Custom made Internal Camera Unit


After some inquiries, I was directed to a local shop in my city (Bangalore). I spoke to an elderly gentlemen, who seemed well versed with camera bag making. I showed him photos of the F-stop ICU, and explained the concept of putting it into my Deuter ACT Trail 32 backpack. He was quick to grasp things, and wanted a week’s time to make the bag. In reality, he made it within a couple of hours. I know that because the bag wasn’t ready when I went to collect it on the promised day. He started the work after I visited him, and finished everything in about 3 hours.

Here is what he made:

Bag_Only-1 Bag_Only-2 Bag_Only-3 Bag_Only-4The quality of stitching is solid. The materials used look very durable. The finishing is not exactly world class, and the alignments are off in a few places.  For what I paid, calling this a bargain would be an understatement. Hey, I was ready to pull the trigger on something that costs almost 10 times more!

The bag fits great inside the Kelty Flyway 32:

Kelty_Flyway-4 Kelty_Flyway-3 Kelty_Flyway-2 Kelty_Flyway-1

The  Kelty has a large front pocket where I can store accessories and other stuff that does not fit in the main compartment on top. I can definitely throw in a jacket in the main compartment.

The internal camera unit holds everything I want it to. To reiterate, hiking and backpacking are the driving factors for this mode of camera transportation. I am not going to take every single piece of equipment I own on a hike. I am generally looking to carry a Canon 5D Mark III with L bracket from Promedia,  Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, Canon 24mm TS-E, the 100mm L F/2.8IS or the 50mm f/1.2L and filters. It can hold most of my lenses and filters.


The biggest downfall of this custom made Internal Camera Unit is that it ended up being a wee bit big for the Deuter ACT Trail 32. The bag maker made a mistake here. The ICU fits great inside the Deuter, but putting it in and removing it out is not easy. My expectations were really low, so I am not entirely disappointed. The very fact that the bag sits great inside the Deuter is reason enough for me to rub my hands in glee. And the lightweight pack that the Deuter is, makes it great for hiking and backpacking through crowded Indian cities.


P1020191 Deuter_ACT_Trail-2 Deuter_ACT_Trail-3

Did you see? I can pack my Macbook air as well. Yipee! The Deuter has great features such as straps for ice hooks, which I can use to attach my Feisol 3441-T. It can also hold a water bladder, and has pockets for other small items. The internal frame is anatomically perfect on my back. The Kelty Flyway is an even bigger backpack so I can use that on longer trips.

I think I got my money’s worth with this combination of a  good hiking back and custom built ICU.  The Deuter is lighter than the F-stop Loka on the back and the pocket. Who doesn’t love a successful hack?


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One Response to Custom made Internal Camera Unit
  1. vikram Reply

    Hi Pratap,
    Been spending a lot of time researching and looking for a bag that could carry all the camera equipment (similar to yours) along with a hydration bladder and some light clothing like a jacket etc. Found the f-stop to be quite a match , however they really seem to be in trouble with their production etc. Thats when i came across your post here. (Not sure how old). Wondering if you did get around to making to making this specialised gear bag in bulk. Would love to get one if you did. Look froward to hearing from you. Regards vikram

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