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Thread: Backpack vs backpack

  1. #1
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Backpack vs backpack

    Hi guys,

    I currently own a Kata 3n1-11 that I really like for short trips. On the upper compartment it has lots of pockets for batteries, sd cards, cables, charger, a small tablet, sun glasses and thats about it. On the lower compartment it fits the NEX-7, a 70-300mm, a 16mm and a 23mm f1.7...and it still has a compartment for a 9" tablet. This is all good and the way this backpack works is perfect for me, but I want something for longer trips that will allow me to take a jacket and a mic in the upper compartment, maybe one more lens in the lower compartment and a bigger tablet or laptop.
    Ive been leaning towards the Tamrac Evolution 8 or the Lowepro Compudaypack. The Tamrac looks perfect, except that Im not sure the upper compartment is big enough. The Lowepro looks very cool but I dont like the way it gives you access to the camera (I like to be able to get the camera from the side of the backpack).

    Anyway, any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Backpack vs backpack

    Im really torn between the Tamrac Evolution 8 and the Kata Bumblebee DL210. I think the bumblebee wins points because it seems to have a bigger compartment for personal stuff but Id like to hear from people how big it is. The Tamrac wins points because it has lateral side access to the camera gear, but the personal compartment doesnt seem THAT big. Does anyone here own either of these backpacks?

    I also thought about throwing in the Lowepro compudaypack wich seems to have a lot of space on the personal compartment, but Im not entirely sure I would like completely open the lower compartment each time I have to get my photo gear.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Backpack vs backpack

    Forget the rest and buy the best - F-Stop should be your first port of call for a true photo backpack IMHO.

    I've probably owned every LowePro, Tamrac and even ThinkTank bag or system and I ended up selecting F-Stop as my travel system of choice. These guys recognize that the whole reason for having a pack isn't to ship half the weight of the gear as padding.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Backpack vs backpack

    Checked them out. Not what Im looking for. Its really going to be between these 3.

    Kata Bumblebee DL210
    Tamrac Evolution 8
    Lowepro Compudaypack
    Last edited by Rawfa; 11th January 2013 at 09:00.

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    Re: Backpack vs backpack

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Forget the rest and buy the best - F-Stop should be your first port of call for a true photo backpack IMHO.

    I've probably owned every LowePro, Tamrac and even ThinkTank bag or system and I ended up selecting F-Stop as my travel system of choice. These guys recognize that the whole reason for having a pack isn't to ship half the weight of the gear as padding.
    I whole heartedly agree with Graham and permit me to elaborate my recent experiences.

    Until I actually tried two of F-Stop's backpacks, I assumed they were just another variation on the half gear/half day pack type backpack, not unlike the countless others ones from all the manufacturers mentioned. I owned many of those other ones too and some in one form or another met the requirements well. Aside from F-stops system of removable gear storage "pods" , which they call ICU's, that can be transfered to another F-Stop bag or used as storage on their own, what I found makes F-Stop different than most is when actually using it as intended....loaded with both gear and day gear. It balances like no other I've tried, distrubutes weight and feels extremely comfortable wearing all day, retains it's shape and has been more durable than most (although there are other good ones out there) and just executes the little things well. Probably the biggest plus has simply been when removing it off ones back, the equpment part access is in the zippered rear of the bag and in actual use, it work perfectly.

    Honestly I still have to occasionally use a different kind of pack for certain applications and in these cases, the other brands I've tried do extremely well... but when I'm out in the field (nature)...nothing has come close to F-Stop for my use so far. The only area I felt that they don't do all that well in, is when using and storing smaller cameras and lenses such as rangefinder sized equpipment. They have available some xtra small ICU's but the pack becomes a bit unyieldy when accessing this small a camera system. In that case, the others mentioned do work better.

    Like shoes, camera bags are such a personal choice and we're all built different and have different expectations, but the F-Stop bags unlike almost any other I purchased had the biggest difference from what I saw on the web (and almost rejected outright) and what they were like in actual use. That was the biggest surprise I've gotten in bags and it's been that way ever since puttting them to use.

    No bag has all we hope for and that includes F-Stop and thats why all the manufacturers keep making so many variations.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Backpack vs backpack

    Dave, thanks for the very elaborate opinion. I actually ended up getting the Kata Bumblebee DL210. I have the Kata 3n1-11 and I really really like it (it actually experienced a REAL tropical rainstorm and all of my gear remained intact).

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    Re: Backpack vs backpack

    I have been very pleased with my F-stop after being unhappy with about 7 other bags.

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    Re: Backpack vs backpack

    You welcome Rafa. I actually have a Kata backpack (forgot the model # for the moment) which I like and use occasionally when traveling light with the Leica rangefinder and a few lenses. This is where F-Stop backpacks are their weakest (with small camera systems).

    Dave (D&A)

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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Backpack vs backpack

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    This is where F-Stop backpacks are their weakest (with small camera systems).

    Dave (D&A)
    Im "glad" to hear, as I will be taking my NEX7 and some lenses

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    Subscriber and Workshop Member MGrayson's Avatar
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    Re: Backpack vs backpack

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    You welcome Rafa. I actually have a Kata backpack (forgot the model # for the moment) which I like and use occasionally when traveling light with the Leica rangefinder and a few lenses. This is where F-Stop backpacks are their weakest (with small camera systems).

    Dave (D&A)
    I carry an Oly OMD and one to 3 lenses in a small ICU inside a small f-stop backpack. It works beautifully, and better than any other solution in my experience. Before the Oly, an M9 system. I can also put in a Cambo WRS with lens and Phase back mounted by switching out the ICU, and it is just as easy to work from.

    What strikes you as a weakness?

    --Matt

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    Re: Backpack vs backpack

    my choice, after using a think-tank airport (for med format gear)
    Bataflae 32L Black Photography Backpack

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    Re: Backpack vs backpack

    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    I carry an Oly OMD and one to 3 lenses in a small ICU inside a small f-stop backpack. It works beautifully, and better than any other solution in my experience. Before the Oly, an M9 system. I can also put in a Cambo WRS with lens and Phase back mounted by switching out the ICU, and it is just as easy to work from.

    What strikes you as a weakness?

    --Matt
    Hi Matt,

    Maybe weakness is not the right word. There is very little I can fault f-stop bags in general as my enthusiastic post above will attest to. I should have said they are a bit overkill, if one is simply going to use any of their backpacks (with ICU's) for a simple rangefinder system camera and lenses, especially if its their only camera system. The smallest ICU they make so far is a bit big in my opinion as well as how some of the lens sit inside compared to smaller tighter bags specifically made for small rangefinder sized lenses. Oh it works, just a little oversized/overkill in my opinion. F-Stop is a bit delayed, but they have a micro ICU coming out, just for cameras like the OM-D and other rangefiner size and type systems. This apparently addresses some of the issues and experiences I just mentioned.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Subscriber and Workshop Member MGrayson's Avatar
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    Re: Backpack vs backpack

    Hi Dave,

    Oh, that makes sense. The smallest ICU is a bit deep for the Leica, but since I always use the handgrips on the OM-D, I find the depth of the small ICU just about perfect. True, the teensy 45/1.8 gets lost in there, and I use an elastic strap to hold it in place, but I find the most bags aimed at small systems ridiculously over padded. Yes, I'm a Domke fan, why do you ask?

    Best,

    Matt

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    Re: Backpack vs backpack

    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    Hi Dave,

    Oh, that makes sense. The smallest ICU is a bit deep for the Leica, but since I always use the handgrips on the OM-D, I find the depth of the small ICU just about perfect. True, the teensy 45/1.8 gets lost in there, and I use an elastic strap to hold it in place, but I find the most bags aimed at small systems ridiculously over padded. Yes, I'm a Domke fan, why do you ask?

    Best,

    Matt
    Hi Matt,

    Hmmm, did I ask about your being a Domke fan (as you mentioned in the quote above)? Not sure where I asked about this but in any case, Domke makes some fine bags at very attractive prices. Of course what I use f-stops bags for, Domke doesn't seem to have anything similar. Yes, the smallest ICU does alright for rangefinder equipment, but for my application, I would like to see that micro ICU come to market. I think it may suit small lenses as you described better.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Subscriber and Workshop Member MGrayson's Avatar
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    Re: Backpack vs backpack

    Hi Dave,

    The reference to Domke was a humorous attempt to highlight my preference for light padding. Nothing more. I think we actually agree on most, and maybe all, points. F-stop makes spectacular bags and, with some small additions, would be even better for small camera systems.

    Best,

    Matt

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    Re: Backpack vs backpack

    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    Hi Dave,

    The reference to Domke was a humorous attempt to highlight my preference for light padding. Nothing more. I think we actually agree on most, and maybe all, points. F-stop makes spectacular bags and, with some small additions, would be even better for small camera systems.

    Best,

    Matt
    Hi Matt,

    Agreed. I couldn't have said it better myself! If I was to add one small comment, it's that f-Stop bags (the ones that can accept an ICU) are seem to be designed/optimized for most sized camera systems except those possibley on the extremes, especially the smallest sized systems. Maybe this is why they initially designed the micro ICU but for whatever reason, it's relaease has been delayed for a siginificant period of time.

    As for humor, as I pointed out in my sunset forum "thread", I'm sometimes slow on the uptake. Think of me as a model with an older, slower processor...I eventually get there when it comes to jokes....it just takes me a little longer than most...LOL! Thanks!

    Dave (D&A)

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