Elegant solution for carrying a CMC on your belt ??

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by soeren_engelbrecht|1, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. Dear All,

    for a (long) while, I have been looking for a solution to carry a CMC on my belt. I find the combination of shoulder straps and heat uncomfortable over longer periods of time (e.g., when traveling), and since I now also suffer from a "floppy disk" in my lower spine, my physiotherapist does not recommend the asymmetric load of a shoulder bag.

    I am specifically looking for something that will hold a single CMC with lens (Max size would be a Nikon F with 50/1.4 and hood). For larger amounts of gear, e.g., DSLR, two lenses and a CMC, I have used a Lowepro Sideline Shooter belt pack for some 15 years. Currently, my "small solution" is a Lowepro "fanny pack" similar to this one:


    It does, indeed, hold one CMC with lens, but both I and (especially) my wife find that it looks, well... not very elegant :-(

    So: Does anyone have any suggestions for something more discrete and less touristy ?? Any help would be much appreciated !!


  2. P.S.: The credit for the above shot goes to my lovely and very understanding wife, Pia. And those who care more about pictures can go to this page instead: http://www.imagepro.dk/China_2012/ :)
  3. elegant is relative I think this works fine. IF it ain't broke etc... How about simply turning it so the pack is to back or side. I usually can'T decide what I'm going to shoot I like a little digicam as light meter and two CMC a MF and a 35. For short jaunts or other responsibilities etc I will reduce to one camera. I like a jacket with big pockets but in summer...cargo shorts ..again elegance?!?
  4. I'm going to disallow the premise! "Elegant" and "carrying ... on your belt" mustn't even appear in the same sentence! :) Seriously, I do understand you meant "elegant" in the engineering solution sense, not in the Grace Kelly or Audrey Hepburn sense. Could you use one of those sling-straps where the camera is attached via a clip screwed into the tripod mount, rides at your waist when not in use, and then is raised to your eye by sliding the clip up the strap? Yes this is still "asymmetrical," but (a) it's only the weight of a 35mm SLR, not an RB67, and (b) it should be a bit better distributed than with a shoulder bag. With the sling over your left shoulder but the camera riding against your waist at the right side (or vice-versa), it's not pulling you down entirely on one side like a shoulder bag would do. I hope you know what I'm talking about; at the moment I'm not remembering the main brand of these. Something with a big yellow 'R' I think.
  5. Elegant, you say? I use a LowePro Streamline 100 bag, in which I carry a Leica IIIc, four lenses, three filters, cable release, A/S QR plate, and Leica viewfinder (VIOOH). Very small package, very elegant, very light & compact.
    Or, I carry a Voigtlander Bessa RF in a little belt pouch.
    Kent in SD
  6. Stick with the "fanny pack" (as our English readers snicker at us), and make the camera lighter. I've gone that route with a Leica IIIa, 35mm Elmar, 50mm Summar, 90mm Elmar, and FIKUS hood.
    Other approach would be a frame backpack, such that the weight is on your hips, but that's mountain gear.
    Nothing else will keep the weight off your lower back.
    Well, I suppose there's a photographer's vest, but that isn't very stylish, unless you were Herb Keppler.
  7. I have a pack that unfortunately looks more like an overgrown holster rather than a fanny pack. The largest it can hold is maybe an XE7 with a short zoom attached. Can't tell you who made it or when (it's well built), it was part of a collection of equipment given to me.
  8. Ditto the "floppy disk" back problem, Soeren, due to a car wreck several years ago. My SLR/dSLR kits and full sized bags rarely see any use now.
    There are some handsome looking canvas bags from Domke and one or two others. Many folks recommend Think Tank belt bags, but to me they look like shoulder bags cobbled together with a waist belt, without much regard for the unique ergonomics of the human anatomy below the waist. A proper front-worn belt bag needs to be tapered vertically if it's going to be used with any longish lenses like midrange zooms.
    My favorite Lowepro compact waist bag was discontinued but is still available used and occasionally as new unsold old stock: the Off Trail 1, the smaller of the two under that name. It's very "camera bag" looking, though. Mine is blue ballistic nylon. Doesn't bother me, but I'm not a fashionable fellow.
    The Off Trail 1 was great for *many* older SLRs. It will hold my Nikon F3HP or FM2N with the 50/2 AI Nikkor or a zoom up to the size of the 35-70/2.8D AF Nikkor. Anything larger than a Nikon F3HP wouldn't fit, so I doubt an F with Photomic prism or any F2 would fit. Now I use it mainly with a Nikon V1 mirrorless model and tuck a couple of small primes with an adapter into the side pouches.
    The main limitation to the Off Trail 1 was the side pouches. They're perfect for the 49mm filter thread OM system Zuikos, but a bit snug for 52mm filter thread Nikkor primes like my 105/2.5 AI. And the side pouches will not hold my 35-70/2.8D AF Nikkor at all. The 75-150/4 Zuiko would fit just fine.
    Besides holding my smaller diameter primes, the side pouches are perfect for P&S cameras, film, batteries accessories, even a small 2-battery type flash.
  9. BlackRapid -- that's the one I was trying to think of, though I'm sure
    there are many brands of similar thing. I don't have one of these
    actually, but have given one as a gift and the recipient brother-in-law
    (toting a Nikon D40) digs it. http://www.blackrapid.com/products/straps

  10. Thanks for the suggestions, all - maybe I should have stated that I'm not exactly aiming for the Audrey Hepburn look. Less will also do :)

    I guess that I was thinking something along the lines of an ERC-shaped pouch that would mount on a belt. And didn't scream "photographing tourist"..

    At one point I was considering a particular Think-Tank belt pouch, but then my wife commented that "It looks like a toilet purse", and it was off the list again :-(

    So - maybe I am on an impossible quest here ??
  11. Ah.
    The search for a "perfect" camera carrying solution is a Grail search, even within a particular class, much less, more generally.
    Depending on weight of the equipment carried, one adjunct to a belt-mounted case is a belt that will cinch so tight that you cut off blood to your behind and legs.
    As the old Greek Prose Poem said:
    For Truth alone does not exist
    Seek beauty if thou desirest peace.​

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