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08-08-2012, 10:30 AM   #1
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What to take, and what to pack it in

So I 'm planning a cross country trip this fall and thinking about what I want to bring with me. I have a KX, and the followng lenses: 18-55; 50-200; 50, 1.7; 50, 2.8 macro; sigma 28-105, 2.8; 35, 2.4. I am thinking take the body, and 3 lenses. But which ones?! Or should I take all of them, pack them elsewhere (or leave in the car) and only pull out the ones i need when I need them?

I will also need a back pack, as right now all I use is a messenger style bag, which tends to hurt my neck/back after long hours of walking. I plan on going to many national parks so being able to pack camera/lenses, plus some other things like water, rain jacket, cell phone, wallet, sunglasses etc would be good.

I'd also like to bring: dolica tripod, flash (although i can pack this someplace else and don't need to have it on me at all times-for instance i doubt i would take it to the parks), maybe my holga or other toy camera, extra batteries. wow i have a lot of stuff don't i?!

So i was looking at something like these tamrac back packs that have the gear in the bottom, and have a top compartment as well. I'd love to stay under $100, even better under $75! Doable?

This is one I was looking at Tamrac 3370 Aero 70 Photo Backpack (Black) 337001 B&H Photo But it doesn't look like it has a way to carry a tripod, and I am not sure if the material is water resistant (which I guess isn't totally necessary but would b nice in case)...

Thoughts?

08-08-2012, 10:37 AM   #2
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In that entire list, I'd say:

18-55
50-200
50 F2.8
35 F2.4

18-55 and 50-200 gives you a sufficient range in daytime.
50 F2.8 macro gives you macro when you need it, and is a pretty good short tele lens on the k-x.
35 F2.4 is fantastic for everything from landscape to portraiture to group shots. Just gotta walk around a bit.

I don't see a need to bring the 50 F1.7 or the 28-105.

Lowepro has some backpacks that have rain sleeves (works fantastically, but just a little awkward) and tripod slots. That may be an alternative for you. I have the smaller one of the backpacks and it fits my k-x, 70-200 F2.8, Sigma 50 F1.4, and DA 35 F2.4 and one more lens. It also has a front pouch for all the batteries and essentials, side pockets for umbrellas, and a bajillion straps to reduce back strain.
08-08-2012, 10:45 AM   #3
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I assume by hiking across country you mean 'hiking along a highway' somewhere. If you bringfast lenses, you may want to invest in some decent ND filters for when its high noon and you're shooting with a blazing sun out.
08-08-2012, 10:48 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sagitta Quote
I assume by hiking across country you mean 'hiking along a highway' somewhere. If you bringfast lenses, you may want to invest in some decent ND filters for when its high noon and you're shooting with a blazing sun out.

Hi sorry to be unclear. I will be driving across the country but plan to do some hiking at places like yellowstone, rocky mountain, utah parks, etc... Yes a ND filter good idea, because I also wanted to ask about that. I had seen something that was a "variable" ND filter basically your turn the filter to have various degrees of stops on the filter. Have you used one of those? There are more expensive ones, but there was one I think made by polaroid that was only about $40 or so I think...

08-08-2012, 10:54 AM   #5
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Take it all if you have the car. Get a good backpack and only pack what you think you will need that day. Weight in the car makes no difference. Weight on your back does.

I have a Lowepro backpack (compu-trekker???) that goes in the woods and and two regular shoulder camera bags each with a different load. One bag has all M42 stuff and the other has all k-mount, another bag has all the flash gear. Everything goes in the car and I just pack the backpack each day with what I will need for the days shoot. And in the woods you don't carry more than you need. Tripod goes on external straps on the backpack, mine has a 'boot' that the bottom of the tripod sits in and then straps on at the top.

And I picked up all of those bags at garage or estate sales for a few bucks each. If you have the time, you can get a good backpack for nothing at those sales.
08-08-2012, 11:43 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Take it all if you have the car. Get a good backpack and only pack what you think you will need that day. Weight in the car makes no difference. Weight on your back does.

I have a Lowepro backpack (compu-trekker???) that goes in the woods and and two regular shoulder camera bags each with a different load. One bag has all M42 stuff and the other has all k-mount, another bag has all the flash gear. Everything goes in the car and I just pack the backpack each day with what I will need for the days shoot. And in the woods you don't carry more than you need. Tripod goes on external straps on the backpack, mine has a 'boot' that the bottom of the tripod sits in and then straps on at the top.

And I picked up all of those bags at garage or estate sales for a few bucks each. If you have the time, you can get a good backpack for nothing at those sales.
+1 The ideal lens is always the one you haven't got with you!
08-08-2012, 12:52 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Take it all if you have the car. Get a good backpack and only pack what you think you will need that day. Weight in the car makes no difference. Weight on your back does.
This!


QuoteQuote:
And I picked up all of those bags at garage or estate sales for a few bucks each. If you have the time, you can get a good backpack for nothing at those sales.
That's where I pick up bags, too. They often sell for pretty cheap since people are usually more interested in any gear that's for sale.
08-08-2012, 01:21 PM   #8
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Couldn't resist posting this one again :P

Courtesy of Samyang Poland

08-08-2012, 01:34 PM   #9
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I have a Lowepro Primus Minimus AW backpack that I could wear all day even when heavily load it's so damn comfortable. It has a hip support waist belt, chest strap, and well padded and supported shoulder straps that work great. It's the best backpack, of any kind, I've ever used. I'm not much of a hiker/camper though, but I did carry a ton of books when in college and wish I could've had as comfortable of a backpack as the Lowepro. It's got a rain guard (which I've had to use), good interior padding, customizable dividers, pockets for accessories and SD cards, and it even has side access so it can be used as a sling bag. There's a version of the same bag that has a sleeve for a 14 or 15" laptop that if I'd known about I might have gotten instead if the price was close to the same. I use my small ThinkTank Retrospective 5 shoulder bag more though these days since it's conveniently small for short outings. My ThinkTank can pack either my zoom or prime kit well. The Lowepro can pack my camera, all five of my lenses with hoods, a flash or two, and extra batteries, along with filters, SD cards, etc. It's even got a spot outside for a water bottle and I can strap my tripod to the backpack. The Primus Minimus was being sold for $100 at multiple places when I bought it but I think it's sort of hard to come by now as it appears to have been discontinued, which is a shame since it is such a great bag and because it makes my recommendation of it somewhat worthless.

Good luck on your trip!
08-08-2012, 01:44 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Take it all if you have the car.
Yes, take it all. You have some good lenses, but none of them are overly expensive and all are easy to find for sale again, so even loss or damage are not huge risks (although "everything we have" always seems like it).
08-08-2012, 02:11 PM   #11
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contrarian advice

stick with your photo messenger bag. see if you can lighten it some. ...and add a waist belt of some kind. You could make a second shoulder strap do the job. The waist belt will redistribute some of the weight to your hips and keep your messenger bag from flopping around. Your gear will still be handy (it gets old taking a backpack on and off to access gear). ...and you can still wear a light backpack for your non-photo gear or bigger photo gear like a tripod.

And on that last note, I find that a sturdy monopod with a quick release does a bang up job of doubling as a walking stick to reduce fatigue. I've walked both Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain parks this way. I skipped the tripod and carried a role of double-sided Velcro tape. The tape can secure your monopod to trees, fences, benches, etc. when you need a free-standing (so to speak) camera mount.
08-08-2012, 02:48 PM   #12
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If you have room in the car, take them all, you may not use them, but you kick yourself if you need one and it's not there. Your messenger bag should be fine if you do like Jim Johnson said and add a waist belt to keep it from flopping around. Backpacks are great for hauling gear, but you have to remove them to get into them.I did hiking in Yellowstone 3 years ago and a Tenba slingbag was very nice to be able to change lenses in the field without having to remove the pack like you do with a backpack. But I took too much on one long (several hours and lots of climbing) hike, keep it light. I also packed a first aid kit, food, and some other item, all of which were pretty light. Now for most shorter hikes I use individual lens cases strapped to a belt. By the way in Yellowstone the 55-300 was the workhorse lens since there is so much wildlife. Don't forget something like Optech rain sleeves for you kit so you can shoot in the rain. Good luck and have fun!
08-08-2012, 02:54 PM   #13
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Since your trip is in the Fall, you could take all your lenses and leave what you don't use in the car. I wouldn't say this if it were summer, as heat can liquefy the lubricants and get your aperture blades all oily.
08-08-2012, 10:14 PM   #14
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When I'm taking a trip and driving, I bring everything I think I might need. I then make decisions on what to carry along for whatever I may be shooting on a particular day. Some stuff I know I'm going to use a lot so that stays handy in a shoulder bag. The remainder resides in a large backpack or other places in the vehicle. My wife and I just took a trip down the Carolina coast. I have a GMC truck with a cap on the bed so I have lots of room. My tripod and monopod have a semi-permanent home behind the drivers seat. I have an inverter so I can charge anything. My gear suffered no ill effects in the back of the truck in the near 100 degree heat. It gets much hotter in the cab when parked. The padding on my Lowepro backpack seems to insulate some. In the fall in the mountains, you can experience weather extremes like below freezing nights and very hot days and big temperature differences at different altitudes.
Bring everything you own and enjoy the trip!
08-14-2012, 12:41 PM   #15
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hi all

thanks for the advice. I think I will just bring everything, and pack it all in the car, and take what I need in the backpack when I go out.

This is the back pack I ended up ordering. I found it on ebay for something like $40 +shipping. Now it does have a rain cover, but no tripod holder which is okay, but I was wondering about this thing on the front of the bag if it would hold a tripod or not?

I got the blue/black one






I did look at the lowepro ones and the Tamrac ones, but there was always one thing missing from them that i wanted to have, and they all of course were pricy. I still have some time so if this one turns out not that great, I can still look.
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