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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Is there a socially acceptible way to carry around a DSLR?

Is there a socially acceptible way to carry around a DSLR?
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rozwado1
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Aug 3, 2008, 01:07 AM
 
I have a D40 with a few lenses, but I'm having trouble getting shots bc I feel like a complete Dbag taking it around with me. ICE- I've seen a few shots you took from out at a club. Isn't it a pain to haul it around in there? Don't you ever feel like 'the creepy guy with the camera'? I've taken mine out to the beach a few times with friends, but still feel kinda weird with it. Maybe I need more artsy friends...

I'm heading to costa rica and Europe in the near future. I'd like to pack the camera with 2 extra lenses without looking like a complete tourist. Any of you nerds have a low-profile bag/case/pouch you could recommend?
     
iMOTOR
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Aug 3, 2008, 02:00 AM
 
Weird, I feel the same way. It’s like if you’re a guy and you really like photography; you must be a pervert too.

Regarding bag; I really like this one:

http://www.calumetphoto.com/item/LP2120/

It has a built in rain cover that would come in handy if it rains where you’re going.
     
mduell
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Aug 3, 2008, 02:14 AM
 
It's much less creepy if you keep it on your side and slightly behind you instead of on your stomach.
     
PB2K
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Aug 3, 2008, 05:05 AM
 
i quit using 350d because the camera's are too large. and they are too noisy. it's hard to make a casual picture when they've seen your honking dslr.

edit : and besides , I am a lousy photographer. I like the point and shoot kind of camera's with few buttons
( Last edited by PB2K; Aug 3, 2008 at 05:17 AM. )
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MacosNerd
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Aug 3, 2008, 07:05 AM
 
I've never brought my camera to a club but I have no issues lugging my camera and extra lenses around. I suppose I embrace my nerdiness
     
SpaceMonkey
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Aug 3, 2008, 09:12 AM
 
Maybe if you wore a safari hat, it would kind of complete the look and make it less awkward.

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SirCastor
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Aug 3, 2008, 09:30 AM
 
Specific events aside, my wife received some good advice from the TA in her photography class:
Carry around a notebook with you. When you see something you want to shoot, write down the place, and the time, and then go back when it's convenient.

You won't always get the shot, but I think you look (and feel) less foolish if you're planning on shooting something specific.

On the other hand, maybe you should just get over yourself and take your camera. You want to take some pictures and you've invested probably more than a couple thousand dollars in your art/hobby/profession. Stop worrying about what other people think and do what you love.
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rozwado1  (op)
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Aug 3, 2008, 09:41 AM
 
@iMOTOR: Do you have that Slingshot bag? I was looking at them online, but I can't tell how big it is. Seems kind of boxy. I may just get a small case for the cam, then those hard tubes for each lens and toss them in a daypack. I need to actually head out to a store and quit internet shopping for this junk.

Regarding being a pervert... this guy needs a safari hat or something.
     
alligator
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Aug 3, 2008, 09:54 AM
 
Personally, I use a backpack that allows me to carry my camera gear. Then I pull it out for the shot I want, which minimizes me looking like a camera geek.

Just be glad you aren't this guy:
     
mdc
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Aug 3, 2008, 10:02 AM
 
If I just want to carry my D300 (with vertical grip) and some lenses I will use the Crumpler - 6 million dollar home messenger bag.
The messenger bag is big enough for my body, 70-300mm, 50mm, and another small lens.
This bag is my day to day bag and I carry it around most of the time.




When I want to carry everything, including my tripod, I use the Crumpler - Whickey Cox.

     
rozwado1  (op)
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Aug 3, 2008, 10:44 AM
 
How's the million dollar home on a rainy day? Looks like rain could seep in where the shoulder strap connects.
     
ort888
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Aug 3, 2008, 10:47 AM
 
Try being Japanese.

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rozwado1  (op)
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Aug 3, 2008, 10:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
Try being Japanese.
Too tall and white for that, but I appreciate your thinking outside of the box.
     
mdc
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Aug 3, 2008, 11:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by rozwado1 View Post
How's the million dollar home on a rainy day? Looks like rain could seep in where the shoulder strap connects.
I haven't been caught in the rain with it yet, but it should be okay since the inside of the bag isn't quite the outside of the messenger bag. There is a little bit of space in between and the top cover completely covers the inside of the bag.

I hope these images describe it better than I can.


     
Jawbone54
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Aug 3, 2008, 11:08 AM
 
I use the Slingshot, and I find it to be pretty dang unobtrusive.
     
Angelo78
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Aug 3, 2008, 11:19 AM
 
Wear the camera on your shoulder and not around your neck. A good way is to have the lens pointing behind you so that it is protected if you bump into something.

The thing about feeling creepy is to understand that you're not. You have a camera and enjoy photography like many others. As long as you aren't trying to hide the fact that you're taking photos you shouldn't have any problems with anyone. When you look nervous and try to hide the camera you can potentially look creepy. If you look casual and open about taking photographs then you will blend in with everyone.

For a bag I use a backpack style piece made by Kata. They make rugged, high quality equipment. One division of the company actually makes bullet-proof vests. The model I have isn't big and bulky like many camera backpacks out there. Another plus is that it doesn't advertise itself to others as being a camera bag.

Here's a link to the one I own: Backpack

This one is a bit large for a D40 and two lenses. Here's the page for all of their photo bags/cases: Kata

Good luck, have fun and try not to let the worry of your camera equipment take away from your vacation.
     
rozwado1  (op)
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Aug 3, 2008, 11:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by mdc View Post
I haven't been caught in the rain with it yet, but it should be okay since the inside of the bag isn't quite the outside of the messenger bag. There is a little bit of space in between and the top cover completely covers the inside of the bag.

I hope these images describe it better than I can.
Originally Posted by Jawbone54
I use the Slingshot, and I find it to be pretty dang unobtrusive.
Thanks for putting up pics - looks pretty heavy-duty.
I'm gonna try to find the slingshot locally to check it out, but I'm liking the crumpler. Too bad they don't have any stores/retailers here.
     
ghporter
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Aug 3, 2008, 11:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
Try being Japanese.
Originally Posted by rozwado1 View Post
Too tall and white for that, but I appreciate your thinking outside of the box.
My biggest discomfort with carrying my DSLR around is that I feel that I look like a tourist.

Back when Mazda first started working with Ford in Southeastern Michigan, my dad said it was easy to tell when a new Mazda exec had just arrived in the States: he'd be wearing business clothes and carrying at least one camera. By the time their tour in Michigan ended, they'd have acculturated and be running around in shorts and tennis shoes, but they'd still have a camera most of the time. In other words, still obviously tourists. Since I live in a city that puts more emphasis on tourism than basic city services, looking like a tourist bothers me. But then, so would carrying around a bag that's big enough for my (modest) DSLR...

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Mithras
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Aug 3, 2008, 12:58 PM
 
I think the other option is trying to gear up so you have a professional photojourno look. You know, press pass, media logo baseball cap, and accompanied by a "minder", a "fixer", and a translator.
     
iMOTOR
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Aug 3, 2008, 04:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by rozwado1 View Post
@iMOTOR: Do you have that Slingshot bag? I was looking at them online, but I can't tell how big it is. Seems kind of boxy.
It’s not that big compared to my massive Tamrac backpack, but it’s not real small either. I can measure it if you like.
     
rozwado1  (op)
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Aug 3, 2008, 04:26 PM
 
no need to measure, got the specs online. I'm taking a hard look at the Crumplers, even though they don't offer the 'immediate access' like the slingshot.
     
IceEnclosure
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Aug 3, 2008, 07:59 PM
 
If you're out in public, the best advice has already been given. Don't act shady.

When I bring my camera to a nightclub, I'd prefer to have the owner's/promoter's permission to shoot so I don't have to answer to the club-goers.

I carry a Domke FX5-B, very small bag which fits my D40 with kit lens attached, my SB600 flash, and my SC-29 off-camera flash cable. Nothing else will fit, but it's perfectly small. I'll go into clubs with it sometimes and the bouncers won't even notice it.

I use a grip-strap, I'll let the camera hang in my hand. Less bulky in my bag than a full strap and I like that it keeps the camera in my hand all the time.

Lastly, I say bring an attractive girl with you.

here's my bag, hardly noticeable:



and uh:





ice
     
Uncle Doof
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Aug 3, 2008, 08:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by rozwado1 View Post
I'm heading to costa rica and Europe in the near future.
If you hang out in downtown San José for long enough (say, 20 minutes) then you really won't need to be worrying about continuing to carry all that heavy camera gear with you.
If you don't want to be eaten, stop acting like food
     
rozwado1  (op)
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Aug 3, 2008, 09:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Doof View Post
If you hang out in downtown San José for long enough (say, 20 minutes) then you really won't need to be worrying about continuing to carry all that heavy camera gear with you.
Luckily we're just flying in to San Jose, most of the trip is in Quepos and Dominical. I managed to get the flight for $9 through spirit, so that's why I'm partial to upgrading my gear right now.

@ICE - Do you get your gear locally in FTL? There's only a few decent shops in Miami, but I haven't been very impressed.
     
IceEnclosure
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Aug 3, 2008, 09:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by rozwado1 View Post
@ICE - Do you get your gear locally in FTL? There's only a few decent shops in Miami, but I haven't been very impressed.
Camera, flash, cord and bag purchased online. Got my manfrotto 190XProB tripod from a local place, they charged me like $25 less than they should have. I'll get you their info, it was like a warehouse/online place.

also,

So. Photo Tech Service Inc.
37 N.E. 167th Street North
Miami, FL 33162
305-653-7355
Fax: 305-653-7356

My dad said the guys from the Associated Press always brought their gear here for the many years my dad worked there. I went there to get my SB600 fixed after I kind of stuck it into a ceiling fan. They called me hours later, it was fixed, and it was free. Nice place, Nikon authorized.
ice
     
el chupacabra
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Aug 3, 2008, 09:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by rozwado1 View Post
Don't you ever feel like 'the creepy guy with the camera'? I've taken mine out to the beach a few times with friends, but still feel kinda weird with it.

I'm heading to costa rica and Europe in the near future. I'd like to pack the camera with 2 extra lenses without looking like a complete tourist.
the idea of the nerdy camera geek is coming to an end. Everybody brings their cameras everywhere now days, and I've found, when site seeing about 1 in 20 people is lugging around a much larger camera than me. Maybe things are different in your area. but in cosa rica I can see every american there acting japanese. Just dont let the locals get their eyes too glued to your camera.
     
ghporter
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Aug 4, 2008, 05:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by IceEnclosure View Post
Lastly, I say bring an attractive girl with you.

here's my bag, hardly noticeable:
I didn't see the bag for the girls. Several times. Good play there-camouflage is your friend!
Originally Posted by IceEnclosure View Post
Does the lightweight photographer come with the lightweight, collapsible cart?

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
rozwado1  (op)
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Aug 4, 2008, 06:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Does the lightweight photographer come with the lightweight, collapsible cart?
"It can carry your travel loads" - notice who's carrying the luggage
"It can be folded for easy carrying"
"It can mount a ballhead"

Which one are we talking about here?
( Last edited by rozwado1; Aug 4, 2008 at 06:19 PM. Reason: making it more awesome)
     
IceEnclosure
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Aug 4, 2008, 08:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by rozwado1 View Post
Which one are we talking about here?
Not sure but either way I'd probably rent one if I were in Japan.
ice
     
Timo
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Aug 4, 2008, 09:40 PM
 
Having a less-than-honkin' dSLR (in terms of size) was a priority for me. The first choice might be a Leica, but that route has its problems, not the least of which is the cost.

My solution was to get a smallish body (Pentax) and fit it with slim primes. Less like a "gun." Thought I might miss a zoom, but you get used to having one less decision to make in the shot; the fixed frame constraint can also inspire.

The body and three primes fits in a Crumpler 4 million dollar bag.
     
KeriVit
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Aug 4, 2008, 11:27 PM
 
Hip bag. Confirmed.
     
Jawbone54
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Aug 5, 2008, 12:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by Timo View Post
The body and three primes fits in a Crumpler 4 million dollar bag.
Mmmmmmmmm...

Primes...
     
rozwado1  (op)
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Aug 5, 2008, 12:23 AM
 
I have the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 and love it, but the D40 doesn't have built-in AF, so it's not practical for daily use. Had to pickup the 18-55mm VR.
     
IceEnclosure
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Aug 5, 2008, 12:33 AM
 
30mm f/1.4 from Sigma will focus, but it's $400 bucks.
ice
     
rozwado1  (op)
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Aug 5, 2008, 12:39 AM
 
I like to keep the lenses below the cost of my camera for now, lol.
     
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Aug 5, 2008, 11:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by IceEnclosure View Post
30mm f/1.4 from Sigma will focus, but it's $400 bucks.
I have this lens and LOVE it. The bokeh is amazing. It is a bit heavy, and with the 1.6X crop factor on my XTi it is actually a 48mm lens, but the image sharpness and color accuracy is outstanding. This and the cheap 50mm f/1.8 are great prime lens for walk around and not-get-too-noticed work.
     
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Aug 5, 2008, 12:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by rozwado1 View Post
I like to keep the lenses below the cost of my camera for now, lol.
Bad philosophy really. I have a couple lenses that cost more than the body of my camera. I would consider the lens to be one of the prime image quality factors of a camera setup.

The prices of camera bodies will keep lowering as quality and technology improves, but lens hold their prices and can be used with the newer bodies.
     
rozwado1  (op)
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Aug 5, 2008, 01:01 PM
 
well, I got the 18-55 VR and 55-200 VR for $100 apiece - and I think those are good enough until I make sure this is a legitimate hobby of mine. Once I upgrade the body to the D300 level I'll trade in my glass for better.
     
IceEnclosure
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Aug 5, 2008, 01:11 PM
 
Yeah there won't be much left of my 18-55 when I go for a new body anyhow. I've been putting this thing through the ringer, and it's quite fun.
ice
     
ghporter
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Aug 5, 2008, 03:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader View Post
Bad philosophy really. I have a couple lenses that cost more than the body of my camera. I would consider the lens to be one of the prime image quality factors of a camera setup.

The prices of camera bodies will keep lowering as quality and technology improves, but lens hold their prices and can be used with the newer bodies.
I agree with your philosophy here, but with limits.

For example, when one is getting started with any kind of SLR, one is tempted to get eleventybillion and three optical gadgets, super long lenses, converters and filter holders (remember those square Tippen filter holders that let you do everything from use medium format filters to theatrical gels?). So trying to figure out what you want to do and how to do it gives you every motivation to bankrupt yourself. On the other hand, a newb (like me nowadays) might decide that playing around with a decent, though not stellar variable tele-lens from a "bulk lens" brand might be worthwhile, just to see if spending three mortgage payments on a really high quality lens like that would be worthwhile.

But really, that's pretty much off-topic, so I'll just say "I agree mostly."

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Aug 5, 2008, 06:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I agree with your philosophy here, but with limits.

For example, when one is getting started with any kind of SLR, one is tempted to get eleventybillion and three optical gadgets, super long lenses, converters and filter holders (remember those square Tippen filter holders that let you do everything from use medium format filters to theatrical gels?). So trying to figure out what you want to do and how to do it gives you every motivation to bankrupt yourself. On the other hand, a newb (like me nowadays) might decide that playing around with a decent, though not stellar variable tele-lens from a "bulk lens" brand might be worthwhile, just to see if spending three mortgage payments on a really high quality lens like that would be worthwhile.

But really, that's pretty much off-topic, so I'll just say "I agree mostly."
You can buy a high quality lens, use it for months, and as long as you kept it in the same condition as when you bought it sell it on eBay for about 90-95% of the original cost.
     
rozwado1  (op)
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Aug 5, 2008, 06:54 PM
 
Well, the problem is initial cash outlay. Then there's the problem of what to do when it gets damaged.
     
richwig83
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Aug 5, 2008, 06:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by rozwado1 View Post
Well, the problem is initial cash outlay. Then there's the problem of what to do when it gets damaged.
Get your gear insured!!! Doesnt cost very much either compared to the actual value of camera gear!
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Aug 5, 2008, 07:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by richwig83 View Post
Get your gear insured!!! Doesnt cost very much either compared to the actual value of camera gear!
Indeed.

I pay about $80 per year to fully insure all of my camera gear and my laptop. It is covered against any loss, even if I drop it and break it.
     
ghporter
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Aug 5, 2008, 10:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader View Post
You can buy a high quality lens, use it for months, and as long as you kept it in the same condition as when you bought it sell it on eBay for about 90-95% of the original cost.
Excellent point. I'd probably have to sell after getting the next thing, but I had not really thought about it in those terms. It has been quite a long time since I was able to spend any real money on photography and equipment, and a lot has changed. Putting "eBay" and "photography equipment" together isn't something that I'd done...nor thinking about Craigslist, or anything else in that vein. So I have to change and say "I agree completely" with you. Now I have to start prioritizing what I want to buy first... That's not so easy.

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IceEnclosure
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Aug 5, 2008, 10:42 PM
 
I still want a Sigma 10-20 in case anyone was wondering.
ice
     
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Aug 5, 2008, 11:00 PM
 
I have that bag (Lowepro Slingshot 200 AW) and I can tell you it's great. My standard kit is a Nikon D300, 18-70mm, 55-200 mm, 24-80mm and 50 mm 1.8 lenses along with an SB-800. It handles all taht along with extra batteries, chargers, miscellaneous stuff and an ipod with no problem at all, room to spare. I love the fact taht you can sling it behind you like a backpack when you are walking but if you are shooting, you can sling it down to the side or in front of you. It opens away from you, which helps and the rain cover has been critical more than once.
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Demonhood
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Aug 6, 2008, 01:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by IceEnclosure View Post
I still want a Sigma 10-20 in case anyone was wondering.
i have the Canon 10-22 and love it. (samples available upon request)

i have 5 camera bags, only one of them could be considered discreet. then again, when i shoot in public, it tends to be at an event. and it's acceptable to be lugging around a ginormous bag while i snap away.

i also agree with RR. once you get to a certain point in your photography, the lenses will likely be significantly more than your body. so it goes.
     
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Aug 6, 2008, 04:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by rozwado1 View Post
Thanks for putting up pics - looks pretty heavy-duty.
I'm gonna try to find the slingshot locally to check it out, but I'm liking the crumpler. Too bad they don't have any stores/retailers here.
I have a Slingshot 200AW. It's handy but it REALLY hurts your back and shoulders if you walk around with it all day long. Also the top zipper one my less than a year old slingshot is already somewhat broken (it takes a lot of effort and patience to close it properly). Which is unacceptable for a €100 bag.

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Aug 6, 2008, 05:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by Demonhood View Post
i have the Canon 10-22 and love it. (samples available upon request)
Yes please!!!
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