Backpack for Mamiya RB67

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Blooze, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. Blooze

    Blooze Member

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    I've finally got the camera and shot a roll. Enjoyed it immensely! Now the hard part, finding a backpack I can shove this stuff into. I currently have a Lowepro Nova (forget which model) but the camera with back and 65mm lens+hood will sit into it with about 1-2" to spare. I can throw my Luna Pro meter in there and some film, but that's it. That bag will work for normal going out and shooting, but when we take trips I'm going to need something more comfortable/larger to carry it around with. Ideally I would like to take the camera, the 65mm lens+hood, 3 backs, another lens, film, meter, and maybe a couple of filters. I've been looking at the Tamrac Expeditions (not sure what size) or a Thinktank Streetwalker Pro. I read of several people using the Lowepro Mini-Trekker. I've also read of them complaining if they have to carry it for very long as it's evidently uncomfortable. I will be using whatever I get for daytrips - hiking or city walking with a tripod.

    Any help you can give is greatly appreciated because the only thing within a 2 hour drive that carries bags is Best Buy.

    I've searched the archives to get ideas, but if anyone has any experience with something other than the Lowepro Mini-Trekker or Nature Trekker I'd be much obliged.
     
  2. Trail Images

    Trail Images Subscriber

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    I use a Tamrac Expediton 8 with either my RB67 or Wista 4x5. I've had this setup for a couple years now and find it perfect for my type of field work.
     
  3. Blooze

    Blooze Member

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    What all can you fit in the 8? Love to see a snapshot of it loaded with the RB67 stuff!
     
  4. Trail Images

    Trail Images Subscriber

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    These are are a real grab shot with a iPhone. But it will give you an idea. Keep in mind the lens cases are storing two lenses each. The Domke bag is optional as I use this pack for both MF & LF. The nice thing is all the filter stuff is set for 77mm on both systems, so no matter which unit I take I just change the lens packs out and cameras and take off. The two upper side pouches are an add on and do not come with the original pack. I'm sure there was probably an array of dividers with the pack, however, I find I arrange things best for both setups and ease of changing on a weekly basis for me.

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  5. Blooze

    Blooze Member

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    Thank you very much, Trail Images. That bag is HUGE. I wonder if I could get by with a 6X or 7X model? I read of one guy who got his RB67 with the 90mm, 250mm, prism, one back, grip, and more film than I can handle as well as his Olympus E-PM1 and 4 lenses with room to spare. Seems like that would be a heck of a squeeze. I like the looks of the Expedition series and they seem to get favorable reviews and used 6X's seem to come up fairly often.
     
  6. Trail Images

    Trail Images Subscriber

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    I'm sure with some close measurements you can check the differences between the 6x & 8x and verify your overall needs. Keep in mind I use this pack for double duty and for that reason it is perfect for my needs. I change back and forth between MF & LF gear on a weekly basis. That at this point is not an issue you're confronted with.
     
  7. Alan Klein

    Alan Klein Member

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    I use a Tamarac 787 http://www.adorama.com/TR787BK.html I keep the RB67 with 50, 90 180, and 360 lenses. waist level and eye finders, lightmeter, filters, one back, film, cable releases, collapsible/adjustable lens shade, etc etc. It has a waist band for your hips for better support as well as the shoulder straps. I think it weigh 45 pounds fully loaded; tripod not included. I usually don't hike with it far from the car. I'd rather have a hot poker in my left eye then have to go too far.

    Anway it's well made. I haven't had any trouble with rips or zipper failure or getting stuck. It has a handle on top which is handy for moving it in and out of the car and just moving it around and the straps tuck away when not needed. It's very strong. I imagine the Tamrac later models are made similarly.
     
  8. dismalhiker

    dismalhiker Member

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    This is very interesting. I just received a (used) Mamiaya RZ67 yesterday with 50mm and 150mm lenses (also have a "Texas Leica" Fujica GSW690) and I want to take both of them hiking, although probably one at a time.

    My question is... although these photo-gear backpacks look great, where do you put the other stuff? Usually when I go hiking I need to carry at least a poncho (or other rain gear), lunch, head lamps, and other non-photo gear. These photo backpacks look like they are meant to be stuffed with lenses and cameras with no room for anything else. Thanks!
     
  9. Trail Images

    Trail Images Subscriber

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    This is a very good point. I will say that the Tamrac 8x has a fairly large open pouch that is zipped closed between the layer for filter storage and the tripod mount area. In fact, I do carry a very large dark-cloth for LF work as well as a headlamp assembly in a draw string bag in that large pouch area. I would think it would store light rain gear in it too. I find over the years I've tried my best to prune down the items I carry, albeit not as much as I'd like, but still a doable load to carry. So, although there is space and the ability to add OEM external storage pouches it does become more weight to tote overall. I have two external small pouches added to mine with light weight items in them, you can actually add 4 large external pouches if you care to.
     
  10. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    How is it for traveling?
     
  11. rince

    rince Subscriber

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    I use a ThinkTank Streetwalker HardDrive. It is nice and big. i can use it with my 4x5 gear as well as with my Mamiya RZ. It is very sturdy, I feel confident that my gear is packed securely and it is extremely comfortable to wear.
     
  12. amsp

    amsp Member

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    Here's my F-Stop Tilopa BC. Their bags are very comfortable, open in the back instead of the front like most other bags, and have interchangeable inserts which makes it very easy to customize for your particular needs. Have a look at http://fstopgear.com

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  13. Alan Klein

    Alan Klein Member

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    Your wife!
     
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  15. dismalhiker

    dismalhiker Member

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    Is the Tamrac 8x comfortable on long hikes? The Tamrac 8x looks like it has substantial hip belt pads and overall appears to be a reasonable size for an MF camera, lenses AND other non-photo gear items.

    The F-Stop and Think Tank packs look very interesting as well. The configurability of the F-Stop packs is especially appealing. Will check them all out. Thanks to everyone for these great suggestions!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2014
  16. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Just some insight....

    Most photo-centric backpacks are made for the amateur camera owner, photo enthusiast crowd, not the professional outdoor photographer. Reason being as it would seem is enthusiasts want to pack the entire kit and rarely consider what truly makes the chances for a great outdoor shot to come their way:

    1. Maximum time in the field and the ability to get there under ones own power in a safe manner.
    2. In order to having staying power, speed to react and to keep comfortable in the kind of weather that often leads to brilliant shots, one needs water, food and clothing.

    Very few if any overweight and overpadded bulky photo backpacks allow for this. It took me and several other mountain / outdoor pros nearly two decades of calling and emailing Lowe Pro to get them to the point they are now in introducing super light and well thought out packs like the new AW series. Twice I have been under NDA in testing packs that lead up to the 15L AW and Photosport 200 AW. But even with those great new packs, I will still use super light regular non-photo nerd packs with gear wrapped in clothing items that also allow for food and plenty of water.

    If the saying goes F8 and be there, the reality is F5.6 and stay there so suffice to say, most of what is usually recommended will not allow that...it baffles the mind that most enthusiasts do not see this...
     
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  17. J.Marks

    J.Marks Member

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    Myself and my wife are Florida nature and wildlife photographers. We backpack our equipment for a days outing in Lowepro Trekker backpacks. She uses a Pro trekker 300aw and I use an older model trekker.I carry approx 30 lbs and she carries approx 22 lbs. These packs are very comfortable as we have hiked down into Florida swamps and back covering 6 miles thru rugged palmettos and underbrush. They carry a considerable amount of equipment, we both shoot medium format Mamiya 645's, along with Mamiya C330 and Yashica mat 124 ( not all at the same time . we also carry rain gear, food and water. These packs have more than been adequate, sturdy, tough and We both carry a camera, 3-4 lens, filters, lightmeters, teleconverters, we hand carry our tripods, and like I said comfy to carry.
     
  18. Trail Images

    Trail Images Subscriber

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    Yes, I find the pack works perfectly for my needs. I'm not an overnight camp out type photog. I only need it for my gear as required. It is comfortable and does have a waist belt. However, I do not use the belt. I have it bunched back and out of my way. I do use the tether that goes across the chest to keep the shoulder straps aligned. My typical outings are no more then two miles in and back out. There are times where I've gone in as much as 4 or 5 miles and back out on an outing, but not near as much these days.
     
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  19. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    That Lowepro trekker 300AW weighs in at nearly 7 pounds empty, my pack that holds my 4x5 with 5 lenses, 6 holders ( or 3 plus two 10 sheet Kinematics ) filters, step up rings, 190 CX tripod with Acratech GP head, food, water and some spare clothing weighs 2.5 pounds empty...

    This is exactly what I am talking about...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2014
  20. Trail Images

    Trail Images Subscriber

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    Sorry Curt, I missed your question earlier. If you're talking about flying with this setup I would be the last person to respond on that item. I have not flown in over 20 years now. I only travel by vehicle and with that said it's not an item of concern.
     
  21. Blooze

    Blooze Member

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    Again, thanks. This will be about what I intend to do. No long mileage/overnight outings. My wife and I intend to start doing some long weekend type traveling in year or so (we should be nearly debt free at that point) and that's the main reason I got the RB. She will be going with me so Alan's comment is actually the truth. I don't see myself doing 5-10 mile hikes in the mountains. Been there, done that when I still hunted.

    PKM-25: I don't have a backpack yet, but I do have one of the Lowepro Slingshot 202AW bags. I have carried that with my D200 with battery pack, 55mm macro, 24-70mm, YashicaMat, Luna-Pro meter, 1/2 dozen rolls of film, all my lens/sensor cleaning stuff and the other digital bits and bobs on all day walks in the city. It weighs right below 18lbs. My shoulder never got sore. If it was bigger I'd use it for the RB.
     
  22. xtolsniffer

    xtolsniffer Member

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    I use a Lowepro Nature Trekker for my RB67. In it I can fit:
    One RB body, a 50mm, 90mm and 140mm lens, four 120 film backs, a short and long extension tube, lens hoods, various glass filters, a Lee filter system, a sekonic studio delux meter, cable release and a load of film. The tripod straps to the outside, and if I ever need to take anything else, it goes into Lowpro sliplock bags that attach to the outside. It's quite compact like that but HEAVY, though the bag works well for that kind of load.
     
  23. dismalhiker

    dismalhiker Member

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    Excellent thread

    I don't have any new information... just want to say that this has been a very useful and informative thread. I've discovered several manufacturers of photo backpacks that I wasn't aware of. Also discovered that others have the same issues that I do with most photo-gear backpacks... that while backpacking with bulky photo equipment, you still have to eat, sleep and survive otherwise. I just joined recently and this thread alone is worth the price!
     
  24. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    A hearty welcome to the forum from Britain, I've been a subscriber for almost ten years and it's the best value for money in photography because whatever branch of film photography you're interested in there is someone on the forum who has experience in the field who can help your photographic problems.
     
  25. dismalhiker

    dismalhiker Member

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    Thank you! I have been amazed by the wealth of information as well as the depth of knowledge of so many participants. And its courteous and friendly as well, which isn't the case with all photo forums. The main danger is that there is SO much interesting info here. I started out looking for basic info about my new (old) RZ67 and now I'm getting interested in other MF and even LF cameras! My wife thinks I've gone mad.
     
  26. edcculus

    edcculus Member

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    I agree, thanks for all the input on the thread!

    I have one question - I'm also in the market for a pack to carry my RB67 in. I don't have a big kit (yet). I originally had the urge to get some large pack that would fit a full RB kit and a few digital items as well. After reading through this thread, I realized for my shooting, there is no need for something that will pack the whole kit and kaboodle. That being said, does anyone have experience with the Crumpler 6 or 7 million dollar home for toting a small RB kit around town? Maybe on a short hike as well. I'd think the most it would be is body, 2 lenses, 2 backs and a few rolls of film. Possibly the prism finder, but if I'm traveling light I have no problem leaving that home.