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Old Jun 25, 2010, 10:48 PM   #1
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Default Travel bags. Any recommendations?

I will be traveling out of the country and have been looking at travel bags and cases. I am used to hauling a computer wherever I go but have never tried it with a full DSLR set-up in the same case.

Toshiba Tecra 15.6 with everything it needs and a Sony A550 body with lenses running from a short fisheye to 300mm F/2.8 APO. Maybe seven lenses plus the other necessary camera stuff.

I have a Domke shoulder bag for my day to day needs once I get to Africa. The schedule (if there is such a thing) is twelve days for work and then two weeks for travel.

I have looked at lots of cases but do not have a camera shop close so have not been able to see any in person. Does anyone have a favorite?

Steve
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Old Jun 28, 2010, 6:18 AM   #2
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I travel on business domestically quit a bit, and take some level of camera gear with me. It depends on where I go and the duration as to what I can take. I use a lowenpro compudaypack, and find that it works very well. There are a number of companies other than lowenpro that make camera and camera backpacks.
The bag itself is pretty light and is divided into 3 compartments. The bottom is a padded camera section with padded dividers that are all adjustable and removable. I can carry my body (Pentax K20) with out the lens attached (remember to bring an additional rear lens cap and the cap for the body), along with 4 lenses, usually a DA 10-17 FE, DA 12-24, DA 16-45, and DA 55-300.

In the laptop section I can slide in my Dell 430 (12" laptop) and a netbook ( HP 110) along with a flat note book for notes and meetings. I carry 2 laptops, one for business and one personal, as its a firing offense to use the business laptop to check personal email, etc.

In the top front compartment I carry the power supplies, mouse, some filters, passport and itinerary, pencils & pens, external wired shutter release, extra camera battery, hot shoe level, USB cable, USB thumb drive, ethernet cable, extra SD cards, small LED flashlight, car keys, possibly a small P&S, etc.

In my carry on I slide a travel tripod with a ball head.

Overall, I would say that the compudaypack has been with me for about 50 trips over the last 24 months. It has worked well, but any of the backpacks with this design would also work well.

hope that helps....
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Old Jun 28, 2010, 11:38 AM   #3
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Thank you for the reply. I think the biggest part of my problem is I am looking at taking more gear than I will need.

The working portion of the trip is to oversee the final install, testing, and photography necessary to create the ship specific documentation of our new fuel and tank control system.

This is what I am thinking just for the job:
notebook (15.6") with charger and external storage. Writable media (there are a few other basic odds and ends but nothing big)

Sony A550 with spare battery, charger with the correct cord and a couple of spare memory cards. Lens cleaning items and I do carry a few spare caps as I have been known to drop one here and there. Some sort of rain cover for the camera though I am not sure I see a real need but if I do not have one it will rain every day

Flash unit with a couple of spare sets of batteries

I will need the little 16mm fisheye lens. Some sort of super short zoom that I do not yet own. Macro gear, the 50mm with extension tubes and maybe the 100mm just to be sure I have it covered. With a short zoom I am not sure I would need them but probably also take the 24mm and the 50mm F/1.4.

The big stuff for my vacation is where the trouble starts. This and I have never traveled to just go out and take pictures so I do not have a clue.

300mm F/2.8 APO with t/c. Either the Beercan or the 100 to 300 APO. I am not sure on primes but the 85mm F1.4 for sure. Filters, hoods and all of the other goodies. Tripod and monopod which can make the trip over in my checked bag. Plus anything I buy over there as there can be deals.

I have a thread on flying with cameras so I am confident that I know what has to go where to make the regs for the US and once I am in Africa getting around is simple enough. This will make my 12th trip over the past 15 years.

I like that back pack type of bag but there is no way everything would fit in the one you linked. I liked the looks of the Kata OC-84 with the removable trolley I could leave home (discontinued but available) once I leave the tourist side of things over there a rolling bag is useless.

I called a shop in Arlington that showed a used Kata bag and the nice woman there is going to ship it down here and is going to include a backpack that she thought I might like as well. I just pay return shipping on the one I do not keep.

Sorry for the wall of text

Steve
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Old Jun 29, 2010, 8:26 PM   #4
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Hi Steve,

I selected that specific backpack because of its small size. There are larger ones, with different compartment layouts, etc. Also, a number of companies make this type of backpack, various companies where each has different features and capabilities. Here are a few that I found during a quick search.....


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Old Jun 29, 2010, 9:53 PM   #5
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Following your other tread, I would get a wheel trolley case for the flight, and have a shoulder for when you break down your equipment. The wheel trolley will make it way easier to move around the airports with your gear. Here is a 17in carry on approve camera trolley. And it does not advertise camera gear like a lowepro. You are traveling to Africa, and things do get stolen. So less advertising is a good idea.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Computer.html
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Last edited by shoturtle; Jun 29, 2010 at 9:56 PM.
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Old Jun 30, 2010, 12:26 AM   #6
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Thank you both for the input and links.

The two I have coming should be here tomorrow and if neither seems satisfactory I will order the Pelican. (I had not even looked at Pelican as I thought they were only making hard shell cases)

I have a Pelican case for my Holland and Holland that I took down on safari four years ago and grandad's old gun came home without any new scratches. I do like that they are nondescript. You are correct about things disapearing in Africa. The travel insurance this time around will be within $20.00 of what it cost me when I took the gun.

I like the idea of a backpack but after the bypass surgery I am not always comfortable with something on my back. I am told the packs have improved greatly from the day packs I remember so I am trying to keep an open mind about it.

Steve
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