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Photo Accessories / Bags/ Meters / Tripods etc A place to discuss the delights of photo accessories, including bags, meters, tripods, filters, straps, camera cases, lens hoods, anything non digital that can make your gearhead life a little bit more enjoyable.

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Old Bag Out / Need a new bag
Old 03-21-2017   #1
roscoetuff
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Old Bag Out / Need a new bag

Folks:

Gotta bag I wanna dump. If you're interested, I have a Peak Design Messenger Bag (Gray) I've used 1 whuppo time. Not me. Too big.

So I'm looking for a bag that will handily carry:

1) Leica M4-2 with 1 lens on
2) 1 to 2 other lenses
3) B&W or similar contrast filter carrier
4) Light meter (Pentax Spot meter)

My Domke F5XB can't handle it. Candidates that come to mind:

a) Domke F-803 (Recommended here)
b) Billingham L2 (Recommended here))
c) ThinkTank Retro 6 or 7 (6 Recommended with comment that Leicas get lost in the 7)

Thoughts? Suggestions? Wanna buy a Peak Design.... c--h-e-a-p? Make an offer... if it covers postage plus maybe something for the poor sap who bought it first... it could be yours.
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Old 03-21-2017   #2
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*cough* domke F5XC *cough*
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Old 03-21-2017   #3
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F-803 , might be deeper than necessary, but will hold your stuff and film , knick-knacks, great classic design and great execution
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Old 03-21-2017   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roscoetuff View Post
Folks:

Gotta bag I wanna dump. If you're interested, I have a Peak Design Messenger Bag (Gray) I've used 1 whuppo time. Not me. Too big.

So I'm looking for a bag that will handily carry:

1) Leica M4-2 with 1 lens on
2) 1 to 2 other lenses
3) B&W or similar contrast filter carrier
4) Light meter (Pentax Spot meter)

My Domke F5XB can't handle it. Candidates that come to mind:

a) Domke F-803 (Recommended here)
b) Billingham L2 (Recommended here))
c) ThinkTank Retro 6 or 7 (6 Recommended with comment that Leicas get lost in the 7)

Thoughts? Suggestions? Wanna buy a Peak Design.... c--h-e-a-p? Make an offer... if it covers postage plus maybe something for the poor sap who bought it first... it could be yours.
i never got comfortable with the 803...seemed too small/cramped to me, tho i love the 802 satchel but too big for your needs.
the l2 is a great bag, carries more than i looks like it should. the retro 5 holds a ton of stuff but the think tanks bags have to many small pockets that have limited use.
take a look at the tenba cooper slim bags...handsome but workman like.
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Old 03-21-2017   #5
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I want the Peak Design Field Pouch...
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Old 03-21-2017   #6
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BLKRCAT: I think the F5XC is actually still on my shelf. Took it to England with a Fuji X-T10 and two lenses (plus one in the suitcase). Wasn't a real fan, but might as well give it a shot since it's on the shelf. Still not a fan. Is that why you cough?

Will say that I was enamored of the ONA bags ...for a bit. But then that died when someone said, "Looks like a purse" in a comment on B&H... and I thought, "Doggone, he's right." Yep. So nice as those are... not going there. I have a fair amount of ThinkTank gear (holsters, belts, etc.) and that's great for my Sony, but Leica has a special needs thing.

Tenba Cooper I don't know. Will have to look into that. Thanks for the suggestion.

And especially thanks to those who remind me: "Ya' gotta carry film, too." Yeah, coming back to this from digital.... a dude forgets. Thanks!

Please keep the suggestions coming.
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Old 03-21-2017   #7
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B-9: I have the Messenger Bag. Waaay too much for me. Not the Field Pouch. Many love it. If it'd ... say the word.
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Old 03-21-2017   #8
Larry H-L
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Domke F-10?
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Old 03-21-2017   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roscoetuff View Post
Folks:

Gotta bag I wanna dump. If you're interested, I have a Peak Design Messenger Bag (Gray) I've used 1 whuppo time. Not me. Too big.

So I'm looking for a bag that will handily carry:

1) Leica M4-2 with 1 lens on
2) 1 to 2 other lenses
3) B&W or similar contrast filter carrier
4) Light meter (Pentax Spot meter)

My Domke F5XB can't handle it. Candidates that come to mind:

a) Domke F-803 (Recommended here)
b) Billingham L2 (Recommended here))
c) ThinkTank Retro 6 or 7 (6 Recommended with comment that Leicas get lost in the 7)

Thoughts? Suggestions? Wanna buy a Peak Design.... c--h-e-a-p? Make an offer... if it covers postage plus maybe something for the poor sap who bought it first... it could be yours.
I have the Think Tank Retro 5, 6, and 7. I concur that the Retro 7 is too big for a Leica bag--I keep a Hasselblad and two more lenses in it. The Retro 6 should be just right to maybe slightly large for your needs. It comes with 3 dividers to create 4 compartments. One those will be just right for a Leica with lens attached. A second one would be right for a spot meter. The remaining ones are a little big to hold just one Leica lens (unless it's a 90mm Summicron or a 75mm Summilux); however, the bag comes with small dividers that can divide a large compartment into two small ones, each large enough for a 35mm Summicron or Summaron, 50mm Summilux, etc. That leaves one compartment unoccupied, unless you add more lenses later (or maybe your filter case will fit there). And there is a large front compartment where I keep lens cloth, brush, film, etc.

I also have the 803. It has just three main compartments. Leica with lens fits in one of those. Two lenses wrapped in Domke wraps will fit in another. And the third compartment would hold your spot meter. There are two large front pockets--large enough to hold an M4-2 without lens, or lots of film. and two tiny fiddly zipper pockets. I have not used it again since getting the retro 6; but it is a good hip-hugging bag that does not look like a camera bag.

Finally, the Domke F-6 makes an excellent Leica M bag that will hold everything you mentioned plus room for an extra lens or two later on.
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Old 03-21-2017   #10
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+1...domke f6 is a great bag...
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Old 03-21-2017   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry H-L View Post
Domke F-10?
My suggestion, too.

I have a rugged wear one…

Excellent: main compartment, which can be divided to take a Leica-M body with a 50mm, and two other lenses, say a 35mm and 90mm. A fair-sized front zippered pocket that will hold at least ten rolls of 35mm film and/or batteries, and zippered lid pocket to hold stuff such as memory cards, filters. Lastly, a simple rear pocket that I use to hold a small notebook and propelling pencil.

Not so excellent: loud Velcro on the lid flap (which I un-picked and removed). Ditto the Domke stitched logo.
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Old 03-21-2017   #12
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http://www.fjallraven.com/ovik-shoulder-bag

This isn't marketed as a "camera bag" but it's the best for that purpose I've ever used.

Buy a camera insert that suits your needs from a local camera store and put it into this. The front pockets are perfect for small notebooks, lightmeter, and other odds and ends. The inside has a document compartment and the main compartment can be zipped shut under the flap (for when you're in a gale-force storm or pickpocket hotspot).

I was a bit worried about the zip potentially scratching equipment, but because inserts have soft lids that cover one side, and your hand naturally protects on the other, it's never been a problem at all.

I carried an OM1 with a 24mm and a Fuji X100 together with 15 rolls of film, a Kindle Paperwhite, an iPad Air and also a Ricoh GR1 in the front pocket with no problems.

Strong fabric, built to last, and used as my everyday laptop bag for work when not photographing. And doesn't look like a handbag.
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Old 03-22-2017   #13
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I have the L2. Excellent bag for two Ms with lenses mounted, plus another lens, light meter, 5 rolls of film, do dads. A great bag to work from, particularly if you don't carry your M on a strap, but work straight from the bag. I think it's actually bigger than required for one M and 3 lenses (one mounted).

The Billingham Hadley small is marginally smaller than the L2, but also more compact and body hugging. Will easily fit your gear, and gives a little room to move, meaning easy access, but still secure. No Velcro either, so silent in use. Padded insert is removeable, and can be replaced when it gets worn. Comes in about 8 colour combinations, now. Can't go wrong
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Old 03-22-2017   #14
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My personal opinion about all the Hadley bags is that they combine the look of a Victorian explorer with a label that says 'mug me'.
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Old 03-22-2017   #15
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Just get a Billingham. Whatever size floats your boat. Although expensive, with sane treatment and regular but normal use, it will last for decades and still look nice enough to carry to a royal wedding (if you're so inclined).

I keep going back to my old Hadley Pro despite buying into the Bag Of The Month Club mentality and collecting numerous others over the years.
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Old 03-22-2017   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcr1230 View Post
F-803 , might be deeper than necessary, but will hold your stuff and film , knick-knacks, great classic design and great execution
This is the one to get.
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Old 03-22-2017   #17
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Tea towel and elastic band in you backpack. What me, worry?
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Old 03-22-2017   #18
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Been carrying my M on a Gordy strap. Actually prefer to use a Gordy wrist strap for my Sony A7RII, but for the Leica, let it dangle 'round the neck. The L2 looks like a great bag, but my luck with those types of strap closures have been to run into them way past their uncared for prime and have them rip in my hands. So I bit leery of that.

The Domke F-803 appears as many said: Looks more like a work briefcase than a camera bag. Generally, that might work. The ThinkTank Retro-6 looks like a happy medium, but does scream more "camera bag!!!" My gear's not heavy, but thinking about it... I need room for a 2nd or 3rd roll, too. F-803 might have more room? while if the ThinkTank is like my ThinkTank holsters, there's really no extra room to squeeze mo'stuff into it. Hard call to make: Both of these are good looking, and the question is whether to try both and return one? Hmmmm.
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Old 03-22-2017   #19
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For Leica RF gear, I've found the Artisan & Artist line of bags (and their lookalikes from Black Label Bag) sized just about perfectly.

These four all have a similarly sized main compartment which can handle M with lens and one or two additional lenses easily:
Artisan & Artist Oskar's One Day Bag (Black)
- overflap, two front pockets under flap

Artisan & Artist Image Smith Camera Bag (Black)
- separate zipped from pocket, with padding, for two-three small lenses

Artisan & Artist Evans Walker Camera Bag
- separate zipped front pocket for meter, film, etc

Artisan & Artist Penn's Pad & Pencil Camera Satchel
- flat zipped front pocket
(I have and use the Evans Walker and Oskar's One Day quite a lot. B&H Photo has all of them; figure about $230-250 for any of them.)

They're beautifully made, light, and have excellent (and easily replaceable) padding/compartmentalization. The only negative, if you consider it as such, is that the strap has a very broad and supportive pad, actually a little too much so. I've solved that problem by replacing the strap connecting ladder with a pair of West Marine Products stainless carabiners so that I can use either the original strap or a Domke F5XB strap (also available separate as a replacement part).

The Black Label Bag line (available through Photo Village in NYC) is very similar.

These last well and stay nice looking, provide good protection without being oversized or overstuffed.

G

Quote:
Originally Posted by roscoetuff View Post
Folks:

Gotta bag I wanna dump. If you're interested, I have a Peak Design Messenger Bag (Gray) I've used 1 whuppo time. Not me. Too big.

So I'm looking for a bag that will handily carry:

1) Leica M4-2 with 1 lens on
2) 1 to 2 other lenses
3) B&W or similar contrast filter carrier
4) Light meter (Pentax Spot meter)

My Domke F5XB can't handle it. Candidates that come to mind:

a) Domke F-803 (Recommended here)
b) Billingham L2 (Recommended here))
c) ThinkTank Retro 6 or 7 (6 Recommended with comment that Leicas get lost in the 7)

Thoughts? Suggestions? Wanna buy a Peak Design.... c--h-e-a-p? Make an offer... if it covers postage plus maybe something for the poor sap who bought it first... it could be yours.
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Old 03-22-2017   #20
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Let me ask a stupid question: Since I've only used the zip ups and clip ups, do the satchel closures on the F-6 and F-803 provide enough security that you're gear's not gonna spill out?
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Old 03-22-2017   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roscoetuff View Post
Let me ask a stupid question: Since I've only used the zip ups and clip ups, do the satchel closures on the F-6 and F-803 provide enough security that you're gear's not gonna spill out?
I have both an F6 and I had an F803 for many years. The closure hooks and loops on both seemed to secure the contents very nicely.

My issue with these Domke bags is that the hooks can flap around and strike gear when the tops are partially open. And the fact that my older ones of each, bought way back in the early 1990s, seem to be made of much higher quality cloth with much higher quality stitching than the current issue products. It kinda makes sense since they haven't changed the prices by anywhere near as much as money has become worth less. I moved to Billingham and Artisan & Artist bags as a result of the lower quality.

The Billingham L2 is an excellent bag as well, btw, and if the strap and peg closure becomes worn out, Billingham will fit a new one. My L2 dates from 2004, has gone all over the world with me, and you can hardly tell from looking at it. It's what I carry the SL with unless I'm carrying a couple of lenses.

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Old 03-22-2017   #22
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Zippers are a recent innovation and IMO just a sales gimmick.
Zippers are superfluous on a properly designed shoulder bag.
Zippers will slow you down and will scratch your gear.
Zippers are made of fear.

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Old 03-22-2017   #23
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Got to admit I do buy too many bags. That said, the one I regard as my best is the Billingham. Hard wearing, waterproof and comfortable.
I have a Hadley Original, in canvas, which admittedly hasn't been in daily use so has had a fairly easy life compared to what some of you guys may have put it through. It still looks very good and clean and the insert is intact. All this despite it being 30 years old!

Just bought the Hadley Pro, this time in Fibrenyte, mainly for the handle. Gonna use it for my carry on bag when I'm off to Canada.

Didn't stop buying the Tenba DNA 8 though this week.

Paul
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Old 03-22-2017   #24
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Quote:
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Zippers are a recent innovation and IMO just a sales gimmick.
Zippers are superfluous on a properly designed shoulder bag.
Zippers will slow you down and will scratch your gear.
Zippers are made of fear.

Chris
I agree. Zippers are also the first thing to wear out on a bag that has them.

But metal buckles and other hardware can damage your gear. Ever had a metal buckle or clip whack your camera or lens when rushing to access something in the bag? It can happen...I know. Plastic is good. Leather straps are good (as long as they don't have free swinging metal buckles), Velcro is good (as long as you can silence it).
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Old 03-22-2017   #25
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Have you looked into the Ona Bowery? It's very modular and sounds like it'll suit your needs perfectly.

Here's one example of what I carry in it. You could easily replace the section where I put a 2nd body with two lenses. I added a second divider to break the inner part of the bag into 3 sections. Extra film goes in the center, filters go on the outer front pockets. You could easily fit a light meter in with the extra film.

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Old 03-22-2017   #26
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Have you looked into the Ona Bowery? It's very modular and sounds like it'll suit your needs perfectly.

Here's one example of what I carry in it. You could easily replace the section where I put a 2nd body with two lenses. I added a second divider to break the inner part of the bag into 3 sections. Extra film goes in the center, filters go on the outer front pockets. You could easily fit a light meter in with the extra film.

Well . . . I believe the Bowery is a bit smaller than the Domke 5XB. I'm afraid it would be a tight squeeze! BTW, the Bowery only comes with one divider.
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Old 03-22-2017   #27
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Yeah... drooled over the ONA Bowery. The Billingham Hadley Pro might be the equivalent? and hold a tad more? I thought the ONA Bowery was mostly leather... and that started to not appeal after a while, but yours(?) looks pretty sweet. I think I need a tad more room for my meter, though. THanks! These are great suggestions... and yes, I fear the zipper, the snap, and all that metal hardware, too. Will look at the L2 again... Bowery as well.
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Old 03-22-2017   #28
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the bowery and the 5xb are the exact same size...i put them next to each other when i still had the bowery.
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Old 03-22-2017   #29
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I use the Think Tank Retro 5 and 7 bags, one camera and 2-3 lenses with the 5, two cameras and few lenses, including a long lens for an SLR camera with the 7. If you don't like squeezing in gear and then struggling to get it out when you need it, go with a roomier bag. Room for a spot meter, film, filters, blower....and there is a rain cover for intense weather.
I can fit easily fit my MacBook (about 12 in length) in the Think tank 7 back pocket when traveling.

Perceived as a camera bag? Most are, unless you never take out your camera. Then its either a camera bag, a lunch box, or a messenger/brief case. Go with a messenger-style bag if you think it will minimize the "camera bag" look. I'm not sure it does for those most interested in the contents.
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Old 03-22-2017   #30
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Also check out Billingham Hadley Digital for one body, three lenses and accessories. If you would like the option of two bodies, Hadley Small.


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Old 03-22-2017   #31
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The One Bowery is nice but watch out for the shoulder strap clips, they open w/out warning.
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Old 03-23-2017   #32
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Bags opening without warning...ergo ONA's are likely NOT in my future (thanks for the warning). A&A bags may work beautifully, but I'm not gettin' the vibe. Vibes from ThinkTank Retro series, Domke's and (surprisingly to me) Billingham Hadley stuff seem to be more up my alley. B-Hadley Small - maybe not 2 bodies in my case, but 1 body with a Pentax spotmeter, a lens or two, film and my contrast filters. Add some lens cleaner + wipes. While not much and not heavy, yet some space is required. And a soft bag with soft padding might be better than the firmly padded in many ways (like my ThinkTank holsters).
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Last edited by roscoetuff : 03-23-2017 at 04:25. Reason: added stuff
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Old 03-23-2017   #33
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I think you are on the right track. Think Tank, Domke, I don't have the Billingham Hadley, so can't really comment; but it is a well proven bag!
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Old 03-23-2017   #34
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Matty, I love that photo. I have come close to getting a Bowery after seeing your photo of it!
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Old 03-23-2017   #35
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Originally Posted by roscoetuff View Post
Bags opening without warning...ergo ONA's are likely NOT in my future (thanks for the warning). A&A bags may work beautifully, but I'm not gettin' the vibe. Vibes from ThinkTank Retro series, Domke's and (surprisingly to me) Billingham Hadley stuff seem to be more up my alley. B-Hadley Small - maybe not 2 bodies in my case, but 1 body with a Pentax spotmeter, a lens or two, film and my contrast filters. Add some lens cleaner + wipes. While not much and not heavy, yet some space is required. And a soft bag with soft padding might be better than the firmly padded in many ways (like my ThinkTank holsters).
Bags are so personal.

I have often been attracted by the Ona Bowery by photos on line, but when I handle one I find the front pockets too small and the strap connections to the body do not seem substantial to me. I've not been able to bring myself to purchase one.

The A&A Oskar's One Day Bag was my replacement for a Billingham Hadley Pro that seemed too large for its carrying capacity. The A&A held more and is trimmer. At first it seemed a little boxy and overly stylish, but after a week's break-in carrying my kit around NYC it had molded itself to my body and was super comfortable to use. It's my go-to choice for a kit with the pieces you want to carry in it (I use the Sekonic L358 rather than the spotmeter, but they're about the same size).

Good luck!

G
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Old 03-23-2017   #36
roscoetuff
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Godfrey: Absolutely it "Bags are so personal". There's the male purse avoidance thing, and there's practical, and there's the "I don't wanna be a sherpa" vs. "I AM the sherpa" (NOT the Walrus).

I've got a Lowepro square and some others that seem capable of handling the sherpa thing. It's managing the "carry" in-between the sherpa mode and the 1- lens does it all mode and it's here that the choices are literally endless. And there's "What I think I'd like..." vs. "What I've tried and doesn't work...". The lucky ones are those who've adapted to what they have. Me? I'm not there yet.

No doubt some folks can pack the same bag as others, but do it in a way that's amazing for what it gets inside and how it manages easy access. Me? Nah. I don't think so.
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Old 03-23-2017   #37
Chuck Albertson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogman View Post
Just get a Billingham. Whatever size floats your boat. Although expensive, with sane treatment and regular but normal use, it will last for decades and still look nice enough to carry to a royal wedding (if you're so inclined).

I keep going back to my old Hadley Pro despite buying into the Bag Of The Month Club mentality and collecting numerous others over the years.
I bought a Hadley Pro last week that B&H has on sale for $199; grey canvas and black leather trim - I guess the color wasn't moving, hence the $130 discount. It looks great, and my 30-year old Hadley needs to go in the shop to have some holes repaired.
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Old 03-23-2017   #38
Ko.Fe.
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I purchased large Domke once and it is worth of hundred bucks max it was on sale for. I traveled to Moscow in 2016 with it.
My everyday, everywhere (this is how I use my M4-2 or other RF camera) bag for years I lost my count on is Tamrac 3446.
With somewhat similar to OP kit overall, I'm so confident and in trust with this bag, I'll buy it immediately once I see it at 29 CAD I paid for it at off-price Canadian department store.
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Old 03-23-2017   #39
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Along with my Hadley Original I mentioned above I also have the Ona Bowery. The feel of the canvas is really nice, the strap is wide and comfortable. It's a good looking casual bag but also looks smart when needed.

Now my Tenba DNA 8 has arrived it's suiting my gear better so these two bags will be sold to make room.

Buying bags, discussing bags and bag threads are very popular.

Paul
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Old 03-23-2017   #40
Yokosuka_Mike
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I recently purchased the "Vanguard Havana 21" for when I want to walk-about with one camera and an extra lens. I'm quite pleased with it. Price is good too!

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