UrbEx / Landscape Photography setup

I’ve finally succeeded in getting my Urban Exploration / Urban Landscape photography kit together, so I thought I’d document it here.

backpack
Heavy UrbEx.

The goal was to have a single backpack that I could travel with, which didn’t scream “tactical gear bag”, and which could handle a versatile photographic load.

Here’s the loadout.

Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L, with:

Nikon d8XX with the 14-24 2.8, with a modified 3 Legged Thing QR-11 L-Plate. Umbrella in side pocket. Headphones and small medikit with hand sanitiser, paracetamol etc. Godox V860II & X1-n. Blackrapid Sport Breathe. GSI low-profile water battle in side pocket. 3 Legged Thing Leo with Airhed Switch.

It all packs in very snug, and there’s some modifications to the dividers to scavenge every last millimetre in width across the bag (not such a big commitment now they sell them separately). There’s also lens tissues, lens covers, remote release cable, camping knife-spork and a couple of cable adapters in the interior side pockets. Wallet and a protein bar in the top compartment, and still space for an iPad in the laptop sleeve.

Inside, there’s one vertical divider at the bottom to separate the camera onto the left, and tripod on the right, then one horizontal divider across the top of that.

The horizontal is folded up on the right to make one tall space for the tripod on the right. One layer of the folded up part on the horizontal divider is removed to give 5-10mm more room in the top left compartment. The vertical divider has a layer removed from the folding section as well, to give more room to the L-Plate on the camera, so as to stop the grip from poking out through the side. That vertical divider also has an extra row of velcro sewn onto it, so the whole side adheres to the inner surface of the bag, rather than just the stock tab. The Blackrapid bag packs in behind the tripod in the space it creates where the carbon fibre of the legs is exposed. The trimmed parts removed from the folding sections of the dividers are velcro-ed into the bottom of the bag with adhesive-backed velcro strips, to provide a bit of padding for the lens and bottom of the tripod.


Modifying Blackrapid FR-T1 to work with 3 Legged Thing QR-11

Here’s a gear hack to combine two products that should play well together, but don’t. The Blackrapid FR-T1 connector, and 3 Legged Thing QR-11 L-Bracket.

Gear Hack Instructions
Instructions

Technically, the QR-11 does work with Blackrapid straps – there’s a 1/4″ mounting hole in the short arm to screw in a Connector, however this interferes with the ability of the short arm’s rail to mount in the Tripod’s Arca clamp. Also, the ergonomics don’t work as well when the camera is hanging on the strap.

handling comparison
Handling Comparison

As a bonus, here’s a modification of the short arm on the L-Plate, to get it as close as possible against the side of the camera.

3LT modification
Get a snug fit against the camera.

Material needs to be removed to clear the rubber gasket covers for the ports on the front of the camera, as well as the thumbnail catch for the port door on the side.