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Archive 2012 · Carrying your 300 'baby'
  
 
EverLearning
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p.1 #1 · Carrying your 300 'baby'


Presently I have a 100-400 4.5-5.6. This lens weighs 3lbs. It is the lens I have on my 7D when hiking anywhere there is wildlife. My approach is there will almost always be enough time to change lenses to shoot scenery but there is seldom enough time to change lenses to shoot wildlife. I walk with the camera & lens cradled in one arm or the other (I am a somewhat paranoid sort, so I always have the strap on and around my neck as well). This can get a little tiring on the arms on very long hikes.

I plan on buying a 300 2.8 or a 120-300 2.8 and selling off my 100-400. I understand adding either 2lbs or 3 to 3.5lbs extra lens weight is going to make the arm cradling technique somewhat unrealistic; especially for long hikes. I would be interested to here what others do for either of these lenses.

There have been trips where I have two cameras going, one for wildlife and one for scenic (a 40D with a 17-55 or 24-105), as there is not enough time to be changing lens on one body or inclement weather makes it impractical. I am interested in what others do to manage their
'active' cameras; be it holsters, harnesses, straps or whatever.

Thanks!



Oct 26, 2012 at 02:11 PM
dgdg
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p.1 #2 · Carrying your 300 'baby'


I have a 400 f4 which has a similar size I believe. On day hikes I have a nice cps strap on the lens body with the strap on left side of my neck and lens on the right front of my body. I give it some light support with my hands to avoid banging on something and keep it towards the front. On the other side I have a little G3 with the 20mm pancake. I have a pack on my pack which is either my F-stop loka or my toddler in a kelty carrier. A bit heavy, but for day hikes worth the effort for the results. I have a telescope cap for the lens and a lenscoat soft cover. These only come off when I'm shooting. If I were to do any serious scrambling, I'd put the lens in my F-stop temporarily.


Oct 26, 2012 at 04:41 PM
EverLearning
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p.1 #3 · Carrying your 300 'baby'


dgdg, the CPS strap just looks like a regular camera strap with good padding and perhaps some give to it. How do you use the CPS strap on the lens body? Do you somehow attach it to your collar foot? I presume the camera body is on the lens when you are doing this?


Oct 26, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Rodney O
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p.1 #4 · Carrying your 300 'baby'


OP,

The Canon 300 f-2.8 has brackets to which you attach the strap. You can NOT safely carry that lens on a camera using just a strap on the camera body, except on 1D bodies. The Canon strap itself, though is plenty strong to use on the lens. But I don't think I'd trust any of the lesser straps with plastic clips.

Not sure what the Sigma 120-300 has but I would expect that it has strap brackets also.

These lenses are just too heavy for the lens mount to carry the lens weight with any safety margin. Stories are around of people ending up with the mount pulling out of the camera body.

Also a TT Glass Taxi will take the 300 lens easily and maybe with a body on & the hood reversed.

hth
Rodney



Oct 26, 2012 at 08:05 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #5 · Carrying your 300 'baby'


Rodney O wrote:
...Not sure what the Sigma 120-300 has but I would expect that it has strap brackets also.


Nope. The Sigma EX 120-300/2.8 OS does not have strap lugs. An oversight, for sure.

Rodney O wrote:
These lenses are just too heavy for the lens mount to carry the lens weight with any safety margin.


Agreed. I generally carry the Sigma on a monopod slung over a shoulder, or upside down by the handle (with an added 6" A-S rail). I'll use carabiner on a 6" hero loop (i.e. small sling for rock climbing protection) secured around the 'leg' of tripod mount foot to hang it off a strap. I haven't done this yet with the Sigma, but I have previously with similar lugless lenses.



Oct 26, 2012 at 08:31 PM
EverLearning
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p.1 #6 · Carrying your 300 'baby'


Given that I often do fairly long hikes, I'm really hoping they have the strap lugs on the new version of this lens then! If they don't, it may very eliminate the lens from consideration, as I really don't want to walk around for hours on end with a big lens on a monopod slung over my shoulder. And I certainly don't want to be cradling it in my arms for many hours either.


Oct 27, 2012 at 06:46 PM
hamsteve
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p.1 #7 · Carrying your 300 'baby'


Like you, I hike with a 100-400 mounted on a crop body, at the ready. I also usually have another body with 17-85, 10-22, or macro lens in a holster on my belt.

I carry my 50D+100-400 on a double strap that goes over both shoulders, and forms an X at the back. This puts the weight on both shoulders, not the neck, and is secure and comfortable. I usually use one hand to stabilize the rig as I move, but that hand is not bearing weight. I think I could happily handle a 500mm lens this way.

The strap I have came from a nature store and is intended for binos. It is elastic, and I find it stretches more than I would like under the weight of my gear, but I still like it overall.



Oct 27, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Harry.C
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p.1 #8 · Carrying your 300 'baby'


You really can't be the Cotton Carrier system. http://www.cottoncarrier.com/







I can hike for 6+ hours with my 100-400 like this and not feel the weight at all.

Cheers,
Harry C



Oct 27, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Rodney O
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p.1 #9 · Carrying your 300 'baby'


On the Cotton Carrier: I'm not sure it is rated to handle the weight of a 300 f-2.8 & body and the length would seem to make the combo a bit long to walk around with.

I looked at them for use with my 300 a while ago and decided not to order one. For smaller lenses it may make a handy way to carry. But you still need a hand available to keep things from bouncing or swinging while you walk-hike-scamble thru brush etc.

Rodney




Oct 27, 2012 at 09:48 PM
anakha
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p.1 #10 · Carrying your 300 'baby'


In July, I carried my Sigma 120-300 OS with TC and 5D3 on a 6km walking safari in Zambia.

To do this comfortably, I have a BlackRapid RS-7 strap which goes over my left shoulder.

That strap screws into a RRS long-lens support rail. The Sigma 120-300 OS lens has a RRS rail attached to its foot which is held onto the top-side long-lens support by a clamp.

I have a Gitzo monopod with Markins Q10 head clamped onto the underside of the long-lens support. I walk with the monopod retracted if in a crowd, but out on safari I had it fairly extended so that I could quickly swing up the long-lens support and take a shot.

I have a backup loop which connects the RS-7 to the foot of the Sigma lens. This is a protection against the risk of failure of any part of the connections between the RS-7, the long-lens support or the foot of the lens. It saved my bacon once on the safari, so for $11 or so, it was a brilliant investment.

This kit weighs 5.5kg (12lbs). It is a good workout, but carriable on a 3 hour hike.

Anakha



Oct 27, 2012 at 09:54 PM
 

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mogul
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p.1 #11 · Carrying your 300 'baby'


I use my cotton carrier for long hikes with my sony 70/400. That is as much weight I would feel comfortable with hanging from the lens mount. The 300 is too large. An answer to a previous response, the carrier has a strap which goes over the lens to keep it secure to the body.


Oct 28, 2012 at 01:45 PM
3iron
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p.1 #12 · Carrying your 300 'baby'


I have just ordered the Opteck reporter strap and applicable extensions to carry my 1DX + 300 2.8 combination, I also am hoping to use it with my 600 II combination.
As I have not used this yet, I can't really comment on how it works, but thought I wolud at least suggest it for you to look at.
Best wishes.



Oct 28, 2012 at 05:13 PM
EverLearning
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p.1 #13 · Carrying your 300 'baby'


Thanks for the suggestion Harry. It looks interesting. Unfortunately, the 100-400 is less than 1/2 the weight of the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8, so it may not work (I couldn't find any specs on weight capacity). It's also 4" longer.

Anakha, that sound like an intriguing configuration. You wouldn't have a picture of that by any chance, would you? Also, what prompted you to chose the RS-7 over the Sport Strap? They both seem to be suitable and it is hard for me to tell when you would use one over the other.

I will be doing some snowshoeing, so there would be an advantage to having something that secures the body/lens in the front rather than the side. But like everything else, it may be expecting too much to get a great system for hiking that is also usable for snowshoeing.

Thanks



Oct 29, 2012 at 03:20 AM
anakha
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p.1 #14 · Carrying your 300 'baby'


Everlearning,

I didn't make a conscious decision between the Sport Strap or the RS-7... I just bought the RS-7.

Below are some bad photos taken of my setup for safari and sports shots - where mobility is needed. These were taken in a hurry on my P&S, so I don't plan to include them in my modelling portfolio ;-)

If I don't have to move often or swiftly (eg when shooting landscapes rather than lions and leopards / surfers), I'd swap out my monopod for my tripod. The OS on the Sigma 120-300mm lens is very good, but no OS can match being locked down on a tripod for a longer exposure.

This setup does permit the lens to swing whilst walking, but a hand resting lightly on the lens foot takes care of that. It might not be ideal for snow shoeing if you use handpoles for balance.

Anakha

EverLearning wrote:
Thanks for the suggestion Harry. It looks interesting. Unfortunately, the 100-400 is less than 1/2 the weight of the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8, so it may not work (I couldn't find any specs on weight capacity). It's also 4" longer.

Anakha, that sound like an intriguing configuration. You wouldn't have a picture of that by any chance, would you? Also, what prompted you to chose the RS-7 over the Sport Strap? They both seem to be suitable and it is hard for me to tell when you would use one over the other.

I will be doing some snowshoeing, so there would be
...Show more






Setup for taking photos - Gitzo monopod, Markins Q10 head, RRS Long Lens Support, Sigma 120-300 OS, 5D3, BlackRapid RS7 strap, Optech backup strap







monopod collapsed - not good in a crowd of people, but faster to setup for photos







monopod collapsed and dropped down - better in a crowd of people, but takes longer to set up for a shot




Oct 29, 2012 at 06:49 AM
penpro
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p.1 #15 · Carrying your 300 'baby'


I'm surprised that the 120-300 doesn't have a place for the strap on the foot. I have the 150-500 and it looks, from pictures that the foot is the same and it has a bar across the foot and a strap that came with it. That strap isn't very good and got replaced fast but I have hung that lens over my shoulder for long hikes without a problem. I have a quick release foot with a mono pod so that I can use the mono pod as an aid when hiking.


Oct 29, 2012 at 11:02 PM
anakha
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p.1 #16 · Carrying your 300 'baby'


Penpro,

There is a metal bar on the back of the foot of the 120-300 to which you can attach a strap. It is what I attached the OpTech loop which I use as a backup on my kit. It is slightly visible in the second and third photos above.

Anakha



Oct 29, 2012 at 11:39 PM
EverLearning
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p.1 #17 · Carrying your 300 'baby'


Anakha and penpro, do you find the lens hangs fairly nicely because of its weight or that it constantly bangs into your leg when hiking? A new lens and camera may change the way I shoot and what I shoot somewhat, but I would be very surprised if I wasn't still doing multihour hikes. Getting banged in the leg 10,000 times over several hours by about 10lbs of camera and lens wouldn't be fun!


Oct 30, 2012 at 05:52 PM
penpro
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p.1 #18 · Carrying your 300 'baby'


Well I hang it at a length that I can just get my left arm bent through the strap. So the strap if over my right shoulder and hanging on the left side. It hangs almost level when zoomed to 150 and the zoom is locked, not a problem with the 120-30 I gather as it is an internal zoom is it not? I guess that also depends on the weight of your body. I have a D7K with a grip but the grip really doesn't add much unless it has batteries in it. For the most part I have a hand on the foot just in case I slip and need to lift the camera but often I don't and just let it hang and it has not bothered me much at all.

I also have an Evolution back pack that can be setup as a sling so it is hanging on the same shoulder mostly with the left strap over the left shoulder that I can just flick off as well. If you have a bunch of hiking to do you can also put the waist strap of the back pack around the straps of the lens to hold it against you. You can't quickly grab it if need be when it is like that how ever so it always worries me a bit when I have tested that.



Oct 30, 2012 at 06:10 PM
anakha
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p.1 #19 · Carrying your 300 'baby'


Everlearning,

The lens hangs quite nicely, but I usually keep one hand lightly against its foot when I am walking to reduce the risk of it bumping into people/tree branches/rocks, etc as I hike. It also reduces (slightly) the amount of impacts the lens receives from every step you take over broken ground.

The trick to making it more comfortable is to ensure that all of the knobs/quick release levers, etc are aligned on the side of the kit away from your body.

For example, the silver and black knob that screws down onto the foot of my Sigma 120-300 lens (visible in the third photo) is really uncomfortable if it is mounted on the other side of the kit (ie so that it presses into my leg all the time).

Quick release levers on your gear are more comfortable than knobs if you can afford them - I just haven't gotten around to swapping out that double bracket yet.

Anakha




Oct 30, 2012 at 09:11 PM
EverLearning
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p.1 #20 · Carrying your 300 'baby'


Thanks for the updates penpro and anakha.

I wish I lived in a larger city where I would actually be able to check out the more 'exotic' gear in the store. I hate making key decision somewhat blind. As I am considering a substantial change to my kit, it isn't economical for me to consider renting everything to try it.



Oct 31, 2012 at 03:46 AM
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