You probably have one or more camera bags to carry your camera gear. A shoulder bag, a backpack, maybe a trolley. Do you pack your camera in your bag with or without a lens? Or does it depend on how you use your camera bag?
There are many ways to pack your camera bag. Everyone has a preferred way of placing equipment in the main compartment. It also depends on the type of bag you use. A shoulder bag will have a completely different way of placing equipment.
I think different types of bags are for different types of photography. The backpack is perfect for carrying your gear during hikes. It allows a lot of weight to be carried without much difficulty. Unless, of course, you have a poorly designed backpack.
A shoulder bag provides better access to the ground. You can easily grab a lens or camera as you don’t need to take a backpack off your back. There are backpacks that allow you to spin them in front of you. But often this is not so convenient, especially when it involves a lot of heavy equipment.
I also drive a car, which can be very useful at weddings. It gives you the flexibility to take some extra equipment with you without hanging it over your shoulder or putting it on your back for easy access.
I wrote a post about camera bags and their purpose. Long time ago. But no matter which bag you use, how do you fit your camera into that bag? Is the lens attached or is the lens attached?
How Do You Pack Your Camera In Your Backpack?
I believe the most common camera bag is a backpack. This is understandable, because while you can carry a lot of equipment, its weight is not much of an issue when carrying it on your back. Carrying a heavy backpack can be a little more difficult when removing it and putting it back on your back. But overall, the most convenient way to take your photographic equipment with you.
But how do you store your camera in a backpack? Do you have the lens attached? Are the lenses separate next to the camera body? I think the best way is to place the camera in a backpack without the lens attached.
To understand why you should consider using a backpack. It is for transporting equipment from one place to another. A good backpack is not designed to be quickly accessible. After all, if you want to get your camera, you have to take out your backpack, put it in a safe place, open it and take it out.
If you’ve kept your camera with a lens attached, is this the lens you want to use for a particular moment? Most likely not, which means you need to change lenses. Once you’ve taken the shot and want to put the camera back in the backpack, you’ll have to change the lens again as it won’t fit any other way.
One reason many pack their camera with the lens attached is for fear of getting dust or particles on the sensor from lens replacement. If you already have a lens attached, you seem to have reduced the risk. But unfortunately it will force you to change lenses more often. Not only because you have to attach another lens for your shot, but also because you have to reattach the previous lens because it would not fit otherwise.
My Advice is to Store the Camera in a Backpack Without a Lens
If you use a backpack a lot, make sure the layout is for a camera body without a lens attached. That way, instead of removing a lens first, you can take the lens you need and attach it directly.
There are also sling bags that allow you to rotate the bag for quick access to the camera compartment. These bags are usually designed to carry the camera with the lens attached. But still, how do you know you need that lens? In the worst case scenario, you will have to replace the lenses with such a bag as well.
I believe these messenger bags out there are generally the best choice for photographers who only use a camera and a lens. This is the only good reason to pack a camera with a lens attached in a backpack. After all, if you only have one lens, there is absolutely no reason to remove it.
What Happens to Shoulder Bags and Trolleys?
Do not take a shoulder bag when carrying a lot of equipment with you. A heavy shoulder bag is something you should always avoid. It’s fine for a light setup, maybe with just one extra lens. And it offers some advantages over a backpack.
When I use a shoulder bag, it contains a camera and a lens or two. maybe three, just As I should with three prime numbers in French Tarn. Changing lenses is easy, you don’t need to put the bag down. I also prefer to have a lensless camera in the bag, but not always. It depends on how many lenses I take with me and in what condition. If I have a second lens just for a special occasion, I keep the other lens attached to the camera.
The car I use for my wedding photography has a few extra lenses and a pair of flashes. I use a harness to carry the cameras for direct access and change lenses occasionally. Since I have two cameras, each equipped with a different lens, it’s easier to attach the camera to it and a lens. But if I’m ready to shoot the wedding, I take the lenses out of the camera before putting them in the bag.
Store Your Camera Optimally
I don’t want to tell you how to pack your camera in a backpack. In no way. You have to make up your own mind and choose your preferred path. But I want you to think about it and carefully consider the pros and cons. I believe it would be better if you did the layout of the main compartment of your backpack with lenses separately from the body of your camera.
If you use a backpack to carry your photographic equipment, is your camera with or without a lens? Please share in the comment below why you chose this path and what is the benefit of your photography.
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