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domke 803 - i don't think i like it
Old 03-16-2007   #1
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domke 803 - i don't think i like it

just arrived today...

seems an odd size and doesn't hold much more than the 5xb bag.
the 802, the bigger bag, dwarfs the 803 and has much softer/flexible canvas, though i think the 802 is too big for a carry all day camera bag.
the mclassic, which is slightly bigger than the 803, seems to hold way more gear and with much easier access to it.
the 803 came with a very narrow insert that seems fine for a long slender lens but the zi with 50/1.5 and hood barely fits. i have a bigger insert that i bought for the bigger 802 and it's too big for the 803!

i had such high hopes for this bag.

joe
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Old 03-16-2007   #2
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Just learn to use it, Joe. That insert can be placed slightly off-center, creating a larger compartment to the side. The remaining 2 spaces will hold lenses and/or cameras with small lenses attached.
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Old 03-16-2007   #3
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Joe
Maybe I should have asked for more money for the 5XB I sold you!... Hmmmm
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Old 03-16-2007   #4
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ron, i have another 5xb on the way - a trade with chris - and yes, so far they are my favourite bag.

frank, i was looking for a mid size bag to load all my gear (2 bodies, 4 lenses) into for the montreal trip.
the mclassic will hold it all but the new domke is of no use to me that i can see. i also thought it would be a more comfortable bag (than the 5xb) to use everyday with 2 cameras and lenses attached. it may work for that.

it just feels awkward.
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Old 03-16-2007   #5
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Joe, I can easily carry 2 bodies and 4 lenses in mine. I even fit a third body (smaller like my IIf) in there as well. The front pockets are for film cans and meter, etc.
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Old 03-16-2007   #6
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Guess it's all a question of expectations. Yes, the canvas was stiff at first, but I find the 803 very comfortable to carry around all day, even with two RFs, each with a lens, and an extra lens and flash in the middle (or to the side, as mentioned above). The metal clip took some getting used to, but sometimes I don't even latch it if I'm walking around. I especially like the shoulder strap, which is comfortably wide can be extended to hang down at hip level and has some rubbery filaments on the inside so it's non-slip. I carry up to 10 film canisters in the outside flaps. Anything larger would be more obtrusive for my purposes. I have such bags, but they're not for everyday, walk-around use.
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Old 03-16-2007   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankS
Joe, I can easily carry 2 bodies and 4 lenses in mine. I even fit a third body (smaller like my IIf) in there as well. The front pockets are for film cans and meter, etc.

and you just use that narrow insert in the middle of the bag?

maybe i'll wash it to loosen it a bit or just throw it in the dryer with a wet cloth.

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Old 03-16-2007   #8
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mr. ho, you are right about the expectations.

i am very bad for that. i am not a very practical person and usually make quick decisions based on a feeling more than anything.
not to say i don't consider things sometimes but it's not uncommon for me to act quickly.
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Old 03-16-2007   #9
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I just checked, I could carry 3 RF bodies with smaller lenses attached, and an extra lens in each of the 3 compartments. The unattached lenses are in hard leather cases or soft leather pouches. The longer 90 Elmar goes in one of the front pockets.
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Old 03-16-2007   #10
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did you try the f-802?
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Old 03-16-2007   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aizan
did you try the f-802?
i have one if that's what you mean.

it's sold as a satchel by dome, not advertised as a camera bag. it's great for a laptop, lots of stuff and a camera, all as a daybag or funky briefcase.
that's how i use it anyway.
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Old 03-16-2007   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankS
I just checked, I could carry 3 RF bodies with smaller lenses attached, and an extra lens in each of the 3 compartments. The unattached lenses are in hard leather cases or soft leather pouches. The longer 90 Elmar goes in one of the front pockets.

i have it tossing about in the dryer right now.

when i take it out, i'll also take a deep breath, try to clear my mind of prior judgements/bad feelings and see how i can load it.

joe
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Old 03-16-2007   #13
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I can't believe that anyone so obviously damned hard to please ... is a moderator!

No wonder we all keep getting into so much trouble.
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Old 03-16-2007   #14
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ok, i have it loaded with both bodies/lenses attached and the other 2 lenses crammed in there, on top of each other.
there is room for film also but that is about it.
so, it's more compact than the m classic bag and holds essentially the same stuff (tho the mclassic can hold more) but for travel it would be be better in that it is smaller/more compact. for an outing with 2 cameras and lenses attached it seems more roomy than the 5xb bags, but just.

i may have been a bit hasty in my initial impression...

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Old 03-16-2007   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith
I can't believe that anyone so obviously damned hard to please ... is a moderator!

No wonder we all keep getting into so much trouble.

bit of a conundrum, eh?

joe
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Old 03-16-2007   #16
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I hope Dave is reading yet another "bag thread"...
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Use the Bag!!
Old 03-16-2007   #17
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Use the Bag!!

You gotta use 'em to break 'em in.
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Old 03-16-2007   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peyton Hoge
You gotta use 'em to break 'em in.

that's why i like buying used bags...
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Old 03-16-2007   #19
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Like houses--square/ rectangular in camera bags is a more efficient use of space. Therefore, my 803 is not used often. Instead, I use a Tenba P211 satchel now that seems the same size outside, but a lot bigger inside.
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Old 03-16-2007   #20
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I sold mine after one week I purchased it. Too heavy and don't like the strap.
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Old 03-16-2007   #21
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joe,

I have a Mekko clone & like it when I'm going out on the road. Especially if that's in my "big truck". I can fit my Bessa, all my Canon RF lenses, a pile of film, my Vivitar 285 flash & my Zeiss Ikoflex TLR (and a few rolls of 120) into it with a bit of thought. But if I want to just have a lens or two, a couple of rolls of film & my Bessa, then I have a much smaller bag. It's good to have more than one bag & even better to learn when each one is best to use

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Old 03-17-2007   #22
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OK, I read the whole thread so let's make believe I was awake last night. (Been very fatigued this last week or so, I have to get back into the swing of things.)

Quote:
Just learn to use it, Joe. That insert can be placed slightly off-center, creating a larger compartment to the side. The remaining 2 spaces will hold lenses and/or cameras with small lenses attached.
My initial thought too, a little odd, but a nice bag, I carry it a lot during the week with a paper or two in the outside pocket for work when I need to.

Quote:
frank, i was looking for a mid size bag to load all my gear (2 bodies, 4 lenses) into for the montreal trip.
I hate to overstuff bags, this is why I am considering an F2, but your comments aobut the 802 are interesting. I would rather have a big bag relatively empty than a small bag packed to the brim. I think I am going to travel light to Montreal though so I am not sure I will need the F2.

Quote:
maybe i'll wash it to loosen it a bit or just throw it in the dryer with a wet cloth.
I haven't washed my Domke's yet, even the 5xb with the built in insert? My 5 is olive, I would love for it to start fading a little.


Quote:
I use a Tenba satchel now that seems the same size outside, but a lot bigger inside.
Now I have to go look at these.
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Old 03-17-2007   #23
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I've owned both the Domke 802 and 803. I now use Timbuk2 messenger bags - they open wider and are made of coated nylon.
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Old 03-17-2007   #24
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This looks interesting. A bit small for a laptop, but that's not one of Joe's requirements.
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Old 03-17-2007   #25
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I have the Domke Brick 10 which I like. It has the best bag strap I've yet seen. It is shaped more like a courier bag. The top (or side) opens completely to reveal a bright yellow interior. Much easier to locate stuff. In it right now is a DSLR with three lenses, a Rolleiflex 2.8E, and a Bessa R with two lenses. Plus bits and pieces and "lid" holds plenty of film and filters. Big plus is that it is tough and well padded.

Of course, with all that stuff it's a bit heavy. Mostly it remains in my Passat. I decant what I intend to use into a much smaller Tamrac bag.
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Old 03-17-2007   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by back alley
that's why i like buying used bags...
Hey, maybe I can swap you my four-year-old 803 for yours...broken-in the old-fashioned way (i.e. the long way 'round), with that grizzled/grumpy-old-shooter look.

Seriously, I suggest you stick with it. Give it a second tumble in the dryer if need be. It's become my all-time fave bag, and now looks the part.


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Old 03-17-2007   #27
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I love my 803, it's my everyday carry bag. Right now I have my D70 and a Bessa L in it, along with all the stuff I'd normally carry in my pockets. (NO, its NOT a "man purse").

I've installed an extra strap on the left side, to hook onto a belt loop on the left side of my pants, to secure the bag from swinging and bouncing around when I'm walking or climbing around on things. I also just found Domkes foam rubber shoulder pad, (looks like a mail carriers pad), that really makes it comfortable, and doesn't cut into your shoulder after a few hours.

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Old 03-17-2007   #28
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Robin: Don't be closed minded; it's a man purse.
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Old 03-17-2007   #29
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nah, these are purses. scary, scary purses.

http://www.purseblog.com/
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Old 03-17-2007   #30
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I recommended the 803 but to be honest I prefer the Safrotto clone. A smidgin bigger and no stiff plastic bar under the handle.
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Old 03-17-2007   #31
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a little bigger might help...

i used the 803 for today's outing, carrying both zi's with the 50 and the 35 attached. it went well.
for 2 cameras the 803 is nicer than the 5xb.
for one camera and maybe 2 lenses the 5xb is hard to beat.

so i'm set up for one camera and 2 lenses (5xb), 2 cameras with 2 lenses attached and a 3rd if i wanted (803) and all of them for travelling (mclassic).

i am content...
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Old 03-17-2007   #32
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I too didn't like the Domke Satchels as much as I thought I would.

Apparently Joe and I are not the only ones fussy about bag choice;
at B&H the camera bag section is always one of the most crowded.

Those of us lucky enough to live in or near NYC can "test drive"
hundreds of bags there.
But even with that huge selection I still have a tough time finding
something that I feel really works for me.

I think my ideal 35mm bag would be exactly like the Domke F5XB,
but about 4 inches longer, and maybe an inch wider and deeper.
Are you listening Jim Domke?

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Old 03-17-2007   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aizan
nah, these are purses. scary, scary purses.

http://www.purseblog.com/
Don't all our pursuits here seem so damned...ordinary, after perusing a site like that?


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Old 03-17-2007   #34
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Old 03-17-2007   #35
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I just ordered one last night from here:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=220090923788

I think I came across your recommendation in another forum...

Quote:
Originally Posted by peter_n
I recommended the 803 but to be honest I prefer the Safrotto clone. A smidgin bigger and no stiff plastic bar under the handle.
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Old 03-17-2007   #36
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i looked at the clone bags but the shipping was nuts.
the bag that galavanter just ordered has a shipping cost of 26 bucks to canada.
my domke shipped for 9.50.
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Old 03-18-2007   #37
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If you are buying a new bag (which I think you weren't Joe) the clone from China is less expensive than a Domke from a discount store plus shipping. I went through three of these bags; a clone, then a Domke and finally another clone because I thought the clone was a better bag as well as being less expensive than the Domke.

galavanter the bag is not waterproofed to my knowledge. I use Nikwax TX.Direct spray-on to waterproof my bags and it does an excellent job. Available from most outdoor suppliers.
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Old 03-18-2007   #38
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galavanter, I just ordered one too. been meaning to try one of these for ages and at that price it's even better. I have the 5xb in blue which I bought from another member here that looks nicely worn (the bag, not the member!). Wanted something slightly bigger with a 'flatter ' profile and the Safrotto looks to fit the bill.. Have a Billingham Hadley too, to hold my DSLR and extras.
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Old 03-18-2007   #39
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Yeah Joe do the math!

Nikwax? Never heard of it. I'll get some. Thanks.

Kuvvy this is my first dedicated camera bag. I like well made bags (Brenthaven ballistic nylon for my laptop) but I decided light and soft and cheap for the RF bag. The grunge look I guess. I wanted a Domke forever (he was a photographer in Philly where I use to live and went to school) and felt a little guilty getting the knockoff but when I saw the Tamron/Domke well...

Quote:
Originally Posted by peter_n
If you are buying a new bag (which I think you weren't Joe) the clone from China is less expensive than a Domke from a discount store plus shipping. I went through three of these bags; a clone, then a Domke and finally another clone because I thought the clone was a better bag as well as being less expensive than the Domke.

galavanter the bag is not waterproofed to my knowledge. I use Nikwax TX.Direct spray-on to waterproof my bags and it does an excellent job. Available from most outdoor suppliers.
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Old 03-18-2007   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peter_n
If you are buying a new bag (which I think you weren't Joe) the clone from China is less expensive than a Domke from a discount store plus shipping.
If American, why not "buy American"? The slight additional cost of a real Domke is a small price to pay in support of our weakening economy, don't you think? Besides, Domke has long ago made their "investment" in support of photography and continues to support us photographers.
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