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|| SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 2002-10-01

In The Bag
By Peter Read Miller, Sports Illustrated

Photo by Peter Read Miller

Photo by Peter Read Miller

Peter's Domke F-805 Courier Satchel on the outside.
As an SI shooter with a fondness for football, my weekend assignments from late August to January mainly consist of a college game on Saturday and a pro game Sunday. Living, as I do, in the "town with no team" NFL-wise, Sunday is always on the road; and, with the exception of the occasional USC or UCLA game, I start most weekends departing Friday and return Sunday night or Monday morning.

Here's what I take with me on these trips:

Carry On Bag #1-Domke F-805 Courier Satchel.
For years I was a fan on the Domke F-1X "Little Bit Bigger" bag, however, after 9/11 I switched to the satchel as I feel that it's appearance is much closer to the "small personal item-briefcase or handbag" - allowed as a second carry-on (in nearly 100 flights I've never been challenged on this). In fact the satchel will hold just about as much as the F-1X and with all it's compartments and pockets is easier to keep organized.

So, what's in it?

Main body of the bag:

Photo by Peter Read Miller

Photo by Peter Read Miller

Peter's Domke F-805 Courier Satchel inside.
•2 Canon EOS-1v bodies (or EOS-1D's if we're shooting digital)Domke lens holder insert
•16-35 zoom, 70-200 zoom, 85 f1.8 (my around the neck lens), 1.4 extender, Minolta meter.
• Film or CF Cards, camera batteries (digital), book-all these items sit on top of the cameras and lenses-as the bag is quite deep.
• Front Pouches: More film, tape, lens cleaning cloth, flashlight, AA batteries, extra synch cords, etc.
• Inside Zipper and Flap Pouches: Game credentials, MLB pass (once used as ID for boarding a plane after I lost my drivers license in DIA), extra house key, Palm Pilot-things of value.

Top Outside Zipper Pockets:
Itinerary, cell phone, car keys, gum.
The bag also has an outside rear pocket that is great for magazines and newspapers and the inside main area is divided with just enough room for my Sony Vaio laptop.

Carry On Bag #2-Tamrac Rolling Case 20"x14"x8"

Photo by Peter Read Miller

Photo by Peter Read Miller

Peter's Tamrac Rolling Case.
I have 2 of these cases, when I tried to look up the model number I couldn't find an exact match so I suspect the Tamrac has changed their line. In any case this case is a size that has always fit in any overhead (on a real size plane). It is sturdy enough to survive the occasional gate check and most importantly the handle is long enough for some 6'3" to pull it comfortably. I've had these cases for 3 or 4 years and the only problem has been a zipper on an outside pocket.

What's in it?

• Canon 400 F2.8 IS Lens
• Gitzo Carbon Fiber monopod
• Canon EOS-1v body
• Mountain Hardware belt pouch
• Canon 2x extender
• Light Gortex raincoat
• Light Gortex rain/wind pants
• Kneepads
• More film if necessary
• Film and shipping envelopes

If I know I'm going on a small plane and the case will be gate checked, I pack an extra sweatshirt for padding.

Photo by Peter Read Miller

Photo by Peter Read Miller

Inside Peter's Versa-Flex case.
So now I am carrying on everything I need to shoot my assignments. Yes it's a lot of weight (throwing the Tamrac roller up into the overhead is never a joy), and yes It's harder in these days of travel; but to me it is an absolutely essential to travel this way.

Checked Bags:

For shorter trips in moderate weather, I try to only check 1 bag plus my cart (currently an ancient Kart-A-bag). When I need heavy clothes, or if the trip is extended, I add a large Lightware duffel bag. Even if I don't need all the room in the bag, I have found that the Kart-a-bag will fir in the duffel, thus meeting the 2 checked bag limit.

My checked bag is a Versa-Flex case (27"x20"x12"). Both Lightware and Tenba make some great cases, but I like metal frame in the Versa-Flex. I do not, however, use their long lens mounting system-it just never worked for me. Instead I put my long lens (Canon 600 F4 IS) in a Garagear lens bag and then into a Lightware long lens case with my Aquatech rain covers stuffed in as padding (the rain covers are moves up to the Tamrac if rain is in the weekend's forecast). This protects the lens and gives me the Lightware bag to carry extra film or rain gear into the game.

Photo by Brad Mangin

Photo by Brad Mangin

Peter Read Miller (bottom row, center, in black) in action covering the Raiders on September 29, 2002.
In addition to the 600 this case holds:

• Gitzo Carbon Fiber monopod
• EOS-1v Body in Lightware camera pouch
• Canon 550EX Flash
• Camera battery charger
• Phone charger
• Clothes and toilet items

So, this is how I do it. I doubt any two photographers would ever pack the same exact way, but this is what works for me.

(Peter Read Miller is a staff photographer with Sports Illustrated based in Southern California. Peter will be a keynote speaker at the upcoming Sports Shooter Workshop & Luau 2002.




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