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lightweight, easy-access dSLR carry case
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Brian Barnes

Locale: Midwest
lightweight, easy-access dSLR carry case on 08/13/2008 12:06:21 MDT Print View

I been working on a system to carry my dSLR while backpacking. My goals were to 1) keep the weight of the setup down, 2) keep it accessible, 3) provide protection from bumps and rain, and 4) be comfortable. After my last trip to RMNP I'm happy to report I'm very satisfied with the system I used (this has been work in progress for quite a while). I found it met the above goals perfectly.

Here's what it looks like:

List of that pictured above:
Canon 10D
Lens: 17-40 L f/4
Circular Polarizer
UV filter
Lens hood
Extra battery
Extra CF card
Lens cloth

Think Tank Digital Holster, size 20 with shoulder strap removed and replaced with 2.5 mm nylon cord, which is threaded through the back side of the holster.

Perfection loops are tied at each end of the cord, and an adjustment loop has been installed (using a Klemheist knot ).

A Black Diamond Carabiner is attached to the Klemheist on one end and the perfection loop on the other end. These clips are attached to the D rings on the backpacks shoulder straps.

During rain the camera and its components are stored in a waterproof dry bag and the holster is covered with the provided rain cover. Photos of these can been seen HERE.

The weight of the holster, rain cover, and cord is 14.3 ounces. The weight of the everything mentioned above is 4.5 pounds.

The setup in action:

Edited by brianjbarnes on 08/13/2008 13:07:08 MDT.

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
lightweight, easy-access dSLR carry case on 08/13/2008 12:59:50 MDT Print View

Brian, I think a lot of use are trying to figure this out, thanks for your effort. It looks like you found something that works for you-
I have a few questions:
How do you keep the case from "flopping" on a steep uphill climb. I find the I need an attachment at the bottom also so it doesn't swing out and hit the ground or swing back to my chest.
I wish there was an easy way to get my pack off and the camera at the same time, without having to disconnect everything. Making the rest stop and camp easier.
I once saw a guy with a 4 point slide system- the camera case was was on an "H" of webbing that slid up and down, connected with clips (he didn't have a sternum strap on the pack. I didn't ask him what is was like to try and get out in a hurry.
It has been my experience that if my camera isn't readily accessible I don't use it much.
I'd like to see what others have come up with.

Brian Barnes

Locale: Midwest
RE:"lightweight, easy-access dSLR carry case" on 08/13/2008 13:04:14 MDT Print View

Tad, I too was concerned I'd have to add a small piece of cord that looped trough by hip belt but with the adjustible Klemheist knot I just simply tighten up the slack during steep uphill scrambles and it prevents it from bouncing around. Once I'm on more level ground I lower the holster down so access is easier. Regarding disconnecting when taking the pack off, it wasn't bad at all - I simply moved the carabiner on my right on to the one on my left.

Edited by brianjbarnes on 08/13/2008 13:05:24 MDT.

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
RE:"lightweight, easy-access dSLR carry case" on 08/13/2008 13:12:20 MDT Print View

I can see how that works- but doesn't it pull the case way up to your neck?
BTW- did you catch any fish? (I noticed the rod cases in your photo's)

Brian Barnes

Locale: Midwest
RE: "lightweight, easy-access dSLR carry case" on 08/13/2008 13:36:43 MDT Print View

I used a ULA catalyst (I carried 7 days worth of food!) and when the chest holster was fully tightened it was at the level of my sternum. When it was lower the bottom of the holster was just above my belt.

While fishing wasn't the main objective we did catch several trout (mainly colorado cutthroat and greenback cutthroat).

It was a blast!