On reading the discussion blog on leannecolephotography.com blog about camera bags, I thought about the ones I’ve accumulated over the years. My wife is my Sherpa so my camera bags need to be not only multi purpose, but also multi user. I’m yet to find the happy medium.
In the beginning( not from a religious sense of course) when I had only a simple Kodak there was no need for a camera bag. If you were lucky you had a tiny exposure meter but most of us relied on the info inside the film carton until you learned that f11 at 125th of a second was pretty good most of the time. Still, there was no need for a camera bag.
Then around 1963 I remember shedding my old Minolta, for a Nilkon f model with a detachable 50 mm 1.8 lens. That’s when I bought my very first camera bag, long since gone missing in action.
Then, in 1982 I bought a Nikon FG and 33 years later I’ve still got it and it still works of course, but it’s been relegated to the camera cupboard and replaced, over the years with other film Nikons, then digital models, and now with the Nikon FX models, more lenses, again.
So, here now to the crux of the matter, bags, bags and more bags.
I’m of the view that there is no such thing as a universal, one model fits all camera bag. I think this shot of my main bags reinforces my theory:
From left to right, in the back row, the Lowepro Mini Trecker AW; Tamrac Explorer 8X; Lowepro Flipside 400AW; and the Lowpro Slingshot 300AW. In the front row, left to right, the Domke F2; Lowerpro Nova 2; Crumpler 7 Million Dollar Home, Optex Intercept; Fatima and the Lowepro Commercial AW.
I use the Crumpler and the Domke when I’m just wandering around doing street photography where being almost invisible is a real plus. With the Tamrac and the Lowepro Commercial, I can hardly lift them off the ground when they are full so they are reserved for running around in the 4WD.
I enjoy using the Lowepro flipside when I’m walking around in the bush although it takes a bit of time to realise that everything isn’t going to fall out when you open it to change a lens.
If I know in advance I’m just going to need one camera and one lens then I use Lowepro’s one camera/one lens bag. Here are my three that suit the Nikkor 70-200 f2.8, the Nikkor 24-70 f2.8 and the Nikkor 50mm f1.4 respectably plus my large Nikon with the battery pack and grip attached.
Last but not least, I recently added the Tamron 150-600 zoom lens to my kit together with the appropriate Lowepro case. It’s a pretty big lens and although the Lowepro case is a great for storage it’s too cumbersome to cart around. The answer, simple, I just adapted one of my hydration kits for the job. I whipped out the bladder, packed a bit of foam in the base of the bag and presto, a tailor made mini backpack for the Tamron.
Thanks to Leanne Cole of leannecolephotography.com I now know that I’m not the only one with a studio full of camera bags. Each one has its particular uses and dare I say, it charm. All I have to do now is convince my Sherpa that I need to return to my favourite camera store and seek out another ‘perfect’ camera bag.
Sometime soon I’ll have a bit of a rave about my Pelican hard cases.