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Camera + bike =.......?

mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
13 May 2012 3:13PM
I am not a keen mountain biker but use it more as a means of pootling around the locale with my camera. I have a LowePro Flipside 400 backpack which holds the gear I need and that is fine for landscape or macro work where I generally have time to dismount and get gear out of the bag. Does anyone have any suggestions for carrying my camera so it is immediately accessible such as seeing wildlife shots. I would like any solution to work with my 7D+100-400L.
The main ways to do this that I can think of are wearing my backpack to carry 'other gear' and have a chest harness or similar to carry the 7D; use the backpack + a bike bag of some sort to carry the camera; camera on a chest harness or in a waist belt with 'other gear in bike bag.
If I will be using a chest harness it needs to be high enough on the chest such that the lens does not knock against the crossbar. And I am not sure about bike-mounting the camera because of the vibration on rough tracks. I have used a Kata should bag but it keeps annoyingly slipping round especially shen pushing hard uphill.

If I was going 'fully loaded' (in other words I don't know what the hell I want to take pictures of) I would take 7D, 100-400, 100mm f2.8 macro, filters, tripod, and maybe 30D as second body to avoid too many lens changes.

Any experience from biker/photographers on how you carry your gear is keenly awaited.

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LenShepherd 10 3.6k United Kingdom
13 May 2012 4:21PM
Actually maybe other way round - pedal cycle plus camera Smile
I have been doing this since I got my first camera almost 49 years ago.
I ride touring bikes and carry the camera, sometimes with a selection of lenses, in a saddlebag, panniers or a front handlebar bag - depending on how far I plan to travel.
puertouk 6 1.1k 17 United Kingdom
13 May 2012 7:39PM
Get the wife to carry your camera as she jogs alongside you and when you see a shot, grab the camera from her! Wink Hope this helps...
Stephen Smile
Cristian 13 950 1
13 May 2012 10:48PM
I've seen rack packs that are designed for padded camera carrying. Guess it depends if you have/or are able to fit a pannier rack.

I've done a fair bit of cycling & photography and have the same bag as you. I tend to carry a 50D, 24-105L & Siggy 10-20 lens. Which felt bloody heavy when I did the Devon C2C Wink

Cephus Plus
13 2.4k England
14 May 2012 11:34AM
Dvaid 9 257 United Kingdom
14 May 2012 11:41AM
The bigger the bag the more you'll carry.

My solution is to pack a small good quality digital and leave the rest in the backup vehicle if you have one.That way you can stop hail the van, get the gear out, snap away and pack away before the next stage, whilst being able to take amazing photos whilst pedalling along the route too.
30 May 2012 11:04PM
id say go for a front panier rack, or even a basket if youre really daring, and strap the important stuff up there. keep the rest on your back to save the weight shifts and keep your balance.

i ride with a camera as well, personally, i use a messenger bag that i can just swing under my shoulder and access it all from the front of me without taking the bag off.
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
31 May 2012 8:41AM
Thaks for all the comments. I will keep looking at these and I am sure I will get there (eventually!).
31 May 2012 10:58AM
Keen to hear how you get on Mike, I too have been looking at ways to carry my 7D and lenses on my mountain bike. I tried the backpack idea on Arran but it just killed my back.
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
31 May 2012 11:06AM
I have been thinking about a camera chest harness but my main problem has been that the zoom even when retracted can knock against the crossbar and the harnesses seems to carry the camera at midriff which would not solve the problem.
Maybe I have to reduce the amount of gear I carry? Or saddle bag for non-electronics and messenger bag (or slingpack) for the camera/spare lens with a waist belt to stop it sliding round.

I have come to the conclusion that this hobby is not expensive - it's all the bloody accessories. Tongue
31 May 2012 11:19AM
I was looking at the Water Bottle holder bit on the bike, slide the camera in lens first with lots of padding to protect it and something to secure it, that way I can go for the quick draw when I spot my wildlife subject..... or its bottom as it runs away in my case Wink
It's a work in progress
robs 14 681 2 United Kingdom
19 Jun 2012 4:22PM
Most the people I know who do mountain bike photography use either a chest harness with something like a LowePro Toploader on it or one of the Ortlieb holsters. There are a couple now using the Lowe Pro Photo Sport line which look very interesting, and there is also the new Aquapack bag which I was having a gander at a couple of years back at the Mountain Film Festival.
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
19 Jun 2012 11:17PM
Cheers Robs - those sound interesting
jimthistle73 14 2.4k 1 United Kingdom
19 Jun 2012 11:35PM
This question comes up a lot on mountain biking forums. I usually just wrap the camera in a fleece or jacket and stick it in a small rucksack. Takes just a few seconds to get it out and it's as protected as it possibly can be.
cuffit Plus
11 323 5 England
20 Jun 2012 2:53PM
I have been through similar experiences and thoughts about bags over the last few years. I have to say that given the kit you want to carry then the only option surely is in the right bag on your back or in a pannier as has already been suggested, although I am not sure I would use the latter for your gear. I know that modern bikes have front and back suspension these days but the roads round my way still jolt the hell out of me on occasion, let alone tracks. If the bag is on your back and your subject static, then getting out the kit out should not be an issue., or at least no more of a faff than it might be however you had arrived, car motorbike etc. If speed and grab shots are what you are looking out for then I carry a Canon G5 compact in my 'bum-bag' around my waist and sarnies and drink in a day sack; age plays a part here and any weight I can shed helps the old legs! The G5 is old but still takes passable shots and if it gets crushed or dropped I will not be bothered (as long as I haven't joined it!!) - but a 7D and a 100-400, I would be more than tearful. I found that I was starting to look for solutions that cost an awful lot of money (as you have mentioned above) as no one bag would fit what I wanted. I am now down to a cheap rucksack which I can use for anything, a strong bum bag and a good camera bag (which I rarely take on the bike now. I then make everything fit in around that depending on what I intend to do.


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