M classic bag & New M bag from M classics

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by arthur_yue, Feb 13, 2002.

  1. Anyone used the M classic Bag or the recently released new M Bag from M classics of Boston ?
    Would appreciate any comments on the bag(s).
    Would be even more grateful if the following queries can be answered.
    1. Is there no padding at all and do you find this a problem?
    2. Is the newer version better in anyway?
    3. Do they offer good protection from the elements?
    4. Are they heavy?
    5. Are they better than a Domke 803?
    6. Can they carry more than a 803?

    <p>

    many thanks in advance.
     
  2. I got one of these bags and they are great. I was reluctant to use it
    at first because of the lack of padding. Once I used it I realized it
    fully protects the gear.(I did put folded cloth napkins on the botton
    areas but this is probably not necessary). It molds to you body and
    can carry way more stuff than you would think. Probably the best "M"
    bag out there. I have never used the Domke 803, but this bag is more
    functional than other Domke's I have owned.
     
  3. Ditto............
     
  4. I know nothing about the "new" M bag from M-Classics, but I have one
    of the original Leica bags from which the original M-classics bag was
    cloned. I classify it as a "cool collectible" but not something I'd
    want to use unless I put some kind of padded insert in it. If you
    set it down, you need to do it very softly. Since it has no
    structure, you need to make sure nothing will shift after you let go,
    or the bag can fall off whatever you set it on and everything hit the
    floor--hard and unprotected. You don't want to get shoved or jostled
    against a wall or other hard surface. You don't want to put something
    in it quickly, without making sure it won't hit something else. You
    don't want to depend on the little pieces of Velcro to hold it closed
    if the bag gets upended, but the alternative is to fuss with the
    buckles each time. The Domke 803, or better the F5XB, are more
    functional and more comforting to entrust thousands of dollars of
    high-precision photo gear.
     
  5. sl

    sl

    Yes I have been using the Classic M bag for about three years. To
    answer your questions: 1 There is no padding and that has never been a
    problem for me. 2 I heard about a new version but the only thing I know
    about it is it is black instead of sand color. 3 Depends on the
    elements. I have exposed mine to many days of using in the rain with no
    problem. 4 Very light. I also have the Domke 803 and prefer the Classic
    M. 6 With the Classic M I can carry more gear (but I try not to). I can
    put three Ms in the Classic with lenses & hoods mounted, plus lots of
    film, meter, etc, etc.

    <p>

    Also I would like to say that IMHO heavily padded bags are over rated.
    I use my unpadded Classic bag everyday and have never had a problem.
    Tom Abramhson has travelled all over Europe and North America with a
    Classic bag with no problems. A PJ friend of mine uses two Brady
    fishing bags (which are canvas and look like the Classic) one fishing
    bag carries three black paint M4s the other carries three M6s. He has
    done this for many years with no problems.
     
  6. I recently took the M classic bag to Australia and it stayed on my
    shoulder the entire month. It is an extremely comfortable bag,
    although I stuff a towel in the bottom of the main compartment
    because I was worried about my second body hitting the floor.

    <p>

    I routinely carried two bodies, lightmeter, five lenses, and twenty
    rolls of film in the bag, and everything stayed put, and was
    immediately available.

    <p>

    Everything stayed dry in two hours of light rain one day.
     
  7. I thought the "old" M Classics bag is unpadded, and the "new" (50%
    more) M Classics bag is padded. I went for the "old" bag myself, but
    I don't carry a lot of equipment, just a RF body and 50mm lens. I
    like light and compact, without having any decisions to make.
     
  8. Arthur:

    <p>

    I have used the old M-classics, a new M-classics, and the original
    Leica bag it's patterned after. Both old bags had one outer layer of
    material with a thin white fabric liner. The new M-classics bag now
    uses the outer fabric for the liner, in effect giving you a double
    layer of the tougher material. I sold my first M-classics, because I
    did not like the strap atteachment point. I have since had Seth make
    me a custom version of the new bag, with the straps attached to the
    side of the bag, not the rear -- I like this arrangement much better,
    as the bag hangs better off my shoulder, but it is a little more
    difficult to quickly grab equipment than the standard arrangement.

    <p>

    As for the bags, they are SUPER! In fact, IMO it is the best Leica
    bag out there. I regularly carry two motorized M bodies with lenses
    attached, two or three extra lenses, film, flash, cleaning gear, and
    still have room for the travel guide of the country I'm in. Love the
    bag! You could fit a third non-motorized body with a compact lens
    attached in lieu of the exrta lenses. And it is a bag that does not
    scream "Expensive gear inside!" FWIW, I also lined the bottom of the
    bag with some closed-cell foam for extra protection.

    <p>

    ;-),
     
  9. Jack your customized M-Classics sounds almost like a Domke F6 ;>)
     
  10. Jay: Except I don't have to fuss with that %%@#*&*^% zipper!

    <p>

    ;-),
     
  11. I like the design of the M-Classics bag, but find it just a bit larger
    than I prefer. Someone mentioned the Domke F803 ... That
    remains my preferred M kit bag. It's more "small attache" shaped
    but it holds what I want a little better, I find its selection of
    pockets and such just about exactly right for a body, three
    lenses, film and flash. Plus all my usual travel stuff as well.

    <p>

    Regards the "lack of padding" ... I have never found it a problem.
    A little bit of closed cell foam on the bottom of any bag is a good
    idea (I cut up thin sleeping pad material ... it's closed cell, will not
    hold moisture ... DON'T use polyurethane open-cell foam!) ...
    Otherwise, I am happier that these bags are more comfortable
    to carry, mold to the shape of their contents. If an item needs
    more protection, a Domke wrap or suitable individual case
    works better and takes up less space than those monstrous
    padded bags from other manufacturers.
     
  12. Jack: The only zipper on an F6 is the front pocket. The main
    compartment is covered only by the flap which is secured with 2
    hasps. Just like the original F2, only as they say "little bit
    smaller" (and doesn't have side pockets). Personally I'd never leave
    home with a bag that didn't have a zippered main compartment. No law
    says you have to keep it zipped, but it does seal the bag up better
    against sand, dust and unauthorized fingers.
     
  13. Jay: Sorry, I am not totally Domke-fluent -- I was thinking you were
    referring to your (usually over-stuffed) F5XB. I find the F6 nothing
    more than an original F2 without the utilitarian pockets, and thus
    seems like a "why bother" to me, but I know others love it. Probably
    the closest thing in Domke to my custom M-calssic is the 803, but it
    is just enough smaller to prevent getting the motorized M's in.

    <p>

    :),
     
  14. I carried a Leica M6 w/2 lens and a Konica Hexar QD-black w/flash for
    3 months in Pakistan and Afghanistan while on assignment last year.
    With a Domke 15" square gear protection wrap pad folded in the base
    for cushioning - it is an ideal carry-all-day bag. Though I wasn't
    exposed to monsoon like conditions I must say it did a good job of
    keeping my gear safe and clean during dust storms. The snaps and
    buckle keep things from tumbling out. The bag is light and forms to
    your hip - making it easy to navigate through a crowd as it doesn't
    protrude like luggage (Domke and Billingham bags have this
    characteristic). I looked long and hard before going with the M
    Classic and would recommend it - especially if you carry a simple
    kit. The pockets on the face of the bag are ample enough to carry
    cleaning supplies, batteries and extra film. My only grip - the M
    bag needs a hand strap atop the bag as a carrying/portage option. I
    own the black model. Good luck.
     
  15. I don't ever remember seeing an option for a black bag at
    www.mclassics.com. If black is an option, then I may have to get
    an M Bag. I hate the tan color and therefore never considered the
    bag.
     
  16. Black is now the only option -- but you can get with black or tan
    trim. Seth has not updated the website...

    <p>

    :),
     
  17. In response to my query, Seth sent me the following email.
    Should answer some questions.<p>
    <p>
    Thanks very much for your interest in the M Classics bag.<p>
    <p>
    I am writing to let you know that there are now two different types
    of M Classic Bags. The Original M bag and the New M bag. If
    you’d like to order one, please let me know which one it is:<p>
    1.Original M Bag with Khaki cloth,<p>
    2.New M Bag with black cloth & black trim, or <p>
    3.New M bag with black cloth & brown trim.<p>
    <p>
    There have been a lot of favorable comments lately among Leica
    users at the LUG and at other product review sites. Some have
    been talking about the NEW M Classics bag as opposed to the
    Original M Classics Bag, so I want to let you know about the
    differences between the Original M Bag and the New M Bag.
    To be happy with your purchase, we want you to order the one
    that suits you best.<p>
    <p>
    SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT<p>
    <p>
    The Original M Bag is the khaki colored one that can be seen
    and ordered directly from the website: www.mclassics.com. The
    New M bag comes in Black with Black leather trim or Black with
    Brown leather trim. The New M Bag is not yet on the website so
    we have to process orders by hand via email or telephone or fax :
    pepe3@bellatlantic.net or 617-787-2105. My fax at home is:
    617-787-2424<p>
    I am sorry for the inconvenience. My buddy John is going to help
    me get it onto my website sometime soon.<p>
    <p>
    The Original M bag is made from Propex with cotton sheeting
    urethane-laminated to it. The New M bag is also Propex but it
    has a double layer of urethane laminated Propex and so it has a
    bit more “body” or shape to it. By the way, Propex is an
    extraordinarily strong fabric that is resistant to puncture, tearing,
    abrasion, mildew, and even harsh chemicals. It cleans up with
    soap and water !!<p>
    <p>
    On the New M bag, there is a lot more leather trim and binding.
    The use of additional leather is aesthetic but it is structural as
    well, strategically adding shape and form to the bag.<p>
    <p>
    The Original M bag has a polypro shoulder strap with a single
    slide adjuster. The New M bag has a cotton web shoulder strap
    that is adjustable from both ends, allowing a higher carry under
    the arm. This is often preferred by photojournalists who may
    have to run with their bag to catch a shot.<p>
    <p>
    The New M Classics Bag has a slightly larger inner “speed
    pocket”; large enough to hold a M body with a 90mm collapsible
    Elmar lens in its extended position and ready-to-grab!! I love this
    feature. Also in the New M bag, the flap of material inside the
    bag’s main compartment, that wraps around other gear, can
    now be positioned with Velcro to accommodate your specific
    needs. The interior can be effectively custom compartmentalized
    without the need for cumbersome padded dividers. This gives
    the bag a speed and ease of access to your gear that can’t be
    found in even the high end padded bags.<p>
    <p>
    Both bags use brass hardware and only top quality leathers and
    they are all bench-made by crafts-men and women in our small
    New England shop. The bags have been designed with features
    desired by working photojournalists; people who need and use
    their gear quickly, efficiently, and comfortably.<p>
    <p>
    Both the Original and the New M bags are of the same basic size
    and design. Approximately 11 x 14 x 3.5 and weigh approximately
    2 lbs. The straps are attached at the rear of the bag for a very
    comfortable angle of hang from the shoulder. If you’ve only used
    bags with side mounted shoulder straps, this design will please
    you. They are real shooter’s bags and are very fast to use. They
    are designed for speedy and efficient access to your gear. They
    are perfect for Leica style photography and they will comfortably
    hold a surprising amount of gear.<p>
    <p>
    The New M Classic bag sells for $139 +7 domestic shipping via
    Priority Mail (usually 3 days).<p>
    <p>
    International orders can be accepted via email and fax. <p>
    $139+ Int’l shippingShipping costs to most of Europe are
    $32.50.<p>
    Asia is $30.<p>
    South and Central America are $29.<p>
    We use USPS International Express Mail.<p>
    It usually takes only four to five days to arrive in the destination
    country, can be tracked on the Internet at WWW.USPS.COM and
    it is automatically insured. Lately, however, after September 11,
    international mail has been a little slower, so don’t worry if it
    takes a bit longer.<p>
    <p>
    MC or Visa can be accepted for the NEW M Bags via e-mail or
    phone or PayPal.<p>
    <p>
    IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ORDER A NEW M CLASSICS BAG:<p>
    <p>
    1. Please specify which color combination you want:<p>
    Black/Black leather or Black/Brown leather.<p>
    2. E-mail me credit card information and your address as it
    would appear on a shipping label. Or use PayPal at
    WWW.PAYPAL.COM<p>
    3. If you have already ordered an Original M Classics Bag at the
    website, I will cancel the order and will process the order for the
    New M Classics bag as soon as you contact me via email or
    phone.<p>
    <p>
    I hope this is helpful. Call or e-mail me if you have any
    questions.<p>
    Thanks and best wishes,<p>
    Seth Levine<p>
    M Classics<p>
    617-787-2105 (Boston)<p>

     
  18. IMHO, the Domke F803, which I own in Olive Drab, looks much
    less appealing to those thieves out there than the M Classics
    bag which looks, to me, much more likely to contain something
    expensive.
     
  19. Thanks everyone for your answers and help.
    Seems like the only feature that is occasionally found needing is some
    bottom padding.
     

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