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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old August 21st, 2014, 09:38 AM   #1
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good hybrid bags to carry all gear

I currently use a Hama "Daytour" 230 backpack, a quite cheap bag but one that carries a lot of gear, it currently fit's 3 dslr's and 5 lenses, 3 videocamera's (2 cx730's and a ax100) and 5 audio recorders (4 small and one bigger tascam dr40)
I also have a separate small bag for a few xlr or jack cables and other small stuff I use which doesn't fit into my hama bag.

My hama bag is actually overloaded, it's not really equipped to handle the weight and I already have a torn handle and now one zipper has failed and it's not possible to have it fixed so I"m looking for a new one, one that fits all of my gear so I only need one backpack, I also want a backpack that can act as a trolley because the weight is killing me if I need to carry it too long, my back is not that good anymore, I need to carry it on my back only if the photoshoot is in a city, if I need to do stairs or if the road is in too bad condition to use it as a trolley. I also want to have one big compartment and see all my gear inside and not like my current hama which has several compartments.

I had my eye on a Tenba Roadie Rolling Case Backpack Hybrid, not exactly a cheap bag but since my all gear is expensive as well I think it's better not to save on that part. It looks like a very decent well build bag that functions as a trolley and backpack and has the possibility to attach a tripod as well. I just want to be able to just have one bag that fit's all, it would be even perfect if I could fit my blackbird as well and just layout all my other gear around it using the velcro paddings but I guess that would be wishful thinking.

Anyone else here uses such a bag and have an opinion about it or are there any other systems you use to carry all your gear around in one go?

Last edited by Noa Put; August 21st, 2014 at 10:09 AM.
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Old August 21st, 2014, 01:03 PM   #2
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Re: good hybrid bags to carry all gear

Last year my buddy got a Thinktank Logistics Manager and swears by it. But, it's $500.

For me, my collection of gear has grown and now I carry around 8 individual bags/cases to events. It's becoming quite a pain.

So, what I did yesterday was buy the Pelican 1615 divider set for my Pelican 1610 rolling case. Right now, I've been using pick and pluck foam, having gotten it for my XL1 back in the day.

I'm hoping that this 16 piece divider kit will allow me to combine all my stuff into this one big case.

It is heavy, but also robust and I don't have to worry about my big tripods crushing anything in it.
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Old August 21st, 2014, 03:50 PM   #3
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Re: good hybrid bags to carry all gear

After searching online for a similar solution, I stumbled upon a recommendation for a Think Tank Logistics Manager here (same as Kyle's friend) and decided that it would be my purchase for next year. The bag looks absolutely perfect for weddings and I don't think I could consider anything else after seeing it.

The only other consideration I have currently is to purchase the biggest Billingham Hadley bag available, which is the 555, unless I'm mistaken. It's the biggest in their most popular line up. I own the Pro and Digital versions from Billingham, and love them both.. but carrying everything is a little cumbersome, would be amazing to wheel stuff at times - especially if I can attach two tripods - one at either side - as you seem to be able to with the TT Logistics Manager.
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Old August 23rd, 2014, 03:50 AM   #4
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Re: good hybrid bags to carry all gear

I have seen that think tank logistics manager but that is a huge bag! Would you really consider dragging that around with you on a photoshoot?

The wedding yesterday I was on the move for half the day, car in, car out, 5 different locations for the photoshoot, doing stairs, walking through mud as it was raining as well. Here actually a trolley would have been useless as I would have to carry the bag on my back all the time.

I have been looking at the MindShift Rotation 180บ bag as well which seems to have a very smart system for quick access to some gear without taking your backpack off, it also has a great way to attach a heavier tripod to your bag.

I do have a trolley system here for a petrolbag I bought a year ago for my nex-ea50, that trolley could be used to move my heavier stuff around for longer distances so I might not have to look for trolley backpacks only.

Most important for me is being able to go in and out of the church in one go with one backpack, this I could handle with one heavy backpack as it's only a short distance. currently I have one large backpack with my camera's/lenses, one small backpack with my audio audiogear, cables etc and one trolley holding 2 tripods, a monopod and a lightstand.

I"m trying to minimize my gear and was thinking to get a mefoto tripod for a locked of camera and a lightstand for a audio recorder, both are very small folded in and should fit on the back of the backpack and then one big tripod, like my sachtler ace that I could attach with the tripod suspension kit. I even might be able to hold the monopod in my hands. I have started shooting ceremonies with 3 camera's now, my ax100, a cx730, both on tripods and the rx10 on a monopod.

Just thinking out loud here, that bag might enable me to take all my gear with me in one bag, only my blackbird would not fit but I only start using that at the reception.
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Old August 23rd, 2014, 12:39 PM   #5
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Re: good hybrid bags to carry all gear

I just see the MindShift Rotation 180บ requires accessories to make it complete making it very expensive, ouch.
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Old August 24th, 2014, 02:23 AM   #6
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Re: good hybrid bags to carry all gear

Hi Noa,

Have you looked at Lowepro bags? Whether they make a bag big enough for you I don't know, but they do a rolling backpack range. With the built-in rain cover, Slip Lock extra pocket attachment system, adjustable dividers and tripod holder maybe they are worth a look.

Somehow, each time I look for a new bag I finish up with another Lowepro. No special reason except they always manage to have something in their range that does what I think I want it to.

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Old August 25th, 2014, 08:43 AM   #7
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Re: good hybrid bags to carry all gear

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
I have seen that think tank logistics manager but that is a huge bag! Would you really consider dragging that around with you on a photoshoot?
A valid point, but it's currently a lot lighter than I'm carrying at the moment:

Monopod with GH4 and lens
2 Sachtler Ace's (over one shoulder)
2 Billingham bags (over the other shoulder)
A slider on a sling over my back

It's a lot to carry and I'm unable to do this professionally, as to be honest, I look like a body of cameras.

So, a good, huge bag would actually be advantageous to my current set up. Especially one that I could hook my two tripods to, carry all of my cameras and leave me with my slider on my back and a monopod to hand, with the other hand pushing my huge bag along... I'd feel like the world had left my back!

It's another area that I'm considering to improve somehow... I'll research after I've finished my last wedding of the year!
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Old August 25th, 2014, 09:49 AM   #8
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Re: good hybrid bags to carry all gear

I have to order a new bag today, my old bags zipper is completely wasted and there is a risc my camera can fall out.

I have checked out lowepro's range and they do have a lot to offer but I probably will go for a tenba bag, I am having doubts to either go for a Tenba Roadie HDSLR Video Backpack or a a Tenba Roadie II HDSLR/Video Shoulder Bag, they are equally expensive as lowepro higher end range and seem equally well build, they give 5 years warranty so that says much about the build quality.

Not sure how simple it will be to carry around a shoulderbag, I can attach it to a trolley I have so can take the load of completely but a backpack is much easier when I have to follow the photog in a city. The backpack has a separate compartment on top for audiogear or other stuff.

Craig, that think tank is ok if you have to move all your gear in one go to a venue but this bag can quickly become a problem everytime you have to lift it up to go up or down the stairs or in and out the car when you are following the photog for the photoshoot, it will slow you down considerably because of it's size and weight. It's perfect for people that go to one location only with lots of gear for the rest of the day but for being mobile it's very restricting.

When you are doing the photoshoot, do you now also carry all your gear with you? I"m trying to find a better way for being mobile enough without breaking my back, have to think a bit more about it. :)
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Old August 25th, 2014, 11:00 AM   #9
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Re: good hybrid bags to carry all gear

I use one of these Noa

Kata OMB-74 One Man Band Bag, Small KT OMB-74 B&H Photo Video

It gets all my gear apart from my EA50 that is in a separate bag - you can get wheels/trolley for this as well!
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Old August 25th, 2014, 07:02 PM   #10
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Re: good hybrid bags to carry all gear

Here's what I ended up with for my gear.

It is pretty hefty, but being a hard case, I have no concerns about heavy tripods etc being on top.

If was shooting DSLRs I'd probably want something more portable, as noted above.

Most everything we do is at one location. I have another pelican 1500 series case with all my lights and that goes to the reception area with the light stands ahead of time.
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Old August 25th, 2014, 09:09 PM   #11
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Re: good hybrid bags to carry all gear

Maybe I'm missing something here but why bags? I have an aluminium "technicians" tool case which is super light and it has a block of foam in it which I cut out to suit my gear. Every thing has it's cutout rather than stuff tossed into compartments .. I can find what I want instantly without scratching inside a bag.

Even my still camera case (on wheels) has a foam filled interior and the flashes and bodies are in cutouts in the middle and then lenses are in cutouts all around the perimeter. The only "bags" I have are my tripod bags.

What's the advantage or having bags as opposed to hard cases??

Chris
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Old August 26th, 2014, 01:32 AM   #12
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Re: good hybrid bags to carry all gear

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
What's the advantage or having bags as opposed to hard cases??
In my experience, weight, convenience and comfort. Also in my experience, the aluminium technician type cases get damaged too easily and don't last very long, although in fairness I wasn't using them for camera gear..

Noa asked about backpacks, hard cases are not very comfortable worn on the back, I've tried it! A backpack, and I have only recently found this out after doggedly sticking with shoulder bags for years, is so much easier and more comfortable to carry and, unless wanting to sit in a chair, well out of the way while working.

A good hard case tends to be too heavy both for carrying any distance and as cabin baggage for most airlines, as I found to my cost a few years back.

If I operated like you do out of the back of a car Chris, I almost certainly would use hard cases because I do like the way you can instantly find things and, more important, tell what's missing when clearing up. I also like the feeling that extra protection is offered by a hard case. Somehow a bag, even a carefully organised one, just isn't the same.

Even so, I still find a bag, more specifically a backpack, to be the best option I have found so far.

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Old August 26th, 2014, 10:23 AM   #13
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Re: good hybrid bags to carry all gear

Through the years i've done the rolling aluminum case, medium kata shoulder bag, a diy roller case, two rear waist/shoulder packs, and my main workhorse for most of my gigs, the calumet bp1500. it was an absolutely murder by death steal i got for 70 bucks on clearance, and sadly the whole company is not doing well, which is a shame since products like this bag are great.

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Old August 26th, 2014, 01:55 PM   #14
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Re: good hybrid bags to carry all gear

I'm a fan of the rolling cases by Lowepro. I have one, love it. One of their rolling cases can become a backpack, very cool. I don't own that specific case that converts to backpack, but the one demonstrated in the video below it looks cool.

Pro Roller x-Series AW Rolling Camera Bags | Lowepro
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Old August 26th, 2014, 05:30 PM   #15
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Re: good hybrid bags to carry all gear

I'm not a big fan of backpacks for wedding work because 1) they can make you look very dishevelled very quickly (I don't wear suits anyway), and 2) they can give you a nasty sweaty back super quick. In summer thats OK just not very nice but outside of summer it can be quite dangerous as you can cool down from a sweat and get a real chill. In both instances I'm talking about shooters who are very physically active when working. If your style is more glacial these may not be issues.

I also find backpacks quite tricky to remove gear from quickly without risking other stuff rolling out. I have two backpacks but I only ever use them for hill walking type activities.

I prefer to use shoulder bags, if necessary on folding two wheel carts. My favourite at the moment is the Lowepro Classified 250AW. Its semi rigid so it doesn't go all floppy once your removed a lot of gear. I also make a lot of use of neoprene type pouches and some bubblewrap. That is a much more efficient use of space than the typical bag dividers supplied with new bags.

Don't forget that you can use modular belt kits for those occasions when a single backpack or shoulder bag doesn't quite cut it. The Think Tank Skin range of pouches work great as they are unpadded so don't turn you into robocop. You can also add pouches to backpacks and some shoulder bags if you need extra capacity.

I've never liked the rigid aluminum cases with foam. They seem like a very inefficient use of space to me. But if I could always get a vehicle very close to venues I might consider them. However I also like small cars for wedding work as they are easier to find parking for in city centre venues - small cars and humongous rigid cases don't mix well.

Pete
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