Confessions of a camera bagaholic

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Mainecoonmaniac, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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  2. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    It makes me feel a lot better about the eight camera bags I have.
     
  3. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    Wow! Now I don't feel so guilty that I'm thinking of looking for yet another bag! The problem is dealing with many different situations and differing equipment selections for a given "project." I have a Lowepro Computrekker (I think it is) that I keep my Bronica gear in, and might use to carry it in the car, but I'm not sure my weary old bod could deal with it on my back very long out in the field, unless I half empty it.
     
  4. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Don't feel guilty. Some women have $600 Prada bags. And it's just for looks and status. Camera bags are for utility. My criteria for a bag when I travel with a camera is that it shouldn't look like a camera bag but functions well.
     
  5. Laurent

    Laurent Subscriber

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    Wow ! I feel much better, even if I still lust for a (second) Six-Million $ Home for my cameras !!! Didn't show it to SWMBO though, because I already now her answer !
     
  6. alistair.o

    alistair.o Member

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    That brought a smile to my face :D

    I am fortunate in that I have only ever had two bags:-

    1. Lowepro Nova 160AW - small and handy (far too many pockets and zips Grrrr!)

    2. Domke F2 - this is my bag (man :cool:)

    Thanks
     
  7. magkelly

    magkelly Member

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    All my "real" camera bags are pretty crappy nylon/canvas jobs, second hand stuff. I have 3 or 4 but they're mostly for storage of my camera gear at home. When I go out to shoot my leather saddlebag backpack is my chosen camera bag, or my purse is if I am packing really light.

    When it comes down to it I only really like those really old, real leather camera bags that look like a 60's era photojournalist trekked over half the planet with them. You know the heavy cow hide kind with heavy duty zipper or rawhide strips, and the heavy kind of bronze fittings/buckles that they don't really make anymore, tons of pockets for stuff.

    My backpack is as close as I've actually ever been to having one of my own, but it works. Same basic idea. It's got tons of handy pockets, it's waterproof, naturally thick enough that if my lenses are in their cases they're basically padded, more than big enough that I could pack a camera, a few lenses etc, and still have enough room for 2-3 days worth of clothes if I had to go there.

    Yeah, I could go there and have. I'm a woman who knows how to pack VERY light. My idea of full supplies for a week in Europe would actually fit in that backpack and maybe a light tote or larger sling bag purse, seriously. I don't travel and check in with suitcases usually. When it comes to things other than my camera gear I'm more of a buy it as you need it and trash it as you go kind of vacationer. If it all weighs more than 20lbs, and can't fit under my seat on a plane? Something has to go. I always figure unless I am remote Tibet or something they likely have drugstores with shampoo, underwear, and extra socks where I am going, you know?

    I feel I only need ONE camera bag actually, but unfortunately I've never found the equivalent of my backpack in a modern camera bag so I just make do with whatever works. Ideally I'd like my backpack with 2 sets of straps so I can use it more as a messenger type bag sometimes, a bit bigger and with even more in the way of pockets and even more padding in the lining for those. I like the old saddlebag leather bit. It really works for me, and my backpack is harder to slash because of the way
    it's made, but I'd still like that look and so forth with more locks, and maybe some steel in some good places as well as the thick leather.

    One thing about carrying it though. No one tends to mess with me while I am carrying it. I've never had anyone even try to go for it. I also wear an old leather jacket very like, and a hat to keep the sun off that's made like it. Good heavy walking boots, usually jeans, good knife hidden in my boot.

    I'm not that big, and I am a woman besides but there's something about that outfit and bag that makes people back off. I guess that's a good thing, but if any of you all ever see a woman walking around with what looks like a saddle bag looking vaguely like a female, Indiana Jones type with a Pentax stuck in front of her face somewhere, likely it will be me....
     
  8. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    The US use the word purse for what we in the UK call a handbag. A UK purse is a small item for carrying money in. What is the US name for this?

    I don't think that's a good idea.


    Steve.
     
  9. Ron G

    Ron G Member

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    I think purse is correct in the USA too.Calling a handbag a purse is a generic slang word like calling a 747 a plane maybe.Ron G
     
  10. magkelly

    magkelly Member

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    That's a change purse or wallet here, pretty much. A purse is a ladies handbag type thing. As for the knife in my boot, why not? FYI, I do know how to use it. I'm not always walking in the best part of town doing my thing. I do keep my head up and my ears open, but a little extra protection isn't a bad thing and a service utility boot knife is legal in most places I go to. Besides which having a couple of knives is handy sometimes. I also carry a Swiss Army pocket knife with a bunch of tools in my jeans pocket just in case I need it.

    Oh and like Indy, no kidding, when I am really out there away from home, I'm talking nature hike time here, I usually do have a leather whip in my pocket. I actually got that as a joke a few years back, BMF, to match my hat, jacket and backpack. I barely know how to use it. I rarely take it out, but it has come in handy once or twice, grin. I've scared off a wanna be bad arsed pup or two with it.

    I believe in being "armed" up and to a point when I am wandering around. I'm somewhat little, and I've found that life can be unpredictable no matter what you do to stay out of trouble. I don't particularly like guns, but I do like knives and other weapons. I also have a big walking stick that I carry a lot. It mostly serves as a cane when I need one, but I could also crack a skull if I had to with it.

    Short of someone brandishing a gun at me, in which case they can have the darned wallet and my gear, I do want to be able to fight back. I'm no one's victim if I can help it. Wandering all over unprepared to defend yourself in this day and age isn't too bright, particularly if you are a woman and therefore seen as more vulnerable.

     
  11. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I don't know what the situation is in the US but in the UK statistics show that if you carry a knife for self defence you are more likely to have it used against you than by you.... and it's illegal to carry it here.


    Steve.
     
  12. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    i have a few old, cruddy, torn, cheapo bags with no dividers.. and not a decent one in the lot.
    I keep my eye out at thrift stores but they are even harder to find than good tripods.
    Since you have quite a few, maybe you can suggest some for me?
    I would like one handbag with enough space for an slr and 3-4 lenses.
    And a small backpack to carry maybe 2 slrs and 3-4 lenses.
    Any suggestions?
     
  13. magkelly

    magkelly Member

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    A boot knife is perfectly legal here. So is pepper spray and I carry that too. You can carry a gun also with a proper permit but it can't be concealed like knives can. As for having it used against me that might be true, if they can get close enough to grab it, but I don't intend that they will. I don't just pull a weapon out for no reason. Only a fool does that, but being a woman and my size, I'd much rather be armed with something than not.

    It's important to know how to use a weapon properly if you're going to carry one. I know what I am doing with mine. A marine taught me how to use them properly a long time ago. I wouldn't carry them if I didn't. "Any weapon you can't control is a potential weapon in the hands of the enemy." That was one of the first things he ever taught me. It's rule I live by, but I won't walk around unarmed and vulnerable if I can help it.

    If I can't carry a knife and pepper spray legally, fine, there's always my stick and other weapons of opportunity that are perfectly legal. I'm not exactly the passive type. I can't argue with a gun but otherwise someone is going to have a hard time messing with me if they try.

    A little combat training never hurt anybody. I actually urge all my gal pals to get some if they can. Most guys I know they don't really get that emphasis on personal safety thing I have. They tend to smile and shake their heads and some even laugh.

    But when you're on a train and suddenly everyone else gets off and you're the only one left in the car with some big guy who's got ideas of messing with you? Knowing how to defend yourself and having the means is pretty important. Been there, done that, and FYI, the only reason I wasn't raped is because of those lessons and a weapon of opportunity, the heavy boots I was wearing, at the time.

    I do prefer my weapons legal, but if it really comes down it it I'd much rather be busted for illegal weapons possession than raped or dead.
     
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  15. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Hey MagKelly, get yourself I nice all metal camera on a really strong strap and use it as a weapon. :tongue:oliceman:
     
  16. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    A Nikon F with plain prism or original Canon F-1 (nice sharp angles and lots of weight) would make a formidable weapon. But she has her Spotmatic, which should do nicely. I'm sure afterward she could could just wipe off the blood and little bits of whatever and keep right on taking pictures. :smile:
     
  17. Pumal

    Pumal Member

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    Good Fylosophy.
     
  18. benjiboy

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    I admire your guts Mag of not wanting to be a victim, and at the risk of getting even further off the point of accumulating camera bags, carrying a boot knife is a good idea to threaten a potential attacker, but could you use it in anger ? , because close quarter combat with edged weapons is a very messy business that most civilized people would find heartily sickening I.M.O a small hand gun in a concealed holster would be a better Idea, and ensure any potential assailant couldn't get within grappling distance of you, which a knife would.
     
  19. magkelly

    magkelly Member

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    It's hard to carry a gun here even legally. You can't carry it concealed, illegal. Carrying one unconcealed though legal always leads to major issues with the police around here. They don't like it and will hassle you even if you have the proper permit. Plus 90% of the places you'd probably want to go they see the gun they'll just ask you to leave because privately they're allowed to forbid guns on the premises. Knives aren't as visible and they don't make security guards nearly as nervous even if they realize you have one.

    I'm actually more comfortable with knives though I can shoot a pistol now. A family member taught me recently. Yes, I absolutely could use either one if I had to. I don't have much in the way of a hesitation factor when it comes to defending myself. I'd honestly hate to really hurt or kill someone and it might make me sick after to know I'd killed someone, but I'd still do it if I had to. My survival instinct is definitely a lot stronger than my sense of pacifism.

    As an adult I've had people mess with me verbally a few times, but I've only been physically attacked the once. I actually didn't need the knife then, only my fist and my boots. I broke his nose and hurt him as bad as I had time to do otherwise. I was very grateful for those self-defense lessons at the time. I think had I not done them I'd have frozen up and likely he would have really hurt me. But the training I'd had kicked in and I think it probably saved my arse.

    But maybe we should begetting back to camera bags. This is getting to the point where we've pretty much derailed the thread. ;P



     
  20. blockend

    blockend Member

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    My longest lived camera bag is a WW2 khaki gas mask pack about 1 ft square. My late mother kindly sewed in closed cell foam and lined it many years ago. Very unobtrusive when shoooting street work.
    I also have a lovely Billingham that's far too heavy (steel frame, leather, canvas) for photography but makes a nice weekend bag for clothes and toiletries. Recently aquired a rather cool brown faux leather square hardshell camera case that came with some lenses. Yellow felt lining and clasp pockets, it looks like a 70s retro fashion accessory.

    The most used bag is a quite recent purchase, a tiny 1 x SLR body + 2 x lens photo pack, bought from Aldi, a dirt cheap european supermarket chain. It weighs nothing, has reasonable protection and I'm not tempted to take the kitchen sink on a day's shoot. Even comes with detachable lens pouch, compact pocket and fold out rain cover.
     
  21. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I am not a high end BAH. I do have several though, from the tiny to the can't pick it up beyond drag it to the car.

    Mostly I use them to organize kit, so everything that travels to the field from time to time has a home.The most used cameras have the most functional bags.

    Other bags I have bought just for the retro feel, if the price is right. For example, I have an early 70's Mamiya leather bag, that holds my srt101.

    I recently ditched the first camera bag, bought by my dad for me as a gift over 25 years ago after all the zippers were broken in one way or other, and the plastic strap components were all replaced. The last straw was the foam began to powder and come though the nylon lining.

    I also make camera bags around non camera bags. My favorite here is a kids rolling school bag,with optional backpack straps that has a number of different liners to fit different rigs. The liners are built from laminated foam core board we toss at work after teh edges are too banged up.

    The liners made this way have clear packing tape applied over the final configuration on the most stressed parts that rub against the inside of the backpack nylon. This makes the foam core almost indestructible. For some rigs I also add closed cell foam for additional padding.
     
  22. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    The video was pretty funny. I have that same petrified Filson field bag, added a Tenba wedding insert and use it for my F4. Their bags are extremely stiff, but unpadded like Domke and don't weigh much. Mostly I have Billinghams and Domkes; lately I've been looking at a buffalo hide bag at Woolrich for my walkaround MF kit, though this video has me thinking suddenly about the weight.
     
  23. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    What I need is a camera bag that will also hold diapers, wipes, changing pad, and an extra outfit (for the baby, not usually for me).
    I have a Lowepro minitrekker that works for most trips (pre-baby). And a Tamrac of unknown age. I have a lunchbag/cooler bag that's rectangular so it holds the Hasselblad nicely and doesn't look like a camera bag.
     
  24. mike c

    mike c Subscriber

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    Like the idea of the lunch bag,have a Hasselb. too,and it is square just like a lunch bag.Good tip winger.
     
  25. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I do that too. I have a couple of small canvas bags in army style dark green which are about 12" x 5" x 7". These only cost about £5 and look nothing like camera bags. Sometimes I make a card and foam insert to fit. I have one which takes a Minolta XE-1 and three lenses. Other times I just put the camera in the bag without any inserts, etc.

    I don't really like camera bags as once I start using the camera I am carrying a camera and an empty bag. If I'm in a one lens only mood or using something simple like my Rolleicord I will not take a bag with me.


    Steve.
     
  26. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    If I'm shooting "Street" I don't use a camera bag, I carry the camera in my hand on a wrist strap, and a plastic pedal bin liner in my pocket in case it rains.