Camera bags and tri-pods

Old Mar 1st, 2007, 05:31 PM
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Camera bags and tri-pods

Thanks to all of you who have provided me great info. concerning cameras and lenses...now and hopefully last question concerns camera bags and tri-pods. I am planning on taking my Canon 20D camera w/ 10-22/28-135IS/and new 100-400IS lenses, 3 spare batteries/ 4 1GB CF cards/cleaning equipment etc.as well as a PS camera as a back up. Would appreciate any good advice as to a good camera bag and tri-pod to take. While I do not want to spend too much more money I do not want to end up when I get to Africa wishing I had put more money into these two items. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Bob
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Old Mar 1st, 2007, 07:03 PM
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CF cards are getting cheaper, get more.
regards - tom
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Old Mar 1st, 2007, 07:15 PM
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I had a XT and the same lenses as you plus a couple more. I used a camera backpack as a carry-on bag on flights to Africa and also for flights between camps. While on drives I usually used only two lenses so I took a small camera bag as well and used that on the drives. I hope you have a sensor cleaner in your cleaning supplies.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2007, 02:17 AM
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I too took my gear in a backpack (Tamrac Expedition 5)as hand luggage and took a smaller bag for the game drives. Didn't bother with a tripod, and never regretted leaving it at home.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2007, 02:20 AM
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Oh and take more cards or an image tank! If you are shooting RAW you will fill those cards up in no time! For sensor cleaning I have a Visible Dust Arctic Butterfly which gets rid of the worst of the grunge.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2007, 03:01 AM
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When i go to southern countries where vehicles are open sided i take my monopod and use it many times.
Tripod in vehicles are useless unless you have a private vehicle.
Some companies provided beanbags in their vehicles but i always take mine just in case,beanbag in safari is a must for me.
I think you are going to need more digital space ,you should get and external hard drive or portable device,when i go to África i come back with 300 to 500 photos per day.
I use Lowepro Nature Trekker as backpack and i am happy,it has in off room for all my gear and fits in the hand luggage compartment,but there are many good photo bag out there.

Paco.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2007, 04:16 AM
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I have used nearly the identical kit you describe on past safaris. Although my current kit has grown too large for this bag, I think the ideal bag is the Lowepro Mini-Treker AW. Forget the tripod. A monopod perhaps if you are going to be in an open sided vehicle (Botswana?). Back up your data to a PSD or laptop. Alternatively, you can buy lots of compact flash storage and just put them away once they are filled. Flash storage is cheap enough to do that now, however if something happens to your CF cards (i.e., loss or damage), you would have no back-up. Keep your primary shooting setup on your lap and covered if you are in a moving vehicle. A waterproof pillowcase works well for this. Try never to change lenses while out on the road. Take along extra batteries and a spare charger. I have known several instances of camp electrical supplies frying chargers. A 12 volt inverter (Radio Shack sells them for about $15) can be plugged into the vehicles cig. lighter and used while out for the day. If your an enthusiastic photographer, 500 images a day is reasonable. One last suggestion. I don't know your budget but I do know that most people are too limited by space and weight to take a laptop. Still it is nice to view your images while on safari in order to be certain that you are getting the results you want. I like one of the PSD (photo Storage Devices) with a high quality screen such as the Epson P2000, 3000, 4000 or 5000 for just that purpose. Another suggestion is to refer to Andy Biggs website for his list of safari gear and some great phtog. tips. Have a Ball.........
Cheers-Chuck
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Old Mar 2nd, 2007, 05:40 AM
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You have a great setup of camera and lenses for your safari. I'll echo what the others are saying. You won't have much opportunity to use a tripod and you don't have enough storage. If you shoot RAW and you have 4 1GB cards, you have enough room for 400 pictures. So you need a storage device. (If you are seeing a lot, you can use 4GB in one day!)

I don't have a suggestion for a camera bag but I'll tell you what I use (for 4 or 5 trips). I have a 20d, 1dMark2n, 70-200 f/2.8, 300 f/2.8, 10-22, 16-35 and all the chargers and accessories. This will all fit in a 20" rolling suitcase that I bought at target or wmart. I wrap and pad everything with foam or padding. Since I carry it on flights and keep it with me during luggage transfers I don't have to worry about damage. For game drives, I carry only what I need in a regular student type backpack. I carry the bigger lens because it won't fit but it won't fit in a special (more expensive) camera backpack either.

So if you are trying to limit your camera related spending, more image storage should be the highest on your list, specialty camera bag second, and tripod/monopod last.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2007, 06:01 AM
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You hyave some great equipment, wish I could be so lucky...

I get the B&H catalogue and noted that they have a couple of special offers on bags and tri-pods. I normally keep the "book" on me as I like to salivate between calls etc, for whatever reason it is not at my side today, but I do recall that I highlighted a couple of items that I thought worthy of my next trip to Africa.

Tripod: SLIK 700DX. $129.95
Manfrotto 785 B $78.95...
These both have decent extension I recall between 41/2 - 6ft or close to. Light weight and collapse to about 22 inches.

Bags that I noted: Lowe Pro Compu Day pack, $ 79.95
Compu Trekker. $169.95.

They are a decent camera and video store in manhattan.

Please do note though that there is no better substitute for a old fashioned sand bag, which really works well on land rovers etc.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2007, 08:10 PM
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Used a Canon XT last year in Madikwe, SA w/ both a 18-200mm & 170-500mm(majority of safari shots)- both Sigma. Also carried a Panasonic PV-500 video camera along with all the gear to support both. Bought a Lowepro camera backpack - not sure model, but the biggest w/ laptop compartment- laptop went with me for pic back-up and email along the way + movies on the plane. Was perfect. Carried on plane(s) and wife did carry on bag with our usual plane carry on accessories. Strongly suggest using a monopod w/ articulating verticle/horizontal head instead of a tripod on game drives in a vehicle. Carried both on trip, but used a monopod on safari - very felxible. Tripod was used around lodge for wedding,etc. Both Manfrotto - lightweight and not too expensive. Also carried a fillable bean bag which I never used. You are very lucky to have the Canon 100-400IS. I really should have spent the extra $ to buy that over the 170-500mm simply for the IS. I came out with great pic's, but had to delete many pic's that were not crisp enough for lack of IS. P&S camera is always good for around lodge or anything outside of game drives. Used a Canon SD700. Both cameras have their place.
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Old Mar 5th, 2007, 08:43 PM
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Thanks to all of you who gave me some great suggestions....I will probably leave the tri-pod at home but will take a bean bag that I will fill up once I get there. Have bought a Visible Dust Arctic Butterfly and will use an Epson P-3000 to download/save pictures. August is still a way off but can't wait to get over there. We will be gone about 23 days and will visit both Kenya and Tanzania and then fly into Rwanda for 3 days of Gorilla trekking. Again thanks for your good input.
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