Tag Archives: Lowepro

Ideal bag for outdoor photography

I love photographing beautiful & scenic not-for-usual-tourist kind of places. Been to few jungles & mountains, locally or in Indonesia. Been searching for the perfect bag for ages. I already have a lot of camera bags. All of them are Lowepro. From Nova 4, Off-trail II (sold), Computrekker AW (sold), Inversion 200AW, Computrekker Plus AW, Top-loader 75AW and Primus AW. My favorite at the moment is the Primus but it is not ergonomic & killing my back for a long hiking. For someone with prolapsed disc, this is not good. During the last outdoor adventure up to more than 2000m high Mount Rinjani, I can’t simply carry my own bag, the Primus. I had to rely on the porter to carry all my bags. But I soon discovered than carrying heavier loads with my Deuter Quantum 55-10L, a proper backpack for hiking, seems ‘lighter’ than the Primus. Therefore I believe that a suitable bag matters.

Since then I have been searching for a suitable solutions for such activity. These are few possible solutions:

  1. Use my Deuter Quantum plus Lowepro Toploader (over my chest) – Cons: I find it difficult to descend with huge bag on my chest. It was difficult to see my own step. And the number of lenses able to be carried is limited & I need to use pouches for each lens & put them inside my Quantum. Pro: Easy access to my camera (and one lens) – therefore more picture or else, I will just use my P&S.
  2. Buy Domke inserts & put it into my Deuter Futura 35L. I’ll put the rest of the stuff like cloth, jacket etc on top of the camera. Cons: It will be a nightmare to remove the camera from the bag during the hiking. Meaning less picture from the DSLR. This combo is just meant to carry the camera & lenses from point A to point B.
  3. f-stop bags!! Just found out about this bag & its extraordinary Internal-Camera-Unit (ICU). The ICU serves as paddings for the camera & lenses, and the best thing is that it has special access to all the camera & accessories. However I still need to put down the bag to get the camera. So, I can take out the camera but it won’t be handy. And the major cons is the price! A Tilopa + ICU = USD290. And the courier charge from US to Malaysia using UPS is another USD280!! More pictures of f-stop gears’ products available here.

    (source: http://www.fstopgear.com/now/media/gallery/66-action-shots/139-gerd-riegers-tilopa-setup-20080612)

So for now, I may have to choose Option #1 as I don’t have to spend anymore $$. I just need to descend slowly.

2009-06-13 12-06-04

Me with the toploader when climbing Mount Nuang in Selangor.

Note (June 2010): I have bought more bags including f-stopgear Tilopa which had cost me RM1000 with the internal compartment unit but it is not suitable for deep tropical jungle trekking. Now testing the ThinTank Photo waist bags solution.

Nuang Expedition: Lessons learnt

We went up Nuang Mountain recently to train for Rinjani Expedition at the end of this month. I learnt few things:

  1. Travel lite. Do not carry too many cameras or lenses. I may just carry D200 + 17-35mm & 85mm & my Leica P&S.
  2. Must have good rest before the expedition. We must sleep early on 30th June. Wake up the next day & get a good breakfast.
  3. Just carry one simple bag. Others can give to porters. :D – IDR80,000 per day (so we need IDR240,000 per person)
  4. Lowepro Toploader is OK but not great.
  5. Must get myself even a lighter & smaller tripod. (An excuse to buy a gadget) *grin*

Lowepro Primus: My simple feedback

Rather than a full review, I just better give a simple feedback about this bag.

Pros:

  1. The size is just right for a 5’9″ male Asian like me. I wear it almost everyday now. Even though it is not really meant to carry notebook, but I can accommodate my 12″ Dell Latitude D430 with its extended battery inside the upper compartment.
  2. It feels light. Not sure whether its psychology or what, but it does feel light.
  3. Damn cun (beautiful) if not cool! :D

Cons:

  1. I am able to put in my D3 with 70-200 VR, a 17-35 f2.8 & 85mm f1.4 but that’s it. For flash, I need to use the upper compartment unless I have the slip-lock case. However, with the D3 in the lower compartment, I am not able to take it out via the quick access side opening. No problem with D200 but it is still with some difficulty.

Overall, I am satisfied. The bag is not big. Enough to carry travelling setup but not for a serious photography outing where you would want to carry the complete arsenal of gears.