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Thread: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

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    M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    Everybody's favorite, and most vehemently debated, topic: bags!

    The M is for traveling light. I want a bag big enough for the body with one lens attached, one extra lens, an extra battery, that's it. 50 lux and 28 cron perhaps. No battery charger. No iPad. Nada. Okay, a lens cloth. But that's it! I mean it. I'm more interested in style and function than cost.

    Maybe small is too small?

    Opinions please.

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    Member dannh's Avatar
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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    Hey Tom, Domke F-5xb is my choice. Fits M9, 35 cron, 75 cron, extra batteries and SD cards, and even the charger if you want.

    My one gripe with it is the loud velcro sound every time I open the flap. I've gotten over it but would prefer another locking mechanism.

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    The F-5XB is my choice for my GF1 and three lens kit, but at one time it was also my bag for MP/50cron/35cron and some film.

    Another small bag is the Mountainsmith Reflex II. The smaller one can easily carry your M9 and either lens attached with the other lens in the other side of the divider. Plenty of pockets to put batteries and cards, as well as keys and other little things. It's small and cube shaped. I've had this bag for several years and it's still one of my go to bags for a quick walk around.

    Looks like this one:

    http://www.adorama.com/MSR2MBK.html

    I'll have to check the size of mine--I think it's the medium.

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    Senior Member Scargos2's Avatar
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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Shoulder.html
    this is a little bigger, I carry an M8, 15.35,50 and a 75 lens . Plus all the extras.
    Not a large bag,
    Check it out Tom
    Sunny Florida Rick of Fla

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scargos2 View Post
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Shoulder.html
    this is a little bigger, I carry an M8, 15.35,50 and a 75 lens . Plus all the extras.
    Not a large bag,
    Check it out Tom
    Too many lenses! 1 body, 2 lenses.
    Last edited by tom in mpls; 28th May 2010 at 16:11.

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    Good thread, I managed to miss it.

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    Artist and Artisan GCAM 7200

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    ARTISAN & ARTIST* ACAM-3000


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    Senior Member mathomas's Avatar
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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    Domke F-5XA. All the good features of the F-5XB, but a little smaller. Relatively inexpensive (esp compared to the A&A stuff). Should fit your body+lens+lens perfectly.

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    Alittle on the pricey side - Artisan & Artist GCAM 1100 which is probably very similar to the ACMA 3000 shown above. I wrote a quick review here. I may have been a bit hard on the bag in the review, in hindsight it really is a nice bag if wanting to travel with a simple 1 or 2 lens kit.


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    Senior Member Per Ofverbeck's Avatar
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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    Domke F-8 is the smallest one that really works for me. While it would actually swallow both iPod and charger if needed (sorry, Tom...), the important thing is that I can instantly grab, or put away, my camera with either of my 2 lenses (35 and 75 Summicron) mounted. Also, it doesnīt look like it contains a small fortune, but gives adequate protection. Itīs smaller than the F-5, but doesnīt have a belt loop.

    In my experience, fast and easy working is far more important than shaving the last few centimeters off the size of a bag. And those extra pockets DO come in handy at times....

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    Fogg Flute
    1 lens under body
    1 body
    front pocket for battery - that's it.



    Tamarkin Sell them.

    So do Robert White

    Or you can go direct:
    Fogg Bags

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Fogg Flute
    1 lens under body
    1 body
    front pocket for battery - that's it.



    Tamarkin Sell them.

    So do Robert White

    Or you can go direct:
    Fogg Bags
    Fogg bags look an awful lot like Billingham - any relationship? I have a Billingham bag for my Xpan that looks almost exactly like that bag.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Senior Member mathomas's Avatar
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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    Quote Originally Posted by Per Ofverbeck View Post
    Domke F-8 is the smallest one that really works for me. While it would actually swallow both iPod and charger if needed (sorry, Tom...), the important thing is that I can instantly grab, or put away, my camera with either of my 2 lenses (35 and 75 Summicron) mounted. Also, it doesnīt look like it contains a small fortune, but gives adequate protection. Itīs smaller than the F-5, but doesnīt have a belt loop.

    In my experience, fast and easy working is far more important than shaving the last few centimeters off the size of a bag. And those extra pockets DO come in handy at times....
    Thanks for that photo, and the F-8 recommendation. I've been curious about how a small Leica kit might fit into one of the non F-5* series. I have to admit one thing I don't like about the F-5's is that you have to get your gear past the zippered opening, which can be tricky if the bag is stuffed.

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    Quote Originally Posted by wjlapier View Post
    The F-5XB is my choice for my GF1 and three lens kit, but at one time it was also my bag for MP/50cron/35cron and some film.

    Another small bag is the Mountainsmith Reflex II. The smaller one can easily carry your M9 and either lens attached with the other lens in the other side of the divider. Plenty of pockets to put batteries and cards, as well as keys and other little things. It's small and cube shaped. I've had this bag for several years and it's still one of my go to bags for a quick walk around.

    Looks like this one:

    http://www.adorama.com/MSR2MBK.html

    I'll have to check the size of mine--I think it's the medium.
    It's medium. Another thing. While on the Oregon coast this past spring we got caught in a huge downpour while walking on the beach, but everything in the bag was dry when I got back to our room. Something to consider.

    One final thing. The strap can be extended so that you can wear is bandolier style and the bag will be off your hip depending on how tall you are--I'm 6ft.

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    Quote Originally Posted by wjlapier View Post
    It's medium. Another thing. While on the Oregon coast this past spring we got caught in a huge downpour while walking on the beach, but everything in the bag was dry when I got back to our room. Something to consider.
    That is my concern with the Artisan & Artist GCAM 1100.

  18. #18
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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    The downpour argument, while graphic, is to me a straw argument, for if anyone ventures into a potential monsoon with any type of gear, they should be prepared, no matter what the bag.

    Most Lowepro backpacks come with a bright yellow plastic wet weather cover. Use when needed.

    For Domke bags, or other bags that do not have such a cover, and are not rated for a category 5 hurricane, it's easy to carry an ultra-thin, transparent garbage bag liner. It folds down to a miniscule size and fits between the camera compartment and the outer shell of the bag. Weighs nothing. Use when needed. Carry an extra one to keep your head dry. Or to carry on shooting in the downpour, by poking a hole in the plastic liner and putting the camera in the liner.

    End of water induced bag anxiety.

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Vinberg View Post
    Fogg bags look an awful lot like Billingham - any relationship? I have a Billingham bag for my Xpan that looks almost exactly like that bag.
    HI Lars
    Not connected - Whereas Billingham have gone on to bigger things, Fogg bags are still made by Nigel Fogg and bee berman who started the company.
    There are similarities (and they do make a bag for the Xpan), but they usually have linen linings and more leather than the Billingham bags, and the protection is integral rather than with an insert. (they're also more expensive, understandably).

    all the best

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    Quote Originally Posted by tom in mpls View Post
    That is my concern with the Artisan & Artist GCAM 1100.
    Maybe it's okay, but zip on the top with no cover sounds dodgy.
    The Fogg bags - like the Billingham have proper covers and folding in edges - no wetness gets in.

    all the best

    Just this guy you know

  21. #21
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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    For those of you concerned with weather resistance, visiting a fly fishing shop rather than a camera shop may prove to be fruitful. Specifically, check out some of Simms' offerings, such as their Headwaters and Dry Creek chest and waist packs. Patagonia may have a couple of offerings as well, like their Sub Divider bag.

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    Senior Member Scargos2's Avatar
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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    When ever I purchase a bag, I use a spray water proofing agent. it works for me.
    Sunny Florida Rick of Fla

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scargos2 View Post
    When ever I purchase a bag, I use a spray water proofing agent. it works for me.
    I am concerned not about fabric so much as zippers, such as the one that crosses the top of the A&A. I wouldn't expect that zipper to keep water out.

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    I have both the A&A and the Flute. Never worried about downpours here in the hot, tropical climate where I live. But I would not continue shooting in a downpour. Camera and bag is not designed for those situations.

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hacker View Post
    I have both the A&A and the Flute. Never worried about downpours here in the hot, tropical climate where I live. But I would not continue shooting in a downpour. Camera and bag is not designed for those situations.
    No, I wouldn't be doing that, but my concern is just getting caught in the rain.

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    Quote Originally Posted by tom in mpls View Post
    No, I wouldn't be doing that, but my concern is just getting caught in the rain.
    These bags can easily take a downpour until you find the nearest shelter. Talking in minutes and running from building to building instead of being caught in the open field on a hike.

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hacker View Post
    These bags can easily take a downpour until you find the nearest shelter. Talking in minutes and running from building to building instead of being caught in the open field on a hike.
    Hmm living in the UK if you run for shelter every time it rains you don't get much of a walk!

    We were out for an hour in the rain yesterday with the flute without problem, the outside got wet, the inside didn't. But, to be honest, I'd have thought that would be the case with most bags.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    Tamrac Expo1-I dont know how it is called today.
    It is perfect for the combo you suggest plus you coud fit a small flash or another small lens in the front department (if its empty it doesnt add any room).
    Over the years I have owned many bags but this is the one which I allways liked for at least 15 years now (in earlier times I used it for a M6+35+90mm).

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    Tamrac Expo1-I dont know how it is called today.
    It is perfect for the combo you suggest plus you coud fit a small flash or another small lens in the front department (if its empty it doesnt add any room).
    Over the years I have owned many bags but this is the one which I allways liked for at least 15 years now (in earlier times I used it for a M6+35+90mm).
    Still available.

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    Tom,

    I've just come back from a couple of weeks in Europe with my M9 & 21/35/90 and had great success with my Domke F-803 rugged wear edition. It's nice and narrow and not too puffed up and doesn't scream camera bag at all. It's very much like a brown Barbour jacket material with canvas strap and looks very low key. I actually slipped the red liner from my A&A Image Smith in it to replace the Domke fittings and it was perfect for a camera/lens combo plus a couple of extra lenses.

    As you mentioned in the original post though - sometimes you can end up too small. Just a thought.

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    Quote Originally Posted by tom in mpls View Post
    yes, this is it.
    The great thing is that it has just enough foam to protect your gear but not enough to make it stiff and large. It carries very well on the shoulder and it also fits in every medium size backpack in case you also want to bring it on hikes or city trips and have times where you dont shoot much.
    It opens quick and the zippers guarantee safe protection.

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    However since I lately often like a little more room and also often carry 2-3 adtional lenses I use a crumpler which I also do like a lot.
    It seems to be an older model but looks pretty much like this one: http://www.crumpler.de/?product=Muff...ize=&lsc=&lcc=

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    If you want to go real cheap, Lowe Pro has this Exchange Messenger bag for $30 that seems simple but well designed. It looks like it will fit a DSLR with lens, plus one more lens and a flash, so it might be slightly on the roomy side for an M setup.

    http://www.video.bhphotovideo.com/?s...59b0cd7f557bb6
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    Here's a thought: Get this Billingham insert and stick into any bag of your choice:

    http://www.billingham.co.uk/acatalog/Accessories.html (bottom of page)
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    I've been using the ThinkTank Skin 50 for a M8.2 w/ either 28/2.8 or 50/2 attached + a 90 tele-elmarit on the bottom with either the 28 or 50 in a leica leather case on top of the 90 tele-elmarit. It fits everything perfectly and there's a pocket for battery/SD cards.

    The 90 tele-elmarit takes up next to no room on the bottom of the bag but if you were to leave the leica leather case out, it would be just a touch loose. The bag also comes with a rain cover which is stored in a small zippered pocket on the bottom of the bag which serves as some padding/protection.

    The only thing you need to add to make this a small shoulder bag is a shoulder strap of your choice. I had a spare thinktank strap kicking around so I use that to turn this pouch into a very compact shoulder bag but any strap will work as long as you can hook them to the two attachment loops on top of the bag.

    The bag itself has a elastic draw cord that can be used to close the main compartment and the flap has velcro which can be covered so that the vecro is not being used. Or you can partially cover the velcro so that it's not has hard to open the flap.

    All in all, it's a great little bag for just strolling around. It's well made, super light (weighs 5 ounces or less than 150g), cheap and doesn't attract attention.

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    Hey Tom,
    someone mentioned the Domke F5XA. I was curious about this bag and bought one. My M3 and Tanack 50/2 on one side and my two LTM Nikkors 35/28 3.5 lenses back to back in the other side, with plenty of room to spare for film. Two little pockets in front before the flap is lowered holds LTM>M adapters and some filters. I guess I found my bag for one M body kit

    Bill

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    i LOVE my Artist and Artisan Oscar Day Bag http://www.artisanandartist.com/bags/acam7100.htm

    you should also check out these new bags

    http://www.photovillage.com/home.php?cat=2773
    Last edited by drazin; 3rd June 2010 at 12:41.

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    What about Bare Bones Bag? I had one for little over a year and love it.

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    The zip is starting to get to me on the f-5xb. For its inconvenience, noise and potential to scratch a painted camera. Any suggestions on an f-5xb sized bag, with belt loops, that looks rather nice but is still weather resistant? I looked at the Billingham's but none in that sort of size has belt loops.

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    Quote Originally Posted by drazin View Post
    i LOVE my Artist and Artisan Oscar Day Bag http://www.artisanandartist.com/bags/acam7100.htm

    you should also check out these new bags

    http://www.photovillage.com/home.php?cat=2773
    My favorite bag too....!

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    I have tried lots of bags, but Oscar Day Bag is far and above the rest. It might be a bit bigger than what you have in mind, but it holds the M securely and anything smaller that I have tried has made me feel that the M might fall out or that the zipper was in the way or that it was a pain to hook.

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    How interesting that so many have voiced their opinions on another bag question. Thanks!

    I like the A&A GCAM 1100 and ACAM 7100. The first bag has a zipper across the top, which some object to as it could scratch the camera. The second bag has a flap with no zipper; looks great, but since it doesn't seal, will it keep the contents dry if one is caught in the occasional shower?

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    Camera bag is such a personal thing; there is always something that is just not quite right... For me, Velcro is noisy. Zipper with flap, w/o Velcro and does not scream... "Look, a camera bag" would be great.... something of a man purse From your last post... GCAM110 looks good w/ non scratch zipper. Always carry a plastic bag in case it rain.

    Robert.

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    Quote Originally Posted by lmr View Post
    Camera bag is such a personal thing; there is always something that is just not quite right...
    +1

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    Black / Black Billingham Hadley Digital. It will take my M9 with lens mounted and two further lenses at the sides with a front pocket for bits and pieces.
    Geoff
    Too many cameras, too little time.
    www.pbase.com/gDallasK

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    Quote Originally Posted by drazin View Post
    i LOVE my Artist and Artisan Oscar Day Bag http://www.artisanandartist.com/bags/acam7100.htm

    you should also check out these new bags

    http://www.photovillage.com/home.php?cat=2773
    I've had a bunch of bags (still do, for that matter), and for Leica, this is easily the best I've every had.

  47. #47
    Senior Member GMB's Avatar
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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    When I got my M7 with 35 cron and 90 Elmar some 5 years ago in NYC, i went from Tamarkin into a camera shop across and bought a small and very cheap bag, I think from Tamrak, in which the camera + lens fit perfectly. The bag mentioned something digital. I thought this was ideal, as I did not want to attract attention to an expensive toy. I still use this bag frequently with the M9/M8 when I go out with one extra lens.

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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    I'm testing out new kit-
    Jack Spade Messenger bag, but with zipper top (no flap, no velcro) ~ 13x5x10"
    And adding a Billingham insert~ 6x4x7"

    Will be here shortly.
    I've always been happy with the design, quality and size of their bags.. so hopefully all goes well.

  49. #49
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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    Another option, is Herringbone bags, I got one on ebay (stun bag small) and it's excellent! The craftsmanship is incredible for the price, almost as good as Billingham - I only say almost because you've got to get SOMETHING for the extra a Billingham costs even if I can't find what, in direct comparison.

    It's a bit too big for one body + two lens. It's only slightly taller than a Domke f-5xb but slimmer. It's got the top handle and comes with great modular dividers. Here's what I've fit in it:
    • M9 w/50mm Sonnar mounted
    • 18mm ZM
    • 25mm ZM under 18mm with divider between
    • 35mm/2.8 ZM
    • 90mm Elmarit-M under 35mm with double-sided optec rear cap
    • 18mm & 25mm finders
    • RF75 holder & one ND grad
    • Glass from 77mm Linear Pol I use in RF75
    • Cleaning cloth.
    • 4 spare batteries and tool to remove thumbs up


    Thanks to the extra height it should accomodate the RRS L bracket and grip when that arrives.

    Thankfully no zip to scratch the camera and no noisy velcro!

    All this in a footprint roughly the same as the Domke F-5XB made from 5 layer waterproof canvas and leather! I'm really impressed by this new bag, in case you didn't notice

    I'll take a picture of it to share later, sorry for posting such a 'big' bag in a small bag thread, but I just wanted to share.

    Downside? No belt loop. I may take it into the tanners and get a nice strong black leather one added (the bag is all black with nickel hardware).
    Last edited by thrice; 22nd June 2010 at 22:45.

  50. #50
    Senior Member Braeside's Avatar
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    Re: M8/9 with one extra lens: best small bag.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Vinberg View Post
    Here's a thought: Get this Billingham insert and stick into any bag of your choice:

    http://www.billingham.co.uk/acatalog/Accessories.html (bottom of page)
    This is kind of what I do, I have many camera bags, none perfect by any means.

    With current restrictions on size and weight of carry on bag for air travel, I quite often take as large a carry on bag as I can, so that I can pack all the camera gear and those multitude of accessories you need, chargers, leads, adaptors, blowers, cloths, hard drives, etc.

    Then when I get to the destination I need a smaller day bag for carrying just the camera and a couple of lenses, spare batteries, cards, blower, lens cloth and space for some documents, wallet, maybe phone, sunscreen, water.

    So, I bought a small messenger type bag, which was a fraction of the price of anything sold that is sold as specifically for camera gear (like 10% of the price), it doesn't look like I am carrying $$$ of gear. Inside I have a base from a Billingham bag (it was far too bulky and awkward to open, extremely poor design, but I was given it for free), and some Billingham inserts. I also put the Billingham clip-on shoulder pad on the shoulder strap of my messenger bag.

    So my advice, mix and match, that way you get what you want and it doesn't look like a camera bag (if that is what you want).

    This bag takes up very little space in my suitcase when I travel, indeed it gets packed with other items inside the suitcase.
    David Anderson

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