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11-19-2019, 11:36 AM   #1
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Best and Worst Bag Purchased.

Do people have favorite bags for Pentax Gear? I find most bags don't fit Pentax small primes well without a lot of customization. I end up with a lot of dead space in the corners or adding extra padding.

For me it the same manufacturer created both my favorite and worst bag I've purchased:
Best bag:
Think Tank Retrospective 7 - Wanted a replacement for my Tamrac Shoulder Bag, and this bag has it in spades. Tough, well sized, great details, perfect size for photo walks. It fits a K-1 sized camera without being oversized.

Worst Bag:
Think Tank Airport International v1
Bought used for 200 dollars, this bag, is big heavy tough...but it too big for most American Carry-On requirements and does not count as a personal item, the size of the compartments are either too big or too small, and it basically sits around as camera case at home to store my camera gear.

11-19-2019, 11:58 AM   #2
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My worst purchase is the one I currently use. Lowepro Flipside. I understand the security advantage of having the main zippered opening on the rear but it is a complete pain to get the straps and buckles out the way each time I want to open the bag. Won't buy another
11-19-2019, 11:59 AM   #3
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My best so far is my current bag, a Mindshift Gear Backlight 26L.
It's a good size for a 3 zoom K-1 kit (I have the D FA 15-30, 24-70, and 70-200) plus accessories and either a speedlight (V1 in my case) or my A*300/4 tele.
Seems rugged and has room for some non-photo stuff like a laptop, lunch, jacket, etc. It's not small but would work for carry-on.

For a much smaller kit I like my old Crumpler Four Million Dollar Home for a K-3 and 3 primes (15,40,77). It works for the K-1 prime kit too (24,43,77) but it's a little tight.

The worst bag was a funny little sling bag that came with my 645D in a bundle from Amazon. I did not see a brand name but it's total junk and I doubt the 645D body would even fit in there with a lens on it.

11-19-2019, 02:21 PM   #4
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I bought an expensive Crumpler bag a few years ago and as good as it is it's just waaay too big to be practical.

11-19-2019, 02:21 PM - 1 Like   #5
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Everyone looks for different things in camera bags. And I found that what I wanted changed over time.

I started off with a rather nice Tamrac, what appears to be an ancestor to today's Stratus bag. It had a myriad of pockets which I initially found attractive but after living with the bag for a while, I found that having too many pockets meant that it was hard to find anything quickly.

I then bought a nice Lowepro backpack for a trip to Yosemite and along the Pacific Coast Highway. While we were at Yosemite, I found that the backpack design was great when we hiked the Panorama trail (with a 645 AND 35mm systems, AND (a not very light) Bogen tripod AND food AND water), but generally I find that a backpack bag isn't a good fit with how I normally shoot.

Somewhere along the line I also aquired a (well) used Tenba shoulder bag with a Hasselblad patch, apparently part of a promo at some time. It's a decent bag.

I then picked up a Domke F2, which I found to be an excellent fit for how I worked. It's roomy enough to hold everything, and well laid out, so that I can find the lens I want without having to set the bag down and dig around. I find that I can change lenses while walking without needing to look at the bag. The F2 also works well when I'm shooting from a tripod - there are times where there is no good place to set the bag down, so being able to work from the F2 while it's on my shoulder is a plus. The F2 became my favorite bag.

...I then got out of photography for about 15 years. My (film) equipment sat unused in the bags during this time. I kept everything dry, but I didn't touch the bags or equipment during this time. Back in 2016 I got back into photography. When I checked out my old equipment, the Tamrac and Lowepro bags looked... scurfy. Not sure what happened to the bags. The Tamrac's zippers were hard to open because of a white substance that had accumulated on the zipper's teeth. The bags just looked sad-I don't think it is mildew, but the Tamrac and Lowepro bags do not look good. The camera equipment inside is fine, but the outside of the bags looks bad. If I cared enough about the bags, I might try getting them cleaned.

On the other hand, the F2 Domke bag looked no different than it did 15 years earlier. And everything inside it was just fine.

So favorite bag? It'd have to be one of my Domkes.

My K-1 kit resides in my original F2. Right now, the F2 contains the 3 amigos, a 24mm, a 90mm macro, and a 135mm - with room for more. While the F2 is a great walking around bag, I normally shoot my K-1 from a tripod so I'm not too concerned with the size or weight of the F2.

My casual travel/walking around outfit is built around a KP and this kit normally resides in a 2018 vintage Domke F3x. Earlier this year, I took the F3x down to Florida to shoot the Sebring 12 hours. The F3x is small enough to qualify as a personal carry on item. For the trip, the F3x contained the KP as well as a 15mm, 20-40, 50mm, 60-250, and a 90mm macro. As well as filters, SD cards, and spare batteries. For race day, I did leave the 50 and 90 in my room for the day. I feel that the F3x is as easy to work out of as the F2.

I've found the Domke bags to be a good fit *for me*. Other people want more padding or more security than the Domkes provide, and I can understand that. However, the Domke bags are a good fit for me and how I work.

Last edited by wm_brant; 11-19-2019 at 02:53 PM.
11-19-2019, 02:46 PM   #6
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My favorite camera bag is the Lowepro Flipside 400 AW II. I had (well, still have for now) a 400 AW but I much prefer the AW II version. It's so much easier to open the bag while carrying it with the II version.

My favorite regular bag is an Incase Icon. It's just such a comfortable and spacious backpack. If it had a camera compartment, it would be absolutely perfect for me as an everyday carry bag.

Now I don't really have a worst bag because I haven't had many bags but I'm not too fond of the Manfrotto Advanced Active. I can't use a Peak Design strap with it and I don't find it too comfortable when I carry my laptop and camera with lenses. It doesn't distribute the weight very well.
11-19-2019, 03:11 PM   #7
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I bought a Crumpler Jack pack 1500 years ago for the K-50+18-135 combo and is is great for city visiting. Later I used the K-3ii in place of the K-50.
I still like, but it has one serious drawback. The padding on the bottom is nearly non-existent. That's a very poor feature in a camera bag.

11-19-2019, 05:12 PM - 6 Likes   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kevin B123 Quote
I bought a Crumpler Jack pack 1500 years ago
If you're still talking about it now, that is some impressive longevity.

Also, exactly where did you find the fountain of youth? I'm asking for a friend.
11-19-2019, 06:46 PM   #9
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I have a couple of camera bags, they've come with cameras I've bought. I rarely use them, one is big enough for 1 camera with a lens and has pockets for spare batteries etc, useless for a camera with a grip. The other is a decent size, carries a bit of stuff, but I just don't like it.
I've owned a Nike backpack for 15 or so years, use it every day for work and usually chuck my camera along with a lens or 2 into that, usually with a tea towel to buffer them rubbing on each other. Way more practical and comfortable.
11-19-2019, 06:52 PM - 1 Like   #10
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There are 2 things beside camera I invested most, namely flashlights and bags. I have tons of bags mainly backpack some of them are camera bags, I keep changing camera bags because they don't serve the purpose well ! I am an outdoor guy my gears are mostly tough use, weather resist and convenient to use on the go, but most so called camera backpacks are not really worked well in real outdoor situation. The bags looked great with the models, they can stuff with tons of gears, but very few are convenient to access and change gears without sitting on the table. The build quality is another problem, many of the good looking and expensive camera backpacks are not tough enough for daily use, if you carry the K3 with grip and 2-3 lenses, plus a thin notebook or tablet, and some battery, clothing and snack...etc. that weigh 15lb+, the bag will soon break at some point. There is one thing I hated about the design of most backpacks is the water bottle pouch, mostly are cheapy made with elastic "net thing" that too small too weak for a medium size bottle, and the pouch shared space with the main compartment that the bottle pushes against the bag instead of to the outside, I only use backpack with expansible water bottle pouch with zipper or "rubber band", and I don't use camel bag coz the space is for my notebook.

When I look for a camera backpack I always look into the tactical bags section, there are few made suit for camera use, they are made with 500D+ Cordura material, they have plenty of pockets and a practical water bottle pouch, and they are weather resist and tough, but they don't cost as much as a similar camera backpack, I can't find a reason not to use them !
11-19-2019, 08:10 PM   #11
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Probably the best camera bag I have had is an old Domke bag which is probably as old as my K2 DMD, I also have an assortment of Domke bags bought for various purposes. I usually have them set up so I can just chuck a camera in the bag, plus a few spare batteries and i'm ready to go. For working with long lenses 200mm+ my choice bags have been the Lowepro flipside 300 AW and Trekker 600 AW - both bags are built with distinct functions in mind and serve their purpose well.


The casual use bags have changed every now and then, at present I have an ONA prince Street bag in cognac leather though Is a bag that has style over substance issues and a Crumpler Creator's Life Hack backpack which has a handy external USB connector that I can connect a USB powerbank that at dawn and dusk I use to power a small but very bright USB torch.
11-19-2019, 08:33 PM   #12
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I have the Lowepro Fastpack 250, and I hate it. There is so much thick padding in there, that the bag weighs more than my gear. My Think Tank Photo Changeup seems to have the perfect amount of padding. I'm not a gorilla; so the fastpack will probably be sold along at some point.
11-19-2019, 10:34 PM - 1 Like   #13
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Best Bag.....still looking

Worst Bag.....every bag I have ever bought

Not joking

Dave
11-19-2019, 10:55 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by y0chang Quote
Do people have favorite bags for Pentax Gear? I find most bags don't fit Pentax small primes well without a lot of customization. I end up with a lot of dead space in the corners or adding extra padding.

For me it the same manufacturer created both my favorite and worst bag I've purchased:
Best bag:
Think Tank Retrospective 7 - Wanted a replacement for my Tamrac Shoulder Bag, and this bag has it in spades. Tough, well sized, great details, perfect size for photo walks. It fits a K-1 sized camera without being oversized.

Worst Bag:
Think Tank Airport International v1
Bought used for 200 dollars, this bag, is big heavy tough...but it too big for most American Carry-On requirements and does not count as a personal item, the size of the compartments are either too big or too small, and it basically sits around as camera case at home to store my camera gear.
Thanks for the mention, happy to help with any sizing questions, etc. Also happy to pass along an affiliate code if anyone's interested - but I won't post it here. Cheers - Simon @ thinkTank
11-20-2019, 12:19 AM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
Originally posted by Kevin B123*
I bought a Crumpler Jack pack 1500 years ago
If you're still talking about it now, that is some impressive longevity.

Also, exactly where did you find the fountain of youth? I'm asking for a friend.

LoL. It all started 1501 years ago when I found a lamp........

Nah, 2013 actually and the 1500 still looks like new
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