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Backpack for 500-600mm mirror lens & camera body?

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balacau View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote balacau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Backpack for 500-600mm mirror lens & camera body?
    Posted: 11 December 2017 at 21:47
I'm tempted to try and get more use out of my Sigma 600mm F8 manual mirror lens, however the old Sony bag that I was using to carry the thing around has long since been disposed of and pretty much none of the current backpacks I have will fit it due to its bulk. Since mirror lenses are built quite squat compared to more conventional telephoto prime lenses, the choices are seemingly quite limited. Especially so when you are hoping to keep them on the camera body as you travel.

I did find something promising, the Vanguard Quovio 66 Backpack.

However for a lens that is only 15cm/6in in length with hood reversed and 10cm/4in in diameter; its somewhat overkill being far too long for an a68 with the Sigma 600mm attached (overall length around 22cm/8.5in. There doesn't seem to be a shorter or smaller version sadly; there are others in the "Quovio" range but they are of a more conventional style and not built for telephoto lenses in the same way that the model 66 is.

So...any ideas?

If you have one of the 500mm+ mirror lenses (any brand), what do you use to carry them around in and are they attached to the camera body or carried separate?

Thanks.

Best regards

Gavin
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Hezu View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Hezu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 December 2017 at 22:38
Been a while since I have carried my Minolta 500/8 Reflex around, but I think when I last loaded into bag, it must been either Gura Gear Kiboko (the original 30l model) or Gura Gear Bataflae 32L. But I think that time the lens was not mounted on the camera as there was also bigger telelens (Sony 70-400G or Tamron 150-600) hauled around, which has been the reason why the mirror lens has seen so little use lately. Or strictly speaking, the lens is currently stored in F-Stop Medium Slope ICU (internal camera unit) for my F-Stop Tilopa BC backpack. This ICU then has seen little use as I prefer to use XL sized ICU, as the medium size is bit small for my needs[1], although it sure easily holds that mirror lens, α900 and few other lenses which haven't seen much use lately.
And I just tested that also the latest addition to my camera bag collection, Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20 easily holds that lens (with or without camera) and there is still plenty of space for other equipment.
So in short, I think pretty much any reasonably large backpack easily holds these mirror lenses as they are not that big after all (at least when compared to non-mirror supertele(zoom)s) and good question is also if you want to carry anything else than just this lens and the camera?

[1] Yes, for serious (nature) photo trips I tend to carry two or three cameras, a telezoom and selection of smaller lenses (wide-angles, zooms and/or macros).
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Miranda F View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 December 2017 at 22:40
I have several mirror lenses. The Tamrons are bulky and come in their own very nice leather case. They are too wide to fit in any normal gadget or shoulder bag, but a Lowepro backpack (can't recall which one) has lots of compartments which can be re-arranged for it. For days out I tend to use a Manfrotto one-strap shoulder bag which has a removable camera case inside it. The one it comes with is okay for the A58 but the A900 or mirror lens needs a bigger one (several sizes are available quite cheaply).
A900, A58, 5d, Dynax 4, 5, 60, 500si/600si/700si/800si, various Sony & Minolta lenses, several Tamrons, lots of MF primes and *far* too many old film cameras . . .
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balacau View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote balacau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 December 2017 at 12:44
Thank you both for the replies.

Due to the relative weight of both the sigma 600mm lens, camera body and a sturdy tripod, I would most likely only have a lightweight lens with me like the Sony 16-105 at the most. So ideally I'm looking for a backpack that will hold the a68 body with the 600mm attached and enough space for a lens the size of the 16-105mm.

The biggest problem is the fact that I won't be able to try before I buy. So I have to be sure any backpack for this purpose is going to work before I make the purchase in the first place.

Thanks.

Best regards.

Gavin
Understanding is a 3-edged sword. Your side, their side and the truth.
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Miranda F View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 December 2017 at 15:17
Backpacks like this one come with lots of separators with velco tabs that you can rearrange to your heart's content. The only think you're limited in is height and length, both of which are probably okay.
A900, A58, 5d, Dynax 4, 5, 60, 500si/600si/700si/800si, various Sony & Minolta lenses, several Tamrons, lots of MF primes and *far* too many old film cameras . . .
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balacau View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote balacau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 December 2017 at 15:56
Originally posted by Miranda F Miranda F wrote:

Backpacks like this one come with lots of separators with velco tabs that you can rearrange to your heart's content. The only think you're limited in is height and length, both of which are probably okay.


Hi Miranda.

I have a similar back pack to this, a Tamrac Expedition 5x model 5585. It's a great backpack, comfy even with a 50-500mm or 70-200mm lenses or others.

However it's not ideal for the mirror lenses as it's hugely oversized for a total of 2 lenses and a camera body. The tripod is a Manfrotto 190XPROB and would be hand held.

Best regards

Gavin
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Hezu View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Hezu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 December 2017 at 16:26
Originally posted by balacau balacau wrote:

Due to the relative weight of both the sigma 600mm lens, camera body and a sturdy tripod, I would most likely only have a lightweight lens with me like the Sony 16-105 at the most. So ideally I'm looking for a backpack that will hold the a68 body with the 600mm attached and enough space for a lens the size of the 16-105mm.
With that sort of equipment, most camera backpacks should have enough space. And as you want to carry also the tripod, be sure that the chosen model has suitable tripod attachment system. For a heavier tripod I think it is best to look for models where the tripod attachment system is in the front of the bag rather than on a side. Also I think it is preferable to look for a model where you can still access the camera department of the bag while the tripod is attached.
Originally posted by balacau balacau wrote:

The biggest problem is the fact that I won't be able to try before I buy. So I have to be sure any backpack for this purpose is going to work before I make the purchase in the first place.
I have bought most of my camera bags from Internet shops and without seeing these bags live before that so I would not say it is impossible task to find suitable model without seeing one before buying. One good idea is at least to measure the dimensions of the camera + lens combination and then compare these with the internal dimensions of suitable backpack models. At least those major camera bag manufactures I am familiar with (Lowepro, Tamrac, Thinktank, Peak Design, F-stop) seem to have pretty good websites providing decent information about what sort of sizes their bags are. Of course, if possible visiting a camera shop that sells some of these bags might still be good idea as it might give even better idea of the design features.
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Roger Rex View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Roger Rex Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 December 2017 at 17:51
Originally posted by balacau balacau wrote:


The biggest problem is the fact that I won't be able to try before I buy. So I have to be sure any backpack for this purpose is going to work before I make the purchase in the first place.


Or deal with someone who permits returns for a full refund.
Every photograph is a self-portrait. http://rogerrex.zenfolio.com/
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balacau View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote balacau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 December 2017 at 18:15
Thanks all once again for the replies.

I've been looking at some of the backpack suggestions from Hezu and the Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20l is showing quite a bit of promise, to say the least. As you said earlier, it would easily hold an a68 (going by measurements) with the 600mm F8 mirror lens attached, another moderately sized lens plus the usual batteries, memory cards and small accessories. It won't hold a full-size tripod but that was never my intention as I find that additional weight on a backpack to be very uncomfortable indeed. I have looked into a shoulder strap for a tripod and will most likely invest in one of those in the near future.

Certainly one thing I was not aware of is Tamrac's acquisition of Gura Gear into their own range. This is quite a surprise as Tamrac already had quite a dominant position as far as camera bags of different kinds go, certainly in league with LowePro.

Roger, just seen your comment there and I would rather minimise the risk of having to return a product as I work long hours and generally don't have the time to arrange for a courier to pick it up, plus at this time of year getting time off work is virtually impossible. I hope to avoid having to return anything, even if it means what-ever purchase I've made ends up being used for something else.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Hezu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 December 2017 at 21:31
Originally posted by balacau balacau wrote:

Thanks all once again for the replies.

I've been looking at some of the backpack suggestions from Hezu and the Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20l is showing quite a bit of promise, to say the least. As you said earlier, it would easily hold an a68 (going by measurements) with the 600mm F8 mirror lens attached, another moderately sized lens plus the usual batteries, memory cards and small accessories. It won't hold a full-size tripod but that was never my intention as I find that additional weight on a backpack to be very uncomfortable indeed. I have looked into a shoulder strap for a tripod and will most likely invest in one of those in the near future.
Yes, Everyday Backpack 20 probably isn't suitable for larger tripods, although the side pockets or the straps in the front could be used to carry some sort of tripod.
Originally posted by balacau balacau wrote:

Certainly one thing I was not aware of is Tamrac's acquisition of Gura Gear into their own range. This is quite a surprise as Tamrac already had quite a dominant position as far as camera bags of different kinds go, certainly in league with LowePro.
Strictly speaking the acquisition went the other way around: Gura Gear LLC bought Tamrac, which had been in financial troubles (I think it was already about to go bankrupt), although they then switched to use the better known Tamrac brand for all their products.
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balacau View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote balacau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 December 2017 at 21:44
Quite shocked about Tamrac, thanks for letting me know. Their products have always served me very well (Expedition 5x 5585 backpack and a messenger-style Rally 4).

Lets just hope they have continued with that good quality.
Understanding is a 3-edged sword. Your side, their side and the truth.
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