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07-01-2015, 10:06 AM   #1
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F-Stop Guru and medium ICU?

I've read a number of positives on the Tilopa but was wondering if anybody had experience of the Guru? I'm planning an Ecuador trip in October which will involve a fair amount of hiking but also a fair amount of city and village walking. The Tilopa is just too much bag for me.

My plan at this stage is for the 645Z plus the 28-45 (yet to buy) plus 45-85 and 80-160, maybe the 120 macro but not sure but definitely a set of Lee filters that take up close to the same space as a lens. Other than that the usual extras.

I'd like to keep it as compact as possible but am not sure if the Medium ICU is too compact and the Guru will not accept anything bigger so I'd have to go up to a larger bag.

Failing that I'm open to suggestions for a hiking friendly bag, some up to 8-10 hours long but F-stop seems to be hands down the leader in that regard.

07-01-2015, 11:51 AM   #2
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What make a pack hiking friendly is how well it fits the shape of your particular body. What works well for one may be uncomfortable for another. Ideally, you could try different packs on before deciding. I'm sure you will get many suggestions for different makes of camera bags, all with good features. If you can't find a camera pack that works for you, another approach would be to find a hiking pack that fits well that you can then use something like an ICU inside. Companies like Osprey and Deuter have packs for winter sports that have the rear panel access. Unfortunately, the ICU's tend to be on back order. I'm hoping to get one for an October trip of mine own, to Madagascar.
07-01-2015, 03:40 PM   #3
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I don't have the Guru, but I do have the medium ICU.

One thing I note about the medium ICU is how shallow it is. You may not be able to get the 645z to fit (well).
My K5iis and a grip is really too tall for it. you can squish it in, but it's not the best.

As for lenses etc. it carries a good amount without being overboard.

Is the Loka too big for you? it's probably about as big as you want to go for urban areas, but it will definitely hold everything you could want.
07-01-2015, 04:06 PM   #4
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That's a good point about how shallow the regular ICUs can be. Take a look at the Slope ICUs that have one end deeper where you might be able to fit a larger camera. That is what I am trying to get for a gripped K-3.

07-01-2015, 05:09 PM   #5
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I use the Loka with Large Pro ICU. It holds 2x645Z bodies, 28-45, 55/2.8, 90 macro and 80-160. The 28-45 is huge and does not fit in the ICU vertically as the other lenses do. I put the 55/2.8 in a neoprene bag and lay it atop the 28-45. If I decide to take the 45-85 then it also goes in a neoprene bag and is put in one of the two top compartments. I also keep a rain jacket in the rear outer zipper pocket. Excellent backpack for me.
07-01-2015, 11:30 PM   #6
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The slope icu is not deep enough for the z. The flash socket will rub against the inside of the bag. I changed it for a large pro.<br />
<br />
Agreed on the loka. Worked flawlessly back country skiing with gear in the Arctic

You don't have to fill the bag with gear of course even if you can!
07-02-2015, 05:30 AM   #7
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That looks like a BIG bag!!! I've never carried anything bigger than a daypack but then again, my camera seems to be getting bigger and bigger with each new one! Do you find the Loka to be ok for more urban areas? I was looking for something a bit more unobtrusive.
07-02-2015, 01:54 PM   #8
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For urban areas, I tend not to use my 645Z that much. As such, I use the Think Tank Airport Essentials which still can easily carry a 645Z plus smaller street camera system. You might find this a bit limiting if you intend to carry the 28-45 as it must lay down in the backpack and that in itself takes up quite a bit of room. When I lay it don it takes up the space of two 645Z lenses which could fit vertical.

07-02-2015, 04:40 PM   #9
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I'm in Ecuador right now, my last night. Took the Z with me, 45-85, 35A, 75FA,and the 150 A, and an A7R with the Tamron 28-75 as backup. Also a tripod, monopod, 2 Pentax flashes, batteries, Cactus 6 triggers, all the necessary chargers, small laptop to dump photos into. Loaded for bear, and only used a portion of the gear (I was with other people at first, so limiting, and then when I was alone I was sick.

So, my advice? Lay out your gear, then 1/2 it, then 1/2 it again.

But leave room for the extra large bottle of Pepto Bismal, and a month's supply of Immodium. And if you suffer from motion sickness, bring something for that---even the new highways are very twisty. PM me if you want a couple of tips on Ecuador---although not if you've already been there.
07-03-2015, 07:15 AM   #10
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Good advice. It can help, but we all hate to find ourselves wishing for more gear. It seems that's where 645 zooms help a lot. 28-45, 45-85, 80-160 and maybe one longer lensmost often do it for me.
07-03-2015, 11:22 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by algrove Quote
Good advice. It can help, but we all hate to find ourselves wishing for more gear. It seems that's where 645 zooms help a lot. 28-45, 45-85, 80-160 and maybe one longer lensmost often do it for me.
Except that those 3 zooms weigh a lot. I left the 80-160 home because of that. The 75 weighs very little, as does the 150. The 35 is a little beefier, but not nearly like the 45-85 (which I took).
07-04-2015, 09:53 AM   #12
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Interesting, I'm talking myself out of the 45-85 as long as I buy ht e28-45 which I understand is a monster, that said, it will be the most used lens. I'd love to bring a long lens but given the weight of the 400 I just can't see it happening. My phone will be my back up! PM sent.
07-04-2015, 10:54 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by texandrews Quote
Except that those 3 zooms weigh a lot. I left the 80-160 home because of that. The 75 weighs very little, as does the 150. The 35 is a little beefier, but not nearly like the 45-85 (which I took).
All good points, but I say if I travel long distances to a special location I will take what I surmise I will need irregardless of weight. If you want to save weight get a Sony.

I will either take zooms to cover most of my needs and like you say a longer light weight like the 150 or even the 300. The 3 zooms cover 28-160 which for a MF system with 3 lenses is very good.

Then again, if I am going to known wet & rainy conditions, I will take newer sealed lenses like the 28-45, 55 and 90 and then perhaps an unsealed 150 or 300.

Yes, me too for real light I would take the A35, 55, 75 and perhaps the 150.
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