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Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 11-20-2014, 11:09 PM  
Any experience with f-stop backpacks?
Posted By St_PatGuy
Replies: 14
Views: 2,964
I've had my Loka for about two years now. It is a bit pricey, but is a good balance between a photographer's bag and a hiking backpack. The removable ICUs mean you can customize internal storage for your camera(s) and lenses. The waist belt really does help distribute the weight so your shoulders aren't aching at the end of the hike.

Like you said, there is no quick side access, which can be a bit of a pain. It is sometimes inconvenient to unstrap the pack and take it off to get inside. A solution that works for me was to get a clip from Peak Design that attaches to the waist belt straps where i can clip the camera in using the quick plate. The camera is exposed, riding on the belt like this, but it is very handy in case you need it for a quick shot. If I know I'll be hiking through some rough spots I'll simply pack the camera away into the bag for safety. On the other side of the waist belt I've attached a couple of lens cases. That way, I've got three different lenses that are very easy to swap out without having to remove the backpack.

It's easy to strap a tripod to the backpack, as well.

Construction is rugged. I haven't had any issues with it in two years. Plenty of configurable cargo space means you are good for all sorts of trips, too.

Don't have any experience with the new UL version.
Forum: General Photography 06-21-2014, 06:15 PM  
How do you carry your gear on hikes?
Posted By St_PatGuy
Replies: 22
Views: 2,524
maxxxx, I went through quite a bit of trial and error before finally figuring out a comfortable and accessible combination. A backpack with a hip belt really helps distribute the weight off your shoulders. If you are going on long hikes, the weight of gear, food, and water adds up. Keep my camera attached to the hip belt with a Peak Design Capture Clip:

While it doesn't offer protection for the camera, I like it because I can have my camera ready very quickly. The quick release plate also fits on my tripod. When I need to protect the camera, scrambling up rocks, for example, I simply just pack it away in the backpack.

On the other side of the hip belt I've got a couple lens cases so I can effectively swap out three different lenses fairly quickly. I like that part because near the end of hikes when I'm pretty tired, the last thing I want to do is unbuckle everything, take the pack off, and rummage around for a different lens.

As for the tripod, usually just keep it propped up on my shoulder, but can also strap it to the backpack if I need my hands free. A lightweight tripod pays off.
Forum: Pentax K-3 Photo Contest 05-28-2014, 06:34 AM  
Black & White untitled
Posted By St_PatGuy
Replies: 5
Views: 913
Thank you so much for the feedback, guys!! Greatly appreciated.

While on vacation at the beach, a featureless gray sky foiled my plans of heading down to the water for some sunrise shots. So, grabbed the tripod and headed out to the backyard of the rental house we were in and had an absolute blast taking photos. With visions of sweeping dramatic sunrise shots over the water, it's somewhat ironic that this ended up being one of my favorite photos. And, a good reminder that there is beauty in the most unlikely places, in this case, the backyard.
Forum: Pentax K-3 Photo Contest 04-30-2014, 05:54 AM  
Black & White untitled
Posted By St_PatGuy
Replies: 5
Views: 913
Thank you very much, Pentor!
Forum: Pentax K-3 Photo Contest 04-27-2014, 01:16 PM  
Black & White untitled
Posted By St_PatGuy
Replies: 5
Views: 913
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-17-2013, 08:02 PM  
Free denim Pentax shirt!
Posted By St_PatGuy
Replies: 22
Views: 4,317
Now THAT was funny! :D
Forum: Pentax K-5 & K-5 II 08-24-2013, 03:59 PM  
Depth Measurement: K5 + DA21mm?
Posted By St_PatGuy
Replies: 8
Views: 1,168
I'm measuring 4 inches from the edge of the eye cup to the front of the lens cap. It really is a nice compact solution for hiking. The 21mm is one of my most used lenses when I'm on the trail.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-23-2013, 09:54 AM  
Advice sought on Amazon Sigma lens purchase
Posted By St_PatGuy
Replies: 5
Views: 1,132
You know, for that kind of money, I'd want no nagging questions in my head. Hard to tell why the lens came the way it did, but I would take advantage of Amazon's offer to exchange. Amazon's customer service is excellent and they should also provide you with a prepaid return label.

Almost sounds like it was a display unit and placed back in the box, but, like you said, it did not come from a third party seller. Strange.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 05-28-2013, 07:10 AM  
Trekking with sticks and a DSLR
Posted By St_PatGuy
Replies: 34
Views: 6,090
GeneV, I had been using a sling style camera strap on hikes, but had difficulty with the camera bouncing around. Went on a search for a different solution and ended up trying a Peak Design Capture. I've used it twice so far and find it to be a very nice solution. Wasn't really comfortable with the camera on the backpack strap, so I use the Capture on my hip belt.

Also, keep a couple trekking poles strapped to my backpack. While they don't double as a monopod, I've got a bad knee, and they are an invaluable assist (wouldn't have made it back down the mountain yesterday without them). Instead of a monopod I carry a Feisol CT-3442 which is very lightweight. Normally carry it propped on my shoulder, but it collapses down small enough that I can strap it to my backpack without it being cumbersome.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 04-29-2013, 09:02 PM  
Looking for the perfect strap - found it in the Cinch 2 from Lumalabs
Posted By St_PatGuy
Replies: 4
Views: 4,112
I've been using the previous iteration of the Cinch strap and really do enjoy it. Before it I used an OP/Tech strap around the neck and then moved to the OP/Tech Sling. Very much liked the comfort of the Sling, but did not like how much the camera moved around. The Cinch makes it very simple to secure the camera closer to your body.

I do use it for hiking, but the sling style is a little awkward with a backpack. It becomes a little more difficult for the camera to nestle where it wants to--right behind your hip/small of your back. The Membrane Connector makes it very handy to use with whatever manufacturer's quick plate and ball head.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-29-2012, 09:59 PM  
Post your DA21mm photos here!
Posted By St_PatGuy
Replies: 571
Views: 135,896
[IMG]Hard to Reach[/IMG]
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