The tools of this trade do not come cheap. Photographers invest a significant amount of money in camera gear, and it’s important to keep that gear safe. It’s equally important to keep it accessible so that it can be used whenever needed, no matter the location. One of the best ways to accomplish both of these goals in one swoop is by investing in a quality camera bag. Of the available bags on the market, some of the best come from the team over at f-stop gear, and it’s no surprise. They’ve spent the last fifteen years designing, developing, and delivering bags to help photographers finding their perfect match when it comes to hauling their gear. They’re also deeply committed to the community they serve and full of interesting tidbits you might not have known. We spoke with Chris Osborn, f-stop gear’s Director of Marketing, and we’re happy to share their story with you in our latest installment of company features.
This article is part of our Company Feature Series, in which we share insight into the companies who create the photography products that we know and trust. The goal of this series is to share stories that inspire our readers to innovate and create within the photo industry.
What Is f-stop gear’s Story?
“2021 marks the celebration of f-stop’s 15th anniversary! We started with a desire to blend the very best features of outdoor performance packs with the best features of camera bags. We first talked to the world’s top outdoor and adventure photographers about meeting this need. The feedback we received resulted in the introduction of the first modular camera backpacks, which allow photographers to customize each backpack to match their own specific needs, gear, and environment.
Our brand ambassador community continues to be a source of inspiration for our products, innovation, and continuous improvement. Over 150 of the world’s top photographers keep us focused on delivering the kind of value and quality they demand to tell amazing, inspiring, and beautiful visual stories. This laser focus on our customers’ needs, coupled with our innovation in design, materials, and processes, keeps f-stop at the very pinnacle of the industry.”
What Is f-stop gear’s Mission?
“We want to connect people to the world through great visual stories, so we work to build a vibrant and engaged community of people who share our vision and commitment to excellence and environmental stewardship.”
What Are f-stop gear’s Core Values?
“Innovation, Customer First Thinking, Sustainability, Employees, and Community.”
How Does f-stop gear Differ from Other Bag Makers?
“One of the most important differences between us and the competition is our community. Our brand ambassadors, now over 150 of them, are the top photographers in the world. This community helps us connect to the market in ways our competitors simply cannot match. Consequently, we manufacture camera backpacks of legendary quality and durability.”
What Product or Service Is f-stop gear Most Proud of?
“The Mountain Series camera backpacks stand as our flagship products. These are the packs that built f-stop’s reputation for making the best camera packs on the market. We hear from customers and our brand ambassadors that these packs contribute and are essential to their success. We are delighted that our packs have been to the top of Everest, and to the headwaters of the Amazon. They’ve been at mountain biking competitions and the Dakar Rally. They’s been to every corner of the globe helping photographers capture inspiring images from which great memories are made.”
Given the Evolving State of the Industry, What’s Next for f-stop gear?
“We see f-stop’s future as very bright. In the midst of the horrific global pandemic, we recorded Q4 2020 sales 88% higher than Q4 2019. Our products continue to occupy the majority of the market for premium camera packs. We’ve been able to keep high standards of design, materials, and we’ve done so without price increases. So, while others in the industry are retreating, cutting staff and consolidating, we are growing, adding to our team and developing a new generation of mountain series packs for release in 2021.”
Have Any f-stop gear Fun Facts?
“According to our lead contact at the factory, f-stop packs are more complex than most others. Most packs (the vast majority, in fact) use between 30 to 40 pattern patches. f-stop packs use more than 70.
Another fun fact is that a lot of people underestimate the number of hands a pack goes through from being rolled fabric to a ready to sell sewn pack, which easily extends 30 people.”
You can find f-stop gear on the web via the links below: