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Is it me, or are camera bags useless?

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Showing 1-25 of 87 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 9 Apr 2012 16:10:55 BDT
Piston Broke says:
I have 3 camera bags - I hate them all. Why can't manufacturers design a decent bag?

I want:
A bag that is big enough to hold a dslr body and battery pack, waterproof sleeve for camera, reflector, a prime, wide angle and 300mm lens, a packed lunch, including a bottle of water that doesn't leak over the other stuff, a roll-up waterproof jacket and gloves, speedflash, spare batteries and flashmeter, battery charger, memory cards, remote control, and a few other bits and bobs. It needs a tripod clip that actually works, and should be LIGHTWEIGHT (and not ridiculously overpadded like most bags), have a full weatherproof cover and be COMFORTABLE to carry. The zips should be COLOUR CODED so I don't spent ages unzipping pockets looking for things. Not rocket science, is it?

At Focus, back in March, I must have looked at 50 different bags. All hopeless. Any bag manufacturer out there want to get together with me to design a decent bag?

Posted on 9 Apr 2012 16:21:40 BDT
Last edited by the author on 9 Apr 2012 16:23:09 BDT
G. E. Hearn says:
I have several camera bags, but all they're really good for is storing the stuff at home. I use an old general-purpose small shoulder bag and throw whatever I'm using for the day in that.

All the ones I've bought will take a DSLR with no bother - Until you put a battery grip on it! And then they're useless.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Apr 2012 19:41:10 BDT
Maybe you are the only person who wants to lug all that stuff (and lunch) in one bag? Given the vast number of bags on the market the manufacturers obviously haven't identified your need as a profitable line.

Posted on 9 Apr 2012 20:14:09 BDT
G. E. Hearn says:
These days I try to avoid bags wherever possible. I sling the camera over one shoulder under a large-ish coat and stick a few rolls of film and maybe a different lens in my coat pockets.

If I have to carry the amount of kit that Piston Broke does then it's usually at a specific event like a motor race. I leave it all in the boot of the car in those situations and just take out what I need as I need it.

Posted on 9 Apr 2012 20:52:12 BDT
X says:
If my kit will not fit in the pockets of my angler's waistcoat and a medium size bag I know I'm trying to carry more than I need... The only items that are really indispensable came into this world with me.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Apr 2012 00:09:56 BDT
M. A. Nolan says:
Try a Wheelie Bin.

Posted on 10 Apr 2012 10:20:38 BDT
X says:
MAN: Is that a Lowepro model?

Posted on 10 Apr 2012 13:48:26 BDT
Try the Fishpond Bighorn Kit Bag

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Apr 2012 17:31:55 BDT
Last edited by the author on 10 Apr 2012 17:32:53 BDT
M. A. Nolan says:
X. Sorry for trying to be funny !!! I genuinely wish you well in finding a bag to cater for your needs. I've have a similar problem since I got a 70-200 f2.8 and another body. I will follow this with interest.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Apr 2012 17:57:54 BDT
M. G. Ashton says:

Posted on 10 Apr 2012 18:07:44 BDT
X says:
MAN: No apologies needed! My regret is that my attempt was totally outshone: f1:64 after f1:0.8...

Posted on 10 Apr 2012 21:33:49 BDT
An Eclectic says:
I have 2 lowepro slingshots of different sizes, a backpack and a Crumpler shoulder bag

I use a mama & papas nappy bag as it doesn't scream "Mug Him", is reasonably padded and comfortable and can take a 7D + 24-105, plus 70-200 F4 and 50 F1.4. I have tried carrying my life around in a bag and I really didn't enjoy the day so now I take as little as I can get away with sometimes just the &D+24-105 cards and a spare battery or two.

I am looking at the OM-D e-M5 - that will get me down still further for my walking about

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Apr 2012 23:55:03 BDT
I used to use a gas mask bag back in the day for the same reason.

Posted on 11 Apr 2012 21:52:17 BDT
I had scaled up to one of these monsters Lowepro Vertex 200 AW Photo/ 15.4" Notebook Backpack For Digital SLR & 4-6 Lenses - Black before realising that the discomfort had little to do with the bag and a lot to do with the weight of f2.8 zooms, nice prime lenses and all those essential accessories. Today I put a m4/3 body, a couple of old manual lenses and a beanbag in a small daysack and enjoy myself a lot more. As a nice side effect my back pain has cleared up as well.

Posted on 11 Apr 2012 23:31:39 BDT
W Shakespere says:
2 bin bags, 1 inside the other, gives the illusion that your carrying rubbish and no one will try to mug you, the other will keep you dry if it gets wet, room for plenty of kit.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Apr 2012 00:36:55 BDT
As if.

Posted on 12 Apr 2012 09:13:57 BDT
G. E. Hearn says:
Make your own anti-theft camera bag:

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Apr 2012 09:39:02 BDT

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Apr 2012 10:19:58 BDT
W Shakespere says:
Seriously though, I have been a keen amateur now for over 30 yrs, and for the last 10 I have used a low pro minitrecker which has plenty of room for all my kit including my little notebook and more and shows no sign of wear and tear; However the older i get the more I believe in that one can have too much information, and resort more to trying to keep things simple, so am now taking a different approach and just going out with one prime lens on my camera, one day maybe a 60mm the next perhaps 35 , because over the years I have missed so many great pics by wandering which lens to put on the camera. The secret of great photography is capturing the moment, and that only lasts a split second, not even time to zoom in and out. Im off to London next week and would feel totally paranoid carting my lowpro round the underground, so for trips like this ive got a very cheap tatty padded little rucksack that ive had for years; Interesting to note that I listened an interview with Terry O'neill last week and he said that he hates photographic equipment, and if he goes out at all with a camera then its a little leica in his pocket. Dont forget the best zoom lens is your feet!! .

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Apr 2012 11:44:46 BDT
Hi Bill,
I think you owe it to the public at large to use a bin bag on your forthcoming trip:-)

Posted on 12 Apr 2012 11:59:39 BDT
W Shakespere says:
Tell you what, all those city foxes might just think there is a free meal up for grabs in there, and in return ill grab a good shot!; Added bonus, cheap enough to replace if they break

Posted on 12 Apr 2012 16:32:38 BDT
X says:
An Eclectic: The dealer hoping he can deliver my Olympus E-M5 before I get bored with it sent me this link:

Given What Digital Camera's tendency to be as negative as possible it's pretty positive. I still prefer reviews available on US sites where the reviewers have had the time to get stuck into the camera. Designing a camera to be as small as possible then adding a battery pack to make it bigger... It's a great camera.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Apr 2012 17:48:37 BDT
I am very happy with my Kata 3N1-30 backpack. (

I can fit: DSLR + fitted lens, 3 other lens, flash unit, filters, softbox for flash (just fits), could also fit a modest folded reflector. Plenty of room for filters, cables, remotes, batteries. It has a tripod clip that works well (separate item). It also has a separate compartment at the top for gloves, jacket, mars bars, etc.

Best features for me are its ability to be worn as a sling for quick access to the camera and other frequently used items such as one or two lenses and tripod without removing the backpack, as well as being able to be configured as a standard backpack with two straps and waist strap for longer hikes or when on bike - as a sling it can get a little uncomfortable when full and walking miles.

Posted on 12 Apr 2012 20:07:44 BDT
Last edited by the author on 12 Apr 2012 20:10:22 BDT
G. E. Hearn says:
W. Shakespeare:

Well done that man! The most productive days out I've had have been with a single SLR body and just one prime lens. Usually either an Olympus OM-2n or a Nikon N90s or F90X (Same camera). My favourite is the 50mm F/1.8 in either make. And I don't take a bag either. Just stuff it under my coat with the neckstrap over my left shoulder. Perfect! No more gear quandaries for me.
You have to move around to get the shot, and think about framing a lot more than with a "Do Everything" zoom, but the superb optical quality of this simple lens design and the exemplary low-light performance makes it well worthwhile.

In fact, I'm sailing this weekend, and that's exactly what's going in my kit bag. Space is at a premium on yachts, so the Nikon F90X / 50mm F1.8 combo on internal batteries (MB-10 battery grip removed) is just the ticket.

Of course, when even that single SLR is too much, then the Rollei B35 goes in a pocket. And gives awesome results with its tiny, teeny little Carl Zeiss lens. :-)

Posted on 12 Apr 2012 21:27:00 BDT
A. McDonald says:
Crumpler Italian Connect Photo Backpack - Mahogany/Orange

I've got one of these and it pretty much fits your bill I think.
Attached is another link with better pictures.

You probably want to make sure that you've got a decent water bottle (a Sigg or something), and I'd not just leave your sarnies wrapped up in tin foil, but apart from that it does the job.

My only gripe with it would be that when you're out and about if you've got the camera in the top section so it's easy to reach then there's no easy way to stash a decent sized water bottle that you can get at quickly.
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Initial post:  9 Apr 2012
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