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How I carry my Lenses, camera and tripod: Daypack, etc

When I go out for a shoot on foot or bicycle, I want to travel light. For that, there’s no better daypack than the North Face Recon.

Can you believe this 18 ounce pack can carry a Gitzo G1325 tripod, a Linhof TechniKardan 4X5, 4 lenses, two boxes of quickload film, a 1 liter water bottle, a jacket, and the other stuff needed to shoot 4X5? Amazing. It’s the best damn pack I’ve ever found. (Newer versions of this pack have more padding and weigh closer to 28 oz). No, it’s not for checking as luggage, but it works great in a luggage bin.

To carry the lenses (generally some or all of my set of 7 Zeiss ZF Lenses, plus a Nikon or Canon zoom or two), I use neoprene pouches for protection.

Most of the ZF lenses fit into the small to medium-size pouches, but the size will vary by vendor. My least favorite is the style with the clip (the Really Right Stuff one at top right. I prefer the drawstring style best (Zing at middle), as it can be left partially open, or tightened down securely, with a minimum of hard plastic annoyance attached. I also like the flip-top style (Zing at top left).

Over the years I've made the mistake of choosing mostly the same color. My advice is to choose as many different colors as possible so that you can tell which lens is which at a glance. You can get neoprene pouches like these at BH Photo or Adorama. There are many different sizes, colors and styles to choose from. Search for “Zing” or “OpTech”. You can get the North Face Recon at


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