Retrospecrive 5 or Domke fx-b ;

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by PantelisMor, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. PantelisMor

    PantelisMor Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 14, 2013
    Hello guys,

    I have a simple question which bag you think is better for OM-D and accesories the retrospecrive 5 or domke fx-b ;

    Thx a lottt....
  2. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    Retrospective all the way. But then again, it depends. The R5 is bulkier, but I feel it better protects and has far more useful pockets. The F-5XB (I assume the FX-B is a typo) is a great small bag, but the front pocket i found useless (things would always fall out, even flat things like scrap paper. my microfiber cloth, bandaids, etc).

    The biggest thing for me was the adjustable velcro on the R5, made it nice and silent when I needed it (carry it on events) and secure when I didn't. The front pocket collapses well so it's not TOO bulky if you don't need it either. AND I can expand it with ThinkTank's lens pouches (this wasn't quite designed for that, but it works pretty well).

    But with a two lens system max, the Domke would work well, too. More compact.

    You won't go wrong with either, it just depends on what you intend to carry and how you use it.
  3. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    The F-5XB is a little smaller than I'd recommend - take a look at the F-10 - same basic shape and configuration but just enough bigger to handle an extra lens and has a zip front pocket.

    That said, I've had both and the primary difference I've experienced is that the Retrospectives have a LOT of padding, so they protect the gear really well, but I always found it a real hassle to dig stuff out of the bag out in the field. Sometimes to even find it. That, for me, was the downside of all that protection. The Domke's OTOH, are relatively minimalist in terms of protection, but are much better (IMHO) in the field when you're trying to move gear in and out of your bag quickly. And I've never found the lesser padding to be a problem. I'm sure there's some theoretical height that if you dropped both bags full of gear from, the Domke won't protect it and the Think Tank will. But either will protect agains minor bumps and bruises and neither is really gonna protect your gear from a big impact, so I tend to prefer minimalist padding and easier use in the field.

    That's just my take but it's based on experience with both. If you want really good protection and really easy to use in the field, check out the Billingham Hadleys (Small or Pro), but those things cost a LOT of money! I've also REALLY liked the function of the Tamrac Rally series (3443 or 3444 probably for the same size range) but the aesthetics arguably aren't as nice as the Domke or Retrospective lines, but they're incredible values...

    • Like Like x 1
  4. Droogie

    Droogie Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 23, 2013
    Washington State
    I love the Domke ruged wear for my G3 or EPL2. Fits an extra 50mm legacy lens in case and room for more with out being crowded. Plus the look is great and the bag is VERY comfy to carry.
  5. PantelisMor

    PantelisMor Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 14, 2013
    I search a lot for this, i read forums, blogs. I think i will choose domke. The first reason is that i want a bag which i can have a quick access in my camera. Also i like the retro style,even if i am between black and brown colour.... Third retro is about 1 kg weight and domke 0,5 kg, i think is a significant difference. Finally retro is more expensive, this is a big disadvantage......

    Thx a lot for your help, i feel very lucky i am member in this foeum
  6. 2mnycars

    2mnycars Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 26, 2012
    Real Name:
    Great choice!
    Enjoy your bag.
    (We camera carriers fall into two groups. Some need protection, and safe storage. Some need quick access. Everyone has different needs.)

    I carried a Retro 10 to Cape Cod. This was before I bought my OMD. I had my d300s with 2 lenses, and grip attached. I was travelling "Light". Except it wasn't. First walk in to town, I carried my d300s. Left the extra lens and grip behind. The bag was heavy before I put the camera in.
    I made it worse. I listened to the weather; pending Atlantic storm imminent. I put the rain cover on. Suddenly the bag was transformed from a shooters bag (easy access), to a large block with a strap to hang it from. My camera was safely stuck inside. And it was stuck.
    It was a 5 mile walk into town (lunch for this old, cranky photographer, with a gimpy leg.)

    The next day I put my camera on first, on its sling strap. I put on my (long) goretex coat. Walked into town, and back. Weatherproof! Walking back, I stumbled and fell hard. Someone was looking down on me, protecting me. The camera was kept in place by the coat. I smashed me up pretty good. I was trying to get a shot at the time with my little Pany P&S travel zoom in my hand. And I didn't look where I was going.

    I came back and traded my Retro10 to a good friend who didn't need his Speed Racer anymore; I bought a Billingham Hadley Digital. (It does an excellent job of carrying my d300s+grip with 18-200VR lens attached. Or my OMD with 2 lenses, and Nikon 1V1 with two lenses....though it is a little tight. Great bag.

    My other favourites are Domke F3X, and F2, and Billingham Hadley Pro.

    All are shooters bags.

    (In Canada Henry's prices for Domke and Think Tank bags are so very high, my Billingham bags seemed priced right to me.)
  7. Rig Vader

    Rig Vader Mu-43 Regular

    May 24, 2012
    I returned the retro 5 due to weight. I then got retro 7, which surprisingly weighs no more than the 5 and holds much more gear. This would be my every day bag, if I wanted to carry my camera and maybe one xtra lens, plus anything else for the day, alternatively it would hold all my gear, flashes incl. Don 't use it though, it's too heavy for me. When going out to shoot i always grab my domke 5. For everyday use, i put my camera in one of the olympus wrap around nylon things and find a spot for it in whatever bag/pack i use.
  8. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    Ray, you want to dig? Try using an R10 with m43 =)

    Rig does bring up a good point I forget... the weight of the R5 is so close to others that are bigger, but it's not something I mind. I just really like the material used, heh.
  9. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    I've done it - that was my first major bag failure back in 2010 when I first got an m43 system (and when the 10 was the smallest Retrospective bag). I sold it and later bought the smaller 5 - found the same basic issue. Great bags but not for me. This discussion actually caused me to pull out my Tamrac Rally 3445. I'd forgotten what an awesomely good bag that is. It holds a huge kit with an EM1, GX7, 7-14, 12-35, 35-100, RX1, and Nikon Coolpix A and does it comfortably. I never really walk around with that much gear, but I often transport it. I think I'm gonna get one of the smaller ones - maybe the 3442, which i think I can carry a substantial walk-around kit. Those bags are well padded, easy access, just damn well designed, and screaming values compared to either Domke or Retrospective series bags. And they're really not bad looking, although they're not as organic as the Domkes or Retrospectives or Billinghams...

  10. OhWellOK

    OhWellOK Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 4, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    Sounds like you've already made your choice. But I'll just chime in and support your choice by saying that I also had the TT Retro 5 and recently sold it off - for pretty much the same reasons others have mentioned: the heavy weight, and for this heavy weight it just didn't hold a whole lot and became overstuffed and difficult to readily access items. The bag that has replaced the retro 5 as my shooting bag, is the el cheapo Olympus E- system travel bag - mainly because it is one of the few bags I've tried that will easily accommodate a filter wallet, which I almost always carry + my E-M5 and 2-4 lenses. Another thing like about this bag is it's long and shallow design, very easy to access items and everything is on 1 "layer" instead of being piled up in a deeper bag.

    Haven't tried a Domke yet, although they do seem nice when I've looked at them in B&H, good luck with the new bag!
  11. PantelisMor

    PantelisMor Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 14, 2013
    I don't have order it yet. I can say that your proposal is good. Could you upload photos with the bag and with the camera inside..

    Thx a lot...
  12. OhWellOK

    OhWellOK Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 4, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    Sure, here ya go :smile: Oly E-System bag with E-M5, Pan Leica 25, Pan 14mm, Olympus 9-18, and Olympus 40-150 + B+W 6 filter pouch + misc accessories. I normally don't carry charger or card wallet when out shooting but threw them in there to show what bag will hold.



  13. PantelisMor

    PantelisMor Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 14, 2013
    Thx a lot, for yor pictures
  14. jmaher

    jmaher Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 7, 2012
    Sarasota, FL
    Real Name:
    I have both. The Domke is small and light but a little small. The 5 is very nice and a great size but I have to agree with others that it may be a little heavy. More expensive buy even nicer than either of these is a Billingham Hadley small.

    I ten to use the Donmke when I only want to carry a little.
  15. MarkRyan

    MarkRyan Instagram: @MRSallee

    May 3, 2013
    Kinda surprised some are saying the Domke is small. In my F-5XB, I fit...

    Olympus EP5
    Panasonic GF3
    Oly 45mm
    Oly 40-150mm
    Oly 15mm BCL
    Panasonic 20mm
    Rokinon 7.5mm
    Fujian 35mm CCTV lens
    Polarizer filter

    For me, my biggest issue with the Domke is that it comes with only two divider inserts. I got two extras from Domke, so now that issue is moot :)
  16. PantelisMor

    PantelisMor Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 14, 2013

    Finally i bought domke.. I am waiting my new bag from I will be back with my opinion for my choice.

    Thx a lot all of you...
  17. spacedogg79

    spacedogg79 Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 9, 2013
    Vancouver, Canada
    I'm in a similar situation. I need a similar bag. Need to carry 3 lenses and body around. I was thinking of getting Retro 5.

    I'm surprised so many people found the Retro 5 to be too heavy. I walked into a local store the other day and I was surprised by how small the bag was.

    Would be interested in reading an update from OP once he gets the Domke and uses it for a bit.
  18. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    Real Name:
    call me Arg
    I just sold off my dSLR kit to buy ยต4/3 (still arriving in bits, no pieces I hope) and I am wondering whether my Domke F-3X Super Compact Ruggedwear, that did a nice job with the 7D, 3 zooms, macro and flash, is still going to be the right solution. Any thoughts or experience? DaveL?