Leo Laksi’s Bangkok And Back

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Posts Tagged ‘Crumpler

Two Billingham Hadleys in comparison – Hadley Pro v. Hadley (small)

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billinghamblackovertanfront

Recently I was asked about the size difference between these two Billingham bags.  The tan Hadley Pro is large enough to hold a Canon 5D with 17-40mm f/4 L and a 70-200mm f/2.8 L lenses.  As the 70-200mm is a large lens, both length and diameter, it consumes all the extra room.  Optionally, the bag will hold a Canon 5D with attached 17-40mm f/4 lens, as well as two other lenses, a 24-105mm f/4 L and an 85mm f/1.8 lens.  The two front pockets will also hold your accessories.   See my two previous postings on this subject.  Here or here.

billinghamblackovertan45

The small Hadley will hold a DLSR with attached lens and one other small to medium sized lens, like the 24-105mm f/4 L lens.  And if you DSLR is on the small side like a Canon 450D, you have a little more room.  See my other posting about the small Hadley.

billinghamontable

Comfortwise, I find the small Hadley one of the most comfortable bags I have.  I can carry this bag all day and never notice any discomfort.  On the other hand, I don’t find the Hadley Pro comfortable at all.  Perhaps it had to do with the overall stiffness of the bag with insert in place.  It’s not one of my favorite bags and I usually use the Crumpler “seven million dollar home” or the Lowe Pro Inverse 200 AW if there’s a need to carry a larger bag.  The Hadley Pro stays at home.

Removable inserts

Removable inserts

Both Hadleys are versatile.  Their inserts remove and you can use the bags in other ways.  The Hadley Pro can be used as a daily work bag and will hold an A4 sheet of paper,  even with the insert in place, you can place A4 size docs in the space behind the insert.  Also, the snap shown in the above photo creates a divided area in the space in front of the insert.

Quality-wise, both bags are extremely well-made and can be expected to last a lifetime.  The leather trim also adds to the appearance of the beautiful canvas material.

Written by leolaksi

March 8, 2009 at 7:50 am

Lowepro Inverse 200 AW camera beltpack as shoulder bag

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Comes in three colors

Comes in three colors

The Lowepro Inverse 200AW beltpack is a versatile bag that is a very comfortable belt or waist pack.  Its easy to position the bag in front of you for use as a platform to change lens.  And because the interior of the bag is roomy for its size, you don’t have to worry about dropping  your lens on the ground as you go through the manuever of changing lenses.

But for me, its real attraction is its comfort as a shoulder bag irrespective of whether you wear the shoulder strap on your shoulder or across your chest. You simply tuck the waist belt in its slot and out of the way.  Irregardless of how you wear the shoulder strap,  the bag is comfortable  and easy to shift from your rear or side to your front for access.

Paddes waistbelt tucked in

Padded waistbelt tucked in

The bag is well-made with several nice touches including slots for memory cards, a zippered slit pocket that runs almost the length of the front, a slightly expandable pocket that can be cinched tight adjacent to the zippered pocket and a built in rain cover (hence the AW for “all weather”) that is not waterproof but adds an additional layer of water resistance.

The bag can hold a larger DLSR such as a Canon 5D attached to a 24-105mm f/4 L lens with room for another smaller zoom lens and some accessories.  If your lens of choice is a 70-200mm f/2.8, it may be a tight fit unless you strip the padded dividers out.

Suitable for camera with attached lens and another lens

Suitable for camera with attached lens and another lens

I would recommend the Inverse 200 AW if you are looking for this type of bag.  I would also recommend that you consider the Crumpler “Five Million Dollar Home” which is of similar dimensions.  The Crumpler does not have the dual functionality of the Inverse in that it is not a beltpack.  Also, the Inverse is a zippered toploader while the “home” is a toploader with an extended top flap that uses a fastex buckle to cover the top and entire front of the bag.

Written by leolaksi

January 3, 2009 at 7:22 am

Crumpler messenger bag “Western Lawn” as camera bag

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Western lawn

Western lawn

Sometimes when you go out to take photos you want to go the minimalist route when it’s necessary to carry a camera bag.  Sometimes that means a bag that’s lightweight without any padding or padded dividers.  I found that the “Western Lawn” makes for a very good camera bag.  It’s lightweight with one cavernous main compartment and five smaller divider pockets, two of which can hold an extra body or lenses.  The main compartment easily holds a DSLR with a 70-200 zoom.   The other three pockets are also large although they are not large enough for most DSLR lenses. But they easily hold your wallet, small books, keys etc.

Exterior in several colors

Exterior in several colors

The “Western Lawn” can be slung over your shoulder or rotated to the front to allow access to your equipment. And the shoulder strap is comfortable although I would recommend that you buy the optional shoulder pad.

If you’re really concerned about padding, there is an optional padded camera “bucket” that fits in the main compartment.

Two cameras with lens and accessories

Two cameras with lens and accessories

The only downside is the lack of a fastex buckle to secure the flap.  There are two velcro patches (and in typical Crumpler fashion, they are noisy when you open the flap).

Finally since the “Western Lawn” doesn’t scream out camera bag, it is not conspicious.  I like it.

One large compartment, two medium pockets and three others

One large compartment, two medium pockets and three others

Written by leolaksi

December 30, 2008 at 6:36 am

Crumpler “seven million dollar home” camera bag

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Subdued style

Subdued style

Crumpler makes a line of camera bags and backpacks that are in general very well designed and finished.  The detailling is best in the segment although at times, they are just a little heavy, mainly due to use of thicker material. (And they can be a little pricey.)

I’ve also had a couple of Crumpler messenger bags that were very well executed.  The only exception to my favorable impression is the Customary Barge, a camera backpack with a slot for a laptop.  I bought this pack a few months ago to give me more versatility in a backpack.  It’s size was offputting but I thought that it would be ok and would replace my Kata DR467.  This pack was a disaster.  It was not comfortable to wear and it’s weight fully laden was too much to bear.  I gave up on it and now it’s gathering dust in the attic.  I’m back to my Kata pack.

With this experience, I was reluctant to buy another Crumpler.  I had heard some good things about the “seven million home” and decided to give this bag a try.

Flap open and back

Flap open and back

Specs

FEATURES

Water resistant 900D shell & 300D Ripstop lining, 1 x external pocket w/ internal mesh pocket, 2 x internal side pockets, 2 x external accessory attachment straps, 1 x mesh zip pocket under clip & Velcro release flap, padded & Brushed Nylon lined main compartment w/ 8 x configurable dividers, plastic stiffening layer in base, carry handle, adjustable removable shoulder strap & shoulder pad, 4 colour ways available.

HOLDS

Suitable for a digital SLR, vertical grip & attached lens up to 8″/20cm long, external flash unit and basic accessories, or DV cam and accessories. E.g. EOS D series SLR’s, Nikon D series SLR’s & attached lens up to 8″/20cm long & external speedlight &

DIMENSIONS

A fully padded photo bag with 8 x configurable dividers. A shoulder bag that provides a protective environment for your photo and or video equipment that doesn’t scream “photo bag!”

Open wide

Open wide

First of all, it is a great camera bag.  I have only a couple of niggling dislikes about this bag.  The “velcro release flap” is very noisy if you intend to shoot from the bag.  Unless you leave the flap open (which would allow everyone to see what’s in the bag), the noise of the velcro as you open the flap is loud and disruptive.  There is no way you can “sneak” a photo when your camera is in the bag.  It’s very loud.  This is a common problem with Crumpler bags and the quick fix is to buy a small piece of velcro to completely cover their velcro patch (or to partially cover the patch).  Some would consider Crumpler’s use of velcro to be an effective component in securing the flap (and therefore the contents of the bag).  To me, the fast buckle is sufficient.  I consider the velcro to be a nuisance.

The second complaint is the small shoulder pad that comes with the “seven million”.  I replaced this with the larger.  The smaller is a complete waste.

View from the top

View from the top

As the specs show above, the bag is very versatile and large enough to carry my standard travel kit which is comprised of a Leica M8, six lenses (15, 21, 28, 35, 50, 90), a second smaller point and shoot camera, various filters and other odds and ends.  This bag swallows up my gear with room to spare.

In addition to this equipment, it can carry more.  Today I also carried a Canon 5D and a 85mm f/1.8 lens.  Think about that.  Three cameras, seven lenses and other accessories. And it’s very comfortable.  You should check it out.

All over

All over

Written by leolaksi

November 22, 2008 at 3:10 pm

Posted in Photography

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Crumpler Camera Backpack – Customary Barge

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Nearly everyone that buys a DSLR reaches a point when they have to buy a bag in which to carry the camera, lenses and accessories.  Sometimes, it’s also necessary to carry a laptop.

Years ago I relied on my Billingham bags.  One larger, one smaller.  Classic old school look, tan in color, and well-made.  About eight years ago I bought my first backpack, a Lowe I still have.

When I started carrying my MacBook, I knew it was time to buy a new pack.  I settled on the Kata DR-467.  This backpack, though slightly  small, became a real workhorse, mainly because it was comfortable while at the same time lightweight.  I still use this pack but felt that I needed a roomier pack. [Check out Juan’s Not So Mundane Blog for her recent review of the DR-467.)

Wide open

Wide open

I started looking at the Crumpler line, mainly the Customary Barge and the Karachi Outpost. I decided that the Outpost was not convenient as it required taking the pack off and laying it on its back in order to unzip the pack.  Picture a turtle on its back.  Way too much work to open, too heavy and too big.

Pockets galore

Pockets galore

The Barge is a typical two compartment camera pack with the main compartment in the bottom of the pack and another on top and too the rear for the laptop and accessories.  I tried it on at the Crumpler store.  It was comfortable for the two minutes I tested it in the store and I bought it. After using it for several months, I have decided that the purchase was a big mistake.

Crumpler logo

Crumpler logo - fine detailing

Good points:

1.     Well-finished and constructed of the finest material.  I’ve never seen a bag that exudes “quality” as much as this bag. Great detailing.

2.     Numerous zippered pockets for organizing those little accessories that you always carry.

3.     Very comfortable shoulder straps.

4.     Large compartment for a laptop.  Seems a 17 inch Mac Book Pro will fit.

5.     Pocket for documents.

6.     Lower compartment well-padded capable of holding DSLR with lens and a second lens.  Medium zooms like the Canon 70-200 f2.8 L IS will not fit.  (Though can be carried in the upper compartment.

Bad Points:

1.     The shape of the lower part of the pack causes the weight of the camera and lens to “sag’ away from your body so that the weight does not hug the body.  After wearing this back for short periods of time, your back begins to ache.  My much cheaper Kata, as well as my old Samsonite laptop pack (carrying camera equipment), is more comfortable, regardless of whether I’m using one or two shoulder straps.

2.     The bag even when empty is very heavy compared to other less expensive packs.  Even with only a camera and an extra lens, you feel like you’re carrying a lead weight.  Forget about carrying this pack on one shoulder.

3.     The silhouette is not slim.  It is not an attractive looking pack.

4.     You can not remove this pack quickly to unpack your camera or something else, like a lens.  This pack is so heavy with its weight center low and away from its spine that it’s inertia (and momentum) has to be dealt it when removing it.

So now this pack is collecting dust in my attic.  I’m still a believer in the quality of Crumpler products and I do have a couple of messenger bags that I use when shooting.  But I am not a fan of the Barge.

Written by leolaksi

September 6, 2008 at 9:12 pm