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02-01-2010, 09:56 PM   #1
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Mini review - Tamrac Express 6 camera bag for K-x two lens kit

When I bought my K-x with the 55-300, I wanted a bag to carry just the bare necessities…camera lens, batteries, filters, lens wipes, remote trigger…and not much else. I wanted something small, but I also wanted quick access, and I also wanted to be able to put the camera away with either lens. After lots of careful measuring, I decided on the Tamrac Express 6.



You can see the bags specs here…
Tamrac - Model 3536 - Express 6 Camera Bag

Here’s a look at the front. There's a zippered pocket that's perfect for the lens cap…



Here’s a look at the back, along with the only things that fit inside…My K-x with one lens attached, an additional lens, and a Totes Micro umbrella. There's a zippered pocket for something flat, like a notepad.



The bag comes with two dividers, which also hold up the camera. There are also two shelves that can be used to keep a short lens from dropping to the bottom.





Personally, I thought those shelves were a joke. So not only do I not use them, but inside the bag I removed all the Velcro used to support them. That actually gave me back a bit of space…6 pieces of Velcro are about 1/2” thick. I removed the Velcro from the dividers, and in this next shot you can see the stitching at the locations where I removed the Velcro…



When you first start working with the dividers, it seems impossible to position them correctly…and it is. I ended up wrapping the divider in a piece of paper, positioning it, then sliding the paper out.



Here’s the bag with two dividers, a lens, and an umbrella. There’s just barely enough room for the camera lens. You can see the stitching from the missing Velcro on the dividers.



Here’s the camera in the bag. The camera sits very high…basically right at the top. I like that because it makes it very easy to pull the camera out with one hand. But others have noted concerned about the camera spilling out should the bag tip over. Now, the camera with lens in this bag is like an iceberg in the sea…you see the top but there’s a lot more underneath. There’s no way the camera will “spill out” of the bag because the lens is helping to hold it in place.



I bought a small tabletop tripod that can also be attached to poles or branches. I was hoping to fit it in the bag, but that wasn’t happening (hence the umbrella.) But surprisingly it was a perfect fit in (what everyone considers to be) this absolutely useless looking pocket on the side of the bag.





The bag has a cross shoulder strap that’s nice and long, so it sits comfortably low at my side. I can change lenses quickly and without having to stop at a bench or other flat surface. If you want to carry a flash, or have a slightly larger camera, I would definitely recommend going with the larger version. But for carrying the K-x kit and not much else…it’s about as perfect as it gets. The bag is lightweight but very well constructed. When carrying it I don't feel like I have to "baby" the bag at all...it give me the confidence to not worry about bumping the bag when walking through doorways. If I were to make this decision again, I would buy it again. Recommended.

I bought the bag from Amazon for 40 bucks, and there are many comments from owners there as well.

02-03-2010, 01:43 AM   #2
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Nice setup. Neat little tripod too!
02-03-2010, 08:41 AM   #3
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Nice review! Made me want to buy one (despite all the bags I already own)

Question, the umbrella err.. has nothing to do with photography right? I thought it was, and been wondering where's the flash (and the stand) :ugh:
02-03-2010, 08:54 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by sajah Quote
Question, the umbrella err.. has nothing to do with photography right?
But nothing else would fit!

My greatest fear is to have the camera aspect discounted because of the umbrella and be viewed as carrying a man-purse (oy-vey!)

02-03-2010, 06:04 PM   #5
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LOL

~needtobe10chars
02-04-2010, 08:48 AM   #6
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I have been using the same bag (also black ) for a while.
It can hold: K10D with QR plate + Metz 48 (beefy oversized flash) + FA 35mm + DA 70mm + Tokina 24mm (one of them mounted). Tair 135mm can fit instead of the flash or two smaller primes or the 18-55mm kit lens and one limited lens. Also 2 smaller flashes can be stuffed into the front pocket.
Will post pics later.
02-04-2010, 09:13 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blaze Quote
I have been using the same bag (also black ) for a while.
It can hold: K10D with QR plate + Metz 48 (beefy oversized flash) + FA 35mm + DA 70mm + Tokina 24mm (one of them mounted). Tair 135mm can fit instead of the flash or two smaller primes or the 18-55mm kit lens and one limited lens. Also 2 smaller flashes can be stuffed into the front pocket.
I had no idea this bag was so capable! Are you using the padding that it came with? Could your bag be an Express 7 and not an Exp. 6?
02-04-2010, 11:03 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Graystar Quote
I had no idea this bag was so capable! Are you using the padding that it came with? Could your bag be an Express 7 and not an Exp. 6?
Nope, exactly the same as yours (express 6). I don't have the 55-300, but it seems to be about the same size as the Tair 135mm. To accommodate the full setup, had to make an alternative divider - a few cm shorter on the bottom, allowing to put the flash in folded (L shape).
Judging by the pics, you still have quite a lot of place on top

02-04-2010, 11:18 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blaze Quote
Judging by the pics, you still have quite a lot of place on top
Could be!

The space on the handle side of the camera is for my hand...that lets me get the camera out quickly. The other side does have a smidgen of space left...1" x 1.5" x 3.75", and I might be able make a divider to protect the camera and put something small there (dunno what, though.)

I must admit, there is lots of space under the camera when the 18-55mm is on there. I wanted to be able to put the camera away with either lens on it, so I wouldn't get stuck with camera in hand and no place to put it. I could easily add a third lens in the center compartment, but then I wouldn't be able to put the camera away with the 55-300mm on it.

I gotta see pics of your bag!

Last edited by Graystar; 02-04-2010 at 11:53 AM.
02-04-2010, 11:51 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Graystar Quote
I gotta see pics of your bag!
Lazylazylazy
Will take&post some after I'm done with cooking
02-04-2010, 02:47 PM   #11
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Here's the DIY divider compared to the original one. Managed to stuff everything inside without using it somehow


Metz 48AF-1 flash on the left, FA 35mm on the right w/hood reversed:


My usual config: DA 18-55 added above the FA35 (with the small "shelf" divider between). The kit lens' hood in the middle:


Mirror configuration (flash on the right, 2 lenses on the left w/o hoods, hoods in the middle):


A "normal sized" flash in the front pocket (Vivitar 550FD):


Stuff outside for size comparison (the lens on the bottom is Tair 11A 135mm/2.8):


Camera (with DA70mm attached) inside (usual config, pic.3 plus a second flash), taken w/cameraphone:


Side view, note the camera is sticking out, but the side flaps protect it, on the right there's space for the strap (which I use to pull the camera out):


After that, I just stuff all required accessories into the front pocket

PS: you should add your review to the camera bag review thread
02-04-2010, 03:19 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blaze Quote
note the camera is sticking out
LMAO! Well yeah...it doesn't fit in the bag!

I can't believe you can get a flash into one of the front pockets. And I guess the other pocket is for carrying two dozen spare batteries?

That's a lot of stuff...I'm impressed. Thanks for the pics!

You still gonna get wet if it rains, though...

QuoteOriginally posted by Blaze Quote
PS: you should add your review to the camera bag review thread
Good idea. Done!
02-04-2010, 03:39 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Graystar Quote
LMAO! Well yeah...it doesn't fit in the bag!
Why not, the camera doesn't fall out and the bag closes


QuoteOriginally posted by Graystar Quote
I can't believe you can get a flash into one of the front pockets. And I guess the other pocket is for carrying two dozen spare batteries?
That and also a filter wallet, memory cards wallet, remote, spare camera battery, flash stands and what not


QuoteOriginally posted by Graystar Quote
That's a lot of stuff...I'm impressed. Thanks for the pics!

You still gonna get wet if it rains, though...
You are welcome! And you could attach a strap to the umbrella and connect it outside (on the tripod side)
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