Near Perfect Bag

Lowepro Rover AW II with 2x Utility Cases

An obsession with camera bags is something that only a photographer can understand. How can such a simple and practical item incite such zeal?  Ever since I have been taking photos, I have been on the quest for the perfect bag. For the past 5 years, my bag of choice has been the Lowepro Rover AW II.

The top compartment is good for non photo gear, and all the photo stuff goes down below.   The  photo compartment will fit a 1 series body, two large lenses, and two smaller lenses.  It will also accommodate a full size tripod with the clever tripod carrier.  I carry a Gitzo GT2531 complete with a Kirk BH-1 head without a problem.  Now, I use this bag to fit either my 4×5 camera + 2 lenses, or my Fuji GX617 panoramic camera.

For ease of access, I added two of the street and field utility cases to each side of the waist belt.  The outside zipper pocket opens wide, and will fit my 4×6 grad filters.  The beauty of this is that I can leave those parts open, and freely swap grads.  The inner compartments of each utility case will give added storage for my grad holder, light meter, etc. I love being able to wear the backpack, but have everything easily accessible while shooting.

Unlike many photo backpacks on the market, this one is very light.  The harness is excellent, and the oversize waist-belt transfers the weight of the pack to my hips.  I’ve done a 14 mile day hike with this bag fully loaded, and it was very comfortable. When I finally wear out this bag, I plan on buying another one.

3 Responses to “Near Perfect Bag”

  1. Gerhard Says:

    I just started using a Fuji GX617 which is a remarkable but huge camera. I really love the viewfinder – making composition much easier – and the 3:1 slides on Velvia. Currently I am using a Lowepro Vertex 200 which looks much bigger compared to the Rover AW II and does not have a top compartment either. How on earth to you pack the Rover to accommodate the Fuji with lenses?

  2. Ben Horne Says:

    The Fuji GX617 is one of my favorite all time cameras. It’s fun to hold, and even more fun to shoot. I have just one lens for that camera, which is how it all fits. The camera + lens + viewfinder take up the entire lower compartment. The upper compartment is good for all the other bits and pieces that I need to carry when shooting that camera.

    With my 4×5 camera, I can carry the camera + 2 lenses, but that’s only because the 4×5 lenses are very small compared to the lenses on the GX617.

    • Gerhard Says:

      Thank’s for explaining (and showing: “Zion 2010: Day 4”)! I am looking forward to use the Fuji GX617 more often and getting used to a) remove the lens cap and b) remember to advance the film before making the next exposure. Switching from digital to analog has some pitfalls but is great fun.

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