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Bill Pierce - Leica M photog and author

 

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Bill Pierce is one of the most successful Leica photographers and authors ever. I initially "met" Bill in the wonderful 1973 15th edition Leica Manual (the one with the M5 on the cover). I kept reading and re-reading his four chapters, continually amazed at his knoweldge and ability, thinking "if I only knew a small part of what this guy knows... wow."  I looked foward to his monthly columns in Camera 35 and devoured them like a starving man.  Bill has worked as a photojournalist  for 25 years, keyword: WORK.  Many photogs dream of the professional photographer's  life that Bill has earned and enjoyed.  Probably Bill's most famous pic is Nixon departing the White House for the last time, victory signs still waving. 

 

Bill  has been published in many major magazines, including  Time, Life, Newsweek, U.S. News, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, New York Magazine, Stern, L'Express and Paris Match.  :His published books include  The Leica Manual,  War Torn, Survivors and Victims in the Late 20th Century, Homeless in America,  Human Rights in China,  Children of War.  Add to that numerous exhibitions at major galleries and museums.  Magazine contributions include  Popular Photography,  Camera 35, Leica Manual,  Photo District News, the Encyclopedia of Brittanica, the Digital Journalist, and now RFF.  Major awards include Leica Medal of Excellence, Overseas Press Club's Oliver Rebbot Award for Best Photojournalism from Abroad,  and the World Press Photo's Budapest Award. Perhaps an ever bigger award is Tom Abrahamsson's comment: "If you want to know Rodinal, ask Bill."

 

I met Bill in person through our mutual friend Tom Abrahamsson.  In person his insight and comments are every bit as interesting and engaging as his writing.  He is a great guy who really KNOWS photography.  I am happy to say he has generously agreed to host this forum at RFF  From time to time Bill will bring up topics, but you are also invited to ask questions.  Sit down and enjoy the ride!

 


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The Perfect Bag; The Impossible Dream
Old 03-17-2011   #1
Bill Pierce
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The Perfect Bag; The Impossible Dream

I keep wondering how people carry their cameras and related gear. In the old days, a lot of us use to use the Brady Trout Bag. You’d pick one up at the Queen’s Fishery in London before you headed out to somewhere else. It was a nice camera bag, and a day off in London helped minimize jet lag.

(And almost everyone had to listen to the clerks say, “Mr. McCullin was here a week ago.”}

The cutter for Brady left to go on on his own and make bags specifically for photographers. And that is why the first Billingham bags looked very much like the bags used by trout fishermen.

The other popular bags were the Domke bags. Jim Domke was a newspaper photographer who made his own bags, then bags for his envious friends and, finally, bags for a business. The Domke F-2 was pretty much the standard bag for the photographer who had to carry more than would fit in a trout bag or a wanted a bag that was compartmentalized.

But cameras have changed. Some very good cameras are very small and some very good cameras (DSLR’s) are very big. I still use a Billingham. It looks like the trout bag, except this one is much smaller. It carries a Canon G10, S90, cel phone, tape recorder, glasses and batteries, e.t.c.. Traveling light with a big DSLR, I still use a Domke. But it’s the smaller Domke F-8. It will hold a DSLR body and 3 or 4 lenses plus a lot of misc. stuff. It’s advantage - it doesn’t look like a camera bag.

But, face it, that DSLR with its autofocus lenses is one big camera compared to its early film counterparts. Multiple bodies, many lenses and a few accessories aren’t going to fit in what we think of as a “normal” bag. Even if I can cram everything into an F-2, it’s too heavy. Hanging on one shoulder, it makes sure I’m even more off balance than normal.

These days, I use backpacks to carry my DSLR rigs. Sounds silly, but I have almost as many backpacks as camera bags.

When I look around among my friends, i think we accumulate even more bags and packs than we do cameras, always looking for the perfect bag or the impossible dream. Any thoughts outside of “Bresson only carried one body with a normal lens, and he was great.”
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Old 03-17-2011   #2
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I only carry one body - at a time - CV R4A or R2A with a bunch of lenses. I've been using a small Courierware bag for this.
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Old 03-17-2011   #3
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Domke F2 for me. Takes everything from small to bulky.
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Old 03-17-2011   #4
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Ive been using a Thintank rettrospective 30 for some time now. Imho it is as close to perfect as it gets.

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Old 03-17-2011   #5
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I use this: http://www.maxpedition.com/store/pc/...9&idcategory=4 in black. The big center pocket holds film, several lenses, & my Nikon F2 or Leica IIIf just fine. Lots of pockets for the rest of the doo-dads I need to, or might want to, carry daily and having a quart of water along is nice plus as well. Best combination of camera bag and man purse I've found yet.

I've got a largish Domke clone that I use to carry my LF kit.
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Old 03-17-2011   #6
Dave Jenkins
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As you say, no such thing as a perfect bag. I've given up on finding one.
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Old 03-17-2011   #7
al1966
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I have a very nice Billingham 225, it carries a Fuji GS645 and 2 m43 cameras along with some film and a few batteries. I don't want a much bigger bag I want to keep weight down and 2 cameras is plenty, I leave one body in the Hotel.
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Old 03-17-2011   #8
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I've been surviving on 2 BBB bags (small and large), and so far so good. I never go out with more than 2 lenses or 2 bodies, so this set up has been adequate. I have a good number of shoulder bags and a few backpacks, but if you ever find that perfect bag please let me know. I'm thinking of picking up another perfect bag soon...
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Old 03-17-2011   #9
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The perfect bag hold two profesional cameras and 6 lenses, lunch, water, & does not look like a camera bag.

When full it weighs less than 2 pounds.

When you find one, I will pay $1000 for it, cameras not included.
In the mean time I will keep looking.
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Old 03-17-2011   #10
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I use a Newswear small fanny pack. It's slim but still capable of carrying a few primes and film with a couple pockets for odds and ends. After carrying gear around in a Domke F2 and wrecking my left shoulder, a small fanny pack around the waist is a revelation. I can walk around all day and never notice the weight. I can also wear a jacket over the fanny pack and nobody is the wiser that I'm carrying my gear. Wish I knew about Newswear 10 years ago.
James Natchwey uses Newswear as does Christopher Morris, among many pro photojournalists. Not only are they amazing photographers but also wise when it comes to managing the logistics of photography.
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Old 03-17-2011   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pierce View Post
When I look around among my friends, i think we accumulate even more bags and packs than we do cameras, always looking for the perfect bag or the impossible dream. Any thoughts outside of “Bresson only carried one body with a normal lens, and he was great.”
My first thought is I was glad to see the 'more bags than cameras' comment. I've lost track of how many different bags I have, and often have 2-3 in the car when going out. I have a couple bags I like for my DSLR, one is a backpack that's hard on the back, and I really need a larger one. The other is just right for the body and 3 lenses about the size of a Nikkor 105mm or smaller.

What I really long for are bags that will work for my film bodies. Even back in the 80's I didn't have that satisfactory of a bag. I really need something suited to my Leica M6 and some lenses (right now I'm using the small bag mentioned above). It would also be good to have good bags for my Hasselblad and my Horseman View Camera as well. For the Hasselblad I picked up a used bag at a camera store that gets a lot of old junk in, but it doesn't have room for a 2nd or 3rd lens. For the Horseman I have a cardboard box.

One question I have is what are the people with Micro-4/3rd's cameras using, or do they normally only have one lens? This strikes me as a potential answer for a bag for a Leica. Really at this time, this is the main piece of photo gear I need. Every bag I look at is so oversized (or too small).
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Old 03-17-2011   #12
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Ok, here is how we do it for 2 different kits (#1 - Nikon DSLR kit with 2 bodies, 5 lenses, 2 flashes, and accessories & #2 - Leica kit with 1 body, 1 lens, film, filters, and meter):

Bags primarily for the Nikon DSLR Kit:

Think Tank Airport Addicted - Stores and transports the entire Nikon Kit.

Airport Ultralight - Airline under-seat carry-on for that can hold almost the entire Nikon kit and the Leica too.

Think Tank Modular Belt System - For working events.

Lowepro Omni Pro with Hard Case - for carrying a medium size kit anywhere we might want a hard case.

Lowepro Primus Minimus - Backpack with photo gear storage in the bottom and general storage in the top, which we use around town if we want to carry some photo gear (1 camera, 2 lens, 1 flash) along with a bunch of non-photo gear.

Billingham f/stop 2.8 - Out-and-about waterproof bag for 1 camera and 2 large lenses (f/2.8 zooms or f/1.4 primes)

Billingham L2 Alice - Out-and-about waterproof bag for a camera with a lens attached.


Leica Kit:

Billingham Hadley Small - carries the camera with lens attached, 10 rolls of film, 6 filters, meter, caps, journal, spare batteries, etc.


I think that there is no one perfect bag unless you are sporting just one camera and one lens. If you have more than that, then there will be variations on the kit you will want to carry. This is just what we have settled on after some trial and error, and it works for us.
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Old 03-17-2011   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codester80 View Post
I use a Newswear small fanny pack. It's slim but still capable of carrying a few primes and film with a couple pockets for odds and ends.
Are you using this with a Leica, or something else? This is why I started reading this thread! That's an interesting solution!
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Old 03-17-2011   #14
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Apart from it being pretty obvious from the multiple discussions on this topic over the years that there is no such thing as a perfect bag, it really depends on where your mindset is to begin with.

If you go out with one or two P&S or rangefinders with one or two lenses then its easy to be content with a single bag. Once you have rangefinders, SLRs, multiple format cameras, more lenses than you would ever carry on a single outing, and shoot anything between street to landscape the bag problem just escalates.

Basically, I think the shoulder bag is the best style to actively shoot out of - irrespective of its problems. Bum bags and things like Newswear are a compromise between carrying a lot of heavy gear and having workable access, but they ARE a compromise. The biggest issue Ive ever had with this style of bag is that its impossible to get down low to take a shot (at least quickly and fluidly). Ive actually got a Thinktank belt and harness system. It works well for carrying kit, especially SLR lenses and as long as you keep the packs away from the front, you can get down low easily. The problem is that it increases your width to a point that moving amongst crowds becomes difficult.

Backpacks dont work for shooting out of at all but are great for getting equipment for point A to point B - transporting or landscape comes to mind.

Even going back to shoulder bags, the big problem is managing the overall weight and bulk. Im often amazed at some of the images Ive seen posted here showing just how much kit people manage to squeeze into their shoulder bags - not an approach I could ever use to shoot out of as I need some working space. I have a Billingham Presstop 306 which is a large as I would go with a shoulder bag and only use it when Im working with the Mamiya 7s. Its great for that but becomes a struggle if Im also trying to carry a 35mm rangefiner kit.

There aint no such thing as a perfect bag. Its horses for courses and once you accept that and know the trade offs youre making it becomes a little easier.

Im actually about to move apartments and Im being reminded about just how many bags I have as I use multiple boxes to pack them
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Old 03-17-2011   #15
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the perfect bag?

my next one, of course!
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Old 03-17-2011   #16
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For RF gear it's all you'll ever need. Although I don't have a M2/3/4/5/6 or glass. I've got a FED2 I carry in the large pouch with Jupiter12 attached and finder along with an Industar 26 and light meter. The second pouch holds roughly a dozen rolls of film.
I can also switch out and put a Nikkor-S 50mm,Nikkor 24mm and a Vivitar 135mm lenses in the large pouch with film in the smaller pouch.
There is also a larger fanny pack available that adds an additional pouch. Newswear also sells accessory pouches with belt loops so you can add more pouches. They've also got chest rigs which carry a lot of gear. Google Newswear and check them out. They're prices are pretty good and the stuff is made in the USA. They've got a couple videos of Christopher Morris using them to shoot Obama at the White House.

P.S- Got to agree with Craig about the tradeoffs of bags. After years of carrying around everything but the kitchen sink, I've streamlined to the essentials. Found it has actually improved my photography because it's forced me to use what I have instead of using everything but the kitchen sink on each shoot.

Last edited by codester80 : 03-17-2011 at 21:18.
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Old 03-17-2011   #17
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Some things never change. Brady Ariel trout fishing bag (small)


Contents of the Brady on a day in Feb 2011 by mandoflex, on Flickr

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Old 03-17-2011   #18
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Like everyone else here I have more camera bags, than some woman own shoes...

I have yet to find one bag that will rule them all, but in order to maintain my sanity and preserve my bank account I've settled on a compromise: 'Best of Breed'.

Basically the success of a bag seems to be directly proportional to the amount crap you intend to carry about and the social standing of the area you are traveling to.

I don't shoot with a big DSLR, so my needs are more analog...

My standard kit is

1 - 2 x M bodies with 2-3 lenses (28/35/50)
1 x Nikon F2 or F3 with 1-2 lenses. (50's)
Sometimes I will go crazy and take along the Rolleiflex, in which case one camera always travels in hand and the second M usually stays home.

Hoods, caps, pens, meter, iPhone, small notepad, tiny GPS, mini tripod , mini umbrella and up to 20 rolls of film.


Interestingly I've come full circle and my main bag has become a green Billingham L2 that I bought about 10-12 years. This is second bag I ever purchased and I use it more than any other. I'm not even sure if they still make this bag, but IMO it's going to take an awful lot to make one that is better suited to my needs. This bag handles my standard shooting kit perfectly.

The L2 is the squarish model and given it's relatively compact size it is astonishing how much gear this thing will swallow.

The big drawback of the Billingham is that it's not exactly a low key item. They tend to look like something and it's not a diaper bag. When new they look quite expensive and even after years of use they still have something of that college professor look to them. So, it's not really the bag you want to take along, if you are shooting on the wrong side of town or headed for uncharted territory and want to avoid getting mugged. Also for some reason Billingham tends to scream 'Leica inside!'. On more than one occasion a TSA employee commented on how many Leica shooters seem to use the same bags...

For those occasions there are better choices like this...

My second most used bag is not really a bag, but a simple waist pack that I picked up about 6 years ago... This pack has been everywhere with me. It weighs nothing and can be slung over your shoulder or across your chest like a regular bag. Obviously you can also wear it around your waist, as it was intended to be. It has no padding, but I put a piece of foam on the floor of the pack, so it doesn't go 'clank' when I put it down.

It will hold an amazing amount of gear. The most I was ever able to fit in there was 2 x M-bodies with 3 x lenses and a Hasselbald Xpan with 45mm, plus film.

I have a very small one of these for when i go out with only one body and it's too hot to wear some sort of jacket. In that case it holds a second lens, film and my phone.

Here's a snap of it. I think it was $19.99...





I have two other bags that I use if I need more room.

One is a nicely worn blue Donke F6. This is the first bag I ever purchased, also about 12 years ago. The F6 will carry enough gear to send you to the chiropractor, but I love it. It's comfortable, low key and does everything you need it to. It's like an old friend.


The third bag is a Donke J-803. This is a relatively compact black nylon bag, which looks like your average book bag. For a while these were very hard to find. This was the third bag I purchased. The great thing about the J-803 is that it is 1 inch deeper than the regular canvas 803, so you can drop a Rolleiflex in there, without exerting a lot of pressure on the lens carriage. You can fit a ton of gear in this bag and it also hangs very nicely. Very low key and the nylon makes it fairly water resistant. A very good bag, unless you need to stow something like a D3 with 24-70.


One of the best features of all three of these bags is the way they hang.

The Domke bags seem to wrap themselves around your body and mold to your waist. Also the way the strap goes under the bag seems to work some magic and makes them very stable. They are also very lightweight.

The Billingham L2 also hangs just right. It doesn't get in your way and the interior is so well laid out that you are never searching for anything. It's also massively padded without feeling like you are carrying around a brick. I love the rain flaps, which helps keep out the elements and prying hands...

The waist pack is brilliant. It looks like crap, is super compact and holds exactly as much gear as you really need.


And finally like everyone else I have a large backpack and Pelican case for transporting everything during a move.

The only backpack type bag that has ever tempted me was the Lowepro Slingshot (?). You can wear it like a backpack, with one strap, but it will zip open on the side so you can use it like a regular bag, when shooting. It's a backpack / satchel hybrid. The only problem is that it allows you to carry a ton of gear in great comfort, so you will always be tempted to take more gear along than you really need. In which case you will spend more time juggling focal lengths than actually taking pictures. It also really looks like a camera bag. But they are great if you have to carry a lot of gear and want to save your back...


My standard bag that I take to work everyday is a large Billingham Hadley.
It holds a Macbook Pro and Leica in the satchel pocket.

Last edited by Harry Lime : 03-18-2011 at 00:22.
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Old 03-18-2011   #19
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I am using the Deuter "Spider" backpack with an insert that just fits the bottom of the bag. Since I do a lot of walking, the shoulder bags that I have tried always give me a stiff neck after an hour or so. The backpack also leaves both hands free and I can bend and twist without the shoulder bag slipping off. The tripod is carried in one hand when moving from A-to-B. No perfect solution for the tripod as it's too big for the backpack...

As an extra, I can also pick up (carry) a couple of bottles of wine on the way home...

For the medium format camera, it's also an insert in a canvas hand bag that just fits in the bicycle basket (the big basket on the back of the bike...).

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Old 03-19-2011   #20
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Domke F-5XB for most Leica M carry. Domke F-803 for Leica M carry on airline trips. Domke F-6 when working with a bit more gear, and/or for Nikon DSLR plus lenses. Various Tamrac lens-bridge bags for SLR gear. Lowe-Pro Nova 1 for the XPan. Lowe-Pro backpack, but I quit using it after I picked it up with the zipper open and everything fell out.
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Old 03-19-2011   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codester80 View Post
After years of carrying around everything but the kitchen sink, I've streamlined to the essentials.
I agree. The problem is that I have too many goodies. The cameras and lenses have become a goal in it self. The addiction to gear that I have makes it hard to do the choices. I use the Billingham Alice when the kitchen sink stays home. Works for both the Leica two lens outfit or the Rolleiflex.

But then came the wonderful Pentax 6x7. Love the pictures it can do but hate the backpack or the bulk of heavy body and two lens outfit in a big bag.

I am making an exciting trip in eight weeks and have not yet decided what to carry...
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Old 03-19-2011   #22
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Anyone know anything about these? I'm fighting the urge to hit the 'Add to Cart' button!

http://www.wotancraft.com/products/b...plorer/007.htm
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Old 03-19-2011   #23
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I agree - there is no perfect one-does-it-all. If one is out on a shoot and lot of access to the bag (and fast) is needed, then probably some of the dedicated waist or shoulder back or even a special harness with lens cases on the belt is the solution. I do not have any of those. But if you are on the go and do not access the bag too often than a messenger type bag makes a does a great job.

As I already mentioned elsewhere - I got a slightly modified Courierware Messenger Super Deluxe 'small' bag and it is really great. Light, very durable, looks rather cheap (it was not) and uninteresting from out side.

It is one size larger than the Figitalrevolution BBB2 (which is also made by Courierware) as I chose it for my Mamiya 6 setup. For 35mm rangefinder with a few lenses a smaller bag would be enough.

I actually wrote a review and it is now on cambags.com.







It can even be used with a compact 4x5 camera:
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Old 03-19-2011   #24
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Quote:
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Anyone know anything about these? I'm fighting the urge to hit the 'Add to Cart' button!

http://www.wotancraft.com/products/b...plorer/007.htm
Now why did you go and do this for? Some of us are not as strong as you to fight off the urge of Bag GAS...

But, they do look really good and not camera like. I wonder why they said if you are in HK do not click pay by paypal now? I'm hoping they sell this in HK as I'm heading there in May. I'll wear my camera bagless and hopefully come back with this one
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Old 03-19-2011   #25
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Usually I carry one body and one or two extra lenses.
Also I have some film an my mobile in the bag.

Therefor I don't need something big.

My girlfriend gave me the Olympus Pen Retro bag for Christmas and it definitely full fills my needs perfectly.



And it's cheap
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Old 03-19-2011   #26
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Originally Posted by Vince Lupo View Post
Anyone know anything about these? I'm fighting the urge to hit the 'Add to Cart' button!

http://www.wotancraft.com/products/b...plorer/007.htm
what a beautiful bag!!

a bit pricey for me and yet i am still tempted!

btw, i am soon to be on my way to pick up my latest bag, the domke 5xc, the one with that also opens along the bottom front and holds 3 lenses...
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Old 03-19-2011   #27
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Now why did you go and do this for? Some of us are not as strong as you to fight off the urge of Bag GAS...

But, they do look really good and not camera like. I wonder why they said if you are in HK do not click pay by paypal now? I'm hoping they sell this in HK as I'm heading there in May. I'll wear my camera bagless and hopefully come back with this one
The guy that makes them is Taiwanese and sells them directly, but he has a retailer in Hong Kong that sells them, which is why he says to buy from them if you're in HK. The bags look neat, but wow expensive!
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Old 03-19-2011   #28
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Bill: I sill get a good laugh each time I remember your column on the Digital Journalist in which you wrote of being a recovering bag addict. That's a classic.

For my part, I learned long ago to use only light-weight working bags. I once bought a fancy new bag in the days of heavy leather shoulder bags and immediately took it out on a job. I was shooting a political convention in fairly low light. When I enlarged the negs, I discovered to my great dismay that many were very soft, despite my having stayed well within my usual hand-held shutter speeds. The problem, it turned out, was that when I moved too quickly to frame a shot the heavy bag hanging from my shoulder would swing like a pendulum and cause my whole upper body to move, too. I immediately returned to using my light-weight canvas fishing bag, and the new one was relegated forever after to storage.

Today my basic problem with bags is that I want one bag that satisfies at least two different roles: transport and working. I now shoot mostly street photos and documentation, and I usually don't need to do any post-processing while traveling. I like to travel with a small backpack for a few changes of clothes, etc. and have a another very small bag for my photo gear. That way I can easily carry everything onto a plane, train or bus and can zip through customs at national borders; when working, the gear bag will be small, versatile and relatively inconspicuous. I don't want to leave gear in my lodgings while I'm out, so I limit myself to what I think I will actually use, rather than to take everything I could imagine using. To further help my situation, I carry chargers and less frequently used accessories in my backpack rather than in the photo bag.

When near home, I use a very old bag from Eagle Creek. It wasn't designed as a camera bag, but it will hold an M8 body, three or four lenses, a spare battery, a small notebook and pencil and a mobile phone. For transport, it's a tight fit with all the gear, but when working, the M8 is in my hand or on a strap, so a little re-arranging turns it into a good working bag. Another attribute of the bag is that it has both a detachable shouler strap and a waist belt. Either can be stowed in a small, thin pocket in the bag when not in use. This flexibility gives me the best of both worlds, and the construction of this bag is light enough so that it wraps nicely around my body while hanging stably from the shoulder strap. A most important attribute for working out of this bag is that it has a single zipper across the top that provides simple access to the lenses inside. I leave the zipper open while I'm working and can easily grab and change lenses.

When traveling further afield, I feel compelled to take a second M8 body and four or five lenses, and these will not all fit in the Eagle Creek. It's here that I have an unresolved need: a bigger Eagle Creek - which I have not yet found. Last fall I took a "Photo Runner" from Lowe on a five-week trip. It's just enough larger than the Eagle Creek to carry the two M8s with four lenses, etc. It also has both a shoulder strap and a waist belt with a stowing pocket, but I found that it has two serious deficiencies. First, it is overly-padded. This makes it stiff, so it doesn't wrap nicely around my body and doesn't hang very well. I regard cameras as tools rather than collectable artifacts, and I don't require super-padding, since I'm quite willing to let my tools collect cosmetic dents, dings and wear. I do, however, like light-weight internal dividers which the old fishing bags didn't have. Second, this bag has a pair of zippers, one along each side of a long, wide flap which covers the top of the bag. I found this to be a problem. I can't work with just one zipper always open, because the stiff super-padding in the flap makes it difficult to reach through the open zipper. Nor can I work with both zippers open, because I found that I can't readily get at the lenses inside without leaving this stiff flap projecting out in space where it can restrict my motion, hang up on nearby objects or get bumped by people in a crowd.

Most of the alternative bags that I've seen or found mentioned, here and elsewhere, would appear to be bigger and more conspicuous than what I want, especially since most are much deeper than is needed for rangefinder equipment, because they were designed to carry DSLRs and their big autofocus lenses. Many also have a "flap problem" that seems even worse than the Photo Runner's. Like my old fishing bag, many alternate bags have very large flaps that cover both the top and front of the bag. The only obvious way to work with such a large flap would be to open it and then fold it back between bag and body. But thick or stiff flaps would prevent the bag from conforming and hanging well.

So, as you can see, I'm still picking nits with bags and am still looking for MY perfect bag ... which is almost certain to be different from YOUR perfect bag.

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Old 03-19-2011   #29
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If I'm using the holga then a plastic bag from the grocery store works perfectly. Holds the camera, extra film, and that roll of tape that holds the holga together.
Does not scream "camera bag" at all.
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Old 03-19-2011   #30
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I have around 9 or 10 bags but I always seem to come back to my M-Classic.
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Old 03-19-2011   #31
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I need no bag


but sometimes I use my shoulder bag with DIY insert made from bubble foil, envelope and gafer tape.
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Old 03-19-2011   #32
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I've been using the same Crumpler 5 mil (first-gen) for about 4-5 years now. Been all over with me. Works great for DSLR + 3 lenses, or film SLR + 4(small) lenses. Carries an entire RF kit lol.
Often if i go on a weekend trip, i'll toss the Canon P, 35/50/100 kit, along with an FE2 and 50mm inside. It'll hold all that and a good bit of film.
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Old 03-19-2011   #33
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.....Even if I can cram everything into an F-2, it’s too heavy. Hanging on one shoulder, it makes sure I’m even more off balance than normal..
Time to give up the multitude of DSLRs and move to an M9 and two lenses. One DSLR with one moderate to long tele zoom or two primes.

Right now it's a small belt bag that housed my Bessa L/CV 25 combo that my GRD III goes in.

B2 (;->
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Old 03-19-2011   #34
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Originally Posted by Vince Lupo View Post
Anyone know anything about these? I'm fighting the urge to hit the 'Add to Cart' button!

http://www.wotancraft.com/products/b...plorer/007.htm
For me this would be the near perfect bag. I need a new bag. My Tamrac only has room for my Bessa R & a couple of lenses. I don't like my lenses banging into each other.
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Old 03-19-2011   #35
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Originally Posted by Vince Lupo View Post
Anyone know anything about these? I'm fighting the urge to hit the 'Add to Cart' button!

http://www.wotancraft.com/products/b...plorer/007.htm
Wow, those are really beautiful bags. Other than the small pockets on the top of the bag, I can't make out how the interior is setup. It seems that it is velcro, but not sure and not sure if it comes with velcro separators. Never mind.. $329.00 shipped is a bit rich for me.

Last edited by bwcolor : 03-19-2011 at 13:27.
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Old 03-19-2011   #36
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I'm still waiting for Domke to come out with a "stretch" version of the F5-XB. It would be longer than the standard bag by one additional compartment. It would have three dividers, instead of two, to create four compartments. The belt loop would be replaced with a rear pocket, like on the F-803 and the F-6, etc.

In keeping with the designation of "stretch" Boeing airliners, this would be the Domke F5-XB-500 model.
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Old 03-19-2011   #37
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I have a bunch of Domke, Temba, and Tamrack bags:

Tenba P795 (1981)
Tenba P595 (2001)

Tamrac 622 (medium format, it's HUGE!)

Domke F2 Original
Domke F-1X
Domke F6 (little bit smaller)

In 1965 I found a British military canvas bag from the 40's or 50's burried in the mud in Lahore, Pakistan. The strap gave out in 1979 so I replaced with the strap off a Dragon anti-tank round. The main compartment holds a Domke F6 insert and the side pockets are padded by the Tenba pocket pads for the P795 (no longer available). It will hold a Rollei or Hasselblad or my Leicas, film filter and meter.

It's my favorite bag. Some day I'll have a copy made and retire it.
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Old 03-19-2011   #38
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I'm still waiting for Domke to come out with a "stretch" version of the F5-XB. It would be longer than the standard bag by one additional compartment. It would have three dividers, instead of two, to create four compartments. The belt loop would be replaced with a rear pocket, like on the F-803 and the F-6, etc.

In keeping with the designation of "stretch" Boeing airliners, this would be the Domke F5-XB-500 model.
with the domke 5xc they added that extra room on the bottom.
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Old 03-19-2011   #39
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with the domke 5xc they added that extra room on the bottom.
I know, but I like my idea better!
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Old 03-19-2011   #40
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I know, but I like my idea better!
you're allowed...

and you may be right, the 5xb is extremely popular so there must be a reason for it.

i think the lower profile is much better suited to rf gear.
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