I travel extensively across this great Canadian country. As I drive about, I am constantly searching for photo possibilities. Often it’s merely a question of recognizing a photo opportunity, parking the vehicle and getting out to explore. For years, I swung my large (and much too heavy) photo pack over my shoulder and started walking, anywhere from a few dozen meters to a kilometer or more. While I usually have a camera mounted on a tripod with a particular lens for the task at hand, once in the field, I may decide that another lens may be a better choice or simply provide me with some alternative options without having to return to the vehicle.
In the last couple of years however, I have traded my heavy backpacks for a very simplified carrying system for my frequent, short forays from the vehicle. I have combined the Tamrac Pro Digital Zoom 10 case (5630BK) with one each of the M.A.S. Pro 100 Lens Case (MX5343BK) and Pro 200 Lens Case (MX5347BK) strapped to either side. This combination has proven incredibly versatile, lightweight and extremely easy to use while providing good protection for my equipment. I carry my ‘combo pack’ either by its carrying handle or sling it over my shoulder via the padded, adjustable (and removable) shoulder strap.
The Pro Digital Zoom 10 case easily carries my large Nikon D3 or D3X body with nearly any one of my lenses attached (up to my 70-200mm, 2.8 zoom). Occasionally, I will opt for my smaller D7000 ‘wildlife’ camera instead. The front pocket enables me to carry extra memory cards, cable release, small flashlight or an extra filter or two. The M.A.S. Pro 200 Lens Case holds my 300mm lens with a 1.4x converter attached, useful when I’m following an animal or simply to give me greater versatility with my landscapes by extracting a more intimate view from the greater whole. If I suspect that a 'close up' opportunity may exist, I will take along my 200mm macro lens, including extension tubes or supplementary lens. The M.A.S. Pro 100 Lens Case on the other hand is ideal for carrying most of my smaller lenses, ranging from the 16mm fisheye to the 24-70mm zoom. Alternatively, it will also fit an SB-900 Speedlight flash. There are of course many other possibilities depending on the circumstance at hand.
Carrying heavy packs for more than 35 years has taken its toll on this poor body of mine. The above ‘combo pack’ has become my ‘go to’ solution pack for all of my short excursions, including a recent 15 to 20 km hike into the Killdeer Badlands of Saskatchewan for my upcoming book. I simply don’t leave home without it!
Full disclosure: I was approached by Gentec International to consider trying out some of their products. I agreed with the condition that I could offer my honest opinion of the products and that the products fit into my workflow.
Update: As of March 2019, I am still using the Tamrac Pro Digital Zoom 10 system. While I have tried other systems in the meantime, this one continues to meet most of my needs in the field and in the city for short forays.