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  1. #1
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    How to carry a 35 mm camera

    So, I thought I'd dig out my old film cameras, take one of them with me today, and, instead of monitoring my mileage or my performance, I'd look for some interesting photos to shoot.

    The last time I did this, I rigged up an affair to sling the camera over my shoulder, then, spent the day constantly readjusting it to keep it from its natural tendency to fall forward and bang on the cross bar.

    I ride a road bike and like to get down into the drops often.

    I have some smaller cams, but can't get very excited about taking pictures with them. The two cameras I would consider lugging along are both 35 mm film cameras - both have compact wide-range zoom lenses, the Nikon has a 28-200 mm, and the Minolta has a 28-300 mm. While they sound gigantic, they are quite compact when zoomed to the short focal length.

    But, they are both 35 mm professional cameras - so, compared to the pocket sized point and shoots of the modern era, they are large and heavy (each weighs close to two pounds). But, I get turned on when I'm shooting pics with these cameras - I get frustrated by the shutter lag and imprecise zooming of the modern point and shooters, although they are eerily light in weight.

    So, any suggestions about how to secure a camera so as to carry it without it getting in my way all day long? I don't want to carry either of these in a bag mounted on a rack - too much vibration.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

    Caruso

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Senior Member dlew308's Avatar
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    A sling pack may work.
    They sell em in lots of different sizes.
    *** 07 Fuji Cross Comp ***

  3. #3
    Senior Member pyeyo's Avatar
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    re. camera carrying

    There is a chest harness made for hikers and backpackers to carry a 35mm camera, sort of a suspender arrangement. You could find one at a camera shop or make one yourself,http://www.motherearthnews.com/DIY/1...a-Harness.aspx. Birders use a harness for their binoculars or you could use a fanny pack, like a lowe pro which is padded.

  4. #4
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    Nothing worse than cycling with something carried on your body. I would suggest a small handlebar bag for that (not those big handlebar bags for touring, unless you need one the size of a camera bag).

  5. #5
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    ortlieb has a camera insert for their handlebar bags.

  6. #6
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    If you mostly want to take pictures while riding, you can use either the large Ortlieb handlebar bag with its camera insert. You might also use the Arkel big handlebar bag, either by itself or with the Ortlieb insert (it fits perfectly in the large Arkel bag). One nice aspect of the Arkel handlebar bags is that they have a rigid frame on all sides, but a suspended bottom, so the camera doesn't actually bang at each pothole.
    Riding without internal divisions works, but lenses may bang against eachother; the Ortlieb insert allows me to quickly insert the camera and/or lenses and put them back safely.

    If you mostly want to take pictures off the bike, then you might look into convertible panniers/backpacks. Arkel makes the GT-18 pannier with straps so it can be used either as a pannier or as a backpack. I think it should be possible to add internal partitions to make it look a bit like a Lowenpro camera backpack.

    The two photos below show my Arkel bag (red outside, yellow inside) with the Ortlieb insert (in grey). The black division you might see comes from another source. Velcros allow you to move divisions as you wish.

    P.S. Measuring tape and camera are extra, and for obvious reasons, the camera shown is my older and slightly larger Pentax ME-Super
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

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    Thanks for the replies. I am not certain if a handle bar mount would work for me - I already have a bunch of stuff up front. How does the mounting system keep the bag from banging? I'm curious. Would love to keep the thing off my body when riding, but, would rather endure the annoyance than damage my gear.

    I used to ride a rig with a rear rack and amply large bag, but, I still deemed it too harsh a ride for my equipment. It's amazing how much in the way of shock your body absorbs.

    Anyhow, thanks for the advice. I'll check into your suggestions.

    Caruso

  8. #8
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    The mounts used by Arkel don't take too much room on the handlebars, and put the bag approximately 3 inches away from the bars, so there is room for auxiliary brake levers (on drop bars) or shifters and brake levers vis-à-vis the handlebar bag.


    As to "How does the hanging system prevents the bag from banging?"

    The mounts keep the handlebar bag very firmly in place, so that it doesn't jump up and down like the old handlebar bags sometimes did. So at least the handlebar bag doesn't shake like crazy. Still, the hooks don't act like a shock absorber; if you ride through potholes, the front end of your bike, including the handlebar bag, will bang into them.

    So what's the trick? You can see it here, towards the end of the page. There is a rigid frame on the four sides of the rack, but on the bottom, you simply have the red fabric (it is thick, so it behaves like a hammock) and some kind of thin foam padding. Then you have the yellow liner inside the bag. So basically, the camera is somewhat suspended in a hammock, the floor of the bag. The only thing that could happen afterwards is that if your camera is loose, it will still move a bit and get scratched. This is where the Camera liner falls into place: it has a few dividers to keep the camera and lenses from moving.

    So I don't think the handlebar bag would work in downhill racing. But for road riding, including some gravel and even for decent non-competitive off-road riding, it will work, especially with the liner.

    P.S. I have done two tours and lots of day rides with it. Mostly on asphalt, but there was maybe 400 km of gravel total. And some of our streets were paved many decades ago and now look like minefields.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  9. #9
    Senior Member rodrigaj's Avatar
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    http://www.lowepro.com/Products/Back...rekker_AW.aspx

    I have tried handlebar bags, rear rack bags with my nikon and olympus gear. The only thing that has really worked is a lowepro backpack. Anything else is a compromise - as in - your camera gear is going to be compromized. Lowepro bags are made for cameras. They understand the delicate nature of the 35mm mechanical/film cameras and lenses.

    It's a pain to bike with a backpack, but it's a bigger pain to see your gear ruined.

  10. #10
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin View Post
    I have a few Lowepro backpack camera bags but when I ride with my camera gear(body, 2-3 lenses, a few flashes, etc.) I don't use them. I've found them to be too bulky, they ride too high on my back, no easy way to carry a water bladder, and they move around too much. Instead, I've used a Camelback, Deuter, etc. cycling-specific hydropack/backback. My gear has survived just fine, without being compromised.
    While I've never used the lowe pro stuff the only camera back pack I have used was very uncomfortable and broke in inconvenient places (zippers pulls but not the zippers mostly).

    Having carried obscene amounts of photo gear around it's easier and more comfortable to use a hiking backpack. These are much stronger anyway. Then, either get a cellular foam roll mat/sleeping mat from a camping store and chop that up or just use old clothes for padding. What you lose in seconds packing and unpacking you gain in comfort and convenience.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michel Gagnon View Post
    The mounts used by Arkel don't take too much room on the handlebars, and put the bag approximately 3 inches away from the bars, so there is room for auxiliary brake levers (on drop bars) or shifters and brake levers vis-à-vis the handlebar bag.


    As to "How does the hanging system prevents the bag from banging?"
    Thanks for the link. That looks like a nice bag. At 3lbs it would be on the heavy side (my camera weighs 2lbs), but, if I were taking my good camera out riding, I would be on the prowl for pictures, not trying to set a cross country speed record.

    I'll have to check into it.

    Thanks again.

    Caruso

  12. #12
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michel Gagnon View Post
    The mounts used by Arkel don't take too much room on the handlebars, and put the bag approximately 3 inches away from the bars, so there is room for auxiliary brake levers (on drop bars) or shifters and brake levers vis-à-vis the handlebar bag.


    As to "How does the hanging system prevents the bag from banging?"

    The mounts keep the handlebar bag very firmly in place, so that it doesn't jump up and down like the old handlebar bags sometimes did. So at least the handlebar bag doesn't shake like crazy. Still, the hooks don't act like a shock absorber; if you ride through potholes, the front end of your bike, including the handlebar bag, will bang into them.

    So what's the trick? You can see it here, towards the end of the page. There is a rigid frame on the four sides of the rack, but on the bottom, you simply have the red fabric (it is thick, so it behaves like a hammock) and some kind of thin foam padding. Then you have the yellow liner inside the bag. So basically, the camera is somewhat suspended in a hammock, the floor of the bag. The only thing that could happen afterwards is that if your camera is loose, it will still move a bit and get scratched. This is where the Camera liner falls into place: it has a few dividers to keep the camera and lenses from moving.

    So I don't think the handlebar bag would work in downhill racing. But for road riding, including some gravel and even for decent non-competitive off-road riding, it will work, especially with the liner.

    P.S. I have done two tours and lots of day rides with it. Mostly on asphalt, but there was maybe 400 km of gravel total. And some of our streets were paved many decades ago and now look like minefields.
    I'll agree that handlebar bags are the best solution. I've used handlebar bags to carry camera gear all over the US while on tour and found them convenient and very safe. The old Blackburn mounts that used the fork mounts were actually quite safe. I carried a Pentax K1000 for many tours without any issues at all. The bar bag cradles the camera and keeps it from hitting anything on the bike.

    The Ortlieb bag mount, unlike the Arkel, has a cable that goes over the top of the stem to keep the bag from rotating downward upon impact. The mount also has a rather substantial latch on it. I haven't use - or even seen an Arkel - but the Ortlieb system just seems a little less futzy.

    I have tried carrying my camera in a Camelbak while I was on a job assignment in Vermont but I didn't like it. I was always worried about what would happen in a crash. I pack my Camelbaks with lots of ice and a cold camera and a humid environment don't mix
    Stuart Black
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  13. #13
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    I'm not able to really compare the Ortlieb and Arkel mounting system, so I can't say which is best.

    The Arkel mounts are tightly bolted onto the handlebars, and with the new hooks (2005 + ; see current photos on their website), the bag won't rotate downwards upon impact.
    P.S. The former mounts (which may still be seen here) could not be tightened enough; when I complained to Arkel, they sent me a set of the new brackets free of charge and I tested them on quite a few bumpy roads with a heavy load in them.

    One aspect: you can't lock the bag in place. It's designed to be easy on, easy off, which may or may not be a good thing.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  14. #14
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    I just put an ortlieb bar bag on my wife's bike. The mounting system is either ingenious or completely stupid, time (w/ loads) will tell. I'm suspecting by rep that ortlieb errs towards the former, but you never know. The ortlieb is plenty quick release, you can leave it unlocked, and then it's just a lever flip to pop the bag off. But for my wife's, I wound up trying to grease it up rubbing a candle all over the connection to try and make it a bit smoother.

  15. #15
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
    I just put an ortlieb bar bag on my wife's bike. The mounting system is either ingenious or completely stupid, time (w/ loads) will tell. I'm suspecting by rep that ortlieb errs towards the former, but you never know. The ortlieb is plenty quick release, you can leave it unlocked, and then it's just a lever flip to pop the bag off. But for my wife's, I wound up trying to grease it up rubbing a candle all over the connection to try and make it a bit smoother.
    The Rixen and Kaul system actually mimics the old Blackburn system with plastic and cable. Many people remember the wire hook/bungie system but Blackburn made that clamped to the bars and eliminated the need for the bungie. I really liked it and the Rixen system is a great improvement (mostly lighter and with a positive latching system).
    Stuart Black
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