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Thread: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

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    Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    I'm quite smugly expecting some gear any time now....thanks to all those who chimed in on my previous conumdrums.
    So will have a few days with the gear before I scoot to NZ for a week worth of photographing... Have the induro CT414, but have also ordered the RRS TVS24 to carry, and settled for a RRS ball-head for now ( I would like to see whether I miss the gearing on the cube on this trip ).

    So the final gear list is something like this:

    Definitely taking:

    IQ280,
    Alpa STC
    HR40 SB with TS adapter
    Alpa viewfinder.

    P1 D645+, 80mmLS,

    Filters (not sure about the SK / Lee systems, since I have a 10x BW 67mm that can go on the 40HR)
    batteries, charger,

    Tripod: RRS TVS 24
    BH55 ballhead.

    Possibly taking along:
    Still debating between whether to take the SK 120 tilt-shift as well or just keep the 80LS attached to the body. The other option is to order the HR70 and just carry the technical gear.

    So for the above gear, what bag would you recommend:
    1) OPtion 1: the technical gear only, (STC with viewfinder and 2 lenses, back)
    2) Option 2: STC with viewfinder, back, HR40, D645+
    Would love to have some option with the viewfinder attached on the STC.
    This way, I would just have to switch the back from the STC to D645 and back.

    Any opinions ? I promise this would be my last query before the trip (unless I run into some trouble with the RRS clamps and such-like)

    Saty

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    I don't think there is a magic bullet here when it comes to camera bags/cases. It really depends on the job, the trip, the selected gear, etc. For me, this means having a selection of bags, backpacks, and hardside Pelican cases to choose from. Others simply choose a Land Rover SUV and fill'er up... (I couldn't help myself Graham!)

    For a backpack, my current favorite is from f-stop gear, the Loka. I selected two small ICUs, which allows me a lot flexibility in packing (as opposed to selecting a single large ICU). Great support and plenty of room for other hiking essentials. My smaller day pack is a Lowepro Flipside Sport AW---nice and lightweight. Other go-to cases are from Thinktank, a Airport Ultralight which by design happens to also fit perfectly inside of a Pelican 1510. Pelicans are great by themselves.

    ken

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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    There are a number of threads on this in the forum. Here is one:

    http://www.getdpi.com/forum/medium-f...t-cameras.html

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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    Thanks Will,
    So I've kind of narrowed down to the Loka (f-stop) vs the Bataflae Gura gear. But any other options are still welcome.
    Within the later (Guragear) , (with the butterfly config), does anyone know if the STC and viewfinder with the HR40 attached sits well ?
    Ta

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    3 words worth of advice. Keep it simple. Leave the DF home and put the time in on the tech cam and learn it.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com
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    Senior Member rayyen's Avatar
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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    Agree x2, I'll not carry DF, simply focus in STC and probably spare more space for one or two more good lens :-)
    Leica | Angenieux | Alpa | Hasselblad | Phase One
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    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    3 words worth of advice. Keep it simple. Leave the DF home and put the time in on the tech cam and learn it.
    Here, here! Completely agree with that. I suppose the only caveat is you will only have one lens / field of view to shoot. So what are you waiting for? Go order the 70hr! [how am I doing Guy? - you are my ski-mask donned idol].

    The Loka gets my vote especially if you are walking any distance, and I have grown to love the back-side access.* It keeps the gear cleaner and spiders off your back.

    Dave


    *Please try to keep it clean here folks
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    Senior Member Pemihan's Avatar
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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    I have the F-Stop Satori with a variety of ICU's and it is by far the best camera bag I have ever had.
    Plenty of room for the camera gear and what you need for a days outing.

    Peter
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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    Guy, you nailed it I guess. I was worried a bit about the travel shots but will be bringing my M9 and 35 lux.

    OK, will be looking to check in 70HR or 90HR(borrowed).

    Dave / Raymond, which ICU would you prefer for the setup if I just take the STC with 2 lenses ? - I might be carrying the M9+35lux for travel shots as well..

    Thanks

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    Senior Member Pemihan's Avatar
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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    I use a medium ICU for my Cambo WRS, Leaf Aptus II 7, SK35XL, SK47XL, SK120 Short Barrel and accessories.

    The small ICU might be enough for your setup, but I would buy one of each so you have the choice.
    They are also handy for storing gear..

    Peter
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    You may need the medium ICU for the f-stop bags if you want to pack the STC with the viewfinder on it. Basically this will need to be on it's side to fit so be aware of the space that takes up. I prefer to pack mine with the back & lens attached too so you're ready to go.

    Another vote for leaving the DF at home. Once you shoot with the technical camera you'll find the DF kit a boat anchor on a trip unless you've got the luxury of having space for it in your vehicle.

    I'd certainly get that 70 or 90 too for options. I'd stop there though until you know what you like.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    So, with the Loka, has anyone encountered any issues with carry-on baggage restrictions ? The virgin australia flights out here seem to be very tight-ars*&d about the dimensions, though not so much the weight.
    Otherwise, the other option would be to get the guru, but that would seem limiting the space I have for the day-trip packing.

    Graham, when you mean medium ICU, is it the medium pro, medium shallow or medium slope ?

    Thanks again guys.

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    Senior Member Pemihan's Avatar
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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    I fly frequently to and inside the US and have had no problems with my Satori, so I'm pretty sure the Loka shouldn't be a problem.

    I use the Pro ICU's. Have small, medium and large.

    Peter
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    I used a Think Tank streetwalker for my tech cam and three lenses. Not the one for a laptop. Its small and light which fits me well. A STC and two lenses does not take a big bag. Now this comes from a bag whore if you ever met one. I have 8 different think tank bags. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    STC is indeed small ... Until you put the optical viewfinder on top of it.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    Between Guy, Graham and Ken, you have experienced users of every bag ever made, and several no longer made!

    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."
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    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    I carry on the Loka all the time here in the US with no problems.

    I have the medium slope but I wouldn't recommend it. Even the 40hr is pretty tall so you cannot stand anything up in it. Also the STC won't fit sideways, which as Graham mentioned you will have to do with the viewfinder attached. Not speaking for Graham here but I would suggest the Medium Pro. Definitely not the medium shallow.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by satybhat View Post
    So, with the Loka, has anyone encountered any issues with carry-on baggage restrictions ? The virgin australia flights out here seem to be very tight-ars*&d about the dimensions, though not so much the weight.
    Otherwise, the other option would be to get the guru, but that would seem limiting the space I have for the day-trip packing.

    Graham, when you mean medium ICU, is it the medium pro, medium shallow or medium slope ?

    Thanks again guys.
    How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains! - John Muir

    davechewphotography.com

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    My bag of choice is the f-stop Loka with the large ICU inside. Unnecessary for just an STC but this will hold a STC, TC and five lenses, 2 backs, bunch of batteries, plus all the junk you might also bring along. It will hold the STC or TC with back and 150mm lens /spacer although only one or other if you have the VF fitted.

    As Dave mentioned, you'll want the 'full size' medium ICU.

    The Loka are guaranteed to fit pretty much any commercial flight overhead bin. Even commuter jets. Also it's practically impossible to over pack them as they hold their outer dimensions.
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 2nd December 2013 at 20:55. Reason: Doh - I just realized my backpack is actually a Loka, not Tilopa!
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    Drop the Alpa viewfinder - with the IQ280, I really do not think you would need it. Just my experience, the preview on the IQ back is good and it's easy to shoot/re-adjust. Just my 2 cents worth. Also agree with Guy and others - drop the DF, not needed and will increase weight and more importantly the confusion on what to use. Less is more!

    Cheers, -Peter
    Alpa TC STC | IQ140 | 24XL 35XL 120N-ASPH
    www.peterlomdahl.com

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    One other thing of advice for everyone. You have 40k back in your HAND and until you stop sweating bullets between taking it off a tech cam and on a DF than just don't do it. We have all seen or read the post of someone's back taking a dive and even experienced users this can certainly happen too. You get caught up in a moment and **** just happens. Been doing this a long long time and I'm pretty agile and quick to handle those situations but it still happens. Get used to this gear before you take on too much almost 20 workshops teaching and I can't give you any better advice than this. Trust me I have seen it all.

    I never used a finder with a IQ back as Peter and many others we treat these backs like a Polaroid shoot wash and repeat until you get your final image. But I do like those iPhone apps and setups. This is a personal decision on your comfort zone shooting. But like Graham said they add height so laying the tech cam on its side is the best option. You won't hurt anything like that either.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    This is a Loka with large ICU and STC/IQ/150 but no VF on it (iPhone mount only):


    With VF on a TC although STC would be the same size. This is a Gura Gear bag - one half of it. Back when I would carry DF and Alpa together. Been there, done that. Now I use a Land Rover and pelican case for the DF gear.


    If you are only carrying the STC and a single lens then the a lowepro slingshot AW200 (maybe 300?) can easily carry it plus your cables etc:

    STC:


    TC with VF:


    As Guy said about keeping stuff together. I'm probably a poster child for the escapist nature of digital backs!
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 2nd December 2013 at 20:55.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Senior Member rayyen's Avatar
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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?



    Medium shadow ICU
    Canon lens for time lapse video - now I got A7R, can travel lighter : )
    I pack my Max / STC outside of the ICU, they are flat and not too difficult to find a place to store in backpack : )
    Leica | Angenieux | Alpa | Hasselblad | Phase One
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    Notice where Graham puts that back in the last photo. Right smack in the middle. It's like strapping a infant in a car. Perfect spot
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    I have the Gura gear pack (Bataflae 32L maybe?). Don't have a tech cam so can't help with seating/dimensions there. The one thing I don't like about it (that may be a deal breaker to some) is the waist strap. It's designed to be able to zip up inside the back of the pack so that the pack takes up less space when you're not carrying it around. Unfortunately, that means the strap isn't very hearty and a loaded pack isn't terribly comfortable to carry around. So if you're looking to do a lot of long hikes the Gura may not be the best option. That being said, overall I'm happy with the Gura though.

    As others have said, there's no magic bullet for bags. I also have a Kata that I use for smaller gigs (but there are also things I don't like about it). If you've narrowed it down to two bags, I'd just buy both and return the one you like the least. Good luck!
    Todd
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Notice where Graham puts that back in the last photo. Right smack in the middle. It's like strapping a infant in a car. Perfect spot
    I'd love to claim that the perfect bag layout was mine but that's Raymond's bag. I do however absolutely subscribe to the notion of keeping the back in the centre of the bag though. Also, I can recommend the large hoodhat as a MFDB cover too. It'll protect the externals and also the rear display although it won't fit on a DF/DF+ though.

    Btw, everything I said earlier about my Tilopa actually was about the Loka. I just checked the tab on the side and I see that my bag is actually the Loka after all.

    satybhat: keep the rear pocket reasonably packed (if at all) and you will fit this bag even in the letterbox overheads on some commuter jets and prop planes. I have never had a problem with any airline, including in Australia, with this bag. The worst case is weight vs size so that's where you may have to be careful. I've had a few gate agents disappointed when the bag, fully loaded, easily fitted in/out of the overhad bag strict template.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    Quote Originally Posted by rayyen View Post

    Medium shadow ICU
    Canon lens for time lapse video - now I got A7R, can travel lighter : )
    I pack my Max / STC outside of the ICU, they are flat and not too difficult to find a place to store in backpack : )
    Raymond / Dave / Guy / Graham,
    Thanks for the images amigos.
    So will be carrying the 40HR and 70HR.
    in the image above, Raymond mentions Medium "shadow", I suppose he means shallow. (the only shadow I see here is the one falling on my bank account )

    So the STC with the viewfinder doesn't fit even in the broad end of the medium slope ? BTW, the medium pro is out of stock !!

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    If you go with the Loka then the large ICU (which is in stock) fills the backpack up to the top of the zipped area. You still end up with a large free space above the ICU. (That's what you see in my Loka images btw).
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    Saty,
    Here is my Loka w/Large ICU filled with all I have:
    http://www.getdpi.com/forum/512826-post53.html

    There are two obvious differences between how I pack vs. how you want to pack: Viewfinder and lens not attached. I had them both attached for the first year I had this gear. It works fine in the Large ICU once you experiment with positioning everything. I preferred to position the assembled camera horizontally near the top so other heavy lenses wouldn't press on the viewfinder.

    How you do this really depends on 1) how much you use a tripod and 2) the percent of time a specific lens is used.

    If you are going to shoot handheld a lot, then you are on the right track. However, once on a tripod it all changes. If you think about it, the viewfinder is used for two things: determining what lens to use (the mask lines) and framing. It’s really not excellent at either job, so I haven’t carried mine for two years. Here’s how I work:

    Find a scene and take the pack off. I then wander around with the Alpa iPhone app in order to find just the right spot, and to select a focal length if it is not obvious.

    Set up the tripod to about the right spot. This is an important step because like Graham, I have a good case of the dropsies. I find the best place to mess around with the camera is when it is rock solid on the tripod so I don’t have to worry about holding it. You’ve got lens, adapter, caps, filters, release cable, sync cable… ugh.

    I have 3, sometimes 4 lenses. It seemed to never work out that the lens I had on the camera from the last shot was the one I wanted for the next one. I use the 70 and 150 most, but it is pretty evenly split between the two. Without a “go to” lens, it is more work to have one already mounted on the camera. If you have a much-preferred focal length, then carrying it around attached makes wonderful sense, and the back is exposed to the elements much less often!

    The thing is once you’ve got the camera on the tripod, the use of the viewfinder goes down even more. You will fine tune framing by test shots anyway because the viewfinder just isn’t that accurate. Also, one subtle change in my photography since using a tech camera has been leveling the camera. I shoot much more often now with the camera level. With a DSLR I never paid attention to that because you pretty much have to point the camera at what you want and to hell with perspective issues. But with a technical camera you can now shift your way to the right framing. Again making the viewfinder even less useful. Others may have figured out how to use their viewfinder more accurately, but I just use the digital back.

    So that is why I don’t mount the lens or viewfinder while packed. As Guy pointed out, if at all possible before this trip go out in the woods for a shakedown in order to work out these personal decisions.

    Ciao,
    Dave
    How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains! - John Muir

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    Like David I have seen a lot of folks buy these viewfinders and eventually ditch them. I think a more useful tool is the iPhone and these apps for it as it's at least a more visual guide on framing and maybe for some a easier way to get the right lens for what they want without switching lenses. Need to remember switching lenses esposes the raw sensor to the open air with dust, rain and such. I just shot in Acadia in the rain so it was not a fun task to swap a lens out but I did which worked out okay but having a iPhone can at least get you a better idea of that framing.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com
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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    If you go with the Loka then the large ICU (which is in stock) fills the backpack up to the top of the zipped area. You still end up with a large free space above the ICU. (That's what you see in my Loka images btw).
    Or....get two small ICUs for the Loka. This gives you the same amount of packing space as a single large ICU, but the flexibility to be more modular depending on your trip and equipment needs, including being able to use only one small ICU and fill the rest of your pack with hiking essentials (non-photo).

    ken

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    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    Right, Ken. You can get one of those insulated bags to keep hot or cold food there. :-)

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    Beer cooler essential part of your bag . In my case its a ice cold bottle of Vodka, no ice please. LOL

    Lens hood is my cup.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Like David I have seen a lot of folks buy these viewfinders and eventually ditch them. I think a more useful tool is the iPhone and these apps for it as it's at least a more visual guide on framing and maybe for some a easier way to get the right lens for what they want without switching lenses. Need to remember switching lenses esposes the raw sensor to the open air with dust, rain and such. I just shot in Acadia in the rain so it was not a fun task to swap a lens out but I did which worked out okay but having a iPhone can at least get you a better idea of that framing.
    What Guy said. I wouldn't necessarily say ditch the VF but I would agree that the iPhone & holder gets more use on my Alpa than the optical viewfinder. I use the iPhone & efinder off the camera to scope out shots for composition. Then you can setup approximately with the camera/tripod and fine tune.

    These days I typically do a combination of live view and shoot/review to fine tune images. Live view is still pretty crappy but good enough when stopped down/filtered for composition.

    The optical VF is good for handheld with a single lens and sometimes for conditions where the light causes your iPhone to act like a perfect mirror and all you can see is your own reflection. Mostly I'll only use the optical VF on my TC with the 23HR.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

  34. #34
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    I think we need to write a book " A Guide to Tech Cams"
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  35. #35
    Senior Member Dogs857's Avatar
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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    Quote Originally Posted by satybhat View Post
    So the STC with the viewfinder doesn't fit even in the broad end of the medium slope ? BTW, the medium pro is out of stock !!
    Who are you going through for these bags mate?? Have you tried Camera Pro in Brisbane?? They tend to have a good line on these.
    Stop chasing gear, start chasing photos instead.

    Jeff, but my friends call me Dogs

  36. #36
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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogs857 View Post
    Who are you going through for these bags mate?? Have you tried Camera Pro in Brisbane?? They tend to have a good line on these.
    Hi Jeff,
    Have placed an order with the fstopgear directly.
    camerapro are out of stock on everything fstop !!
    no idea when the company itself will ship though.

  37. #37
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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    Take a look at the f-stop Satori EXP

    Theo

  38. #38
    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Bags Bags, which one to get ?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheoG View Post
    Take a look at the f-stop Satori EXP

    Theo
    Freakin' awesome video. Adding a crush proof container to my outfit now even in the Loka (and my Satori).

    With the f-stop I recommend removing the unnecessary padding on the ICU lids. Not required in the backpack and make it much easier to load/unload in the field. Ditto I don't bother with the internal zipper. Just zip it on the outside. Obviously if you remove the ICU this doesn't apply.

    Btw for Loka watch this: http://youtu.be/yejkA6dZi4E
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

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