Compared to Western people, I am a relatively short at about 158 cm. When I carry the same equipment or bags as people with larger frames, I often feel that I, not the camera bag is the accessory.
As a result, when travelling by plane, I always get reproached for my camera bag size at the check-in, and am told to weigh my bags.
In the past, I preferred roller type camera bags, but then I realized the size does not stick out as much as with backpack types, so up until lately I have been using waterproof type backpacks permitted for carry-on.
Since it is fairly resistant to rain, it ended up being one of my favorites. Being a bit bulky when carried on the back, it presented a slight problem during check-in.
So I decided to use it almost exclusively for domestic travel by car or train.
While using the “Professional Backpack 50 “ in a trial-and-error fashion, I found my own best packing method.
This summer during the Brazil World Cup, I tried stuffing all my equipment in one bag for a domestic flight.
The material I stuffed in the bag was a full set of Nikon equipment necessary for shooting the games– a 400mm/F2.8 telescopic lens, 70-200mm/F4 and 24-70mm/F2.8 zoom lenses, as well as a 1.4 x teleconverter lens, one strobe and finally two camera bodies.
And of course, a computer to send my photos and small accessories such as a card reader, light meter, recording media and external HD.
When stowing a full set the “Professional Backpack 50, “ is capital because it allows you to store a lot in limited space. Because the bag is quite tough, the lid portion having a lot of tough protection, for equipment contained within–if you wrap all the equipment in their individual sleeves–there is no need for internal dividers.
↓ This is the bag I have been using up until recently stuffed with equipment.
↓ This the Manfrotto Professional Backpack 50 with the same equipment packed inside.
From external appearance, the Professional Backpack 50 could easily be mistaken for a 400mm/F2.8 case.
Here’s a visual comparison with the bag I have been using up to now of the external appearance when carried.
In the Brazil World Cup, because regulations concerning carry-on baggage were relatively lax, I was able to bring both “Professional Backpack 50” and the roller bag “Professional Roller Bag 70” on board.
Of course, part of the reason I was given a break was because I had a special AD card for members of the press.
When on for several days’ shooting trips away from Rio de Janeiro where I was based during the competition, this roller bag came in very handy for its ability to fit a change of clothes and a folding chair.
Normally a unipod is not permitted as carry-on luggage as it is considered dangerous, however I was allowed in most cases in Brazil.
Even if you have to check-in, the “Professional Backpack 50” gives you peace of mind with its ability to store your entire set of photographic equipment etc.
Should the checked-in bags not arrive for some reason, at least you have photographic equipment in hand.
For professional photographers, this is the most important point.
Note: regarding the bags mentioned in the article, whether taking it on board is actually permitted will depend on the situation at the airport of countries including the airline and aircraft type. In my experience, it is generally possible to carry Professional Backpack 50 and Professional Roller Bag 70, however, depending on the weight, there are times when carrying both on board may be denied depending on the total weight.