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Intractable bag problem

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by adam, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. adam

    adam Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 21, 2010
    I'm having a terrible problem finding a bag I'm happy with. I'm currently using a small National Geographic bag...it's nice, but the back pocket isn't big enough for my brand-new Kindle, and it hurts my shoulder after an hour or so. Every shoulder bag I've tried so far hurts my shoulder after an hour or so. The ThinkTank UD20 and the Crumpler 5 MDH are still on my maybe list, but I don't think either of those can hold a Kindle either. I'm maybe possibly considering the Billingham Hedley small, but I'm not sure I can justify spending that kind of money on a shoulder bag. I think I need a backpack.

    My needs:

    1) Hold my potential kit. GH1 with 14-140 attached, Olympus 70-300 (or Panasonic 100-300...I'll be first on the pre-order list), Olympus micro 9-18, Panasonic 20 pancake, I'll probably get an Olympus 50mm macro or similar. A few assorted filters, batteries, SD cards, etc. And the Kindle in a case. You guys think this is a big kit. Everyone else in the photography world thinks it's a small kit. :p 

    2) For a backpack, have some sort of tripod provision that won't cause me to back into anyone when I wear it on the subway. This has been a problem with every backpack I've ever tried. My tripod is a Manfrotto 055CX3, but it's way overkill for mFT and I'm willing to get something smaller. This could be either an external tripod strap, or some combo of tripod and bag where the tripod fits in the bag.

    3) Not scream "HI IM CARRYING $2000 WORTH OF CAMERA GEAR"

    4) I'd rather keep the price at or below $150, but I can go higher if I really need to.

    I spent two hours in B&H today and came up empty-handed. Anyone have any ideas??
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Bokeh Diem

    Bokeh Diem Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 14, 2010
    I have a Lowepro Classified 250 in sepia and love it. Carries a full sized notebook and a ton of stuff, but can get heavy when fully decked out. This thing is basically a very urbane and chic looking photo studio over the shoulder... I can do several (up to five or six) lenses (in their own soft cases), two big flashes, two cameras and all the trimmings, including snoots, diffusers, wireless transmitters, Hoyas etc., etc. Of course you can attach Lowepro's system lens cases to the outside in case of overflow if you wish also.

    Take a look at the smaller version or the sling version...

    Lowepro - Notebook & Camera

    Bokeh D
  3. landshark

    landshark Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 27, 2010
    SO CAL
    big vote for think tank, I use the UD20 and/or UD30
  4. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area
    I often carry my E-PL1, GF-1 plus 3-4 lenses and my ipad in this:
    Lowepro - Passport Sling

    Also Adorama carries Thinktank so yo might want to have a look there.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Grant

    Grant Mu-43 Veteran

    Just something to keep in mind when you look for camera bags. Many years ago I purchased a Lowe Prow Reporter and it served me well up until a few months ago and a small plastic clip broke. I took it to the local camera store to see if they had a replacement part. I expected that they would mass produce them for pennies and sell me one for $29.95 as it is, after all, photographic equipment. What I wasn’t expecting it that they took my camera bag and gave me a brand new one in exchange. It turns out that Lowe has a lifetime over the counter replacement policy. So the moral of the story is you get what you pay for.
    • Like Like x 2
  6. adam

    adam Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 21, 2010
    Yeah I've been to Adorama to take a look at the ThinkTank bags. I think they're annoyed with me though...I look at too much stuff there and don't buy enough of it :)  The UD20 would be perfect if it weren't for the tripod...I might pick up one as my small bag if I can afford it eventually.

    The more I think about it, the more I think I want a backpack. It's going to be a lot more comfortable for me...if I can solve the tripod issue...
  7. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    You may want to check out the Think Tank Retrospective 10 or the Domke 803. Both will hold your Kindle in a back pocket - the Think Tank will also hold one in the front pocket where its less likely to get broken against your hip. That's a pretty big bag for day to day use, but for travel, its got a lot of possibilities. Get one of the Domke inserts with the the 2x2 configuration for your lenses (made for the FX-6) and it'll fit in the bottom with enough room for camera and lens to the side and plenty of room above it for a jacket or sweater or whatever. Lots of pockets too. Its basically an FX-6 but much taller and with a whole lot more pockets and little compartments to stash things. Actually, I just checked and the FX-6 will also hold a Kindle pretty comfortably in its back pocket, but it will be against your body and could get broken and, because the bag is not tall, the Kindle is a bit more exposed.

    BTW, neither the Domke 803 or the Retrospective 10 look like camera bags. The 803 looks like a small messenger bag, the Retrospective 10 looks like a larger and deeper (front to back) messenger bag. The Domke FX-6 looks like a camera bag only because of its shape - what else would you put in a bag of that shape? Its pretty much the same dimension as the Retrospective 10 but with the top half missing.

  8. chromewaves

    chromewaves Mu-43 Rookie

    Jun 14, 2010
    consider the DIY route with inserts like this:

    MATIN Padded Bag DSLR camera insert M6507 Orange on eBay.ca (item 280503419667 end time 06-Jul-10 05:17:46 EDT)

    I have this one and it makes all of my satchels and messenger bags very functional camera bags for my E-P1, lenses and accessories. It's stiff enough to provide lots of protection but pliable enough to fit in all manner of bags and form-fit as necessary, and it's really light. Plus you can use dividers from any other bags in it as needed since it's all loop-side velcro.

    Finding something that's compact and capable of accomodating my gripped 5D and L zooms is a nightmare. Bagging up the Pen is a dream.
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Stephen Geis

    Stephen Geis Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 13, 2010
    Charlotte, NC
    Saw someone on the street a couple of weeks back wearing a camera vest and with a canvas ammo bag ("US Army" and a star logo on the side) which obviously stored camera gear.

    These canvas ammo bags are very inexpensive (around $10 online - http://www.fatiguesarmynavy.com/store/item/FA1963) and when paired with a camera insert like the one described here might make a cool, personalized DIY bag ...
    • Like Like x 1
  10. adam

    adam Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 21, 2010
    The thing is, these are all shoulder bags. I have a shoulder bag I like, as long as I don't need to carry a tripod. I'm looking for a backpack with a tripod attachment mechanism...
  11. adam

    adam Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 21, 2010
    My problem has been solved, a bit more expensively than I'd have liked. With two bags.

    Someone on fredmiranda.com bought my National Geographic bag, and I used the proceeds to buy a ThinkTank UD20 from someone else on fm. Holds the GH1, 14-140 and another lens, as well as my Kindle, and it's more compact than the NatGeo bag. Good suggestion.

    In terms of backpack, I ended up with a ThinkTank Street Walker. It's designed to hold the tripod on the back, but smaller tripods can go on either side. Now to find a smaller tripod...
  12. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    I was going to suggest a Dakine Sequence - I just bought one myself and it is big enough to hold everything you said (probably times two), tripod can easily be strapped to the side of the bag, bringing the weight close to your back (where it should be, not on the far, outside part!). backcountry has a year old model on clearance under $100 and it was worth every penny.
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