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fiend


Mar 9, 2008, 10:17 PM
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F-Stop Bags
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Anyone familiar with this new line of bags? I believe Tim Kemple is involved with the project but I can't seem to find any information beyond the following:

http://www.fstopgear.com Official but absolutely horrendous website. The pause button doesn't work, no prices, no retailer information.
http://www.bagselect.com/bags/f-stop/ Seems to be the only place to buy them right now. No real information about the packs.

I'm curious to learn more about a pack built with climber/skier input but from what I can tell they seem to just be regular bags with an ICU for actual camera storage.

Any info?


action-shot


Mar 10, 2008, 9:39 AM
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They look like they are worth checking out. Buying one of these may be easier than having to modify a full on pack with a camera block. If one of their bags can hold a 70m rope and a full rack of gear I will buy it in a second.


deepplaymedia


Mar 12, 2008, 10:18 AM
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Re: [action-shot] F-Stop Bags [In reply to]
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Check out the discussion at the wheelsandwax.com forums (Tim Kemple & others have posted feedback there which will probably answer your questions)
The one complaint seems to be that they are not deep enough for pro gear (which is why I'm hanging out for the spring range, where this has supposedly been addressed), otherwise they appear to be the goods.


pico23


Mar 12, 2008, 7:04 PM
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fiend wrote:
Anyone familiar with this new line of bags? I believe Tim Kemple is involved with the project but I can't seem to find any information beyond the following:

http://www.fstopgear.com Official but absolutely horrendous website. The pause button doesn't work, no prices, no retailer information.
http://www.bagselect.com/bags/f-stop/ Seems to be the only place to buy them right now. No real information about the packs.

I'm curious to learn more about a pack built with climber/skier input but from what I can tell they seem to just be regular bags with an ICU for actual camera storage.

Any info?

Curious as to why either think tank or lowe pro doesn't fill the bill.

I've got a handful of lowepro bags, some are 12 years old. All still working. I should have invested in lowepro.

Think Tank looks like the "cool" alternative to lowepro. I see a lot of people who had some issues with Lowepro go to Think Tank (but many of them use a hybrid Lowepro Think Tank setup). Think Tank is actually highly desinged for Canon pro bodies.

I've never liked putting my camera gear in the backpack, it means it's not accessable. Therefore, not useable. I've generally used waist pouches or chest holsters over the years. When they need to disappear, I drop the holster in the pack but 90% of the time it's seconds away from being useful.


guangzhou


Mar 12, 2008, 7:28 PM
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Re: [deepplaymedia] F-Stop Bags [In reply to]
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Based on personal experience with gear I have had the opportunity to test, I can say the companies listen to the testers pretty closely and make the modifications accordingly.

Of course, I ahve only tested gear for a few companies, but it works.

If the testers say it needs more room for a rack and gear, I'll wait till the next line comes out beofre I play with it.


DeepMedia: Any chance of you taking a photogrpay trip to Indonesia in July. I might be putting together a big wall first ascent team here. A good photogrpahy project for someone. Unfortunately, I'll be on of the climbers, so my camera will be put away.

Cheers
Eman


deepplaymedia


Mar 13, 2008, 2:11 AM
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As far as I'm aware the 'not deep enough' comments were in relation the the actual camera block, rather than room for rack & gear.


Just a thought though- I find that (for climbing) if you are packing ropes & gear, then it is probably with the intention of using those ropes...hence a toploader (such as the Lowepro Orion AW, for eg) is far more suitable and can easily be put in the top of an appropriate size rucksack full of gear!
I do love the full size blocks, but (blocs & extended trips aside) they rarely seem useful in climbing.

Thanks for the offer Eman, I'm available for assignment (& would be quite open to the possibility) but unfortunately I can't just 'happen to be in the area' :)


fiend


Mar 13, 2008, 2:00 PM
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Re: [pico23] F-Stop Bags [In reply to]
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pico23 wrote:
Curious as to why either think tank or lowe pro doesn't fill the bill.

I find that camera bags trend towards the boxy and ugly. Think Tank and Lowepro are no exceptions. I work in the outdoor retail industry and see a lot of product that ranges from fashionable to functional, and I want something that hits the high end of both of those rather than having them at opposite ends of a spectrum.

1. I'm not carrying pro gear. I need room for a D300 body (with attached Mbd10 battery pack) and two to three basic lenses (18-200mm, 50mm, maybe something wide), flash.
2. I want the pack to be comfortable.
3. I want the pack to be sexy (or close to).
4. I want to be able to take my skis or fit my climbing gear in the pack.
4. I like the idea of a removable camera block that can be transfered into another of the packs I already own, like a waterproof roll-top backpack. Through previous experience, I know that it's a pain in the ass to slide a regular bag into another pack.

So far the number of packs that seem to fit the bill are ... uh... the DaKine Sequence... and... uh... nothing. I like look of the F-Stop bags more than the DaKine bags and the theory is that they have the same design.

I agree with what you say about having your camera accessible. For me, the camera will either be around my neck, or away in the bag. When it's in the bag, I'm not overly concerned about split second access. Besides, with the back panel access, it seems just as easy to get at a camera by dropping it and going through the back panel and camera block panel than opening a full zip on the front of the bag. I just don't like shoulder or hip bags and will only be using those when the situation dictates a need.

Based on the info from Wheels and Wax (I don't know why, but I thought that was a car forum when I first found it a few weeks ago) the availability of F-Stop bags is sketchy at best and the new line won't be "available" until late summer or early fall. Given how crappy their website is, how they don't respond to emails, and how it's currently near impossible to get one of their bags, I'll probably have to go another route. I thought maybe someone here would have seen one in the wild.


pico23


Mar 13, 2008, 7:56 PM
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fiend wrote:
pico23 wrote:
Curious as to why either think tank or lowe pro doesn't fill the bill.
1. I'm not carrying pro gear. I need room for a D300 body (with attached Mbd10 battery pack)

Not sure when a $1700 camera that shoots (6.5fps??) and is slightly smaller than a D1/2/3 was not considered pro gear.

Of course I do notice a few "soccer dads" toting D200 and D300 with grips around at the sporting events (and a kit lens).

That said, the D300 w/grip is fairly pro sized, and it's a fully pro spec'd camera. It's not a D3/D2/D1 but it's not consumer gear either.

It's like when people say "most pros" and then I point out that in the AP most non sports shooting pros shoot Canon 10/20/30/40D and not 1D/1Ds. Especially since "most" use a two camera system with a wide and telephoto at the same time.

Summary of rant...D300 is definitely a pro body!!

You can order a Domke Camera block to add to your own bags from B&H. I've never been a fashion guy but I did this with a Swiss Gear messenger bag for trekking around the city. Works well, and while it doesn't look like a camera bag, it does look like a laptop bag!!


Partner neuroshock


Mar 13, 2008, 9:10 PM
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I have the Satori and one of my climbing/photo partners has the Tilopa.

The ICU is a good concept but needs some tweaking. The depth, as has already been mentioned, for one. I like to shoot with my vert grip on sometimes (Canon 30D) but it doesn't really fit. Additionally, lenses that are shorter (like the 10-22mm, 85mm, 50mm, etc) can fit end-in but larger lenses/zooms are too long to do so. Plus, the divider around the ICU is narrow so it's a tight squeeze to get 77mm diameter lenses in.

However, I find that if I'm going to be hiking up some approach trail and jugging up a line, I can do without the extra weight and the "inconvenience" of adjusting my grip. Longer lenses I leave mounted on the body so they lie flat. This does mean that if I have the wide angle on, I may have to switch lenses in order to put everything back.

There's a laptop sleeve in the bag that fits my 15" MacBook Pro prefectly, to give an idea of size. There are external straps and pockets that will probably carry a snowboard or skis (or trekking poles or a tripod). There isn't a whole lot of internal room for gear, however.

In the ICU I can fit the body + 24-70 f/2.8, 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, 16-35 f/2.8, flash, memory card case, a couple of filters, and a 1.4x extender. Inside of the pack but on top of the ICU I can fit my 70-200 f/2.8 inside of a LowePro LC3 case. Alternatively, instead of the 70-200 I can put my harness, some slings, some locking biners, & ascenders and then use the snowboard straps to attach a rope.

However, I also got the small ICU which is about half the size of the large ICU. The small ICU fits the body + 1 lens and the flash. That's about it. This does leave much room for gear, though probably not a whole rack (1 set of cams to 4", a set of stoppers, and slings). You would probably still need to strap the harness to the side using the compression straps (with buckles) and still need to find a good way to carry water (I've put a hydration bladder in the laptop sleeve before and run the tube out the top). Either way, you'll probably be clipping your shoes to the outside, too.

It's a nice and slim pack but, I think, since there are side straps it could be designed a little deeper overall (and the ICU, too) so that more gear can be held if needed.

Anyway, I'll stop my rambling post now. If anyone has any follow-up questions I'll do my best to answer.

This is probably handy, too: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fstopgear/


guangzhou


Mar 13, 2008, 9:19 PM
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Re: [deepplaymedia] F-Stop Bags [In reply to]
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deepplaymedia wrote:
As far as I'm aware the 'not deep enough' comments were in relation the the actual camera block, rather than room for rack & gear.


Just a thought though- I find that (for climbing) if you are packing ropes & gear, then it is probably with the intention of using those ropes...hence a toploader (such as the Lowepro Orion AW, for eg) is far more suitable and can easily be put in the top of an appropriate size rucksack full of gear!
I do love the full size blocks, but (blocs & extended trips aside) they rarely seem useful in climbing.

Thanks for the offer Eman, I'm available for assignment (& would be quite open to the possibility) but unfortunately I can't just 'happen to be in the area' :)

DeepMedia:
Thanks for the offer, but I am not offering an Assigment. I was opening an invitation. You are one of three photogrpaher I mentioned it too. The others saw this for what it was, an opportunity to be partof a small team going to climb a Big Wall in Indonesia.

Both of them seem like they might make it. They will use the opportunity to extablish their own route a week prior to the rest of the team. That route will be used to set fixed ropes so they can photograph the first ascent of a new route.

Thanks for the offer, I'll add photos of the trip to my blog when it happens.


fiend


Mar 13, 2008, 10:11 PM
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Re: [pico23] F-Stop Bags [In reply to]
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pico23 wrote:
Summary of rant...D300 is definitely a pro body!!

Heh, that's mostly why I bought it. I meant more that I wouldn't be carrying enough gear to need a bag to hold all this:


In reply to:
You can order a Domke Camera block to add to your own bags from B&H.

Thanks for the tip. I tend not to buy across the border if I can help it, but I did some digging through the B&H case/bag section and found a few things that might help me figure out what how I want to set things up.

@neuroshock: Thanks for the flickr link. Helped to get a better view of the bags. The original question about the bags was mostly a curiosity thing, but for future reference... did you and your friend get your bags as testers or through regular retail channels?


esqueleto


Mar 14, 2008, 7:57 AM
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the bags look pretty and cool, but i need more! i only saw one image showing the inside of the bags and they have several different ones. the main selling point in bags for me is how much crap can i put in it and attach to it without breaking cords, seams, and all that. their designs and site will improve with time so lets see what happens.


dlew308


Mar 17, 2008, 11:22 AM
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shoebuy.com sells them

Now take 20% off you order with Coupon Code: MADNESS08 Exp 3/17


singe


Mar 17, 2008, 9:39 PM
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i use an f-stop satori when i'm skiing but stick with the dakine sequence when climbing or when i need to haul more photo gear. the satori's icu isn't as deep as i'd like it to be (which might not matter with a d300, i have no idea), but the pack holds avy and other miscellaneous gear well and it's narrower than the sequence. while skiing, it definitely doesn't try to get away from me as often as the sequence does.

i hope that helps somewhat.


fiend


Mar 17, 2008, 11:10 PM
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Re: [singe] F-Stop Bags [In reply to]
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@dlew308, I saw the F-Stop packs on shoebuy.com, but I hate buying things sight unseen. Thanks for the coupon code, but I've decided to just ignore F-Stop until I see a bag or have someone espouse their greatness to me. I've yet to read any rave reviews. Maybe their Fall 2008 line-up will be a step up, and maybe *GASP* MAYBE, they'll actually post some photos of the insides of their bags. Wacky, but I think people might like to see that.

@singe, thanks for the beta. I actually found a local shop that's willing to bring in a Sequence for me to look at without actually having to buy it. No one in this town stocks the damn bag but a lot of the wheels&wax guys swear by it. I'm more concerned about a pack to lug around the boulders than a ski bag just now.


Hmm, I had a bit of a rambling diatribe written about Andramine, Jumeau, and the supposed experience of F-Stop's VP of Sales and Marketing (big title for such a small start-up), but I'm going to give F-Stop the benefit of the doubt and hope that this isn't how they plan to keep running their company. One can only hope that it's not their intent to actually get the bags out in the market place just yet, because if they're failing this miserably at that, then I wouldn't trust their designs, their manufacturing standards, or their quality control. I'm going to assume that the Fall 08 line-up is going to have all the feedback from their many beta testers and that they'll do some marketing beyond a handful of Tim Kemple posts on wheelsandwax and the tgr forums.


kest2703


Mar 18, 2008, 1:17 AM
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as an aspiring pro i must say that i shoot with a 30D. a 1D is just... too large, too bulky, too expensive, overkill, too... big. simply. you're in hte mountains and id rather have another box of tea than... a double battery pack that keeps just as long as the one of a 30 or 40D. come on. sure, i schlep my 70-200 L IS and 28-70L around, but other than cleaning material, card reader, tripod and cards, thats it with camera eq. that is a total of 4 kilos. (about 8 pounds). I have a 2 kilo, two man tent, a 600gram backpack, clothes at about 1 kilo, and misc stuff at about 3 kilos. i am 10 kilos. and believe it or not... it all fits in a 20 litre eastpack school backpack. (course it's uncomfortable, so i dont actually use that pack)

i am getting a smalle BD pack and will just use carabiners or something to attach a pack to it.

just like i did with my mammut extreme 45 and a hip pocket onto that belt.

by the way, whats up with the north face prophet not fitting anyone?


wes_allen


Mar 18, 2008, 5:53 AM
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I never understood why climbers whine about weight so much, esp. when you are only talking about a couple pounds extra. I mean, I can see if you are trying to summit K2 or run the eco-challange, then the extra weight might be an issue. But for most climbing, it just seems like the need to sack up and carry what you want is a better idea. And, I really like having a grip, since I shoot Vert a lot. So, the "extra" weight of my mark III isn't all that much more then a 40d with grip and extra battery. Plus, I can shoot like 2500+ images per battery change. If you want the very best images, then maybe you need to suffer a bit to get them.

I have a think tank glass taxi that I take climbing with me. It will hold two dslr's with grip, 24-70 2.8 and 16-35 2.8 attached, a couple of flashes, fisheye and cards, no problem. You can also get a 70-200 2.8 and an extra body and lens, but it is a tighter fit. It is pretty narrow, and I usually where it in front, with my pack/pad on my back, and don't have issues with it getting in the way. I also have a mountian smith pack that holds all my gear, and I will take that to the crag sometimes as well.


Paul_Y


Mar 20, 2008, 11:26 PM
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Wes, I was looking at the description of the Glass Taxi and it is described as a backpack/shoulder pack. How do you wear it in the front, and can you take gear out of it without removing it from your body?
Thanks!


wes_allen


Mar 21, 2008, 2:56 PM
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It is small and narrow enough to just sling the should straps over your shoulder from the front. It isn't super quick to get to, but I never worry about taking quick shots on the way to the crag. If you put the gear in the right way, I would guess you could take it out without taking the pack off, but it is way easy to just set it down or slide it off one shoulder. This isn't a "while climbing" setup.

Paul_Y wrote:
Wes, I was looking at the description of the Glass Taxi and it is described as a backpack/shoulder pack. How do you wear it in the front, and can you take gear out of it without removing it from your body?
Thanks!


deepplaymedia


Mar 24, 2008, 3:53 AM
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The FStop website has been updated & now appears to be much more informative!!


bigfatrock


Mar 24, 2008, 9:52 AM
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Nothing here looks that useful for what I need. What I am having a hard time with is finding a bag I can carry gear with in addition to my climbing gear. I can't seem to find anything that works. I can find large bags to use while shooting, but they are so big they won't fit into my pack and carrying them externally is not an option for the approaches. The backpacks here seem nice, but still not what I need.


deepplaymedia


Mar 25, 2008, 4:38 AM
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As I said earlier in the thread, if you are shooting climbing then IMO you shouldn't be looking at backpack style camera bags as an option. The Lowepro Orion AW (or similar) is the kind of thing you should be looking at, & it can easily be put in the top of a rucksack full of climbing gear!!


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