag for carry on.

Have not tried the Tilopa but my Loka is brand new and I am going to sell it.
03-28-2015, 03:52 PM   #11
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Another vote for the Tilopa.
03-28-2015, 08:33 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by itshimitis Quote
Another vote for the Tilopa.
Are the shoulder straps on the Tilopa as good as they are on the Satori? That is the number one failing of the Loka in my view. Sure you can load it up but its not as comfortable to carry. I took the Loka out once with a 645Z, 28-45, 90, full Lee filter set, long lens support package and tripod plus water and food and the bag near killed me.

I can go out the with Satori loaded with the 645Z, 28-45, 55, 90, 150 and 300, tripod plus accessories and its no problem.
03-28-2015, 10:54 PM   #13
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I am using the F-Stop Guru happily. Takes the 645z + 90mm, 120mm, tubes flash and ring flash, tripod, all of the other junk plus waterproof, water and survival rations. And is comfortable for 20 kilometers. I attach the camera to the backpack straps when I am using it (Tamrac or thinktank connectors I think)

Ed
03-29-2015, 02:55 AM   #14
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Fstop Loka with large pro icu...perfect
03-29-2015, 07:05 PM   #15
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No suggestion for the bag, but I might choose the 150-300mm before the 85-160mm if I left one behind.
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