Panasonic Lumix GF2 w/ 14 mm f/2.5 Pancake Lens & ZPack’s Multipack Carrying Case

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Some time ago I posted about getting a new camera. The ones I had in mind were somewhat expensive cameras (at least to me), so I knew that if the day came that I could finally get one, I would need to start taking better care of my camera gear when on the trail. Up to this point in time I have always carried my (P&S) camera’s in my front pants pocket. They fit well, weren’t really heavy enough to weigh my pants pockets down and was easy access for when I needed to get my camera out, or put it back up. However, carrying it in my pocket also came at a cost… My pocket did nothing to protect my camera from banging around or from exposure to moisture. Somewhat due to this, in the past I have managed to severely scratch the lens on one camera, and to completely soak another due to poor handling.

Finally, about a week or so ago now, I was finally able to score the camera I wanted, the Panasonic Lumix GF2 with the 14 mm f/2.5 pancake lens! As far as why I wanted this camera, it was due to my already current familiarity with the Lumix line-up, cost, size, weight, and felt that it is a quality camera. It is definitely a step up from my other P&S camera’s, and I feel that it is a good, entry-level camera into more advanced photography. Also, since getting this camera, I have also ordered back-up batteries, a 32 GB SD card and a linear polarizer MRC filter. The total weight of the camera, battery, SD card and a wrist strap is 12.9 oz. (The filter has not come in just yet, but I will update this once it arrives.)

EDIT: The filter arrived yesterday. It is the B+W 46mm Kaesemann Linera Polarizer MRC Filter (linked above), and it weighs exactly 1 oz. The weights are figured in below.

So, after dropping the money for this camera, I have decided that I will make an effort (despite weight) to take better care of it while on the trail. So, I have actually converted my ZPack’s Multipack into a camera bag. To begin with, I used some of the single sided cuben fiber tape to tape all of the seams inside my Multipack to render the Multipack as waterproof as possible. I plan to actually wear the Multipack as a fanny pack, so with a 50″ belt, the Multipack weighs 2.2 oz.

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Next, I cut some pieces of 1/4″ CCF pad and then taped them together to form a single compartment that is open on the top. The compartment is large enough for the camera to slide easily in and out and fills most of the Multipack’s interior space. (There is room beside the CCF compartment for my new Ultrapod camera tripod to stand up next to it inside the multipack too.) This CCF compartment weighs 0.7 oz and should provide a good layer of bump protection to the camera when stored inside.

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Now, just because I have taped the Multipack and (hopefully) rendered it waterproof, this does not mean I am relying on it to keep my nice, new camera dry. Instead, I have also picked up some of the 6.7″ x 6″ Loksak’s that I plan to keep the camera in should it be raining while hiking. This should provide me with 2 pretty watertight layers and I expect it will keep the camera dry. But that’s not all! I have also picked up a package of 1 g Silica Dry Packs and will also keep 1 of these inside the Loksak, just to help absorb any moisture that happens to be inside the bag as well… The Loksak and the Silica pack weighs 0.3 oz.

P1010420In past use, I found the Multipack very easy to access when worn as a fanny pack. Once I made the CCF compartment, I slid it inside the Multipack, and due to the single, large opening on the CCF compartment, I found it easy to slide the camera in and out, even if the camera is inside the Loksak. In short, I feel like (hope) this system will help keep my camera safe and dry, yet still easily accessible. Here is a photo of the camera inside the Loksak, then inside the CCF compartment inside the Multipack. (Also, note the Ultrapod standing up beside it.)

P1010417So, I am happy with my new camera, and I feel confident in my new carrying system! However, this is coming at a cost, and I don’t mean money (well, I do, but I have already covered that…) I mean weight. My previous camera weighed in at a whopping 4.7 oz with the battery & SD card. I was using the Joby Gorillapod, which also added another 1.5 oz. Then, account for the back-up battery that I will always carry, that was an additional 0.7 oz. This meant I was carrying a total of 6.9 oz of camera gear. Now that has changed… In case you haven’t added it all up yet, here is the breakdown of the new camera gear:

  • Camera with battery, SD card, filter & wrist strap: 13.9 oz
  • Multipack with 50″ belt: 2.2 oz
  • DIY CCF compartment: 0.7 oz
  • Loksak with Silica pack: 0.3 oz
  • Ultrapod camera tripod: 1.8 oz
  • Extra battery: 1.6 oz

This is a total weight of 20.5 oz, so, I have taken a huge jump in camera gear… now let’s just hope I can improve my skills! 🙂

As well, in the future, I do plan on upgrading the 14 mm lens to the 20 mm f/1.7 Pancake lens… but I gotta save the money up for that one!

Thanks for reading everyone!

~Stick~

Disclaimer: I paid for all of these items with my own money that I worked durn hard for!

About Stick

My blog is essentially a record of my hiking career. Through it, I, and others, can see how I have evolved from a heavy weight backpacker, to a smarter, more efficient, lightweight backpacker. Through the use of video, still photos, and of course writing, one can see my progression, as well as check out some of the places I hike, and not to mention some cool, lightweight gear options. For me, my blog is a journal, but for others, I hope that it is an interactive learning tool to aid them in their own progression towards lightweight backpacking.
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14 Responses to Panasonic Lumix GF2 w/ 14 mm f/2.5 Pancake Lens & ZPack’s Multipack Carrying Case

  1. Pingback: PHGT: October 2016 Mt Roger’s/Grayson Highland Hike | Stick's Blog

  2. Bayden Cline says:

    Wondering how this setup is working out for you as I am looking for a way to carry my nikon V1 which is similar to your gf2

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    • Stick says:

      Bayden,

      It has worked out pretty well. I know that others have built carrying cases similar to mine. The only thing I would suggest is to figure out how thick the camera is either with or without lens (depending on how you carry it) and then compare that to the specs for the Multipack. If you need it a little different size, Joe would likely be able to accommodate that.

      ~Stick~

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  3. Stick,
    Nice post. I recently had to replace my camera after falling in a creek while on the trail. Love the new camera and certainly looking at different ways to get more mileage out of it… read protecting it.
    With the new camera though I have to find all new software for video editing and learning new systems.. I guess that’s the way it goes.
    Anyway.. nice post, I enjoy the blog.
    Jerry

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Jerry,

      I just use iMovie on my wife’s iMac. It will read the recorded clips off of my SD card and then I can edit them in iMovie. It has worked the same with all 3 of my cameras. Granted, all 3 have been Panasonic Lumix camera’s. The software that comes with them though are crap… even the software that came with my wife’s Nikon D40 sucked.

      If I get better with my photos, and then upgrade my computer, I would like to get the Photoshop Elements and go from there. It isn’t too expensive at only $100… As far as my “movies” though, I will just stick with iMovie…

      ~Stick~

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  4. Basti says:

    By the way I used the “sollution to all problems”- duckttape to tape the edges of my ccf-insert together. Still holds up well after 3 years of constant use.

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  5. Basti says:

    Hi Stick,
    It’s funny as I use the exact same setup as you do. (GF2, Pancake, Ziplock/ Aloksack, Silicia pack, CCF/EVA compartment, extra battery and SD Card) Well I use a Laufbursche hipbelt pocket instead of the ZPacks and I already got a filter… 😉
    After several hiking trips (Iceland, Scotland, Ireland, Finland, GR20) this setup still works a treat even in harsh conditions (think wet & cold winter).
    There’s only one minor adjustment which I suggest you to make. Punch some holes into the bottom of your CCF-insert. Before I did this there was always the chance of water collecting in there when opening the outer pouch. The Ziplock/ Aloksack would still keep the camera dry but it gave me nontheless a bad feeling storing my camera in a puddle of water. Well, the water would still be in the pouch (ZPacks or in my case Laufbursche) but at least a few millimeters under my camera. And it’s easy to empty it at the next dry spot.

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    • Stick says:

      Basti,

      That is cool! Are you using the 14 mm pancake lens or the 20 mm? I plan to save and get the 20 mm lens for it as soon as I can…

      Anyway, glad to hear that it works out well for you, and great point on the duct tape! I bet it would work much better than the tape I am using… I will have to go and redo it! That is also a good point on punching holes in the bottom. I thought about that when I made it, but the corners are still opened so I figured that would be enough room, but I may knock some holes in it anyway… it may even cut a little weight! 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      ~Stick~

      Like

  6. Birch says:

    Have you considered sticking say some cardboard in your Multipack and sprinkling it with water to test how waterproof it is? Just for peace of mind. You should be able to see the cardboard darkening and see just when and where any leaks hit the inside (for fixing any problems and knowing how hard it needs to rain before your dry bag is necessary).

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    • Stick says:

      Birch,

      I do plan to check it before I leave. However, with it being fully taped, there is not much else I can do to it. To be honest, I don’t expect it to be 100% waterproof, but I will be happy with 99.9%. Like I said, I will also be using a Loksak to store my camera inside when it is raining, so it should all be protected. I don’t plan to pull this camera out and use it while raining unless I am completely sheltered.

      ~Stick~

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  7. Linda says:

    Let us know how it works out in the field….I for one, will be following….:)

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    • Stick says:

      Linda,

      I will be taking it out for the first time weekend after next, so I will see then. I feel like it will do fine though for a few short trips, I just don’t know if this particular tape will hold up for long-term use. It is actually the aluminum tape and it doesn’t stick to the ccf pad great, but it does stick. We’ll see though…

      ~Stick~

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  8. Linda says:

    I like what you have made for your camera. Very creative. You have given me the idea to do something similar for my new camera. Thank you for sharing your brilliant idea

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    • Stick says:

      Linda,

      Glad it could be of some help. I will admit, I think that I will need to reinforce the edges a little more, but I think that in general it will work. I also ordered a OPTECH neoprene sleeve for it and it is nice too, but the Loksaks are too small to hold it all. If this just doesn’t work out, I will likely get a bigger Loksak and use the OPTECH sleeve.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      ~Stick~

      Like

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