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  1. #1

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    Padding in Domke J-Series Bags for Bulky 35mm Gear?

    I have two Domke F-6 bags, and they suit my 35mm equipment very well. I like the rather unique layout, as I am able fit two motor-driven bodies--one on each side--without any problem. The "in and out" aspect of their design is perfect for me. My only complaint is that the F-6 lacks padding, especially on the sides. My Nikon F3s are farily bulky and heavy, and thus I would like more protection. When I put the bag down, I sometimes forget that there is not much padding, and therefore I often cringe at the resulting "clunk." The F-6 needs to be put down gently, not quickly. Would a Domke J-2 offer more padding and protection for my gear? The J-series bags appear to have better padding, but I am not sure how much better it is. I would probably opt for the ballistic version.

  2. #2
    MikeSeb's Avatar
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    Minimal padding was the essence of the original Domke ethos, so it should come as no surprise. The bags are made to protect cameras during the course of everyday use. They aren't suitable for baggage-handler treatment, or falling off the roof of your car.

    But for a working bag to get in and out of easily as you shoot, they are unsurpassed. I should know; I have three!
    Michael Sebastian
    Website | Blog

  3. #3

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    Fairbanks Alaska
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    I have found that putting another camera bag, or a bag insert in a Domke bag works well. I have a Lowepro Stealth insert that works well. If you have many bags, like most of us do, try to mix and match.

  4. #4

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    i know, you probably won't sleep all night after you read this but... try to love the clunk! in a quest for even more clunk i removed all the padding i could find in my domkes. i never looked back. and i'm talking motorized F2 pillboxes here



    ...oh, wait, you mean you're worried about all the café tables you'll break with the bag, right? forget everything i said

  5. #5

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    Some interesting responses here :-)

    Have any of your camera bodies or lenses ever suffered any damage as a result of the lack of padding in the Domke?

    I know that LowePro makes a fine bag, but I just cannot bring myself to buy a Chinese-made camera bag. They are expensive bags, and with their slave-wage Chinese labor, I am sure LowePro (and many others) are laughing all the way to the bank.
    Last edited by FilmOnly; 05-03-2010 at 07:27 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: typo

  6. #6
    flatulent1's Avatar
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    I have several Domkes; an F1X (my very first camera bag), an F804, and three F3X. I have never suffered any kind of damage using an unpadded Domke, but then I do not mistreat my gear. (I also have two Tamracs and three Billinghams). I also use a Filson field bag for my Nikon F4, with a Tenba Wedding insert for padding. The only time I have ever damaged photo gear was when I accidentally swept a camera (with lens mounted) off the end of my bed; it landed on its back, and the mount ring on the lens came loose.
    Fred Latchaw
    Seattle WA


    I am beginning to resent being referred to as 'half-fast'.
    Whatever that's supposed to mean.

  7. #7

    Join Date
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    ah, lowepro, yaaaaa... they did make one good bag for a short while, the stealth backpack. zero padding. impossible to rip. i got me two before they discontinued it. foam must have astronomical profit margins--otherwise, why bother to convince millions of hominum (allegedly) sapientium that it's good for them in any way...

  8. #8
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Get a Billingham bag, they are hand crafted in Britain and the best quality bags I've ever seen, and easiest to work out of http://www.billingham.co.uk/acatalog/5_Series_Bags.html I've had two a 335 that's ideal for 35mm SLR gear and a 550 for my medium format stuff for nearly twenty years, and lugged them all over The World, they both still look brand new, which is more than I can say for myself.
    Last edited by benjiboy; 05-03-2010 at 05:32 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Ben

  9. #9

    Join Date
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    Montgomery, Il/USA
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    I've got an F2 & added some foam from an exercise mat on the bottom. about 3/8" thick.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  10. #10

    Join Date
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    I appreciate all the advice, especially in regard to Billlingham. I have considered these bags in the past, but the price has kept me at bay. They seem very nice, indeed.
    Last edited by FilmOnly; 05-04-2010 at 09:24 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: typo

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