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


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Right now I have a Lowepro Orion AW beltpack.

This one (not mine, just for show):

lowepro+orion+aw+belt+pack+lisboa+lisboa

Lowepro is absolutely top quality, sturdy, waterproof. I had a big backpack I used to carry both my 35 and medium format camera. It was beyond top quality: I could stand over it, charged with all my outfit, without causing even a scratch on one piece.

I also have some top load zoom I used for big Nikon lens like 200 and 300.

The next one for my X-E2 will be another Lowepro, the Pro Runner.

A bag must be sturdy, waterproof and, most important, for a quick use. So one of the best characteristics of the bag above and the Runner too is the missing of the lip on the cover. It seems something silly but it's very important to me. You can open the bag quickly and can get what you need without having to fight with the cover going anywhere. When taking pictures you cannot being thinking to deal with the bag, you might have a really short time to shoot. So this solution I consider to be the best, until somebody else will come out with something better.

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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!

Gear buying like camera bags will be an ongoing process.. that is if you cherish your camera and photography as much as I or many of us do.  You never know until you get it and try it for yourself.

 

There's 3 things to consider, and none of them necessarily are related or more important to the other.. Style, Functionality & Cost.

 

There's too much to say and so many options.  I'll tell you personally, I have stuck with Wotancraft.. love their styling and build, pricey, but I personally love them and have had 7 of them. 2 paratroopers, 2 scouts, 2 avengers & 1 commander (those are the various style names, fyi). I prefer form over function, but it has to function well still and not be totally just for style.

 

And, I would say you may not necessarily be stuck to just 1 bag.. you could get by with just 1, but in the end, I think you'll find there's a bag for different occasions.. If you work, or a serious hobbyist, then you will at least have a large bag to carry a good bulk of your gear out to the field or wherever.. But, there will definitely be times you will find having a secondary more compact bag just to carry a camera and lens (or two) would be just enough to get you by more times than not, especially if you like to bring your camera everywhere, you're going to want to leave the big heavy bag for serious work and setup at home and just keep a light compact that carries just what you need for the day.

 

A camera bag, or bags, is purely subjective matter.. you're just going to have to find what you like and works for you.

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A camera bag, or bags, is purely subjective matter.. you're just going to have to find what you like and works for you.

 

 

Well, this sums it all up, really.

 

We are different in all manner of ways: gender, age, upbringing, education, religion or the lack of it, country we live in, the food we eat, the way we shoot, the things we shoot and so on... so it is hardly strange that there are so many brands out there and that we like something very much and hate other things with the same passion.

 

I have a “ witz” 

 

A ship is wrecked and Jacob, a Jewish castaway arrives on an desert island on his own without any mates. He makes the most of it and builds a house but after some times he feels the need to build a “ shul”, a synagogue, a place where he can worship. 

 

Few years after he was shipwrecked, a ship comes to the desert island and the people of the ship find him there. He had built a number of facilities to keep busy and stay comfortable and they found that he had built TWO shuls!

 

They ask him why he bult two buildings and he said: “ You see, that is the place where I go to pray and the other is the place where I would never set foot in! "

 

We like the things we like and we even like to dislike certain other things. It’s the human nature.

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I agree with the quote above at 50%. It's the holy truth tastes are personal, no doubt about it.

But at the same time there are non questionable features. I mean, if something is sturdy, it is sturdy. It cannot be sturdy for me and non sturdy for somebody else. Same thing for the other features.

However, I can prefer a certain style, colour, shape and so on, while somebody else will do according to his own tastes.

So I don't think it's a love-hate matter. There are things nobody can tell "for me it's in this way".

Isn't it?

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Sturdy is  also a relative concept. Relative to what you carry.

 

What is sturdy enough to carry a 200gr. compact camera might not be sturdy for a 5 Kg. equipment 

 

All bags that I’ve ever owned were sturdy enough to carry several cameras and much more around but what is the point of a bag like that when I am carrying my 350gr. body with a zoom on it?

 

But I love large bags, bags with easy access to camera and lenses which are stored not on top of each other. I can’t stand small bags with camera and lenses placed so that you have to hold one thing while digging the other out. I don’t understand the use of a backpack of the type that you have to put it on the floor (some you can carry in front of you and take things out, still not for me but I get those) in order to take camera or lenses or both out.

 

But that’s me.

 

If that is what makes you feel comfortable, please, by all means buy it.

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[...]if something is sturdy, it is sturdy. It cannot be sturdy for me and non sturdy for somebody else. [...]

 

I can give you a small example for this case. Let's say I do street photography and bag X is sturdy for me as I can put a camera with a single lens and a small tripod in there along some other small things.

 

Is that bag going to be sturdy enough for someone who does wildlife ? Or extreme sport shooting ? Chances are, it isn't going to be.

 

We all have different needs, some of us prefer more padding, other would rather have less padding and more inner space, while that group over there prefers lots of pockets. 

 

So yes, in that respect, it really depends on the usage and need.

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Well I agree with you Milandro. Why a backpack? I used to shoot naturalistic stuff once, and I had to carry around my double outfit, 35mm and medium format.

I have to say in the end I was broken in two pieces. It was damn heavy to carry, so I changed in different bags, the one I still have, and other to carry on my belt. In this way I disposed the weight around the whole torso and it was much more confortable.

Of course when shooting naturalistic or wildlife you need something heavier than when in the city. Except that in case you're taking a rest having a coffee with your photo stuff on the table, and it falls down. Then you'll be praying your bag IS sturdy. Lol

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Function, comfort and style in that order.

 

If it doesn't serve the function then it wont be used.

If it works but its uncomfortable then its a distraction from what you are doing.

If it works and is comfortable but makes you look like a wally.......... well, still working on that one.

 

Oh and anything before black. Black, black, boring bloody black. Camera bag manufacturers all seem to have gone to the Henry Ford school of design. Not only is it very boring but for sensitive opto-electronics out in the sun all day - why always use heat attracting black?

 

But never ever leather! There is a reason why, damp conditions and leather eventually means fungus and fungus plus optics means big trouble. Photographers stopped using leather in bags decades ago for good reasons, this current fad for leather bags like the ONA range is a major mistake.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I just purchased the Tenba Cooper 15. It has velcro that can be quiet... pull down then out and no velcro noise!... yes!

 

It is also big enough to carry my 2 Fuji bodies and all 7 lenses. Plus it can hold a 15" laptop. Pull out the camera insert and it works well just for the laptop. i purchased it as a replacement for a similar sized bag I have but which is just a bit narrow to comfortably have the camera body width wise... 

 

 

The bag I use the most is a small 'old school' squarish camera bag just big enough to hold 2 fuji bodies with smaller lenses plus a 3rd small lens and a few spare batteries. The bag itself weighs nothing, looks like crap, is not 'stylish' at all and attracts no attention. I got it at a garage sale for a buck. With one Fuji body and 3 primes (16, 23, 56) I can carry that around on my shoulder all day and never notice the weight... nor be noticed. 

 

 

I have 6 bags altogether... 2 of which serve only as places to store gear. One is a backpack which I never use cause it is not so good for fast access. 

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Oh and anything before black. Black, black, boring bloody black. Camera bag manufacturers all seem to have gone to the Henry Ford school of design. Not only is it very boring but for sensitive opto-electronics out in the sun all day - why always use heat attracting black?

 

But never ever leather! There is a reason why, damp conditions and leather eventually means fungus and fungus plus optics means big trouble. Photographers stopped using leather in bags decades ago for good reasons, this current fad for leather bags like the ONA range is a major mistake.

 

most of my bags are black, but I wish they weren't for exactly the reason you state.

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  • 1 month later...

I have too many, or not enough, it all depends on: 1/ What I kind of photo shoot I am doing; 2 / Weather.

 

I do not give a hoot about what looks 'classy' or 'cool' I want what is best for my gear and my comfort, I therefore use either thinktankphoto or Billingham particularly when it rains as I know that the kit in the Billingham will stay dry. I have always been amazed that some people will spend a small fortune on their photo kit, but consider spending small change on a bag to protect and carry it.

 

Cheers and have a good one

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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!

 

Wow!  That is fancy Schmancy.  Damn.  Too fancy for me.  I'm usually in mud, dirt, sand, wet sand, saltwater, freshwater, and oh, dirt.  This is very pretty though.  I prefer cheap.  The cheaper, the better as long as I can fit what I need.  Photo looks awesome though!!  

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I like the feeling and looks of leather and the fact that just a little bee’s wax on a brush brings back the the soft feel and protects your bag indefinitely.  Even if you were to handle this bag heavily you could treat it with other more protective oils ( Mink, Neatsfoot oil) and use it almost indefinitely, after all leather is a durable and sustainable.

 

There are many bags which are way more expensive than this both in the canvas or leather category. At the time when I bought this, I researched the market well ( or so I thought) and came to the conclusion that for my requirements  this was the best possible solution at a reasonable price ( which is sensibly risen in the meantime) and I also understand that the former Dutch importer is no longer importing this brand and perhaps they were also looking at different products since the sent me recently what looked like a closing special offer for their products.

 

But there are as many bags as there are photographers. To each his one.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well I have quickly gone through all the comments here and found my place to response here. Most of the advices given here are absolutely precious. But I just want to mention two bags, although many here quite envy suggesting any brand. But searching for bags, especially online is a cumbersome process which I have faced recently. So I am gonna tell u my story and hopefully from there, some tips may help u.

So I purchased X-T10 recently with 18-55 lens. Immediately I had to buy a bag, so I bought a generic small holster style bag. While it is very light, cheap and compact, it can only fit my camera with attached lens, one other lens (a speedlight and it's remote trigger for me) and a few accessories like SD cards, batteries etc. And it also has a rain cover. But then I realize, it cannot accommodate if I want to expand my gears. So I wanted something that fulfills all my needs. My needs are:

 

1. It should accommodate my camera with an attached lens, 2 other lens, 2 flash lights, 1 remote trigger for Flash, all my ND filters, batteries, chargers, SD cards, remote trigger, maybe a portable power bank and few cables etc. Laptop may or may not be. And obviously a portable reflector.

 

2. Then I was stuck between messenger and backpacks. Backpacks are generally more comfortable for long periods and holds more equipments than anything and also u can carry ur tripod with some of them. On the other hand, they are not quick enough to take out yr gears and most of them have to be put down of the ground to pull out yr things. Plus backpacks are not for all the situations. I am a grown up person. I cannot carry backpacks everywhere. So here comes the messenger bags. But all those advantages that backpacks have, are mostly absent for messenger style bags. And then I kept looking and looking and found 2 bags that are awesome and almost fulfil my needs.

 

3. Those 2 bags are PEAKDESIGN EVEDYDAY MESSENGER BAG & TENBA DNA SERIES BAG.

 

4. Peakdesign's one I saw first and it was a revolutionary bag. U can see their kickstarter page and u will not believe how much they were backed up for their goal. It was huge, considering their asking amount. Anyway so I went through the YouTube reviews and there are tons of them and 99% were very positive about it. So I was also about to buy it and then I saw the price tag. It is expensive. Not the most expensive bag ever, but it is. Actually I was willing to pay fortune (considering my financial condition) for a good bag, as somewhere I saw, the bag is one of those things for which u shouldn't sacrifice the quality, just like tripods, otherwise u will keep searching and buying bags and ultimately u will pay way more than that one good quality bag if u had bought it. But this one was way above my league. So anyway I searched in Google for best camera bag brands and few names popped up like Think-tank, Onba, Tenba etc. Then I went into Tenba's website and found their DNA bags and their promo videos. I should be honest here, there are some promotions that u see and u just believe it. There may be some hypes, but no bullshit. It was like that. That skinny guy saying and showing all the qualities and features of Tenba DNA bags (which seemed honest) and that sumo guy trying to tear everything and failing (which seemed a bit hype but I got their point), really convinced me. It has all the nits and bits that u can ask from a messenger camera bag, just like Peakdesign's one. When someone really gives emphasis on those little details, then u know they care for that product. U should check them both. Plus it is almost 100 pounds cheaper than Peakdesign's. Then I went through the reviews in Amazon n everywhere. Although there aren't much for this unlike Peakdesign's one's but all the reviews are very overwhelming. So I just ordered for it.

 

4. But critical decision for me was to choose the size of the bag. It has 8", 11", 13" & 15" inch version. While 8" & 11" are very good and compact and portable and yet carry a lot of gears for a mirrorless camera, it couldn't fulfil a few needs that I had. I need to carry 2 flash lights and a portable reflector along side lens which these 2 bags couldn't accommodate. So I have to choose between 13" & 15". Now I really liked the 13" one as it was just the perfect size for me (being an average height Asian guy) and it could accommodate all my requirements except my 15" laptop. I could ignore carrying the laptop with me or carry another backpack, but then it totally kills the purpose of buying such an expensive bag which is supposed to be an all-in-one bag. So I should buy a 13" laptop also to accommodate in that, right? Hearing this even any mad guy will also laugh, right? But.....I considered that too. Then I found, all the 13" inch laptops (preferably affordable portable good quality ones and 2-in-1s) have some sacrifices like less storage and lack of graphics card or they are still way too expensive. So I am not just quite ready to take that jump. So I ordered the 15" one. Although most people said in their reviews it's not quite big, I know my laptop and I believe it will look and feel big for me, but then hey I can carry everything with me, right?

 

 

 

Sent from my HTC 10 using Tapatalk

Edited by Dr.Nipun
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(continued)

5. So striking features for me to buy this bag are: can accommodate everything I have and want, quick access top chain so that u don't have to pull up the whole front flap of the bag to pull out or in ur camera and it is water resistant as well as it has rain cover plus it is good looking.

 

So I thank u for reading my longest feedback (which even crosses the highest word limit for messaging of the group) and I will be glad if this could help u. I will keep u updated with my feedback after I get the bag in hand and use it. Thanks again.

 

Sent from my HTC 10 using Tapatalk

Edited by Dr.Nipun
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  • 4 weeks later...

As a professional traveller, what I look for is:

 

Rugged material, resistant to scratches or should look well when aged. So fabric or leather.

 

Sturdy seams. If a seam fails, everything might fall out.

 

It should at no point look like a camera bag, nor should it look expensive. This only makes it a target.

 

It should not be too easy to open. I keep my camera on a strap the whole day, unless I'm sure I don't need it. The bag is for stowage only.

 

If should be small and fold flat when not in use, so I can squeeze it into my usually very full suitcase.

 

Currently the bag that fits that purpose is my think tank retrospective 5. I did remove all the padding and I removed the shoulder pad.

 

I may add one of those peak design backpacks next year, after their kickstarter is over, for when I need to haul more.

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I have 2 bags

 

first is a lowpro 35L AW Nova Sport, shoulder bag.

 

This is a specious bag, which is just small enough for hand luggage for air travel.

 

It has a water proof pull over cover, enugh space for more gear than I carry.

 

I got this bag specifically for a trip to New York, and I find shoulder bags more comfortable  (read easier on my back) than a back pack, I wanted something that filled 4 main criteria.

 

1. Allowed in hand luggage on British Airways flights

2. Is Water Proof

3. Can carry my 12" laptop

4. Can carry my X-T10 3 lenses and accessories

 

My other bag is an Amazon basics backpack with laptop compartment.

 

I use this bag when i'm out cycling.

 

 

both bags are light (when empty) but either can carry more equipment than I need.

 

I'm tempted to pick up a 3rd smaller shoulder bag, big enough for a single body with the 18mm or 35mm lens mounted a spare battery for street (at some point maybe)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am down to two bags; a small LowePro which fits my X-Pro1 with a 1.4/35mm lens attached, plus some spare batteries. The other one is a LowePro Nova 4, which fits two X-cameras with small/medium primes attached, one or two additional lenses, plus some accessories.

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I have a Billingham Hadley Pro for my X-T1 and love it (bought it used on eBay).  It was handy as carry on for my recent trip to Canada, holding the following:

 

* X-T1 with 35mm F2

* 16mm

* iPad Mini

* Passports and papers

* A few filters/adapters

 

While in Canada, it was handy as I was able to remove the liner that was holding the camera equipment and use the bag to carry my stuff for the gym (shorts, travel towel, Vibrams, shirt, socks, undies, and toiletries).

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I have 2 Billinghams, all black with silver buckles. I have a Hadley Digital, which fits my XPro2 with a lens on, 2 spare lenses, tabletop tripod, spare batteries, lenspen and charger. Then I have a Hadley Small for those occasions when I want to carry flashes and more kit.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I have an older (NLA) Domke F-804 - a rather large canvas messenger bag that gets used as a general purpose briefcase/camera bag/laptop bag for work. Could be anything in there. Usually 1 body, a lens or two, an iPad, and/or a MBP, and 5 lbs. of tools, flashlights, gaffer tape, change of underwear, tie, etc.

 

I just bought a black canvas Domke F-803 as my main Fuji bag. Similar to above, but about 1/2 the size. Not a big bag, but easily holds X-E1+2 bodies, 12/2, 18/2, 35/1.4, 60/2.4 & 50-230, flash, extra batteries, etc.

 

I have been using (and still use) a small Tamrac ballistic nylon bag - which can hold an X-E body/lens and 1 or 2 other small lenses. Great for a small subset of gear. It's nearly 20 years old - my Leica IIIc lived in there for years!

 

I have a Case Logic backpack for my DSLR gear - Nikon D7000 or D800, 17-55/2.8, 80-200/2.8, 300/4, 35/1.8, 50/1.4, SB-600 + misc. stuff - goes to swim meets, big events.

 

All these bags get used on a regular basis - with equipment swapped around as needed..

Edited by Max_Elmar
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  • 4 years later...
On 11/13/2015 at 10:28 AM, milandro said:

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!

Hi! What's the exact name of the bag in the pic? 

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