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Cycling+photography

Old 02-23-17, 08:16 AM
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dannwilliams
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Cycling+photography

If any of you follow my Strava (https://www.strava.com/athletes/155583) feed, you know I enjoy taking pictures on my rides. I want to take it up a notch, I'd like to use a dslr on some of my long rides. I have a Canon EOS Rebel that doesn't get much use, time to change that. So, I'm looking for some real life experiences from those of you who do this, there's gotta be a few on here. What do you carry the camera & lenses in? What lenses do you carry? How safe is it for the camera? Anything else I need to know?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-23-17, 08:46 AM
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I'm interested as well.
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Old 02-23-17, 09:59 AM
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I like a holster style camera bag. mine has 2 sets of d-rings. mostly now I use it across my shoulder w 1 strap. but w 2 d-rings you can add a waist strap & wear it w 1 strap around your neck & the other around your waist. great for skiing

switching lenses is a drag. I hope you have 2 zooms, 1 wide & 1 long. you can keep your 2nd lens in a trunk bag. but switching lenses is why I got a bridge camera with a very wide to very long zoom. the quality is fine

every camera store should have something like this

Canon Zoom Pack 1000 Holster Style Bag

https://www.adorama.com/cacsh.html?g...Fc-Eswod_MAF6A



right now tho I'm using a flat Nikon that I carry in a fanny pack I wear across my shoulder
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Old 02-23-17, 10:21 AM
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I have a habit of taking a lot of photos on rides. What kind of photos do you envision taking? Is photo taking the primary reason for going out on the ride, or is riding the primary reason, and you intend to take pix of things they strike you as interesting?

FWIW, this is my advice:

1. Forget the DSLR. The best camera in the world is the one you have, available and ready to shoot (sometimes on little notice) when you need it. DSLRs with interchangeable lenses are bulky, and difficult to pull into use rapidly. I've also found that all the lens changing and other stuff actually impedes my creativity. I take better photos when I have a camera that is easiest to use. Some of the best pix I've ever taken were taken on a whim. If all I had were a DSLR when I took the photo, I'm pretty sure I'd have thought about the picture, weighed it against getting out the camera, snapping on a different lens, yada yada ... and just not taken it.

Not to mention the expense. DSLR bodies aren't terribly expensive. But good lenses for them are VERY expensive. It used to be that any lens from a reputable camera manufacturer (Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, etc.) was a great lens. Not any more. The kit lenses provided with the cheaper DSLRs are marginal at best.

2. There are some awesome cameras that will give you DSLR quality (or damn near it) images that are much easier to use. The Canon G series, for example.

3. If you really have your heart set on interchangeable lens camera, consider the interchangeable lens systems without the pentaprism and flopping mirror. They are smaller, lighter, and can be packed away much more easily.

4. Just about every pix I've posted here was taken with a Canon pocket camera I purchased for $100. It has Av,Tv,P, and M priority modes (M and P are musts). Sure ... there are times I wish I had a better camera with me. But by the same token, there are times when the only reason I got a shot is that I was able to pull it out of my pocket quickly and snap the pix.
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Old 02-23-17, 10:24 AM
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Crap. Just realized I likely just gave an answer to a question that wasn't asked!

You've already decided to carry the DSLR you already have and just want advice on how to carry it and the lenses?
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Old 02-23-17, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
I have a habit of taking a lot of photos on rides. What kind of photos do you envision taking? Is photo taking the primary reason for going out on the ride, or is riding the primary reason, and you intend to take pix of things they strike you as interesting?

FWIW, this is my advice:

1. Forget the DSLR. The best camera in the world is the one you have, available and ready to shoot (sometimes on little notice) when you need it. DSLRs with interchangeable lenses are bulky, and difficult to pull into use rapidly. I've also found that all the lens changing and other stuff actually impedes my creativity. I take better photos when I have a camera that is easiest to use. Some of the best pix I've ever taken were taken on a whim. If all I had were a DSLR when I took the photo, I'm pretty sure I'd have thought about the picture, weighed it against getting out the camera, snapping on a different lens, yada yada ... and just not taken it.

Not to mention the expense. DSLR bodies aren't terribly expensive. But good lenses for them are VERY expensive. It used to be that any lens from a reputable camera manufacturer (Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, etc.) was a great lens. Not any more. The kit lenses provided with the cheaper DSLRs are marginal at best.

2. There are some awesome cameras that will give you DSLR quality (or damn near it) images that are much easier to use. The Canon G series, for example.

3. If you really have your heart set on interchangeable lens camera, consider the interchangeable lens systems without the pentaprism and flopping mirror. They are smaller, lighter, and can be packed away much more easily.

4. Just about every pix I've posted here was taken with a Canon pocket camera I purchased for $100. It has Av,Tv,P, and M priority modes (M and P are musts). Sure ... there are times I wish I had a better camera with me. But by the same token, there are times when the only reason I got a shot is that I was able to pull it out of my pocket quickly and snap the pix.
During the summer, I go out for most of the day, JRA, no particular destination or plan. I see a lot of cool, to me, scenes. I stop and take it all in, snap a few pics with the phone. I have pondered for several years the possibility of bringing the "good" camera. I just worry about the jostling about on the bike. I really don't want to strap on a back pack, but a waist pack might be an option. The kit has a nice padded carrying case, maybe a trunk rack or pannier to place that into. I understand the lenses that came with the setup are not high end, but it is what it is, and probably still better than the phone camera. Been many many years since I used manual mode, like 30+ years on my first SLR. So it will be a lot of relearning.
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Old 02-23-17, 10:55 AM
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I carry my Nikon d3300 in a bag within a bag:



The inner bag is a typical small padded camera bag without strap, the outer bag is a Timbuk2 messenger bag. This is heavy and probably overkill for protection, but it's what I use right now.
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Old 02-23-17, 11:02 AM
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go mirrorless. smaller body, still get a good sensor ... something like the Canon Powershot G5 X or Panasonic Lumix LX100 ...
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Old 02-23-17, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by dannwilliams View Post
During the summer, I go out for most of the day, JRA, no particular destination or plan. I see a lot of cool, to me, scenes. I stop and take it all in, snap a few pics with the phone. I have pondered for several years the possibility of bringing the "good" camera. I just worry about the jostling about on the bike. I really don't want to strap on a back pack, but a waist pack might be an option. The kit has a nice padded carrying case, maybe a trunk rack or pannier to place that into. I understand the lenses that came with the setup are not high end, but it is what it is, and probably still better than the phone camera. Been many many years since I used manual mode, like 30+ years on my first SLR. So it will be a lot of relearning.
Oy ... don't get me started on cellphone cameras. They can take decent pictures under ideal circumstances, but the moment the circumstances deviate from the ideal, most are little better than the old Instamatics. There is a HUGE leap in quality and versatility from a cellphone camera to even a decent pocket camera.

Honestly, my advice would be to leave the DSLR at home and get yourself a decent pocket camera. There are models out there that have amazing zoom ranges, good sensors, and offer full control if you want it. As I said, I got mine for $100, because it took AA batteries (one of the reasons I liked it). If you shop around, you should be able to find something similar.
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Old 02-23-17, 11:39 AM
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I'm considering the latest Garmin camera for both video and still: https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2016/09/...30-review.html
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Old 02-23-17, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
DSLR bodies aren't terribly expensive. But good lenses for them are VERY expensive.
Not necessarily. I guess it depends on how you define "good", but you can get sharp lenses that aren't expensive. Usually the basic 50mm primes are very sharp and inexpensive. Nikon has a 35mm crop sensor ("DX" in Nikon terminology) prime that's pretty good. The latest Nikon cheap kit 18-55 lens (AF-P) and the 18-140mm are getting good reviews. These cheap lenses have their compromises (that's why pros use expensive lenses) but you can get an unbelievable amount of resolution out of carefully chosen cheap lenses these days.
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Old 02-23-17, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
Not necessarily. I guess it depends on how you define "good", but you can get sharp lenses that aren't expensive. Usually the basic 50mm primes are very sharp and inexpensive. Nikon has a 35mm crop sensor ("DX" in Nikon terminology) prime that's pretty good. The latest Nikon cheap kit 18-55 lens (AF-P) and the 18-140mm are getting good reviews. These cheap lenses have their compromises (that's why pros use expensive lenses) but you can get an unbelievable amount of resolution out of carefully chosen cheap lenses these days.
I'll have to check out the new stuff to see how much it's improved!

My comments are based on my experience with the Canon DSLR zoom kit lenses from 5-10 years ago. Honestly ... they were junk. I finally looked up the data on them and now use them only when I can shoot at their optimum aperture ... about f/8. At other apertures, they don't perform nearly as well as my G15 at all apertures. I'm sure a lot of others don't notice it, but it's a difference that is plainly visible to me.

What the pros need and pay for is typically speed (larger apertures ... very expensive) and more rugged construction. Secondary to that is reducing lens flare and other distortions when shooting into bright light, and distortion. Most folks don't notice that stuff, so that is where the compromises are made. Distortion is virtually invisible with landscapes or anything not involving straight lines, for example.

Prime (non-zoom) lenses are much easier to design, and are smaller, less expensive, and typically better performing than zoom lenses. But they are not at all convenient. I'll take a pocket camera with a good zoom lens over an DSLR with a fixed lens any day.
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Old 02-23-17, 12:15 PM
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Photography is my other hobby... I have a full frame dSLR, a crop dSLR and a P&S with an acceptable lens.

The way I see it, the first fork on the road is,

Do you want to carry it on you, or in a bag, on a rack, pannier, anything but on you.

If the answer is on you, you are limited to a P&S or,

A Micro 4/3 camera. I have seen photos from 4/3 camera and the quality is astounding. The good thing is that there are many manufacturers of camera bodies AND LENSES, to fit every budget. A friend shoots a Panasonic Lumix body with a Leica lens.

Mirrorless could work, if you stick to mirrorless lenses. If you buy, say a Canon M5, and you want to use a regular Canon lens, you lose the advantage of having a small body. Larger format mirrorless don't really buy you much...

The other fork on the road takes you to a dSLR system. That's what I use (I have the P&S for skiing only). My travel light kit is a Canon 60D with an EFS 18-200 and a Sigma 8-16. They fit in a small bag which fits in a pannier.

Some people sneer at 'kit lenses'. Some of today's kit lenses can stand very well comparisons with much more expensive L lenses (to stick with Canon). They are not better, but they are not terribly worse either.

A Rebel T6i with the EFS18-135 STM can do very well on a bicycle tour.

I am perfectly happy with my 60D EFS 18-200 and Sigma 8-16 combination.

Frankly, I don't think I can carry my Canon 5D MkIII with the EF 24-70 f2.8 Mk II and the EF 70-200 f2.8 MkII combination (which I also own) let alone throwing in a EF 16-35 f 2.8 Mk III (that I would like to own...).
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Old 02-23-17, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
I'll have to check out the new stuff to see how much it's improved!
Only a few can really do justice to the modern cheap and excellent 16-24mpix sensors. I have a Sigma 17-50 f2.8 (about $300) that's astoundingly sharp. At f5.6 it's near perfect corner to corner. But it is big and heavy for its zoom range, with 77mm filters.

Like I said the new Nikon kit lens, 18-55mm, small, cheap and plastic, is getting good reviews for image quality, much better than previous cheap kit lenses. I'm thinking of getting one of those just for the size and weight savings - I hardly ever need the f2.8 aperture of the Sigma unless indoors.
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Old 02-23-17, 01:37 PM
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When I do carry a proper camera kit it's in an AGU Qyoto 820 weatherproof canteen shaped handlebar bag, made in the Netherlands for their weather. Pretty good bag for only $20 on sale from Nashbar back in November, and included the Klickfix adapter. Even at Nashbar's regular price (still discounted) it's a good value. A bit plasticky feeling, but it's more rain resistant than the usual ballistic nylon.

The side zipper pockets are just oh-kay but the main compartment is perfect, exactly what I wanted. I'd been using my old Beseler canteen bag, which wasn't weatherproof. Same size, so I swapped the padded compartments from the Beseler bag to the AGU Qyoto.

Main advantage to this bag is the excellent lid and quick but secure bungee straps. The lid opens away from me while I'm on the bike, which is much more efficient. The map pouch is useful and touch screen compatible, so I can stick my phone or tablet in the pouch. But I don't use apps while riding, just to record rides, so I don't need to watch the screen.

The Klickfix system puts the bag up fairly high, so it can block my handlebar video camera mount. When I use the bag I put the video camera on my helmet.

The Klickfix is secure even on badly rutted and bumpy roads and gravel, but it did flip around toward my knees once. I secured it with a small bungee cord around the stem and through the bag shoulder strap D rings.

I don't carry my dSLR, just my mirrorless cameras. Mostly I do street and candid photography so I don't need the full sized dSLR or bulky, heavy lenses. Compact cameras suit me better.

I carry either a Nikon V1 with kit zoom and adapter for my manual focus Nikkors, and flash; or a Fuji X-A1 with kit zoom and adapter for the same manual focus Nikkors. Eventually I may get one or two Fuji primes.






Mounted on my Univega. The small blue bag behind, facing toward the saddle, is a lens pouch from my Lowepro Off Trail waist pack -- handy for holding my phone, USB battery pack, or a compact camera. I just fastened the wide velcro strap across the handlebar and used a homebrewed safety tether as backup -- helped recently on a rough road when the velcro popped loose but the tether held it. Just a bit of paracord and a dollar store carabiner.




Last edited by canklecat; 02-24-17 at 02:55 PM. Reason: Added photos
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Old 02-23-17, 02:21 PM
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I'm a Canon 'point and shoot' guy with 6X zoom. 6MB pics are good enough for me, since i'm not stepping-up with overrides on the auto settings.
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Old 02-23-17, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
I'm a Canon 'point and shoot' guy with 6X zoom. 6MB pics are good enough for me, since i'm not stepping-up with overrides on the auto settings.
6 mpix is good enough for me 83% of the time. 12 mpix is good enough 90% of the time. 24 mpix is good enough 97% of the time. I need to get a 50 mpix camera for that last 3%.
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Old 02-23-17, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
I'm considering the latest Garmin camera for both video and still: https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2016/09/...30-review.html
image stabilization sounds excellent
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Old 02-23-17, 03:22 PM
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Everyone has different needs and these might change from day to day and this dictates what works best and when.

I frequently ride around with a D5 or D810 and 24-70/f2.8 hanging around me with a Blackrapid strap. I've done 70 mile per day rides through several countries like that. Works great. I will sometimes also carry a 70-200 or other longer lens in a bag if I think it necessary. Since I'm often trying to single handed stick a lens cap back on I do loose a couple of lens caps per year though (I always have extra lens caps (both ends) and an extra body cap). OTOH, I'll often leave the lens cap off while I'm riding so that I don't have to worry about that. Note that this is on an upright bike like a Workcycles Opafiets. I can grab it and shoot one-handed when necessary or worst case put a foot down and grab a shot with an extra second or two. BTW, as I've aged I've learned the value (and less pain) of a step through frame (Omafiets) when you want both feet on the ground quickly to take a shot.

A stop by a local store for some PVC pipe and tape can make a quick monopod/duopod/tripod holder. I've taped these to rear rack legs and front forks.

I have done this with two cameras also using Blackrapid dual camera but that can be a bit uncomfortable so this is only when I really want both immediately available.

BTW, I've modded my Blackrapid fasteners by adding a little set screw that I tighten after fixing it to the camera. This pretty much insures that it won't accidentally come unscrewed and I think that's the most vulnerable bit of the Blackrapid system.

I will also sometimes stick a piece of plastic (for support) in an Airport Traveler bag and strap to the rear rack when I want to carry more stuff. This provides easy accessibility to whatever I need. If I'll be carrying this on my shoulders through airports or trains I'll wait until I get to where I'm going and have a store cut down a piece of plastic for me.

Next option down is a Nikon 1, typically with a 30-110 or 70-300. Not nearly as good image quality as above but massively lighter and smaller and better than other mirrorless options I've looked at (though Sony, Olympus and others have some great options as well) and totally blows a phone or P&S. It can produce raw, jpg, or both. BTW, J5 has better specs but no viewfinder. I prefer the V3 simply for the viewfinder, particularly with the longer lens.

Finally, as mentioned above, the best camera is the one you have with you - nearly always have my iPhone.


---------


A friend is a fan of the holster bit mentioned above. I've seen him rig two holsters to the rear of his seat and one to his handlebars. The downside is that he'll not use straps and I did once see him drop a Cannon equivalent of a D3x + 70-200 on to a not so forgiving Dutch bikeway. I think he must have a better relationship with Cannon than I do with Nikon as he didn't seem too concerned.

He can reach behind with one hand to grab a camera, shoot, and put it away while riding. Amazing man.

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Old 02-23-17, 04:19 PM
  #20  
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Two paths diverged... and I take them both.


For most rides, I take a ruggedized (shock and water resistant) point and shoot, carried in my back pocket. It's quick and easy to get to, and in two or three summers of riding even my corrosive sweat hasn't degraded it.


If I'm going to the mountains, though, I'll take the bigger camera, and put it in my Ortlieb bar bag. The bag is waterproof, so I don't worry about rain (or my sweat). It's readily available, but it's still more trouble to stop, open the bag, and pull out the camera. Picture quality is frankly better than I can usually handle when I stop climbing and can barely hold it steady, though image stabilization helps.
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Old 02-23-17, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by superdex View Post
go mirrorless. smaller body, still get a good sensor ... something like the Canon Powershot G5 X or Panasonic Lumix LX100 ...
This. Mirrorless. More than capable enough for most applications, even some professional use. A whole heck of a lot easier to carry and protect.
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Old 02-24-17, 10:02 AM
  #22  
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Recently switched from using a point and shoot that I could carry in my pocket. Went to a Sony A6000. Can't carry it in my pocket tho. When it was in my backpack I didn't want to take the time to get it out. So I went with a handlebar bag. That works. I can stop pull it out and spend as much or little time as I like. Pic below.

[IMG]Cave Creek Wash Trail by res1due, on Flickr[/IMG]

This is a cheapie from Wally World. Looking at this thread I kinda like Canklecat's handlebar bag.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 02-24-17, 02:56 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by locolobo13 View Post
Looking at this thread I kinda like Canklecat's handlebar bag.
I added some photos of the bag mounted on my Univega. Good bag. Worth getting if you can still find one. Nashbar seems to be out. But I'd even consider ordering one from Europe if the exchange rate is favorable. The full MSRP isn't very appealing but the discounted prices are.
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Old 02-24-17, 03:04 PM
  #24  
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If you get a dslr get a backpack, not any kind of frame pack. You don't want to transmit vibrations to the camera or lenses.

There are oodles of good camera gear backpacks out there.
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Old 02-24-17, 04:43 PM
  #25  
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I carry a Panasonic Lumix FZ300 in a ripoff holster on a belt around my waist. Also my smart phone in a carrying case on the other side.

Ripoffs Holsters and Pouches for Flashlights, Tools, Cell Phones, and Radios.
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