One of the best bags I have is a Victorinox small laptop bag, very simple, one zippered opening and one newspaper pouch (slit) on the outside. It holds my Leica M2 with attached 50mm lens, that's it, one lens. My eyeglasses also go in there, and a neoprene lens pouch that holds other necessities (keys, ibuprofen, Starbucks card). Boxed film gets thrown in there, too...nothing goes in that can scratch the camera, that's what the neoprene pouch is for. Works great and is super light...
If you can figure out how to jettison most of the stuff in a camera bag, you'll be in heaven. You don't need to carry all those lenses, etc. Learn to work with one...
I also have a small Tamrac backpack that holds my Mamiya RZ with 110mm lens only. Also room for a Sekonic light meter, film and filters, release, etc in the zippered compartments in the flap. What else do you need?
The 4x5 is also in a medium sized pack that holds the camera (an Ebony non-folder), 4 film holders, 3 lenses, loupe, meter, filters, and t-shirt dark cloth. To tell the truth, I could take just one lens (and often do) and be perfectly happy...
I have a few bags but I hate then all!
I usually end up carrying the camera and a near empty bag. What I do now is carry something like my Rolleicord, put spare film in one jacket pocket and a lightmeter in another pocket.
My RB67 is the only camera system I have which has its own dedicated bag which can carry it with two film backs, three lenses, Polaroid back, film, left hand grip, etc. I can even just about squeeze in the Vivitar 285 and its bounce adaptor.
This is a very good idea. I have recently been taking out my Nikon FG which I have had for at least twenty years. The last time I took it out I only took the 135mm lens to try to force a different way of looking at things. I usually like to have something in the 28-35mm range with that camera.
Originally Posted by PVia
I hate camera bags so much I must have ten or more of the damn things.
There's the one-body Leica kit, the two-body Leica kit, the DSLR kit, the Hasselblad kit, the large-format kit ... sheesh!
The only thing that I have actually learned via all of these bags is that a backpack is the best way to go for comfort, even if it's virtually empty. Having a few kilos hanging off one shoulder all day does not agree with me at all. The drawback is the access time.
So yeah, I hate camera bags. They get in the way.
I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place with my methods. I absolutely hate carrying a camera bag, but at the same time I'm a bit of a neat freak and like having everything in one place, all neatly organised.
When I'm out somewhere I just like to have one camera and one lens (I've never owned a camera with more than one lens in my life so far!) in my hand at all times. I hate neck/shoulder straps and always remove them before loading the first roll of film so my camera's just in my hand at the ready at all times. Though I don't mind using a bag if I'm doing strictly landscapes where there aren't too many people wondering what that try-hard photographer with out-dated equipment's doing
I have proper camera bags for all my gear, but I think it's mostly a storage solution for home, and for throwing in my car.
I think when I go on my trip in a couple of months I'm gonna take most of my gear with me (body, 2 lenses, 2 film backs + filters), but seeing as it's a hiking trip a proper bag will be too cumbersome, so I'll have to make some neoprene fitted sleeves. This way when I'm walking around the cities I can throw individual pieces in a normal shoulder bag and not look like someone who's working for Reuters back in the early 90's.
It all depends on what you are going to be shooting. If you're just walking around making street shots, the "one body, one lens, no bag" technique is fine. But if you're on a professional shoot such as a portrait job, wedding, or whatever, you have to be able to carry the equipment you will need for the job plus backups in case of problems (you cannot afford to not be able to do your job!).
I have "camera bags" ranging from a nice little leather belly pack up to the largest aluminum cases Halliburton makes. For 35mm equipment, I have two of the smaller sizes of the Domke bags, plus a small Halliburton case. For medium and large format, I have the humongous Zone VI white camera case which could swallow an 8x10, a rolling Porter hard case, and the big Halliburton. What case I carry depends on the job. Oh, and since I discovered how many herniated discs I have, I am using my backpack instead of shoulder bags whenever possible. It's not made for cameras, but with Domke inserts and wraps, it can carry a lot of stuff safely.
For street shooting, I love the little belly pack. It can carry a Leica M with 35 and/or 50mm Summicrons, plus an extra roll of film. I carry the camera with a wrist strap, but I can put it away in the pack when I'm not going to be using it.
So I can't agree with your opinion of bags as the "scourge" of photography. To the contrary, it would be nearly impossible to carry all that equipment without something safe to put it in.
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I have heard of people using diaper bags as camouflage.
I did a 10000 km road trip to the maritimes this summer. I took two bags full of gear and one full of film. I never carried any of them except from the car to the hotel. Rolleiflex around my neck, Pentacon Six over my shoulder, and off we go. The further I ventured from the car, the more small accessories I would carry, usually in pockets. I brought a photographer's vest, and never used it. Barb would carry my ME super if I wanted a 35.
"I'm still developing"
After reading the article, I'm thinking it's a typo for "How to Care Less".
Originally Posted by AutumnJazz
Possibly a justification for camera bags?
Okay. If you keep one body, two lenses, a few rolls of film, the right two or three filters and a small meter in a carpenters bag, you will be able to just walk out the door in seconds if that perfect opportunity comes along. And you can justify taking the kit along "just in case" when the primary purpose is not actually photography.
Look in the hardware store for a bag with a little compartment underneath where a flat plastic storage box goes; it will hold your film, filters, cable release, etc. And the little pockets around the outside can be stuffed with a pair of gym socks, sunscreen, etc. to camouflage the bag as someone's workout kit.
That's the idea; the idea to carry less.
Originally Posted by eddym
Now 4x5...that is a different beast. When I reffered to Weegee, I was simply referencing the way he carried his gear. As far as I know, he only ever used one camera and lens at a time, when he was running around NYC. It's somewhat hard, if not impossible, to lug around a 4x5 monorail camera without a backpack. Plus, I doubt that the average LF user on APUG today uses their 4x5 off a tripod, or even spontaniously (an Ansel Adams style, if you will).
As per disguising a bag: http://web.me.com/aaronandpatty/What...9_WTD_553.html
And as per the comments about wanting to hide thousands in equipment...Nachtwey carried two cameras, a 16-35mm lens, and another lens (I don't know which it was) around his neck. He's traveled to the poorest and most dangerous places in the world. I don't know if he's had stuff stolen or not, but in 2001 he didn't use a bag. I've read on this forum that now he carries around a 1ds (what is that, $8,000?). Does he carry it the same way?
Also, NYC can be a place that knocks you around, and stuffs you into small places. Maybe I'm just protective of my camera et al., but I've never had all of it get damaged while running around NYC, taking the subway, MTA, etc.
Anecdotal evidence is bad, though, so my experiences mean little.
I will say that I've enjoyed bringing less.