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Backpacking with 400 2.8 Supertelephoto
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Nov 28, 2018 20:42:48   #
Goober
 
Any of you wildlife photographers hauling a 400mm f2.8 around in the woods?

I just received my new Sony fe400 2.8 lens and now having a challenge to figure out how to haul it around in the field. I need a backpack to carry the lens with body attached as well as an additional body and two more lenses. Apprears to be limited backpacks designed for this and I have sent hours on the internet massaging the specs to find something suitable. I have been to a couple decent size brick and mortar camera shops but they don’t stock a bag like I need.
So far, I am settled on the Think Tank Airport Commuter as my best bet.
Does anyone have direct experience with this bag and a 400 2.8 or can you recommend another bag that works?
The biggest problem is the large diameter of the lens and hood which is even larger than the 500 and 600 mm Lenses.
I realize my best bet would be to make a trip to B & H or Adorama but I am trying to avoid that.

Your experience and suggestions would be very much appreciated.

Thanks,
Goober

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Nov 28, 2018 20:58:23   #
RichardTaylor (a regular here)
 
Would a Think Tank Glass Taxi or bigger still the Glass Limo along with the addition of a pro speed belt some added pouches for your extra gear meet your needs.
I own a Glass Taxi with a pro speed belt etc.

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Nov 28, 2018 21:18:36   #
Bill_de (a regular here)
 
I guess it depends how long your treks are or if you will be traveling by air to your destination. If I'm just out for the day my longest lens with camera attached sitting on a tripod goes over my shoulder. With Nikkor lenses the 400 F/2.8 is the same diameter (same lens hood) as the 800 F/5.6. Once one of those is handled any large backpack can handle the rest. I use a Lowepro.

This is the guy who first introduced the method to me, over 20 years ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtATcNeEVXg

Another nature photographer, Chas Glatzer, with a large pack and tripod.

--



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Nov 28, 2018 21:41:58   #
Goober
 
RichardTaylor wrote:
Would a Think Tank Glass Taxi or bigger still the Glass Limo along with the addition of a pro speed belt some added pouches for your extra gear meet your needs.
I own a Glass Taxi with a pro speed belt etc.


Thanks for your quick reply Richard. I have checked these out. I think the Glass Taxi works well with the 300 2.8 but too small for the 400. The Glass Limo may work but not sure if I can get the extra body and lenses in it. I am trying to do it with only one bag. My travel tripod, ball head and gimble will go in my checked clothes bag. Forgot to mention that I would be traveling by air. I will check the specs on the Glass Limo again.

Thanks for your help.
Goober

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Nov 28, 2018 21:56:16   #
Goober
 
8
Bill_de wrote:
I guess it depends how long your treks are or I you will be traveling by air to your destination. If I'm just out for the day my longest lens with camera attached sitting on a tripod goes over my shoulder. With Nikkor lenses the 400 F/2.8 is the same diameter (same lens hood) as the 800 F/5.6. Once one of those is handled any large backpack can handle the rest. I use a Lowepro.

This is the guy who first introduced the method to me, over 20 years ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtATcNeEVXg

Another nature photographer, Chas Glatzer, with a large pack and tripod.

--
I guess it depends how long your treks are or I yo... (show quote)


Bill, thank you so much for your reply. I forgot a most important part of my posting......yes, I need it for air travel carry- on (commercial and bush plane) as well, so I am trying to get everything into one bag. I will put my tripod and gimble in my checked luggage. I think 3 to 4 miles is the longest hike I may be doing but I am not a youngster so it needs to be reasonably comfortable.

I will check the link. Thanks for your help.

Goober

| Reply
Nov 28, 2018 22:45:03   #
larryepage
 
Goober wrote:
Any of you wildlife photographers hauling a 400mm f2.8 around in the woods?

I just received my new Sony fe400 2.8 lens and now having a challenge to figure out how to haul it around in the field. I need a backpack to carry the lens with body attached as well as an additional body and two more lenses. Apprears to be limited backpacks designed for this and I have sent hours on the internet massaging the specs to find something suitable. I have been to a couple decent size brick and mortar camera shops but they don’t stock a bag like I need.
So far, I am settled on the Think Tank Airport Commuter as my best bet.
Does anyone have direct experience with this bag and a 400 2.8 or can you recommend another bag that works?
The biggest problem is the large diameter of the lens and hood which is even larger than the 500 and 600 mm Lenses.
I realize my best bet would be to make a trip to B & H or Adorama but I am trying to avoid that.

Your experience and suggestions would be very much appreciated.

Thanks,
Goober
Any of you wildlife photographers hauling a 400mm ... (show quote)

When I was trying to solve the problem of carrying an exorbitant amount of equipment in a shared ride situation at a workshop last summer, I visited a local camera shop which maintains a room full of bags, backpacks, and other wizardry to carry photographic equipment. After looking closely at Think Tank (including the models mentioned in this conversation) and a number of other brands, I settled on the Mind Shift First Light 40L, which is a backpack with both top and side carrying handle with a capacity of 40 liters. It has fully adjustable straps, including a waist strap and is designed to be able to ride low, with the weight on the hips. It comes with a waterproof cover which can alternatively be used as a ground cloth.

This pack seemed to be larger and more configurable than some of the others. It can carry a water bladder and has two different places to carry a tripod, one of which preserves quick access to the interior. It can carry lenses up to 8 inches in diameter, I'd estimate. It is also available in a 30 liter version.

I'm trying to remember if Think Tank bought Mind Shift (or maybe the other way around), but it might be worth some study. I'm happy with mine. The only big drawback is that all the straps can be a lot to keep up with. It is supposed to meet carry-on requirements, but I'd suggest you check the measurements against limits on the airlines you use.

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Nov 29, 2018 05:51:10   #
Jerrin1
 
Goober wrote:
Any of you wildlife photographers hauling a 400mm f2.8 around in the woods?

I just received my new Sony fe400 2.8 lens and now having a challenge to figure out how to haul it around in the field. I need a backpack to carry the lens with body attached as well as an additional body and two more lenses. Apprears to be limited backpacks designed for this and I have sent hours on the internet massaging the specs to find something suitable. I have been to a couple decent size brick and mortar camera shops but they don’t stock a bag like I need.
So far, I am settled on the Think Tank Airport Commuter as my best bet.
Does anyone have direct experience with this bag and a 400 2.8 or can you recommend another bag that works?
The biggest problem is the large diameter of the lens and hood which is even larger than the 500 and 600 mm Lenses.
I realize my best bet would be to make a trip to B & H or Adorama but I am trying to avoid that.

Your experience and suggestions would be very much appreciated.

Thanks,
Goober
Any of you wildlife photographers hauling a 400mm ... (show quote)


Instead of a backpack have you considered the Cotton Carrier G3 version? I used to carry my Canon 7D mark II plus Canon 300mm f2.8L IS on my earlier version of the Cotton Carrier and it was really comfortable to wear. Even better is the fact that the camera/lens is always readily available to take a shot. I used to carry my Canon system in a LowePro Flipside AW500, then transfer the camera and lens onto my Cotton Carrier once I arrived at my chosen location. I was able to carry it in this fashion for up to 7 hours/15 miles a day, 5 days a week. A velcro strap stops the lens from swinging like a pendulum and it is possible to actually run quite fast without issue. I now have the G3 version, which is brilliant.

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Nov 29, 2018 05:51:11   #
tracs101
 
Goober wrote:
Any of you wildlife photographers hauling a 400mm f2.8 around in the woods?

I just received my new Sony fe400 2.8 lens and now having a challenge to figure out how to haul it around in the field. I need a backpack to carry the lens with body attached as well as an additional body and two more lenses. Apprears to be limited backpacks designed for this and I have sent hours on the internet massaging the specs to find something suitable. I have been to a couple decent size brick and mortar camera shops but they don’t stock a bag like I need.
So far, I am settled on the Think Tank Airport Commuter as my best bet.
Does anyone have direct experience with this bag and a 400 2.8 or can you recommend another bag that works?
The biggest problem is the large diameter of the lens and hood which is even larger than the 500 and 600 mm Lenses.
I realize my best bet would be to make a trip to B & H or Adorama but I am trying to avoid that.

Your experience and suggestions would be very much appreciated.

Thanks,
Goober
Any of you wildlife photographers hauling a 400mm ... (show quote)


My solution for all that gear.



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Nov 29, 2018 06:00:41   #
DAN Phillips
 
I have an nikon 80-400, stays on my camera all the time. It's versatily is well worth the effort.

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Nov 29, 2018 06:28:29   #
TomV
 
I use a Lowepro Lens Trekker AW 600 III for my Sony 500mm f/4. With the hood inverted, there is a velcro'd shelf that you can add another body, small lens. Plenty of room inside to place another lens that is protected in its own case.

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Nov 29, 2018 06:32:59   #
Saleavitt10
 
Look at the Moose Peterson series of bags from Mind Shift. I believe the largest one will hold an 800mm lens.

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Nov 29, 2018 07:09:36   #
bcteleskier
 
Check out F-Stop backpacks.

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Nov 29, 2018 08:19:58   #
Goober
 
Thank you for your input Larry. I believe you are correct that Think Tank bought out Mind Shift. I did run across the 40L but thought it may be larger than I need. I will look at the specs again and check the 30L.

Thanks,
Goober

| Reply
Nov 29, 2018 08:35:34   #
In-lightened
 
I have the Nikon 400m 2.8. It's a beast. That hood is the issue when trying to pack it for air travel. I purchased a cloth hood from lenscoat to travel with. http://www.lenscoat.com/travelhood-c-44.html. This makes the lens pack-able in a large bag that will hold my 2 dslrs, teles, and a couple of other lens for landscape that I carry on. The problem is at the other end and the field. This bag is barely big enough to house this lens with camera attached while hiking but will at an angle. I can fit another body in with say a 70-200 around that but not attached. The compromise is to wear the camera plus 70-200 lens during the hike or mount the camera plus 400 on the tripod over the shoulder with a bodypod for the hike. Whew! My large bag that will hold everything is a Tenba. My bag if I get to drive for the 400 with camera and hood attached is the Tamrac...which is slightly longer than the others. It definitely won't qualify for carry-on due to length.
Good luck with your decision!

| Reply
Nov 29, 2018 08:35:57   #
In-lightened
 
I have the Nikon 400m 2.8. It's a beast. That hood is the issue when trying to pack it for air travel. I purchased a cloth hood from lenscoat to travel with. http://www.lenscoat.com/travelhood-c-44.html. This makes the lens pack-able in a large bag that will hold my 2 dslrs, teles, and a couple of other lens for landscape that I carry on. The problem is at the other end and the field. This bag is barely big enough to house this lens with camera attached while hiking but will at an angle. I can fit another body in with say a 70-200 around that but not attached. The compromise is to wear the camera plus 70-200 lens during the hike or mount the camera plus 400 on the tripod over the shoulder with a bodypod for the hike. Whew! My large bag that will hold everything is a Tenba. My bag if I get to drive for the 400 with camera and hood attached is the Tamrac...which is slightly longer than the others. It definitely won't qualify for carry-on due to length.
Good luck with your decision!

| Reply
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