Tamrac vs Lowe Pro

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by Soeren, Mar 16, 2005.

  1. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Hi All
    I hate to ask this "just another what should I get question" but...

    I'm looking for a large but not huge Backback for for 35mm + MF.
    It must take two 35mm SLRs 3 small, one medium and one large lens + accessories and one MF body, two backs + three lenses.
    If there is additional space thats fine.

    Im currently looking at
    Lowe Pro
    Photo Trekker
    Nature trekker
    Tamrac Expedition 7 and 8.
    The Pro- and Super- Trekker are to big (I think)

    I need a long/high back that will fit me (185cm).
    The short backs don't distribute load to hips satisfactory.
    The tamracs are narrow compared to Lowe which is good since I don't want it to be to wide.
    The tamracs are higher than Lowe Pro. I think thats good too.
    The Tamracs are cheaper. Does that mean they are of less quality (eh) ?
    I have seen the Pro Trekker because a shooting budy have one.

    Why don't I take my stuff to a Photo Pusher and try them out ?
    Because " We don't stock those backs and won't taken them home because we don't sell so many " ughh :confused:

    So those of you who have tried the backs in question, compared them etc
    whats your 2c ?
    I know I must decide for myself but I can't get my hands on them or try to put my equipment in them first.

    I'd really lowe the back Merlin has. Small, inconspecious and takes a lot :D
    I know there aint such thing as a perfect bag and this backpack is for nature photography so never mind it signals PHOTOGRAPHER.
    Thanks in advance
    Cheers Søren
     
  2. gchpaco

    gchpaco Member

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    That sucks. You should find a better photo pusher. I needed a midrange backpack and couldn't decide between a Tamrac Expedition 5 or 7 on the web site; when I arrived and saw them in person I realized that the 7 would be too big.

    As far as Tamrac vs. LowePro, I have several bags from each and I don't know that there's enough of a difference for me to notice, really. You should note that none of the larger backpacks, as far as I can tell, have room for much besides gear; if you want to pack water, you're going to need one of the add ons.
     
  3. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Thanks gchpaco.
    You mean they are about the same quality ? The tamracs are cheaper according to my research.
    I have more than one Photo Pusher to wisit but it seems like DK is to small a market so they are reluctant to take anything home which they doubt they can sell within a (very) short time. Ill try to convince them to take home two backpacks.
    Regards Søren
     
  4. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    I have just bought two bags for my LF gear. One is a Lowepro Super Trekker AWII, which is huge and strongly made and which I will use for an 8x10". This is, however, too large to use as standard, so I also bought a Tenba P263, which is more compact and takes a 4x5" Crown Graphic, 4 lenses, 10 film holders, filters etc. very well. The Tenba is also well made, I would say it would not be as resistant to extreme weight as the Lowepro, but it's fine for what I want. I had previously been using a CCS bag for the Graphic, two lenses and five holders - this was good, too. Before that, I tried a cheaper Hama bag, the same amount of gear fitted in, but I was lucky to catch this bag when a shoulder strap ripped out!

    I think you can buy bags quite well via the Internet, if necessary draw out an outline of the bag on paper from the quoted dimensions and try your gear out on this. In the UK there are big savings to be made by shopping around - the Lowepro has a recommended price of £480, I found it for £299 at Cameramarts:
    http://www.cameramarts.co.uk/
    The price has gone up by £20 since.

    All bags do of course have movable divisions, both mine have facilities for strapping things to the outside, so no problem stowing water and other non-photographic stuff.
     
  5. Graeme Hird

    Graeme Hird Member

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    Hi Søren,

    I also hate to reply with this "Please check out my web site suggestion" but...

    I recommend making your own liner for a "non-photo" pack. It's often a cheaper, better quality pack and doesn't advertise the fact you are carrying something of value (though a nice carbon fibre tripod hooked to the outside is a pretty good advertisment for a would-be thief ....)

    And the camp pusher is more likely to let you take one home to play with it.

    Think about it - it might be ideal for you (it was for me).

    Cheers,
     
  6. Max Power

    Max Power Member

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    Graeme,
    That is brilliant! Thanks for posting the link to your 'creation'; it is an excellent idea.

    I too have been looking for a backpacking solution and this fits it perfectly.

    Cheers!
    Kent
     
  7. Jeffrey A. Steinberg

    Jeffrey A. Steinberg Member

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    I have the Expidition 7. Its great. It has nice accessories ( a film pouch, water bottle and cell phone holder). If you can afford it, its very, very well made and designed from the ground up to be a photo backpack.
     
  8. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Yup Might be :smile:
    I don't recognize the make what is it ?
    I was thinking about doing it with a Haglöfs but then they change it so it don't flap fully open making it more difficult to get the stuff in the bottom of it GRR.
    Nice work though. The all steel tripod may be an advertisment but it is also very painfull to get in the head :smile:
    Hmm maybe your idea should be alternative 3
    Thanks Graeme
     
  9. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

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    This thread really hits the issue of camera baggage on the head. The whole Right Size vs Price vs Brand issue has been bedeviling me for the past year.

    When I go on vacation/holiday I like to bring one or both of my TLRs, my auto 35 and a manual one too; naturally with two different sets of lenes. This requires either a larger backpack($$$) or VERY creative packing (which isn't very convenient when your in the field.).

    The compounding issue is that I'm too damned cheap to pay the prices that they want for the "PHOTO" backpacks. So, I too have been toying with the idea of converting a $20 W@l M@rt back pack into a JOWEpro (get it?).

    The Mrs. has sewing apparatus, so I just need to do some simple (I hope) designing and find the materials. If anyone has done this, I'd love to hear/read how it turned out and where they found the materials.
     
  10. Digidurst

    Digidurst Subscriber

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    I've had both Lowepro and Tamrac bags. The quality is the same; Perhaps with Lowepro you're paying extra for brand recognition? I dunno... Not being particularly handy with fabric, I recently purchased a Lowepro Photo Trekker II from eBay. The shipping was ridiculous but it still cost less than buying it from B&H or the like.
    Good luck in your search :smile:
     
  11. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    The DIY Idea seems to have spread widely.
    That rises the question what kind of Backback is suitable for the DIY-PRO Homemade Trekker. Of course it needs to flap wide open so the Rucksack aint that practical.
    It also must be of some quality at least to me, I don't want it to give up in the middle of nowhere or in some stream. Any big makes live up to that ?
    Cheers Søren
    PS. David I can't find the Tenba you mention.
     
  12. Graeme Hird

    Graeme Hird Member

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    I don't think the brand I'm using is all that well known, but then it doesn't really matter, as far as I can see. Just look for a well made pack that has front access and fits you well.

    Even the very best "real" back packs come in below the price of the Lowe Pro packs. I'm sure you will find something suitable buy looking in a camping store, rather than a photo shop.

    Cheers,
     
  13. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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  14. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    When I explored packs a while back, LowePro seemed to have the edge in the area of build quality, and at that time, Tamrac didn't appear to offer anything comparable. But since, Tamrac has changed, so the differences now are less critical, I think. So, while I use a LowePro Trekker Classic for my 4x5 or 8x10, depending, I find the design less than optimal from a camera-gear perspective.

    If I were to do the whole thing now, I'd follow Graeme's lead, and modify a good pack from a good outdoor shop like REI here in the states. A little Velcro here, a little heavy-duty zipper there, and I'd have one that really works.
     
  15. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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  16. Jim McD

    Jim McD Member

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    A good word for Lowe

    I have both Lowe and Tamrac bags, both are excellent. I actually wore out a Lowe Orion AW, the foam back pad was disintegrating into tiny black dust. I wrote to Lowe about getting replacement foam (the bag owed me nothing), and they responded that they would replace the entire bag. I mailed them my old bag and a brand new one arrived a week later-you can't beat that for standing behind your products!
     
  17. gchpaco

    gchpaco Member

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    I certainly haven't noted any real quality difference in my bags. The accessories are different and some of the layout is different. I like the PhotoTrekker better than the big Tamrac backpacks I've seen, but it's not a big difference by any means. If the Tamracs are cheaper for you and work, go for it, I say. Or Graeme's construction, that looks pretty effective.
     
  18. brent8927

    brent8927 Member

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    I just bought a Lowepro Photo Trekker AW for my 4x5 monorail and it works very nicely (though a bit on the heavy side with all that gear!). I've never tried a Tamrac bag out, I've always liked Lowepro. I've used the Orion Trekker, Orion Trekker AW (a very different and much larger bag), Rover AW II (I loved this pack! It just wasn't large enough for my 4x5 equipment...). I also use a LoweAlpine (same company) pack for "backpacking" (I've actually yet to go backpacking... so far it's only been used for overnights and camping).

    On a side note... I think Lowepro backpacks really only shout out "I'm a photographer!" to other photographers. I doubt many theifs, unless they're photographers or have done a lot of research (which is possible, but they might as well just get a job instead!) really know what a photo backpack looks like. That's just my opinion, but I have yet to be held up at gunpoint or anything... On a side note, I'm willing to bet my Photo Trekker with all that equipment is pretty darn bulletproof, so I could probably run away and be ok! Until I got a heart attack that is...
     
  19. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Thanks for all your good ansvers.
    At least I now know I wont go wrong whatever I choose. I think it will be the DIY, Tamrac Expedition 8 or the Phototrekker that make it to the last round. Ill deffinitely try and work on some kind of homemade smaller backback for travel and not so demanding tasks.
    Cheers Søren
     
  20. scottmillar75

    scottmillar75 Member

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    airplane?

    These are all pretty big bags we're talking about here. Do you check these bags when you're flying? I've seen the way airport handlers throw bags around and I wouldn't feel too comfortable handing over a soft bag full of thousands of dollars of camera equipment to them. How do you guys and girls get this stuff to where you're going?