We give F-stop Camera Bags a “Best” award every year. Yes, they support us by giving us packs, but they also really drill us for design input. So much so that in 2015, the head designer of the bags came and stayed with us for a few days in Interlaken to simply watch how we use the packs when we work. We’d spend the days doing shoots, runs, climbing etc… and he’d listen to our feelings about how the systems functioned. He’d watch what I use, and didn’t use. Then in the evenings we’d discuss how to make improvements, or what sort of new products would help make our work easier. He also included prototypes for new products still in the design phase to see if we would use his new ideas.
So this is exactly why they get a Best award from us each year. Because each year they only get better. It isn’t just Dan & Janine they listen to, it’s all their pro photographer ambassadors. The designer had come to us after visiting another photographer, and left us for the next. Impressive.
How did the system improve for 2015 and beyond? Fstop has made a real backpack, for real use, regardless of whether or not it is a camera bag – and of course turned it into a camera bag. The system is fully modular, meaning you select the pack size you want, then choose specific size inserts for your camera gear. They call these inserts ICU’s (Internal Camera Units). The ICU is the key to the entire Fstop system. You aren’t going to just own one or two, you’ll have several and use the necessary size based on your trip.
We store our two camera systems in larger ICU’s. One for Sony, the other for Canon. If I go on a big shoot, the entire storage ICU goes into the pack. But, for the vast majority of our work, I put just the camera gear I am going to take into the smallest possible ICU, and then insert that into the pack. Whatever room is leftover is for other gear. Or, piggy back a smaller ICU on top of the primary for other needs, misc. tech stuff, chargers and cables.
The big new product for 2015 was the addition of newly designed, and constructed, packs. I’ve switched to the Lotus, while Janine is in the new women’s specific Kashmir. The 32 liter Lotus is now made of waterproof, bomber material and has just the right amount of space, plus expandable side pockets, to make the pack a go to for very real mountain trips, be it skiing, climbing or trekking. We are primarily working in the European Alps, so never have need to carry much beyond camera gear, clothing, food & water. Of course the back panel access to get to your ICU is the key to working out of the pack. Easy.
F-stop offers a huge range of sizes, from the strategic 25 liter Kenti up to the mighty 80 liter Shinn. Choose your system and you get double the fun, a backpack, and a camera bag. Both perfect.
Patitucci Fstop Camera Bags
Lotus : Dan’s go to pack for most trips and shoots. 32 liter.
Kashmir : Janine’s go to pack for most trips and shoots. 30 liter.
Micro : As an office accessory… cables, chargers, mouse, etc… goes on every trip, be it in the camera bag or computer bag. Or, as a Sony a7 camera bag with one body and one lens.
Small : Serves as a Sony a7 camera bag with one extra lens.
Medium Slope : Primary for both Lotus and Kashmir for most trips.
Large : Sony system storage, and for inserting in pack for when it’s all needed.
Extra Large : Canon system storage. No one should have to carry this much! And we never do…
Kenti : Since we switched to Sony, I’m using this pack more often as it is smaller, carries well, and has access to the camera gear without taking the pack off. I love this pack!
Navin : Goes on most every trip and is the key piece for Dan’s system. A chest mounted pack for instant access.