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Thread: Smart Alec interior dimensions for a camera insert?

  1. #1
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    Smart Alec interior dimensions for a camera insert?

    Calling all Smart Alec owners... would someone be kind enough to tell me the interior footprint for the SA? Is it round, square, etc.? How wide across the interior bottom of the bag? I want to get an insert to bring my SLR and extra lens with me, but my SA will not be here till July. I have an old Nikon D80, a 50mm/f1.4 lens, and a 28-105 zoom (which is a smidge over 4 inches tall and 3"/diameter). In the past I carried these in a separate Lowepro pack, but want to streamline for this trip as we will be moving every 3-4 days. Do I recall correctly that the SA has some padding on the bottom, too?

    Alternately, if you already use an insert and have a name/link to recommend, I'm open to suggestions! How much space do you have left at the top of the SA, if you put the insert at the bottom? My plan is to have the camera at the bottom of the pack when I'm using the SA as a carryon, so I just want a little bit of protection. When we're out sightseeing, I'll just carry the camera around my neck or over my shoulder (i.e. not worried about needing to pull the camera out quickly).

    Thanks so much!

  2. #2
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    @haraya

    The SA interior footprint is a symmetrical trapezoid. The front to back distant is about 7.5" The back with is about 12" and the front width is 9.5/10" approx. The height from the bottom to where the zipper opens is about 15" (It starts to taper a lot after that height.
    Note that I have a previous gen SA without the upper pocket loops. I recall that the zipper opening on top was modified slightly for better access - translation - the height of 15" to the zipper may be slightly different in the current version that my version.
    The SA has padding on the bottom and back which I really like. I wish the Synapses had the bottom padding too.

    I can fit a subwoofer on its side - 8" x 9.5" side on the bottom and 12" high. See the below post that shows how good the SA is at handling bulky items. You will see the subwoofer I fit in my SA and bchaplin's experience holding a large package:

    The Orphaned Smart Alec

    Sorry - I do not have camera use in a SA experience. However, check out taminca's excellent post on how she packed her camera:

    First Trip with the Smart Alec as a Camera Bag

    Hope this helps

    Cheers!
    Last edited by tpnl; 05-14-2014 at 12:12 PM.
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    Registered User Ilkyway's Avatar
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    Hi haraya,
    I have the exact camera even the 50er. Not the zoom though. Here there is a picture of the bottom of the SA once from the inside once from the outside. I hope you can see that it is kind of rectangular. There is a patted part of it. I tried to measure it but the front part is somewhat rounded so the width there is an estimate. The bottom is a little bigger in fact because the sides of the SA have a curve to them which ad a bit to the bottom. You have to consider that the side pockets when stuffed full take up some of the inner space.Name:  Mashure SA Bottom.jpg
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    The camere-inside comes from a thinkTank "Speed Freak". I cut of the velcro on the outside because it bugged me. What I do not like about it is that it can not be closed. If I could find a good one that was able to be closed (maybe like the Travel Tray) I would like that.
    Since the SA is higher on the back than on the front there is about 18 cm left at the back of the SA. And this inside leaves some space in front on in the bag to put a book or a slim laptop.

    I hope this gives you some ideas.

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    Registered User Ilkyway's Avatar
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    by the way, the second link that tpnl posted is the exact reson for me having a Smart Alec in the first place. Ah and sorry for measurements in the metrics. The only inch-meshurtape (?) I have is the one from Tom Bihn and that is too short for this job.
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    Registered User taminca's Avatar
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    @haraya, the camera insert in my SA, as pictured in the second link @tpnl provided, is the Crumpler Haven in Medium Size. I also have a Mountainsmith Kit Cube for use in my Nordic/Solar S25 -- it's yellow . They both have great padding and still allow plenty of room to pack other things into the SA and S25.
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    tpnl, ilkyway, taminca - thank you so much!! I love these forums!! So much helpfulness and good information to be found here. I'm glad I asked, now I have a few good starting points for my search. I'm super-excited!!

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    the second link that tpnl posted is the exact reason for me having a Smart Alec in the first place
    Me too!! (Plus your gorgeous photo of your Aubergine TB family!)

    And no worries about the metric measurements, it's good for me to do the conversions from time to time. Metric is more logical anyway!
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    Quote Originally Posted by taminca View Post
    @haraya, the camera insert in my SA, as pictured in the second link @tpnl provided, is the Crumpler Haven in Medium Size.
    Thanks taminca! Is it soft enough to sort of push out of the way, if I don't fill it all the way? I was considering the Haven in the small size - even then I think I'll have an extra compartment left over, as I don't plan to bring a flash unit. Is the insert flexible enough that I can smush it aside and use the space around it for, say, stuff sacks? (The Mountainsmith Kit Cube is cheaper but seems quite a bit larger, I know you said you still have room, but I feel like I'd have no room left for anything else in the SA. )

    In addition to the camera + insert, I was thinking I'd pack the list below. Do you think it will all fit?

    In a PCBP or Aeronaut End Pocket PC:

    1 change of clothes (shirt, smalls, leggings)

    In a Large Organizer Pouch:
    1 guidebook (I want the paper version so that the kids can look at it in-flight)
    1 notebook
    Passports & other travel docs
    Pens, pencils (in a smaller pen pouch)
    iPad mini

    In a Tall Yarn Stuff Sack OR a Travel Tray:
    Snacks (granola bars, etc)
    Fruit

    In a Medium Org Pouch:

    Lip balm
    Mints/gum
    Various small essentials (hand cream in a tiny container, bandaids, hand wipes etc.)

    In a small Yarn Stuff Sack:
    Knitting project, sock-sized

    Loose on top of the other stuff:

    Zip-up cardigan (merino, fine)
    Hoody (T-shirt weight, also merino)
    Scarf

    In top interior SA pocket:
    Earphones
    Sleep mask
    In side pocket:
    Klean Kanteen 20 oz. bottle (haven't decided if I'm going to take the sport cap or the screw-on top)
    Last edited by haraya; 05-14-2014 at 09:24 PM.

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    If you are planning on just bringing a camera with a prime lens and an extra zoom lens only, I suggest using a neoprene camera wrap instead. That way, you can maximize the space on your SA. Domke and SkoobaWrap is what I use with the latter giving the most protection. Another plus is when the camera is on your neck, the wraps don't take up any space inside the SA. I only use an insert when I bring multiple lenses with me.
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    Oooh interesting!! I was fixated on something with internal structure, but the Skooba is quite intriguing! I guess I could use the Skooba, then put the body/lens in (a) stuff sack(s). What size do you use for your DSLR? (I see the wraps are offered individually or in sets of 3.)

    (I also glanced at the Domkes but they all seemed too tall/too wide for what I wanted to do. Hardly any of these inserts seem to be shown with any equipment in them - so hard to figure out what configuration they're intended to fit!!)
    Last edited by haraya; 05-14-2014 at 06:30 PM.

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    Registered User taminca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by haraya View Post
    Thanks taminca! Is it soft enough to sort of push out of the way, if I don't fill it all the way? I was considering the Haven in the small size - even then I think I'll have an extra compartment left over, as I don't plan to bring a flash unit. Is the insert flexible enough that I can smush it aside and use the space around it for, say, stuff sacks?
    Yes, but it sounds like the Skooba might better fit your needs. FWIW the medium Haven is still smaller in width than the SA, so I have room to put a stuff sack containing my 100-300 zoom lens right next to the insert. My wide-angle lens is what goes into the Haven with my SLR and an attached lens.

    As for whether the items you listed would fit into the SA with the medium Haven insert, I don't know. Am away from home so cannot test pack my SA. I think they may all fit given what I have actually managed to stow away into my SA, but cannot say for certain.
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    Quote Originally Posted by taminca View Post
    [...]FWIW the medium Haven is still smaller in width than the SA, so I have room to put a stuff sack containing my 100-300 zoom lens right next to the insert. My wide-angle lens is what goes into the Haven with my SLR and an attached lens.
    Thank you again, taminca! So the medium fits your SLR with attached lens, plus a second lens? From the online store pictures it seemed like the medium had 3 compartments whereas I wanted two. I was thinking the small was what I wanted. (I haven't ruled out the Haven yet, still trying to figure out what will be optimal. )

  13. #13
    Registered User taminca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by haraya View Post
    Thank you again, taminca! So the medium fits your SLR with attached lens, plus a second lens?
    You're most welcome. And, yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by haraya View Post
    From the online store pictures it seemed like the medium had 3 compartments whereas I wanted two.
    If it is the same model I have, the compartment dividers are held in place by Velcro and are, thus, removable. I removed one of the dividers and ended up with two compartments, one with enough space for that large wide-angle lens.
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    I wonder why they don't reference that info in the product details. If I only had the online description to base my decision on, I'd never choose their insert! Thank goodness for the TB-ites!

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    Quick update, and thanks again to everyone for their help with finding the right insert for the SA! My SA is not here yet, but the camera wrap has arrived. This is a 19 x 19" Domke camera wrap (B&H Photo has it in blue, red, yellow, gray, and black for color-coding) and it holds my Nikon D80 with attached 28-105 zoom. (there is a toy inside the wrap, as it was hard to take a picture if the camera was inside the wrap ) With the wrap in place, the whole camera fits into a small YSS:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/124667...7/14037046787/

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/124667...n/photostream/

    (I still haven't figured out how to paste an image into my post - is there a guide for that? )

    The small YSS is a snug though not unduly tight fit - I will wait to see how the Tall YSS works, though it's not going to be any wider. (I wonder if the TSS with its oval footprint would work better, width-wise?) But it just means that I won't put the camera in the YSS if I need quick access... the wrap still works without the YSS. This looks like it will be a great solution for maximizing the carry-on space inside the SA! I figure I'll surround the camera - in the YSS - with the clothing that I'm taking, and the extra lens can go in the top pocket or the upper modular pocket if I take that.

    I have ordered a smaller wrap (11 x 11") for the 50mm lens, as the 15 x 15" I ordered was just too big. I'll add that to my post when it gets here. That will then go into its own small YSS. (It would fit into the same YSS, but I don't want to absentmindedly pull out the camera and have the extra lens then fall out because I forgot it was in there. )

    (There are other brands of wraps, such as Tenba and Fujifilm. The Domke wraps shipped free from B&H, though. Also, I liked that the red and yellow wraps could be matched with Iberian and Solar stuff sacks.)
    Last edited by haraya; 05-19-2014 at 09:38 PM.

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