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For the Love of Camera Bags (1 Viewer)

JohnRice

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Part of my issue is that I have a couple long lenses now. A 150-500 and a 50-150 f/2.8 that is a lot bigger than it should be. When I'm using those lenses, it's nice to be able to put the camera back in the bag with the 50-150 on it, which also means the bag is tall enough for the 150-500. The problem is, that makes the bag so tall that it's actually a nuisance any time I'm not using those lenses. I found a great deal on a LowePro Urban Reporter 350, and it's a great bag for the long lenses. So, I noticed the Event Messenger 250 is only $40 and went to B&H to order it, only to find out the 150 is also cheap. Why not? Sheesh.
 

JohnRice

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OK. I've received all my camera bags and had a chance to try them out. They all ended up being LowePro. Maybe the most important one is the Magnum 650AW, since it holds almost everything I have in one place. I use it as a "home base" to keep everything together. When I want absolutely everything to select from, I lug it to the car and take from it what I need as I need it, to put in a smaller bag.

I think my single favorite bag is the Event Messenger 250, which was a meager $40 in Mica color from B&H. It holds the D7100 with 18-35 f/1.8 mounted, a large, long lens like a 70-200 f/2.8 and a couple smaller lenses stacked. So, I can cover 8mm fisheye all the way to 150mm (my Sigma 50-150 f/2.8) plus some filters, batteries and other small items in that one reasonably compact case. It's tall enough to hold the 50-150 (again, the size of a normal 70-200 f/2.8, aka: LARGE) mounted on the camera, in a pinch, but it would be a little tight to do that regularly.

I also got an Urban Reporter 350, which will hold all that, plus is tall enough to hold a Sigma 150-500, which also means it will also easily hold the camera with the 50-150 mounted. That's a nice feature when I'm shooting those lenses, but that makes it a rather tall case, which means there's a lot of distance to dig down in to find smaller items. It'll be nice when I need it, but not as convenient for general use. The Urban Reporter also has a somewhat odd design, with a little style over function, that's not as nice to use as it should be. I'd much prefer a 350 size bag in the Event Messenger design, but they don't offer that. I found that at Adorama (by way of Amazon) for $52.

When I was ordering the Event Messenger 250, I noticed the 150 was only $35 and decided I might as well get it too. It'll hold the D7100 with 18-35 f/1.8 (which is quite a large lens for the focal length) mounted and either a large, 70-200 f/2.8 size lens or two smaller ones stacked. So, it's still a very nice option. For me, larger bags are actually more comfortable, but I'm 6' 6", so where the 250 is a comfortable, even smallish size for me, it might be kind of large for others. Both will also hold a tablet in its own padded compartment. The 250 might actually hold a small laptop like the smallest MacBook Air.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Came this close to buying a Think Tank Urban Disguise 50 Classic from Amazon the other day when I thought I should finally get something nice that can also handle a laptop. But cancelled the order over a sequence of convoluted details not worth repeating, LOL...

Ended up ordering both a Kata DLight 315 sling/torso bag and a Kata D-3N1-33 3-in-1 sling/backpack bag at decent discount from Amazon instead. IF I don't like the latter enough, I might just return it and reconsider ordering the Think Tank Urban Disguise or something similar again.

_Man_
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Eh... The Kata D-3N1-33 I ordered turned out to be the wrong version of it -- the Amazon pic showed the older(?) version that I wanted. I'll probably return it unless my son wants it. The Kata DLight 315 is smaller than I like, so that's no good either. Guess I'll probably just keep using my old Kata T-214 until it completely falls apart while I keep an eye out for some other replacement...

While shopping at B&H, I did get to check out the Think Tank Urban Disguise 50 Classic in person and thought it seemed too boxy -- if only it wasn't so deep... as my D800 would float inside it probably even w/ a 70-200 f/2.8 attached. Not really worth the $$$ to me since I'd probably only use it when I need to bring my laptop w/ me, which isn't that often.

I did come across the Tenba Messenger DNA15 (at a sales clerk/rep's recommendation) that I liked for the most part and bought it (after only seeing the DNA13 version in-store), but turns out it doesn't have the same improved "silent" velcro feature (for the front flap) of the DNA13 I saw, so I'm probably returning it and maybe wait-and-see if Tenba will update the DNA15 w/ that feature in the near future. The existing velcros on the DNA15 are really *THAT* annoying... although it does seem to keep the flap closed very securely. Still, I'd prefer an actual sling bag for carry-everywhere, but this Tenba (other than the velcro) seems promising for when I'd like to bring my laptop -- and it costs ~1/2 as much as the Think Tank Urban Disguise Classic.

And oh, while at B&H, I came of across this... talk about lens lust... and the BIGMA of them all (on a Canon no less ;):D), LOL!

_Man_
 

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JohnRice

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If you're going back to B&H, you might at least take a look at the LowePro Event Messenger 250. I don't know if it's as big as you're looking for, but it's only $40 in the Mica color. I really like it, and you can bypass the velcro for the buckle. Everyone here seems to have something against LowePro, but I don't know why. I guess I've just had their bags for so long, almost 40 years. I should add, it will hold a 70-200 f/2.8, but not while it's mounted on the camera.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Thanks, John. But unfortunately, it doesn't look like the Lowepro Event Messenger is big enough for my laptop though.

_Man_
 

Mike Frezon

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I decided I wanted a new camera bag. So, after a TON of research, I got one!

First off, thanks to everyone who has posted in this thread. Lots of great info/links here.

I had for years been using a nice Eddie Bauer bag I had picked up at a garage sale. It wasn't a camera bag (I don't think), but I repurposed it into one. It had lots of pockets and, frankly, has served me pretty well.

I knew I wanted a canvas bag. All the inexpensive bags got crappy reviews...so as I made my way up the foodchain all signs pointed to a Domke F-2. Its the right size...and for this novice, holds all my gear (a Canon Rebel and three lenses) along with my small Canon HD Camcorder.

full


full

full
 

JohnRice

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The F-2 is a true classic. I'm pretty sure it dates back to the late '70s. I have a variation of it, but I think I already posted about that in this thread.

It'll serve you well.
 

Citizen87645

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I got a sand color F2 from Craigslist from a retired guy with nothing but time and discretionary income, so I think he sold it to me for like $50. I admit I haven't used it that much given the size (I don't tend to carry that much gear with me), but it's been great when I needed it and I can't forget what a deal I got on it. I only sometimes wish it were green like MIke's and my other Domke bags. :D
 

Mike Frezon

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Mine only cost $89 on Amazon. The other colors were much higher.

I REALLY wanted to get one of their "ruggedwear" F2s--with the wax finish on the canvas. But, that added so much price to the bag that I decided I would sacrifice the extra cool (to my eyes) look for the price savings.

They come new with an already "broken-in" look about them:

803761417_24ZHd-M.jpg
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Good for you, Mike. Glad to see/hear that the Domke F-2 suits you.


I ended up just keeping the Tenba DNA15 Messenger bag (from B&H) instead and will try using a separate set of velcros to essentially partially disable the bag's overkill velcros for when I actually need to open the flap, which actually isn't all that often (and not usually when I just need to quickly and quietly access my camera via the zippered top access). This will probably be the bag I use most when I need to lug a laptop and/or maybe a bit more gear than usual (like when I shoot videos of the kids' recitals). I like how it wears a bit like a sling bag, including the extra strap for stability when the bag is slung around onto my lower back... and the WAF for its looks is apparently on the high side, which can be good for certain kinds of vacations and/or getaways. ;):P

I did return the erroneously listed Kata D-3N1-33 from Amazon and subsequently bought a lightly used (correct) one off eBay instead. The so-called 3-in-1 will be preferable over the Tenba when I need to do a whole lot of walking/hiking/etc all day and won't care about its backpack-like looks and bulkiness -- and yes, it too can store a 14-15" laptop.

Also been looking out for a (out-of-production) Kata LT-317 sling bag (mainly on eBay) to replace my T-214 for daily carry-everywhere -- I just missed one on eBay a while ago -- but might settle for another (lightly used) T-214 instead, if the price is right. Although I can probably just use the Tenba DNA15 regularly instead, I just don't usually (need to) carry that much to warrant the bigger bag and would rather stick w/ a sling bag (like the LT-317 or T-214) that's just right for my daily carry-everywhere. Even for vacations and such, I might still bring along the smaller sling bag for times when that's all I actually need...

_Man_
 

Citizen87645

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KEH is having a one-day sale on pre-owned bags and tripods. Use code TMB20 until 11PM EST.

There are a handful of Think Tank products in their inventory.

There's also a Domke F-2 Rugged finish listed under the Tiffen brand.
 
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Mike Frezon

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So I'm just back from a trip to Disney World in Florida (I'll be posting up some pix in the appropriate threads when I can find the time and get settled back into the normal rhythms of my life).

The Domke F-2 was just what I hoped it would be! Just the right size. Not too heavy. And it was just by the end of the first day that I found myself blindly reaching into the bags and finding the right piece of gear simply by feeling for the right compartment. Everything was easily accessible and I had more than enough room for my stuff. And the main piece--the camera itself was easy to get in and out...even with the 55-200 lens attached. :thumbsup:

What a treat.

The only downside was when I set it down on the ground smack onto a freshly spit-out piece of chewing gum. The gum is smack on the strap that straddles the underside of the bag. $&%@*^ gum chewers! :angry: I guess I can consider the bag "christened."
 

Mike Frezon

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Disney is usually so good about cleaning up gum before it turns into one of those nasty black circles on the ground...but I guess I was lucky to catch this one before they did...
 

JohnS

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I'm definitely gonna have to get at least two new camera bags before my next major trip next year.
I need a good sturdy and nice looking messenger bag that can hold multiple items for everyday carrying.
Then I'm gonna need some type of travel bag that can hold multiple cameras and lense and supplies.
Looking at everyone's suggestions.
 

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