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Friday, 19 July 2013


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I have searched (and bought) more bags than I care to think about regardless of my wife's reminders.
But my current two favorites are a Safrotto knock off of a Domke F2 and F8.
I am looking at a Kollertron BBK2 now but holding back...somewhat, until my wife OK's the purchase...about 49 bucks.

I see a Think Tank Retrospective 5 or 7 in your future (depending the size of your electronics). I know that it requires putting an external rain cover on it if it rains, but from their videos, this takes less than 30 seconds, and seriously, how often does one stand out in a rainstorm while shooting anyway (unless one's a PJ working in the field)? My guess is less than 5% of the time.

I would suggest reaching out directly to the Think Tank guys in Santa Rosa, CA and see if they would let you evaluate one for review. They're a great bunch of guys.

Bags. Puh!
If you get a lapdog and like to carry it with your camera (D800?) have a look at the Tenba Messenger Bags: http://www.tenba.com/Categories/Messenger-Bags.aspx
Just found out the have three sizes now. I've got the 'Small Messenger bag' for lapdogs up to 15". Its one of the best 'four-lens-camera-bag' I came across in a very long time. The top zipper is very conveniend to reach into the bag in an instand without fumbleing with the front flap.


I don't remember what equipment you're carrying, but I've been very pleased with an alternative to the Hadley Pro (which I had and sold): the Oskars One Day Bag Mark II by Black Label Bags (from Photo Village in NYC). It's trimmer and holds more, weighs less. Around the same price.

Mike, You nailed the problem. The zipper on those early Billingham bags made them a complete non-starter for me.
And the talk of the longevity made me wonder, my first Hadley had the foam fail after a while and is completely useless.
But I still bought three more, two Alices and one "press-top" still has the zipper but I never see it.

Picked up a TTP City Walker 20 a few weeks ago, and it's pretty close to perfect. Carries a mirrorless kit with 2 cameras and 5 lenses, a full size tablet and my Macbook Air 11.6 inch, plus all the little stuff like a charger and extra batteries, etc. It has stretchy end pockets for my glasses and a water bottle, and best of all it's not too large.

Feature-wise it's great. Looks-wise, it's kind of like a minivan or a suburban rancher -- I'd prefer a sports car or a hip urban apartment. But none of the cool hipster canvas or leather courier bags will carry the same load, so I'll go with it for now. Happy to send you some photos of it loaded out....

PS to my previous comment: I own a lot of Think Tank bags and have never used the rain covers - I just leave them at home. They are plenty water resistant even in moderate rain, and I am carrying an umbrella.

I will gladly buy your Billingham if you deicide to replace it.

"It's just bags from here on out. What can I say? Bags are my passion, and I don't care about anything else but bags. Gotta follow your heart."

Funniest thing you've ever written!
Come for the photo chat, stay for Mike's stand-up!

I've been through three unsatisfactory bags in the last couple of years, currently working out of one. Maybe I need to find a way to pull back and figure out what's actually needed, eh?

I think part of the problem is that I need more bags than I'm willing to contemplate (camera bags are expensive!). And that perhaps I need a high-end transport bag to resolve a bunch of the issues (and the ones I've looked at there are several hundred dollars and up). Ugh.

Contrary to all you bagaholics I prefer to go with a semi-disposable and not- obviously-containing-lots-of-expensive-gear approach. Whenever I receive a large bubble wrap envelope (plastic coated ones are better than the paper ones) I keep it to use as wrap for a camera, which can then get thrown into any ordinary backpack or shopping bag. When I want a shoulder bag for a camera and/or spare lenses I use a soft cooler bag, the kind meant for your lunch or half a dozen cans.

Welcome back! As to bags, Calumet Photo has Think Tank bags, along with all the other brands discussed, including the Billinghams. Might be time to pay a visit to Chicago relatives.
I was just at the Oak Brook location last Sunday and perused them all at some length. Tenba also had an interesting bag, but in the end I went with the Lowepro Event 250. It fit my iPad, OMD, 12-35, 25, 45, and 45-200 lenses and Fuji X-E1 with 18-55 kit lens. Front pocket holds 2 circ polarizers, step up rings, SDHC card case and spare batteries, and a few more misc items. I also have the Event 150, which was just a little too tight for the OMD w/ lenses (sans Fuji) and iPad, but the extra height & width of the 250 solved my needs. Reasonable cost so even if I need to replace it sometime it's was less than many other bags. And it has a silent Velcro feature too!

My problem is that, rather than finding a good camera bag that holds a computer, I need to find a good computer bag that holds my camera. I'm looking for the smallest bag that will simply hold a Macbook Air 11" and my RX1. Lean and mean.

Still an old rucksack and a Vanguard shoulder bag in it (for added padding and weatherproofing). It just fits my OM-D EM-5 for taking the avarage 10 exposures I take each fototrip (2 to 4 hours worth of it). I know, I'm a lazy photographer.

Greats, Ed.

My ideal bag would allow me to open it, take a lens off the camera and drop it in, and fix new lens on body, all with one hand.

Years ago I saw an attachment for a Leica. It was a flat bar that fixed to the underside of the camera via the tripod screw and in turn had two lens mounts on it allowing two lenses to be fixed to it.

Mike, I have a large black Billingham Hadley that will take a D800 and 24-70, as well as an extra lens, and a small black Billingham Hadley that I use for a single camera body and lens, or smaller DSLR and extra lens. Had them both for years, and they are still great.

Mike, before searching endlessly for another camera bag, just check out some messenger bags and get separate inserts that fit (or get a friend to make some specifically for your OMD or NEX).

Alternatively get some neoprene bags for the cameras and lenses and just drop what you need in the bag.

They are cheap enough to get two or three sizes and you can move inserts from bag to bag. They are also useful when you don't have your camera.

Domke inserts fit quite well in a regular sized bag, and in fact some of the Billingham inserts fit as well.

But it's the ability to customise endlessly that makes them so much more useful.

I'm done with camera bags.

For traveling by plane or car, a Thinthank Urban Disguise® 50 V2.0 hold the laptop, photo gear, and personal essentials in case of lost/delayed luggage.

For the street, an Artisan & Artist “OSKAR'S ONE DAY BAG” holds two leicas, three lenses, batteries, cards and a traveling guide nicely. The bag is folded nicely in my luggage when not in use. Light bag, well padded and expensive. The cost of being comfortable also means to leave the laptop at the hotel.

The main thing to remember, when it comes to working camera bags, is that zippers are bad.

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