What's your (camera) bag baby?

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- sec, f at mm

I need camera bag recommendations.

I'm starting to get a little weighed down like a camel on my photo gathering missions. Not only is my current bag (Lowepro Nova 1 AW) now chocka, I'm also having to carry stuff separately.

Yeah I should leave some stuff at home, but I just know I'll need it if I leave it there though. Not to mention I hate packing and repacking my bag every time I go out. And my camera goes everywhere with me. It is always within 100 metres of me. Partly because my beloved M535i is never more than 100 metres away from me.

This is what I currently carry.

  • Nikon D70 with attached Nikkor 18-70mm lens
  • Nikkor 50mm 1.8
  • SB800 Speedlite
  • SB800 diffuser
  • SB800 Speedlite stand
  • SB800 gels
  • Spare Batteries (enough to power a small Sierra Leone village)
  • A couple of lens filters
  • All the cables (you never know when you'd need them)
  • CompactFlash Cards and card reader (a really, really small one)
  • ML-L3 remote control
  • Manfrotto 190PROB with 486RC2 Ballhead
  • Maglite flashlight (for those moonless nights to find the stuff I've lost in the long grass)

This is the stuff I'd like to add if I had the arms or hands or a nubile photographic assistant that didn't talk or complain while I was gathering my photos.

  • Nikkor 80-200mm lens
  • D70 User Manual (Yep, I still need it for the esoteric things)
  • A water bottle (I use my photo missions as my 30 minutes a day you've got to push play
  • I'd prefer not to have to carry the tripod separately
  • Paper and pen (to make notes because I'm forgetting stuff before I get home)
  • A macro lens (if I can ever save the cash)
  • Cell phone (so that Gabba can tell me to come home)
  • Some sort of timing device for those long exposure shots (yeah a watch would be good but the one I want is too expensive

So my legions of loyal readers, what say you? How do you carry all your gear? Any camera backpack suggestions? Mike, how the hell do you carry everything you have? What did you do on that recent whitewater mission of yours?

Update on the web server meltdown...
Almost everything is back to normal. I've lost some photos from late 2004 and early 2005 which I thought I had backed up on the server only to find they were my only copy. And 1 month's worth of data from the house (power use and temperature data). Not so bad given the very informal backups I used to have.

The photo
A rain squall over Hauraki Gulf last week. That's Long Bay in the bottom right corner. The white blown out bit in the lower left corner is bothering me. My potatoshop skills aren't good enough to remove it though. Please ignore it.

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Posted: Monday, 1 May, 2006 22:27


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  • I have 6 trained monkeys doing all my carrying...no, really...ok, maybe not. I started with a Lowe-Pro when I had my lonely D70, now I carry EVERYTHING (D70, D2X, 50-500mm, 12-24mm, 50mm, 180mm, 18-70mm, SB800, Filters, 60Gb Card Reader, Compressed Air, Manuals, Power Adapters, Spare Batteries, Tripod, Monopod, Manfrotto Grip Ball Head, and other assorted bits and pieces) in my Tamrac Expedition 8. I started with the smaller Expedition 5 until I went to Hong Kong. I also dispense with cables for the most part by having a Belkin 7 in 1 Travel Pack. I recommend the Tamrac for it's great back and shoulder support (especially since it weighs in at 20kg loaded!), ease of access, and design. The Expedition 8 also allows me to fit my MacBook Pro in a seperate compartment (not padded though - I had to fork out a small fortune for it's own protective slip). So there you have it. Becareful of paying too much - let me know if you want me to get you one at a good price.
    seriocomic - Tuesday, 2 May, 2006 0:04
  • Crap the links didn't work again. Google them. And great photo BTW.
    seriocomic - Tuesday, 2 May, 2006 0:05
  • Yikes, 20kgs! Thanks for the tip. I'll go look at them. Apologies about the Links. Another small hack that I haven't put back into the new code yet.
    Dave - Tuesday, 2 May, 2006 10:23
  • I love my http://www.berger-bros.com/page/BBCVD/PROD/LOW34737 it sits on my back and I forget it is there. It looks cool too. I carr 3 huge lenses and the camera and a large flash and all the lense hoods. It wont take a tripod but then find me a bag that will. Thats what girlfriends are for anyway.
    Mr Crewcut - Tuesday, 2 May, 2006 16:42
  • oh yes good image by the way
    Mr Crewcut - Tuesday, 2 May, 2006 16:47
  • Crewcut, thanks for the tip too. That bag looks interesting as well.
    Dave - Tuesday, 2 May, 2006 17:16
  • DUDE!!! I love this shot, awesome capture!!!!!!!!!!!
    aaron - Wednesday, 3 May, 2006 8:24
  • The bag talk doesn't do it for me but that photo is amazing. I love it!
    Karen Rubado - Friday, 5 May, 2006 9:00
  • Crumpler do some good quality bags (in Australia - but maybe NZ too - http://www.crumpler.com.au/), but you sure have a lot of stuff! I'm just starting out and also thinking about what bag to get...
    Emily Waghorne - Thursday, 1 June, 2006 10:33

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