Bags question, right one for two primes and body

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by heyyrobert, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. Moderator note: Thread locked due since it was hijacked by others for political rhetoric. My sincere apology to Robert. Please feel free to follow up with a new thread if you have other questions about camera bags.
    Hey, I have been looking for a nice, small shoulder bag that will be capable of holding a small kit of gear. I plan to use this new bag for a Nikon D200 (no grip), a 35mm f/2 (attached to body), and a 50mm 1.8. Maybe a SB-600 also, but mainly those two lenses and body probably 90% of time. I searched the forums for suggestions, such as the Lowepro slingshot (Don't like form-factor) and others, but most seem too big (like for more lenses and such), or too small (body only). Any recommendations? Price is the most important factor, then size. I was looking at this:
    But it seems to be too big for my needs. What do you think?
  2. Robert, The first to come to mind for me is this fairly new Domke design, the F-10. I'm giving you the actual Domke site at for ease of reference, but when you're ready to actually purchase, go to B&H Photo's site, Adorama, etc., as prices will me much cheaper through these retailers. Domke has other bags in that capacity range, also; just look around on the Tiffen site.
    I own several different sized Domke bags primarily because I consider them the best compromise of quality construction, comfort, sufficient protection, ease of access, style, and value. They say that there is a Chinese knock-off of Domke that is cheaper. However, I have moral values concerning environment, trade, human rights, and democracy that would be completely compromised by purchasing that sort of Chinese made product, especially when a U.S. made real Domke is readily available, and is priced quite reasonably. With the sort of equipment you've invested in, I don't think you want to buy a lesser bag.
  3. Too big, too loud with that Nikon patch, and probably cheaply constructed. Bags are very personal items, and buying one over the web is a lot like buying shoes that way. I prefer flatter ones, you might not. I would advise you to get to the local store with your gear, and try several bags out until you find one that will hold your gear (with a little extra room).
  4. This article might help:
  5. I like the Domke F6, a good medium sized shoulder bag, but it's actually larger than you need for the gear you've described. It's a tight squeeze but I can fit four lenses (up to the size of my 300/4.5 AI Nikkor) in the four-section insert, or three lenses and a flash, and either both of my Nikon film bodies (F3HP and FM2N) with motor drives but no lenses mounted, or just the D2H, no lens mounted. The D2H is much deeper than the older cameras so it hogs a lot of room. Plenty of room for spare batteries, media cards/film, etc.
    Check the Lowepro Stealth Reporter series too. I was very close to getting one but due to the more rigid sides and padding it wouldn't quite accommodate the same gear as the F6, even tho' externally they're the same size. The Domkes typically have very flexible material and padding. It's a tradeoff between protection and utility.
  6. Luis, hm... True... It's just that my camera stores only sell the usuals (Lowepro and Tamrac) and the one's I've seen seem just off, if it's just a tad bit too small or big. I put up the Nikon bag for reference.
    Jeff, Thanks! I like the bag. Just a little bit out of my price range. I was hoping to pay 70$ max. Obviously, if this is not possible, then that's fine. Just trying to see my options and other's recommendations.
  7. The Domke F-6 Little Bit Smaller looks really promising. Is this what you use, or the regular one?
    Little Bit Smaller:
    Regular (?)
    Any other choices?
  8. I've been using the Domke F6B this year. As far as I can tell it's identical to the Little Bit Smaller, but in black ballistic nylon instead of canvas. (I didn't realize there was such a price difference between the ballistic nylon and canvas Domkes.) Perfect replacement for my old Nikon bag, which was the same size and basic design but poorly constructed. The Domke ballistic nylon bag is tougher.
    BTW, another reason I like the Domkes - I despise Velcro. It's an abomination and should never be used for closures. It's okay for custom designing partitions inside a bag, but should never be used as pocket or lid closures. There's nothing quite like spotting a rare Speckled Flutternutter Wampus Hawk, known for extreme skittishness, reaching for your bag and "rrrRRRIIIPPP!" goes the Velcro and away flies the rare bird. So I prefer anything over Velcro - coated zippers, leather thongs over brass studs, metal or plastic hooks... anything but Velcro.
  9. I got an old Nikon N90s off eBay which came with a bag & some other stuff. I'd missed that somehow in the auction. It's a small bag which would probably be ideal for what you're looking for. It's a Samsonite Worldproof & is tiny - but just the right size for what you're looking for. It's come along a lot but is in reality far too small for me - though it's been used a lot. I use it for bringing "stuff" like snacks, TCs & tubes - along with other stuff when I go out.
    I'd look for something like that & I would most assuredly stay away from anything which says Nikon or looks like a camera bag. That's asking for trouble.
    Lil :)
  10. Lex: True, but for me velcro is fine because I don't shoot skittish birds :).
    Does anyone have experience with the Domke F-5XB? Seems small, and perfect for my needs, albeit it does look suspiciously like a man-purse :D. Seriously though, it looks good, and for 50 bucks on BH....
  11. I have a Lowepro toploader zoom 2 (IIRC..) that holds a body with a small lens and one or two small lenses at the bottom, or a body with a larger lens. It also has a side pocket. I bought it because I needed a bag for such small setups and it was cheap. The flash can fit in the side pocket.
  12. Robert.... Take a look at the Lowepro "Nova 2" or the "Nova Mini". I have both and they are great for a compact kit.
    The super small Nova Mini will hold the D200 and three 50mm-85mm sized primes (one on body), but not the flash at the same time. I really love the Nova Mini when I'm going light, and it's also great for walkabout where the camera is around my neck and the bag is just for lenses/flash.
    The Nova 2, while still a smaller bag, will gobble up the D200, 35mm, 50mm, SB-600, and another lens up to a 105mm Macro or 17-35 sized. The absolute biggest thing that will fit, and I do it all the time when quality and space are an issue, is the 17-35mm 2.8 on the D300, and the 70-200VR on it's own, both with hoods reversed.
    There are many Nova Minis in different colors listed "buy it now" on theBay for $11.95 + $8 shipping. There is a Nova 2 for $11.11 + $10 shipping. You could get either for $20, or have both options on hand for about $40 total. :)
  13. Before I purchased a ThinkTank ChangeUp I did some research on the web then went to the local camera store with the gear I wanted to put in a bag. When I found what worked I purchased it. The ChangeUp is bigger than you require but there where smaller bags availaable.
  14. Hey Robert, As a passionate film guy I'm afraid I'm not familiar with your D200, but I do own the F-5XB. If this body is not much bigger than the n6006, I think this bag would work well for you with those nice primes, and you might be able to fit your flash in the front zippered pocket. I'd always thought this was a great sized bag and always wanted one. Several months ago I got my first rangefinder, a cosmetically very nice Yashica Electro GT, restored to like-new mechanical condition and needed a bag for it. I already had the F-6 and the F-2 and loved both, but they were obviously too big for this fixed lens rangefinder and film, so I finally tried the F-5XB. I've only owned it for a few months, but love it!
    Even though I have the F-6, I find myself taking a fairly minimalist approach to much of my photo as time goes on. So, I've also put my n6006, with either a prime or a short zoom mounted, into the F-5XB face down after adjusting the removable divider to fit another lens off to the side. This works very well and I look forward to this set-up for future use. Another useful feature about the F-5XB is that the strap comes right off should you want to put the bag on your belt; I think this could be quite useful. The F-6 is a wonderful bag for when more equipment is needed.
    Naive, I guess, I'd never thought about a "man purse" before reading about this online, but now am a bit self conscious about this aspect:) Through sheer luck, I'd bought mine in the olive color, and perhaps this obviates the issue a bit;) Once the camera is around my neck, there's no mistaking my outstanding machismo;)! Seriously, though, it doesn't bother me too much as I really like this bag.
    You should know a few more things about Domke, one being that they originated because of Jim Domke, a news photographer for the Philadelphia Inquirer, needing a bag that would fulfill the needs of a photog on the go. They don't have a huge amount of padding because of the inherent compromise necessitated by the ability to have quick and easy access. But with a little common sense handling, I always find the protection that they do possess to be very adequate. They have nice wide "gripper straps" (I liked these so much I got them for my camera straps, too). They're high quality, and will last with any sort of decent care- the couple of bucks you may or may not save with another brand is completely obviated by this fact, imho. This may be just me, but I'd get the "sand" color for bags that are going to be out in any prolonged sun because of the natural quality of lighter colors to hold less heat, but maybe the “olive” if you chose an F-5XB. Domkes look and are "cool"; I've heard people say that they are like a favorite pair of jeans in that respect, and they seem to conform to the shape of your body making them comfortable.
    If you think you might need a bit more room, again, I'd check out the newer F-10, too. I think B&H's price is only two dollars above your limit;); free shipping, too. And if you are like me in these things, and would like to see more than one bag, B&H has a no questions asked return policy, so all you'd be out is the return shipping back of a bag that you didn't think would work for you. I think you’re right to look at this closely, as having the right bag is just as important as having the appropriate equipment for a given purpose.
    I'm not totally familiar with all of their new models, but there may well be others in that size/price range. Here's some good general info. for you, and of course you can find your way to the other models from here. Also, Jim Domke himself seems to occasionally participate if you follow the Domke Forum link. And, I believe at least one Domke rep participates regularly if you want to ask them some questions. I don't think you'll regret a Domke, as I know I haven't. Best of luck to you! Jeff
  15. I have a Tamrac Express 6. Fairly small bag that would hold your d200, both primes and a SB600, and not much else. There is also an Express 5, which I think is not quite as deep, but that would probably count the SB600 out. Both are under $50. Also, you might look at some of the smaller Crumpler bags, maybe the 2 and 4 million dollar homes, around $35 and $65 respectively. I also have a Crumpler bag, the 7 million dollar home for when I want to take nearly all my gear. It is well constructed, nicely padded, and doesn't look like a camera bag.
  16. Robert, I use the Lowepro Slingshot 200 for my D300 and four lenses with accessories. The 100 sounds like it would work great for you and is in the right price range.,2034,4.htm
    These bags are well made, tough and very comfortable for travel. One nice thing about this design is that you can get to the camera very easily without taking the bag off. You just swing it around front and open the flap for the camera. Their design really does work the way it's advertised. The 200 fits easily under an airline seat, so the 100 should be no problem.
  17. Sounds like a job for a Crumpler:
    We have a total of 3 Crumplers: 2x 7-million dollar Crumplers and 1x Brazilion. Don't like the Brazillion but love the 7-million dollar bag. They make them in just about any size for just about any Budget. Looks to be very similar to the Domke.
  18. I used to have a bag problem. I'd buy and sell them - continually looking for the perfect bag. I was hopeless.
    Until, that is, I bought a Courierware bag. For walking around, I think they can't be beat. They get little attention, but they're certainly worth a look - especially if you like messenger-style bags that you sling over your head and shoulder.
    I purchased the "medium" size camera bag - which is the largest camera bag they offer - and I regularly use it to carry a D700 with prime attached and up to four additional primes in the bag with various other accessories.
  19. I used to have a bag problem. I'd buy and sell them - continually looking for the perfect bag. I was hopeless.
    Until, that is, I bought a Courierware bag. For walking around, I think they can't be beat. They get little attention, but they're certainly worth a look - especially if you like messenger-style bags that you sling over your head and shoulder.
    I purchased the "medium" size camera bag - which is the largest camera bag they offer - and I regularly use it to carry a D700 with prime attached and up to four additional primes in the bag with various other accessories.
  20. I like the Lowepro Stealth Reporter bags . I have the AW550 (big one) and plan on getting a smaller one for less gear. I packed the AW 550 to Vegas, and it fit in all the plane overheads (little tight on the smaller CRJs tho). It has a zipper on top for easy access, lots of pouches/memory card holders, and a rain guard built into the bottom.

    I put an OP/TECH S.O.S. bag strap on it and it is very comfortable with lots of gear.
    As far as price/quality goes, I'm not sure you can top the LowePro Stealth Reporter series. I am very happy with mine and would highly suggest it.
  21. The Domke F-5xb that Jeff Z recommends is nice but if you need larger (and less man purse like :)) you might consider it's big brother, the F-5xc. It's a bit more like a messenger bag and will hold your kit plus a little more if necessary. There's a discreet compartment underneath that's perfect for a flash but the bag can be configured a few different ways to accommodate your gear. Here's a link for reference:
  22. Take a look at the Think Tank line of photo accessories. They have a nice selection of bags etc. I have an Urban Disguise 40. I can carry my d300/mb-10 and 24-70mm f2.8 attached, an sb800 or 900 flash and a couple of small in length lenses plus the usual accessories.
  23. Take a look at the Think Tank line of photo accessories. They have a nice selection of bags etc. I have an Urban Disguise 40. I can carry my d300/mb-10 and 24-70mm f2.8 attached, an sb800 or 900 flash and a couple of small in length lenses plus the usual accessories.
  24. ...(and less man purse like :))...​

    Hey, studly guy that I am, I resemble that!
  25. I second the Crumpler suggestion from Mike Bisom. I also have the 7-million dollar bag. It's a good size and one that would fit your needs. They make smaller sizes too, though, that would also work well.
  26. One thing that people forget to consider is the weight of the bag. My personal favorite bag is the canvas Domke which I have used since 1977. We are always being asked to try products at the magazine, and some have even given them to us for free hoping for some free advertising or good review in exchange. One such company was Tamrac who gave us all bags, but they weighed 3+ pounds each! Domke has bags of many sizes and they last a long time. Also consider the fact that your "kit" may grow in the future, so best to get a bag with at least one more pocket than you think you need.
  27. I also suggest the Domke F6.Nice layout with enough room for your equipment plus a little more room for future purchases.The F804 is also nice and will hold your stated gear easily.Looks more like a satchel than a camera bag.
  28. Problem with "small kits of gear" is that they get bigger, faster than you'd think--trust me, most of us know why. Based on the inevitability of more gear, I'd say go for a Domke F2B(black ballistic nylon)--beautifully-made, tough, well-designed and not very-obviously a camera bag, thanks to minimal goofy labeling and low visibility materials. Buy a small bag now and you'll just buy another, larger bag later.
  29. Has Crumpler changed their design? I tried their bags back around 2002-2003 and decided against them because the design didn't fit the name. I figured with a name like Crumpler they'd be similar to the Domke - soft sided, flexible, lightly padded. Instead, every Crumpler I tried was stiff, with excessive padding and the fit was too tight for easy access. It was like the difference between a brand new baseball mitt (which is pretty but useless) and a well worn, properly broken in mitt, which describes the typical Domke bag.
  30. For an off the wall suggestion, try looking at Mountainsmith. They make hiking gear mostly, but they have a camera line too. Due to the big size of my F4s, I needed a large opening bag, and I wanted a waist bag. I ended up getting one , from REI, on about a 50% off sale, on the web. It's deeper than I wanted, but it works. With an D200, and short lenses, they have smaller ones, and the price isn't too bad. They have nice belts and straps for comfort. It has a shoulder strap and waist belt.
    For a smaller, over the shoulder , application, maybe one of the Reflex II. They are in the $40 to $50 range.
  31. I'd third the crumpler million dollar home suggestion. I have three of them: a five, six and seven.
    A four million or five million dollar home should be about the right size. I find them very easy to work out of and very secure, provided you can handle the sound of velcro.
  32. Kenko Small Tropical Bag in black and tan. My daughter just bought one of these from Samy's. She loves it. They do not look like camera bags, but are outfitted with velcroed dividers and padding. It will hold your D200, lens, and flash, plus papers, a thin book, money. If you want to get in touch with your feminine side, take a look.
  33. Hey, those Kenko bags look nifty, kinda like Billingham knockoffs. I like the leather thong and brass stud design - my Beseler bead blasted canvas canteen bag has that type of lid closure. Good looking, discrete, and no Velcro closures. Does the Kenko bag seem durable?
  34. Hi Robert, I'm with Bob on the Think Tank suggestion. I have recently bought an Urban Disguise 30 and I carry a D700 with a 24-70 2.8 attached, an SB-900 flash plus cards, batteries, phone wallet etc. I recently used it on a weekend trip to Kuala Lumpur and found it to be easy to carry and easy to use while walking.
    I also bought an additional strap from an Urban Disguise 40 which is wider and more comfortable to carry for extended periods. Fits perfectly on the UD30. Downside I would say is they are quite expensive but then construction feels bullet-proof.
    If possible I would recommend the suggestions from a few previous posters about taking your kit to a store and testing it, its the only way to really know its right without taking a gamble. But hey, a gamble can be fun!
  35. I'd second the recommendation for the Domke F-5XB. I picked up the Tamron co-branded version (link ) on a whim a few years ago when it was on sale for ~$30, and now it is probably the bag I use most often when I want to travel light (which is most of the time). I don't have a 35mm f/2, so I'm not positive, but the bag can fit a D700 w/28mm f/1.8 (old sigma) + 50/1.8 + SB-800 (just checked!). Usually I have the D700 with a slightly bigger lens (24-60/2.8 or 85/1.4) attached, and then either the 28/1.8 (w/ the 85), or a 105DC/135DC sometimes (no flash). Used to be the D300 + 18-200 and another lens. There's just enough space to throw an extra battery and a couple of filters (or a colorright) in with any of the above (and pens/paper/gum or other small or flat things in the front pocket)
    I disagree with Gary in that there is a purpose to having a small bag. Certainly this bag can't be the only bag for most people, and if I need more than this will carry, I have a number of other bags (crumpler, tamrac, tenba, lowepro, thinktank, etc). Which I use depends on what I want to carry (tho i don't use any of the square-ish, box-like camera bag styles anymore - except as storage (ie, my tenba & nikon bags), cuz they're not as comfortable to carry around. Also, the F-5XB is small enough to stuff into your luggage (empty w/dividers detached so that it flattens out), which was really convenient last trip I took where I flew out with my camera gear (and macbook) in a bigger bag (ThinkTank Urban Disguise 50), but mostly just carried the F-5XB with various lenses for day trips.
    And yeah, it's my "lens-purse" -- oh, and that huge label/tag on the front comes off pretty easily with a small scissors or exacto knife.
  36. I love the Crumplers but agree that the velcro is noisy. It does it's job though. If you uneed to pull out a flash or lens and then take a shot the velcro will hold the bag closed if you can't take the time to buckle the strap. I have the Four and Seven Million. I just ordered a Five.
  37. I use Timbuk2 messenger bags with Domke inserts. It opens wide, it's comfortable, and it sheds water.
  38. Maxpedition, the jumbo versipack, though and durable, and they don't scream ' camerabag ' too much....
  39. I use the Tamrac superlight 2 (discontinued, but comes up on ebay). Holds my D200 + 35mm f/2, a 135/2.8, bogen pocket tripod + slik ball head, and a SB-600 or lunch. And filters, batteries, memory cards, cell phone, a thin book etc. Looks simply like a big purse.
  40. The Domke F-5XB might work for the gear you want assuming you stick to the smaller primes, though it may be a little snug for a camera as large as a D200/D300/D700. I suggest you look at how other people have used these bags in reviews at . The review that most resembles how you would probably want to use this bag is the Canon 40D (listed as 10D) review #3.
    I have a few different Domke models, and have used the F-5xb with Pentax *ist DS2, K10D, and K20D. The bag is probably better-suited to the Nikon D40-sized *ist DS2 or probably a Nikon D80/90 but it can work OK with K10D which is larger--though probably not quite as large as a D200, it is somewhere in between the D80/90 and D200/300. If you use lenses larger than the ones you mention you will probalby not be able to fit the flash at the same time.
    The F-5xc and F-10 look a little roomier and may be better choices.
  41. How about something a little less traditional, but serves the purpose with excellence and alacrity?
    I was in your same shoes: What sort of bag can I afford that will hold and protect all my stuff, doesn't look like a camera bag, is comfortable to carry and I won't look like a guy with a purse?
    I picked up a clearance Fossil messenger(ish) bag for $20 (usually $100 or so) and it is absolutely ideal. I shoot street and it definitely does not look like a camera bag. It's made of beige/tan canvas and leather and so won't cramp your style - looks rather military and nothing like a "man purse". It has no velcro, but brass closures, snaps and a zipper or two. It is large enough to carry your biggest DSLR and a few lenses and has several compartments to protect each from each other. It is soft sided, so don't drop it off a 10' ladder, but provides plenty of protection under normal use for my M6 and lenses, a G10 with all accessories, phone, smokes, bottle of water, bunch of film, etc...It is comfortable to carry with it's wide strap, and did I say it looks nothing like a camera bag???
    Give these Fossil bags a look. They change from year to year, but all are pretty much made in the same vein and there's plenty of deep discounts a the outlet mall I got mine at. I did a lot of searching and even bought a nice Domke F6, but this one outdoes every camera bag I looked at. For $20.
  42. Oh - I just looked and here's a link to a close example of the bag I'm using. They're all a little different, so.....|0||p_weight|0||p_order_history|1&rec=19&pn=c&imagePath=MBG1123250
  43. Keep in mind, I dislike padded "puffy" bags.
    Another vote for the Domke F6. With the 4 compartment insert squished to one side, my D300 and 18-70 or 105/f4 lays nicely on it's side and allows room for 3 or more other lenses and a flash.
    If I want to take everything, I have various other larger bags that remain in the hatch of my car and use the Domke for portability.
  44. Its hard to get the right bag. So far my favorite is the Urban disguise 35. Its small yet holds a lot of gear.
  45. Normally I am a daypack kind of guy for camera gear, but I like the Crumpler 7mil home i got about a year ago. I got mine at huge discount at Adorama, get on their email list. I took the silly little stick figure off the bag and strap with a knife. I'd go bigger than what you need since you may get a flash, another lens, body, etc in the future, and the 7mil isnt that big. Tom
  46. Lex, the Kenko bag does look good, but it isn't leather. It's "pleather." There is nothing natural about it except for the look. It is well designed though.
  47. I used to use my messenger bag as a camera bag, but that became a real pain because everything would move around in there.... couldn't keep it organized. Also, since my stuff was getting heavier, it was getting harder to carry on one shoulder. I decided to go with a Lowepro backpack, and really like this bag (Lowepro Mini Trekker) a lot. I carry four lenses, a body, and either my flash or 80-200mm lens.
  48. Funny but I got both of my new Domkes(F2b+F1Xb)from people who bought them only to find them too big/too small for their purposes. I have small improv bags that work nicely for a body+flash or even a Mamiya 645+film backs, too. Point is: who owns just one pair of shoes?
  49. Think tank, the little one holds my d700 with a lens attached plus 2 extra lenses and some accesories like chargers or cards or something. Also like the x million dollar bags, i have the 7 million dollar one which is big but they have smaller ones that are nice too.
  50. bmm


    Hmmm... all this focus on actual camera bags for what is actually a VERY compact setup. Though slightly different to the OP's kit, I very commonly carry a D80 with one of the 35/2 and 85/1.4 mounted and the other loose, along with a couple of spare filters and batteries etc and sometimes my little SB400 (and a curly cord so I can use it in any direction) in a normal leather satchel - along with my passport, notepad, cell phone etc.
    Far more stylish, far less cumbersome, and doesn't scream "camera in here" compared to the other options... however good they are.
    So for me Philip Maus is on the right track with his Fossil bag suggestion. Sure, if you are lugging around 3 or 4 telephoto zooms, 2 bodies, 2 or 3 flashes and all sorts of crap then you need the right storage/transport solution. But when you've only got 2 or 3 smallish and light separate bits... compartments? padding? Hmm... just get over it.
    So I say get a funky man-bag, a pink shirt and some David Beckham fragrance to match (said tongue in cheek of course...), and enjoy your adventures.
  51. Think Tank Urban Disguise 30
  52. I have the Lowepro Rezo160 which a compact shoulder bag for minimum load which I think is OK for 2 primes, body and flash.
    I load my bag with the D300 with the Tamron 17-50mm fitted plus the Nikkor 35mm f/2.0 and the SB800 speedlight. Tight fitted and secure.
  53. I own the Lowepro stealth reporter 200 AW. It is a small bag, very convenient and flexible, yet it can hold a body the size of Nikon Pro DSLRs with a 17-55 or 24-70/2,8 mounted, plus a 80-200/2,8, both lens hoods and a few small accessories. Very compact and easy to walk around with.
  54. I too would suggest looking for a small regular bag rather than a camera specific bag for so little kit. Camera bags tend to be very inflexible and take up a lot of space and weight for amount of storage they provide.
    At the moment I'm searching for a bag for my FM2n (maybe switch with my D50) and two prime lenses for hiking purposes. I am pretty sure I'll end up with a non-camera specific lumbar or fanny pack.
  55. I use the LowePro Rezo 160 AW--I think I paid about $25 for it, though it looks like it went up to $40 since then.
    It fits my d200 with battery grip, sb800, a 50 f1.4, and an 85mm f1.8, and I have squeezed a 18-200mm in there as well as extra batteries and assorted cords.
    I have been really happy with its size and capacity, and the form factor makes it easy to stuff in a backpack for travel as well.
  56. Lowepro apex 120 aw holds my D80, a 35 or 50 attached, an 85, a couple of 52/62 filters, spare battery and cards but the sb might prove a tight fit unless the 85 is left home. Very amateur no-brows-raised look, like a home videocam bag. It opens towards you though, so stuff ís not exposed nor falls out. Bought that to exactly same need you describe. Best to go to a shop and stuff some of their demo stuff into a bag that looks nice to you.
  57. ha ha this thread really says a lot about photographers and their bags. the best deal going is probably the nikon bag (looks cheapo, but dont let the price fool you, it's made from ballistic nylon) linked in the OP's original post. Domke's are designed for PJs, so lack of padding might be an issue, though a lot of people swear by them. i have an older version of the nikon bag which i've converted into a storage center for eclipse fluid, pec pads, and lens/body caps, but there are times when its size is just right and i miss it. i've also decorated it with used photo passes so it makes an artistic statement of sorts. i upgraded to a now-discontinued domke bug bag (a bit more padded, yellow interior like kata), and also have a slingshot 200 which is great except the over-the-shoulder strap messes with jacket buttons and it hurts my back if i pack it to its full capacity--in which case i go for the backpack-style kata dr-467, which is great if you're into backpack-style bags with lots of padding that dont look like camera bags. i also have a timbuk2 messenger which can be converted to a cam bag in a pinch, an osprey messenger designed for laptops (ditto), a loweprowe TLZ hoster pack (which slides into the timbuk 2/osprey), and a cheapie but roomy canon backpack which i've kept because it has tripod slots (which the kata does not). this one also holds excess gear. the take-home message seems to be no photographer will ever be satisfied with one bag, so get whichever one strikes your fancy.
  58. @ Andrew Gilchrist
    Andrew, I wanted to thank you for your earlier post that included the link from I was in the market for a new bag and was planing on buying a crumpler 7 million dollar home from B&H. The review on was helpful but more importantly it pointed me to a sale at Adorama on the bag which saved be $40.
    @Robert Macaisa
    I have a Lowepro Nova 4 which would hold your kit and more. After using the Crumpler 7 million dollar bag I would consider getting a 5 or 6 million for the kit you want to carry.
  59. ...the best deal going is probably the nikon bag (looks cheapo, but dont let the price fool you, it's made from ballistic nylon)...​
    I partially agree, Eric. I've had that bag for five years or so. It's an excellent design, but with mediocre construction. The liner in mine came apart within two years and by the fourth year the exterior was fraying, especially the hinge area between the lid and bag. It's frayed from repeated opening and closing. It now serves as a cat nap station for my Siamese.
    The Domke F-6B is the closest I could find to the Nikon bag. It's not quite as roomy and I preferred the adjustable padded dividers of the Nikon bag over the Domke inserts. But otherwise they're very comparable bags. And the Domke has a proven track record for durability.
    At $27 the Nikon bag is a very good value. Just don't expect it to last more than a few years of regular use. But at that price you could buy three or four for the cost of a Domke F-6B.
  60. dunno if Robert (the OP) has already figured out what he wants (or if his head is just spinnin)...
    I have 2 of the Nikon system bags - one from my 6006, which is almost 15 yrs old now... (one with D200?) they're both holding up, and they hold a useful amount of stuff, but I don't think they're comfortable or convenient to shoot out of (ie- with bag on shoulder), and of course they scream "camera bag".
    Also, yeah my bag collection has evolved and grown (way too much) over the years -- many are just used as storage for various equipment. There are a variety of styles and sizes (as you can see from all the responses) -- each with +/- depending on your taste/needs/mood.
    Anyway, in case you're still looking for ideas, here are my Fave 5 (not brought to you by T-mobile) bags to shoot out of (while carrying the bag):
    1. Domke/Tamron F-5XB : because its so light that I almost don't notice that it is there (especially when the camera is in my hand) -- obviously works only when traveling light. Doesn't look too much like a camera bag. Thin padding keeps it compact/flexible (not-so-good if you bang your bags into stuff)
    2. Crumpler 7 Million Dollar Home : comfortable, well padded, can hold a lot of gear. wide opening fits camera with grip and lens attached, allows easy access.
    3. Tamrac Velocity 5 : reasonably small, thinner than the Crumpler, lots of zipper pockets for small or flat items (including exterior ones). Problem I had in the past was that sometimes I needed more space and attached exterior lens cases to the straps on each side, which made the bag too big/heavy and kinda uncomfortable. (the crumpler means I don't gotta do this anymore)
    4. Tamrac Velocity 7 (and 9) : sling style, but flatter to back than the slingshots. very convenient/comfortable as long as you don't overload them (or add external lens cases). the Velocity 9 is just big enough to fit a camera with a vertical grip and an 80-200/2.8 (which means its usually too big for me). Disadvantages: these bags do not stand up on their own.
    5. Lowepro Sideline Shooter : waist-pack style. sits on hips like a belt, so no bag to swing around, shoulder are completely free for slinging camera strap (or other bags). Convenient platform for lens changes, easy to find things -- its pretty small/shallow, nice if you're using shorter lenses (ie- a bunch of smallish primes) that fit in vertically, longer lenses aren't good for this one.
    The ThinkTank Urban Disguise 50 is great for carrying things around, but just too heavy to shoot out of when loaded. I only use when I need to carry the macbook. Backpacks are also great for hauling stuff around, but don't like having to take them off to change lenses.
    Oh, and I put up a page of photos of my F-5XB with various collections of gear in case you're still considering this bag. Hope this helps!
  61. "The liner in mine came apart within two years and by the fourth year the exterior was fraying, especially the hinge area between the lid and bag. It's frayed from repeated opening and closing. It now serves as a cat nap station for my Siamese."
    my point was that i got the nikon bag--the current version is actually nicer, with more pockets than mine--used it for a while said, eh, i need to upgrade, and bought a bunch of more expensive bags, only to find that when i have to grab something which can hold a reasonable amount of gear for an event (D300+grip, attached zoom, one additional zoom, one additional prime, flash, filters, batteries, memory cards, etc.) , it's actually just about right. maybe nikon do know what they're doing, after all.
    sure, the lining is a bit cheap (compared to the exterior), and no doubt there are more expensive and better-designed options out there, but it's basic in an old-school, aesthetically-pleasing way, and fairly incognito, with just a small logo which can be hidden with gaffer's tape. my biggest niggle was actually the unpadded shoulder strap, which is permanently attached, but i solved that with a $12 timbuk 2 padded shoulder rest which velcros on and has some grippy anti-slide material on it.
    look at it this way, lex: a cat nap station for $27 is a very good deal. the "classy cat pillow" is $122 retail, $72 online:
    nice pic by the way.
  62. I like Domke also. I have a D90 that I usually carry with a 35mm f2. This Domke F2 is my every day bag. The Camera with lens mounted fits nicely in the left insert layed down with the lens facing forward. As you can see I then have 4 other compartments to put stuff in. Pretty lightweight really, easy as pie to open it up and grab the camera when needed. I just leave it closed with the velcro and never really use the snaps.
    To make this even lighter, I took the removeable bottom pad out, and just put a little padding from other bags in the bottom of the camera insert. The spare lens I carry is so light it doesn't need any extra padding.
    I bought an F6, which I like the size, but it just didn't feel right and comfortable carrying around. I think the strap was just too short. So I went back to the F2. It's a very comfy solid bag.
    I have two minor issues with the bag. One is that the front pockets are kind of deep and not wide enough to get my hand in easily to grab things at the bottom, so it's a bit more limited what I put in them. The side pickets however are great !
    The other is, that since this is my everyday bag, I have no room left to put any decent size items, because as you see, the inserts take up the whole bag. btw, it only came with the 4 compartment insert. I ordered the single compartment insert from bhphoto. Just now I think I realized what I may do to alleviate this minor quibble. I'll order a 2 compartment insert and replace the 4 compartment insert with it. That will leave 1/3 of the bag open to put bigger things in.
    Domke bags, with their available inserts are very flexible.
  63. Floyd, I like my Domke F-2 as well. It made life easier for my nature photography almost immediately.
    Wow, I'm kind of surprised that a question like this garnered such a large response, but I guess we all really like our respective choices, and are willing to pass on our mistakes so that others can learn...
    For the type of use the OP describes, I really love my Domke F-5XB. I’d always wanted this bag because of its perfect size for minimal amounts of equipment, and I knew I loved the Domke designs as well as the comfortable yet rugged cotton canvas construction. I’ve really enjoyed my F-2 for several years now for nature work, and it still looks like new except for a very agreeable slight fade in color. The small F-5XB Domke is what I use all the time now for two lenses and my SLR, or, for my rangefinder, cell phone, and film. These are products that were well worth their reasonable prices. No regrets whatsoever!
    I'm a bit surprised that few seem to think that the country of manufacture is important in their decision making process. For me, this is always a factor in anything considered for purchase. Western nations such as the U.S., Canada, and Europe, as well as Japan, Australia, N. Zealand, and I’m sure, some others, have largely enacted progressive, sensible laws and regulations governing our gravely threatened (as well as interconnected) environment. For the most part, they also have laws and regulations that seek to protect worker rights and safety. They have rule of law governing patents and copyright. Additionally, they observe freedom of the press, and of religion. They are democracies. Though not perfect, I strive to support economies in these nations through the purchase of their products.
    China..? Well, no. Democracy? Most emphatically, no. No freedom of the press, and very little if any, human rights. More than thirty of China’s leading writers were imprisoned a year ago; I don’t know if that is still true today. The Dali Lama recently described the plight of modern Tibetans as, “a living hell”. He has been forced to live in exile for 50 years, now, and the semi-totalitarian government attempts to vilify him often. The internet in China is censored.
    Pollution in China is on a scale that is unimaginable to those of us in the West, with cancer rates and respiratory diseases soaring. Recently, I’d read that at the rate a certain area near a Chinese industrial sector was going, virtually every person there would be stricken with cancer because of pollution.
    Can you imagine what it must be like for a company elsewhere that is trying to abide by sensible environmental regulation, and is complying with decent worker laws, and whose government is not manipulating its currency, to compete with amoral Chinese manufacturing? There are many reasons Chinese made items are so cheap, and I think we should all think about them before buying China's products. I know that Domke, and at least one other bag that was mentioned are made in the U.S., but I'm not sure about any of the others. Can someone clarify where the others are made? Thanks.
  64. Well Jeff, I guess it's just an added bonus that Domke bags that I like so much are made in the USA. It's very hard to find things not made in China today. I can't say that had anything to do with why I bought it, but I do remember looking at the tag inside a couple of times ( especially the first time ), and seeing the Made in Usa logo, and being pleasently surprised. It was actually nostalgic. You just don't see that hardly anywhere anymore.
    I wouldn't be too hard on China though, as I think the USA policies abroad contribute to much of the world's suffereing also. Worldwide corporations pretty much rule things.
    And if you have a mutual fund type 401k or IRA, unless you're very conscientious about your investments in it, you also are supporting all manner of amoral and unethical corporations througout the word, many of which are in the good old US of A.
    I'm just sayin .......
  65. "I wouldn't be too hard on China though"
    well, except for the fact that their government filters all Internet traffic, i suppose they're ok.
  66. Hi Floyd, Yes, the fact that Domkes are made in the U.S. is an added bonus, given that simply on the merits they are an outstanding product. In my view at least, they have reached the level of a brand icon. But I think (hope J) you may slightly underestimate just how many very high quality products are still made here. Kodak films, for one, come immediately to mind. I just shot a roll of T-Max 400 and an editor couldn’t believe the quality. Of course it has to be hell for many companies that try to manufacture in any country where there are sensible rules and regulations in this “free trade” business/”government” environment of the last few decades, as the playing field has been decidedly lopsided.
    Of course the U.S. policies of the godawful W administration contributed to world suffering in many ways, but I really don’t think that anything they did in economics/trade (or Clinton before him), compares with the blatant human rights abuses, environmental, and unfair trade policies, that have and do prevail in Communist China. Except perhaps, that Clinton and Bush allowed these trade inequities to persist and grow through both inaction and their unalloyed support of big business, which loved moving manufacturing operations to China for competitive advantage; environment and morality be damned. Then, the CEOs and other top executives of these corporations could claim that they were actually geniuses for the increased profit that fell to the bottom line, thus justifying their obscene compensation packages that now equal 500 times what the average worker receives at major corporations. (The ratio was about 20 to 1 until approximately the time Reagan took office, and has been on a very steep, upward, and widening trajectory ever since; i.e. average worker’s pay stayed flat, while CEO’s went ballistic).
    What was really accomplished? Perhaps a better standard of living for the average Chinese person, but at huge cost to environment and health, and very likely, increased global warming. In the West, and other largely civilized nations: cheaper prices of products (many shoddy and unsafe), a lower standard of living for the middle and lower classes, as their hard won status due to decent paying manufacturing jobs slipped away, a housing bubble because of artificially low interest rates…
    Strong evidence of just how beholden the U.S. is to this sick economic world order came about a week ago, when the Obama administration proclaimed that China really wasn’t manipulating its currency! This, after both President Obama and Treasury Secretary Geithner were both on record as strenuously stating that it was. It seems that they want to back off on doing anything now because of just how serious the economic crises is; they don’t want to ruffle China’s feathers as we have allowed ourselves to become so indebted to them, and have empowered them to such a large economic extent:
    So yes, and no offense intended, but I will definitely vote with my wallet on all purchases, and I sincerely urge others to do so as well. When our government can’t, or won’t act, it’s up to the individual to do the right thing. When we purchase needed products made in relatively moral, law abiding nations, it can only be a step in the right direction, in my view.
  67. wow Jeff, very well presented argument. I really can't disagree with anything you said there. In your first post it sounded like just pure china bashing. This post includes the policies of our govt and big business in the picture.
    Personally I really like to buy things from the fair trade alliances that exist, but there arent many things they offer yet, other than coffee, hemp type clothes etc.... Those alliances will only do business with companies that treat their employees and the environment with respect and dignity.
    If you drink coffee, you're probably drinking to the deforestation of many parts of south america, and the turning of many many south americans into poor refugees of their own countries.
    If you wear Nike sneakers ( unless they've changed recently ), you are wearing the slave labor of east asian children ( and adults ).
    I'm sure the examples abound if one searches, of the slavery, suffering and poverty that exists to support many things in our lives.
    Then at the same time, as you say, our middle class is just shrinking away. Who knows man, maybe a balancing out will have to happen at some point in time. If we think it through, it's hard to reconcile me thinking about which $100 dollar bag to buy for my digital camera while 24,000 children in Africa die of starvation EVERY DAY !!
    whoooa !
    Hey, at least I managed to get "camera bags" into the post. :J
  68. Hey Floyd, Thanks, and I hope that in no way my words were construed as directed at anyone personally; it’s the overall issue of why so many continue to give financial sustenance to a nation that seems to clearly operate in a way that is so contrary to all of the things good people believe in, and have worked hard to achieve, that get to me. I’ve nothing at all against trading with many nations, it seems a very positive thing in my view. But it must be fair trade in a meaningful sense regarding pollution, worker rights, currency manipulation, rule of law, etc.
    Yes, I buy fair trade alliance goods whenever possible, too! Although still relatively small, it is growing. Green Mountain Coffee and Heifer International seem to have good selections, in my limited experience. Also, for food products, more and more, I’ve been favoring Newman’s Own brands. When the late actor passed away, I read that this (his foundation’s) food company raised more money for charity than all of the money Mr. Newman had made in his entire illustrious film career!
    I’ve never understood the logic of the term “china bashing”, though. It reminds me of the sort of things that Karl Rove or the “free trade” lobby would use… inscrutable, but they sounded impressive at a superficial level. The preponderance of evidence is so strong in support of what I said, and much was left out… I suppose some who have stated similar things forget the integral role that corporations, and of course many are Western corporations, play in this..? But I know that the role they play is at least as import as the Chinese government’s.
    One by one it often seems, I’ve seen companies from whom I’ve purchased supplies, move their manufacturing operations to China. I’ve gone so far as to buy used so as to not be a part of this, but I know well what you mean when you mentioned previously about how difficult this is… I guess that is a big reason why I’m so happy to be able to purchase products like Domke and Kodak films…
    But I try to make myself heard to these companies that choose to leave. Their argument is that they can’t afford to manufacture here and compete with their competitors who have already moved to dirty, lawless, non- human rights respecting, undemocratic China. How’s that for sad? And why is it that goods made under conditions and practices that would be wholly illegal in virtually any of the free countries mentioned previously, can be purchased legally in these same nations?
    As mentioned, the benefits of this perverse and unhealthy current trade situation benefit a very few, while causing harm to most, including our shared global environment. While here in the Eastern U.S. we have bald eagle, heron, and beaver returning to areas where they haven’t been seen in many years, the ice caps are melting and sea temperatures are rising… The dirt is simply being swept under the rug. Not to mention our morality. So again, the only thing I know is to “vote” with your wallet or pocketbook when you can, and to make your voice is heard when there is no choice. Call the customer service people at L.L. Bean, or B&H Photo, etc., etc. They do seem to care, and if enough of us do this, there will be action.
  69. Jeff,
    I guess the only thing I'll say for now to all of this, with respect to China, is that I see the middle class growing over there, and capitalism taking root. It seems to me that will eventually lead to a change in the authoritarian rule that allows such blatent disregard for the rights of others.
    I believe that Chinese people are just like all people. Therefore, when the power shifts to the people, as wealth and ownership shift to them by means of capitalism, then they will become more like western countries.
    Now, overally whether that will make the world a better place or not, is still open for discussion as far as I'm concerned. Greed is still greed, and the powerful greedy throughout the world will still feed on the poor, and exploit all resources and life to their benefit.
    Voting with our wallet is good. I note however that I say this to you on a keyboard attached to a computer that is probably mostly made in china.
  70. Hi Floyd,
    I thought it important to respond to most of what you said.
    You mention, “ .. I see the middle class growing over there, and capitalism taking root.”
    Yes, of course, but at what cost to our global environment, and our previously strong middle classes in many Western nations? What about the morality of empowering a system so at odds with our own ideals, in fact, which is in clear conflict with our laws and regulations concerning environment and human rights?
    Also, you say, “…It seems to me that will eventually lead to a change in the authoritarian rule that allows such blatent disregard for the rights of others.
I believe that Chinese people are just like all people. Therefore, when the power shifts to the people, as wealth and ownership shift to them by means of capitalism, then they will become more like western countries…”
    Well, this has been the wished-for scenario for years… Instead, it seems that the semi-totalitarian Chinese government has been strengthened in many ways; certainly not diminished. Its hold on power seems to be directly commensurate with the strength of Chinese employment.
    Regarding human rights, witness the loosening of rights by the Chinese government, as well as the closing of factories to lessen the severe air pollution, running up to the Olympic Games. Afterwards, it was back to business as usual, including the continued hell Tibetans endure.
    I also believe the Chinese people are fundamentally no different than the rest of us. However, I know how transformative and enriching a liberal arts education was for me; literature, history, sociology, psychology, political science, they all were wonderful, nurturing mechanisms for intellectual growth leading to critical thinking ability… I have serious doubts about Chinese capacity for change when their system so restricts their educations.
    “…Greed is still greed, and the powerful greedy throughout the world will still feed on the poor, and exploit all resources and life to their benefit.
Voting with our wallet is good. I note however that I say this to you on a keyboard attached to a computer that is probably mostly made in china.”
    I guess I’m simply not nearly as fatalistic as you. Things do change for the better, but it takes intelligent thought, action, and backbone. There are countless examples throughout history! And voting with our wallets is a good place to start (it addresses issues directly and fundamentally!), as well as making our voices heard to these companies about everything I’ve mentioned concerning unfair/immoral trade, and the obscenity of the top executives of these corporation receiving absolutely obscene compensation packages.
    I didn’t mean to fault President Obama in a previous post in case it wasn’t perfectly clear. He has said many things indicating that his heart and mind are in the right place on many of these issues. However, the severity of the inherited financial crises has tied his hands for the time being, it seems.
  71. A note from your friendly neighborhood moderator:
    You know, folks, there isn't a facepalm in the entire world adequate for this. Congratulations on hijacking a thread about camera equipment to pollute it with your completely irrelevant political rhetoric.
    This thread is being locked, with my sincere apologies to Robert, the original poster. Robert, if you'd like to start a new thread on this same subject about camera bags feel free to do so. I'll try to keep it free of clutter.
    The rest of you... take it somewhere else.

Share This Page