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Help- Need a Small, Soft-Sided Shoulder Bag
Old 02-19-2017   #1
willie_901
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Help- Need a Small, Soft-Sided Shoulder Bag

I prefer not to use rigid shoulder bags. By rigid I mean those that have a permanent, fixed-box structure. I guess an example of a fit-to-your body or soft-sided might be the Bare Bones Bag. The BBB is too large.

I plan to carry a X100T or a X-T1 with a two primes. I don't need room for a tablet... just a couple of spare batteries, thin SDHC card case and a cleaning cloth. That's it.

Right now I'm using a small 8 year old Mountain Smith bag (discontinued of course). It is starting to look a bit ratty.

The new ONA Bond Street seems to be the right size. In fact it seems narrow enough to make my objection to a rigid bag moot. Unfortunately leather is inappropriate for my current climate and I dislike the material they chose for the canvas version.


Any suggestions of how to burn more some money up on a new, soft-sided bag?
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Old 02-19-2017   #2
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Domke f5xa will hold a gripped x pro 2 with a prime in on it and two more primes next two it. I have the 14,18 and either 35 mm this way. Any of the those lenses can be on the body. Batteries go in front pouch. The trick is to glue rear lens caps back to back so that you can safely put two lenses vertically in the bag.

With the F5xb I can hold the body with 5 primes in this manor.

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Old 02-19-2017   #3
Peter Wijninga
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Billingham Hadley Pro or the Small Hadley. I prefer the Hadley Pro since it has a carrying handle.
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Old 02-19-2017   #4
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There are quite a few bags that might do you well. These are a few that come to mind that haven't been mentioned yet:

Artisan & Artist ACAM 1100
Black Label Bag "Oskar's One Day Bag mark II"
Tenba DNA 8, Cooper 8

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Old 02-19-2017   #5
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Tarmac Apache 2.2 (will hold my M3, 2 lens and a few rooms of film) or Apache 4.2 (holds my D810 with 35 Sigma lens plus a 2nd prime lens) - I have both. There is also a 6.2 even larger version.
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Old 02-19-2017   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Wijninga View Post
Billingham Hadley Pro or the Small Hadley. I prefer the Hadley Pro since it has a carrying handle.
This.

For less money, see if you can locate a Think Tank City Walker 10. Think Tank discontinued the line but you might still the various models if you do some shopping. It's a great lightweight bag, about the same size as the Billingham Hadley Pro and, if memory serves, I paid less than $100 for mine. Also Lowepro Event Messenger 100. It's a smaller bag that I've used with an X100S and XE2 with 35/2. I've seen them on Amazon for less than $40 but it is a little structured so it may not be to your likings.
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Old 02-19-2017   #8
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https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ..._for_OM_D.html

great small light soft bag...and cheap too.
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Old 02-19-2017   #9
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If you want a body-hugging bag, take a look at the Kakadu shoulder bag. It may be a little bigger than you want, but with 2-3 Domke inserts, it's a great bag for smaller gear. Note: The bag has a heavy duty zipper than runs across the entire top, under the flap. So if you don't like zippers, this may not be for you.

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Old 02-19-2017   #10
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Several sizes..

https://www.thinktankphoto.com/colle...s/turnstyle-10


https://www.thinktankphoto.com/colle...ts/turnstyle-5


I too prefer small soft bags when I'm able to use them. When traveling in a bad neighborhood the 5 will fit into a locally found shopping bag. Put some produce on top. Bad guys want junk food.
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Old 02-19-2017   #11
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Big fan of the Filson Small Field Bag, if you can track one down. Mine has domke inserts in it.

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Old 02-19-2017   #12
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I use this
https://www.amazon.com/Everest-Lugga...er+everest+bag

with a Jill-e insert
https://www.amazon.com/Jill-e-Design...=jill-e+insert

Has held a 3 lens M-3 kit, a TLR, and now an Olympus E-P5 kit. And I can just pull the insert, put it in my cabinet, and use the bag for other things.
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Old 02-19-2017   #13
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I was also thinking I need a small bag, smaller than my Small Hadley, for an XT2+35mm. Then the Filson Small Field bag was mentioned and I remembered that I have one somewhere. Thanks mabelsound.
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Courierware
Old 02-19-2017   #14
KenR
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Courierware

There are several styles and sizes available from courierware.com that you can customize with inserts, straps etc. I have the small classic messenger bag that does well with 2 Bessa bodies and a couple of lenses with 6 rolls of film. I believe that they make the bags for Bare Bones Bags.
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Old 02-19-2017   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabelsound View Post
Big fan of the Filson Small Field Bag, if you can track one down. Mine has domke inserts in it.

My daughter used mine when she went to France and Italy last summer. She kept it. Looking for another and the prices have gone through the roof. I think I paid $60 for the small field bag back new.

The A&A bag mentioned above it a great choice actually. And the Oscar One Day.

I have a newer Filson Camera Field Bag that hugs the body well if I keep the inserts out. Kinda big, but roomy for two cameras.
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Old 02-19-2017   #16
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For a while it seemed as though Filson had discontinued the SFB, but it's back now, at a ludicrously high price. I got mine on eBay, broken in!
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Old 02-20-2017   #17
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Just as a heads up...Best Buy has their custom Domke versions of the F5XB and F803 on closeout. The online price of the F5XB is 63.99 which I purchased with in store pickup as the local store had them in stock. When I went to pick it up they refunded me another $16 as the in store price was lower than the online price.

The Domke custom versions are olive waxwear with leather piping trim around the flap and front pouch, the Domke labeled is sewn *inside* the flap (much more subtle) and a leather strap. Nice looking subtle bag. It looks better in person than in pictures. Not sure about the leather strap yet (staining) but I have an olive strap off a F5XA that will work.

Shawn
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Old 02-21-2017   #18
brennanphotoguy
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The Domke F3XB is really nice. I've been using that for a little over a year every day and it's been great and broken in well. Before that I had the Filson McCurry shoulder bag and it was great as well.
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Old 02-21-2017   #19
nightfly
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F3Xb is pretty big. I use one for a Mamiya 7 with an extra lens and it's borderline too big for that. Think a small rangefinder would swim in one.

Wish there was something along the lines of an F5xb with no zipper, no belt loop, an extra full length pocket and something like a magnetic closure instead of velcro.

Good heads up on the Best Buy deal. Like the look of this, a little hesitant about the leather shoulder strap.
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Old 02-21-2017   #20
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The front pocket on the Best Buy F5XB is full length, not sewn into two separate pockets like all the others I've seen. You also have space in front of the padding on the inside as another storage area for something flat. I'm back and forth on the zipper too. I ended up using the included dividers against the sides of the bag (they are pretty thin) and that blocks the zipper from hitting the contents with something full height on the sides. Moved thicker dividers from another bag to give me three compartments on the inside.

A traditional Domke clip on the front would have been fine with me too. The snap on the Peak Design bag (also at Best Buy) is pretty slick, it feels like a magnetic clip but once it is latched you have to slide to the side to disengage it, more secure than just a magnet.

The leather strap isn't bad, just not what I prefer. You can always return it to BB if you don't like it. I realized I have a Optech SOS strap that I may use for more comfort too.

Shawn
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Old 02-21-2017   #21
brennanphotoguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightfly View Post
F3Xb is pretty big. I use one for a Mamiya 7 with an extra lens and it's borderline too big for that. Think a small rangefinder would swim in one.

Wish there was something along the lines of an F5xb with no zipper, no belt loop, an extra full length pocket and something like a magnetic closure instead of velcro.

Good heads up on the Best Buy deal. Like the look of this, a little hesitant about the leather shoulder strap.
Yeah but for an X100T and an XT1 and two primes it might be a bit big but you'd rather have more room than not enough. I carry my M3 and some other misc accessories in there and it's fine.
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Old 02-21-2017   #22
shawn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brennanphotoguy View Post
Yeah but for an X100T and an XT1 and two primes it might be a bit big but you'd rather have more room than not enough. I carry my M3 and some other misc accessories in there and it's fine.
I just sent my XP2 to Fuji but here is an example using a Konica Auto S1.6 (roughly same size as XP2 with prime on it) and a Tenax II in place of the X100T along with the Fuji 35mm f1.4 and 14mm f2.8. Batteries are in the front pouch.

Without the X100T/Tenax II this could easily hold 1 body with a prime mounted and 4 more primes.

Shawn
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #23
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I've a Peak Design Messenger bag that didn't "click" for/with me. Gray. Used once. Lives on a shelf. You can claim it for $100... or best offer.
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Artisan & Artist Penn's Pad & Pencil Camera Satchel
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #24
Jamie Pillers
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Artisan & Artist Penn's Pad & Pencil Camera Satchel

I like my Artisan & Artist Penn's Pad & Pencil Camera Satchel a LOT. Just the right size to carry the kit you mention here. I'd been looking for a bag that didn't have the big flap over the top that always just seems to get in the way. Instead I wanted a bag with a zippered closure of the top.

One caveat.. the Penn's bag comes with a strap that's way over built. It has a large, stiff shoulder pad incorporated into the strap and can't be removed. So I replaced the strap with one that's lighter weight and smoother.

Artisan & Artist was having a sale on this bag recently; maybe still on?

Quote:
Originally Posted by willie_901 View Post
I prefer not to use rigid shoulder bags. By rigid I mean those that have a permanent, fixed-box structure. I guess an example of a fit-to-your body or soft-sided might be the Bare Bones Bag. The BBB is too large.

I plan to carry a X100T or a X-T1 with a two primes. I don't need room for a tablet... just a couple of spare batteries, thin SDHC card case and a cleaning cloth. That's it.

Right now I'm using a small 8 year old Mountain Smith bag (discontinued of course). It is starting to look a bit ratty.

The new ONA Bond Street seems to be the right size. In fact it seems narrow enough to make my objection to a rigid bag moot. Unfortunately leather is inappropriate for my current climate and I dislike the material they chose for the canvas version.


Any suggestions of how to burn more some money up on a new, soft-sided bag?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #25
Godfrey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Pillers View Post
I like my Artisan & Artist Penn's Pad & Pencil Camera Satchel a LOT. Just the right size to carry the kit you mention here. I'd been looking for a bag that didn't have the big flap over the top that always just seems to get in the way. Instead I wanted a bag with a zippered closure of the top.

One caveat.. the Penn's bag comes with a strap that's way over built. It has a large, stiff shoulder pad incorporated into the strap and can't be removed. So I replaced the strap with one that's lighter weight and smoother.

Artisan & Artist was having a sale on this bag recently; maybe still on?
That's the equivalent to the GCAM 1100 that I have, the GCAM model being finished in a thin, soft, tough leather on three sides. A beautiful, light bag for a modest kit. I bought mine second-hand but unused for a very good price.

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #26
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My favorite go-to bag is my Domke F-5XB. To me, the ONA Bowery is the leather equivalent... and I admire the leather. The A&A Penn's Pad specs out about the same size. Worth a look in person. Went into a leather goods store in Taos, NM and the smell was amazing! Not sure it was the leather goods... or the price tags, but it was intoxicating.

With many of these, the biggest problem for a guy can be not feeling like it's a woman's purse (see "reviews" on B&H's site). I've stuck to canvas of some sort up to now, but am beginning to get sufficiently used to carrying something, that a nice soft leather bag wouldn't be as hard to do as it once was. Think if maybe I tell myself it's just a saddle bag like the Pony Express carried, I might be able to swing it. Meantime, Domke works.

FWIW, I'd have agreed with you on the top flap on these bags until hiking the other day with my new-to-me rangefinder. Sat down at a table to change a filter, lens, and re-load film and the flap was a great soft surface to lay on the metal table and protect the camera while doing it. So I've come 'round on the top flap, too. Tend to like the combo of flap and zipper for security.... as it "stay secure in the bag and not flop out".
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