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I think I have flagged this up before - http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B004TA71W2/ref=as_li_tf_tl?camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B004TA71W2&linkCode=as2&tag=f2photo00-21

 

When I bought mine they were only £32, and we got a white one too for tropical/summer trips, serves to keep gear cool even when forced to expose bag to sun (that was £49). It's 50 x 30 x 20cm which is within the smallest airline carryon limits but when stuffed full (15" latop, iPad, loads of things in the base compartment) it can measure a bit fatter. It has the main benefit of weighing just a fraction over 1 kilo empty. Unfortunately with my gear in it came out at 11 kilos for the last trip and the main culprit was my MacBook Pro+iPad (both) - a single MacBook Air would have kept it under 10. That's with a full frame DSLR, 24-105m, 12-24mm, 70-300mm, 50mm f/1.4, filters, cables, batteries, charger, small accessories. I have a ScotteVest in its stow bag hanging from one strap ring and putting it on is a nuisance, but they don't care how many jackets you are wearing... also, I bought this bag because it has the base compartment which fits my Gitzo Traveller 6X for use when shooting; I do NOT try to take this in hand baggage as despite being officially under the size they permit for tripod, umbrellas etc I nearly lost it to customs on one trip - better risked in hold luggage.

Great value.... 

However I do prefer a backpack type as many years of carrying bags over one shoulder have given me some back/neck problems which have lessened since I started using backpack with heavier loads,

I do use a small shoulder bag for my little go everywhere Fuji, and sometimes the 5D with 50mm and 24mm lenses, but nothing heavier.

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My wife prefers a backpack and switched back to using that for our last flights. I know their benefits but like to have a bag I can swing round to the front (I wear this one bandolier-style, not over one shoulder) or back depending on crowds and security risks. I've seen too many backpacks pilfered while the wearer was completely unaware. Manfrotto make an expensive version of this which has backpack straps as well, problem for me on trying it was that the internal space ended up greatly reduced by 'pro' padding and dividers, while the weight was trebled. If it was not for the weight, I'd still be using the exceptional £49 Kipling bargain I got at Focus on Imaging eight years ago - full size bag (airline limits for BA etc), complete camera internals, stowaway backpack strap system, rolling wheels and extending handle. Two DSLRs and six lenses sort of bag but it's 15+ kilos when loaded.

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I bought this bag because it has the base compartment which fits my Gitzo Traveller 6X for use when shooting; I do NOT try to take this in hand baggage as despite being officially under the size they permit for tripod, umbrellas etc I nearly lost it to customs on one trip - better risked in hold luggage.

Part of the Ryanair list of prohibited items:

8.10.1.3 Blunt Instruments: any blunt instrument capable of causing injury, including tennis rackets, baseball and softball bats, clubs or batons - rigid or flexible - e.g. billy clubs, blackjacks (truncheon of leather covered lead with flexible shaft), night sticks & batons, cricket bats, golf clubs, hockey and hurley sticks, lacrosse sticks, kayak and canoe paddles, skateboards, billiard, snooker and pool cues, fishing rods, martial arts equipment, e.g. knuckle dusters, clubs, coshes, rice flails, num-chucks, kubatons, kubasaunts.

 

Although it doesn't specifically mention tripods and I've never used it for the purpose, I think one could cause some serious damage even with a small tripod and a ball head. So mine goes in the hold baggage.

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I've lived in Rome and I've lived in Texas, in Dallas.The difference is every other person has a gun in their car in Texas. Is that still true? Rome? I've heard all the tourist rumors, of course. But I've never heard a first-person account of being mugged. They will break into your car and, given the chance, break into your room, but muggings? Don't think so. And New York is a pretty safe place these days too. 

 

I've been to 57 countries, and the only place anyone ever tried to rob me was in Bogota, Columbia. I understand they've cleaned up their act too. 

 

In America, Chicago and LA are now places to watch your back. 

 

Oh, and about luggage: it's a good idea to check the site of the airline you're flying to make sure the specs haven't changed.

 

Yes it's still true and always will be in Texas. I walk Dallas often at night and never felt uncomfortable carrying around my equipment like I did in Rome. I was there in Oct. 2011 and many natives told me how they hated the peddlers and gypsies.They are everywhere!! Never had any issues with a gypsy that mostly beg on street w/head lowered, though a couple of tourists stated they are great pickpockets.But the India men are far worse in my opinion, badgering everyone to buy their stupid cheaply made stuff. I mean in your face, don't want to take no for an answer whereas you really need to get harsh with them. One Italian told me the government is trying to figure out what to do, as no one wants them around; natives and tourists alike.Sadly there were a few in Venice and hopefully they will be stopped before they get like in Roma.

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Don't get me wrong - I'm not telling you off - but it may be a little unwise to make sweeping statements about particular ethnic groups or nationalities on a public forum like this. Immigration is a very thorny issue in Italy and indeed many other parts of Europe these days.

 

Suffice to say that pushy pedlars targeting tourists, regardless of where they come from, are really annoying and can be threatening which certainly doesn't help tourism. It's the mountains for me.

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Charly, I enjoyed my time in Dallas. I found Texans to be warm and even courtly in their manners. It's not my habit to get drunk in bars and stay out very late; that's look for trouble. And I owned a gun myself. MDM, did you know that there are a cluster of Irish Pubs in Rome just off the Piazza Navona?

 

The gypsies are everywhere in Europe; I've encountered them in Paris and Amsterdam as well as Rome. Let me risk a couple of red tickets by telling you how I deal with them. First off, traveling, I wear TravelSmith Go Anywhere pants. They have a security pocket in the front right-hand pocket with a zipper. That's where my valuables are kept. In the outside pocket I have a faux wallet with a few small bills and out of date ID doctored with a Sharpie. But I've never been mugged. When a bunch of Gypsy kids surround me, I take off my baseball cap, holding it by the peak, and slap each kids in the head until the mother on the outer parameter calls them off. So I try not to be an easy target.

 

I was just talking on the phone to my best friend in Rome. He is unaware of Indian peddlers. He says the peddlers the police have to deal with are mostly West Africans. As a group, these people are disruptive to the culture. The problem is not based on race. Italians are normally kind and accepting people as a group. The Carabinieri move them on from one place to another everyday.

 

All these groups are doing their best to survive. I wish them luck. But I will not be their victim.

Edited by Ed Rooney

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The African peddlers (bags, watches) are sufficiently settled now in many places to be known by name to locals. I've had one join a table next to us in the Canaries, put his gear down and have a drink while shaking hands and chatting to people who obviously knew him well. In France, much the same thing last month - finished his evening's rounds, handshakes with several locals as he walked  past their tables to find a seat to have a coffee. Clearly they are not all the same.

 

Has anyone managed to get a good photograph showing their female counterparts - sitting in lay-bys, on road junctions etc, clearly going about a different trade? I've passed them many times but never tried to get a pic. Not sure how I'd caption it to avoid defamation.

  • Upvote 2

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That's good to hear, David. We don't give them a hard time here in NYC either. Most can be found in Lower Midtown, in the 30s. America was founded on the principle of welcome to all comers. In my lifetime I never ever want to see a sign like the one that was common in the late 1800s: No Irish Need Apply. We are a country of immigrants. We're going through a crisis with that now. 

 

In the 1970s the US immigration service in Rome worked unofficially with a Catholic charity to try to place groups of Romani, the gypsies. These were not the aggressive beggars but people with some skills. No nation would accept them. 

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Update....

At Conns Cameras I had a good look at both the Lowepro 300 and the ThinkTank Airport Essentials. 

The Airport Essentials won out by miles..much superior build quality and even though it was more expensive I bought it, did haggle and got a bit of discount which always helps ;)

Now on to process the photos shot over the trip....

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Regular Ryanair user and found myself very limited because of my hefty D700 kit. I bought a very light hard travel case of the right & maximum size for RA and I took the wheels and sliding handle etc off, all held by screws leaving just the basic handle, this left me as much space as possible and only 2KG  max empty weight. (checked the size by going to local airport and using the RA frame) The D700 and grip plus my favourite lens take me to about 6 KG including charger leaves say 4KG. This is my travelling camera bag.

Wife has similar case unmodified which can take her clothes and some of mine. This is great for the outward trips and we buy whatever we want abroad and I pay for a hold bag only on the way back.

Specific camera bags may be great for general at home use but a full size open space, no pockets or strange shapes is much better. If you are travelling with nothing but camera equipment that's a different matter.

10 KG is not much when you talk about an SLR outfit and all the odds and ends.

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