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Carrying camera equipment

JoeSoap76JoeSoap76 Posts: 109
edited July 2008 in Tour & expedition

Sorry, don't know if this is really the right forum for this - but figured that you guys are more likely to carry camera equipment than the guys over in my regular 'commuting' haunt.

I've a hybrid that I use for commuting but really want to do some longer rides to places that are nicer to look at than my office. I'd like to take along my camera gear too.

I have a D-SLR with several lenses, flash, filters, batteries, etc. so a reasonable amount to carry about and I really want to keep it safe. Easy access is probably a good idea (you never know what you're going to see and want to take a pic of) so I was thinking maybe a rear rack pack or a bar bag (the latter possibly giving me the benefit of a nice map case too so I know where I'm going?).

Has anybody any advice on the best option here?

Thanks :)


  • Roger_ThisRoger_This Posts: 136
    Hey Joe.

    I would recommend a good bar bag. Put your kit into a soft bag first so that you easily remove it, leaving the bar bag on the bike. Less fiddly.

  • Roger_ThisRoger_This Posts: 136
    Just had another thought - take less kit. I have rationalised down to a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3. Huge screen, 28 to x10 Leica lens, and at £140 a steal, plus it fits in a pocket.

    Then again, maybe you don't want another camera.

    Just for comparison, I took these pictures of the Danube route last month on my ancient Samsung Digimax 3.2 Meg pixel:[email protected] ... 237026457/
  • JoeSoap76JoeSoap76 Posts: 109
    Thanks Roger :)

    I was leaning towards a bar bag (had my eye on an Altura Orkney) so I'll maybe give that a whirl and see how it goes.

    I think I'll certainly (usually) trim the collection of kit down (like leaving the flash at home unless I'm going somewhere I know I'll need it) but I'd be hard-pressed if I had to choose between my camera or my bike so swapping my D-SLR for a compact would be a hard, hard thing to do (though your pictures are as good as anything I get so it's not like it needs to be a 'downgrade').

    Saying that, give me a few months of lugging my current camera about on my bike and I'll probably jump at the chance :wink:
  • CunobelinCunobelin Posts: 11,792
    Your answr is Ortlieb!

    Their bar bags have an insert that will take a DSLR flash and spare lens at a push:


    This will also fit some other bar bags, butthat will be trial and error.

    For more equipmentthe answer is their "Shuttle" rack top bag with camera insert:


    Ortlieb are not cheap, but they are good quality and do exactly what they claim making the investment worthwhile.
    <b><i>He that buys land buys many stones.
    He that buys flesh buys many bones.
    He that buys eggs buys many shells,
    But he that buys good beer buys nothing else.</b></i>
    (Unattributed Trad.)
  • synchronicitysynchronicity Posts: 1,415
    I just bought an interesting rack and wrote a review of it. The Orion pletscher it's called. A very handy thing it is too.

  • cycladeliccycladelic Posts: 641
    You might find all the camera gear a bit heavy for a barbag. You can try first and see how you get on. Ortlieb are good, but pricey. Then again, all good ones are pricey.

    If you need extra space, you could do as I do and use a saddlebag. I find this doesn't get banged about as much as a rackbag fitted directly onto a rear rack, which would obviously get all the jolts from the road - unless you have rear suspension like the above piccy.

    I just use my barbag for quick access to my Minolta D7 and carry a lens or two, plus a small, light tripod etc in the saddlebag. It's a Carradice one, the biggest they do - or did - I don't think they make the roomy nylon ones now, but check their site. It has the quick-snap straps, not leather buckles. I also have the natty Carrdice seatpost-mounted hanger for the saddlebag, which means it's a real cinch to remove.
    It's an uphill climb to the bottom
  • JoeSoap76JoeSoap76 Posts: 109
    Thanks all for the advice :D
  • El GordoEl Gordo Posts: 394
    I've always used a bar bag for my camera on the basis of ease of access and shock prevention but with the weight of gear you're talking about I suspect most bar bags would bounce around too much.

    If I were you I'd go for a rack top bag with plenty of padding (you can always add your own foam I suppose) and steer clear of the larger potholes.

    I was out with a mate last week who had a compact camera in his saddle bag with just a plastic bag for protection - the screen has not worked since.
  • ronstruttronstrutt Posts: 3,170
    For taking pictures while on tour I carry a compact in my bar bag but within a padded compact case. As others have said, it's then handy for grabbing a hasty shot when the opportunity arises, without taking too much time.

    When I use my bike to go on a photographic expedition (it's a good way to get to spots that maybe don't have any handy car parking, etc) I pack my D-SLR in its bag in one of my panniers, well-surrounded by spare clothing to give added protection by damping the effects of bumps and vibration. Depending on the amount of other stuff I'm carrying I take just the camera or a second lens as well. I really wouldn't want to try to take more than that.

    I'm unsure about a rack pack for carrying a camera as a lot of the vibration suffered by the bike (just try riding over a newly surface-dressed road) will get transmitted straight through to the camera.
  • cycladeliccycladelic Posts: 641
    If I ever take my 300mm zoom lens, I use a Lowepro case, which has a Velcro strap that goes around the handlebars. I'm sure you could do the same with other size lenses.
    It's an uphill climb to the bottom
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    I'd ask on, there are a lot of guys really into biking and photography whilst riding there. I'd imagine that your best bet would be a backpack for the gear, purely for the protection from shock aspect. I'm sure there are some really neat hardshell bags that'll take all your gear.
  • cycladeliccycladelic Posts: 641
    If it's just a day ride, a backpack - or camera bag - might be okay. But I would never tour with one on my back; it would be purgatory.
    It's an uphill climb to the bottom
  • GyatsoLaGyatsoLa Posts: 667
    You can get a seatpost clamp for an Ortlieb handlebar bag, I've seen more than one serious tourer use this system for carrying a dslr. I don't have the engineering skills to prove it, but I suspect that this system is better at isolating the camera bag from vibration and impact than most of the other alternatives.
  • zenzinniazenzinnia Posts: 698
    I put a well padded camera bag in a panier when I'm off somewhere just to take photos. I also carry a compact in my bar bag when I've not got the D-SLR but i wouldn't put the D-SLR in it as I think it bounces around too much.

    I've also used a small camera bag from Jessops that has a good waistband loop. Using a good webbing strap round my waist the bag sits at the bottom of my spine just above my bum rather than like a rucksack so I don'tt get too hot. It carries a camera, two lenses and bits. You body is far better at supressing vibration than the bike - even your bum takes out alot but over big rough bits you can stand up and let your legs take all the shock. This works well for short journeys but I wouldn't want to do it for longer ones - however I'm working on adding some shoulder straps to lessen the load round my waist.
    To err is human,
    but to really screw things up you need a shimano - campag mixed drivechain.
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