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back alley's In The Bag Joe's quest for the ultimate Camera Bag! So many bags .. so little time ...

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New Bag Line? (maybe I'm crazy...)
Old 09-17-2016   #1
Trius
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New Bag Line? (maybe I'm crazy...)

I'm approaching retirement. That's pretty exciting to me for a variety of reasons I won't detail right yet.

For the last several weeks, I've had an idea in my head and it won't leave. Whenever I have a "brilliant flash" for a product, I most often forget about it, frequently puzzling "what the hell was that idea I had?" But not this time. I've learned this signal - this is worth attention. This could be my retirement business/playground.

Without giving too much away, I am considering what the ideal bag company/manufacturer might look like. Yes, sure, that means the "ideal" bags (note the plural) ... my inspiration is a rock solid concept ... I'm not going to reveal that right yet, but it is my guiding light. It won't change.

My (potential) target market is the street photographer pro and the advanced amateur/true lover who cares most about function. Bling be gone, we are talking what WORKS and is durable. KISS - Keep It Simple, Stupid. If you are sports "pro" or other who schleps a honkin' DSLR (CaNikon) with p##is envy zooms, you won't like my ideas and your ideas won't relate to my vision.

SO ... What are the really, really important features and aspects of your "ideal" camera bag(s)? I'm interested in the "big" ideas (concepts) as much as the details. Both are important, but I am approaching this from a top down approach.

This may be a bit vague for some (deliberate on my part,) but ... GO!
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Old 09-17-2016   #2
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Lightweight messenger bag with no padding ; no velcro or zips and has a couple sewn in sleeve pockets that can hold a pair of M bodies.

Also must be big enough to stash a rollup wind/waterproof shell jacket, a bottle of water and other small items needed to survive the day as it progresses from cold and foggy to blazing sunshine.
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Old 09-17-2016   #3
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I like a bag with water resistance, buckles, natural materials,capacity for two M bodies, a couple of lenses, rolls of film and maybe a little room for a small notepad or electronic device. The Billingham Hadley Pro is like that but it is now over twice the price it had ten years ago. I 've had two so far and were it not for the price increase I'd buy a third. A less costly equivalent (or near such) will have my attention for sure.

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Old 09-17-2016   #4
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Check out the latest Tenba DNA 8. Its my 'large bag' but is fantastic on all counts. To be honest, I'd have a difficult time recommending improvements to it.

That said, I do have a smaller bag I take out when using only a single rangefinder with a lens or two (or a TLR and nothing else). Its an older Loewpro Nova Micro. Its a very stripped down, basic bag and I haven't found anything recent that works as well as it for a small bag (ideally with a less 'camera bag' look).
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Old 09-17-2016   #5
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I want flaps that stay closed so my gear doesn't fall out but i also don't want to have to fight with the Velcro to retrieve stuff ... I also hate the noisy of Velcro closures.

Stable enough that I can put it on the ground or on a table top without stuff falling out

Waterproof enough for a reasonable shower of rain.
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Old 09-17-2016   #6
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lots of ideas i have says i...

but one for now...come up with a less capable version of velcro. velcro is used in so many bags because it works to keep our flaps shut and gear safe. but most of us hate it for the same few reasons...you need to be superman to separate it from the fuzzy side it attaches to. as a divider it works great but heaven forbid you want to change things around inside the bag...PITA!!!
easy use velcro...
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Old 09-17-2016   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by back alley View Post
lots of ideas i have says i...

but one for now...come up with a less capable version of velcro. velcro is used in so many bags because it works to keep our flaps shut and gear safe. but most of us hate it for the same few reasons...you need to be superman to separate it from the fuzzy side it attaches to. as a divider it works great but heaven forbid you want to change things around inside the bag...PITA!!!
easy use velcro...
Go to a fabric/sewing store and buy a strip of the 'fuzzy' side of velcro, cut it in suitably sized pieces and stick it onto the offending velcro on your bags. You can reposition it to leave some of the 'hook' velcro uncovered, and depending on how much you leave uncovered, it will reduce the amount of force required to open that flap, etc. (and reduce the noise somewhat).

As for the bag I would like, it would be a blend between a smallish messenger large enough for one M body and four lenses, but with some aspects of the Think Tank Lens Changer 3 bag's design, scaled for RF system lenses. I.e. not so deep.

I want something that conforms around my body, therefore minimal to no padding. The flap should be able to flip back behind the bag out of the way while in use. Design should be plain and 'stealthy' as in no brass or shiny metal hardware, leather trim, etc.

I currently use a CourierWare messenger with the four inside pockets customized to hold M system lenses and am pretty happy with it, but am always on the lookout for promising bags.
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Old 09-17-2016   #8
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Sometimes I lik to carry 2-3 cameras in my backpack, but every time, I've had to "wrap" each camera in another bag before putting it in my backpack.

Sure there are camera backpacks, but I'm female and I dislike "ugly" camera backpacks which are ugly haha (I know they serve their purpose but)...

Just want a contemporary looking, fashionable backpack (waterproof yes!).
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Old 09-18-2016   #9
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Complete weather-proofing without needing an extra cover, while making it easy to pull out a camera quickly. It's why I replaced all my Crumpler bags with a Billingham 445.
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Old 09-18-2016   #10
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To add to the above, a decently wide strap of 2 inches or more that doesn't require a separate shoulder pad. Attention should also be paid to the position of adjusting buckles such that they don't end up on the shoulder at certain strap lengths. The Domke arrangement cleverly avoids this.

Otherwise, I say go for it!!!!

Cheers

J
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Old 09-18-2016   #11
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Don't compromise. Make the bag YOU want, you're not alone so others will like it too.
As soon as you try to please more than just yourself, you'll please no one.
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Old 09-18-2016   #12
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Ok here are the things I want in a bag;
1 thin I want to be able to put a camera in face down so width of cam section should be about the height of a camera (non gripped).
2 on one end some place to put a bottle of water or a sealable travel coffee cup, I dehydrate quickly due to some medications.
3 Clip in memory card or film storage and some form of battery organiser
4 Padding that is not too thick nor pointless
5 A pocket for junk; medication, snack bar/mars bar, cigarettes, notebook etc.
6 A soft strap, I have a Crumpler messenger some place here and it is un usable due to the strap being hard as nails. I think Domke and Billingham get it about right and but some durable rubber material on its underside to stop slipage.
7 Waterproof
8 No velcro closures, I like the Domke metal closures perhaps two of them.
9 No labels, keep it simple on the outside though a version with a luminous type strip for cyclists would be good.
10 good luck I look forward to seeing it, I can do a rough sketch if you want of basic form.
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Old 09-18-2016   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by back alley View Post
lots of ideas i have says i... but one for now...come up with a less capable version of velcro. velcro is used in so many bags because it works to keep our flaps shut and gear safe. but most of us hate it for the same few reasons...you need to be superman to separate it from the fuzzy side it attaches to. as a divider it works great but heaven forbid you want to change things around inside the bag...PITA!!! easy use velcro...
about that workout routine, Joe ...
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Old 09-18-2016   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelwj View Post
Don't compromise. Make the bag YOU want, you're not alone so others will like it too. As soon as you try to please more than just yourself, you'll please no one.
That's the plan, but I realize I may not have thought of everything.
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Fine grain is a bourgeois concept

Happiness is APX100 and Rodinal 1:100

A bunch o cameras. Does it really matter?
And NOW ... Fuji X-Pro1 w/ 18-55, 18/2 & adapted Zuikos and Hexanons
http://zuikoholic.tumblr.com
https://www.instagram.com/e.r.dunbar/
http://weedram.blogspot.com
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Old 09-19-2016   #15
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Thank you, everyone - there is a lot of good input here! Much of it comports with my ideas but there are some good details I either hadn't considered or are good reminders.

I will be meeting with some folks who have good business sense and experience at starting their own successful enterprises. If anything happens, it won't happen soon or fast, but I will certainly update everyone.

And don't stop with the ideas!
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Fine grain is a bourgeois concept

Happiness is APX100 and Rodinal 1:100

A bunch o cameras. Does it really matter?
And NOW ... Fuji X-Pro1 w/ 18-55, 18/2 & adapted Zuikos and Hexanons
http://zuikoholic.tumblr.com
https://www.instagram.com/e.r.dunbar/
http://weedram.blogspot.com
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Old 09-19-2016   #16
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Modular....so when you take some equipment out its another stand alone bag
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Old 09-21-2016   #17
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Lightweight, waterproofed material which can be wiped clean and doesn't crack (But canvas is OK) Removable padding on the bottom. It must be less rigid than my Tenbas.

Lots of supplied padded inserts that allow for more flexible arrangements than the inserts which came with my Domke 6.

A large front flap closed by magnets, that folds out of the way.

Also, please, reinforced bottom external corners.

Maybe a detachable shoulder strap, but in any case, one that doesn't require an additional strap pad. For sure, an additional short hand strap across the top, like the one on my Domke.

Must be able to hold a Fuji X-T2 body with medium zoom attached, plus two lenses and a regular flash, without requiring stacking one lens on top of another.

It should be about the size of a Think Tank Retrospective 6.

One zippered compartment on the inside of the front flap for batteries, lens cleaners, small flash. Another zippered compartment, across the inside of the front for pen, paper notebook, phone, Rx's, etc.

One open rear pocket across the back.
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Old 09-22-2016   #18
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"A large front flap closed by magnets, that folds out of the way."
On second thought, that's not a great idea. Instead, secure the front flap with two adjustable straps that close with pinch buckles, like those on back packs.

I might just buy the first two, in black!
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Old 09-29-2016   #19
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What´s wrong with a Domke F2 really?
http://www.domkebags.co.uk/shop-online/f-2-original/
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Old 09-29-2016   #20
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What´s wrong with a Domke F2 really?
http://www.domkebags.co.uk/shop-online/f-2-original/
Beat me to it.
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Old 09-29-2016   #21
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(...) If you are sports "pro" or other who schleps a honkin' DSLR (CaNikon) with p##is envy zooms, you won't like my ideas and your ideas won't relate to my vision. (...)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bille View Post
What´s wrong with a Domke F2 really?
http://www.domkebags.co.uk/shop-online/f-2-original/
"Ideal For: 2 Pro DSLRs, 4-6 lenses, pro flash and accessories."

coolest way to make a good flap is a large piece of thick leather and magnets, for strolling around it's safe enough, but I won't ride a bike with such bag.
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