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02-11-2014, 10:59 PM   #1
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Help me buy a bag.

I am looking for a rugged bag that I can take on hikes and outings. I have a nice backpack and sling bag but I would rather have a shoulder bag/messenger bag. I will be looking to take a k-3, 90 macro, 15LTD, FA50 1.4, and maybe a telephoto but I am not sure I can get what i want and have it large enough to hold the lenses I want. I dont want it to be huge or bulky. I was looking at the ONA Brixton but I am not totally sure I want to spend that much. I like leather and the waxed canvas look. Any suggestions?

02-12-2014, 01:30 AM   #2
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I know this is gonna sound odd, but have you tried looking at a luggage/bag store for a leather one and using a camera padded insert?
02-12-2014, 01:40 AM   #3
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I have thought about it, I am looking really hard at the Domke F-2 Rugged, its canvas but wax treated and its exactly what I want.....
02-12-2014, 01:55 AM   #4
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Wax treated canvas or well-cared for leather will both hold up to the elements. I just like how leather wears better.

02-12-2014, 02:02 AM   #5
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I use the Domke F-5XB as my main walk-around/hiking bag and I love it. It's rugged and water resistant. I purchased it shortly before a 1.5 month trip to Yosemite. While there I took it on all of my hikes, which included nearly every rigorous day hike in the park. It has never given me problems. It should be able to fit all the things you listed as well as some small accessories. I like it because of it's rugged materials (metal buckles, heavy, slip-resistant strap, waxed canvas, hefty zipper and strong velcro), as well as it's understated aesthetic. It doesn't LOOK like a camera bag. I also cut off the name swatch to make it even more inconspicuous.
I've had other shoulder bags by Tamrac and Lowepro, but this one takes the cake.
02-12-2014, 02:04 AM   #6
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02-12-2014, 02:33 AM   #7
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To give you an idea of the size, I have fit my bag with as similar a kit as possible to the one you described...

Name:  inside bag.jpg
Views: 354
Size:  75.3 KB

From left to right:

First pocket has my K-3 with the 21mm Ltd attached.
Middle pocket has a Tamron SP AF 90mm Di Macro, and a F 50mm 1.7 on top.
Last pocket has a DA 55-300mm.
To give you a feel for the size of the empty space in the bag between the gray padding and the brown wall, I can fit the DA 18-55mm kit lens in there. There is still space atop the camera for a normal sized blower or a small prime.
The bag easily zips with all that included.
The bag is way bigger than the specs and pics allude.

02-12-2014, 02:38 AM   #8
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Making my choice really hard, Ive ruled out leather. I like the look of the domke wax treated canvas, I Like the one @geomez has plus the F-2 Ruggedwear shooters bag with a hefty insert....
02-12-2014, 04:48 AM - 1 Like   #9
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The Domke F2 is reasonably large and the F-5XB is quite compact but good for 1 body and a couple of lenses (maybe 3 pentax primes) but not much else.

I found the F-5XC to be more practical for a for more bits of gear, another zoom or a flash.
It has the same slim profile against the body as the F-5XB but is taller. The way I set it up is as a "2 storey" and using the access zipped flap at the bottom, to get to a flash or extra lens or 2 in the bottom.

Lots of pictures <google image search> https://www.google.com.au/search?safe=off&hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=h...79.FhOiFUOYpwM


There is also a rugged wax weared version of the design called the F-5XZ but for whatever reason they don't have the lower zippered flap so you can only access it from the top. Perhaps this is OK for some but I prefer the 5XC version.

The gripper straps on these are great, quite wide and don't slip on your shoulder. With a heavier bag you can also get a curved wedge shaped rubber pad called the "US post office shoulder pad" which also a good accessory. (worthy of the $15 spend IMO).

This will be the only bag i take on a family trip in the UK/France later this year.
It'll be my main goto bag for Photo-centric trip to central Australia in June.
I wouldn't take it on the ski slopes, but then again I don't think i can afford any skiing for a couple of years after these 2 trips.

(I've got about 7 or 8 bags, most of them purchased before finding the Domke a couple of years ago.)

Last edited by steve1307; 02-12-2014 at 04:57 AM.
02-12-2014, 05:57 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by j2photos Quote
I have thought about it, I am looking really hard at the Domke F-2 Rugged, its canvas but wax treated and its exactly what I want.....
Watch out for wax. On some treated bags it rubs off on the camera and lens. Recommend checking User reviews.
02-12-2014, 06:08 AM   #11
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I grabbed a new Tenba Black Label small satchel here and it's probably the nicest bag I've ever looked at, let alone owned. This particular bag is too small for what you're looking for, but I use it for a K-5 without the battery grip, 31, 77, and another lens, usually a 50 or small zoom. They're supposed to be super tough and hold up well over years of use. Might be worth a look if you're willing to consider a black bag.
02-12-2014, 06:19 AM   #12
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I have a couple Tamrac bags - I like their add-on system where you can hang water bottle holders or a larger lens holster. The accessories are universal, which makes having a couple bags pretty flexible. The bags seem well designed and well built.
02-12-2014, 09:48 AM   #13
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I have had very good luck with the Lowepro line of bags and accessories.

I have a backpack, the Computrekker AW (out of production but I saw them on eBay recently, brand new, and there is a similar newer model), a type of bag that can carry 2 cameras and 4 to 6 lenses (depending on the lenses) gear to clean the glass, filters, etc. and has a nifty way to hang a tripod on the back. It also has a padded compartment to slip in a laptop.

I have a AW45 toploader to carry my main camera in and it has a place to keep extra memory cards.

The really neat thing about the Lowepro line, besides the modular design, is that the backpack and AW45 have rain covers that can be pulled out of an ingenious storage spot and cover them, keeping your gear dry.

My two cents, your mileage may vary.
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