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Old 09-29-2011, 04:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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F-Stop Guru initial review.

Posted over on POTN.

I was looking for a bag that I could travel with, and use as a carry on. It had to be able to carry my camera and lenses (of course), but also my laptop and other necessities I take with me on the plane. I normally get out with the family to the SD Zoo/Safari Park, Seaworld and other family oriented activities. So it had to be able to act as a backpack also while carrying my gear. After a few weeks of searching I decided on the Guru. I emailed Ian and he was very helpful with quick replies to my questions. He passed me over to Dave for one of them, and then Dave and I exchanged multiple emails. Again I received quick replies that answered my questions. So I placed my order for a Black guru with a small shallow insert.

I received my Guru on Monday. I haven't had a chance to get out with it yet, but I'm hoping to tomorrow.

First impressions:

When I first removed the Guru from the bag it came in I was shocked to see how small it was. It did not seem like the posted dimensions, but once I opened the bag up it took shape. It still didn't look like much. My normal backpack is a SpecOps brand T.H.E. pack. While the dimensions are somewhat similar the SpecOps bag swallows gear like you wouldn't believe. I was very surprised, but not really, at the quality of the bag. The fabric is lite. Looks good and the suspension is amazing. This bag screams quality!

I then opened up the bag with the ICU. There was no surprise there.



Here is the Guru next to my Domke F2. There is a pocket on the fron accessed by the vertical zipper. This pocket is quite large, and would fit a rain jacket or something along those lines very well.




My gear loaded into the small shallow ICU:
Canon 50D w/ 50 1.8 attached
Canon 28-135 w/ hood
Tamron 70-300 VC w/ hood
Tamron 90 macro w/ hood




Here is the ICU in the bag. I removed the foam pad in the ICU and the cover is folded underneath. As you can see there is a gap between the top of the ICU and the zippered opening. Not shown, but there are two velcro tabs on either side of the ICU with have correlating attachment points stitched into the bag. These are to secure the ICU to the bag and to keep it from shifting while the bag is in use.




Looking at the main compartment. You can see how much room the ICU takes up vertically and horizontally. It still leaves a good 2 inches of depth behind it though. Which is nice for storing taller items in the main compartment. There is also a sleeve on the fron side. The top has elastic to keep it close to the bag. As you can see it will hold a 13" Macbook Pro. You must realize that this is not a padded compartment. F-Stop sells a hydration sleeve (not the actually bladder). Hydration Sleeve




The front compartment has the standard school backpack look. With all the pockets for organizing supplies. Except that these are sized to fit photography related items. This compartment goes down to the bottom of the bag.



The largest pocket in this compartment extends down about 6-7 inches deep and the width of the bag. I have my charger, card reader, and CPL in this pocket.




I was asked for this shot. I am 5' 11". The bag rides comfortably on the hips and shoulders. This picture was taken with just my camera gear and laptop in the bag, and it felt as if I was wearing nothing. Not shown, but on the waist belt there is a zippered pocket on the right side and a MOLLE attachement on the left side. I have my Capture Clip mounted on the left. I have only had the 50D with 50 1.8 on there so far. I'm planning on trying it out with the 28-135 and 70-300 tomorrow. Also the sternum strap has a built in emergency whistle.

The picture is blurry due to the fact that I am holding a wiggly 2yr old!


Other things about this bag:

There is a pocket on the bottom which holds a rain cover which is sold separately. Rain Cover for Guru & Kenti . The gate keepers have multiple attachment points. You can run the one set that comes with the bag on the front as shown in the product shots or on either side. Or two sets on both sides simultaneously. They sell two different sizes so make sure you order the correct size. I do not know which size comes with the Guru.


Overall I'm very impressed and excited to have this bag. I know it will fit my current needs, and will lead me into buying another F-Stop bag in the future.
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Old 10-08-2011, 07:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Looks like a great bag, I've been looking for something to carry my stuff for a while, specially when i hop around on my motorcycle taking pics. I really love how the expensive camera equiptment goes inside the part you need to unzip from the inside against your back. I was almost sold on this until i saw the price and kinda cringed lol, was hoping for sub 150 dollars, but I guess its hard to skimp on a bag when it's carrying a few K dollars worth of equiptment.
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Old 10-08-2011, 09:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well you can email them bit I know they give a 25% military discount.
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I will lock this damned thread up if anyone posts that disgusting picture I saw once.
It like the CCM version of Two Girls One Cup.
I will ban folks.... I swear.
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Old 10-08-2011, 09:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Well the price is high but seriously it's worth it. It doesn't have quick access like some but it wasn't made for that. If you want a bag that looks like a normal bag and not a camera bag there isn't too. Many better bags that this.
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I will lock this damned thread up if anyone posts that disgusting picture I saw once.
It like the CCM version of Two Girls One Cup.
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Ok now after going to best buy just to pick up a cheapy bag for the time being for my equiptment i can see why this is priced where it is. It was annoying to go through bags priced at 100 or slightly higher that just looked like junk, they looked like cheap booksacks with dividers velcroed into them. I think i'll be investing in this bag soon enough. It would be nice to have a full length bag for when i jump on my bike or motorcycle to get around and be able to carry a full size tripod on it.

Bit off topic, but how are you liking that 70-300 tamron? I just won one on ebay used to try out for a while, atleast until i can actually afford a real nikon 70-200 f2.8
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I like it, but the zoom ring is pretty damped though. Makes it a bit tough to zoom sometimes but its a nice lens.
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I will lock this damned thread up if anyone posts that disgusting picture I saw once.
It like the CCM version of Two Girls One Cup.
I will ban folks.... I swear.
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLuke View Post
Ok now after going to best buy just to pick up a cheapy bag for the time being for my equiptment i can see why this is priced where it is. It was annoying to go through bags priced at 100 or slightly higher that just looked like junk, they looked like cheap booksacks with dividers velcroed into them. I think i'll be investing in this bag soon enough. It would be nice to have a full length bag for when i jump on my bike or motorcycle to get around and be able to carry a full size tripod on it.
Look at the Kata 3n1-20. New they are $100 and worth every penny. They can be found for under $75 used which is a steal. Lightweight, yet very well made anddurable.
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Old 10-21-2011, 11:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I agree they are very nice. When I looked at them I almost got one but it just didnt suit my needs but they are. Very good quality.
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Originally Posted by Talfuchre View Post
I will lock this damned thread up if anyone posts that disgusting picture I saw once.
It like the CCM version of Two Girls One Cup.
I will ban folks.... I swear.
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have two cases. My larger case for traveling is an Ape Case ACPRO1800. It works great and I can fit a bit of equipment in there. However, my 11" Alienware JUST fits inside the "laptop" pocket

My normal carry bag for heading out to place is a Lowepro - SlingShot 100 AW. I can fit my D90 w/ an 18-55 attached, a larger lens and a third lens all in the main compartment. I like that I can add smaller Lowepro cases on it as well so my wife can snap her point & shoot case on the front or side and if I feel so inclined, I can snap my Micro 4/3rds case on as well. It's great for heading to a park, downtown or in an Amusement park.
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