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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon Accessories 
Thread started 06 Aug 2011 (Saturday) 00:56
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review / photo tour: Lowepro Photo Sport 200 AW - new active hiking biking bag

 
Dj ­ R
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Aug 06, 2011 00:56 |  #1

I had too many bags. A few of them were overlapping so it was time for an overhaul. Tonight I'm posting pics and a some text regarding a new backpack.

Medium:
I kept the Domke F-3X which is great for 1 body, all the lenses in my sig, flash, ipad.

Tiny:
I kept the Crumpler 4mdh which is perfecto for 1 body and any 1 of my lenses.


I sold two (almost identically sized but very different) backpacks and purchased a new all-in-one-backpack.
Previous backpacks:
Clik Elite Compact Sport Pro (hiking/biking) - bladder section. Fit a body and a lens or two and some gear.
Lowepro Versapack 200 AW - Fit a body and a lens or two, or 3 primes, ipad, some gear.

New backpack:
Lowepro Photo Sport 200 AW

This pic shows the two colors the bag is available in.
I own the 200 AW, not the 100 AW which is a sling bag and doesn't have a water bladder area.
The black bag is mine and the org is my neighbor's.

IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7073/7291125346_7f1bdf50ac.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/72911​25346/  (external link)
2Y8C1441 (external link) by macPhotographers (external link), on Flickr

Some text from Lowepro:
Adventure sport athletes who like to go fast and light — but equally like to capture the moment — will enjoy the freedom of Lowepro’s Photo Sport 200 AW backpack. It’s an ideal carrying solution for trail running, mountain biking, snowboarding and other active outdoor pursuits. The dual-compartment design offers ample space for personal gear and a camera kit. Contoured adventure-pack construction features ultra-lightweight, resilient and high-performance technical fabrics for improved durability during extreme activity. The patent-pending Ultra-Cinch Camera Chamber™ protects camera gear in a padded and secure compartment and helps prevent bouncing while you’re in motion. A side-access pocket allows you to quickly rotate pack to the front, unzip, un-cinch and access your camera. A dedicated hydration pocket provides storage and easy access to liquid from a 70 oz. or 2 liter hydration reservoir (reservoir not included). Additional features include: reflective piping, molded airflow backpad, multiple attachment points, built-in All Weather AW Cover™.

lowepro link
http://products.lowepr​o.com …Sport%20200%20A​W,2271.htm (external link)
amazon
http://www.amazon.com …pack-Orange/dp/B004XNLR48 (external link)
b+h
http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …M_Photo_Sport_2​00_AW.html (external link)

Material Water-resistant, triple rip stop Nylon 70D
Type of Closure Zipper
Ultra-Cinch Camera Chamber
Touch fastener
Hook and loop
Exterior Dimensions: 10.6 x 6.7 x 19.3" (27 x 17 x 49cm)
Interior Camera Chamber: 7.7 x 3.5 x 9.1" (19.5 x 9 x 23cm)
Top Compartment: 9.4 x 7.5 x 20.9" (24 x 19 x 53cm)
Waist Belt Yes
Carrying/Transport Options Shoulder straps
Weight 2.9 lb (1.3kg)

Fits: Pro DSLR without grip with lens attached; flash; hydration reservoir (not included); personal items like a hat, light jacket, trekking or ski poles, snack, cell phone, keys, etc.

The Lowepro Photo Sport 200 AW is an amazingly comfortable and incredibly versatile bag. The previous bags: Lowepro Versapack 200 AW which was the same size but didn't have the option to add a water bladder for hiking/biking trips. And the Clik Elite Sport Compact Pro which was the opposite. Had the bladder chamber, but this bag didn't fit-in well in non-nature settings. Loved that bag though! I have a 5d2 (now mark3 fits great) and use this body for the most part, it did fit well in the compact sport. Again, I replaced two backpacks with one do-it-all medium sized backpack. I can take it into the city and use it as a daily bag. I can take it into the woods in bring lots of water in the bladder chamber.

IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7244/6965613856_a4784c2fb4_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/69656​13856/  (external link)
2Y8C1107 (external link) by Ryan Mac (external link), on Flickr

Here is the bag in black (my bag):
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6025/6012602237_9f2ce78e2d.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60126​02237/  (external link)
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6029/6012602441_a0a3bc1a1d.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60126​02441/  (external link)
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6021/6012602781_2a30261a1f.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60126​02781/  (external link)
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6133/6012602967_6b81b9913a.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60126​02967/  (external link)
^ top pocket can fit a sunglass case, wallet, small personal items
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6018/6012603153_a4c449c555.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60126​03153/  (external link)
^ side neoprene water bottle pocket is well designed and has a strap
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6015/6012603383_f6193648ca.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60126​03383/  (external link)

This is not a giant backpack that will be a great carry-on bag to carry your entire kit.
This is for hiking/biking, active use, 1 body with 1-2 lenses or perhaps 3 primes.

I advise you to get a small bag zipper bag to put inside the main chamber, like a pencil case type bag.
Reason being, the main chamber goes all the way down the bag.
The "pencil case" keeps you from having to go hunting for your stuff.

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Dj ­ R
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Aug 06, 2011 00:57 |  #2

^ front outside map pocket is great for the ipad, chuck it in there if you're on the fly

IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6142/6012603671_053b67d32d.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60126​03671/  (external link)
^ ipad in apple case fits all the way down into this chamber (left sticking out for illustration purposes)
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6022/6013151658_d50961616a.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60131​51658/  (external link)
^ top chamber opens up and it's more spacious than you'd expect
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6126/6013152148_9640307f80.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60131​52148/  (external link)
^ this air pillow came in the top chamber from the factory, to give you an idea how big this pillow is, that's a 7D, 16-35
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6025/6012604559_8714821874.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60126​04559/  (external link)
^ smart! the entire bag is one big chamber. the ipad, if you put inside the main section, can slide all the way down.
so a netbook would be no trouble, or a tripod, anything long that wouldn't fit in a backpack that has two separate chambers.
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6129/6012604721_2ae67cc8f8.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60126​04721/  (external link)
^ inside of the main chamber is 1 small personal items pocket, it can fit the 3 items shown in front of the bag
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6121/6013152714_208a2dcdd7.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60131​52714/  (external link)
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6010/6013153434_bed446d921.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60131​53434/  (external link)
^ not included water bladder has another chamber to rest in, you could fit the ipad or other items in here as well
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6132/6013153220_a77a854509.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60131​53220/  (external link)
^ 3 liter bag fits but the 2 liter bag is more at home in this bag.
the 3 liter bag is sticking out in the photo for illustration purposes. it fits inside but barely.

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Aug 06, 2011 00:59 |  #3

IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6014/6012605855_ec32f0efce.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60126​05855/  (external link)
^ very cool "pulls" for the zipper ends and I suppose one could lock them in place or use a carabiner to keep your gear safe in tricky areas
IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Redirected to error image by FLICKR

IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6008/6012606305_e65c623e2d.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60126​06305/  (external link)
^ optional extra pad can be pulled out for protecting camera screen side
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6127/6012606587_c88ea6996d.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60126​06587/  (external link)
^ in bag is canon eos 7D with 16-35L 2.8 hood reversed, mounted. sitting next to it, canon 135L 2.0 hood reversed.
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6121/6012606985_7d4197737b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60126​06985/  (external link)
^ 7D with 16-35 hood reversed. next to 28mm and 85mm 1.8 primes stacked
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6122/6012607287_fbb40f834b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60126​07287/  (external link)
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6027/6012607577_ae45a564ca.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60126​07577/  (external link)
^ the AW in the bag name stands for all weather. on board, attached rain protection comes out of the bottom
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6123/6012608599_b7b5a1f070.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60126​08599/  (external link)
^ iphone in left belt pocket. battery and media can fit in the other side

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Dj ­ R
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Aug 06, 2011 01:00 |  #4

IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6007/6012609263_c305bef04e.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60126​09263/  (external link)
^ nice padded back padding, keeping you cool and pain free
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6140/6012609683_21e787f422.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60126​09683/  (external link)
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6015/6012609927_0164700cc6.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60126​09927/  (external link)
^ for size comparison, this is the crumpler 5 million dollar home and domke f-3x
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6133/6012601779_464067855f.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60126​01779/  (external link)
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6146/6012602035_a0fe7c1c7c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60126​02035/  (external link)
^ the 5D mark ii with 16-35 hood reversed and a 430 flash folded into an L and then standing straight up

In personal experience.... a 7D or 5D mark ii or 5D mark iii could fit with a lens mounted, hood reversed, and another lens or two primes. It's a snug but perfect fit. It was well designed.

You can't fit a long lens in here. 9 1/2" total and that's pushing it. 9" comfortably. Measure your camera from the back to the lens cap and see if you can swing it.

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Dj ­ R
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Aug 06, 2011 01:00 |  #5

My neighbor got the same bag in orange:

IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6023/6013145132_6990431559.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60131​45132/  (external link)
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6123/6013146468_a17fa9719c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60131​46468/  (external link)
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6124/6012598727_2b42e58fec.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60125​98727/  (external link)

IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6008/6012599747_bec45036d2.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60125​99747/  (external link)
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6027/6013147878_5ac12263e9.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60131​47878/  (external link)
^ bag on my buddy, 5'8" 150
he hasn't set up the straps yet, so don't pick on the way the bag lays on him.

IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6142/6012600593_b9e277491f.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60126​00593/  (external link)
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6030/6013149034_7a83098bd2.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60131​49034/  (external link)
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6016/6012601053_90f140c20d.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/imryanmac/60126​01053/  (external link)
^ clik elite compact sport pro for size reference, and domke f-3x

The Lowepro Sport 200 AW bag does a great job distributing the weight. Very smart bag.
Very nice materials. I'm very happy with the purchase.
That's it for now. it's very late friday evening.
I'll post more details about "usage" after the weekend.

edit to add: saturday afternoon.
I just finished packing up the bag for an outdoor festival/concert.
5D markii with 24-105 and 85mm 1.8 next to it, def could have fit another prime, but I won't need it.
Small personal bag of goodies for my wife. a couple sunglass case. Snacks. Bev bottle on side.
Umbrella, which slides down into the main chamber, such a great set-up!
will post up on the comfort after the event.

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kuvhmoob
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Aug 06, 2011 01:26 |  #6

^^Excellent review...might check it out...


5D + Tamron 28-75, T2i + Tamron 17-50 non-VC, Panasonic Lumix LX7

  
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xdmg
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Aug 06, 2011 01:27 |  #7

Looks pretty good.. thanks for the review.


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c2thew
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Aug 06, 2011 01:52 |  #8

BAG PRON!!!! and relevant data/comments to boot! great review. looks like a bag from rei with lowepro's design to cater to photographers.


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mikel14
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Aug 06, 2011 05:52 as a reply to  @ c2thew's post |  #9

Great review!!

Looks smaller than I thought. Just a question, hipbelt... does it work??

Cheers...




  
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Dj ­ R
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Aug 06, 2011 09:45 |  #10

mikel14 wrote in post #12886543 (external link)
Great review!!

Looks smaller than I thought. Just a question, hipbelt... does it work??

Cheers...

I hear ya. I knew the dimensions before it arrived, I compared it with my previous two packs, so I was expecting it to look tiny. When I unboxed it the bag looked big. That air pillow really ballooned the upper portion. It's a nice size pack. That upper compartment can be filled up. When there isn't much in there, it's small. You can get a camera bag insert and use it in the top when you want to bring your entire kit. Here are a few on eBay now (Clik). For me, 5'8 with a thin frame and I love it. My neighbor is 5'8 and 150 and he likes the size too. I will have my neighbor who is 6'1 try it on this weekend and I'll update the pics. Maybe it is too small for someone who is tall, we shall see. Stay tuned.

The waist strap is wonderful. As I walk around my house I can feel the bag and the gear, when I click the waist strap I instantly feel that it's doing it's job. Granted, walking around my crib isn't saying much. However, tonight I'm going to a festival so I'll be able to comment further late night.


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mikel14
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Aug 06, 2011 15:36 |  #11

Dj R wrote in post #12887234 (external link)
I hear ya. I knew the dimensions before it arrived, I compared it with my previous two packs, so I was expecting it to look tiny. When I unboxed it the bag looked big. That air pillow really ballooned the upper portion. It's a nice size pack. That upper compartment can be filled up. When there isn't much in there, it's small. You can get a camera bag insert and use it in the top when you want to bring your entire kit. Here are a few on eBay now (Clik). For me, 5'8 with a thin frame and I love it. My neighbor is 5'8 and 150 and he likes the size too. I will have my neighbor who is 6'1 try it on this weekend and I'll update the pics. Maybe it is too small for someone who is tall, we shall see. Stay tuned.

The waist strap is wonderful. As I walk around my house I can feel the bag and the gear, when I click the waist strap I instantly feel that it's doing it's job. Granted, walking around my crib isn't saying much. However, tonight I'm going to a festival so I'll be able to comment further late night.

Thank you very much!!, i´ve got a lot of information now!!

The thing is... i´ve got a Loka backpack, wich is too big sometimes, even with the smaller insert inside (I have the medium one) and i want a smaller backpack doesnt shout: "Im a camera bag!!" for my city tours...

Cheers...




  
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Unrising ­ Muffin
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Aug 06, 2011 19:33 |  #12

I got this bag a few weeks ago and I must say I'm very pleased with it. I have been on many short and long hikes and I can say that there are many pros and not so many cons.

Here are my pros:

1) Lightweight. Great for long outdoor adventures. Some camera backpacks are 7-8 pounds, that's an extra 4lbs that you are not carrying with this bag.

2) Lots of storage room. When we go for a hike, we usually leave for 6-8 hours, which means at least a full meal and two snacks... so lots of food. I also carry my water shoes, a towel, a swimsuit, a gorillapod that I place in the side bottle compartment (no tripod with this bag, see below in cons), my wallet, car keys, 1-2 liters of water in the bladder, walking poles, wind cutter jacket, sunglasses, iPod, book... the list goes on. It all fits in the bag and there is sometimes some room left!

3) Water bladder, storage and camera compartment are all separated. Should your water bladder start leaking or that your tomato soup container opens up, your camera equipment will stay untouched.

4) Integrated all weather coat. Trust you me, that one got tested and it *is* weather proof. I got myself stupidly stuck in the open when a thunderstorm stroke. The shoulder straps were dripping wet when I finally got back to the car, the bag itself was as dry outside as it was inside.

5) Adjustment straps are adequate and the bag sits well on your hips, so that the weight is not all on your shoulders. However, I would have liked the bag to sit just a bit lower so that the pulling straps on the shoulders bring the back even closer to my body. If you look at Dj R's picture (hope you don't mind I used your pic), you can see that there is perhaps an inch or two between the back of the bag and the shoulders. On a snugly fit backpack, this should not happen.

IMG NOTICE: [NOT AN IMAGE URL, NOT RENDERED INLINE]

There are more small pros, but they don't really matter, it's just personal preferences at this point.


Here are my cons:

1) There is no dedicated strapping for a tripod. Yes, there are straps at the bottom of the bag, good luck doing serious hiking without it falling off. The way I found to fit the tripod was actually IN the bag. There is some room between the bag wall and the camera compartment, but it makes the bag somewhat unbalanced and becomes utterly annoying after 2-3 hours... something like the Primus/Flipside/Vertex would have been preferred.

2) Getting access to your stuff is tedious. To gain access to the main storage compartment, you need to unlock two plastic clips to open the cover and then loosen up the cord that keeps the container almost airtight. Then, since there is only one zipped pouch (big enough to fit cars keys and wallet) in the compartment, all of your stuff is scrambling in there. Which brings me to...

3) Not enough compartments. Yes, you can load 35lbs of stuff in your bag, I mean the room in there is just unbelievable. Problem is that you have to put your pen, socks, food, lens hood, glass cleaner, etc. all in the same compartment! There is a top pocket but that one is usually for the sunscreen and bug repellent. The front pocket is long and wide but not deep, meaning you can fit a beach towel but not a pair of shoes. There are two side pockets on the waist band, big enough to put your car keys and camera batteries, but when the waist strap is tightened up, whatever is carried in these pockets goes poking through your hips... better put old Kleenexes in there if you have allergies like I do.

4) The door the camera compartment is on the left side. Yep, it's on the wrong side! I take pictures with my right hand so why do you force me to unzip a compartment and take my camera with my left hand? Go figure what the engineers at Lowepro were smoking when they designed that one up.

5) The camera compartment is not very roomy. I have a 10-22 and a 24-105. They both fit in the compartment as long as I completely remove the hoods. I'm not sure if a big camera with a 70-200 would fit in there. Luckily, the camera compartment, while well padded, is somewhat flexible so you might be able to squeeze the camera in the bag.

All in all, it's not a perfect bag but it's a good one. I do like it more than my Primus AW mainly because it's less bulky and lighter. The fabrics on the Photo Sport might seem flimsy but after rushing through the woods and scraping against branches and rock walls (yes, my hiking can be sometimes compared to x-games), it still got no perforation nor scratches.

Price vary greatly on the net! MAKE SURE TO SHOP AROUND FOR BETTER PRICES. I got my back at something like $120 shipped and tax included.



  
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Dj ­ R
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Aug 07, 2011 02:24 as a reply to  @ Unrising Muffin's post |  #13

Unrising Muffin regarding your comment... "I would have liked the bag to sit just a bit lower so that the pulling straps on the shoulders bring the back even closer to my body. If you look at Dj R's picture (hope you don't mind I used your pic), you can see that there is perhaps an inch or two between the back of the bag and the shoulders. On a snugly fit backpack, this should not happen."

how big are you. that photo is my neighbor, we had just gotten our bags, not sure if his was "propery" set up or not. I used it today all day and it felt great.

I agree there should be an additional compartment in the main chamber, but I still would purchase this bag again in a heartbeat. I will end up putting a couple little bags in the main chamber to separate stuff. but I like the openness, today I put an umbrella in there. and like you said, a tripod could work.

I fit 24-105L next to a 135L no troub with either body. it's snug, but fits really well IMO! :)

great info in your post


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DarthSparky
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Aug 07, 2011 02:50 |  #14

Great review - thanks


Rich | 1DX | Gripped 5D2 | 17-40 4L | 24-105 4L IS | 70-200 2.8L IS II | 85 1.2L II | 100 2.8L Macro IS | 600EX-RT | Gear List | www.richbaileyphotogra​phy.com (external link)

  
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Joris
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251 posts
Joined Aug 2010
     
Aug 07, 2011 12:59 as a reply to  @ DarthSparky's post |  #15

Looks like I may be picking up a Photo Sport 200 AW in the (near ?) future...Thank you for the review and the pictures - I favourited pretty much all of them on Flickr for easy reference. Thank you so much, it's been really helpful :)!




  
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