My recent purchase of a very expensive lens has given me a refresh for my photography. It has become much easier to get the kind of photos of birds in their natural setting, with natural behavior unfettered by the close proximity of a photographer. I’ve been making shots of birds I was never able to get before, or, if I did manage, they simply lacked the detail, composition, and depth of field to truly make them shine. It has also left me…deficient in a few areas as well. One of those areas is a camera bag. I previously had Canon’s small-ish camera backpack. It worked well for my gear up till now…it fit everything on my equipment page with the exception of my tripods and gimbal head. That included the camera body, a 50mm, 100mm, 16-35mm, and the 100-400mm lenses, teleconverters, as well as battery charger and a number of other items like filters, my flash, and a variety of accessories.
The new 600mm lens doesn’t stand a chance of fitting. It came with it’s own hard case, but I don’t really want to be carrying around both my camera bag (which is fairly dense and heavy itself when fully packed) as well as an even heavier hard case and lens. I know there are a number of other camera bags on the market that are capable of carrying my gear, including my large lens, in a single package. I’ve looked into the following bags, and was wondering if any of my readers who also happen to be photographers have ever used any (or any similar) that you would recommend:
- Guara Gear Bataflae 32L Backpack
- Lowepro Pro Trekker 600 AW Backpack
- ThinkTank Airport Security™ V 2.0 Rolling Camera Bag
I like the features of the Guara Bataflae most, but it is really pushing the limits of airline carry-on size, which is an important feature for me. Even with a hard case, I don’t think I would be willing to put this lens in the hands of airline baggage handlers…they would figure out some way of damaging it even in its specially designed case, I’m sure (and I’ve read all the horror stories…including one where the lens was literally sheared in half by the forces of baggage handlers tossing the lens case around!) I like the security of the ThinkTank, and the fact that it is a roller (definitely helpful for hauling around lots of heavy camera gear). The Lowepro isn’t carryon size, but it also fits a laptop (or, I presume, a tablet)…which is an enticing feature. I am not sure if there are any other camera bags that fit the bill for carrying around at least one, maybe two large lenses (300mm f/2.8 in the future as well) in addition to a couple camera bodies, other lenses, filters for landscape work, etc. I’d love to know about them if there are others, though!
Thanks for any input!