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Tuesday, 16 December 2014


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I love my old Domke F2, but I haven't used it in over a decade. I drop my OMD-ME5 and a pile of lenses in there and it's like parking a Volkswagen in an airplane hangar. Yay for small cameras!

These days I don't even use a "camera bag." I just drop an insert into my regular shoulder bag. When I use a different bag (yes, I have one bag for weekdays and a couple of different bags for weekends) it's just a matter of moving the insert from one bag to the other and I'm covered, with lots of room leftover for my other stuff.

The only perfect camera bags I've ever seen were made by Smith (tent makers in Chicago) to whom Domke first contracted out his bags. Domke changed his design (bigger and heavier), but Smith didn't -- it's all sewed in with nothing movable or removable!
I got mine at Ken Hanson in NYC, but lost one of three to a burglary. Still have the New Yorker Junior, which must be the world's only perfect camera bag. I don't know what I'll do when it goes the way of all flesh (before I do?).

I've had many different bags over the years, but the only two current
bags I use, the Ego and the Super Ego, by Tom Bihn are the best. The
company is 100% American owned and all bags are made in Seattle.

"Mike replies: True, but it's tough to beat $64.99 with $144.75, too."

Well, yeah, you've got a point, there.

Love the Butters/camera bag photo...just wonderful.

Really deserves a heavily brassed Leica to go with it....

How about this one, Mike?

M2 Black Paint Rangefinder. Photo credit: 9days.hk

Brassing is classier than gold, unless it's antique gold. My well used magnesium clad
mirrorless only aluminizes. Sigh.

Yes, more Butters! Less bokeh!

Is that not the 803 in the picture (Kodak logo)? Domke had a strange numbering system; the 802 was the larger bag.
(Sorry if I posted this twice; got bounced back at the verification stage.)

@ Ken Tanaka:

"I know that many old-time photographers think Domkes are the ultimate camera bag"

Because they are. :D

Jack is right -- the Kodak bag is the 803. I know, because I bought an 802 from Jack ("Olive is the new black!") and use it every day to this day.

Thanks again for the great deal, Jack!

I used to think that Kenneth Tanaka was a gentleman of consummate taste, but now that he has confessed to a blasphemous distaste for Domke bags, I'm not so sure. Perhaps he was suffering from a bout of indigestion when he wrote his "comment."


I appreciated your link to the Pacsafe CamSafe-- I didn't even know PacSafe made a camera bag. However, that's not the "(non-photo) PacSafe Metrosafe sling bags" that Kenneth Tanaka referred to. There are a couple of models he might mean, they are both about half the price of the one you linked to. I would appreciate if he would reply to tell us which model he uses and how much gear he can store in it. The look very small.


That PacSafe bag you linked in my post is NOT what I use. It would be way too clunky for me! Not,I really use the PacSafe Metrosafe bags. [Fixed now. —MJ] They can be carried either across or over your shoulder, are FLAT, don't look like camera bags, very well designed as urban travel bags, and can easily carry a Leica or mirrorless cameras with wrapped lenses. The larger model can also easily fit an iPad.


That's a good price. Here in Japan one of these bags clocks in at around US$170. The f-802 is around US$130. So, if I wanted the F-832 (which I think is the correct name), even with international shipping, I'd be ahead around US$70.

I kinda agree with Ken too. In addition, they wear out quite fast, so you can get some attractive, well worn photo dog cred pretty quickly. I suspect that in part accounts for their popularity (in certain quarters). My F-803 is maybe 13 or so years old, and quite rough now.

I have to admit, the laptop feature does tempt me. However, a year or so ago I purchased a Billingham Hadley Pro, so I doubt I can justify it. Incidentally, my wife refers to the Billingham as an oyaji bag. If anyone cares to Google search / translate that, they will see how put upon I feel :-)

My first (employer-provided, 35+ years ago) was a Domke-something.

I'm with KenT. Nostalgia is swell, and all, but: "ughX2."

Prince Harry seems to like the Fuji X-100S, and he's not half bad with it:


I'm with Ken. I had a number of Domkes, and they had their day with PJs back in the 80s and 90s when the newspapers were paying for the equipment, and everybody was dragging around three big zooms and a fat/fast 85 for portraits, plus a flash and extra batteries, and you wanted a light bag and didn't worry too much about protection...

My current "bag" is an Eagle Creek "travel organizer" of a type I don't think Eagle Creek makes any more, having "improved" them. Mine is roughly 10" x 7" x 2 1/2", coated fabric of some kind, with light padding. Inside I can put a Panasonic GX7 wearing a 14-45, plus a 35-100, the Leica/Panasonic 45 elmarit (for portraits) a battery charger with a battery in it, and a third battery. It all fits neatly in a regular day pack along with a Mac Air and all the other crap I carry around. Downside is that you can't get the camera out in a big hurry; but that's not a problem for me anyway, although it might be for some. (We're talking about 15 seconds as opposed to 5 seconds.)

I am evil. I just buy appropriately-sized canvas bags from L.L.Bean for normal carry of a camera, esp m/43 or Fuji x100. I hate bags of all types, but the unlined, relatively inexpensive stuff for Beans works well for those times I am forced to carry a bag with me about town.

Never had much need for 3 pounds of foam lining. If the big one hits, I'll have more important things to worry about than my camera. For waterproofing, I carry a garbage bag. Works as well as any of the supposedly waterproof camera bags I have ever used.

I carry my GF1 with the 20mm on it in an abandoned Canon lens pouch.

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