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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Backpack or Roller?
Richard Favinger Jr, Photographer
Pottstown | PA | USA | Posted: 11:27 PM on 11.23.08
->> I'm getting ready to place my order, for either a ThinkTank Backpack, or Roller. But I wanted some of your thoughts first. What do you prefer?

I really think a ThinkTank Airport Security 2.0 would fit the bill. Store all my "stuff" and still have room for a laptop. Considering I don't always "take it all" for normal shoots, stashing it in the car trunk for storage is OK. And shooting in schools for wrestling, rolling would not be an issue.

On the other hand... When baseball starts, there is no way to roll at our local fields; again the bag could stay in the car, and I'll use my ThinkTank Speed Freak to lug the gear.

My only consideration of a backpack is, do I really want to backpack 30lb in gear?

Nikon D3, Nikon D2x, 24mm 2.8, 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8, 28-70 2.8, 70-200 2.8 VR, 300mm 2.8 VR, SB800, memory cards, 3 battery's, AA's... future laptop, likely 17". ... future 200-400 f/4, 200mm f/2 or 400mm f/2.8... no rush.
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 11:55 PM on 11.23.08
->> I am 51 years old and all I can say is , save your body buy a roller.
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Bob Ford, Photographer
Lehighton | Pa | USA | Posted: 12:02 AM on 11.24.08
->> I have the original Airport Security, and the built-in emergency backpack straps have been very helpful at times.

I'd get the roller and keep in mind that it has backpack straps if you really need them.
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Trevor Brown, Photographer, Assistant
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 12:16 AM on 11.24.08
->> Friends don't let friends buy backpacks.
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Ian L. Sitren, Photographer
Palm Springs | CA | USA | Posted: 12:29 AM on 11.24.08
->> Roller to travel unless you are flying in little tiny commuter airlines. And then some other gear to work in.

Backpacks are for backpacking; and to make it easier for someone to steal all your gear at once when you leave it laying around somewhere.
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Tim Snow, Photographer
Montreal | Qc | Canada | Posted: 12:44 AM on 11.24.08
->> I have backpacks and a roller, and to tell you the truth, since I bought the roller my backpacks haven't seen the light of day. The great thing about a roller,which I discovered on a recent assignment where I had to hit the airport, is that the roller hauls your gear and leaves your back free...for your other backpack!
I was able to fly out for a 2 day assignment, using my airport international to haul the gear and a North Face backpack with all of my clothes and other necessities, letting me skip the luggage check and get in and out of the airports painlessly.
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Mitchell Clinton, Photographer
Carlsbad | CA | USA | Posted: 1:00 AM on 11.24.08
->> Depending on where I'm going, I travel with either a pelican 1510 or and Think Tank Airport Ultralight and often both (think tank inside the hard case).
I have had too many friends loose equipment from the trunks of rented cars. I like to lock the pelican case to something heavy duty in the trunk so as to make it a bit more difficult to steal.
When traveling with just the Airport Ultralight I can get 2 bodies, 2 flashes, 3 extra batteries, battery charger, 70-200, 24-70 and 12-24 lenses, filters, laptop and all the trimmings. Then as my second "Personal Item" a 300 2.8 in the travel case.

I would have to say, these old bones really like the Roller on the 1510.
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Justin Edmonds, Student/Intern, Photographer
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 1:02 AM on 11.24.08
->> I'm only 23 and it's time for a roller. My Airport Security 2.0 will arrive this week and when it does my back will thank me. Better yet now I can just bring more stuff with me...kidding.
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Debra L Rothenberg, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 1:26 AM on 11.24.08
->> just an FYI..the rollers no longer have the emergency back pack strap

I just bought the Ultra light (which is for sale in the classifieds) and I have to say it is the best bag I have ever owned. Fully loaded, I don't feel the weight of it at all. I have only used it 2x but one time was at an Usher concert where it had to stay on my back for 4 hours-and I still didn't feel the weight of it.
I am only selling it because it is just too large for me-being only 5"2". I thought about keeping it and throwing it inside my Pelican but the Pelican is just too heavy to lug up subway stairs
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Jesse Beals, Photographer
Silverdale | WA | USA | Posted: 2:00 AM on 11.24.08
->> ROLLER, ROLLER, ROLLER.

Nothing worse then having a pain in the pack from lugging the gear to and from a photo shoot. I have a roller case that I use to lug over 100 pounds of gear too and from UW college games and the pro Seahawks / Mariners games.

If one arm gets tired you just switched arms to pull your gear. While if your back gets tired you have to stop and rest.
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Richard Favinger Jr, Photographer
Pottstown | PA | USA | Posted: 3:37 AM on 11.24.08
->> All right then... Thanks guys...
I just ordered the ThinkTank Airport Security 2.0 Roller. I suspect it will be here by weeks end. It should definitely hold all my gear for storage, and then some.

By the way, reading ThinkTanks spec sheet, it says the Airport Security 2.0 still has the Emergency Shoulder Straps, but the other rollers do not.
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Chris Proctor, Photographer
Crete | IL | USA | Posted: 7:34 PM on 11.24.08
->> You'll love the TT AS roller, very nice bag. My AS 2.0 had the emergency shoulder straps.
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Jason Braverman, Photographer, Photo Editor
Atlanta | GA | USA | Posted: 12:53 AM on 11.27.08
->> Saw this on eBay for $40 bucks with free shipping. I know the quality will not be as good as a ThinkTank, but I was thinking of grabbing one since I won't use it very often. What do you think?

http://tinyurl.com/6dnkm7
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Jack Gruber, Photographer
Fall Church | VA | USA | Posted: 8:54 AM on 11.27.08
->> Yep, the Think Tank Airport Security Roller is a must have. I have both the roller and the Addicted backpack. I still use the Addicted backpack on certain things but majority of the time, I will use the Security. My favorite combo nowadays when flying is the Security along with the new Think Tank Shape Shifter. Great extra carry on as a personal item with computer. When not using the security roller to travel, the Shape Shifter is what I use for a couple of bodies, long and short glass, couple of strobes and computer plus all the small extra stuff that fits into the zippered pockets. When the gear comes out of the pack, it zippers down to a nice tight compressed size. It is the perfect camera-computer bag. The Shape Shifter goes with me everywhere, everyday.
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Alan Look, Photographer
Bloomington | IL | United States | Posted: 10:32 AM on 11.27.08
->> Problem with Rollers is they get stuck in the winter snow and don't ride high enough to clear the spring puddles.

Problem with backpacks isn't really the weight, it's that no one makes one that rides correctly on the body. I shake my head every day I see a someone with a backpack that's fiding on their butt. The weight sould ride high so that it gets dispersed. Riding low, just pulls backwards on the shoulders, in turn pulling the backbone the wrong way. I have a 5000+ cubic inch external frame Kelty that I could carry all day packed with my gear. It's one of the most comfortable backpacks I've ever had. Trouble is, it isn't for carrying gear. You can't find one to carry gear that is as comfortable.

Get the roller.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
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David Bailey, Photographer
Flower Mound | TX | USA | Posted: 10:45 PM on 11.27.08
->> I love the term "save your body buy a roller" and I agree with it. Just much easier to travel with.
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Steven Ickes, Photographer
Mechanicsburg | PA | USA | Posted: 1:18 AM on 11.30.08
->> You made the right decision with the roller. I picked up my TT Airport Security a month ago and couldn't be happier. So much easier being able to pack everything together if I need to.
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Richard Favinger Jr, Photographer
Pottstown | PA | USA | Posted: 6:46 AM on 12.03.08
->> The TT Airport Security 2.0 will be here TODAY. Just checked tracking, it's Out for Delivery. Can't wait! But yes, I will be looking to a 2nd bag as carry on.

I was thinking about the Urban Disguise 60, but, now came across the nifty idea of a backpack for clothes / gear...

Got the idea from this dude:
http://www.pshizzy.com/2008/08/camera-turducken/
Check his videos at the posts end. CRAZY pack'n...
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Marc F. Henning, Photographer
Bentonville | AR | USA | Posted: 9:38 AM on 12.03.08
->> so where is this "Shape Shifter" Jack mentioned above? can't find it on the Think Tank website. must be really new.

marc
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Jeff Kowalsky, Photographer
West Bloomfield | MI | United States | Posted: 12:00 PM on 12.03.08
->> http://thinktankphoto.com/shapeshifter/
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Richard Favinger Jr, Photographer
Pottstown | PA | USA | Posted: 8:20 AM on 12.04.08
->> Any one have any videos / photo sets of detailed packing of the AS 2.0? So many dividers and options, I'm a little lost as in how best to set this sucker up.

I know for the most part I won't need my small glass,, most of the time. But the basics will always go, 28-70, 70-200, 300mm, D2x and D3. Given extra room till I do get the 200 2.0 or 400mm 2.8, I figure I could pack a change of clothes.

The thing really is a pit of a bag, the thing is huge!... My only disappointment is that my Nikon 70-200 2.8 S VR really doesn't fit standing up; or at least for me, I don't feel safe with it as such, it seems 'bulging' as an up-right.
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Matthew OHaren, Photographer
Harrisburg | PA | USA | Posted: 9:21 AM on 12.04.08
->> Richard, I imagine you've checked this out, but if not, take a look.

http://www.thinktankphoto.com/ttp_ArprtScrty_Configs.php
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Richard Favinger Jr, Photographer
Pottstown | PA | USA | Posted: 4:42 PM on 12.04.08
->> Yep... and
http://www.pshizzy.com/2008/08/camera-turducken/
But I thought there may be others... I just need to play around a little more. I guess.
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Patrick Smith, Student/Intern, Photographer
Baltimore | MD | USA | Posted: 5:10 PM on 12.04.08
->> New ThinkTank StreetWalker backpacks, including the ShapeShifter.

http://www.thinktankphoto.com/ttp_products.html
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Gavin Werbeloff, Student/Intern, Photographer
Atlanta | GA | USA | Posted: 6:38 PM on 12.04.08
->> I used to use a Lowepro Computrekker, but it was uncomfortable to wear, heavy, and didn't have any other useful pockets. Then I moved to a Tamrac Adventure 9, which was nice because it didn't look like a camera backpack, and had a large useful top pocket, but with 2 bodies, lenses and a laptop was really heavy when full.

Given the fact that I travel internationally quite often, I was cautious about getting a roller because many countries didn't have a 1 carryon plus 1 personal item policy, including the UK. Now they're back to allowing both.

I now use an Airport Int'l 2.0 for the camera gear, and a Northface Surge (or alternatively a Timbuk2 messenger bag) for the laptop. (btw, anyone who's looking for a regular laptop backpack, the Surge is the best I've seen, ever.)
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Yamil Sued, Photographer, Photo Editor
Peoria | AZ | USA | Posted: 10:01 PM on 12.04.08
->> Richard,

You made the right decision, I purchased the AS 2.0 last may for a big location shoot I had in Iowa, it has served me well for all my trips and then some!! The new TT Shape Shifter is just being released, I just called Tempe Camera and they have two or three on order and coming soon, as soon as they come in, I'm doing the 50 Mile trip to Tempe to get it, well worth the trip!! This is going to be my "Second" Personal Item on my trips next year, starting with my Orlando trip in February.

BTW, Max Simbron's website (
http://www.pshizzy.com/) is a great resource!! Max is a good friend and he's very knowledgeable and he likes to share what he knows.

If you want to see how I have my TT AS 2.0 setup, please LMK, I can take a quick shot of it and I can send it to you!! At this time I have:

One D3
Two D300's
24-70/2.8
70-200/2.8
300/4
TC-14E II
Two SB-800's
Paul C Buff Cyber Synchs
Battery Chargers for the D3 & The D300(both Chargers) (soon to be taken out to put in the 14-24)

I will also add another body or two, sometime soon if I can fith them on the AS or on the Shape Shifter :D
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Justin Sullivan, Photographer
San Francisco | CA | | Posted: 7:35 PM on 12.07.08
->> I'm going to second Gruber's affection for the new TT Shape Shifter. I have been using one for a few months and it is great. It is a perfect little backpack that doesn't kill your back when loaded. A good compliment to a roller when you just don't need to carry tons of gear. Anyone who cares can see what I have to say about it at http://sullyfoto.blogspot.com
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James Madelin, Photographer
AKL | Auckland | New Zealand | Posted: 3:51 AM on 12.14.08
->> thirded on the shape shifter, it is absolutely INCREDIBLE. i caught up with a friend who'd just flown in with a full complement of gear in an old lowepro stealth aw ii backpack yesterday. when i showed him the TT SS and said he might need to retire his stealth, he laughed and said, that thing'll never take all the stuff in my backpack.

and indeed it didn't look like it would. so we got down and started transferring his kit. incredibly, the SS took it all, could have taken more and still looked smaller fully stuffed with a complete camera kit and laptop, than the old lowepro stealth pack.

depending on the job at hand and the type of travelling involved, a roller may suit you better, but if you need a backpack for press photography or similar, look no further.
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Thread Title: Backpack or Roller?
Thread Started By: Richard Favinger Jr
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