recommend a bag that doesn't look like a camera bag.
I need a relatively small and inconspicuous camera bag. I really need it to not say "Hey, LOOK! this guy is toting a bunch of camera gear"...
I have a very strong preference for a shoulder bag or perhaps, a waist belt pack - NOT a backpack. I need ready access to the gear inside. I'd like to be able to carry two 35mm SLR bodies with normal-ish and wide-ish lenses attached and maybe, a couple of short tele lenses and of course, film, note book...etc. Nothing outrageously big.
I was thinking one of the sand colored canvas bags from Domke but, man...are they ever expensive!
What else? Suggestions?
Urban Disguise from Think Tank, but they're more expensive than Domke. Somewhat less expensive than Think Tank, but similarly inconspicuous is the Domke F-803. They all look like small laptop briefcases. Some people think it's not a good idea to carry something that looks like a laptop case, but they're pretty much ubiquitous in New York, so something that looks like a laptop case is less conspicuous than something that looks like a camera bag around here.
Crumpler's also nice for bags that look like messenger bags.
You might troll for bags on eBay. Sometimes you can find good deals on bags that aren't in bad shape.
I shoot in a lot of areas where I can't look like I have a camera so that I don't get robbed. I either get a camera bag that fits my my backpack or take a trip down to the camera store for some old vintage bag of some sort, strip off any tags or logos and it doesn't look much like a camera bag. Or as David suggested the Think Tanks don't really look like camera bags at all, but they do look like you might have something expensive such as a laptop in them. Also, they look pretty modern and somewhat expensive, which is pretty heatscore in itself, depending on the purpose.
I have a bag fetish so let me impart what Ive learned.
The Domkes are great and worth every penny, but even though the look less camera bag like the are noticed and I have had many comented on my "cool bag"
The Urban Disguise does not look like a camera bad, I own a UD 30 and Ud40, the 40 looks like a laptop bag, which is just as valuable to thieves as a camera so I use that bag in situations that I feel relatively safe in.
I use hunting bags for a lot of my work, they are so damn ugly no one will every want it, or consider I have anything but a gun or dead animal in it.
I would suggest getting any sort of shoulder bag that is cheap and made to carry books. Then figure a way to secure your gear inside. I have an old back pack that I carry a body and three lenses in, its ugly as sin and no one would think there is expensive gear in it.
The next step is to wash it and make it look old and worn, there by further removing any doubt that its contents are worthless. Beat it with rocks and stomp on it in the dirt. The uglier the better.
I would just use a coat with big pockets if you are only carrying what you mentioned.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
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In the section of my local Wallymart where they have children's school backpacks I found the perfect black shoulder-bag for my 4x5. It cost $7.50. It will allow for a Pressman 4x5, three holders, meter, cleaning gear, etc, and even more etc.
Leave no stone unturned.
I almost bought an Eddie Bauer diaper bag. That was a serious bag.
Last edited by DannL; 02-04-2009 at 02:04 PM. Click to view previous post history.
"Lo único de lo que el mundo no se cansará nunca es de exageración." Salvador Dalí
In our town there is a shop selling outdoor clothing and army surplus boots, bags, jackets, etc.
I bought a dark green (army style) canvas bag about 10" x 5" and about 6" high for about £5. I cut a piece of foam to fit inside at the bottom (about 3" high) and cut out recesses to take a 35mm SLR fitted with its 50mm lens and also spaces for the 28mm and 135mm lenses and a couple of spare film canisters.
This looks nothing like a camera bag and is small enough to carry without it getting in the way.
"People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.
Originally Posted by BradS
I use insulated 6 pack and 12 pack bags. Suitable small cardboard boxes section them as needed.
These bags may, however, be dangerous for you: viz: some crazed beer drinker lifts your bag; finds out it only has camera gear; comes back and slugs you with it.
John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
Here in Goiânia, Central Brazil a local supermarket had a sale: backpacks for teenagers for R$ 15,- ( US$ 5,-).
Cheap, local and nobody will ever think of it carrying gear. Safer than my LowePro backpack when wandering the streets.
An other place to go: army stores: it looks cheap, it looks like nothing and it keeps your gear safe.