Inconspicuous camera bag

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by james_duncan|5, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. Hi all;

    I was wondering if anybody had any recommendations for an inconspicuous camera
    bag. I have a bunch of assorted Lowepro and Tamrac bags, but all of them scream
    out, you could buy a small car with what's stored in *here*.

    Looking for something that can fit either an EOS 1Ds MkII or a 5D with BG-E4
    with a 24-105 attached to it, with room for 1 or two other lenses (up to 70-200)
    or a Mamiya 7ii/Holga instead. Going for comfort here, over size... ideally I
    should be able to haul this thing over my shoulder comfortably for 3 or 4 hours
    at a time.

    I've looked at Crumpler bags and others like them... but these aren't available
    within a reasonable distance of where I am at the moment so I may need to shop
    online. I was hoping somebody could offer some feedback or suggestions on what
    works for them.

  2. I like the Lowepro Micro Trekker 200.

    It's a backpack and looks nothing like a camera bag.

    Contains my D200, several lenses including my 80-200mm f/2.8, and numerous accessories.
  3. It doesn't matter what bag you use once you take the camera out. Get insurance and be aware of your surroundings. Don't grab a camera and close the bag in the trunk. You never know who's watching, and it's faster to open a trunk with a pry bar than with a key (I even used my fingers one time).

    I've carried big, black LowePro bags all over Europe and the US. If I ever have a problem, it won't be because of the bag
  4. a GI bag with self-make padding, not a branded bag is a good start
  5. I always buy the least conspicuous color combinations and designs. And then I use a wide
    black permanent felt marker to blacken all brand logos (don't forget the camera strap!). I
    even have a carefully cut little strip of black tape covering the camera brand logo on the
    camera itself. Someone interested will have to get really close to read the brand logos on
    the lenses...

    If I don't trust the situation, the borough, or the barrio, I carry my camera in a cheap
    shopping bag of a local supermarket, and leave any specialized camera bags or rucksacks
    in lock-up. Thieves learn to appreciate what they contain pretty fast.

    Of course in those cases you shouldn't be wearing fur coats, bling-bling, or visible iPods
    either if you want to ensure continued health.
  6. Look at Cabelas, they have a gear bag that is reasonably padded, and cheap too (last look it was $25) I keep my 20D w/ battery grip attached in a holter bag inside with room for a couple or three lenses as well as a bunch of miscellaneous junk. The shoulder strap is comfortable enough for me, but as usual your mileage may vary.

    Cabela's Deluxe Gear Bag Item:7IS-318420
  7. It should be obvious that anyone carrying a bag of stuff is carrying something of value and that is just what thieves are in business for. A niece of mine with a baby on her back also carried a diaper bag with her camera stuff in it in downtown San Antonio. The thieves got a bag of smelly diapers, but they also got an expensive camera outfit! They know that you probably carry your cash in an inside pocket, but also know that most people carry credit cards in a hip wallet! If you go out in the world where the thieves are then your only defense is adequate insurance and a mean, terrifying countenance. All speculation about "inconspicuous" camera bags is just fuel for the imagination. Thieves may prefer expensive items but they know that they can sell anything that they can pry off a victim's body.
  8. Go to a "Babies r Us" and get a diaper bag. Something that screams" Diaper bag" - Nothing
    worth stealing here!"

    For camera specific bags

    The Lowepro Slingshot 300AW is a pretty decent backpack. I have used it with a 1Ds
    mark2 with either a 24-105 or 70-200mm attached.

    The Thinktank Photo Modulus belt system is very comfortable for walking around and
    shooting. with easy access to your gear. .

    If you have the budget the thinktank Photo rotation 360 is a great way to go: eagood for
    wearing for long stretches at a time, easy access to your gear, you can hang the caemra
    from the packs straps and there is a "tether or "leash" for to keep long lenses from
    bouncing around when they are mopunted on the body. Stow the camera withthe 24-105
    in the upper compartment when it needs to be put away and the 70-200mm in the lower
    compartment . The lower compartment is part of the belt and you rotate it around you
    from being part ofthe backapck to your belly. I've been using one since November and
    really really like it.
  9. After years of reading this subject, I've come to the conclusion that the key to an inconspicuous camera bag is limiting the amount of equipment you carry. If it can't fit into my coat pockets, or in a six-pack size soft-side lunch box. It zips closed, and I keep the camera near the opening end of the zipper.

    More equipment? It's conspicuous.
  10. Take a look at the Naneu Pro "Military" line. I liked the Alpha for day hikes/outings with one body, couple lenses and personal gear. The special edition has a rain cover. Camera is accessed through the panel that rests against the back. The Beta is smaller. The K3 is pretty large and you have to put it down to access the camera equipment. All bags are beautifully designed and thoughtful and comfortable.

    Also, you might check out the Banana Republic Website for a pretty nice looking collection of shoulder bags that just came out. With a Domke insert or the like one of those might work, too for more urban travel.

    Many people will likely also suggest the Lowepro Slingshot line. The Slingshot 100 is fabulous for quick access and compact, but I find the single shoulder strap ergonomically designed for just the left shoulder to give me back pain after a few hours from the asymetric design.
  11. This route might be a little pricey, but it works for me. I got one of the the Crumpler buckets and put it in my Timbuk2 messenger bag. There are various sizes of both so you can get the one right for you. I have the large Timbuk2 and the Bucket for the Complete Seed. They go rather well together.

  12. a regular backpack, hopefully not new.
    I've done this, carrying in the backpack only the camera and an extra 300mm lens, extra batteries and film for a canon of the EOS series, and I've used sweatshirts, small towels and sometimes sweaters to do the padding. If you manage to do that properly, everything is safely padded and you look like your carrying just books and a sweatshirt. Carrying it in the front also helps. It might be more obvious that you're carrying something fragile, but you are certain to be lookin at your stuff so if they wanna get it they will, but thieves will maybe prefer something easier to get, like just slipping a hand through an open purse.

    Of course, as someone said, once you take out a camera, it just can't be inconspicuous. But for getting through somewhere that's not that safe, it works. Unless you are just not lucky. If they wanna get the stuff from you, they will. To get an inconspicuous bag is just a strategy so that you're hopefully not the choosen one to be robbed, not a guarantee.
  13. awahlster

    awahlster Moderator

    Carry you stuff in a 1 gallon white plastic bucket that has a label for Roof tar on it. Pretty sure that should be safe.
  14. "Go to a "Babies r Us" and get a diaper bag. Something that screams" Diaper bag" - Nothing worth stealing here!"

    Har har de har!
  15. I like Timbuk2 messenger bags.
  16. Hi,

    The most inconspicuous camera bags I have seen are Domke and Artisan & Artist. All the others look to me like camera bags from two miles away. If you are REALLY that bothered the only solution is to buy a non-camera bag and use camera bag inserts inside it...but be sure it does not look like a laptop bag either..

    cheers Steve.
  17. This is a little off-topic, but related. In your car, use an (preferably ugly) ice chest to store your camera bag. It doesn't scream "steal me", provides insulation from the heat and cold and some additional protection in case of an accident.

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