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04-18-2013, 01:00 PM - 1 Like   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by mdave13 Quote
Have you looked at Tenba Bags?
I'll second this suggestion. Four years ago I took my Tenba Large Messenger bag on a 45 day 16,000+ miles Rail Pass trip around the United States and it was rock solid with camera, several lenses, flash, netbook, external hard drive & optical drive, Ultrapod, clamp, grey card, cleaning supplies, memory cards & batteries, train schedule, etc., all the usual stuff (clothes and toiletries were packed into an Oakley AP 1.0.).

What I like about the bag are the things you're looking for. The color, green, made it look even less like the ubiquitous black camera bag. It's still going strong and more than worth the price. As far as the logo is concerned, I think few would recognize the brand so that should mitigate the possibility of it catching the eye of someone looking to commit a crime of opportunity. I don't think any but the most experience of thieves who "do their research" will recognized the brand but those crooks can probably spot a bag with camera gear in it regardless of logo or style.


Last edited by MD Optofonik; 04-01-2014 at 09:28 PM.
04-18-2013, 05:27 PM   #17
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Great thread Doc! I like hearing of the comparisons - just hard to curb the BBA......

A couple years ago I finally strayed away from the typical camera bag - the rectangular type that was so common. Since I can't see any bags in person to see if they suit my equipment and needs, I have to do my research on-line.....very difficult. I really liked the idea and style of a messenger or satchel bag. I had a list of proposed bags that I thought I would like, then started looking on ebay to see if I could find a used one. I would hate to spend $100-$150 on a bag only not to like it, so I thought I would try a used one first.

Won an auction for a Domke J-803 for a great price - 1/3 the price of new. This one is made of the ballistic nylon. I lucked out since it is the perfect size for what I wanted to carry. I only take my 10" tablet along with 1 body and a couple lenses and it was just right. I also love the ballistic nylon - I think it might last forever. And to me, it doesn't look too much like a camera bag. I think the swivel quick connectors for the shoulder strap work great - I don't have to concentrate on the strap being twisted or not when I pick it up as it will automatically straighten itself out.

Also, the Domke logo is only seen on one of the small interior compartments after the main flap is opened. If I ever get another messenger / satchel, I will look at Domke again for sure, but will also now look at Temba after seeing some thoughts here.

Domke J-803 Ballistic Nylon
04-18-2013, 05:54 PM   #18
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Rothco IMHO makes some of the toughest heavy weight military style messenger bags out there and with a good insert they are ready to go. A lot of them have metal hardware, zippers, clips et all, and they don't scream "camera bag" at all. They're not nearly as expensive as most camera bags either. I paired one of their bags with a Manhattan Portage insert and it does me just fine and FYI, I am all about stealth when it comes to toting my gear. The problem with buying a camera bag is just that. It is a camera bag and believe me potential thieves do notice which bag someone is using, tag or no tag. They know a $100 Crumpler bag when they see one. IMHO the military bag or regular backpack with a good insert is a lot better idea.
04-18-2013, 07:15 PM   #19
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I like the Thinktank Retrospective series bags because they don't seem to me to look obviously like a camera bag. The branding is subtle and they aren't obvious like the Crumplers have become.

04-18-2013, 08:18 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax:
I have a messenger type bag that was 'gifted' to me at a trade show, it has the vendor's logo on it. It is not a camera bag at all. I purchased a set of foam insert liners that fit and instant camera bag that looks nothing at all like a camera bag.
QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Whose insert did you use?
Here is the insert I used. The trick is getting one that fits inside the bag you. This insert is about 1" too long so it 'squishes' slightly but it is the closest I could get. I carry my tablet, the k-01 and two lenses in it with no problem at all.
BBP DSLR Camera Paddy Insert (Olive) 718122727551 B&H Photo
04-19-2013, 09:05 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by MD Optofonik Quote
As far as the logo is concerned, I think few would recognize the brand so that should mitigate the possibility of it catching the eye of someone looking to commit a crime of opportunity. I don't think any but the most experience of thieves who "do their research" will recognized the brand but those crooks can probably spot a bag with camera gear in it regardless of logo or style.
+1 - - - I think 'crimes of opportunity' will happen with any bag that looks like it might contain objects of value; and that could be a camera or a notebook PC. However, professional crooks do 'do their research' and more than the logo on the bag, they look at a bag's shape, apparent weight, and how the owner carries it. Walking down a street there is a lot more than a logo that yells to a professional thief 'photographer'.

Maybe carrying a gaudy logo laden photo bag would scream 'rank amateur with cheap equipment' and even most opportunists will think a grab isn't worth the risk?
04-19-2013, 10:35 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by MD Optofonik Quote
As far as the logo is concerned, I think few would recognize the brand so that should mitigate the possibility of it catching the eye of someone looking to commit a crime of opportunity.
Maybe a Pentax Logo bag would be best, not likely to be recognizable as a camera bag by thieves/sarc

04-19-2013, 11:21 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Maybe a Pentax Logo bag would be best, not likely to be recognizable as a camera bag by thieves/sarc
That hurts. It really hurts

Last edited by Docrwm; 04-19-2013 at 11:45 AM.
04-19-2013, 11:26 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
+1 - - - I think 'crimes of opportunity' will happen with any bag that looks like it might contain objects of value; and that could be a camera or a notebook PC. However, professional crooks do 'do their research' and more than the logo on the bag, they look at a bag's shape, apparent weight, and how the owner carries it. Walking down a street there is a lot more than a logo that yells to a professional thief 'photographer'.

Maybe carrying a gaudy logo laden photo bag would scream 'rank amateur with cheap equipment' and even most opportunists will think a grab isn't worth the risk?
Good point. Even thieves must be having a tough time in an era where "everyone is a photographer" packing Rebels and D3100s.
04-19-2013, 11:41 AM   #25
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I really question the reasoning behind the "less likely to be stolen" thinking. Most guys don't carry a bag unless they are businessmen and the messenger bag is todays briefcase and most of them will have a laptop or tablet inside, a much more likely item for a thief to target. Perhaps a better option would be a diaper bag look alike.
04-19-2013, 11:49 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
Perhaps a better option would be a diaper bag look alike.
Only if you are also pushing a baby carriage - and then, who needs any kind of bag in which to transport gear?
04-19-2013, 12:08 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Pentax Logo bag would be best, not likely to be recognizable
Ouch, you want to give it a wee twist while it's so deep.
04-19-2013, 12:29 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by kerrowdown Quote
Ouch, you want to give it a wee twist while it's so deep.
Make Mark Newson design that bag ... how's that for a twist?
04-19-2013, 12:44 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrNewt Quote
Mark Newson design that bag
IMHO he's done enough designing for Pentax.
04-20-2013, 03:17 AM   #30
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I have a timbuk2 camera insert [size XS] that holds the k01 with the 17-70 mounted and the 55-300 behind a divider. I can fit that into 3 bags I have- a coach tote purse [i am female], a baggalini tote purse for less formal outings, and my laptop backpack. That way, I can carry it everywhere as my main purse. I dislike the look of messenger and camera bags, generally.
Works for me. I tried it in the timbuk2 messenger bag it was made for, but it didn't close right, and I actually prefer a zipper type opening than a flap.
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