• #1237
    Jack MacD

    On the Fall tour, I had just two lenses with an S2. I did not use a camera bag.
    Initially I had the spare lens in a Think Tank 35 lens carrier that I kept on my belt. All the filters and hoods went into my jacket pockets and it worked fine. But later in the trip the temperature climbed into the low 80’s and a jacket was too heavy. A photo vest would have been too heavy. What I needed were some extra external pockets.

    Joe Donovan had a nice system for his “external packets” from a outfitter for hunters. I got a similar system from Orvis that is shown below. These two pockets swallowed all my needs for filter storage, and had a very positive stay open or stay closed feature. A lens could fit in each pouch/pocket, but it would have little protection. Never the less, I might prefer the pouch to the think tank 35 in some situations for the spare lens. Certainly an option if shooting with an M.

    This Orvis set is on sale, but what you are really paying for is a nice leather belt you might not want:

    For just a pouch, you might try this:

    I forget what supplier Joe used, but his were bigger, big enough to hold his iPad nicely.

    Attached files

  • #1894

    My traveling light bag is a tan colored Billingham Hadley Pro.

    My light and fast setup is my M4-P with a Summicron 28 ASPH, Sekonic L-508 meter, a few camera doodads and six rolls of Tri-X.

  • #2170
    Jack MacD

    Super Light Rain Gear for Photographers:

    Back on the fall S2 trip with D Farkas and crew, we were shooting in pretty heavy rain one day. If one is spending money for an S2 water resistant camera, one can justify spending a fraction of that on a jacket that keeps the photographer dry.

    On that trip, I had brought along a heavy rain parka that the Green Bay Packers use on the sidelines during downpours in a game. I worked very well. It was truly waterproof, the hood worked very well, and the vertical “Napoleon Pockets” were very handy while shooting photographs, much more reliable than the usual side pockets most jackets have.

    But unfortunately, not everyone want to have a jacket with “PACKERS” printed across the back of their jacket. One of the participants said if I ever saw a similar jacket in black with red accents to let them know. Well I will let you all know, and this jacket is much lighter and probably more flexible that the Packer one I used.

    This 15oz zip through all weather jacket is made in Vancouver. Westcomb’s Switch LT hoodie is officially the lightest neoshell jacket in the world. Waterproof, durable Fly weight nylon ripstop, another one to add to the list of performance outerwear taking hi spec to new levels. It’s easy for fancy active clothing to end up looking frumpy but these hoodies are as goodlooking as they are feature packed. A solid range of colours, each one comes with Micro Seam Taping (a thin waterproof barrier), articulated sleeves and YKK smooth pull AquaGuard Vislon zippers. Looks great in black with the red zippers. $430.

    See detail here:

    The initial photo was taken on that rain day. The only better protection from the torrential rain during 30 minutes than a hooded rain jacket was this overpass which I used during a lens change. Then I realized it was a good photo-op.

    Attached files

  • #3966
    Jack MacD

    OK, I am not always traveling light.
    With a recent purchase of a third S lens, assorted filters, and a tripod, I needed something that could hold it all, and be transported on a bike. That called for a backpack.

    Got the Think Tank to do the job. I used their lens changer bag to be a base for the tripod.


    Attached files

  • #3967
    Jack MacD

    As soon as I posted the ThinkTank bag, a friend informed me I was out of date.
    ThinkTank had invented the MindShift Gear Rotation 180. It has a internal fanny pack that can slide out to the front when you need a lens or filter change, and then backside for being on the move.
    Naturally it solved all the issues I had with the backpack I had purchased just 6 weeks ago.
    Well it didn’t solve what to do with the now out of date backpack.

    Naturally this solution costs an extra $300, but solves the need to take off the backpack to switch lenses. The fanny pack swings out from inside the backpack when you want to change lenses. And the 2 way tripod carry solution is very cool.


    You need to view this video to understand the action of the fanny pack feature:


    The guy on the bike is me?

    If anyone is using one of these let me know if you like it.

    Attached files

  • #4088
    Jack MacD

    I asked if anyone has tried the MindShift and now I have.

    They have a two week trial offer and I took them up on it. Others have done complete reviews, but I shot some photos of the compartments filled with S gear to suggest how much it can hold, and how versatile it can be. Essentially, with the deluxe version, you are buying three or four bags. A backpack, a back pack with 180 degree belt back, a belt pack removed and used separately from the back pack, and a removable compartment for storing S gear. The removable compartment can be stored in the back pack, or used separately. I use it when I am working out of my car. Other reviews show how and where it can easily be stored in the back pack. I also show a Think Tank lens bag I added to the group.
    Normally I prefer just the S2 when walking around. If I need one extra lens, I use the lens bag. If I want all three lenses, I add the belt pack. Until I tested the MindShift, I did not realize that the belt pack was totally removable from the back pack. I will at that time carry the camera separately from the belt pack, as it is very heavy with a body and three lenses. If I am hiking, or biking I will use the back pack plus slide out belt pack. It lets me access the gear without taking the pack off my back, which is a wonderful plus. Trust me, a fully loaded belt pack rides in the back pack much better than alone.

    I have decided to keep the set up rather than the offer to return it. It is a pretty good all-round solution. It is a terrific solution for biking. The special tripod carry is an extra purchase, which I am making too. The offer for a free trial for two weeks makes sense as this is not yet in stores for checking out to see if your gear fits.

    I am posting this under “Traveling Light” but fully loaded with a tripod, we are no longer traveling light here.

    Here is one very complete review.

    Attached files

  • #4179
    Jack MacD

    I added this lens switch case pouch to the MindShift outfit:


    This lens switch case is for me a distinct improvement over the ThinkTank skin 50 V2 bag or the lens changer 35 V2 as I can get lenses with mounted shades more quickly out of the lens-switch-case than I could the other pouches with their draw string closure. On those, the lens shade usually hung up. This has no draw string closure, but uses a zipper which opens wide enough for my 24mm with shade on, and is deep enough for my 120 with the shade on. The outer zippered pocket is good for a lens filter.

    Again, MindShift is a part of ThinkTank, but designed more for hiking than urban carry.

    This is not a protective case as it is not padded, but I don’t need protection for the lens in this situation, just holding it.

    If I were traveling light, I would have an S in hand, with a spare lens in this case on my belt.

    Attached files

  • #4180
    Mark Gowin

    Hey Jack, that looks like a very good setup. Now, when are we gonna do another photo trip?

  • #4182
    Jack MacD

    I signed up for the S Arizona Trip in February. I hope to see you there, and I can demo this set up for you in person!

  • #4695
    Jack MacD

    From the above info, you know I have the super back pack when I am hiking for the day.

    But what about when I just want a small carrying bag?
    If I have the camera in the car, I want some basic protection and some pockets for extra stuff. I don’t need water proof and I don’t need thick padding. This Tumi day pack bag is my answer, and it is still traveling light. I like that it has a top carrying handle and also shoulder straps for going more than 10 feet. The S is not light, and the shoulder straps are welcome. I have it holding my S with lens and hood, and occasionally but rarely, an extra lens in it’s own case, I have plenty of pockets for gradient filters, ND’s filter holder, charger with extra battery, extra card, etc.
    I can also hold my Mac Air or iPad if I choose.So far I haven’t. Furthermore, I can slip there whole inside my carry-on luggage back pack.

    I like the orange color as I do not lose track of where it is, or if someone else has it. It comes in other colors too. It is not waterproof, but if I am shooting in the rain, I have other solutions.
    Tumi does not make camera bags, but this works as one, and is less expensive than many.


    Attached files

  • #30715

    Orvis has pretty good gear tbh, especially jackets/bags. Used to get a lot of those like 5-6 years ago, but I feel like quality kinda went down. Currently I’m going for 5’11 backpacks and Sitka hunting gear: a bit on a pricier side, but well worth in my opinion.

  • #36086

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

  • #36087

    Your setup sounds pretty practical for your Fall tour! It’s all about finding what works best for you, right? Reminds me of when I was gearing up for a day at one of the cool theme parks in the US. I had to find the perfect balance between carrying essentials and keeping things lightweight. Sometimes unconventional solutions, like those external pockets, end up being the perfect fit.

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