I like a bag that's fast to work from while hung on the shoulder, and that doesn't require dragging the equipment past zippers or through a smaller opening. I like a top flap that closes securely, but folds back completely out of the way for continual quick access. My preferred bag for the size kit you mention is an old Tenba P-series that's no longer made, but the closest current equivalents I've seen would be the Domke F-802 or F-803, both body-hugging satchel style bags with plenty of storage.
My wife and son use Crumplers (discontinued models about 3 years old) that I find are slower to work from, largely because the openings seem undersized for the interior room, and they also seem bulky and a bit clumsy for the capacity relative to the bags I prefer. The Crumplers are nicely made and well padded. Newer models may have improved access. My son will borrow one of my Tenbas if he can when he's carrying one SLR and two or three lenses.
The Billingham Hadley bags also look like a style I'd prefer, but I haven't tried them. When I see Billingham bags, my first thought is that they likely contain lightly used Leicas, and would be worth stealing, but that's just my personal prejudice.
These work well for me with 35 mm and MF. Not enough room for LF unless you start cutting the central divider.
Kata also makes some really funky messenger-type bags. Here's one that will handle a very compact 35mm SLR kit -
They've got a large variety of these kinds of sling bags and other less photo-y bags, as well as stuff that's more traditional.
Your personal prejudice is not that far of when it comes to my Hadley. It usually holds an M Leica and a Rollei TLR… However, I would not describe my equipment as lightly used, nor would I describe the bag as being in pristine condition – but it still looks good despite showing wear and tear.
Originally Posted by Lee L
Billingham was good enough for Michael Palin on his various travels... I looked at Crumpler bags but found the style to be too 'studenty' for me.
Last edited by Andy K; 03-14-2008 at 11:03 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.
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I don't have anything original to add to the bag suggestion, but would like some extra credit. I have 3 favorite camera straps- Domke Gripper straps without swivels, UpStraps, and my new friend the Y Strap. The Domke can be wrapped around your hand to make sort of a wrist strap and also is pretty secure on the shoulder works great with a small lightweight camera. The UpStrap is very secure and I like it with heavier cameras such as my Mamiya 7. The Y Strap is different in that it is worn bandolier style and the camera slides on a large split ring making it very easy to get the camera to my eye and when I'm not shooting the camera hangs at my side unobtrusively. It's also nice to not have weight hanging from one shoulder-my posture is happier.
How many points do I get?
Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.
I like a Timbuk2 messenger bag with a Domke insert or two. It doesn't scream camera bag, and you can customize size and colors. The only drawback is that it isn't padded, but you can stick some padding on the bottom (foam core or bubble wrap or even a towel).
I also like a Domke Gripper strap for lighter cameras. But for my Nikon F100 I use an Op/Tech strap, as it seems to handle the weight of the camera better.
The Y-strap is basically the same arrangement used for the Leica CL and M5 cameras with side lugs. I've been wearing my CL and other rangefinders that way for 30 years. The Y-strap "inventor" is right about the way the camera hugs your torso, and the way the camera is much more discrete under your arm. My black CL with a 40 almost disappears into the crook of my elbow.
Lately I've been using a 12" nylon webbing dog collar for a hand strap on my rangefinders (the C/V Bessa trigger winder provides two lugs top and bottom on the same side like the M5 and CL), and then a small carabiner to hook that to a shoulder strap worn like the Y-strap.
If $30 seems a bit steep for a Y-strap and you're into DIY, you can buy the 1" tubular webbing from REI.com for US$12 for 30 feet and three of the buckle/slides for US$0.80.
I have an Upstrap, and it does work quite well for what it is advertised for... which is to hang on your shoulder. However, I find it very uncomfortable to put around my neck. And while this isn't an everyday occurance for me, I do it often enough that I have switched back to the Domke Gripper straps. As a bonus, you can get them in a color other than black.
If you are interested in trying an Upstrap I would loan you mine for the cost of postage both ways.
Those who don't think Photographers have the skills of REAL artists such as painters obviously have not had to spot my prints.