Bag for City Walkabout?

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images39

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It feels a bit nerdy to ask a question about camera bags, but maybe someone can help me with a suggestion...

I'm going to be in Paris for a few days next month, and will be walking around the city a lot. I'll carry one 35mm camera with a 28-105mm zoom attached. I'd like to have a compact bag that can carry 2 or 3 primes and some film and filters. It would need to be something that would enable me to change lenses without taking the bag off (this rules out a backpack). Some kind of bag that's slung around my side, maybe that can be swung around front to allow opening it up and swapping lenses. I haven't found anything suitable in my local shops. Has anyone had a similar need and found a bag that worked well?

Thanks,
Dale
 

Kodachromeguy

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Oh on, now you have done it. You will receive 10^3 responses to match the 10^3 brands and models of camera bags out there. Here is my suggestion: I am old-fashioned and like the traditional canvas (not the waxed Ruggedware!) Domke bags. The flap unclips and opens completely, so you can easily reach your camera and lenses. The F6 "Little Bit Smaller" may be suitable, if a bit large. The F3x may do it for you. Hint: spray Scotchgard on a new Domke to make the canvas a little more rain resistant. A few models are also made in ballistic nylon. OK now awaiting the next 10^3-1 responses.
 

macfred

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Another vote for those canvas Domkes for 'City Walkabout' ...
Here's my F6 with the Rolleiflex 3.5F and the Nikon F2 Photomic (Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 attached - Nikkor 35mm f/2 not in the picture) :

img222.jpg
 
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images39

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Thanks for the suggestions. I'll check out the Domke bags...
 

spijker

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I have the Tenba Messenger DNA 13 as my (larger) walkabout bag. One of the features that made me choose this bag was the big zipper in the flap. I can open the zipper and pull out the camera or change lenses without having to open the flap. These bags come in different sizes and colors. I find them more stylish than the average camera bag but that's a matter of personal taste. The DNA 13 is big enough to carry the Mamiya 645AFD3 with extra lenses so the DNA 11 or 10 might be large enough for you. The DNA 13 can also hold a 14 inch laptop if you put it between the insert and the "official" laptop/tablet compartment. So it doubles as my work bag during the week.
 
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fdonadio

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Have you considered a waistpack? I have a small one made by LowePro that carries a body and two lenses. It’s great for walkabouts and makes it easy to changes lenses, even while walking.
 

Laurent

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I'd vote for a Lowepro Passport, it's my daily bag for street shooting as well as for (light) trekking, I can easily carry one body plus some lenses and acessories (and since it's not too big it forces me to travel light)
 

AgX

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It would need to be something that would enable me to change lenses without taking the bag off (this rules out a backpack).
Something in-between is a sling-bag. A backpack that stays hanging on one shoulder with one string running across ones torso. For accessing the bag it just is drawn from the back down to the hip and afterwards up again.
 

GRHazelton

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Something in-between is a sling-bag. A backpack that stays hanging on one shoulder with one string running across ones torso. For accessing the bag it just is drawn from the back down to the hip and afterwards up again.
A sling bag can be very convenient. I have one from Amazon which is CHEAP, seems to be well-made, and does the job. In any case, DON'T buy a bag with a camera name plastered on it!
 

DWThomas

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I have a sling bag, a Turnstyle 10 from Think Tank that is well made, it's my most recently acquired bag. They make a smaller and a larger one also. The #10 fits my Yashica TLR and an assortment of related trinkets and film. Sometimes the sling types seem as though they are bigger than they should be for what they hold; I guess it's the streamlined styling.

Every time I see one of these bag threads I chuckle. One reason there are so many different answers is that most of us have spent a lifetime looking for the "ideal bag" -- and have yet to find it! I probably have eight or ten, some chosen for specific cameras or a specific trip. Somebody years ago posted a shot of a barn interior festooned with an estimated 250 or so camera bags and packs a guy had collected.

On overseas travels I have used a so-called "man bag" with some padding, a somewhat vertically oriented rectangular shoulder bag that doesn't scream "camera!" Think Tank makes a series they call Urban Disguise actually intended for cameras (and a small or not so small tablet). I now own a relatively small earlier version of one of those. My main beef about it is there is a single central zipper to access the main compartment, not a flap or lid opening, which makes getting stuff in and out more tedious.
 

jim10219

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A sling bag can be very convenient. I have one from Amazon which is CHEAP, seems to be well-made, and does the job. In any case, DON'T buy a bag with a camera name plastered on it!
I don't have their sling bag, but I do have several "AmazonBasics" brand bags, and they're all really affordable and very well made. It sounds to me like a sling bag would be your best option, though if not, I do have their "Large DSLR Gadget Bag" which would also work, and I highly recommend. I use mine to carry my LF lenses, filters, and various other accessories.

I don't think I'd worry too much about camera names on bags. Anything short of a backpack will look like a camera bag in Paris or any other tourist destination. It's not like people usually carry other things in those shoulder sling bags or canvas bags. Thieves know this. You'll be a target for pick pockets no matter what. But I've never had an issue with it. The trick is to always stand up straight and tall with your chest out and pay attention to your surroundings. Thieves are looking for easiest stuff to steal and not necessarily the most expensive stuff to steal, despite what Hollywood tells us. So try to look like a guy who's not going to be any easy target and will probably give up a good fight. Also, don't leave your bag out of your sight, and keep your hands on your gear in crowds.
 

TheFlyingCamera

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Oh on, now you have done it. You will receive 10^3 responses to match the 10^3 brands and models of camera bags out there. Here is my suggestion: I am old-fashioned and like the traditional canvas (not the waxed Ruggedware!) Domke bags. The flap unclips and opens completely, so you can easily reach your camera and lenses. The F6 "Little Bit Smaller" may be suitable, if a bit large. The F3x may do it for you. Hint: spray Scotchgard on a new Domke to make the canvas a little more rain resistant. A few models are also made in ballistic nylon. OK now awaiting the next 10^3-1 responses.

Third for the Domke bag. I've got one that I used in the past with my Contax G/G2 kit (2 bodies, five lenses, a bunch of film in the front pocket) and now it hosts my Fuji XT1 kit (1 body, 5 lenses, Godox flash, odds-n-ends). Nice and compact, light-weight, easy to sling over the shoulder, the clips to close make it fairly secure, and it's also inconspicuous (I have mine in black canvas, but you can get them in the brown as well).
 

Ko.Fe.

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Tamrac Rally. I have two SLRs with zooms in it this weekend and flash. I walked in Montreal with it with Graflex press camera, Leica and tripod attached.
Like this one, for example.
https://www.tamrac.com/products/rally-5-v2-0
American brand, easy to get. I have it for ten years or so. Domke still doesn't know how to make good bags like this. And it is not overpriced as Domke either.
I have Domke computer, cameras bag as well.
 

CMoore

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There are really only TWO bags to choose from -

1. A shoulder bag, like a purse... (one strap on one of your shoulders)
2. Backpack style.

I have (and i am sure everybody else has also) used Both Types many times.
Unless you are going to be changing Bodies/Lens constantly, i never saw the advantage of the shoulder bag. The backpack style of bags are 10x more comfortable.
 

mgb74

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Another option is a padded insert inside a non-photo messenger bag. Does't scream photo gear (until you take something out).
 

David T T

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I have tons of bags, but for my 35mm kit I just generally use my daily messenger bag. It's a Timbuk2, but the brand doesn't really matter. It fits my camera, 3 lenses,film, food, water, rain jacket, and most importantly it is 100% waterproof. Philadelphia is very unpredictable weatherwise!
 
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images39

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I appreciate all the great suggestions, giving me several ideas to look at. Thank you!
 

GLS

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I use a Think Tank Retrospective 30. Not cheap, but it is extremely well made out of rugged, military grade canvas. It is roomy, with dividers you can position as you like. It is versatile enough that I can use it with an SLR + up to 5 lenses, or my Pentax 6x7 with 3 lenses (or my Hassy with three lenses + spare back), film, light meter etc etc. I have used it for years and have never felt the need to use anything else unless a trip calls for a full backpack.
 

JimCee

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The Think Tank "Speed Freak" V2.0 is a nice bag to carry an SLR with one lens attached and two (or more) lenses in the sides of the case. It's definitely not cheap, but like most other Think Tank bags its well made with quality materials. One advantage of this bag is that it can be worn as a shoulder bag, but it also has a waist strap which allows the bag to be worn securely without swinging around like a large purse. The flap on the bag also opens away from the body of the wearer, which permits easy access to the contents of the bag while still keeping those contents secure. I think it's one of the best camera bags around, and I own a lot of camera bags, including several models of the Domke bags.

https://www.thinktankphoto.com/products/speed-freak-v2

Jim C.
Tucson, AZ
 
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images39

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Verdict: I went with a Think Tank Speed Demon, bought at my local camera shop. A combination shoulder strap and waist strap. I think it will work out well, but I'll know better after walking around in Paris and Tuscany with it...

Thanks for all the helpful suggestions.

Dale
 
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