Carrying a camera while cycling

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by thomas_cho, Sep 18, 2006.

  1. thomas_cho

    thomas_cho New Member

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    Hi all,
    I hope there are some photographers out there who are avid cyclists as well.

    I wish to carry a SLR with 2 lenses, and some other accessories. I got a Nikon D1x.

    Anyone got any suggestions? Are there any bike specific camera bags?

    Thanks
     
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  2. sogood

    sogood New Member

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    Yes, cycling is fantastic to take you to those great photo locations. I've tried to find a solution to this too, but putting a SLR system on a bike rack really isn't very smart given the amount of pot holes we have on our city roads. The only solution is to carry it on you, either as a backpack or shoulder bag.
     
  3. thomas_cho

    thomas_cho New Member

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    yeah true, i have been considering a backpack. What about the lowepro slingshot 200? Would that work while cycling? Unfortunately I have not been able to see any in the shops here in ACT, so I cannot try it out.
     
  4. sogood

    sogood New Member

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    Whatever it is, I would aim for something as light as possible. if it's a shoulder bag, then it's best to have a waist strap. Whatever it is, carrying a D1X is way too much in my mind unless you are really dedicated. Try to optimise your gear a bit for cycling, find something a bit less bulky and lighter if you have a choice. If it has to be the D1X, then so be it.

    Another alternative is a bum pack. These are probably more comfortable from a heat point of view. I dislike backpacks for the sweat accumulation it causes.
     
  5. 1id10t

    1id10t New Member

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    I usually only carry a small point and shoot when cycling. Not as expensive as my SLR and easier to carry.
    However, have you thought about a handlebar bag and then going to Clark Rubber and getting a custom insert made up. Should be able to get something to absorb most of the vibrations etc. Also, a handlebar mounted bag would make the camera closer to hand for those quick shots as well as place it within sight (you never know some opportunists).
     
  6. thomas_cho

    thomas_cho New Member

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    I have thot about optimising my camera gear for cycling, but that means getting a whole new camera system.

    I'd rather keep my D1x and spend money on the bag, its a cheaper option. Everytime I cycle past great scenes, I just wished I had the D1x there with me.
     
  7. 1id10t

    1id10t New Member

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    The only camera bags on the market that I've seen for 'active types' are either backpacks (bulky, expensive and they advertise you have a camera) and bumbags (not large enough for your intentions).
    Like I said though, you could try converting an existing bag, whether it be a handlebar mounted bag (eg Topeak), a rear rack mounted bag or even the type of bags couriers use then try getting an insert made for them to protect them. Otherwise, get a camera specific bumbag and buy a single wide range zoom lens (eg 28-200mm) which should cover most picture taking opportunities. Personally, i'm not a big fan of such zooms but I think you might need to compromise. Maybe someone else has seen such a bag you are after but i've not come across anything while trolling through camera magazines and websites. Perhaps try searching through photo forums; there's possibly a camera enthusiast who is also a cyclist and has posed the very same question. Good luck on your hunt and let us know how you go; could be interested in such a bag myself.
     
  8. anthonyg

    anthonyg New Member

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    I'm an avid photograper as well and while I don't carry my SLR camera's around on the bike these day's I do have a rack bag that would do just the trick with some minor modifications. Its a Topeak trunk bag, http://www.topeak.com/2006/products/bags/mtxtrunkbagexp.php It's quite sturdy, the central compartment is well padded and with some modifications it could be compartmentalised. It slides on to the special Topeak rack in a secure manner and I would certainly trust it with expensive camera gear.

    The side pockets in the picture fold up when not required but are quite handy when you need to use them.

    Regards, Anthony
     
  9. thomas_cho

    thomas_cho New Member

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  10. number31

    number31 New Member

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    I just took up photography as a hobby and found my nikon d50 is alright wrapped up in a t-shirt in a backpack. With the d1x im going to assume your worried about what happens if you fall off.
     
  11. avmanansala

    avmanansala New Member

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    Thomas, D1X: COOL!

    Small backpacks are probably the better way to go, Lowepro Mini Trekker or Micro Trekker 200. Depending on lenses, I would say that smaller and lighter is better.

    I've heard that the Lowepro Top Loader 70/75 is a good option with the chest strap, I've not done it.

    I've taken my Coolpix out with me (kept it in a belt pack that I use to carry tubes, CO2, tire bars, ...)

    A Crumpler type messenger/camera bag would also work.

    I have toyed with the idea of taking my N70 and a fifty 1.8 with me (relatively small and inexpensive kit) rather than my F100 and a zoom.

    Check out www.nikonians.org, there's a bag forum there and I'm sure you'll get some great responses. (Membership is free) You can also try a search there.
     
  12. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

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    Thomas, where is a good price on a Nikon digital camera? Or, something digital with split image focusing.

    I was sent these last night: http://www.cyclingforums.com/t363004.html I might like to have a go myself. ;)
     
  13. nerdag

    nerdag New Member

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    I use a Lowepro Off Trail 2 - hangs straight off your waist and over rear end, and will take a D1/D2 sized body with 70-200VR attached (a tight fit, I must admit), with room to spare for more lenses.

    Don't normally carry the 70-200 with me on bike rides though - too heavy and doesn't suit what I use it for. I prefer carrying something small and light - D100 with 35-70/2.8 - it's the perfect combo as a walkaround portrait kit. Sounds like you like a bit of landscapes, so I'd imagine you'd be using either shorter than I am, or a great deal longer.

    Back to bikes...

    The OT2 has been really good for my road bike, however, do be aware that if you're a really small rider and are literally just hanging over the back wheel, tyre clearance can be an issue.

    The OT1 (a shallower version of the bag), would probably suit you if this is a problem. May even suit you better anyway, since it keeps the weight just on your back, rahter than hanging off it!

    See here:
    http://www.lowepro.com/Products/Beltpacks/modular/

    HTH,

    n
     
  14. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    This may be stating the obvious, but a MTBer-type hydration pack will hold both the fluid bladder AND a camera ... the profile is narrower & the hydration pack is probably less conspicuous on a cyclist than almost anything else you might use.

    I happen to have a High Sierra "Drench" hydration pack (18x9x2) which I bought at a Pearl Izumi outlet (an unanticipated, impulse purchase!?), but I've seen it listed on eBay ... less than half the price of a Camelback ... it will certainly hold an OLD Nikon F + two lenses & the hydration bladder, so I reckon it will handle your D1 + lenses.

    High Sierra is one of those brands that is carried in those general Sports Megastores ... and, the particular hydration pack (or, equivalent) was/is probably available at one of those vendors if I had been looking.

    I never thought much of those "classic"/ever-ready cases until I needed to carry my camera equipment in "soft" bags ... so, whatever equivalent cases for your lens and/or camera you can get, use it for transport OR possibly some thin bubble-wrap.
     
  15. nerdag

    nerdag New Member

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    I'm not Thomas, but think I can help you George - as with bikes, depends on what sort of camera you want, what your needs are, and if you want new or used. There are some GREAT used bargains out there if you look...

    Only thing I know of with split image focusing is to go for a Nikon or Canon D-SLR, and then get it custom modified with a focusing screen designed for the F100/F5/F6 or EOS 1/5. Its easier to do with the pro grade camera bodies, but possible with the cheapies - I wouldn't try on a D50, but know people who have successfully done it on a D70/D100.

    May become a bit expensive (2000+) if that's what you're after.

    HTH,

    n
     
  16. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

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    $K2+ :eek:

    Ok, I got 3 numbers on Sat nite. ;) Split Image is essential for me with vision problems. I had Nikon/Ricoh SLRs in my youth so I know my minimum requirements, just not todays market.

    Thanks very much, I wil go to the Camera Shop in Pier Street and have a look later tihs week.
     
  17. anthonyg

    anthonyg New Member

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    I'm an old school photographer as well who is happy to use a hand held light meter and consider what zone I'm exposing for but auto focus standards and technology has moved on a lot in the last few years.

    Even if you could see the focus manualy with a spit screen viewfinder modern AF lenses aren't realy suitable for manual focusing. Lenses now focus very quickly over a very short range and if you tried to manual focus you would continualy be going past the mark and getting very frustrated. Autofocus is much more trustworthy than when it was first introduced.

    Regards, Anthony
     
  18. anthonyg

    anthonyg New Member

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    I worry about carrying an expensive/large camera in a back pack. If you fell off the bike the camera would be much more likely to take a big hit on your back and much more likely to damage YOU in the proccess. I would be carrying it in a well atached rack bag or a handlebar bag.

    Regards, Anthony
     
  19. DamianM

    DamianM New Member

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    Take a look at the Crumplers, from memory they have a camera insert for some of their messenger bags.
    www.crumpler.com.au
     
  20. asterope

    asterope New Member

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    i used to take my medium format monster (mamiya c330, and a 105 and 180 twin lens) with me quite frequently when i was using my MTB to commute and actually had time to take photos... i can tell you now, that thing is a pain to have riding on your back (along with anything else) but the padding on my crumpler backpack made it bearable.
    i also used to take the nikkormat and put the body in the trunk bag on my pannier rack (an axiom laurentian insulated trunk bag) and put the lenses in my crumpler because its easy to break a lens, but very hard to kill a nikkormat!

    id put film in with the nikkormat body/in the trunk bag, because it was much easier to keep it cool and avoid those funky colour shifts/foggy white patches/ruining a few rolls of slide film.

    The things you do for your art eh?
     
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