Carrying camera lenses

Here’s an easy one: what’s the best way to carry camera lenses so that you can swap them out without digging through a backpack everytime?

I’ve picked up a camera-specific backpack, but it’s bulky and I don’t always carry it. If I’m travelling light and have two or three lenses, what’s a convenient, safe means of doing so? I was thinking that some sort of cup-holder-like belt attachment would do the trick, so long as they were padded and zipped up well enough.


You can get small bags that hold a camera plus 2-3 lenses that you wear around your waist. Either that or a small shoulder bag that does the same.

When I’m traveling light, I just throw an extra lens in the bag I usually have with me, which is a monk bag like the monks in Thailand carry. No padding, but as long as the lens caps are on it’s ok.

cfimages, you’re just full of info, aren’t ya?
Thanks. :beer:

I’ve got a just-too-large, boxy shoulder bag that’s, well, just too large.
I replaced that with a just big enough, shaped deal, that’s got no room for a second lens.
Now, I need something that’s just right?
I’m Goldishutters.

I use both – single strap backpack and belt setups – though I use the belt + cup setup a lot more than I do the backpack for work. Works great while on the job (I shoot in ultra packed nightclub / event conditions and it’s way easier to squirm my way through crowds with the belt). It’s fairly light (with one cup / lens) and very low-key compared to the backpack.

With the belt setup + 1 medium cup, I can hold:

a Canon 5D
2 lenses up to the 85 1.2L size (or 3 if the lenses are near the 50mm f/1.4 size)
one 580ex flash + 3 sets of AA batteries (@4 batteries per set)
3 sets of 5D batteries
up to 6 CF cards
A flash cord (the size of a standard telephone cord)
a wireless remote (ST-E2)

The velcro linkages are pretty heavy duty but I secure the linkages with plastic tie downs just in case. While I’m not shooting (and everything is packed in) I sling it over my shoulder exactly the way I would my single strap backpack.

Works great for me since I usually carry no more than 2 or 3 lenses (all primes) with me anyways, unless I’m off on a long trip… in most cases tho, I prefer using the belt over back pack or side bag… thats me though. It’s not for everyone so definitely try it out before you buy it.

Single strap backpack —>

Modular belt system —>

While wandering around Taida, I found a place called Rockland. Great little outdoors shop. And, they’ve got Crumpler bags. Picked up the perfect lens pouch.

Then added a pair of sandals (in my size!) and backpack.