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  1. #1

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    Tenba Photo Insert

    I dislike camera bags in general because I normally prefer to carry my camera in my hand or over my shoulder. Rarely do I carry spare lenses and filters, a spare roll of film fits in the pocket easily. However, every now and then I'll go somewhere special and I'll want to carry more gear. Camera bags tend to be over kill for this as they're often designed for a war zone rather than the 8:15 to Euston. What's most important for me is to protect the equipment from itself - things hitting each other.

    With this in mind I discovered the Tenba photo insert which is ideal if you need to convert a normal messenger bag into a temporary photo bag. This is the bag I use for work, I chose it because it fits an A4 folder and doesn't have a velcro flap:



    And here's the Tenba:



    It fits perfectly into my bag:



    The only issue is that there's no padding on top, but for my sort of photography that's not a real concern and anyway when the zip is closed it pulls the top of the insert inward to a degree. If you shoot with a small 35mm SLR like me, the Tenba is a little too deep:



    But nevertheless this is a great option for someone who usually doesn't use a bag, it will easily fit an SLR and 3-4 lenses, maybe a little less if you have huge telephotos or those massive DSLRS which are larger than your face. In action, the insert fits well and stays put, the bag remains fairly narrow so it doesn't feel like you've got a suitcase strapped to your hip. In all a great buy.
    Steve.

  2. #2
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    I completely agree. I stumbled upon this solution for turning your Timbuk2 messenger into a photo bag (they now make one hwoever). It works GREAT! Though, I added some extra padding on the underside for good measure.

    I'm able to fit a 35mm SLR w/ lens, + 2 extra lenses, 5 filters, flash and sync cord, & lens wipes.
    If you are the big tree, we are the small axe

  3. #3
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    I have done this in the past on a DIY basis, using only foam.

    I started with with the closed cell blue foam camping sleeping roll that is found quite inexpensively at outdoor stores.
    It is possible to cut it with a sharp snap blade utility knife, and it can be glues using Scocth 777 spray adhesive, or Scotch ATG lay down adhesive strip.
    I do reinforce the edges where equipment enters with gaffers tape.

    For less common dividers I have also used a closed cell foam outer layer, and sub-divided the interior with foam core board enclosures made to size for the gear in question, held together with clear packing tape.
    my real name, imagine that.

  4. #4
    Diapositivo's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
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    A camera bag looks like a camera bag because it allows you to extract the camera while keeping the bag at your side, with one hand. My preferred camera bags have only 1 fast clasp. Two clasps I find annoying in use.

    A bag which doesn't look like a camera bag is probably not very fit for camera use.

    My idea is that thieves know better. They look at you and they know your blood group. They understand you are a tourist just from the way you walk. Mimetising with local clothes and using inconspicuous bags probably doesn't help much. Most of the time you'll be extracting cameras from and putting cameras in the bag so it will be quite obvious what the bag contains. Unless you plan to leave your bag unattended, which you shouldn't, I don't see much advantage in the disguise.

    That said, some photographic backpacks can be interesting as they look like backpacks and are camera bags. I would never use them though, as you don't see if somebody is emptying them while you keep them on your back. I try to keep my camera as much as I can where my eyes can see it.
    Fabrizio Ruggeri fine art photography site: http://fabrizio-ruggeri.artistwebsites.com
    Stock images at Imagebroker: http://www.imagebroker.com/#/search/ib_fbr

  5. #5
    fmajor's Avatar
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    That a sweet idea - thanks!!!

    Incidently, thieves/muggers target non-local looking folks or those who they believe won't be troublesome. It doesn't matter what your bag looks like. They take everything, dump it all out and keep/sell the valuables. It's that simple.



 

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