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How many bags do you have? What do you consider when buying a bag?


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#1 rickytj

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 10:08 AM

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This'll be the first time I'm buying a camera bag, so I'm totally clueless and would like some guidance (I just bought my first ever camera, X-T10, last week):

 

My idea is to buy a pretty big enough bag that can hold my camera, a couple of lenses, some items like bottle water, snacks, laptop, tshirts, etc. and preferably a small tripod (for example, this will be a good bag for one-day hiking).

 

But at the same time, I don't want the bag to be big enough that it will be taking too much space in my luggage when I'm travelling (for ex: I'm going for a one-week trekking in some mountains in Indonesia later and will only bring a one big rucksack (70-80 litres).

 

So what kind of bag should I buy? Or should I just buy 2 bags?

 

Also do you still need to buy a camera case?

 

 

Last but not least:

-which brand is considered a good brand for camera bag (like the Fujifilm or Nikon of camera bag)?

-what do you consider when buying a bag besides the price?

 

Thanks so much!



#2 milandro

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 10:28 AM

I don’t think it is possible to buy one bag that will fit all your needs all the time. Which is the reason why most people end up having more than one to cover for different situations.

 

Yesterday I was in fact buying a small bag to cover for those moments when one or two lenses suffice and I have no need for all the extra space offered by the, admittedly, very large leather bag that I have.

 

One of the reasons why I don’t like now, and never liked before in my entire career as a photographer, small bags is that you can indeed fit all you need there but you will need to pile up things, often in two layers, and of course you will see that when you need lens A, it will be under lens B or C so in order you take it out you either have to put something somewhere down or you would need to grow an extra pair of hands.

 

I see a lot of people buying very beautiful messenger bags which really only fit a body with a lens on and one or two other lenses in one layer. Because people often tend to own more, if that’s all you have you will have to put some lenses on top of others, let alone another body with the body cap alone  which you then quickly need to open and put a lens on should you ever need it, while taking all the things which are impairing access to the lens or the body.

 

Unfortunately, also due to a small acquired disability, my finger top dexterity has been greatly diminished in the last few years, so I might easily drop something if I try to juggle all of these things at the same time.

 

In other words my advise to you is to either reduce your needs to one or two bodies with two zoom lenses covering the widest possible range that you can afford, better if the two bodies each have the lenses permanently attached in order to minimize lens change, always a source of problems while on a trip.

 

Otherwise you need a larger bag to carry all your equipment and a smaller one to carry the equipment that you will chose for the day. Always try to picture in your mind the operative situation and how would you really work with things in the field.

post-106-0-05077200-1447408044.jpg

 

You will now of course hear all sorts of brandnames ( Ona, Temba.....) from others advising you to do what they do, I am not going to do that because I am not you and you are not me.

 

What I can share with you is an attitude, a way of thinking,and how to work out, for yourself, what the best bag (s) is (are) for you.

 

Brands and types won’t help you much because they will reflect someone else’s needs and way to work with their equipment which might not be yours.

 

Good luck!


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#3 cug

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 06:00 PM

I kind of agree with not recommending certain brands or bags in particular, but I am going to give some reasoning for one bag type or another, just like milandro - although he said he wouldn't do it, he still said that he doesn't like small bags and advises you on lens and body selection. Whether they matter to you or not he ignored ...  :ph34r:

 

So, no matter what you carry, there are certain things you need to keep in mind:

  • Shoulder bags are less comfortable to wear than backpacks over a longer period of time. 
  • Shoulder bags mostly give nice quick access from the top but often don't allow sections of the bag to be accessed independently.
  • Backpacks often have ways of attaching a decent sized tripod on the outside.
  • Leather looks nicer but is often less weather resistant than other materials. I like leather, but it's not for everyone.
  • Leather is heavier. 
  • Thick and stiff protection is, in my personal opinion, completely overrated. You can use any backpack with a few neoprene pouches for lenses if you are okay with a slightly longer lens change time.
  • If you want a bag that carries all things you listed, put these things in another bag you have already at home and check the weight - do you want to carry all that weight in a shoulder bag? Does it drive you towards a backpack? 
  • Do you, for whatever reason prefer a certain style of bag? Like my wife will not use a shoulder bag, she's a backpack type, I prefer a shoulder bag, but do use a normal daypack as well when the circumstances make it a better choice.
  • Dedicated camera bags are often much more expensive than more feature-rich standard bags which you could put to use with a camera insert.

My take on finding a good bag to start:

  1. Try the amount of gear you want to carry in terms of weight and size with a bag you own (you don't need to go out, just pack it carefully inside and see how it handles), that determines weight and size of gear.
  2. Pick any bag that looks like it might fit your gear and goes along with the style and look you want. It's good if it's not an expensive bag, look for used ones. 
  3. Use it for a while and find out what works and what doesn't for you.
  4. With #3 out of the way, go out and buy the right bag.


#4 Pierre

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 06:11 PM

I have 3 bags :

 

- Billingham Hadley Digital to carry X-T1 + 16-55 2.8 + batteries + SD cards (half day bag)

- ONA The Berlin to carry X-T1 + 16-55 2.8 + 50-140 2.8 + iPad Mini + many small accessories (day bag)

- Billingham Hadley Pro to carry X-T1 + 16-55 2.8 + 50-140 2.8 + 35 1.4 + iPad mini + 13" laptop + charger + many small accessories (travel bag)


Fuji X-T2 + 16-55 f2.8 + Samyang 12 f2

 

 


#5 jlmphotos

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 06:33 PM

Well first let me say this may be your first bag but TRUST ALL OF US HERE, it will NOT be your last.  At one point I was up around the 14 mark.  Now, I'm down to ONE backpack, and several messenger style bags -- four I think.  

 

The best thing you can do is go to a store with all your gear and try them.  If you order online, you may get lucky.  That's what I've done, and in some cases I've wound up returning them.

And I say no to the camera case unless you just want to add some bling.


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Jorge L. Moro   | X-T1 |  X-T2 | 18-55 |  Zeiss 12/2.8  |  Fuji 16 1.4  |   Fuji 23 1.4 | Fuji 35 1.4 | Fuji 60 2.4 Macro | Fuji 55-200  |

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#6 darknj

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 06:38 PM

Like posters above I am also going to reiterate, finding the perfect bag is nigh impossible task. There will be always something that annoys you here and there.

 

I currently use 3 bags, considering getting 2 more for different reasons. One of them is the Thinktank Shape Shifter, which can hold a really impressive amount of gear bit is really tall and wide but can be zipped down to be less than 8 inches thick.

The other one is the new Peak Design bag because it got me curious and I wanted a larger bag that can serve as my daily usage bag with just a single camera and lens.

 

In essence, we get our bags for use case, so far I got:

 

  • Billingham 305, a really spacious bag. Currently serving as the bag where all my active gear is put. Love this bag, I have it for years and still serves me well, it was clearly made to last for years of usage, had 3 generation of DSLR in there and still performing like the first day.
  • Vanguard Up-Rise 33, a medium range bag, helps me for half day event coverage, roomy enough to carry several Fuji lenses along the X-T1 plus laptop and Fuji SP-1 printer. Can be a bit cumbersome to move around with it as it is messenger style and if you load it full you will get a sore shoulder. Also cabin friendly bag, works all fine for traveling around and GREAT after sales support, I lost the shoulder strap after a flight from Singapore, contacted their support line and they sent me a brand new one for free, definitely earned my respect on that one.
  • Fossil Wagner Mens City Bag, super simple bag, had to steal some padding from my Vanguard for extra protection but I can carry my X-T1 with a couple of lenses along pretty much all I need on a daily basis. Also perfect example that you do not need dedicated camera bags to carry around and still have your gear with you every day.

The Thinktank will be for when I need to travel with almost all my gear, but it won't be good whole day bag, your back is going to hate you for doing that. The Peak Design is intended to be my new daily bag, we will see how it holds but worst case, it could be either be a replacement of the Vanguard or a backup when I want to change style a bit.

 

If you go bag shopping in a local retailer, take your gear with you to have an idea of how much space it will take in the bag and how the rest of your gear will work out inside.



#7 milandro

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Posted 14 November 2015 - 08:44 AM

I gave no brand advise and only shared my experience and my way to reason.


the popular expression wishful thinking is an oxymoron!

 

To all TAPATALK users

 
As a form of courtesy towards your fellow users of this forum, PLEASE remove the obnoxious tapatalk signature, it adds nothing to anyone’s contribution and it is only a sneaky way used by tapatalk to push their product by polluting each forum participant with promoting their products with unpaid advertising for their software and the brand of your phone. Removing it is easy and it is an act of courtesy that shows respect for all those whom are annoyed by this pointless feature. This is not a personal attack to you, the annoyance is caused by tapatalk and the phone or tablet brands, they are getting all the exposure and you gain nothing by this.

#8 cug

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Posted 14 November 2015 - 06:38 PM

In case you haven't noticed, I put a smiley after my comment. It is very hard to recommend a bag without giving other recommendations. And you showed your bag in the photo (A Jill-e Design Jack? Looks like a great bag. Have a review on it?). 

 

I tried to do the same, I could have described my three ways of packing photo gear (small shoulder bag, larger shoulder bag, plain hiking daypack), but I refrained from doing so as I thought your advise was very sound - not recommend a specific bag, but explain the various concepts.



#9 milandro

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Posted 14 November 2015 - 07:04 PM

Apologies but the  interpretation of some emoticons such as this ninja one varies widely, yours looking like a ninja, gets many on the internet rather confused about it.

 

 

 

I did speak about my bag ( which has been reviewed by me here ) http://www.fuji-x-fo...a-bag-is/?p=576

 

where I explained the reason why I like such a big bag  as opposed to the more customary messenger with dividers.


the popular expression wishful thinking is an oxymoron!

 

To all TAPATALK users

 
As a form of courtesy towards your fellow users of this forum, PLEASE remove the obnoxious tapatalk signature, it adds nothing to anyone’s contribution and it is only a sneaky way used by tapatalk to push their product by polluting each forum participant with promoting their products with unpaid advertising for their software and the brand of your phone. Removing it is easy and it is an act of courtesy that shows respect for all those whom are annoyed by this pointless feature. This is not a personal attack to you, the annoyance is caused by tapatalk and the phone or tablet brands, they are getting all the exposure and you gain nothing by this.

#10 cug

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Posted 14 November 2015 - 10:28 PM

Thanks, I thought I remembered a review but didn't find it. For reference: I agree with the emoticons. They are hard to interpret. For me, you can generally always imagine an "ironic smile" next to what I write as that is what I normally am. Or cynic. Otherwise I try to make it clear when I'm not.



#11 CRAusmus

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Posted 16 November 2015 - 06:27 PM

I don't agree with not giving out brands.  You need a place to start.

 

•I like F-Stop Gear for backpacking/hiking.  Lots of different sizes and options for you to dial in what you need.

 

•I like Think Tank's Airport series for everything.  Makes travel easy and also a good idea for storage.

••You might also look at a hard/waterproof case if you do a lot of plane travel, or pick a TT Airport small enough that you can use it as a carry on.

 

•I like Ona for everyday carry.  Brixton for my daily bag, It holds my laptop too, and Bowery for my street bag.

 

 

All of these bags you will find excellent reviews on, and I'd recommend them.  As others have said, there is no perfect bag.  You own several, because several bags meet your various needs on certain days and situations.


--Clinton
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#12 Robert_P

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Posted 27 November 2015 - 02:58 AM

Well this is the topic. I currently have about 10 bags. Ranging from backpacks to shoulder bags to a roller bag for plane travel. Currently I use a retrospective 10 for moving my gear around. It holds about 4 lenses and my Fuji xpro1 and xt1 as well as 2 flash and some other useful pieces as well. There is no perfect bag for all occasions.

#13 SeetohLang

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 11:29 PM

If this is your first camera bag, I highly recommend a small camera bag that can also act as an 'insert'.

 

I have the Think Tank Mirrorless Mover 20 and it's been great for this purpose - great size, nicely built, has a rain cover, and well priced. They also make smaller and bigger sizes depending on how much you need to fit. 

 

This allows you to have a very versatile set up. You can use the bag as a standalone bag when you're out shooting, but when you're traveling or hiking, you can just pop it into your normal bag and be able to carry all your other stuff with you (water bottles etc.) and your camera equipment will be well protected. 

 

IMO, this is the perfect place to start and highlights the true benefit of having a small mirrorless system, then you can move on to dedicated camera bags as you see the need for it from there. 

 

In terms of brands, generally look out for Think Tank, Kata, Ona, Billingham, and F-Stop. 

 

Hope that helps. 


@seetohlang on ig


#14 milandro

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 08:04 AM

since that picture above I’ve rearranged my lens kit. I have sold the 10-24 and the 35 and bought the 12mm samyang and the 18-55.

 

So, now, I find myself sometimes wanting to go out with one small bag alone containing one lens or two at most because I might not need the 12 or the 8mm fish eye.

 

I’ve had a look around in the small leather bag market segment and found a few to my liking ( the fuji bag by the way is not bad at all, just small) but wasn’t prepared to spend the money that bags command these days (and , as I said Jill.E has considerably upped their prices!).

 

So I have considered to use something which I have already ( best way to save money is not buying anything new) . Years ago I have bought a bag made by Crumpler ( but could be any other messenger bag really) de Weenie model and have used as a “ messenger" bag for general purposes. In order to re-purpose this bag into a photographic one I’ve bought an insert on line ( I am still waiting for it) which will add some padding and help dividing the space allowing me to safely carry one body and two lenses.

 

41QA1WRWYYL.jpg

 

But really this is a concept that can be applied to any bag and that’s why giving out names has little purpose. When giving any type of advise I’d rather share the process which brought me to chose for a particular solution rather than saying buy this that or the other because at your end you might not always have the same thing available to me but you might apply the thinking process to your particular situation and what’s available to you.

 

You can look around the house and see what you’ve got or perhaps go to a thrift store and see what there is in the bag department.

 

You may find something really nice or stylish (whatever your style is) and re-purpose it by adding ( or subtracting) things. A new insert with dividers will cost you a small amount of money, unless you decide to buy one from a famous brand.

 

You can still bring something like this with you in a bigger bag when you travel and use it locally or just the times that you don’t need all you have with you.

 

The large leather bag I’ve shown above for example, has the capability to hold my camera and all my lenses but still has enough space for a number of extra things ( like a couple of change of clothes and my medicines, things I always take with me in a bag that I will bring as a cabin bag when I fly because, as I said before, it has happened to me that my luggage was delayed or lost, like that time that I came back from Shanghai and my luggage was “ lost” .... they have found it one month later in the same airport where I had arrived and discovered that the bag was never lost in the first place but simply arrived late and was then misplaced... when they found it it was to sow me that it wasn’t there... and there it was!).


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the popular expression wishful thinking is an oxymoron!

 

To all TAPATALK users

 
As a form of courtesy towards your fellow users of this forum, PLEASE remove the obnoxious tapatalk signature, it adds nothing to anyone’s contribution and it is only a sneaky way used by tapatalk to push their product by polluting each forum participant with promoting their products with unpaid advertising for their software and the brand of your phone. Removing it is easy and it is an act of courtesy that shows respect for all those whom are annoyed by this pointless feature. This is not a personal attack to you, the annoyance is caused by tapatalk and the phone or tablet brands, they are getting all the exposure and you gain nothing by this.

#15 Nero

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 05:36 PM

My top criteria was durability and weather proofing. I do a lot of landscape photography and therefore wanted something that I would be comfortable with getting caught in the rain. I may not be intentionally shooting in bad weather on a frequent basis, but I hate to look at the weather forecast and having a 1-2 hour block of potentially bad weather dictating my plan for the entire day. I don't need a lot of space because I typically don't change lenses very often and in many cases will only bring my X-T1 with 16mm + 18-135mm or a prime heavy combination of 16mm, 23mm, 35mm, and 55-200mm. If I'm traveling with the 16 and 18-135, sometimes I'll put an X-E1 with the 27mm in my bag for street photos too. I do tend to carry a lot of spare batteries, cleaning kit, rain cover for my camera, etc at times.

 

I settled on the Billingham Hadley Pro, which has been wonderful for the needs I outlined above and had solid reviews from everyone I knew in regards to confidence in their weather proofing, but I'm sure there are plenty of other options that fit these needs.


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#16 CRAusmus

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 02:45 AM

My top criteria was durability and weather proofing. I do a lot of landscape photography and therefore wanted something that I would be comfortable with getting caught in the rain. I may not be intentionally shooting in bad weather on a frequent basis, but I hate to look at the weather forecast and having a 1-2 hour block of potentially bad weather dictating my plan for the entire day. I don't need a lot of space because I typically don't change lenses very often and in many cases will only bring my X-T1 with 16mm + 18-135mm or a prime heavy combination of 16mm, 23mm, 35mm, and 55-200mm. If I'm traveling with the 16 and 18-135, sometimes I'll put an X-E1 with the 27mm in my bag for street photos too. I do tend to carry a lot of spare batteries, cleaning kit, rain cover for my camera, etc at times.

 

I settled on the Billingham Hadley Pro, which has been wonderful for the needs I outlined above and had solid reviews from everyone I knew in regards to confidence in their weather proofing, but I'm sure there are plenty of other options that fit these needs.

One of the reps at Billingham told me, they are designed so that they can set in water up to the gussets and never get a drop of water inside them.  That's pretty freaking awesome.  I love that they have a Poly Pro liner in-between the tricot and the nylon outer.  Amazingly well built bags, and beautiful to boot.

 

Maybe someday I'll own one...


--Clinton
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#17 milandro

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 08:35 AM

Billingham are nice bags, look nice and feel strong but I am not going to ever stand in water  and dipping my bag in it so I doubt that that particular feature is a deal breaker for me.

 

I am very happy with a bag made of leather outside (which I have waterproofed even better than it was already ) and with waterproof lining. The most that I would ever face is some heavy rain.

 

Come to think of it, as a long time temba user in the past, at least from from 1980, I have used tembas under some pretty heavy rain and not a drop of water inside too. Yesterday ( sunshine) first day out with the small bag.

 

It was a tight fit but I took the camera with the 18-55, 12mm samyang, and 50-230mm, in the end used only the 18-55mm and the bag performed as expected, Yet maybe next time I need the reduced kit, I will take only one extra lens and allocate a bit more space for the camera. I don’t like to wrestle things out of the bag.


  • CRAusmus likes this

the popular expression wishful thinking is an oxymoron!

 

To all TAPATALK users

 
As a form of courtesy towards your fellow users of this forum, PLEASE remove the obnoxious tapatalk signature, it adds nothing to anyone’s contribution and it is only a sneaky way used by tapatalk to push their product by polluting each forum participant with promoting their products with unpaid advertising for their software and the brand of your phone. Removing it is easy and it is an act of courtesy that shows respect for all those whom are annoyed by this pointless feature. This is not a personal attack to you, the annoyance is caused by tapatalk and the phone or tablet brands, they are getting all the exposure and you gain nothing by this.

#18 darknj

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 09:59 AM

[...]

Maybe someday I'll own one...

 

Make sure that you really need the bag, I got mine a decade ago because I was still lugging around DSLR and truckload of glass along it and the bag HAD to be heavy duty.

The Billingham cost a fortune if purchased brand new, it's almost outrageous. Then again, my bag is still in good shape, you certainly can see the uses and mileage it got from the years but still a trooper bag and takes in whatever you take it out for.

 

Now I am slowly retiring the bag because my gear got smaller and lighter, I don't need that much gear with me, nor is it heavy. So yes, the bag is now too large for my needs and serve as container bag for gear that is not used on regular basis (essentially anything non Nikon 1 nor Fuji X).

 

I know that a one point it was almost a bragging to own such a brand bag, not the Hadley line but the 5 Series, it meant that you were serious about your gear. Now, it still kind of prestige but almost snobish to have one when your gear got a lot smaller/lighter.

 

Long story short, I can not recommend those bags enough, just make sure you really need it, not just want one for the heck of it. 


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#19 johant

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 12:57 PM

I just bought a LowePro Adventure 120 bag for my X-Pro1. It's a discontinued item, and the shop had just one left, so I got it for a nice price. It comfortably fits my X-Pro1 plus 35mm (and lens hood), plus some spare batteries and memory cards.

Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk
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#20 milandro

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 01:44 PM

The fuji leather bag is a very nice bag too, not cheap or huge, but nice. Same for the compagnon bags, different sizes, very nice but pricey bags ( less than Ona though)


  • CRAusmus likes this

the popular expression wishful thinking is an oxymoron!

 

To all TAPATALK users

 
As a form of courtesy towards your fellow users of this forum, PLEASE remove the obnoxious tapatalk signature, it adds nothing to anyone’s contribution and it is only a sneaky way used by tapatalk to push their product by polluting each forum participant with promoting their products with unpaid advertising for their software and the brand of your phone. Removing it is easy and it is an act of courtesy that shows respect for all those whom are annoyed by this pointless feature. This is not a personal attack to you, the annoyance is caused by tapatalk and the phone or tablet brands, they are getting all the exposure and you gain nothing by this.


 
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