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Camera Bags, Straps, and Other Photographic Accessories Worthy of Sartorial Consideration

post #1 of 97
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for a camera bag to fit a basic rangefinder kit: (1) one camera with one lens attached, and (2) film rolls. As many of you may have noticed, most camera bags are hideous and over-complicated for my needs. I've scoured the internet, and here's what I've found:

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1. Billingham Combination Bag. Canvas with bridle leather trim. About $275. I'd pick the one in khaki and brown. Similar alternatives include canvas bags from other English manufacturers, such as Brady and Chapman. The advantage of Billingham is that their bags are specifically designed for camera gear. In fact, this specific bag was a collaboration with Leica and designed particularly for M rangefinders. The downside is that you can't order anything bespoke (as far as I know). If I went with Brady or Chapman, I'd have to put more effort into the process, but I might get something more turned to what I need. Wish you could order Billingham bags with a leather strap instead of the cotton webbing version that is standard throughout the range.

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2. Filson Small Field Bag. Canvas with bridle leather trim, but also available in solid and plaid wool. Under $200. I'm a big fan of Filson bags--my Filson canvas briefcase is built like a tank and has held up like one. The downside is that this bag is not designed for cameras: (1) you have to use a foam insert, and (2) the flap cover must be unbuckled to open, making access more cumbersome. Some of the wool options are very cool, but I'd probably wind up picking tan or brown canvas.

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3. Bespoke leather camera bag from JnK. About $500. Jnk is a Korean atelier that specializes in custom leather accessories for cameras--mainly half cases and straps. I already received a bespoke half case and strap from them. The quality is really exceptional. If I ordered a bag, I'd pick a design similar to the one pictured, but in a reddish chestnut leather with contrast stitching, matching my half case and strap. The downside is the price and somewhat lower utility, given that it is by far the least weather- and impact-resistant option. The advantage is that the style and craftsmanship are really on a higher plane.

Thoughts, other suggestions?
post #2 of 97
I do not think you could go wrong wit the Filson. that is what ended up with. I just got a camera bag insert to slide in it and that keeps the camera safe and secure. I also did not like the buckle on the bag, so I changed it from a buckle to the studs like on the top bag you have pictured. It makes it much easier to open and close. The Filson works well also because it has extra pockets to store glasses and my wallet when I have the camera with me.
post #3 of 97
Thread Starter 
How did you change the strap configuration on your Filson from a buckle to a stud? Custom order?
post #4 of 97
How about Hermès?
post #5 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

How did you change the strap configuration on your Filson from a buckle to a stud? Custom order?

I do not have the bag with me now, but I will take pics when I get home tomorrow and post them. I did the modifications myself. It cost maybe $5.00 dollars in parts and 20 minutes to do.
post #6 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by F. Corbera View Post

How about Hermès?

Don't want to spend as much on the bag as the camera. Anyway, T4phage tells me they are no longer offering Laurier Evergrain.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.K View Post

I do not have the bag with me now, but I will take pics when I get home tomorrow and post them. I did the modifications myself. It cost maybe $5.00 dollars in parts and 20 minutes to do.

Interesting. What kind of insert are you using?
post #7 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

Don't want to spend as much on the bag as the camera. Anyway, T4phage tells me they are no longer offering Laurier Evergrain.
Interesting. What kind of insert are you using?

I will do a little write-up tomorrow to show how I did it. And I will find the link for the one I bought.
post #8 of 97
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Edited by F. Corbera - 10/11/11 at 3:41am
post #9 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by F. Corbera View Post

The Korean bag looks great if you must have a bag.
Can't it just slip into the LV if you have the lens off? Just put a filter on the lens.

The "LV"?

I want a compact bag because I don't want to always have an expensive camera hanging around my neck. I really like the Korean company's stuff. The quality appears really top-notch, although I am no expert on leather goods. As far as I can tell, nobody makes a nicer half case. Check out their site if you're a camera geek and see what you think.
post #10 of 97
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Edited by F. Corbera - 10/11/11 at 3:41am
post #11 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by F. Corbera View Post

The Korean bag look great, but I've found that I prefer just letting cameras get beat up. A special bag seems too fussy...and that's a lot coming from me.
What's the latest from Tweeder?

It's not just a matter of protecting the camera. I also don't want to have a camera on display all the time because it can be distracting or inappropriate. Say you've spent a day sightseeing on vacation and now you want to sit down at a meal at a decent restaurant--where do you put the camera?
post #12 of 97
Seems like you could just do the Filson with whichever Domke inserts work for your needs:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/Inserts/ci/4382/N/4232865203

Probably the most durable option.
post #13 of 97
Thread Starter 
Any reason to believe the Filson would be more durable than the Billingham? Seems like a toss-up.
post #14 of 97
The third option looks very much like a purse to me. peepwall[1].gif
post #15 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

Any reason to believe the Filson would be more durable than the Billingham? Seems like a toss-up.

I think he meant the Domke.

Aren't you in NY? Why not go to B&H and look at the real camera bags? If the camera matters get something aimed at a camera. Not a bag that just happens to hold a camera.
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