The Mountainsmith Tour – Part 2 – The General Purpose Pack

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16/01/08 – The Mountainsmith Tour – Part 2 – The General Purpose Pack

Like most photographers I have used many bags for many purposes, but I always return to the Mountainsmith Tour as my “general purpose” pack. My love affair with the Mountainsmith Tour started many years ago while covering the National Football League (NFL) with the now ancient Nikon/Kodak NC2000c and Nikon D1 (just for reference I switched to Canon in 2002).

The slim profile of the Mountainsmith Tour coupled with it’s sizable storage capacity, it’s incredibly durable construction and mostly weather proof design made the pack ideal for covering sports in the New England winter. The more I used the pack for sports, the more I adapted it to a general purpose pack and it has no evolved into my “go to” bag.

As a general purpose bag I tend to use a variety of set-ups, which always revolves around what equipment is needed. Rather than write up a dozen potential set-ups of the Mountainsmith Tour I’ll address my use of the bag, for general shooting on a broad level.

My equipment needs for news, corporate work, weddings and even a long weekend away with my family is generally very similar. I try and work as simply as possible, carrying as little as possible, maximizing the potential options with a minimum amount of weight.

A typical set up walking out the door is two cameras on my shoulders, three lenses in the Mountainsmith Tour, basic accessories and a Newswear Large Press Pouch. While I like using a Domke 3-slot insert with the Mountainsmith Tour I often go without the insert. I make sure I use lens caps to protect my glass. I am not overly worried about lenses rubbing against each other or having superficial cosmetic scuffs on the barrels of the lenses.

To add to the Mountainsmith Tour‘s versatility and comfort I attach a Newswear Large Press Pouch. The Newswear Pouch is secured with a small carabiner, that also holds a strap for a small roll of gaffers tape.

A typical set up for the Mountainsmith Tour for news or general assignments is the following:
– Canon 580ex Speedlight
– Canon 28-70f2.8L (reversed lens hood)
– Canon 50f1.4 (lens hood affixed)
– Canon ETTL Cord
– 3 spare EOS 1D batteries
– 2 packs of four “AA” batteries
– Maglight Mini-Mag flashlight
Think Tank Pixel Pocket Rocket (CF Card Wallet with 10 CF Cards)
…………on my shoulders walking out the door will be to EOS 1D series bodies with 16-35f2.8L and 70-200f2.8L

A typical set up for the Mountainsmith Tour for weddings or corporate assignments is the following
– Canon 580ex
– Canon 14f2.8
– Canon 50f1.4 (lens hood affixed)
– Canon 70-200f2.8 (in Newswear Pouch with Nikon HN-28 screw in lens hood)
– Holga Modified lens
– Canon ETTL Cord
– 3 spare EOS 1D batteries
– 2 packs of four “AA” batteries
– Maglight Mini-Mag flashlight
Think Tank Pixel Pocket Rocket
…………………on my shoulders is usually two Canon EOS 1D bodies with 24f1.4L and 85f1.2L.

What I carry varies depending on my needs or wants at any moment for any job. I can end up with a 16-35f2.8, 24f1.4L and 24f3.5 TS-E (tilt shift) in the bag depending on the job……..and yes it is unusual to walk out the door with three 24mm focal length lenses at the same time, but it has happened for specific shoots.

Below are photos of these two common set ups for a “General Purpose” set up of my Mountainsmith Tour bag. The photos show the Mountainsmith Tour bag laid out next to all the gear, as well as the bag with all the gear packed in it.

Happy Flying!

–Click The Images To Enlarge Them–

Comments

  1. Thanks very much for this. I am starting small and just got the Pixel Pocket Rocket, which I have been looking for. Cheers!

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