hacked or home-made bags

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Rudy, Jan 16, 2016.

  1. Rudy

    Rudy Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 24, 2013
    Oakland, CA
    I am on the eternal quest for the perfect bag as are many others I'm sure.
    Since it probably does not exist, I have started hacking bags to modify them to my liking.
    There are three so far that I took under the knife.
    Domke F5X-B, ThinkTank Speed Demon V1 and Domke F6.

    The F5X-B had its zipper removed to make access to the bag completely open. Name tag is gone, too. I also sewed the strap directly to the bag, getting rid of all the metal buckles, etc. I added some ThinkTank dividers and this is my favorite bag now. It is very light and compact. I can fit two EM-5s with the O12-40 & O75 and either the Nokton 25 or alternatively a P20/P14 combo. It's a bit tight and I really wish it was 1" wider at the same depth. Magnet closures might be in its future or maybe I'll take a look at the Mirrorless Mover 25i. I just wish that was canvas instead of Nylon.

    The Speed Demon lost its front pocket to make it less deep and thereby easier to maneuver into tight spaces. I also added a connecting strap between the two halves of the buckle sized to allow me to carry it diagonally across my back, like a sling bag. This bag also can carry the above kit, but the bodies need to be oriented with their bottom plates together, which makes grabbing one of them a bit awkward. It also results in a deeper bag which is really only comfortable as a waist pack. It does rock in that configuration though, since lens changes are really easy as you are effectively carrying a small tray around. Just looks a bit dorky...

    On the F6 I removed the closing straps as I really don't care for the metal clips. I instead added magnets to hold the flap down. I also added velcro around the inside perimeter and found a padded insert that fits in perfectly. What I like is the open access to everything as the bag is not very tall. This bag is bigger than the other two and can store items in two rows. This combined with the lack of a rigid bottom makes the bag a bit too floppy, so I ended up not really using it. I suppose I could add a "bottom Plate", but the bag is also bigger than what I really need most of the time.

    Please share your own exploits in bag hacking!
    I'm also interested in anyone who knows of a bag similar to my hacked F5X-B that is a bit (~1") wider (11" * 4" * 7" would be ideal).

    bags-1. bags-2. bags-3. bags-4. bags-5.
  2. Raptor7

    Raptor7 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 21, 2014
    Madrid, Spain
    Can you add a photo of the F-5XB with the two EM-5 inside? Thank you!
  3. Hypilein

    Hypilein Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 18, 2015
    I have just repurposed an old leather messenger bag. The prices for not camerabag looking camera bags are absolutely insane with nothing below 100€. I then bought two different inlay bags that I just put in depending on the equipment I bring. I can also fit a Gorillapod if necessary.

    I have just ordered one of those cozy speed bags that sit on the waist, but for any occasions where I care about how I look with the bag I'll still use the leather one.
  4. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    I have this duel bag from Lomography. My wife was kind enough to make a few modifications and build an insert. I can take the small section with my E-M10 plus an extra lens or two, depending on the size of the lenses. Or I can take the larger section with three additional lenses. Or I lash them together and take nearly all my lenses. Although that is a little heavy with my adapted lenses.

    Here you can see the bags separate plus the colorful insert that my wife made for the larger bag:

    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016
  5. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    I've been wanting to make a small insert for my GM and P15/2.4, P20/1.7, and O45/18. Keep the ideas coming!
  6. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Real Name:
    David Dornblaser
    I primarily use a Tenba insert with either a Barbour Tarras or Chapman Troutbeck 16 messenger bag. They are big enough to carry other essentials other than camera gear. One of the things that I like about both of these bags is they have 2" straps which is great for carrying weight. Here are a couple of pictures that I previously posted:

    [​IMG]Untitled by David Dornblaser, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Untitled by David Dornblaser, on Flickr
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016
    • Like Like x 1
  7. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Real Name:
    Domke J-5XB Shoulder exterior 10W x 4.5D x 7.25H interior 9.5W x 4D x 6H

    Think Tank Hubba Hubba Hiney exterior 11.4W x 5.3D x 7.3H interior 10.6W x 4.0D x 6.7H

    I'll second the request for more pictures of the F5XB. I replaced my F5XB with a Think Tank Photo Speed Changer V2.0 mainly because the top is main so the zippers can be folded back and it has a front accessory pouch. But I prefer the side attachment points for the strap and the top flap.
  8. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Real Name:
    David Dornblaser
  9. Rudy

    Rudy Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 24, 2013
    Oakland, CA
    Here are some more pictures of the Domke F5X-B that I modified:

    Closed up with all the stuff in it. No, it's not exactly rain proof anymore, but I live in California.

    Open with all the stuff. Bodies are flush with the top edge, spaced just right by the lens hoods...

    Here is what's inside in the previous pictures. EM-5 Mark II with O12-40, its flash, spare battery, Joby mini-tripod, Nokton 25, EM-5 with O75 (silver with black tape).

    Getting rid of the zipper really opens up the bag and this setup is quite workable. An extra inch in width would make a bit more space for using grips on the bodies, which I generally prefer.
  10. Rudy

    Rudy Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 24, 2013
    Oakland, CA
    The Rickshaw looks good, but it's too deep at 9.25". If it had the bottom 3" as a separate compartment (like the F5X-C) then I would consider it. Great place for a Mefoto Mini tripod...
  11. Rudy

    Rudy Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 24, 2013
    Oakland, CA
    The dimensions of the Hubba Hubba Hiney are great, but the zipper kills it. It's too fiddly for two cameras side by side to get them in with a single zipper over the middle.
  12. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    I never realized the potential to make the bottom of the F5X-C a separate compartment. Interesting bag that can hold lots of m4/3s gear with that option.

    I married a Domke and a Lowepro a while back. An F3 bag and the thick and cushy insert from an old Lowepro bag. Super simple compared to cutting, sewing, adding and subtracting stuff, but the best of both styles of bag for me.
  13. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Real Name:
    David Dornblaser
    I understand that is not what you are looking for. I prefer a little extra space, it weighs nothing, in case I want to throw in sunglasses, note pad, etc.
  14. Dan77F2AS

    Dan77F2AS New to Mu-43

    Jan 18, 2016
    Great thread! Here is a hacked bag I recently finished. I converted a waist pack to a sling bag. I used a Black Diamond Equipment Lumbar Pack - L7 Prowler waist pack - exterior dimensions (HxWxD): approx. 9x12x4-¼”. Capacity: 466 cu.in. (7L).

    The waist pack had padded flaps on each side of the waist belt. I removed the 1.5" wide strap from the waist flap on one side, hand sewed a short 1.5" wide strap vertically to the back of the bag, then folded and sewed the waist flap over the back of the bag. For the inside I used thin foam and neoprene bottle holders cut and shaped to line the inside of the bag. Plus two neoprene bottle holders sewn to the inside for lenses.

    Flap folded over and sewn to the back of the bag. Short strap sewn vertically with clip from original strap.
    02 bag back 1.

    Side and back view.
    03 bag side view.

    Inside of bag. Large area for camera with lens attached made from thin foam and neoprene. Two lens pouches made from neoprene bottle holders.
    05 bag inside.

    Inside of bag, loaded. OM-D E-M1 with Lumix 7-14 f4 lens attached and neoprene lens cap, Lumix 20 f1.7 on top of small E-M1 flash, Olympus 45 f1.8 with hood attached and neoprene lens cap stacked on Lumix 14 f2.5.
    06 bag inside 2.

    Access to inside is easy and bag does not fall forward.
    07 bag access.

    Bag swings around easily to wear secure on back. Water bottle rests in holder and is secured by clip.
    09 bag wear back 2.

    The finished bag holds my small m4/3 system:
    - OM-D E-M1 with Lumix 7-14 f4 lens attached
    - Olympus 45 f1.8 with hood attached
    - Lumix 20 f1.7
    - Lumix 14 f2.5
    - spare batteries, small LED light, small E-M1 Flash + a few small items

    This camera bag solution works very well for this particular kit. It could hold another small lens but not much more.
    Pros and Cons

    custom made for my use
    light weight
    flap sewn to the back makes extra padding
    heavy duty zipper durable, doesn't snag
    sling style bag comfortable to carry and convenient to access inside
    doesn't look like a camera bag
    limited capacity - but fine for this kit
    • Like Like x 3
  15. Rudy

    Rudy Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 24, 2013
    Oakland, CA
    You forgot to mention that you painted over the blue zippers to blend into the urban jungle.
    I like it!
  16. Indianpeaksjoe

    Indianpeaksjoe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 1, 2012
    I use a MindShift Gear Trail Rotation almost daily. I also tend to carry a small tripod that I throw in the outer side pocket . Now the pocket is not built for that and I know it. But I like the quick access and laziness won out. Unfortunately on a few extremely bumpy trails I have had it fall out. Now that I upgraded my tripod game to a RRS I can't afford to lose it (literally and figuratively).

    So I bartacked a small piece of webbing on and ran some cord through it to a cord lock. Now it cannot fall out.

    I should be embarrassed of the crappy cell phone pic on a photo forum, but oh well...
    • Like Like x 2
  17. Rudy

    Rudy Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 24, 2013
    Oakland, CA
    The Think Tank Speed Demon V1 has a removable insert unlike the V2. That insert also fits perfectly inside the Domke F3. Takes a lot of the floppiness out of the F3.
    It looks very similar to what you are showing , but the cushions are not as thick.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. kschles

    kschles Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 3, 2010
    Laurel, MD; USA
    Real Name:
    image. I use a Patagonia Minimass messenger bag with an insert. The bag measures 12x11x5, and weighs 1lb, 2oz (without the insert). Almost no Velcro (except for back pocket). The strap is quite long and made of seat belt material. I'm a pretty big guy and like to wear my straps cross body. I also use a Billingham pad on the strap. (I find the strap on the Billingham Hadley Pro to be too short). I also have the new Tenba Cooper Slim. I really like the bag, but at 2.6 lbs, it's noticeably heavier than the Patagonia when loaded with the same gear.