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Thread: First Trip with the Smart Alec as a Camera Bag

  1. #1
    Registered User taminca's Avatar
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    First Trip with the Smart Alec as a Camera Bag

    A warning that this is a long post in several parts and lots of photos! But the Aubergine/Black/Wasabi Smart Alec deserves every bit of the limelight.

    PART 1:

    I bought an SA awhile back to carry my camera gear while out hiking on photo trips, but the cavernous main compartment scared me a little, so I haven't used it. I've been using my Nordic S25, which holds my photo gear very nicely, except for the tripod, which I stuck into the water bottle holder pocket. It's fine for a short walk but gets awkward for longer hikes....plus, I want a place for my water bottle!

    So, this weekend, I packed up the SA with my camera gear...

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    Have I mentioned how much I love TB's pouches? The Size 4 Knitting Tool Pouch in particular is perfect for holding filters!

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    I used a Crumpler Insert to hold my SLR camera with attached zoom lens and an extra lens. The rest went into various pouches...

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    And then into the SA's main compartment...

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    Last but not least are the Travel Tray and Aubergine Side Effect...

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    To be continued in PART 2...
    "Inside everyone is a great shout of joy waiting to be born."
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  2. #2
    Registered User taminca's Avatar
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    PART 2:

    One side pocket...

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    Yes! My water bottle found a home in the other side pocket...

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    And, finally, the tripod is strapped in...

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    I added an Aubergine Upper Modular Pocket later (and did not take a photo) to hold a pack of tissues, a granola bar, and my compact camera. Then I loaded the SA and my Aubergine WF in the trunk and off we went...

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    To be continued in PART 3...
    "Inside everyone is a great shout of joy waiting to be born."
    -- David Whyte

  3. #3
    Registered User taminca's Avatar
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    PART 3:

    First stop was Shasta Dam and Reservoir in Northern California. We had some recent rain so there's finally more water but still lots of brown earth exposed because the lake is not full...

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    A different view of Shasta Dam and Shasta Lake, with a bit of Mt. Shasta... and yours truly to model the fabulous SA...

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    Second stop was Burney Falls State Park, where the day was perfect for a little hike to the falls...

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    Taking a rest by Burney Creek...

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    And here's the SA at Burney Falls...

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    One more photo in PART 4...
    "Inside everyone is a great shout of joy waiting to be born."
    -- David Whyte

  4. #4
    Registered User taminca's Avatar
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    PART 4:

    Actually, getting to the falls was pretty easy...even taking the longer "loop" trail, which was well-maintained and even paved at the end near the falls.

    The SA was comfortable to wear, easy to open to take out my camera gear and then easily repacked to resume the hike. The tripod was secured in its straps and very well balanced in the middle of the SA. I had to do just a little bit of scrambling during the hike and did not notice the weight on my back at all. As a vertically-challenged 5'3" person, the SA was a bit big on me, but so well designed that I experienced no discomfort for the 2.5 hour hike (with many photo stops).

    All in all, a huge endorsement from me for the SA as a camera bag, complete with straps to hold a tripod. Thanks, TB!

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    "Inside everyone is a great shout of joy waiting to be born."
    -- David Whyte

  5. #5
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    @taminca Amazingly color-coordinated and beautiful pictures of bags and scenery. I have an Aubergine/Wasabi Smart Alec, too (also with the upper modular pocket) that I haven't really used yet, although my Synapses (19 and 25, both original Cordura and 400d Dyneema) see plenty of action. I'm impressed that even the anodized metal of your tripod matches the color scheme!
    Quote Originally Posted by taminca View Post
    Have I mentioned how much I love TB's pouches? The Size 4 Knitting Tool Pouch in particular is perfect for holding filters!
    I like the new Knitting Tool Pouches a lot for general purpose use, and hope they will make the size 4 pouch available in Kiwi, which looks great with Aubergine and Nordic, as well as matching your Ultraviolet and Wasabi Dyneema accessories. (See doornum3's photo of her Tom Bihn collection, with many examples of Kiwi Ballistic, Wasabi, Ultraviolet, and some great Swifts/Little Swifts in Cork, Hemp, and Kiwi.)

    In the Two kinds of people? thread, flitcraft mused on the fact that preferences for purple shades like Aubergine was one if the most polarizing colors she knew of. Later in that thread new forum member sturbridge lamented:
    Quote Originally Posted by sturbridge View Post
    I'm in the I hate purple camp. And I'm wanting to purchase a Little Swift. There are only 3 choices and 1 has purple on the outside and 1 has purple on the inside. <sigh> Not all girls like purple, and just because its a "girls" bag, why do 2 of the 3 choices have to be purple?
    I suspect that the answer is that among the people who love colors like Aubergine, there are several who take great pictures of their favorite bags, thereby spurring other with similar preferences to purchase these bags, and discuss/clamor for them in the forums.

    Great pictures!

    moriond

  6. #6
    Registered User Ilkyway's Avatar
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    @ taminca: you are tempting me to by the SA. That is exactly the color-combo I would by although I'd rather by a aubergine/steel/wasaby one. I love your pictures! May I ask you what the SA weight when fully loaded?

    By the way: the bag looks very good on you. I would never think "she should not be wearing such a big backpack".

  7. #7
    KmK
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    Love the pics!! You do justice to a great bag that is spacious but not cumbersome. Others have pointed out your color coordination...but aside from the beauty of the nature surrounding you, what caused me paused was looking at your tripod strapped to your bag and seeing a turtle head!! The leg hinges for eyes, mouth open in the middle...
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  8. #8
    Registered User taminca's Avatar
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    @moriond, green has always been one of my favorite colors (along with blue) so when I "discovered" TB, I just gravitated toward Wasabi. With Wasabi Dyneema as the lining in my S19, UV was a nice contrasting color for accessories... so began the Wasabi-UV color scheme. The green-anodized tripod I've had all along and it just happened to color coordinated. Although, I must confess that since I've been using the Nordic S25 as my camera bag, I started to eye a blue-anodized tripod! Thank to this weekend's trip, I am no longer afraid to use the SA and, consequently, can resist getting another tripod : )

    Thanks for the link to @doornum3's photo. Love that Kiwi and second your hope for the size 4 knitting pouch in that color. That entire thread has awesome photos of TB collections. I'll have to find a large enough space with good light to do my own TB Hall of Fame shot! So far, it'll be lots of Aubergine and Nordic. To be honest, I've never considered myself a fan of purple and Aubergine did not strike my fancy at first. You are absolutely correct that the photos people take of their favorite bags and the Forum discussions are really influential. BTW I credit @dorayme for starting my Aubergine addiction!

    @llkyway, I just weighed the SA with my camera gear and it was 16 lbs. That's with the tripod attached, but without the Travel Tray and Side Effect, which is about right for my hike. The Travel Tray contained chargers and other knick-knacks that are not needed during a hike, so I left it in the car trunk. The Side Effect also was not necessary since I pulled out the TB Organizer Wallet and stuffed it in my pocket. There were lenses that I did not use, nor did I use the binoculars, so I could lighten the load but probably won't since it was comfortable and I might need whatever I leave behind (Murphy's Law)!

    @KmK, thanks for the laugh to start my day! Your observation is right on and so hilarious... I shall think of Yertle the Turtle from now on whenever I use my green tripod. Thanks!
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    "Inside everyone is a great shout of joy waiting to be born."
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  9. #9
    Registered User Ilkyway's Avatar
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    Thank you taminca for your answer. I think I have to train my shoulder muscles. I get wimpy at about 10 lbs. You said that 2,5 hours where without problems/fatigues. I will take my TB backpack for some training-walks and put everyday a book more in it. You made 16 lbs my goal. I hate leaving thinks behind because I am just to weak. Murphy rules in this household very strictly.

  10. #10
    Registered User taminca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilkyway View Post
    You made 16 lbs my goal.
    @llkyway, it just occurred to me that along the hike, I sometimes just carried by hand the tripod instead of strapping it back onto the SA (unfolded it can serve as a walking stick) and that reduces the pack's weight by 2.6 lbs! But it WAS more comfortable strapped to the SA.
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    "Inside everyone is a great shout of joy waiting to be born."
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  11. #11
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    Great thread, taminca! Will you be sharing this photoset with Tom Bihn's Flickr account?
    Owner of: Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  12. #12
    Registered User taminca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    Great thread, taminca! Will you be sharing this photoset with Tom Bihn's Flickr account?
    Um...is there a Dummies' Guide on how to do that?
    "Inside everyone is a great shout of joy waiting to be born."
    -- David Whyte


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