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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2007 6:00 pm 
Hi everybody, I promised reviews of my gear and pictures taken during my holydays in Bavaria and I’ll start with this one. I’ll make this a relatively short review since there’s an excellent one already about its little brother (Slingshot 100 AW) along with a lot of useful comments from many people, so I’ll focus this one on the size differences and my personal impressions.

I decided to go for a Lowepro Slingshot after reading GregoryK’s excellent review, I went to a local dealer and there the had both the 100 AW and the 200 AW, even though my gear fits perfectly in the 100 AW, I found it a little to small for me (I’m kind of a big guy and it looked ridiculously small on me), since the price difference was an insignificant 10 € I decided to go for the larger one.

I must say that everything good that’s been said about the Slingshot series is absolutely justified, I was a little worried about carrying the weight of my gear on a single shoulder but I haven’t found this to be a problem at all (It must be said though that my gear is not particularly heavy), and I’m talking about getting out early in the morning, spend the whole day walking for kilometres and returning in the evening during my trip to Bavaria, I even walked up all the way from the bottom to Neuschwanstein castle’s Marienbrük (pictures coming up soon :mrgreen:) and back during a quite hot day and this magnificent backpack never bothered me in the least .

Another blessing of carrying around your camera in this bag is being able to rotate it (quite easily BTW) and place it in front of you, it makes things very easy and quick at the time of getting you camera out (or back inside) the bag. It is also extremely comfortable while moving around in bus, tram, underground (U-bahn there in Germany) or any other public transportation, you just set the bag in front of you, sit comfortably and enjoy the ride. Apart from comfortable, it's very reassuring to carry the bag in front of you, the more if the bag is attached to your body... 8)

The other HUGE advantage of being able to place the bag in front of you is the ease to change lenses. In my case I own a Nikon D40 with the standard 18-55 kit lens and the 55-200 VR telephoto, as any of you can imagine, there was many an occasion in which I needed to change the lenses; in order to do this I carried the other lens along with the body in the “main room” of the Slingshot, so all I had to do was to place the bag in front of me and I was ready to go in half a minute without having to remove the bag, place it somewhere, open it, change the lenses, etc, etc, etc…

Here’s how I carried my body and lenses, there’s room to spare in the 200W for this purpose, the 100 AW seems more of a snug fit but I’d say you could do it also:

Image

One advantage of 200 AW’s size over the 100 is the ability to carry larger lenses mounted on you body. As you can see in the following picture, the 200 AW allows to carry a body with the 50-200 VR attached and hooded! (a very respectable total length of 21 cm) and there’s still a bit of space left (Note how the body's grip rests against the padded wall and the small gap between the hood and the outer wall of the bag):

Image

Also, I’d like to say that during the day I spent in Salzburg it rained like hell and the weather cover worked perfectly!!

Well, there’s little else to add that hasn’t been said in the previous review, I hope you like it and feel free to ask me any questions. :wink:


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2007 10:45 pm 
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Hi Beren, thanks for the review!

Could I ask, do you carry any non-photographic things with you? Like some water, or a sandwich? Is this bag suitable for squeezing in anything else, or is it cameras only?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:03 am 
Nice review Beren!.

Basically as Gordon said. Is there any room for anything else?

Jay


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 8:07 pm 
Hi Gordon! Well, during my holydays I did carry a few non-photographic things like small souvenirs, my asthma spray, town maps, etc, but not much else…

As for bigger things as those you mention, yes, you can certainly carry them; in the upper compartment for example there's plenty enough place for a can of soda or a small bottle of water along with a sandwich or two (this compartment is much smaller in the 100 AW).

I didn’t have any sandwiches at hand (sigh) so I had to improvise, here you can see a couple of shots of the upper compartment with two standard 33cc cans of soda (no harm intended to other brands of beverages out there, I just got those two at hand at he moment… :mrgreen:):

Image Image

You can see they fit in quite nicely; you can even squeeze a third can horizontally in front of those two, or perhaps a few small snacks (such as chocolate bars, peanuts…).

Well, I think that’s about it for the upper compartment. :wink:

As for the main compartment, it depends of course on the number of photographic items one owns or wants to carry along. Chances are that, when going to out to visit some town or walking the country, one will carry just the body with a lens attached and, at most, an extra lens and a flashgun (along with other small things like a spare battery or an extra memory card). Provided one doesn’t push the number of items much further, there’ll be left a very respectable amount of free space in the main compartment which, by the way, is very customizable.

Here’s a shot of the main compartment empty, beside you can see my D40 with the 55-200 VR attached, the 18-55mm nicely stored in a pouch, two cans of soda and the padded walls removed for the occasion:

Image

Here you can see a shot of the main compartment filled with the body, the extra lens and the cans of soda, note that the space occupied by the beverages have an empty “twin” (they are almost exactly the same size) in which you can easily fit up to three sandwiches:

Image

So, if the question is if you can carry your gear in this bag along with some refreshments to keep you going during a long walk, then the answers is definitively yes. Besides, while the bag is not intended to be isothermal, my guess is that the thick padded walls can keep beverages chill for quite a while. 8)

As for a spare battery and/or memory card, there’s plenty enough space for that in the front pocket.

Of course, the moment you put your hands in this bag you know what it was designed for and that is to carry photographic gear, so one can't expect miracles (forget about magazines, large bottles, etc), but I think you can hardly ask such a thing of a backpack of this size, there are lots of bulkier bags out there designed for those purposes…

Hope I’ve helped. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 9:36 pm 
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Thanks Beren!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:00 pm 
This is the bag I have also in the underneath of this there is a FULL WATER PROOF rain cover that cover the COMPLETE bag its very very good.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 7:10 am 
Indeed, that water-proof cover is a brilliant idea, it's very reassuring to know that, no matter the weather, your gear is safe and sound inside the bag (even if one's getting soaked to the bones meanwhile... I know how it feels :lol:)


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 10:30 am 
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Nice review!

I have the same bag, and it is pretty good, although I've still to get used to the whole single strap thing, im a 2 strap man myself, first 1 strap bag i've had!

I was a little anxious as to putting liquids in the top bit of the bag incase they leaked into the rest of the bag! I wish lowepro would sell some type of attachment to go on the side of the bag that you could store bottled watter in or something, since it has little black things on the side and the back.

Another quick question, since I lack any common sense, where are you supposed to put a tripod on this thing? (if you are supposed to at all lol)

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 11:18 am 
DD_nVidia wrote:
Nice review!

I have the same bag, and it is pretty good, although I've still to get used to the whole single strap thing, im a 2 strap man myself, first 1 strap bag i've had!

I was a little anxious as to putting liquids in the top bit of the bag incase they leaked into the rest of the bag! I wish lowepro would sell some type of attachment to go on the side of the bag that you could store bottled watter in or something, since it has little black things on the side and the back.

Another quick question, since I lack any common sense, where are you supposed to put a tripod on this thing? (if you are supposed to at all lol)


I don't think a little moisture would be a problem (such as that caused by condensation in a cold bottle), a serious leak could of course cause a catastrophe in there :shock: and anyone storing liquids in this or any other bag would do well to avoid, for example, crystal bottles and/or anything not perfectly sealed. I fully agree though that some attachment to carry liquids outside the bag would be quite a good idea. :idea:

As for a tripod, I don't think this bag was designed for that, even if you could somehow attach it somewhere outside (like in most cases regardless the type of bag you own), weights and size would instantly descompensate and the single strap backpack would loose a great part of its comfort and flexibility. I don't think this bag could (or should) be pushed any further than carrying a mini-tripod inside the main compartment. A full size tripod is, IMHO, out of the question, there are other types of camera bags better designed (by quite a long shot) for such purpose.

Cheers :wink:

P.S. BTW, this is also my first single strap backpack, I also had a few doubts myself but they dissipated when I tested it for comfort at the dealer the day I bought it. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 11:58 am 
Don't forget that on these Slingshot bags LowePro have included a number of expansion loops for attaching various accessories like extra lens pouches and tripod clips.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:35 pm 
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Yep, I knew those loop things were there for a reason!

My first guess was that it was for the lens bags that you can buy for some lenses, especially the larger telephoto ones.

Tripods eh, well I'll have a snoop around the internets later on today for some stuff about the lowepro tripod attachments if they do exisit, in the meantime i'll be refreshing the cameralabs forum index every 30 seconds or so lol!

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Canon 17-40 F/4L USM + Canon 24-70 F/2.8L USM + Canon 28mm F/1.8 USM + Canon 70-200 F/2.8L USM IS + Canon 85mm F/1.8 USM
Canon Speedlite 580EX II + Canon Speedlite 540EZ + 2 x Nikon SB-80DX
Cactus V2s Wireless Trigger - 5 x Cactus V2s Wireless Reciever

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:19 pm 
I have recently purchased this bag too, I was wondering where one might buy these extra attachments for slingshot bags


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:47 pm 
Is it worth spending that little bit extra and getting this 200 Version over the 100?

All I will be carrying is a camera body and an extra telephoto lense, butt im thinking it is better to have a bit extra room for other non camera items.

Is this bag ok to carry by just putting the strap over the one single right sholder rather than over the head and accross the body?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:03 pm 
tobywuk wrote:
Is it worth spending that little bit extra and getting this 200 Version over the 100?

All I will be carrying is a camera body and an extra telephoto lense, butt im thinking it is better to have a bit extra room for other non camera items.

Is this bag ok to carry by just putting the strap over the one single right sholder rather than over the head and accross the body?


Well, the 100 did look a bit too small for me when I compared them at the store, that's why I chose the 200 in the end. There's little room to spare in the 100, that's for sure.

As for carrying it over just one shoulder rather than over the head... I'd say no, I do every now and them when I know I'll only have it there for a few moments, but it's not comfortable at all, the strap is designed to be user over the head and the whole bag is very unstable when you carry it any other way than that. If you fancy carrying you backpack on a single shoulder for long periods of time, you better go for a two strapped "classic" model.

Anyway, allow me to advise you on the benefits for your backbone of carrying the backpack the right way, either over the head for single strapped ones or on both shoulders for classic ones. It's not good to carry them on one shoulder for long periods of time.


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