Do i need a camera bag?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Markok765, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    Hey all,

    As my photography kit grows larger, I'm considering getting a bag, probably a domke f5.
    I'm not sure if I need/would benefit from it though, or if I could just carry everything in pockets instead.
    My kit is,
    Leica III, 50mm, 15mm and viewfinder, gossen digisix light meter, film, olympus xa, and other stuff.
    I can carry this all easily on myself, with a jacket on(so I have more pockets) but not sure if a camera bag would be good.
    What do you think?
     
  2. dbonamo

    dbonamo Member

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    I think you answered your own question. If you feel there is no benefit then no. I used to carry a bag around, but ended using a hard case and pull what I need from there and either do what you do with pockets or carry a very small shoulder case.
     
  3. arigram

    arigram Member

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    A bag will better protect your equipment because of its padding and will be less of a hassle to travel with, especially if you need to remove or display your equipment for inspection (such as at an airport). Other advantages are a better and safer access to your equipment in some situations and a better way to carry them such as in a backpack when walking a long distance. They are also the only way to carry your stuff when you don't have pockets available, like when you are in a warm climate.
    Of course, a bag makes it easier to lose them or get it stolen as you put all your eggs in one basket.
    Honestly, as there are many sizes, designs and configurations of bags and many photographers have a bunch of them for different situations, only you can decide if you really need and what kind you should start with. If you don't feel you need one, don't get one, especially as no bag is perfect for every situation and you know when you need one and of what kind.
     
  4. cknapp1961

    cknapp1961 Member

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    Camera bags are like folding cameras, each has a personality, none seems to be quite right for all missions, and you end up with several.
     
  5. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Buy a larger bag than you think that you will need. Later on, you will buy a lens or another camera. If you had not bought a larger bag to now, then you will be shopping for another bag ...
     
  6. Dave in Kansas

    Dave in Kansas Member

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    Sooner or later you will determine that you need a bag. In time, you will probably end up with more than one. They have the advantage of keeping your gear together when you are not out. I have 3 bags. One dedicated to 35mm gear, one compact bag for medium format with just enough space for the camera, meter and extra film back and a few extra rolls of film, and one larger one that will accommodate all of that plus extra lenses. Then I have a fairly compact one for my TLR, and larger bag yet for my 4x5. I guess that means I have 5 bags, doesn't it? I could use another.

    Dave
     
  7. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    If you decide to get a bag, consider a camera backpack. They take a load off a shoulder and leave your hands free. Get one large enough to expand into if more equipment is to be added or at least to carry a sweatshirt or shell. There are many good ones. I have one from Tamrac that is very well made and adaptable for any format and have carried (with the weight of the pack) as much as thirty pounds comfortably. They also fit in the overhead compartments in airplanes.
     
  8. AgentX

    AgentX Member

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    You don't need a dedicated camera bag, but they can be very nice. And sometimes it's nicer not to have a bag at all.

    I assume you're talking about shooting from the bag, not transporting. For shooting out of the bag, a backpack can be a real pain. For transport, either in a vehicle or on your back, they're great. There are some sling-type bags that rotate around, but I feel weird leaving gear on my back where I can't see it, as opposed to under my right arm where I can immediately feel it. It's a security thing, but I live in the 3d world and am a security officer by trade (read: paranoid).

    If you already have a non-photo messenger-type bag, maybe buy some inserts for it and try that out. Or just toss the gear in as best you can, maybe wrap it in t-shirts. No need to get fancy until you know if you like it or not.

    Or get a satchel or courier-type photo bag (Courierware/bare bones, Lowe Classified, Domke, ThinkTank, whatever) that you can use for a laptop or whatever if you end up not using the bag purely for photography. Or just find a cheap off-brand, even if it's not camera-specific, and give it a shot.

    Lotsa "or"s in this one. Good luck.
     
  9. bob100684

    bob100684 Member

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    walmart backpack+old pair of ripped up jeans+sewing=camera bag.
     
  10. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I have an old mule with a cart that I use alot!:D

    Jeff
     
  11. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    No, you don't need A camera bag -- you need about five -- in fact I need to get another one myself, because I still have room for a pair of shoes in my closet! :D

    I have an ever growing assortment, none of which ever seems to be "just right." I have Lowepro MicroTrekker and CompuTrekker backpacks -- the latter holds just about all of my Bronica gear. I doubt if I could carry it very far in the field fully loaded, but it's good for keeping the stuff together and can be used in the car. I've got a holster, an Urban Disguise 30, and about six or seven assorted and sundry shoulder bags, some inherited, but none ever seem quite right for whatever project I'm about to embark on. I've often used a non-camera "fanny pack," actually worn with the pouch in front, for traveling very light.

    Just buy something. Don't break the bank, because you'll surely decide on another one within a year or so. :tongue:

    DaveT
     
  12. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Don't even ask that question, or you'll have a whole closet full of them before you know it.
     
  13. Galah

    Galah Member

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    I would need a trailer rather than a bag, so I use a Supermarket recyclable "green" bag which holds all my photographic needs for that day (sometimes two bags).

    (I pad out the base of the bags with bubble-wrap, the gear sits on top)

    Advantages: everything is easily accessible; you only carry what you need immediately (the rest can stay in the boot of the car); you don't look worth robbing.

    Great!:smile:
     
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  15. cknapp1961

    cknapp1961 Member

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    I couldn't afford the mule, use the wife to help carry stuff and hand me what I need....I hope she is not reading this.
     
  16. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    don't waste your $$ on a bag ..
    if you end up traveling, you can get something small, when
    you need it .. but for the handful of things you have, it isn't worth it.
    i have a few camera bags, mostly to store my too many cameras and lenses in
    but when i use my camera, like today or yesterday or whenever, the bag never comes with me,
    unless i am on a job and i don't know what i will be needing ( or i am traveling) .

    the biggest problem with photography, is it sometimes requires too much stuff to schlep around when
    one camera with one lens will do. if i could, i would get rid of most everything i have just to have one camera
    and one lens ... that would be ideal ...
    but unfortunately i can't really get rid of them ...

    getting back to your question, no, you don't need a bag.
     
  17. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have several bags. I choose what I'm going to use, and then use the appropriate bag, or in some cases, no bag. The only bag that is used constantly in one configuration with set gear is the bag I use for commercial and wedding photography.
     
  18. Alan W

    Alan W Subscriber

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    I've got quite a few but the one I wish I'd bought in the beginning is the Lowepro slingshot,the one that can be moved from your back 'round to the front in seconds-highly recommended.
     
  19. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    Main rule: as long as you have more camera's than bags you are OK.
    Exeption: LF, but those are not bags but cases: one for the camera, one for the lenses and one for the filmholders

    For 35mm I have one general alu case for everything, than a LowePro backpack for travel and an old bag for when I want to go light.

    MF: one case for the SL66, one bag for the SL66, for the RB67 I still have to buy a case and a bag.....

    Once you start to acumulate gear there will be a growing need for more bags..... as each type of photography needs its own set and bag.
    Try them before you buy them and be inventive, try not to show that you have expensive gear with you !

    Peter
     
  20. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    I prefer small bags, like the Domke F3X. Fits a camera and a couple of lenses. I don't like being encumbered by lugging all my gear around; did that when I was getting started, and it really put me off photography until I got better sense. Often I will just sling a camera over my shoulder and skip the accessories altogether. It really fits my style, which is serendipitous, as in "without thought".

    So no, you don't 'need' a camera bag. I have nine, they're all full of gear. Bags (in my case) are best suited to keeping systems together, and keeping the dust from fouling the works. Since I began accumulating a Minolta MD setup a few months ago, I can see I'm gonna need another bag. :rolleyes:
     
  21. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    I personally would get a bag, and a Domke is the right one for the job! They are really really good bags!!
     
  22. brofkand

    brofkand Member

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    I would look into the Kata Sensitivity V. It is made of neoprene, so you can overstuff it and it will mold to the shape it needs to be. I love mine with all my heart.

    While it's not big enough to hold my Mamiya kit, I can hold my digital SLR (nikon D40) with it's 3 lenses (18-55, 55-200, and 35 1.8), and my Nikon FG with two lenses (50 1.8 and 28 2.8), with filters, memory card reader, lens cloths, several rolls of film, etc. comfortably.

    There's a back panel as well that is useful for magazines or a small laptop as well (my 15" MacBook Pro is way too big, but I'd imagine a 13" laptop would fit, and of course a netbook). There are also pouches on the sides and on the straps for smaller things like a small lightmeter, logbook, etc.

    I think it's at least worth a look. I did the research you're doing now back in March and found the Kata. From what I hear their customer service is also very good, though I haven't needed it.
     
  23. Larry.Manuel

    Larry.Manuel Member

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    A friend has a Domke F-803; see

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...p&A=search&Q=*&bhs=t&Go.x=9&Go.y=13&Go=submit

    It doesn't look like a camera bag, holds two Leicas and a few other things; looks like it's good for 50 years of everyday use. Very, very nice.

    For the low-budget person: I have a Lowe Terraclime 100; see:

    http://www.henrys.com/webapp/wcs/st...&imageField.y=0&curr=CAD&type=1&storeId=10001

    I holds a Leica, two lenses, meter and film. Or Rollei TLR, meter, films and a bit of space left over. CDN $40.00. I've covered thousands of kilometers with it on my bike. Machine wash!

    I'm in Kingston, Ont.
     
  24. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    It's better to have one and not need it, than need one and not have it.

    Get a small good quality one - Domke makes lots as well as other makers. You can always leave it behind but there is always a use for one. Lots don't look like camera bags, which is my personal advice.
     
  25. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    If you have one bag, you are fine.

    If you get more than one, they breed like rabbits when you are not looking :smile:.

    I have lots of bags.

    Some are larger and are used mainly for storage (it is handy to keep everything associated with one camera system or flash system in one location).

    Some are smaller, and I tend to either:

    1) leave them (mostly) empty, with the knowledge that I can easily load into them a small convenient kit suitable for a particular purpose; or

    2) leave them filled with a particularly useful combination of equipment, that experience has taught me will fulfil my requirements under a wide variety of situations.

    If possible, it's great to be able to leave in each bag certain universally useful things, such as:

    a) a quick release plate for my tripods;
    b) a cable release;
    c) a selection of usable backup batteries; and
    d) a lens cleaning kit.

    Matt

    ,
     
  26. alexmacphee

    alexmacphee Member

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    The trouble with bags is that they're like cameras : there's no one that's best for everything. I've about five, not counting bags that aren't camera bags but serve that function without saying 'I am a camera bag, steal me'. I have a Lowepro Trekker type, being a backpack where the photo kit is in the bottom bit and your vacuum flask and sandwiches are in the top bit. A good idea, but you always have to put the bag down to get at the photo stuff. I have one of those Lowepro Slingshot type, which is good if your kit isn't too heavy, but it can still carry all you normally need. With this one you can swing it round from behind to in front and get at your kit without taking the bag off or having to put it on a solid surface. I've a Lowepro Nova, an over the shoulder type which carries a modest amount of kit, and is easy enough to access. There's a Lowepro D550 which is big enough to hide a body in, and far too big for your needs. Or mine come to that, I'm afraid I can't resist a bargain. I have a smallish nondescript over the shoulder bag I got from a national pharmacy chain, which holds my rangefinder and a couple of lenses and a small flash. It's also the one I use if I'm taking out a folder with a couple of rollfilms. I do like to take one of those tabletop tripods, which can be propped against your chest to give a support when there's nothing else around, so my bags all have space for one of those.

    I prefer a small bag to stuffing things in pockets, mostly because I hate the feel of things in my pockets, but also because I just find it handier to keep everything together. I try to go as light as possible these days.