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Domke F-5XC = THE bag???

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by TassieFig, Dec 25, 2014.

  1. TassieFig

    TassieFig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    534
    Oct 28, 2013
    Tasmania, Australia
    First I was embarrassed to admit having agonised over potential bags for weeks only to realise that's what camera folks do.

    So, I need a bag. Knowing the 75-300 will very soon join the stable I need something that can hold a decent amount.

    This is what it should be able to hold: E-M5, mostly with the 12-50 attached, 40-150, 75-300, 20 and the teeny weeny 9 BCL + mini tripod, batteries, small phone, keys, small wallet, some filters etc.

    The Turnstyle 5/10 first caught my attention and seems to be such a great bag, not sure the 10 would be large enough and 20 just looks too big for my liking. Biggest problem and probably a deal breaker is that it seem to be very comfortable only if you are a flat chested male. I'm neither...maybe a more traditional shoulder bag would be better?

    Domke bags looks great and there are several that are tempting (F-10, F-803 etc) but atm I'm leaning toward the F-5XC.

    I would think the 75-300 would easily fit in the lower section? Would it fit on the camera in the upper section?

    Have any of you F-5XC owners tried to remove the massive velcro (I don't want to just add another big velcro patch to silence it)? Is it easy?

    Anyone modified the useless (?) small front pockets? Pictures?

    Does the zipper get in the way of getting stuff in and out quickly?

    If the lower section is empty, does the upper section sag much?

    I'm guessing the F-10 is too small?

    Unfortunately there is no shop around here where I can try out the bags which makes it very difficult to choose the right bag. I've scoured the internet for info but I just can't make up my mind...please help me move on
     
  2. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Hate to complicate your decision, but might I recommend a Domke F-6? Compact but versatile if you plan on carrying several lenses and bodies. Like the F-2, it is a good bag to work out of when shooting. It is a bit bigger than the F-5 series, but it is still quite compact. And if need be, it can hold more than you might imagine. Fully loaded, mine holds three bodies, five lenses, a flash, and lots of accessories.

    Good luck,

    --Ken
     
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  3. Larry H-L

    Larry H-L Mu-43 Regular

    33
    Aug 6, 2013
    Ohio, USA
    Larry
    It's hard for me to know exactly what appeals to you, but the Domke F-5 XC is probably my least favorite Domke. I find it awkward, the front "pouches" are too small and pretty useless. The main zipper makes it secure, but slower to use.

    I like the F-10, have two of them. Overall about the same size as the XC, but it is tapered down at the bottom which may be a deal breaker for a long lens. No zipper, but has a clasp and a little Velcro. The front pouch is fully useful, and I use the underside pocket in the flap as well.

    I have a Rollei TLR, Sekonic L-398 light meter, close up lens, and some 120 film boxes in the main compartment, if that helps with size on the F-10.

    Reading your list again, I think both the F-5 and F-10 are too small for your gear. The 803 is probably safer in size, essentially a bigger F-10.
     
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  4. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    My feeling was the same when I saw it in person....

    My Domke is the F-6. My only recommendation is to avoid the wax-wear/ruggedwear versions. Not as durable as the classic canvas.
     
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  5. JNB

    JNB Mu-43 Regular

    160
    Dec 11, 2014
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    PLUS (for me): Can be configured to use two bodies, both with lenses attached, an additional 3 lenses (in lower compartment) and a few accessories. It's a reasonably small package for that amount of equipment, and reasonably discreet as well. The zippers fold back to allow for better access when 'working'. I put a Capture Camera Clip on the strap. Helps with lens changes.

    MINUS: Huge swath of velcro on the very large front flap (I took the velcro off). Accessory pockets fit extra batteries/cards, etc., but have no closures, so things can jump out when you're scrambling over rocks or jumping fences (almost lost two batteries, but I heard them hit the ground). Sometimes I leave out one of the lenses in the lower compartment, and put accessories there. I find access to lenses in lower compartment is better than having lenses stacked, but not as convenient as having them all on the same level unstacked (need a bigger/wider bag, though).

    PICS (with equipment of the time, but it gives an idea):

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/burnettjn/11468781825" title="Domke_F-5XB_FrontFlap by JNB (John), on Flickr"> 11468781825_0407f45e52_o. "800" height="600" alt="Domke_F-5XB_FrontFlap"></a>

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/burnettjn/11468781965" title="Domke_F-5XB_FrontView by JNB (John), on Flickr"> 11468781965_ae3d0871ab_o. "800" height="600" alt="Domke_F-5XB_FrontView"></a>

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/burnettjn/11468889996" title="Domke_F-5XB_FrontPockets by JNB (John), on Flickr"> 11468889996_8f293235ba_o. "800" height="600" alt="Domke_F-5XB_FrontPockets"></a>

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/burnettjn/11468782045" title="Domke_F-5XB_BackPocket by JNB (John), on Flickr"> 11468782045_f6afa851d6_o. "800" height="600" alt="Domke_F-5XB_BackPocket"></a>

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/burnettjn/11468890136" title="Domke_F-5XB_Lower by JNB (John), on Flickr"> 11468890136_dff507b88e_o. "800" height="533" alt="Domke_F-5XB_Lower"></a>

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/burnettjn/11468817234" title="Domke_F-5XB_TopView1 by JNB (John), on Flickr"> 11468817234_ec19702e36_o. "800" height="533" alt="Domke_F-5XB_TopView1"></a>

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/burnettjn/11468933503" title="Domke_F-5XB_TopView2 by JNB (John), on Flickr"> 11468933503_495016d930_o. "800" height="533" alt="Domke_F-5XB_TopView2"></a>

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/burnettjn/11468782385" title="Domke_F-5XB_Contents by JNB (John), on Flickr"> 11468782385_c6e8df85f7_o. "800" height="800" alt="Domke_F-5XB_Contents"></a>
     
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  6. fortwodriver

    fortwodriver Mu-43 Top Veteran

    956
    Nov 15, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Frank
    I had the F-5XC for years. They started life holding my Canon 20D kit, then the 7D, and then when I transitioned to m43, held my E-M1 and lenses.

    Anyway, the F-5 series are not made to the same standard as the other, more established Domke bags. They have two major flaws.

    First:
    The base of the bag - there's a plastic card sewn into the base to give it shape and prevent it from collapsing in on itself. When they assemble these bags, the plastic cards have sharp edges. Over time, the card will cut at the fabric from the inside and eventually poke through the outside. Once that happens, the rest of the bottom of the bag simply begins to fray and unravel. Then the card sticks out and you'll see it's rather sharp. So it snags and rips shirts, pants, jackets, carseats... you name it. Really poor choice although I imagine they didn't use cardboard because the F-5 wasn't water-resistant - so it was probably better to have a plastic card in there than a mushy cardboard card.

    Second:
    On my F-5XB, after only a few months of toting it around, the velcro strip edges on the dividers ate through the bag, and then ate through the flap. so there's a hole about the width of a pencil going all the way through. The velcro dividers they ship with the F-5 bags have sharp edges where there's no padding (around the hook and loop bits) and it, too, will grind at the soft fabric until it cuts a nice little hole through it.

    If you're going to stick with Domke, I'd recommend avoiding those F-5 series bags. None of their other bags seem to wear that way and I know plenty of people who've had their Domkes for 20+ years and had no problems with them.

    I've never had any other bag with these problems, and my Domke "shooter-sack" and F2 (given to me by a relative), while badly beaten up, still functions as new. So I was really surprised when two of the F5 bags I purchased just didn't age very well.
     
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  7. MarkRyan

    MarkRyan Instagram: @MRSallee

    772
    May 3, 2013
    California
    FWIW, I've had an F5XB for coming on two years, use it weekly, and it's still in top shape.
     
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  8. biomed

    biomed Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 22, 2013
    Seattle area
    Mike
    My favorite Dome bags are the reporter satchel series. I have used many different bags over the years, but keep returning to the F-802 and F-803 bags.
    186922.
     
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  9. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    It has been among my favorites throughout the years as well, but I prefer the single compartment in the top flap that is accessed from beneath (the older style). Believe it or not, it will hold a D300 w/70-200 f/2.8 attached if you remove the inserts.

    --Ken
     
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  10. TassieFig

    TassieFig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    534
    Oct 28, 2013
    Tasmania, Australia
    Ahhhrg. I was hoping things would get easier...

    Thanks for the input guys, appreciated it. It looks like the F-5 might not be THE bag after all

    Thanks but I feel the F-6 is too large for me. I'm only planning to use one body and never more lenses than listed. Ok, perhaps a 45 or so in the future but no more largish lenses.
     
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  11. TassieFig

    TassieFig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    534
    Oct 28, 2013
    Tasmania, Australia
    The slim design with upstairs and downstairs is what really appealed to me. It doesn't look too big and fat and use the space in a clever way. What I don't like is exactly what you point out, the zipper and the front "pockets". I really like the look of F-10 but yeah, probably too small. The 803 is still a contender. What I don't like about it is the inner material with strips of velcro. I like the soft stuff so you can attach dividers anyway you want.
     
  12. TassieFig

    TassieFig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    534
    Oct 28, 2013
    Tasmania, Australia
    Thanks. I will stay away from the ruggedwear and I quite like the sand version anyway.
     
  13. TassieFig

    TassieFig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    534
    Oct 28, 2013
    Tasmania, Australia
    Thanks a lot for this useful info. Doesn't make it any easier for me but I might have to stay away from the F-5 :frown:
     
  14. TassieFig

    TassieFig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    534
    Oct 28, 2013
    Tasmania, Australia
    Yeah, they look like really nice bags but I will have to convince myself about the insert approach. I'm worried it gets too bulky and I don't like over-padding. Also I like soft interior so you can attach any divider in any configuration. We'll see, maybe I will have to rethink.
     
  15. TassieFig

    TassieFig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    534
    Oct 28, 2013
    Tasmania, Australia
    Thanks for the detailed pics. These were actually part of the info that convinced me that it would be a great bag for me. I was thinking of adding some kind of flaps for the pockets and, like you, remove the velcro. Hm, I do like the design... but, if it can't stand up to rough use then I don't know anymore :confused:
     
  16. TassieFig

    TassieFig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    534
    Oct 28, 2013
    Tasmania, Australia
    Ok, so I've gone through all the bags I could find again on the big interweb.

    I still really like the overall F-5XC design but I'm swaying away from it due the concerns brought up here.

    The Turnstyle (10?) still appeals to me but I need a curvy female to comment on the comfort first. Anyone available around here? Someones gf/wify up for a test run?

    Another bag that caught my attention is the Crumpler Kashgar Outpost. Doesn't seems very popular as I can't find much info from users. More conventional with a big deep compartment that swallows all your stuff but it has all the little things that are practical. And it does look good!
    http://www.crumpler.com/au/outpost-project/kashgar-outpost-m
    Anyone here got one?
    What are Crumplers shoulder straps like. It looks like it's quite stiff and could dig into your neck? Anyone?
     
  17. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Clint
    It would interesting to know how many days per week people use their bags. The Domke F-5XC is with me four days of the week and is my most commonly used bag for the m4/3s gear. I have add on bags for each side that I can put FL-50r flashes when needed.

    The bag well easily hold your gear, 75-300 will fit the lower or upper section. I have not tried to remove the velcro from the flap. When shooting the flap is often turn back over the back of the bag and the zippers turned back (see JNBs photos). The zipper does not get in the way when I'm shooting (even if it is not turned back) and is not the issue some make it out to be.

    I use the front pockets for Polorizer/ND filters, batteries and other small items, I keep thinking about putting flaps put over them, but I've owned the bag nearly two years and have yet to do so. So I guess I don't really consider the non closure an issue.

    If the lower section is empty the top section does not sag - but much of that is how you set it up.

    The slim style is great and the bag allows desegregation so as not have to dig through stuff to find what is needed nor necessary to stack stuff. The design is effective and efficient for m/43 gear and easy for transporting and shooting - something I could not find in another bag. The closest thing I could find was Retrospective 5, which was comparatively expensive, heavy, and harder to use.
     
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  18. TassieFig

    TassieFig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    534
    Oct 28, 2013
    Tasmania, Australia
    Great feedback, thanks. That will actually put the 5XC back in top spot (shared with the Kashgar...)

    I still got a few more days before ordering so I can sway back and forth a few more time...:rolleyes:
     
  19. TassieFig

    TassieFig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    534
    Oct 28, 2013
    Tasmania, Australia
    I would love to know what those add on bags are. Any pics?
     
  20. fortwodriver

    fortwodriver Mu-43 Top Veteran

    956
    Nov 15, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Frank
    To answer someone else's question, I carried my F-5XC with me every day when I used it for about 5 years. That includes the car, on public transit, and walking.

    I did eventually modify the bag by replacing the plastic card in the base. I unstitched the bottom and removed the plastic card and replaced it with one made out of coated cardboard (kind-of like speaker-cone material). Then I stitched it back up. I'm good with a needle and thread and a sewing machine so it wasn't too difficult. I really wanted to love it - I love canvas bags but...

    Don't get me wrong, the F-5 series is a nice idea, I just thought they made some poor design choices and luckily, they didn't stick to Domke's other lines. Unlike the plastic bar on the 803, the plastic base is what the bag sits on. The entire top of the bag shifts based on its contents and so it kind-of pushes and pulls the seams that hold the plastic card in. That makes the card move and causes it to "saw" through the fabric. The bag will also tip forward on your hip slightly because of where the D-rings are located and it doesn't conform to your hips quite like a Thinktank retrospective or other bags (like what I use) might.

    So now, my f-5XC holds some camera gear like my Pentax and some lenses, but it doesn't go out with me anymore. I just take what I need out of it and put it in whatever bag I'm taking with me that day. My F-5XB holds filters, a flash unit I don't use much anymore, and some cables.

    I don't really use camera bags anymore - although I am still interested and I'm still watching for what's out there, hence why I keep an eye on the bags threads here. Some of what you guys do with your bags, or the bags you find are sheer genius! I either put my camera gear inside my daily messenger bag, a Crumpler "Considerable Embarrassment" (I thought it was a "moderate" but it is definitely a "considerable" lol!), or a Crumpler "Dry Red No. 2" if I want a much smaller bag. Then, my lenses are in Op/Tech neoprene lens pouches. My camera is in a Zing standard neoprene "never-ready case" when in the bag, but I usually wear my camera on my body out of its case if I'm out taking photos.

    Besides, no matter what your bag looks like, if a thief sees you take a camera (or lens, or flash, or whatever) out of it, he knows it's a camera bag anyway. ;-)

    Picking a camera bag can be maddening. That's usually why I recommend people make up their own if they can't decide.
     
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