Carrying an SLR on the bike?

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 51 total)
  • Carrying an SLR on the bike?
  • STATO
    Member

    Just got a new digi SLR and want to take it riding but avoid getting it wrecked, so wondering how other out there carry their cameras when on the bike?

    Previously i just left my old film SLR in my camelback as its tough as nails and would be fine in a fall, but im not so sure about this digi one and id like easier access to it if possible. Ive seen those chest bags that allow quick access to it, but i dont like the straps of my bag tight across my chest so not sure how id like those. Thought of a handlebar bag for when touring, should be good for quick access too.

    So what do you use?
    How does it compare with other methods youve used?
    How well does it protect your camera?
    Does it get in the way at all?

    Cheers,
    Rich.

    grahamh
    Member

    Use mini krabs to attach the camera bag to the D rings on the front of
    your camelback.

    but i dont like the straps of my bag tight across my chest so not sure how id like those

    When Chipps suggested this idea to me I was sceptical, but I found I soon got used to having the camera there, and the rapid access makes up for any slight inconvenience. Eventually I got so used to it I once thought I’d lost my camera only to look down and see that it was still there 🙂 I’ve had numerous falls with no particular damage to or from the camera, though one very hard impact did break the anti-shake servo in the lens. You have to get the height right, as it comes very close to the knees at the top of a pedal stroke on steep climbs

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    I must be unlucky. I don’t always carry my camera, and I’ve only had one crash with it on (Front wheel off the top of a berm at speed: Thud, roll, Ouch!) which cracked the plasic around the rim of the lens. Still works fine, mind.

    And no, you don’t really notice it there.

    GNARGNAR
    Member

    I’ve often wanted to do the same thing many time but never bothered for fear of breaking the camera in a fall, not sure what type of riding you do – personally I wouldnt attempt it unless I was certain the camera would survive a heavy crash.

    Lowepro do all manner of camera specific padded back-packs, some might even be bodgeable to include a bladder etc. That would be the only thing which would put my mind at ease, slightly.

    STATO
    Member

    cheers guys, my Lowepro camera bag has loops already so ill try attaching it to my camelbak, might need some elastic/tensioners to stop it flapping about but should be ok.

    Im not bothered about it getting used and abused, as long as it gets used! I resent buying something it if its not going to use it for worry of damaging it (especially as i bought it mainly for mountianbiking!). It should be fine anyway as im not really a faller.

    Cheers,
    Rich.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    might need some elastic/tensioners to stop it flapping about but should be ok.

    I find that threading the chest strap through the loops on the back of my bag steadies it nicely.

    GNARGNAR
    Member

    You’ve probably got the right attitude Rich, is your lowepor bag padded? If not maybe you could buy some of the velcro tab style pads and fill it out.

    I cant really justify breaking a grands worth of kit that I bought mainly for work, also taking the slr out would mean stopping every ten minutes to capture the perfect image, whereas with a compact I just snap and ride on…but maybe that’s just me.

    I use the same “SLR on chest” set up but rather than clip it to my pack, I have two normal camera straps (like the one you get with the bag) threaded diagonally (i.e. top right loop on one end and bottom left on the other). I find this really stable, holds the camera up high enough to be out of the way and it means I’m not tangled up in my pack! The other thing it does is reduce the tension in the pack shoulder straps but obviously you’ve got an independent weight in the bag.

    If you do use elastic tensioners, make sure they are not too elastic as it’s a fair bit of weight and it will move a lot on the rough stuff.

    HTH.

    personally I wouldnt attempt it unless I was certain the camera would survive a heavy crash.

    actually I’m a little more concerned about breaking myself 🙂 I can’t comment about other makes but I’ve dropped most of my Nikons with negligible effect

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    actually I’m a little more concerned about breaking myself I can’t comment about other makes but I’ve dropped most of my Nikons with negligible effect

    Same here. I’ve chucked my 400d about a couple of times. for now I keep the strap round my neck, but I really should get a clear filter to protect the lens.

    GNARGNAR
    Member

    simonfbarnes – Member

    actually I’m a little more concerned about breaking myself I can’t comment about other makes but I’ve dropped most of my Nikons with negligible effect

    I’ve got a D90 myself, reasonably robust but nothing on the pro models. In the event of a crash I invariably roll quite a bit, unless the camera was deeply padded with it’s base against my back I’d be worried about damaging the lens.

    Obviously one way to combat this is to remove the lens, but then if you see something you want to shoot quickly you have to affix the lens, possibly with muddy hands and or in the rain etc so it’s not desirable either.

    solamanda
    Member

    I carry my DSLR in a relatively compact padded bag thrown in the bottom of my normal riding backpack. I happily ride downhill with it in my bag and have had pretty serious crashes at speed without any damage to the camera.

    However mine is an ‘old cheap’ DSLR so I’m not too worried.

    STATO
    Member

    GG – A GRAND! you missunderstood me, mine is only a £250 D40 :0) I havnt got a grand spare for a camera, so im not supprised you wont use it on the bike!

    happy – that sounds like a good idea! I wasnt too keen on attaching to the camelbak as i like to take it off often, ill give you method a go.

    GNARGNAR
    Member

    STATO –
    GG – A GRAND!

    Well, the guts of it when you account for the lense and mem card. Got it as soon as they came out, think it was about £880 all in with a spare battery and 8 gig card.

    Obviously one way to combat this is to remove the lens

    are you MAD ? Given the filthy conditions I never to remove the lens! As for protecting the camera, it was really funny when I fell full length in Rusland Pool last December. My camera pack went right under. I snatched my D200 out of the pack and held it up out of the water, and the others said it was like Excalibur being lifted by the Lady of the Lake, with the water running off it 🙂 Needless to say it continued to function perfectly!

    BTW, I had a pretty long search for an appropriate camera bag. The main problem I had was that I wanted a bag that was long enough to take my camera with lens and hood attached but was also snug so the camera didn’t rattle around in it. The best I came up with was this Tamrac bag. It has four D rings to attach the straps securely, is very well padded and fits my camera vary well (Oly E3 but they do do smaller bags) and also has both zip and clip lock lid. It means if you want to be quick, you can just use the clip. If you’re more worried about the weather, you can zip it in too.

    As you’ve already got a bag it’s less of an issue, but I thought I’d drop it in.

    GNARGNAR
    Member

    simonfbarnes – Member

    are you MAD ? Given the filthy conditions I never to remove the lens! As for protecting the camera, it was really funny when I fell full length in Rusland Pool last December. My camera pack went right under. I snatched my D200 out of the pack and held it up out of the water, and the others said it was like Excalibur being lifted by the Lady of the Lake, with the water running off it Needless to say it continued to function perfectly!

    A collegue of mine was covering a bog snorkling competition for the local rag when the inevitable happened and he dropped his D2H into a boggy stream. He dove in, rumaged around and pulled the camera out – wiped it down and kept on shooting wihtout a hitch.

    I bought myself a compact last year for all the reasons mentioned above. Got taken on one ride and hasn’t come out with me since, mostly due to shutter lag (minimal, but there) and lack of control.

    Back to DSLR now – D200 with grip removed (spare wedding camera). Like solomanda I just bundle it up in a padded bag, within a heavy duty rucksack liner and hope for the best. Managed to snap the lens off an F90 once by showing off and falling off in quick succession…

    Yup – get a UV filter if you’re taking pics in a muddy environment – abslute necessity.

    cold
    Member

    Interesting that no one has mentioned dedicated camera rucsacs/hydration packs, I was thinking of getting one for my DSLR so (sorry for the sort of hijack) any thoughts/feedback?

    STATO
    Member

    ive already fitted a skylight (UV?) filter to the lens, seemed daft not to really. Im using this at the moment till i decide what i want…

    Was looking at this in the shop last night but not sure if its padded enough and might not work how i want strap wise… (note, id not wear it like that on the bike… or ever!)

    I’ve gone through a couple of dedicated photo rucksacks and found that getting into the bottom section in a hurry is a bit of a pain – usually just end up stuffing the camera in the top with my sandwiches.

    Didn’t know dedicated camera rucsacs/hydration packs were available but wonder if they’d be equally fiddly? I’d also be a bit concerned about having a litre of liquid above my camera….

    EDIT; just seen the pic of the bag you’re currently using – it looks perfect to just drop into a rucksack.

    Why is that man wearing his codpiece crooked ?

    Interesting that no one has mentioned dedicated camera rucsacs/hydration packs

    just slower to access and too much faff 🙁 (though gingerflash demurs)

    Premier Icon cp
    Subscriber

    I have a Canon 10D with a sigma 18-50mm f2.8 which i put in Lowe Pro TLZ1, and like above use 4 caribiners from the d-loops and onto the camelbak shoulder straps. works very very well.

    i do find if i do fall that the body kind of produces a natural cocoon around it – it’s very rare (i don’t think i have ever) to fall straight onto chest – its usually side or a roll, both of which sort of instinctively protect the camera. I think putting it in the rucsac is more susceptible to roll/fall damage.

    for what its worth, i’ve dropped and fallen (whilst walking) putting my full weight through the 10d body, and the camera has been fine…

    STATO
    Member

    Yeah thats a TLZ1 im using, seems spot on. I think ill try the chest style mount at the weekend, im happy to put it in my rucksack obviously but it means you have to stop and faff about, somthing i do too much already!

    Just need to work out how to carry a tripod now 🙂

    Cheers again,
    Rich

    tim41
    Member

    Another LowePro bag strapped to the chest user here. It seems well protected and out of the way when I do come off, but easy to access for use in a moment.

    My attitude is, if the camera does get broken, it can be fixed or replaced, whereas all the shots that I don’t take take if the camera never comes out of a rucksack are not replacable. A camera is a tool for taking photographs – without those it’s just a nice shiny black thing taking up space in the camelbak.

    “dedicated camera rucsacs/hydration packs,”

    So far as I know, there’s only one, the LowePro Dryzone Rover and it’s massive, too big for proper riding I think. It’s also very expensive, about £150 I think.

    I can’t see why more companies don’t do them. Bursting a bladder seems to be a very low risk indeed. It’s certainly not happened to me in about 15 years of Camelbak use. besides if the bladder section were waterproof, it would keep any leaks away from the camera gear.

    My D80 normally goes in my camelbak Hawg, without any protection. It’s survived many many crashes and the only damage it’s sustained is a cracked (now repaired) lens hood. I usually have a flashgun in there, and maybe another lens too. I usually get the pack off and gear out quickly enough, maybe 10 seconds including lens cap off and flashgun switched on. that’s usually plenty quick enough.

    I’ve tried the chest-mounted thing, which is ok and does obviously allow quick access for snaps, but it’s not very comfy on very technical stuff and it’s a bit sweaty in hot weather. It’s also a bit more awkward to get your camelbak off and get into the back, so not great if you carry a flashgun in there and want quick access to that too.

    What we need is something like a LowePro slingshot, for quick access, but with space for non-camera stuff and a bladder as well.

    solamanda
    Member

    My attitude is, if the camera does get broken, it can be fixed or replaced, whereas all the shots that I don’t take take if the camera never comes out of a rucksack are not replacable. A camera is a tool for taking photographs – without those it’s just a nice shiny black thing taking up space in the camelbak.

    Good point. If you want good photos of rides it’s silly to be too worried about damage, a camera is useless if you can’t take it where you want shots.

    MTT
    Member

    Rich, Put it on your utility helmet with the rest of your purchases. Be fine. 🙄

    STATO
    Member

    what, like this guy…

    ;0)

    MTT
    Member

    Couldn’t find a pouch for the battenburg.

    STATO
    Member

    cheeky fek, where are the haribo eh!!!

    stumpy01
    Member

    I have been looking for a solution to this problem for ages. I want to take my camera with me, but don’t want the hassle of taking my bag of all the time.

    First of all I found that Topeak do a pouch called the e-handy pack or something and it’s a small ‘compact camera’ sized pouch that attaches to the stem of your bike. Looks pretty nifty.

    Secondly, there is a company called Think Tank Photo. Their stuff is available through http://www.snapperstuff.com
    I went to the Focus on Imaging exhibition on Monday with the main aim of trying on one of their harnesses. They do an SLR bag called ‘digital holster’ that comes in a variety of sizes. It had an extendable lens bit. The smallest one they do (Digital Holster 10) fitted my D80 into it with the 18-135mm lens on and my 70-300mm VR lens in it no problem with the bag fully extended.
    The harness crosses over your back, the straps are fairly discreet and can be adjusted top and bottom so you can set exactly where the bag sits. I was pretty pleased with how snug and unobtrusive the bag was and will be getting one of these before I go to Spain this yr.

    Sounds like I am really plugging this bag, but to be honest I was getting frustrated with the solutions from all the big brands, when I came across this. It seems to be the perfect solution.

    davedodd
    Member

    Do a search on ebay for zing camera cases. I got a superb chest mounting one for my Canon for just over a tenner.

    Dave

    Kit
    Member

    Mine goes in a placcy bag in the top of my Camelbak. Not the most convenient, but in over 2yrs of use its been fine, including a few offs/rolls.

    I have devised a MUCH better way of carrying my SLR on the bike. Not on the chest (see my objections above) but still allows quick access. Completely stable and out of the way when on the bike.

    Photos later….

    Big Col
    Member

    Interesting thread.

    I’m not a fan of the chest strap system on a bike, although for ski touring that is my preferred option. On the bike I keep all the gear on my back.

    The super light option is a D40 + kit lens or prime, just in a lowepro case.

    If it’s light weight /normal then the gear is in a small sack, eg. KIMM 25L. Inside here I’ll have,
    – SLR + mid-size lens inside a lowepro camera case
    – 2 other small/light primes inside lowepro lens cases
    – 1 or 2 flashes + triggers
    – 1 or 2 mini flash stands, can put these down the side of the sack
    Will also have a camel pack + some food. Depending on how long the climb is I may even leave the tool kit out and rely on someone elses. One or two bin bags in there too just in case it pisses down. Sometimes friends carry the flashes and stands.

    If it’s more serious then it’s a Lowepro photo sack with essentially the above + a heavy tele + a 3rd flash & stand. But then carrying the water is problematic and the weight hampers your riding style. Or should I say the expense of gear makes you ride more carefully. But the Lowepro sack is essential for laying the gear out /down on the ground and having a base for changing lenses. Actually I find it hard to believe, as mentioned above, that some folk don’t change lens on the trail. Every spot/situation dictates what lens to use. On some trails I might be using 3 or 4 lenses and have 10 or 15 changes. Once the flash gear is setup (and you have a good rider on the scene) then u just have to change lenses. Also take a turbo blower with me just in case I get dust problems on the sensor.

    That sounds like a lot of waiting around by your riding mates.

    On some trails I might be using 3 or 4 lenses and have 10 or 15 changes.

    Wow! I only change my lens when I break it or get a new body…
    I’m just waiting for a nice 10-300mm f/2.8VR :o)

    I assume you’re waitng for Nikon, not Parcelforce.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 51 total)

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