There is one thing on this blog that I haven’t talked about in a long while and that’s camera bags. I always use a bag to carry my gear, although I never carry an excessive amount around. I tailor the gear I carry to the days shoot. As a result I don’t need to carry huge bags. I also have to say at this point I am not a fan of the heavily padded bags that most manufacturers make. There is an amusing post here from photographer Kirk Tuck about canvas bags (in particular Domke) and the padded things that a lot of people use.
I love the comment from Kirk, “In term of coolness the giant, semi-rigid, b-nylon bags are the comb-overs of camera bags.”
I think every photographer has several bags. They are just something that we accumulate. We’ve decided that we don’t need another camera or lens yet so what new camera gear can we get. That’s right – a camera bag.
I have been carrying my Nikon gear around in a converted Barbour Tarras bag, which has been brilliant. It is waxed so it is waterproof, it has got two large clip pockets at the front, and a flap which fastens down with straps. I use an insert from a cheap Crafter camera bag in the Barbour to give a little bit of protection. It is a great bag, very strong and carries everything I need on a days shooting.
But I now have the Fujifilm X-E2, and carrying my D800 in the Barbour is one thing, but the little X-E2 would get lost in it and I would be carrying around extra storage for no reason.
I have been using a leather man bag I use for work to also carry the X-E2 around since I got it. However it is a little narrow, and coming back from a shoot and looking at my photos to find over 100 very dark shots taken inside the bag because the sides were pressing on the shutter during the day has made me think it was time to look at a proper bag for it.
I was adamant I didn’t want a large bag as I was going to use it as my walk-around bag whilst on holiday with my wife, but it also had to carry odds and ends as well as perhaps a small bottle of water.
Once I started looking, it became clear that I was looking more at Domke bags rather than any other make. I already have one, an ‘F6- a little bit smaller bag’, in black which I love. It was my main bag before the Barbour and is now getting to look nice and worn in.
So I began to look closer at Domke bags and in the end I decided on the F-5XB. Designed for mirrorless or small cameras, the size is ideal. It’s made of the same hardwearing heavy canvas that my F6 is and will last a long time. It has a slightly padded interior with compartment separators and the usual excellent Domke non-slip shoulder strap.
I then hummed and haa’d about the colour; olive, sand, black, black rugged-wear or brown rugged-wear? In the end I decided to go with plain black. I substantiated this choice because I still wanted the bag to look fairly smart as I walk around and black will also match the other Domke I have, the F6-a little bit smaller bag.