Monday, May 26, 2008

May 2008 Bag Thoughts

What camera bag do you use? I have purchased too many bags in my quest for the "perfect" bag. There is no such thing as a perfect bag for every situation. When I first started out learning photography, I had a basic bag that seemed to work just fine for my camera and two lenses. As I collected more gear, this was not enough. Somewhere along the way, I discovered Domke bags. The bag that I found fit my needs at the time was the F-6. I prefer the ballistic variants of these bags. I still have two Domke F-6 bags and I like them very much. As time went on, I needed more bags.

More recently, I discovered Think Tank Photo camera bags. I particularly like the Urban Disguise series as well as the Airport Check In. I now own the Urban Disguise 20, 30, 40, and 60 bags. (For MacBook Pro computers, the Airport Intelligence 15 and Airport Intelligence 17 bags are fantastic!) I also frequently use the Airport Ultralight backpack. Recently I was packing my whole kit into the Urban Disguise 40. This worked but was very tight and was not a good fit to work from. If my kit were smaller, it would be fine but I carry too much stuff with me.

What do I use now? I have started using the Domke F-2, J-803, and J-Series Belt Bag for most of my needs. I can fit lots of gear into them and they are designed so that I can easily access my gear. The J-803 can carry one K20D body with D-BG2 battery grip, the DA* 50-135/2.8, DA* 200/2.8, DA 14/2.8, and DA 35/2.8 Macro Limited lenses along with the AF-540FGZ flash, batteries, and other accessories. This is really tight but it fits. This leaves a K20D body and the DA* 16-50/2.8 lens which I carry. This works pretty well but is not the best solution for easy access.

The J-Series Belt Bag really only works as a secondary bag or for a few accessories and small lenses. Otherwise, I have started using the Domke F-2 ballistic bag. With it, I can add a few more lenses and accessories.

I can fit the DA* 50-135/2.8, DA* 200/2.8, DA* 300/4, DA 35/2.8 Macro Limited, and DA 10-17/3.5-4.5 Fisheye lenses in the Domke F-2. I can also fit a Pentax K20D with with D-BG2 battery grip along with the AF-540FGZ flash, batteries, and miscellaneous accessories. This time, I have the DA 14/2.8 and DA* 16-50/2.8 lenses along with a Pentax K20D body left out. I keep these items in my computer backpack which works out great.

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