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Packing a DSLR

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Packing a DSLR

Postby rrivera » Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:48 pm

I am doing the High Sierra Trail (over 8 days) in a few weeks and I am seriously considering taking my Mark II. I will take a very small POS with me as well to shoot along the way but know I can't beat my Mark II and III for the golden hours. I did a trial run with my equipment this weekend - the Mark II, 24-105 lens, remote, 2-stop ND filter and small carbon fiber Gitzo travel series tripod but found my packing to be awkward and probably inefficient.

Questions :confused: :
- What's the best way to back the lens and body? e.g. separate them, put something in the lower part of the pack, keep the whole assembly together? I will be carrying a bearikade - either the weekender or the expedition. I was having problems figuring out where to put the lens and ended up putting it on top of the canister but the pack ended up being too top heavy…there must be a better pack configuration. I put the camera body on the side of the cannister.
- How do you protect the lens and body? Do you just wrap it in clothes and/or use some type of casing?
- Between a 24-105 and a 16-35 lens which would you recommend? I'm definitely set on only take one of these. I may want to do some night photography so that would be a consideration/pro for the 16-35 but that wouldn't be my primary goal.

My goal weight for the trip is to stay at 40 pounds or below.

I appreciate any advice you experts have



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Re: Packing a DSLR

Postby maverick » Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:43 pm

Previous threads that may help:
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=5194&p=32064&hilit=+camera+pack#p32026
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=9055&start=0&hilit=carrying+dslr

Also carry the lens that you use to take most of your best pictures with, if I would take
one it would be the 24-105, but I take 4 now. :unibrow:
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Re: Packing a DSLR

Postby fishmonger » Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:17 am

The only time I pack my camera away is when the weather gets seriously wet. Then, I just stuff it into the sleeping bag compartment. The rest of the time, I have it around my neck, ready to use. Cameras in packs don't take a lot of photos.
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Re: Packing a DSLR

Postby Captain Slappy » Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:29 am

I usually carry my camera in a regular top loader camera case so that I can protect it form the elements. For times when I know I am going to shoot, like in the morning or in the evening, I keep the case in front and affix it between my two front straps with two s clips. This allows easy access. S clips:

Image

It sort of looks like this guy, posted on the BPL site (not me)...

Image
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin ... d_id=22510

At other times I keep the camera case tied to the top of the pack using the case strap so that I can reach to get it easily. And when I just want to hike, it goes inside the pack on top of the bear canister. I usually keep a 16-35mm on as a default for shooting landscapes but you will find a wide variety of opinions and preferences.
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Re: Packing a DSLR

Postby Jimr » Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:52 am

I have a Lowepro Toploader with front mount harness. Comes in various sizes and additional lens case add-ons.
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Re: Packing a DSLR

Postby mello » Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:38 am

fishmonger wrote:The only time I pack my camera away is when the weather gets seriously wet. Then, I just stuff it into the sleeping bag compartment. The rest of the time, I have it around my neck, ready to use. Cameras in packs don't take a lot of photos.


I'm far from an expert, but I have to agree with this philosophy.

I alternated between neck and hand-carry of my old 3+ lbs. film SLR/lens for the same trail you're taking. One thing I did was use the clips that Captain mentioned above to secure the camera to my pack straps and chest while around my neck. That way it's not swinging all over the place. It worked out really well.

Even if you are just taking "documentary" type photos along the way, why not get the best quality you can and also leave the extra weight of the point and shoot behind.
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Re: Packing a DSLR

Postby walter » Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:37 pm

I really like the Capture Camera Clip from Peak Designs (https://peakdesignltd.com/store/?c=clips) and have been using them since they first came out. It lets me keep the camera accessible without swinging around. I can unclip the camera, take a few shots, and put it back all within a few seconds. With the clip, I find i keep the camera on me almost all the time, I mostly put the camera away when climbing stuff I shouldn't.

I keep the camera bag strapped to the right side of my backpack so I can change lenses or put the camera away without taking off the pack. Reaching to the side can be a bit awkward, but its no worse the getting at my water bottle.

My tripod gets strapped on the other side of the backpack where it's easily accessed. The feet go into the water bottle pocket so they don't fall off.

My camera and lenses are a lot smaller though (Pentax K-3 with prime lenses) so I'm not sure if the same setup works with a larger camera.
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Re: Packing a DSLR

Postby rrivera » Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:10 pm

Great feedback everyone I am going to try two options and see what works best. I am going to try the Capture clip by Peak Designs I have an older and smaller clip from them which was fine for a Rebel series camera so I'll see how the larger one does. I am also going to try the Think Tank Holster 20. I'll keep my fingers crossed that one of these will work well.
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Re: Packing a DSLR

Postby fishmonger » Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:28 am

I don't know what I am doing differently to secure my camera, but with the (wide) strap over my neck and right arm, set to the proper length, I don't have any swinging of the camera. No clips needed to keep it there. All I do is add a little gaffer tape to the camera where it may rub on body/pack/dirt as well as the memory card door (broke one off once, now I always tape it shut for those trips.

I don't carry anything to cover the camera, because unless I make such a cover myself, nobody makes something that would be acceptably light and easy to remove. In the early 1980s, my mother made a camera cover for my first DSLR, using just nylon and thin bubble foil, easy to slip over the body with lens and secured with Velcro. It was amazingly durable over the years I had a camera that fit into it, and less than an ounce in weight! If I had a sewing machine, I'd try to make another one like it. However, I never had any issues with unprotected DSLRs in the Sierra over the years, so I have been slacking on that project.
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Re: Packing a DSLR

Postby Jimr » Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:36 am

That's exactly how I carried my old Canon AE-1 and Tamron 28-70mm lens. I tied a bandana around the camera to keep trail dust from collecting on it. That's it.
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Re: Packing a DSLR

Postby Rockyroad » Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:34 pm

I bought a Peak Design clip earlier this year so will be trying it out for the first time. To keep my camera protected from dust and rain or at times when I want to put it in my pack, I was thinking of finding some neoprene or similar and sewing a cover for it using my wife's machine. Can't be that difficult, right? :) If I actually get around to doing it and am successful, I'll post pictures.
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Re: Packing a DSLR

Postby vitaminC » Tue Jul 08, 2014 12:53 pm

The Camera Capture is a great product! Mine has held up well for quite a few trips. I have found that it's possible (or should I say likely) that the camera will bang into stuff if you leave it mounted when taking your pack on and off. Something to be aware of.

My camera and lens are weather sealed, so I don't worry about the elements much, though I also try not to do much lens swapping.

I would vote for the 16-35, especially if you want to do night stuff. Your camera has enough resolution that you could do some digital zoom if needed. That being said, I've had a lot of success with getting great results from photomerge in Photoshop, so you can simulate a wide-angle lens as well! It is, however, tough to simulate a faster lens :D You could also try a prime lens. That is what I typically use in order to cut down on the weight.
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