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photo_trev


Feb 23, 2010, 3:07 PM
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Bag for climbing with SLR
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Hi Everyone,

I know this has probably come up hundreds of times, but I searched the forums and most of the answers I came up with is "don't climb with a DSLR".

Anyways I am a full time working photographer, and after climbing for almost 2 years I've been thinking about merging my two passions and trying to make photography a bigger part of my rockclimbing.

Anyways I wanna get a bit of a rig together for climbing with a dslr and a couple lenses, have been looking at top loading camera bag options from Lowepro and Thinktank, specifically the lowepro outback series and topload zoom, as well as think tanks digital holsters.

So what I am asking is if anyone has any experience with this, what works / doesn't work, whats the most comfortable to climb with, easiest to rig up and keep out of your way when climbing. I am gunna go to the store this week and test out a bunch of different options, I was just wondering if anyone already has a sweet system for this that they would like to share.

Probably be climbing with my D700 or possibly the D3, and 2-3 lenses.

Cheers,

Trevor


Partner abe_ascends


Feb 23, 2010, 3:21 PM
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Re: [photo_trev] Bag for climbing with SLR [In reply to]
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I think your needs will be dependent upon the type of climbing you intend to do. If you are talking about single-pitch cragging, you might not have too much of an issue slugging all that gear around, depending on the type of approach at your local crag. However if you are planning on doing some serious multi-pitching with that stuff, you may run into some problems relating to weight and space in your pack. You may also risk damaging some fairly expensive equipment in such a scenario as well.


Jesper-mf


Mar 3, 2010, 2:36 PM
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Re: [photo_trev] Bag for climbing with SLR [In reply to]
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Hi Trevor.

I myself, climb with a DSLR. and i use the Lowepro slingshot bag. you wear it like a normal backpack, but when you need to take pics. Just clip of the sling and now you have a top loaded pack.

This makes it easy and safe to bring heavy DSLR equipment. The one i have can hold a DSLR with lens attached + 2 extra lenses.
http://products.lowepro.com/...ot-200-AW,2035,4.htm


(This post was edited by Jesper-mf on Mar 4, 2010, 3:11 AM)


jnm1


Mar 3, 2010, 10:37 PM
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Re: [photo_trev] Bag for climbing with SLR [In reply to]
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I used the Lowepro Off Trail 2 (with only a single lens) recently on a single pitch and it worked out well. I used the waist strap high above my harness so it wasn't in the way. The only issue was making sure it didn't slide to the front on certain moves.

But I'm interested to hear what others use as I'm figuring out what else might work.

http://products.lowepro.com/...f-Trail-2,1981,7.htm


styndall


Mar 4, 2010, 6:24 PM
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Re: [photo_trev] Bag for climbing with SLR [In reply to]
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I use a Lowepro Cirrus case, a holster-style case for my camera and a single lens. It's small enough to heave around without excessive trouble, and it's padded enough that I don't worry about knocking my camera around when I'm climbing or scrambling with it.

It's got enough pocket space for a few extra memory cards or some filters (I usually keep a closeup filter handy for flowers). The case has both a shoulder strap (which I use most of the time) and a belt loop. The loop is big enough that I can pass my hiking pack's waist belt through it, which is really nice.





I couldn't take photos of the camera in the case, for obvious reasons.

Photos taken near the Griffith Observatory, Griffith Park, LA, here:




JoshCaple


Mar 4, 2010, 10:39 PM
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Re: [photo_trev] Bag for climbing with SLR [In reply to]
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Hi Trev!
I've used a whole load of different bags from a load of different companies... I always come back to the Lowepro Orion AW.


guangzhou


Mar 4, 2010, 11:34 PM
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Re: [JoshCaple] Bag for climbing with SLR [In reply to]
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I use various bags too. I like the lowepro products best. I bought a Orion mini years ago and love it for easy/casual multipitch routes with my big camera. Well padded, small, and easy to maneuver.



If I am on rope with shooting as my first priority, I use a metolius small haulbag.(Sentinal) Sometimes with my mini in it for exptra protection. The bag hangs on a daisy from my jumar or gri-gri.




tradmanclimbs


Mar 5, 2010, 4:21 AM
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Re: [guangzhou] Bag for climbing with SLR [In reply to]
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I am also a full time working pro. Unless you have a paying job lined up for that day. Don't do it! Mt Freind Alden Pellet also a pro, has a a pretty cool high end canon P&S that shoots raw. We only breaks out the heavy artilery for gigs that gaurentee to pay.. Alden gets a lot of stuff published and most of the climbing stuff is from that P&S
I guess a lot depends on what kind of climbing you do. If you mostly crag its a whole diferent story than if you are doing big hard multi pitch ice climbs. A lot of the stuff I climb I am certain that i probly couldn't get up it with my 1D Mrk 111 and 70-200 strapped to my ass! that thing is a feckin expensive anchor!


leedaclimber


Mar 5, 2010, 4:35 PM
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Re: [tradmanclimbs] Bag for climbing with SLR [In reply to]
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We tend to use our LowePro Off Trail 1 for regular day to day use/hiking and single pitch photo shoots. That way if you don't want to bring extra lenses/flashes you can remove the side pouches. Not sure it has the most padding though, I would also take a look at Lowepro's Outback cases.

We have not yet taken it along with us on any multi-pitch, instead we use to take my wife's Nikon Coolpix S10 which is a small but reliable point and shoot with a 10X zoom.


tradmanclimbs


Mar 6, 2010, 1:40 PM
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Re: [leedaclimber] Bag for climbing with SLR [In reply to]
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We have not yet taken it along with us on any multi-pitch, instead we use to take my wife's Nikon Coolpix S10 which is a small but reliable point and shoot with a 10X zoom. end quote.

Bingo! That is exactly what you should be doing unless Anhiser Busch is forking out your $1,500 day rate plus expenses and paying for assistant and riggers.

Even for magazine work if you are involved in the climbing , new rout, roadtrip editorial etc. you should invest in one of the upper end P&S jobs with a wide angle zoom, manual over rides and Raw capability. No Effin way I am going multi pitch climbing with 7+ grand strapped to my ass Crazy


JoshCaple


Mar 6, 2010, 5:53 PM
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Re: [tradmanclimbs] Bag for climbing with SLR [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Bingo! That is exactly what you should be doing unless Anhiser Busch is forking out your $1,500 day rate plus expenses and paying for assistant and riggers.

Even for magazine work if you are involved in the climbing , new rout, roadtrip editorial etc. you should invest in one of the upper end P&S jobs with a wide angle zoom, manual over rides and Raw capability. No Effin way I am going multi pitch climbing with 7+ grand strapped to my ass

A high end point and shoot is a very handy thing to have around, because you can keep it in your pocket all the time on a road trip and not miss all the quirkiness.
However when it comes to 'proper' shots incl those on the cliff, I personally aspire to take the best photographs possible in any given situation so I'm quite happy to climb with 7+ grand strapped to my ass... that's what I spent the money for!
It is rare though that I would be climbing on the same team as the people I'm photographing, unless I've rapped in/gotten shots & just tacked onto their ropes to climb out with them.
My take on it is that if you're there to climb then climb & let someone else photograph, if you're there to photograph then concentrate on that and strap on the money maker.


avalon420


Mar 6, 2010, 6:26 PM
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Re: [styndall] Bag for climbing with SLR [In reply to]
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My set up is pretty much like styndall's but I use a small Kata brand holster bag, but i do have plenty of those crappy Dovals.Wink


jnm1


Mar 6, 2010, 6:32 PM
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Re: [tradmanclimbs] Bag for climbing with SLR [In reply to]
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Olympus EP1 and the Panasonic GF1 are great alternatives if you don't want to take the weight.
And they take great photos with manual and RAW capabilities.


avalon420


Mar 6, 2010, 7:17 PM
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Re: [jnm1] Bag for climbing with SLR [In reply to]
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jnm1 wrote:
Olympus EP1 and the Panasonic GF1 are great alternatives if you don't want to take the weight.
And they take great photos with manual and RAW capabilities.
Thanks, my loves been begging for something smaller.[/spray] Probably the last time that'll happen[sprayWink]


(This post was edited by avalon420 on Mar 6, 2010, 7:19 PM)


guangzhou


Mar 6, 2010, 7:30 PM
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Re: [avalon420] Bag for climbing with SLR [In reply to]
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avalon420 wrote:
jnm1 wrote:
Olympus EP1 and the Panasonic GF1 are great alternatives if you don't want to take the weight.
And they take great photos with manual and RAW capabilities.

[image][URL=http://img3.imageshack.us/i/sidebysideep1front001.jpg/][image]http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/732/sidebysideep1front001.jpg[/IMG]
Thanks, my loves been begging for something smaller.[/spray] Probably the last time that'll happen[sprayWink]

These look like something I am currently shopping for. I'll have to take a closer look at each and see which I like best.


tradmanclimbs


Mar 7, 2010, 2:41 AM
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Re: [guangzhou] Bag for climbing with SLR [In reply to]
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Josh, that is exactly what i am getting at. If you are there to work then by all means bring your kit and work. preferably under contract and not on spec.. If you are there to climb then you are absolutly effin nuts to be lugging an SLR arround in this day and age of really good compact cameras.


jnm1


Mar 9, 2010, 8:05 AM
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Re: [photo_trev] Bag for climbing with SLR [In reply to]
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Check these out:

http://fstopgear.com/

Haven't used or seen these but they look interesting. I spotted the Navine bag on Renan Ozturk's Tawoche dispatch. They dragged a DSLR up to 21,000'.

http://vimeo.com/8904557

But then they're sponsored by North Face


photo_trev


Mar 9, 2010, 9:56 AM
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Re: [jnm1] Bag for climbing with SLR [In reply to]
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Thanks everyone for the awesome advice and the links. I think right now I have to figure out what kinda kit I want to climb with so I can get the bag that fits it all, seems like a holster style kit is the way to go, easy to attach, easy to get your gear out of and well padded.

I appreciate the advice on climbing with a point and shoot instead of an expensive dslr, but I've never really found a point and shoot that can give me the quality and the look that a slr and a high quality lens can produce. I figure the best photos come from when your camera isn't sitting around packed in bubble wrap at home but rather its taken somewhere it shouldn't be. I've taken them through worse, and I've realized a long time ago that its pointless for me to try and resell my cameras when its time to upgrade.

It seems to me that climbing photography necessitates the use of zooms, because when you are clipped into an anchor or rope you don't have much ability to move around. Unfortunately my kit right now is only big heavy 2.8 zooms or 1.4 primes, so I might have to look into some lighter options if I want to get serious about it. For now I am thinking of just trying to find a bag for a d700 and 80-200 and maybe a couple small wide primes. I'll let you guys know how I make out this summer with it all. For now I am thinking the Lowepro toploaders are the way to go, they seem to offer decent padding and they have straps on the sides to attach additional lens pouches and whatnot.

I'm not looking to do anything to crazy right away, just play around on some easier climbs till I figure out the kit.

Thanks again everyone, if I break my camera I'll come back so you can say "I told you so".

Cheers,

Trevor


tradmanclimbs


Mar 9, 2010, 10:35 AM
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Re: [photo_trev] Bag for climbing with SLR [In reply to]
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Trev, you really should decide if you are working or climbing. Back in the day when I wanted to be a real professional photographer I climbed with a film SLR. Granted back then the Film point and shoot cameras with zooms had crappy lenses. Now that i have the dubious honor of actualy being a professional photographer www.nkgphoto.com (I also work for another larger photo company.) I have figured out that climbing with a big camera is not fun and may put me in a situation where i have no camera to take to work the next day.. Additionaly some of the point and shoot digi cameras are so good that you can get killer shots with them while you climb! Check out www.neice.com alfonzo has some nice stuff posted as do many others.

By all means if you are doing a photo shoot bring the big kit. Thing is though that a high end point and shoot needs to be part of you kit in this day and age. Ever done a full pitch squeeze chimny with an SLR and you might get the picture Cool


braaaaaaaadley


Mar 9, 2010, 10:58 AM
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Re: [photo_trev] Bag for climbing with SLR [In reply to]
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I think you are on the right track with a holster type bag from either think tank or lowepro. That is what I use. What I have learned is that carrying more than one lens up the cliff is out of the question. Have you ever tried fumbling around with two thousand dollar lenses 100' off the ground while having the circulation being cut off from your legs waiting for your buddy to get going on that hard .12 he's been working on? Not a good idea! Take my advice. For single pitch shoots bring the camera and the lens you plan on using in the holster bag and have everything ready to go when you get to your desired shooting position. If you find that you need more than one lens for that day, then I would just get a single lens case to put in your crag pack and swap the lenses as needed. I recommend the cases that Mountainsmith makes (they are good and cheap). You mention that you plan on using your 80-200 and a wide angle prime. In my expierence, with my d300, the 80-200 is much too long for shooting down at climbers climbing towards you. Primes are also not very flexible for climbing photography as it is not easy to move when attached to an anchor. I have also found that my 17-35 is much too wide for shots unless the climber is fairly close. A lens such as the 24-70 might fit the bill if you have one. Another option if you want to keep your D700-D3 safe is to buy a D200 or some other cheaper body and pair it with a 18-70 kit lens and use that for your climbing outings. That way if something bad were to happen, it's not happening to your $4000 setup. Sorry for the rant. I hoped this info helps.


tradmanclimbs


Mar 9, 2010, 11:24 AM
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Re: [braaaaaaaadley] Bag for climbing with SLR [In reply to]
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if you going to use the cheap assed kit lens you might as well just suck it up and go with the point and shootWink


photo_trev


Mar 9, 2010, 12:13 PM
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Re: [tradmanclimbs] Bag for climbing with SLR [In reply to]
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What i am asking is not whether or not I should climb with my gear, I've pretty much made up my mind on that. The idea is to develop a portfolio to get paying gigs in the future, and that's not something that can be done with a point and shoot. I understand the risks involved and that's cool. Unfortunately I sold my battered old d200 for $300 a couple months ago, because I was so sold on the quality and fx sensor of the d3/d700 I've never looked back.

Ideally a mid range zoom would be awesome but its not in the kit, I've never had a need for it in any of my shooting. The 80-200 is a lot wider on the full frame sensor so I think it'll work, I have two, a heavier newer version and the lighter older version which I think I will be climbing with. We shall see how it goes I guess. Hopefully I will have some photos to post soon. I understand changing lenses can be a bitch, especially with tired hands.

I was thinking about rigging something up so I can anchor the tripod collar of that 80-200 to a sling or steel cable, and doing the same to the camera body. I don't really know what I can do to anchor a 17-35 or 20mm prime, so I guess I'll just be extra careful.

We'll see how it goes, hopefully it will pay off down the road.


tradmanclimbs


Mar 9, 2010, 12:24 PM
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Re: [photo_trev] Bag for climbing with SLR [In reply to]
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Well if you ever decide to take a day off from working and want to just go climbing on somthing taller than 30m you might find that point and shoot camera can get some very good shots..


bmurman


Mar 20, 2010, 8:57 PM
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I'll usually climb with the waist style "bag". On short climbs I'll typically take an 40-150mm zoom and either a 9-18mm wide or more versatile 14-54 depending on what the overall view around the climber looks like. When it comes to changing out a lens while I'm locked on the rope I actually use a new chalk bag. It's easy enough to drop one lens in quickly and sinch down for closure. Might seem like a "ghetto" thing to do but it's simple and it works. Climbers rarely use the exact same rack for two different climbs. They adapt for the route their attempting and take the tools to help them succeed. A climbing photographer should be no different.


pico23


Mar 22, 2010, 1:14 PM
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Re: [JoshCaple] Bag for climbing with SLR [In reply to]
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JoshCaple wrote:
In reply to:
Bingo! That is exactly what you should be doing unless Anhiser Busch is forking out your $1,500 day rate plus expenses and paying for assistant and riggers.

My take on it is that if you're there to climb then climb & let someone else photograph, if you're there to photograph then concentrate on that and strap on the money maker.

Both make good points. I know tradman is a horse show photo guy (among possibly other things) but he makes a good point about not going crazy if you don't want to.

On the other hand if you are there to capture great photographs, take the DSLR (as Josh notes). Yeah, the S90 and such will do absolutely fine (better than most peoples skills at photography) if you aren't completely and totally focused on producing images.

I'm in tradmans camp though, the people I climb with don't look athletic enough to make the cover of a mag, and probably not even a small ad, and I have limited time on the cliffs, I'd rather be climbing while taking a few grab shots with something portable.

But if I was focused on shooting, IQ aside, the ergonomics of a larger camera are just easier to deal with, as is a real viewfinder, better AF (or better manual focus), outside controls rather than menu diving, etc. The hassle of the larger camera and lenses is dealing with the bulk, other than that I still think an SLR or something similar is easier to use in varied conditions.

oh, and as for the question. I like a lowepro (or similar) TLZ with a over the shoulder strap made from 2 small light lockers along with an elastic or nylon webbing strap through the holsters belt loop.

This allows you to swing the camera holster like you would a rack, but also keeps it close to the body. It keeps your feet clear as well.


(This post was edited by pico23 on Mar 22, 2010, 1:18 PM)

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