Super Trekker Mk II for 10x8 outfit? Recs??

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Tom Stanworth, Jan 29, 2005.

  1. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Hi,

    I've done a bit of searching on this and opinions are very divided. Most references seem to be to pack that one cannot get in the UK at all or where there are few images or specs for (that I can find), such as F64 packs.

    I own a lowepro photo trekker (not new model) for my 5x4 and like it very much, but feel that the harness sytem is poor, both in ergonomics and construction, considering the price of the pack. (certainly compared to even a low priced 'proper' backpack for hiking.

    As I have heard that the new Lowepros have better harnesses I considered the Super Trekker AW Mark II for my 10x8. They are ridiculously expensive in the UK (£350), but have seen that it is far cheaper to buy in the US and pay import tax....(£ 250 all in)

    I have heard that the Super trekker is not that big inside, which is of concern. On paper tho it would appear to fit fine. My kit is:

    Zone VI 10x8
    Five holders
    Four V small lenses (G-Clarons etc)
    Meter, Lee ployester (boy do these save on space and weight) filters, darkcloth etc.

    I would not take any reducing backs, spare film, changing bag etc etc

    I tend to do short hikes from the car of perhaps 1-5 ish miles to recce'd locations so I have no need to live out of the pack ie with sleeping syetem etc, but wantr something that enables me to move quickly (and leaves hands free if scrambling).

    I thought that there might be trouble fitting the darkslides in as they are too wide to be put on their sides; might they fit in the daysack?

    I would check the pack out myself, but live hours from anywhere that stocks them!

    Any comments on this pack or any others would be great.

    Cheers,

    Tom
     
  2. Deniz

    Deniz Member

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    If you want to save some money and be able to carry alot of stuff, go to your local outdoor equipment store and get a nice 65-70L backpack. I bought an Outbound 60L Odyssey one for $120canadian and my injured spine just loves it, cause it perfectly sits on my hips and can carry my 8x10 tachihara, 3 big lenses 6 film holders and all the other mumbo jumbo you have.

    The bag also has a rain cover and harness cover(if you want to use the backpack as a handbag, great for short distance travel)

    It also is front loading with 2 compartments so loading-unloading is very easy!
    also comes with a zip on small pack which i keep the 6 holders in.. a great backpack for a great price..

    check the link for a picture and specs.
    http://www.outbound.ca/packs/odyssey60_70_80.html
     
  3. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Deniz,

    I am certainly keen to save money and have considered a normal pack as I know others use them. How how you dealt with compartmentalisation and or protecting you kit&securing it?

    Tom
     
  4. mikewhi

    mikewhi Member

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    Hi

    Here is link to an eBay sale for this item:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=15201&item=3870183264&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW

    The price is steep: $280US for the backpack, $125 for shipping and then there are duties!!!

    Personally, I use the largest f64 backpack for my 8x10 and I love it.

    The other advice about buying a regular backpack is very practical and probably the least expensive. I would imagine there are used sporting goods stores across the pond which would make it even better. The only problem with them is that they usually lack the padding. One could buy the materials and make the padded compartments, I suppose.

    As an alternative, the f64 backpacks come up on eBay on occasion so you could just wait. B&H Photo & Video sells them on their web-site and they ship overseas. I checked their site and here is a link to the bag:

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=91694&is=REG

    It comes in black and grey (I own the grey). The pouches that I have seem larger than the ones in the image, though. I have no trouble putting 1 or 2 lenses in each. In the top compartment I can fit 3-4 very big lenses (like a Nikkor-W 360). The sip pouch on the front will hodl about 3-4 8x10 holders only. You can squeeze 1-2 more in on top of the camera in the main compartment.

    They only cost $210US at B&H. Shipping costs to England are listed as $58.75US.
    Given the current state of the USD to the Pound Sterling, the whole thing should cost you about 5 quid at the most.:smile:

    The f64 bag sounds like the way to go!

    Good luck.

    -Mike
     
  5. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    The padding is my main issue. Many a time have I slipped on my arse whed descending a slope and bashed the pack on a rock or so. My lowepro has given superb protection. Whats the padding like with the F64 pack and what are they like inside?

    I found some front loading regular packs. These look pretty good:

    http://www.outdoorfocus.co.uk/travel_essentials/travel luggage/vango_planet_80.htm

    My mother is a damnably fine seamstress, so I might be able to bodge some sort of padding/compartments (after grovelling and offering gifts). It would however have to be a lot cheaper than importing a pack to be worth the compromise.

    I saw another store (Harrys someone or other) doing teh same pack at the same price at about $45 postage to the UK, a mere $80 less for the mail! This I worked out would result in a £240 pack after duties were paid. The f64 would therefore be about $50 cheaper.
     
  6. Deniz

    Deniz Member

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    Tom,

    The top compartment is where you put the camera, the back is padded and there are 2 straps with quick releases to hold the camera securely in the pack( a great addition) and i fold and place my dark cloth on the camera for top side protection. a Ground glass protector would help alot!

    Bottom compartment i put my older shoulder bag with my 3 lenses, 2 meters, filters and all that mumbo jumbo. in the detachable small pack goes my 6 holders or 5 holders+ 1 foam padding for protection.

    If you are interested, i can give the store a call and see if they still have some and you can send the money and i'll send one to you. or maybe you can order one from the company's website
     
  7. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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  8. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    I have one of these packs for my dorf and gear. I'm unable to give you a field report yet because I haven't taken it out. It is a beast of a pack with a huge harness system so even empty it is somewhat heavy. The build quality is outstanding, I like that it is quite water proof, and puts the weight on my hips. I plan to keep my holders in the day pack. Wish I could tell you more..
     
  9. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Kelty Redwing 3100. This is an internal frame backpack that carries my entire 8x10 Wehman kit with no problems. Typical total pack/camera/kit weight varies from 21 to 30+ pounds depending on the number of lenses and film holders I choose to carry. This pack hugs my back and I can vary the weight distribution from shoulders to hips. My entire kit - with the exception of my tripod - is carried inside the pack.
     
  10. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    It's amazing what you can do with plastic food storage boxes and camping sleeping pad foam for padding... I used to use a normal backpack for my 4x5 kit for a year but switched to a Photo Trekker last year (you are right: the new harness system is very adaptable). Using 8x10, the need for speed in setting up is, I guess, even less than for 4x5 so the extra time to get your kit out of the bag and boxes is probably not a problem.

    Good luck, Bob.

    P.S. $125 for postage to the UK :confused: It only cost $45 for Badger to send my Shen Hao last year, which must weigh more than that pack...
     
  11. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    I'm going for the super trekker 2. by the time I have bought a roll mat and nik naks to make teh padding and compartments and converted the regular (front loading)pack, the price difference will be ablout £100. I will pay the extra and have better shape holding, better padding and all the compartments. I think I will use teh accesssory abnd lens pouches it comes with for water bottles/waterproofs etc. I worked out using the current exchance rate that teh pack should come in at approx £215 after all duties etc (not £240), a whole £125 cheaper than the cheapest UK purchase. Goodness knows how Henry's make it so cheap (or how it is made so expensive in Britain). I paid this price for my UK supplied Photo trekker some years back.

    Sean, you follow the same logic as me. That daysack looks perfect for DDS! I may even use some foam padding to make a 'box' for the five of tehm so that they do not move about.

    Tom
     
  12. paul owen

    paul owen Member

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    I use a Super Trekker AW but not the latest version. I am VERY happy with it and often carry a pretty substantial 5x4 set up around! The harness is very comfortable and although the empty pack seems heavy and even heavier when loaded - once on my back and adjusted and it seems much lighter! Build quality is high and padding excellent. The AWII is even better! I had a look at one and if I didn't already own the AW I would certainly get one! Unfortunately here in the UK we are limited when it comes to gear such as this - all the outdoor shops I looked in sell packs that are all top-loading and would require substantial padding/customising. Hope this helps! BTW, you can get the Super Trekker AWII from Cleveland Camera Marts in UK for £299 incl postage (www.cameramarts.co.uk).
     
  13. johnnywalker

    johnnywalker Subscriber

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    The prices for these packs is ridiculous. I can't imagine what they can do to them to justify that kind of money. I'm building a light-weight padded box for my 4X5, which I will simply put into an ordinary non-photo packsack.
     
  14. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Yes the prices are totally mad...certainly here in the UK. However, I have found that the ability to open the top of my trekker and place my hand on exactly what I want instantly to be invaluable when I am in a rush to get that exposure. When I overnight hike in wales (rare) I have use a regular pack and put smaller packs into it. It works, but is much slower and I found that after a few in and outs my main pack resembled a maggot that had eaten a microwave and a few smaller boxes. Losing smaller items such as filter rings and meters etc is all the more likely if there is nowhere specific to put them time and again. Still, it saves £hundreds!