camera bag advice

Discussion in 'Photography' started by diluted, Sep 28, 2005.

  1. diluted

    diluted Guest

    I am looking for a bag or case for transporting my mamiya RB67, could
    someone steer me in the right direction?

    Many places have standard camera bags, with moveable partitions, but I
    am really after opinions as to whether its worth paying the extra for a
    hard case.

    Many people use flight cases, although I haven't seen any that will
    accomodate the camera (with a lens and back attached), 2 other lenses, a
    grip and a couple of backs.

    I saw some military grade cases that would be perfect, virtually
    unbreakable and float in water up to about 10KG in weight, but they were
    close to £150 and I'm trying to watch my spending at the moment.

    Anyone got any advice/tips or can reccommend a good shop (preferably in
    the UK)?

    diluted, Sep 28, 2005
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  2. Can't recommend any good shops but a piece of advice. Figure out how
    much space you need and then buy a case that doubles that amount of
    space. No matter how hard I try, I always wind up needing more space
    than I planned for when I bought my camera bag.

    Michael Neville, Sep 28, 2005
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  3. Lowepro :)
    Depends on what you are going to subject the thing to. In my experience it's
    usually overkill, and spending on making it resist rainfall is more
    Pellican is you want hard.
    My current LowePro cost more than that.
    You have camera equipment running to maybe 10.000 pounds, is spending a few
    hundred on a bag (just a few percent...) too much?
    That bag will protect that equipment from the elements, as well as making it
    easier to access and operate.

    I've seen equipment damaged due to poor bags failing in one way or another.
    Had those persons spent a bit more on a good bag instead of saving in the
    wrong place and buying a poor one they'd not have had to replace thousands
    of Euros worth of lenses and bodies.
    Your trusted camera store should be able to get you bags to fit and look at,
    and send back the ones you don't want.
    My store did that for me, even gave me two to take home and try for a few
    Of course if they don't know you well and trust you they won't do that, in
    my case they knew I was serious about buying and I've been a customer there
    for 8 years and several thousand Euro a year.
    Jeroen Wenting, Sep 28, 2005
  4. diluted

    diluted Guest

    yeh I saw the pellican ones, they look great, although they are quite
    expensive (i think). My equipment isnt £10k's worth because most of it
    is from ebay, but all together its maybe £600. While im a student,
    thats still a hell of a lot of money to me. £120ish for a case is a lot
    of money for me too. Although of course as you say, spending that is
    worth it to save my camera equipment.

    thanks for the advice :)
    diluted, Sep 28, 2005
  5. diluted

    BH Guest

    I'm thinking about getting this one -

    Be sure to see the larger view, and click on the arrows to see the inside.

    It's not really billed as a camera bag, but is padded and has the velcro
    dividers inside much like other camera bags. I would use this for outdoor
    stuff, looks very durable. Plus it has the advantage of not having steal-me
    camera logos on the outside.

    I don't have this bag yet, but I do have a lot of other stuff from
    TacticalTailor that holds up really well under rough conditions.

    I'm not sure if they ship to the UK, and my currency conversion guess is
    that it would be about 80 quid.

    BH, Sep 28, 2005
  6. diluted

    John Fryatt Guest

    What kind of photography are you going to do? Will you transport the kit
    in a car and then work at a fixed place, or will you need to carry the
    kit a long way?
    For best protection a hard case is probably the biz, but not comfortable
    to carry very far.
    For any prolonged carrying I'd recommend a backpack. Much more
    comfortable than a shoulder bag and saves you from 'photographers
    shoulder'. Lowepro are good, but other companies make them, e.g. Tamrac,
    John Fryatt, Sep 28, 2005
  7. Hi,

    Try to avoid an obvious camera bag, which has the disadvantage of
    virtually saying, "steal me".

    Morton Linder, Sep 29, 2005
  8. Per John Fryatt:
    This is no joke.

    Wasn't a photo bag, but one day I got this notion to walk the 3-4 miles to
    another installation carrying my laptop/business bag over my shoulder.

    *Really* messed up that shoulder. Took about six months to get it back to
    (PeteCresswell), Sep 29, 2005
  9. diluted

    Richard H. Guest

    This one has potential. It's like an oversized fanny pack. It'll hold
    a body with a short zoom, plus two other lenses, film, filters, etc.

    I ended up with this one by chance, and it's growing on me. You can
    sling it like a shoulder bag or carry it from the smaller handle if you
    don't wear it around your waist. The only unnerving bit is that it
    seems likely to dump the contents if you picked it up unzipped (though
    it hasn't happened yet).

    Their backpack models are about half the price, but beware of where you
    might want to take it. Especially touring places like Washington D.C.,
    there are more than a few buildings that won't allow backpacks, and
    offer no bag check or lockers.

    I also have a large Pelican case that I use for storage and transport,
    but I wouldn't dream of lugging it around with me in the field. That's
    what the bag is for. Among other things, it needs to be left unattended
    while you're taking shots; a bag doesn't need a free hand to hold it.

    Richard H., Sep 30, 2005
  10. diluted

    Kitt Guest

    Which bags are you talking about? Did I miss something? Also, the OP
    was talking about a medium format camera, so I imagine it would require
    more space than an SLR?

    Your point about backpacks is quite good. I just went to DC the
    beginning of the month for a ball game at RFK. No backpacks. In fact,
    they said no cameras with detachable zoom lenses, which is why I bought
    a ZLR to take. Ticked me off when I saw people all over the place with
    SLR's anyway and I had just spent $500 to obey the rules. Went to a
    couple museums which required inspections and metal detectors where I
    *did* take the DSLR. Fortunately, I left the backpack in the trunk and
    just took the DSLR with a battery and CF card in my pocket. Bottom
    line is that in today's world, it's getting harder and harder to carry
    large bags and not take a chance on having your trip wrecked or changed
    significantly. I have a Tamrac Expedition backpack for the DSLR and I
    love it, but it spends lots of time in the trunk when around
    civilization. In the woods, it's great. Also, the price on most of
    the backpack types is usually well over $100 US for the larger ones, so
    probably not in the OP's budget. To the OP I'd say, looks like the
    best bet is a big shoulder bag, hundreds of which will pop up on a
    Google search. Find one you think you'd like in your price range and
    ask again for specifics is my best advice. I think bag choice is one
    of those personal preferences you have to live with for a long time
    after you make the decision, so don't be in a rush if you can help it.
    Kitt, Sep 30, 2005
  11. diluted

    Richard H. Guest

    <sigh> My telepathy just isn't what it used to be. I suppose I'll post
    the link instead. :)

    It could fit a smaller medium format camera - certainly the 120
    dual-lens Mamiya in my father's collection.

    Richard H., Oct 1, 2005
  12. diluted

    Kitt Guest

    Thanks for the link. They have a store locater which found me several
    photo shops in my area I wasn't aware of. I've been thinking about a
    shoulder bag myself for the reasons I mentioned and the ones I have
    won't handle all the gear I have at this point. I've wanted one of
    those "Stealth Reporter" models for some time, so I'll need to research
    the bag size requirements for various venues and get the biggest one I
    can get away with. I think they have about five sizes in that model.
    I guess the terrorists are having their way after all. They've got us
    jumping through hoops trying to protect ourselves.

    Kitt, Oct 1, 2005
  13. diluted

    Kitt Guest

    Well guy, your question got me thinking and now I'm probably gonna' buy
    a bag, even if you don't. ;o)

    Thought I would toss it out for a response or two *before* I do it so
    somebody won't tell me the reason I shouldn't have done it a day after
    I did it. I'm looking at the Lowepro Stealth Reporter 500 AW. It
    looks like it will give me a lot more room than either of the shoulder
    bags I now have, it has a weather proof cover and a zipper in the lid
    for easy access. It is small enough to carry on airlines, but I don't
    know about museums, etc.. Amazingly, it actually seems cheaper on EBay
    than anywhere else I see it at about $108 delivered. (61 pounds? for
    the original poster, plus any shipping difference. Looks like it will
    hold your Mamiya & some lenses.) Anybody have any criticism or praise
    for this particular bag?
    Kitt, Oct 2, 2005
  14. diluted

    Richard H. Guest

    Well, it's big. And big = heavy. I prefer to run lean, but to each his
    own. More than once I wished I'd brought something I hadn't.

    If you're going on a trip, this could be a good bag to take a lot of
    stuff in. It looks like you could also drop-in a long lens with a hood
    on it. (The belt style I listed is barely deep enough for a short zoom
    with a hood.) OTOH, unless everthing you put in it is long, you'll be
    fishing through it to find stuff on the bottom.

    The top zipper is so-so. Handy for fetching / dropping rolls of film,
    but don't expect to draw your camera through it. The weather cover is a
    nice touch. I carry a couple 1-gallon clear plastic bag in my kit for
    such occasions.

    Some places want to search backpacks, others won't let them in at all.
    The art museums in DC are concerned about people backing into things /
    each other (forgetting about the appendage on their back).
    Front-mounted things (sling purses, fanny packs) seemed OK, but I
    haven't tried with a large camera belt pack.

    Richard H., Oct 2, 2005
  15. diluted

    Kitt Guest

    I'm used to larger shoulder bags, but not quite that big. I think I'll
    probably like it, especially if I get the belt at some point to help
    offset the drag on the shoulder a little. We went into the Old Post
    Office when we were down last, as well as well as Arts and Industries
    (I think.. the one with Archie Bunker's chair) and as I said, I just
    had the DSLR around my neck. I didn't think to ask about their policy
    on bags, but I know we had to go through metal detectors at one or both
    of them. It's getting to almost be mandatory that you call ahead to
    check out that sort of thing or you could be left with a long walk back
    to the car if you're not a permitted to take them in. I find that many
    places just exclude backpacks altogether, which is why I'm even looking
    at this bag. I like the backpack and will still use it in the great
    out of doors, but looks like it's use is becoming more and more
    limited. I think the backpack fully loaded was around 14 pounds, so
    the shoulder bag should be about the same or a little less. Again,
    thanks for the link. I really like their 6 or 7 views that you don't
    see most places.

    Kitt, Oct 2, 2005
  16. diluted

    diluted Guest

    Thanks to everyone that posted, I appreciate the input.
    Much as I would like a pelican case, its very expensive and I would want
    to carry it around - im planning some trips to national parks and I'm
    sure it would get very expensive.

    That said, I just won an ebay auction for a mamiya aluminium case which
    already has foam cut for an RB67 and extras... got it for £29 including

    But I'm going to look for a backpack for carrying it long distances.
    However I dont quite understand £100+ for a backpack with separators
    inside... I must be missing something.

    thanks for the advice everyone :)
    diluted, Oct 2, 2005
  17. "A disturbing new study finds that studies are disturbing"

    Just to add another type of carrying system to the mix, or at least a
    variation, I use a belt system from

    So far I've been able to go anywhere I want with it included venues that
    explicitly ban backpacks and coolers (that includes many places here in DC.)

    I love the system because I can take all my gear or only what I need by
    adding or removing individual cases. It's very comfortable and unlike a
    shoulder bag I can run around and shoot with out having to put my gear down
    someplace first . Then if I need my flash, additional lenses, or even a
    second body it's right there with me. I also have a water bottle carrier
    for those especially hot days or long hikes and my cell phone case hooks in
    as well.

    Of all the belts systems I looked at this brand had the largest selection of
    shape, sizes, and purposes including support for medium format. There's a
    very nice photo journalist bag if you need that sort of thing. They also
    have a couple of backpack options.

    It's not cheap but you can start out that way and add to it as money
    Robert R Kircher, Jr., Oct 2, 2005
  18. While it may be real handy and indeed very useful I have a visual
    problem with the "Large System Rain Cover", ( )
    - it's pretty goofy looking!
    Rolf Egil Sølvik, Oct 3, 2005
  19. diluted

    Richard H. Guest

    ROFL! And it doubles as a tutu. :)

    The modular system looks pretty slick, but I too would pass on the rain
    Richard H., Oct 4, 2005
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