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Old Sep 17, 2010, 4:38 PM   #1
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Default Lowepro SlingShot 200 bag

Anyone have any thoughts about whether the Lowepro Slingshot 200 is a good camera bag?

I have the following equipment:

Canon T1i body
Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS lens
Canon EF 85 mm f1.8 lens
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 II EX DG APO Macro HSM AF Lens
battery charger
extra battery
Tiffen 77 mm photo essentials filter kit
a lens cleaning kit
a remote shutter control
a Hoya 58 mm circular polarizer filter

Would this bag fit everything?
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Old Sep 19, 2010, 11:26 AM   #2
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I just looked up the dimension of your 70-200 f2.8 - it's the same length (7.3 inches) as the one lens that I can't easily fit into the Slingshot 200. You could probably make it work if you didn't try to carry the camera with a lens mounted on it in the center part, like I always do. I can put a dSLR with a lens mounted, plus 4 lenses (or 3 lenses and a rocket blower, what I usually did), flash and flash stand, extra battery, several extra cards, small folding reflector, small cleaning kit, a couple of filters, and a few other small miscellaneous items. I often would carry another small lens or two that I could slip in somewhere.

I currently have one of these bags and use it occasionally - until I got the very long lens (a 300mm lens that's 7.3 inches) it was my primary bag. It's very well made, though the first one I owned had the stitching around the zipper split because I consistently over-filled it for a couple of years (the culprit was trying to put an owners manual in with the camera and lenses because I had the top compartment already full with other stuff). But if you don't do that it will hold up very well.

While I found it very comfortable to carry, there is a weight limit to how much you can carry cross-shoulder. Your current list doesn't sound like it would go beyond what I could carry. Some don't find it as comfortable to carry because it hits them in the wrong place on their back. I'm so small that the bottom hit me more on the buttocks and that worked well - I was carrying a lot of the weight on my hips and legs rather than my shoulders.

The main disadvantage to this bag is trying to carry a tripod. You can hook a leg through the side "strap" designed for one of Lowepro's slip-lock pouches. I designed a tripod carrier using a cut-up milk carton and some double sized velco straps that worked OK for my tripod, but found that it upset the balance of the bag significantly and it wasn't as comfortable to carry (also I tended to include enough lenses with the tripod that it was heavier than I could carry cross-shoulder). Since you didn't list a tripod, this wouldn't matter.

I highly recommend you go to a camera store and try it out before you buy it, or order it from somewhere with a good return policy. Also, realize that you can reconfigure the dividers in the main compartment all sorts of different ways, depending on your equipment and how accessible you want your equipment.
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Old Sep 19, 2010, 11:38 AM   #3
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This is probably a no-brainer, but do you really plan to carry everything you own on every outing? I'd suggest getting a couple of bags. Varying sizes. I use a slingback when I'm riding and expect to be changing lens in the field. If I'm going where I'll be indoors with access to a clean area (like a table or chair), I'll put my stuff in a camera backpack so I can bring more things.

I don't have a good way yet to attach either my monopod or tripod to anything I carry. If I ride my bike, I have jury-rigged something on the top-tube that works fine. Doesn't look very good tho.
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Old Sep 19, 2010, 1:04 PM   #4
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I do want a bag that holds everything. I'm now looking at the Kata 3N1-20 Looks like it might be just a bit more roomy. Anyone used that one?
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Old Sep 19, 2010, 7:25 PM   #5
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I thought the 3N1-20 looked like it was about the same size as the Slingshot 200. It might work because you can unzip the divider between the top and main compartment so you could carry a longer lens in it, but you wouldn't have the same accessibility.

I ended up buying the huge 3N1-30 and it works well for the 7.3 inch lens, plus I can carry a whole bunch more lenses. And I bought the optional tripod carrier that you can get - I can carry a Gitzo 2541 tripod in it. I think it would be hard to use it with a taller tripod than this though. And it's a huge bag - when I showed it to someone at work they said that they backpack for a week with a smaller bag. In some ways it's not quite as good for little stuff and I prefer the Lowepro's rain cover option (the 3N1 bag's cover is in a separate pouch while the Lowepro's is stuffed into a thin pocket on the bottom/back of the bag).

I love the way you can re-configure the straps and access both sides of the Kata bag (something you can't do with the Lowepro). In fact, I spent several hours hiking today with both straps arranged cross-shoulder since I was carrying a fair amount of stuff (wanted to take some IR photos from a spot 2 miles and more than 1,000 feet above the trailhead).

Tamrac has come out with a pack similar to the Kata bag, the Evolution series. You should check them out, too.

Another bag would be MRock's Arches bag. It looks like it can be organized in all sorts of ways, though accessibility of a camera with a long lens mounted would be more difficult, and I'm not sure you can access from both sides, like the Kata. But MRock's bags are really well made, probably a bit better than the Lowepro (at least that was true a couple of years ago when I looked at them).

Tenba makes a slingbag too. I didn't think you could access every part of the bag easily when slung forward.
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Old Sep 20, 2010, 2:52 PM   #6
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I decided to go with the Lowepro Slingback 300 AW. I got one in mint condition from a guy on Craigslist. $65, so I couldn't go wrong. It's room enough for me to leave my Sigma 70-200mm attached to the camera. so far, I like it, and I really like the AW sleeve the pulls up around the entire pack. wish there were a place for a tripod, but for the $$, I like this one.
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Old Sep 20, 2010, 9:20 PM   #7
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Congrats on the new bag! The 300 would be big enough, and the price was definitely good - my last Slingshot 200 cost me that when Costco had them a year ago.

The only thing I didn't like about the 300 as well as the Kata was the fact that you couldn't hide away the hip strap (or at least I couldn't figure out how to hide it). I work where book bags are common so would fit right in with the 200. Wearing a bag with a hip strap stands out a bit more than what I would like, silly reason I know.

You can try something like what I did for a tripod when I was using the 200.

Here's what it looks like with a tripod:



The parts:



Installed:



With tripod:



As you can see, it's pretty basic and it didn't cost anything because I already had the double sided velcro straps. It makes the bag unbalanced and I had to be careful how I put the straps on because the tripod would occasionally slip down. Otherwise it was reasonably effective. It does make the bag a bit unbalanced and it rides differently (you can see that in the first picture) but it wasn't impossible.
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Old Sep 21, 2010, 7:08 AM   #8
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Well...it would be nice for me to able to do that. However, the 300 does not have the slotted attachment on the side that the 200 has.
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Old Sep 21, 2010, 9:32 AM   #9
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I didn't realize that - that IS too bad. I tried to do something similar on the front with the slotted attachment points, but couldn't get it to work properly.

I did see someone take a quiver and attach it to a sling bag somehow, but don't remember all of the details. Good luck with it!
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