Do i need a camera bag?
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?
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.
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.
Real photographs, created in camera, 100% organic,
no digital additives and shit
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.
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 ...
Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!
Nothing beats a great piece of glass!
I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.
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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.
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.
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.
walmart backpack+old pair of ripped up jeans+sewing=camera bag.
I have an old mule with a cart that I use alot!