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FORUMS General Gear Talk Camera Bags, Backpacks & Cases 
Thread started 02 Nov 2015 (Monday) 14:30
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Help me make my D700 travel light and fast

 
bigtruck1369
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Nov 02, 2015 14:30 |  #1

Hi guys, I'm committing the ultimate forum sin of not combing through the thread in depth before asking a question that may have already been discussed in detail before, sorry! (I did, however, look through three pages, read some posts, didn't find exactly what I was looking for). I'm a dad with a ~two year old, and I haven't taken my gripped D700 w/ my Nikon 28-300 (my only lens!) out much because it's been too much camera to lug and manage the busiest toddler I've ever met. I have Think Tank Retrospective 20 that I love, but the combination of gear is too much.

I've considered switching to mirrorless but the budget says work with what you've got and I love the images I get out of the D700.

So what are you other parents using? I really Think Tank's stuff and I love my retrospective 20, I think I just want a smaller bag. I've looked at the Retrospective 10 and 7. I've cut the accessories I carry with me too; I stick to a card reader, battery charger, card wallet, lens cleaner. Sometime I toss my headphones and iPad in my camera bag too. I think I'd like to use a bag rather than just a strap for the added protection. The thought of my camera swinging around free while we're climbing around on playground stuff freaks me out.

**edit** I should specify that I think I want a shoulder bag, so it's easy to work out of the bag.

I can't wait to hear your ideas!




  
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HelplessSEAL
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Nov 02, 2015 20:29 |  #2

Whenever I'm backpacking, hiking or anything active, I pack all of my camera gear on my hips to get the weight off of my back and onto something more stable. You may look like a total dork, but it frees your back so you're more nimble or able to carry your kid, plus being a parent means looking like a dork, right? :-P

Some specific gear I would look at are the peak design camera clip, think tank speed belt, and think tank lens changer.


Epic battle in my mind of whether to focus more on portraiture or architecture. #FirstWorldProblems :roll:

  
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shooter ­ mcgavin
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Nov 02, 2015 20:38 |  #3

As for the camera, in my experience, AF in mirrorless cameras aren't going to keep up with your kid as well as your D700 can. Do you find you use the entire range of your lens? If not, you may find a more compact zoom, if you're willing to sacrifice the longer end of telephoto range.

The think tank retrospective 20 isn't exactly a huge bag, but it definitely is designed to hold more than one camera and lens and a few small accessories. I'm not as familiar with Think Tank, so I don't know their selection, but I've had good success with Lowepro sling bags.
http://store.lowepro.c​om/sling-bags (external link)

When I'm only bringing one camera, one lens, spare batteries, cards and cables, I use this bag:
http://www.saddlebackl​eather.com/leather-travel-case (external link)
But that's for a 5d with prime lens. Depending on the size of your lens, and your comfort level with non-padded bags, it might not be a good fit. It's really nice and compact though, and doesn't scream: "camera!"
Obviously it won't fit the iPad though.




  
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bigtruck1369
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Nov 02, 2015 22:07 as a reply to  @ HelplessSEAL's post |  #4

I'm definitely not afraid of looking dorky, that's kind of my home turf!

The waist-mount stuff is a good idea but I'm fat, so I don't know that that's a good option for me.

Back in my thinner days when I was backpacking too, I do remember that a lot of the weight of the pack was supported by my hip straps, so I see your point!

Thanks!




  
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bigtruck1369
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Nov 02, 2015 22:12 as a reply to  @ shooter mcgavin's post |  #5

You're right, the Retro 20 isn't huge. I thought it was the perfect size when I bought it. Then my daughter came along and I suddenly understood how important it was to have compact gear.

AF speed was a concern of mine. I haven't used any mirrorless systems yet, though I did consider renting some stuff to test it out. I'm sure you're right though, that I'll be better served by sticking with the Nikon. I just wish that they'd updated the firmware on this body so it worked with one of the cheaper wireless dongles. I like being able to transfer photos right onto my phone. When I complain to Nikon about it they just remind me that I could buy a new body! :rolleyes:

You're probably right, I could get by with a more compact zoom. I don't know if new glass is in the budget right now, but I'll keep it as an option.

I love the leather bag. I don't think it'll work for me, but it looks fantastic!




  
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MalVeauX
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Nov 02, 2015 22:46 |  #6

Heya,

I'm a dad with a 2 year old as well.

I generally roll two things. Either a full size backpack with tons of stuff (heavy; and I hike with this and travel/go out with this). Or a shoulder bag (messenger style) that fits a lot less. I actually really enjoy the smaller bag, because it forces me to take less stuff. I generally pack at least three cameras with me! So forcing me to go down to one or two cameras and one or two lenses and one flash and a mini-tripod, one or two filters tops, and some batteries, works great for me. I use a Lowepro Event Messenger 150 for my common days. I can manage two, or three cameras depending on the configuration. Generally though one big camera and one fairly large lens (medium zoom tops). A filter, some batteries and some other stuff can go in the front zipper.

What I generally pack:

One full size gripped dSLR with with a 40mm pancake lens and one other large zoom or prime next to it (why use a body cap when you can use a lens!).
One speedlite and a mini-tripod (ultrapod II) lays over those.
Spare batteries in the front. Wireless shutter release in the front. One filter (either a CPL or a 3 stop ND; depends on what I think I need).
I can usually throw my EOS-M with 22mm pancake lens in there too, it's so small.
Back flap has room for a small baggie and other thin or paper type goods where I generally take a mosquito net and other stuff.
I throw my Joby strap in there, so when I know it's time to shoot, I use the Joby so I can drop the camera and grab the kid if needed.

That's the Event Messenger 150. It was like $20. Mica color (whatever that is? It's like gray/green?). Holds up great. I take it every where.

I thought about getting the next size up, but it was ultimately large enough to tempt me to take a 3rd & 4th lens, or 3rd camera body, more flashes, etc. I'm a pack rat for gear. But I love having duplicates and I usually always have a prime and zoom, or several primes. Depends on what I'm doing.

Current pack (just put it all in, fits nice):

Event Messenger 150 Bag

In main chamber:

Canon 1D Mark II with EF 40mm F2.8 STM pancake lens attached (free lens instead of a cap!).
Canon 200 F2.8L prime (built in lens hood, MK I) sitting up next to it. Fills bottom of bag.
Wedged in the corner is an Ultrapod II mini-tripod with ballhead (it's that small and can hold quite a bit).
Laying over top is a Yongnuo 560 III speedlite, I store it in an elbow shape with the barrel down, to make more room.
An EOS-M with 22mm F2 STM pancake lays on top of that (again, free lens instead of a cap, and the camera is so small!).

Front zipper chamber:

1D Mark II battery #2
EOS-M battery #2
Yongnuo RF603c transceiver (for off camera flash, it's so small).
Marumi Super DHG CPL (77mm) with a few step down rings ** (72mm, 52mm, 43mm I think?).
Wireless shutter remote + dongle (very small).
Extra AA batteries (x4) & AAA batteries (x2).
Extra CF & SD cards.

Back slide in chamber:

Mosquito net for face (goes over a hat).
Step down rings mentioned before **.
Pocket knife.
Lighter.

Still room to slide a 7" tablet back in there.

It may sound like a lot, but trust me, it fits in a small space if you pack right!

:)

Very best,


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rgs
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Nov 03, 2015 21:30 |  #7

Well, first a little prejudice of mine, lose the grip until it's really needed. You will have a much small, lighter load.

I have a small shoulder bag for 1 camera and 3 lenses that I use when I travel light.

Even lighter would be the camera on a Peak Design Slide strap (doesn't dangle too much because of the strap's design) with maybe one extra lens in a coat pocket.


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Iscariotau
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Nov 03, 2015 21:37 |  #8

rgs wrote in post #17771504 (external link)
lose the grip until it's really needed. You will have a much small, lighter load.

Totally agree. If you are looking for a lighter smaller package this will help. Its amazing how much extra weight and volume they create. If its not 100% needed I'd leave it at home.

Try it for a day and see how you go.


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cug
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Nov 05, 2015 12:46 |  #9

I'm not a dad but I walk around a lot with friends and family and for me the easiest way to carry less weight is to use a single small prime lens. I still have a Canon 40D and can just stick the 35 f/2 on for a 50mm FoV and I'm set for the day. The battery lasts forever on the DSLRs anyways, so why bother with an additional grip that's really just adding weight and bulk.

On the other hand, I'm not carrying my Canon around anymore. I use it for specific cases where I know beforehand that I need a long lens. Everything else is now done with either a Fuji X-T1 with one or two prime lenses. Or I use an X100T and stick a TCL-X100 in the coat pocket. Sure, I'm limited in perspective due to the prime lenses, but I don't care.

So, my recommendation: It's all in your mind. Nobody needs a huge zoom and a gripped full frame body to get great shots of kids. I'm a total gear whore, so I have a lot of camera gear, but for a single day I never carry more than a single body + two compact lenses. Mostly I carry just one body with a small prime lens. Very liberating.




  
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bigtruck1369
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Nov 05, 2015 13:18 |  #10

cug wrote in post #17773371 (external link)
I'm not a dad but I walk around a lot with friends and family and for me the easiest way to carry less weight is to use a single small prime lens. I still have a Canon 40D and can just stick the 35 f/2 on for a 50mm FoV and I'm set for the day. The battery lasts forever on the DSLRs anyways, so why bother with an additional grip that's really just adding weight and bulk.

On the other hand, I'm not carrying my Canon around anymore. I use it for specific cases where I know beforehand that I need a long lens. Everything else is now done with either a Fuji X-T1 with one or two prime lenses. Or I use an X100T and stick a TCL-X100 in the coat pocket. Sure, I'm limited in perspective due to the prime lenses, but I don't care.

So, my recommendation: It's all in your mind. Nobody needs a huge zoom and a gripped full frame body to get great shots of kids. I'm a total gear whore, so I have a lot of camera gear, but for a single day I never carry more than a single body + two compact lenses. Mostly I carry just one body with a small prime lens. Very liberating.

Thanks, but I think you're making some incorrect assumptions about me, and while I don't think you meant any offense they did some across as a little offensive.

I appreciate the recommendation to lose the grip, and I acknowledge that that does make it the body smaller and lighter. Just to make my position clear, however, I don't keep it gripped for the additional battery, but because the camera is more comfortable to hold, especially when taking portrait-oriented photos. I'll keep removing the grip as an option, but it'll be a last resort.

My lens choice was based on the variety of stuff I like to shoot, and limited funds with with to acquire gear. I stumbled across a great deal on this all-in-one lens and went with it. So no, I don't NEED a super long zoom and gripped body to get great shots of my kid. But that's the gear that I've got, and it fits ALL the stuff I shoot.




  
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cug
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Nov 05, 2015 17:07 as a reply to  @ bigtruck1369's post |  #11

Of course I didn't want to offend you. I'm describing what my opinion is. Whatever my opinion is should not offend you - just by definition. You do what you gotta do, if that means carrying a gripped FF DSLR with a very wide range zoom - that's what you do. I said what I think about that. That's all.

I've been running around with a 5D and 28-80 and 70-300 for quite a while. I'm not going back. I get better photos now because I have the camera with me and in hand much more often.

If you need the gear you describe to get the shots you want, that defines what you need to carry.




  
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maverick75
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Post edited over 4 years ago by maverick75.
     
Nov 05, 2015 17:10 |  #12

shooter mcgavin wrote in post #17770086 (external link)
As for the camera, in my experience, AF in mirrorless cameras aren't going to keep up with your kid as well as your D700 can. Do you find you use the entire range of your lens? If not, you may find a more compact zoom, if you're willing to sacrifice the longer end of telephoto range.

The think tank retrospective 20 isn't exactly a huge bag, but it definitely is designed to hold more than one camera and lens and a few small accessories. I'm not as familiar with Think Tank, so I don't know their selection, but I've had good success with Lowepro sling bags.
http://store.lowepro.c​om/sling-bags (external link)

When I'm only bringing one camera, one lens, spare batteries, cards and cables, I use this bag:
http://www.saddlebackl​eather.com/leather-travel-case (external link)
But that's for a 5d with prime lens. Depending on the size of your lens, and your comfort level with non-padded bags, it might not be a good fit. It's really nice and compact though, and doesn't scream: "camera!"
Obviously it won't fit the iPad though.


The Sony A6000 destroys the D700 in AF, it's as good as my Canon 7DMarkII. I've used them both side by side, plus you can get them new for $400 with a lens.

High ISO is great also, Two stops better than my Canon. One stop better than the D700.
This is from someone who's used/owned all these bodies, not just speculation.


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HelplessSEAL
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Nov 07, 2015 00:21 as a reply to  @ bigtruck1369's post |  #13

haha, way to embrace it!

I've seen belts go all the way up to 68" in circumference.

Here's one that is like a size 38-48 adjustable belt. I have the exact same model but smaller. Works wonders for my back.
http://www.adorama.com​/TTSSBLXL.html (external link)


Epic battle in my mind of whether to focus more on portraiture or architecture. #FirstWorldProblems :roll:

  
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shooter ­ mcgavin
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Nov 09, 2015 17:09 as a reply to  @ maverick75's post |  #14

Nice. I'm only familiar with fuji and canon mirrorless, but that's awesome to hear that the sony is quick! I've heard newer fuji's are faster as well.




  
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Dec 13, 2015 09:43 |  #15

Hi, My kids are now older teens, and looking back on their younger years I would rather have a noisy, poorly framed image of a time that makes me smile than to have missed capturing the moment entirely from not having something with me. When the kids were really young I went from a medium format system, to a Texas Leica (Fuji 670) to gain portability and still most of the shots that make me smile from that time period used my wife's P&S. I have some great quasi-portraits from the 120 roll film, but still, that's how I feel about it now.

Now I've gone to an ungripped crop camera with Canon's 40mm pancake lens, and I'm getting the Thinktank Slim Changer to see if it will fit to compact things even further. I just spent the day with my youngest playing in the local Tuba Christmas concert, and while some more telephoto and a grip might have been nice I didn't notice the camera when I didn't want to use it, while still capturing some great (to me) shots in the snow. I too used to have a do-everything 18-200mm zoom too, but after I got the 40mm lens I found I never used it because I either want small, or I want my 300f4L or something like that, so I just sold the do-everything zoom. Go look at MalVeauX's shots for some inspiration of great shots of his family, but notice that he gets some great shots with his 10D and 40mm pancake lens for walk-arounds.

Having said this, life isn't all about documenting my family for me, and I want to spend quality time with them while I can. Maybe that's another reason I've come up with a down-scaled setup for general use, only pulling out the speedlight or bigger lenses when I have a specific project in mind (my oldest's Sr photos, my middle and youngest's concerts, etc). Good luck and enjoy your kids!




  
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Help me make my D700 travel light and fast
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