Big lens camera bag for safari, wildlife, nature and bird photography for telephoto lens

The Big Lens Bag™

In February 2004 Joe McDonald contacted me with an idea for a special bag for big telephoto lens and camera combination that could be used in a safari vehicle and for light hiking. So the credit for this bag goes to Joe. He and his wife Mary Ann are extremely nice people and are both superb teachers. They have more experience than anybody I know taking photographers to Africa and other prime wildlife destinations. I highly recommend hooking up with Joe and Mary Ann for any wildlife tours or for the nature photography workshops they teach. Their website www.HootHollow.com has a ton of very useful information about nature photography - check it out!

Joe and I started the process of building prototype bags which Joe and Mary Ann took to Africa and other wildlife destinations. This process of prototypes and actual testing went on for at least two years. Each trip gave Joe more actual field testing for evaluation.

We have been selling the Big Lens Bag since 2005 and have sold hundreds of bags for all sizes of large camera lens.  

 

Design Features

This bag is designed for telephoto lens (primarily Canon and Nikon) like a 400 F2.8, 200-400 F4, 500 F4, 600 F4, and 800 F5.6. Each bag is designed and sized specifically for the lens/camera combination. The bag is designed to accept the lens with the hood installed in a shooting position and the camera body attached. The bag is also long enough to attach a tele-converter with the lens and camera body. The idea is to be able to pull your lens/camera combination out of the bag and start shooting immediately.

This bag is specifically designed to be mounted to a vehicle seat in a vertical position. Each bag has ten attachment points (four on each side and two on the bottom). The bag is supplied with four straps that are five feet long and have a plastic adjustable quick release buckle that are connected to the bag. The attachment points on the bag also have D rings which allow you to secure the bag with bungee cords or any strong cord.

DimensionsWeightLengthDepth
600 and 800mm 4lbs 11oz 30" 9"x9"
500mm 3lb 13oz 26" 8"x8"
400mm 4lb 2oz 24" 9"x9"
Nikon 200-400mm 3lb 11oz 24" 8"x8"
These are all outside measurements

PocketsLengthDepthWidth
Flash 8" 3 1/2" 4"
Flat 13" 1 1/2" 5 1/2"
Extender 9 1/2" 3 1/2" 3 1/2"

Cost
600 and 800mm Bag $295
All other bags $280
Shipping $40-$35

This bag is unique in that it has four long zippers which allows you to withdraw your lens/camera in a side ways motion. Most bags close with a lid type top which will not allow you to withdraw the camera when the bag is in a vertical position in a vehicle seat. You would hit the vehicle ceiling trying to pull the lens/camera out of the bag. The four long zippers allow you to pull the lens/camera out from the front, left or right side.

The bag also has three external pockets. One pocket is designed for a flash and flash cord. There is a large flat pocket that can hold a Better Beamer Flash extender and a flash Bracket. The third pocket can hold 1.4 and 2x tele converters. That pocket will also hold 12mm and 25mm extension tubes.

The entire bag is constructed out of olive drab nylon pack cloth. This fabric is water repellent, not waterproof. The bag and pockets are padded with a light weight foam. The pockets close with 2" Velcro. We use 2" Velcro specifically because of the rough roads in Africa. 2" Velcro tends to be a little noisy but it secures the pockets well. The bag has a strap inside the bag to secure the lens/camera inside. It also has external adjustable straps to snug the bag around the lens/camera.

The bag has a stiffener plate in the back and on the bottom to help maintain shape and prevent the bag from slumping. The bag has two padded shoulder straps.

This bag is excellent for vehicle use. It is very unique as it can be secured to a seat and your lens/camera can be pulled out in a vehicle and is ready to shoot. It is also good for light hiking or moving to a location. The shoulder straps are well padded and comfortable. The bag does not have a hip belt or suspension system, as it is not designed for long distance hiking. This bag has sufficient padding for protection of your lens/camera but it is not designed to give maximum protection for storage or transportation on an airplane.

I make these bags one at a time so they are not typically in stock. Please check with us and see if we have any in stock, or how long it will take to get one. Depending on our workload it could take several weeks to a couple of months to get one. With that in mind please give us as much advance notice as possible. We always try to work around your schedule. If you need one for a trip we will do our best to make it available before you leave.

Displayed above is the side view of a 500mm Big Lens Bag™

Displayed above is the side view of a 500mm Big Lens Bag™

Above you can see the rear view of the Big Lens Bag™.  Note the shoulder straps.

Above you can see the rear view of the Big Lens Bag™.  Note the shoulder straps.

This image shows how the unique design of the Big Lens Bag™ allows you to access your lens

This image shows how the unique design of the Big Lens Bag™ allows you to access your lens

Here you can see the type of equipment you can carry in the bag

Here you can see the type of equipment you can carry in the bag

The Big Lens Bag™ is secured in the vehicle using a number of straps

The Big Lens Bag™ is secured in the vehicle using a number of straps