PDA

View Full Version : ISO: good combo laptop/camera bag




Clix Pix
Dec 7, 2005, 11:45 AM
I asked this in another thread, one about laptop bags, but it occurred to me that this would probably be the more logical place for my request. I'm going to SF in January for MWSF (Yaaaay!) and I'll be staying out there a week. Of course I want to take my 15" PB and of course I want to take my camera. I'm hoping to have the new D200 by then, but if not, I'll be taking my D70s and a couple of lenses. Usually I carrry one or the other someplace, but not both together, so I have laptop bags for the PB and I've got several Domke bags that I use for my camera gear.

My first thought was that I could easily fit both PB and camera and their accompanying accessories into my rolling carry-on bag, which would work fine for coming-and-going and for the airport and the plane, but then I realized that once I'm there that I won't want to leave the PB in the hotel room all day while I'm out at the conference or out sight-seeing. So I'll be schlepping the PB with me everywhere as well as the camera and will need some sort of good bag in which to carry the two items safely and comfortably, with relatively easy access to the camera, lenses, batteries and CF cards for shooting when I'm sight-seeing.

I'm not really a backpack sort of person but it may be that this would be the best way to do things, inasmuch as I'll be trudging from place to place, on my feet all day every day.... From past experience at other conferences and exhibit halls, I know I'll be walking a lot and also will be tending to accumulate things along the way as well (the goodies you can pick up at exhibits).

Anyone have a recommendation of something which has worked well for them? I'm a fairly short and petite person so I don't really want some enormous thing which dwarfs me; the bag just has to be large enough to comfortably and safely hold the PB and provide a safe place as well as quickly accessible space for the camera body and lenses.

Thanks for any ideas....

OTB



-hh
Dec 7, 2005, 09:47 PM
Try looking at the Tamrac 5259. My intended use for it is exclusively for the airport carry-on, but it might be closer to what you're looking for.

The main compartment is for camera gear (although I'm putting a raincoat in there too), and there's a zipper along the "inside" (strap side) that opens for a slide-in-from-the-top pocket for a laptop.

My 12" PB fits in with tons of room. I'm sure it would fit a 15".


-hh

bousozoku
Dec 7, 2005, 10:16 PM
I'm using a Crumpler Farmer's Doubler which allows for a 15 inch laptop computer as well as a deep area for camera equipment with several velcro-attached partitions. It wasn't cheap but it's well padded. It's a bit fat but I'm managed to get it into an overhead bin of a bus, so it should also make it into a plane. I've also work it while riding a bike and because the straps and the back is well padded, it's as comfortable as that much weight can be.

Frank (Atlanta)
Dec 9, 2005, 08:52 PM
Sure your needs will differ from mine and I find my bag needs differ simply based upon where I'm going, what I'm hauling, etc. but...I'm currently very happy with a Crumpler Karachi Outpost I used for a recent 2 week trip. Worked great:


Can fit (I believe) a 17" laptop
Holds an unbelievable amount of camera gear - multiple bodies, lenses, flashes, camcorder, storage cards, chargers, etc.
Wonderfully padded
High quality construction
Doesn't look like a camera bag


Depending upon how much kit you're going to carry, you might want to consider a smaller bag - my only complaints with my bag are related to size (you may want to consider a smaller bag from Crumpler or LowePro, Tamrac, etc.):

Hard to use in crowded areas
Too easy to overpack...makes it very heavy
(Not size related): great security as the zipper/opening lies against your back, but isn't conducive to quick access, etc.


This bag works best for transporting a lot of kit...once you arrive, it either works well (because you need to carry all this kit around with you) or you may find it too bulky and will leave the bag (and much kit) behind at your hotel, etc.

Good luck & have fun,
Frank

Clix Pix
Dec 10, 2005, 10:04 AM
Thanks, guys, for your suggestions! I'll have a look-see at the various bags.... I hope I can find just the right thing!

OTB

Frank (Atlanta)
Dec 10, 2005, 10:28 AM
In re-reading, I probably wasn't very helpful/specific.

You may want to go to a local shop and try a backpack or sling bag - it keeps your hands free, which would be good for MWSF or sighseeing in San Francisco. They're also good for distributing weight, etc. And - if you decide to leave your laptop in the room while you go sightseeing, you can always use the backpack to carry other items... Just be careful to consider how you access the bag contents (some of the Crumlers aren't so great in this area, as they sacrifice convenience for security).

Not sure how much kit you want to carry, but if you've looking at bringing a D200, assume you'll have add'l lenses, flash, etc. You might want to consider some of the following backpacks (sorry, haven't had any experience with over-the-shoulder bags for many yrs):

LowePro CompuRover AW
Tamrac has some good combo bags
Crumpler has a plethora of camera, backpack, etc. bags and you can take padding out of some of the bags so they become...somewhat regular bags


Good luck,
Frank

PS: Tell us about the D200 when you get it!

Clix Pix
Dec 10, 2005, 12:15 PM
Thanks, Frank! I'm hoping that I'll have the D200 in my hot little hands sometime at the end of this next week..... Last I heard was that Dec 15th was "the day" for them. I've pre-ordered from a local camera shop so I will be eagerly awaiting that telephone call to tell me it's arrived.

Yes, I'll be spending some time at the camera shop experimenting with all the bags they've got on offer, too, to get a feel for what will work the best for me. I am planning on taking the camera body and only a couple of lenses, plus of course, batteries, filters, CF cards.... Don't know if I'll toss in the SB 800, too -- actually I had forgotten about that. Oops.... That should take care of the photo side of things. The computer side of things will include the PB, its power supply and my BT micro mouse. I really won't need a HUGE bag, but it does have to accommodate both the camera gear and the laptop gear. I think that, yes, a backpack or sling bag of some sort would probably be the best solution in terms of being able to keep my hands free and also for the sake of my back.

Unfortunately there is no store around here which sells a lot of Crumpler bags so those I have to order online, which can be problematic. I want to actually handle and try a bag out before purchasing rather than have to go through the hassle of returning it through the post if it's not going to work for me.

Definitely, being able to quickly and efficiently access the camera and its accessories will be important to me when I'm out sight-seeing; the PB will just be along for the ride, as I don't want to leave it in the hotel room during my absence. I expect I'll only really be using the PB at night in the hotel room, for downloading images and for checking my email, etc. I have always loved my Domke bags for their ready accessibility but I know that one of them won't work this time because of the need to carry along the PB.

Too many holiday shoppers out this weekend so I'll wait until this coming week to do some more looking at bags...

OTB

Frank (Atlanta)
Dec 10, 2005, 08:31 PM
OTB -

Since you're a Nikon person, you may have already found this site; however, it's a pretty good resource for various things Nikon and/or Nikon-related. Check-out the bag forum:

http://www.nikonians.org/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi?az=list&forum=DCForumID9&conf=DCConfID4

Frank

Clix Pix
Dec 11, 2005, 10:30 PM
Hey, thanks for the reminder about the Nikonians site! That is a good resource and I'd totally forgotten about it. I'll take a look and see what they've got to offer...

OTB

poolin1243
Dec 15, 2005, 06:15 PM
look at the tamrac pro series of bags

i have a pro 14 and it is a. huge and b. saved my ass a few times!

it has enough room for a 17" laptop and everything
100-400 or 28-300IS
70-200 IS
16 35
24-70
20 2.8, 20-35 2.8 (stacked one on top the other)
580ex
mark II
10d
lightmeter (has built in case for it in the lid flap)
pocketwizards (two nice side pockets for them...stand up perfectly
batteries(nice front pockets with internal pockets for batteries
reflector (nice bottom compartment for that)

hope this helps!

Clix Pix
Dec 16, 2005, 12:58 PM
look at the tamrac pro series of bags

i have a pro 14 and it is a. huge and b. saved my ass a few times!

it has enough room for a 17" laptop and everything
100-400 or 28-300IS
70-200 IS
16 35
24-70
20 2.8, 20-35 2.8 (stacked one on top the other)
580ex
mark II
10d
lightmeter (has built in case for it in the lid flap)
pocketwizards (two nice side pockets for them...stand up perfectly
batteries(nice front pockets with internal pockets for batteries
reflector (nice bottom compartment for that)

hope this helps!

Holy cow -- that IS huge! Heh, it sounds as though the bag and its contents would weigh more than I do! LOL! That really seems to be perfect for your needs, but I think it might be overkill for mine, not to mention a bit too large and heavy for me to carry...

Actually, I think I've found a solution. I bought a Swissgear Wenger (the folks who make the Swiss Army Knife) backpack, which comfortably fits my 15" PB and which has another large compartment into which I can slip my Domke satchel bag with the camera body and a couple of lenses plus the other camera gear such as batteries and CF cards. That way if I do want to just carry the camera bag alone while I'm out there, I've got it with me, and it protects the camera and lenses enroute, too. Although the backpack is fairly heavy with both the PB and the camera and lenses in there, it is manageable and I should be able to traipse around SF with it on my back. It isn't too gimmicky looking and doesn't advertise that there is a PB and camera gear inside, which is important to me. I went through every backpack they had at Microcenter one day until I found this one. I think it will be more flexible for my needs than a regular photo/laptop backpack would be, as so many of those are pretty large. However, I haven't yet looked at the ones available at my local camera shop, since I've been waiting until the day I go over to get my D200. If I find something there that seems to work even better than what I've come up with so far, that will be just dandy, too.

Now I'm thinking about lenses.... I really don't want to haul my 70-200 out there, but of course I'll want the reach of that tele. I am thinking that maybe I'll get the new Nikon 18-200 VR if it's available yet and then just take one other lens. I do have the Tamron 18-200 which I could use if I can't get the new Nikon one, but what I'd really like to do is to trade in the Tamron on that new Nikon VR.

Ah, decisions, decisions!

OTB

Cooknn
Dec 16, 2005, 01:21 PM
The backpack solution works best for me. I use the Tamrac Expedition 5.

http://www.listing360.com/temp/bag1.jpg

It holds my D70s, two lenses, pano head and leveler base PLUS there is room in one of the outside pockets for my forthcoming 13.3 inch iBook ;)

Clix Pix
Dec 16, 2005, 01:48 PM
That looks really nice, and not quite as large and heavy as some I've seen...

OTB

Frank (Atlanta)
Dec 17, 2005, 08:41 AM
OTB -

Re: lenses, do you have the Nikkor 12-24/4?

Great lens for sighseeing/touring and it's rather compact. Not an inexpensive lens, but I've been very happy with it.

On my recent trip to Italy, I used the 12-24 exclusively...

Frank

Clix Pix
Dec 17, 2005, 08:59 PM
The 12-24 mm Nikkor sounds as though it would be perfect to fill in the gap in my lens range -- I definitely will look at that one when I go in to pick up my D200. I was hoping that the store would call today but they didn't, so if I haven't heard anything by Monday, I'm going to be really frustrated.

Anyway, thanks for the suggestion!

OTB