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10-05-2013, 06:05 PM   #1
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Camera bag suggestion?

Yet another one of these threads... but I do know what I'm looking for! I just don't have any camera place around within 50 miles or more that carry the ones I've identified as possibilities, so I can't do a hands on. Can you help?
Here's what I want:
  • I'm trying to keep price around $100
  • I want a messenger style bag.
  • I'm wanting to get one as small as possible for what I want to carry. I especially want it to be thinner (depth) so it looks more like a briefcase rather than fat and boxy like some bags. (I need it to fit under an airplane seat and still leave some room for my feet!)
  • I'm carrying two bodies, and I want to be able to get quick access to either of them.
  • I do not like bags w/ flaps you have to mess with to get the camera out. I do like the bags that have quick access from the top (even when they have flaps).
  • I do like the capability of being able to slip in a 10" tablet.
  • You can see in the pic what I'm envisioning. A K-30 with the 18-135 and the K-x with a Sigma 10-20. I would carry the DAL 55-300 and a fast prime as well. They would be below the bodies. I would not need to get to them quickly, but I want them available.
  • So, I need to be able to move around the padded dividers to make that configuration.
  • As pictured below, the internal dimensions of a bag I'm wanting are 12.5" (32cm) wide by 9.5" (25cm) high by 4" (10cm) deep.


I have found 3 possible bags so far. (Links are to B&H)
  1. Tenba Discovery Mini Photo/Laptop: I like this one mostly... black/gray is okay, and they did a number of improvements from the earlier model (next link). The problem is that the padded insert, from what I've been able to find out, is at most 12" wide. Maybe I could stretch it to 12.5"? The insert can be removed, and then the internal width is 12.5", but from what I can determine, there is no padding. I can get this w/ educational discount at $82)
  2. Tenba Photo/Laptop Messenger Mini: This is basically an older model of the previous. No insert, but the bag itself is padded, and it should have 13.5" of width. Plus, I like the chocolate brown color! I don't like the lack of interior and side pockets like the newer models has. ($64 w/ educational discount)
  3. Vanguard UPRise 33: (There's a newer model that's a little bigger: UPRise II 33) These bags are a little bigger than the Tenbas and also somewhat more expensive at around $130.
SO...
If anyone has #1 and can confirm if I could get 12.5" wide worth of camera in it, I would appreciate it.
Is there another bag that would match my search? (I've looked at LOTS online...)


Hmmm... maybe I just talked myself into #2, especially given the cost.


Thanks for any advice!

10-05-2013, 06:19 PM   #2
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I use a Tenba Messenger Large after trying a couple of different bags before that. i'm very pleased, and i note it isn't in your list. I picked it up here in Canada at Vistek for $125 I think - It carries lots of gear.

My every day bag has the following

Kr
AF 540 FGZ
DA 50-200
DA 21 Ltd
DA 15 Ltd
DA* 55
a small lunch container with 4 Eneloops in the Kr's OEM AA adapter
3 49mm fiilters (NDA8 ND400 and a Circular Polarizer)
a smaller soft bag with a K1000 or ME Super in it depending on the weather as I load 100 into one, and 400 into the other most times That will have teh M 40/2.8 and maybe the M 28mm 3.5). in it.

It has room for my work laptop, and a couple of notebooks easily. Pens, ear phones, Ipod Touch, miscellaneous charging cables etc. A gorrilla pod... its getting full now

Loaded this way I can still use it as carry on if my work has me travelling.
10-05-2013, 07:07 PM   #3
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Thanks, mattt. I looked at that one, but it seemed rather large. Even the Tenba Messenger Small looks to be more than I want. (The small seems to be about the size of a typical briefcase.)
10-05-2013, 09:48 PM   #4
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I've been getting more and more interested in the Lowpro Transit (Transit Backpack 350 Camera Backpack | Lowepro)

I own the Think Tank Urban Disguise 60 (Urban Disguise 60 V2.0)

I find the Think Tank gives me too many options to carry, and at the end of the day all my lenses are just bouncing around in the bottom. I love the quick access though and the fact I can literally take everything, which is also what I hate about it. I often find myself hurting my back because I pack in 2 K5, DA*16-50, DA*50-135, 3 FA Limiteds, DA15, DA40, a pair of flash guns, a small reflector....you get the idea.

So I've been thinking the Transit from Lowerpro because it seems to be very versatile, quick access, limits what you can carry, but with Pentax would still allow you a lot, and seems to be above average value for the brand. I checked one out in the flesh last weekend and almost walked out with it, but wanted to check out the Kata 3N1 sling bags first. I have, and see more value in the Lowerpro.

I used to be a messenger bag only kinda guy, love the quick access. But once you add a laptop, charger, and your gear it gets labouring to carry. I still love my Think Tank, and I don't think I could use any other messenger bag. It's double your price point, but it's been an absolute work horse for me.


what about one of these? http://www.thinktankphoto.com/products/citywalker-10-black.aspx

10-06-2013, 01:26 PM   #5
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Wired: Yes, I've been trying to decide whether to get something big enough to carry all the stuff I may want or to go as small as possible for what I'm actually going to use.
In the situation coming up, it's 2+ weeks in Israel/Palestine/Jordan, so I need it to go on the plane (under the seat) and also to be able to use getting on/off tour bus easily. I also know that when we are visiting a site, we move right along, and I won't have time to switch lenses, hence the two bodies.
The Lowepro Transit looks rather large as does that Urban Disguise 60. The ThinkTank City Walker 10 you linked looks a bit small, but their 20 could work.
10-06-2013, 04:29 PM   #6
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In general, I have discovered that the 'just right' sized bags are ultimately about 1/2 inch / 1cm too small when I start to add even a few accessory items, whereas the next size up is typically bigger than I want. Finally the bag that comes closest to meeting my needs is outside my budget. The issue is doubly complex if you have to fly with both full computing systems and photographic gear.

But the biggest issue is nobody else has exactly your needs. I'll bet every suggestion here will fall short in one area or another. I've made a number of compromises in both what I carry, and how I carry it. Best wishes on your quest.
10-07-2013, 05:31 AM   #7
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I have been in the same boat, and looked at the Tenba you mention. I decided to go for the Timbuk2 snoop messenger instead, and never looked back. I recommend you look at it, it does have a flap but it's an amazingly well made bag, the best I've seen. The Small would fit your needs, I personally can pack a K20D with Sigma 17-70 mounted, a 60-250, AF-540 flash, DA21, DA40 and some odds and ends (remote, lenspen, spare battery, etc). It even has loops to attach a tripod at the bottom.

The price seems a bit steep, but if you look around you can get it cheaper. Or wait till January, you'll get discounts then.
10-07-2013, 12:18 PM   #8
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@JimJohnson: Yeah, I feel like my wife looking for the perfect purse, and it does seem that the right size is always just a bit bigger!
@bdery: Thanks. the Timbuk2 looks interesting and the right size. I'll check it out.

10-11-2013, 12:07 PM   #9
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I have the Tamrac Rally 4 for my body and lenses. It's probably too small for two bodies, but they make a larger one (Rally 7) and it has a slot for tablets or laptops. It does have a flap, but I can usually still get what I need without actually looking at the bag. I have the brown one and it's a good looking color, looks very much like a plain messenger bag and doesn't scream expensive equipment.
10-12-2013, 02:20 PM   #10
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Thanks, dagaetch. I looked over the Tamrac Rally bags. The Rally 6 looks to be the right size. I like the look, but it appears that the internal pads are not removable or adjustable. True? If so, that won't work so well w/ what I'm hoping to do.
10-12-2013, 02:45 PM   #11
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What about the Tranist sling pack?

I'm picking up one of the two after work. I want something for long walks thats not fatiguing, and both of those Transit bags look like great selections for a smaller pack that will force me to take less gear.
10-12-2013, 04:11 PM   #12
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@Wired: I actually had a Lowepro SlingShot 202 AW, but I sold it. I liked the sling part, but the shoulder strap was just so bulky and it wasn't easy to put it down on the ground w/out falling over.
10-12-2013, 04:54 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by mgvh Quote
Thanks, dagaetch. I looked over the Tamrac Rally bags. The Rally 6 looks to be the right size. I like the look, but it appears that the internal pads are not removable or adjustable. True? If so, that won't work so well w/ what I'm hoping to do.
They are removable and adjustable. If you look at the diagram for my bag (http://www.tamrac.com/assets/2013/02/LA-3444-349x360.jpg) the inner dividers have Velcro strips at the bottom and maybe 1/3 down from the top. There are also extra pads at the bottom with more Velcro, so you can definitely move the dividers around. Not sure how you would arrange it for two bodies, but it looks like the larger bag has more dividers.

I took a couple quick pictures...https://www.dropbox.com/s/h4ru90eezzr2bnz/2013-10-12%2019.38.13.jpg and https://www.dropbox.com/s/d0e55xn53opp25v/2013-10-12%2019.40.38.jpg

Last edited by dagaetch; 10-12-2013 at 05:11 PM.
10-13-2013, 11:27 AM   #14
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Thanks, dagaetch. The pics help. I'll check out the Rally 6.
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