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Stylish way to carry an SLR?

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by Renault78law, Oct 19, 2008.

  1. chut

    chut New Member

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    I don't use my SLRs or DSLRs any more as I've gone back to shooting film, primarily with Leica M rangefinders, but I've been searching for a stylish way to carry cameras as well.

    I have several camera bags that I interchange:

    1. A vintage leather briefcase with a Billingham insert to nest the camera in. This is also my work bag so I use this when I want to have my camera with me when I'm 'on duty'.

    2. A Domke F803 Satchel when I want to carry two cameras and three lenses. I use this when I am going on a dedicated shoot and want to have enough gear with me. I have one in Olive Drab which I like because it doesn't look like the typical camera bag.

    3. A Porter messenger bag in black nylon with a Billingham insert. I use this when I am traveling and need more room for other things such as books, magazines, etc.

    4. Sometimes, I just sling a Leica M over my shoulder. It's a beautiful object and makes for a great accessory.

    5. Another stylish camera is a Leica IIIc. It's compact, beautiful and takes wonderful photos. Paired with a leather neckstrap and carried on one's chest, it can look very stylish. Gordy's makes some nice straps. It's fully manual though, so you'll need some skills to go with the style to actually pull it off.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    I learned to do photography on a Leica IIIf and I now use a black-bodied Leica IIIa.
     
  3. Journeyman

    Journeyman Senior member

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    I learned to do photography on a Leica IIIf and I now use a black-bodied Leica IIIa.

    Ah yes, but how do you carry them??
    In an antique bag some of some description, suitably patinated?
     
  4. Roikins

    Roikins Senior member

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    Heh, Its not that I have a problem with your opinion, its that I have a problem with your attitude. If you had said "I don't believe that there are any camera bags in the world that look stylish" or "SLR's are inherently unstylish and ugly" that would have been your opinion. Of course, it would have been an opinion that was very well covered in this thread already.

    That isn't what you said. Of course.

    You didn't even address the OP's question originally. You went on about how much gear you carry, and how unrealistic (for most people) a scenario you claim to be in where its impossible for YOU to be stylish. That wasn't an opinion, that was a diversion.

    Hell, even the weight issue is kind of ridiculous. It sort of makes me wonder what you all are carrying in your bags if a camera, a couple of lenses, a flash, and some peripherals are weighing 20lbs.

    Even the beefiest Canon DSLR like the 1DS Mk III, and a pro series telephoto lens in a "normal use" range like the Canon EF 70-200mm 1:2.8 L IS USM (combo pictured below) weigh around seven pounds together. With a flash, and even two more non-telephoto IS lenses, an extra battery, some filters, and the bag, you'd still be short of 20lbs. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And yes, this thing is a monstrosity. If you are trying to carry that setup around, it will be nearly impossible to do so stylishly.



    Well, if you have a problem with my attitude, I have no problem with that; that's on you. [​IMG] I think what I was trying to convey in my original post was that at some point, one gives up on looking stylish -- you're either going out to look stylish, or you're going out to take photos. If you're going out to take photos, pro or not, you know that sometimes you need to stand, kneel, climb, or lie prone to get an angle you like, and I wouldn't want to be in "stylish" clothing if I had to do that. As for what makes things heavy, it varies... 2 bodies, 1 with a battery grip, 1 with the Canon battery brick, either a 100-400mm or 70-200mm, 24-105mm, 16-35mm, a 2x extender, 580EX II flash with battery pack, a monopod (sometimes a tripod), and a small Vaio laptop with an EVDO card to upload photos.

    Also, notice that Olympus is being tucked into a jacket pocket.
     
  5. Roikins

    Roikins Senior member

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    Don't know if it's stylish or not but there is this guy on Leicatime that does custom cases for cameras.

    Most of his are form fitting but he does have some like those below and says they are customizable.



    Now that's a nice looking, compact camera case.
     
  6. Tokyo Slim

    Tokyo Slim Senior member

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    Also, notice that Olympus is being tucked into a jacket pocket.
    That is sort of the point... but it has a pancake lens on it. When you change the lens, you can't do that anymore. And it will leave a bulge in your pocket that most members of SF would hesitate to walk around with. As for the weight - nobody was asking how to look stylish while carrying an entire camera store and darkroom. One body, one extra battery, two lenses... maaaaybe a flash. some CF or SD cards. That is typically what people carry around when "walking around taking pictures".As I said earlier - the like extreme case you mention - sure... you have to carry a lot of weight. But its like the OP was asking a question about a fairly general topic - and you assume that he is one of the top percentile of photographers in the world as far as carrying gear around with him. People have been walking around and taking pictures since the development of the portable camera. Not everyone wants or needs to be equipped like a professional photographer to do so. An SLR camera is not a professional photographer only camera. It is just a type of camera. If someone wants to walk around with a body, a couple of lenses, and an extra battery - there is no reason why they cannot get a nice looking bag.
     
  7. milosz

    milosz Senior member

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    If you want a great rangefinder package on a budget, look for a used Voigtlander R2A (~$350ish - functionally the same as an M7, with easier metering for most people, though a bit louder) and a Konica M-Hexanon 50mm f/2. It compares well to the recent Leica 50 Summicrons, for ~$300 used.

    Voigtlander and Zeiss are both producing a lot of great rangefinder glass (and SLR glass now, actually) at relatively affordable prices if you want to build a full rangefinder package.

    I think about selling my M7/35 'lux and keeping the Voigtlander/Konica kit since I shoot so little film... but I can never make myself do it.
     
  8. milosz

    milosz Senior member

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    If you want to be extra stylish, Blue in Green has a Baracuta Hadley for three bills.
     
  9. bowman9000

    bowman9000 Active Member

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    ...

    2. A Domke F803 Satchel when I want to carry two cameras and three lenses. I use this when I am going on a dedicated shoot and want to have enough gear with me. I have one in Olive Drab which I like because it doesn't look like the typical camera bag.
    ...


    +1 on the Domke. It doesn't look like a typical camera bag. Small and light. With one metal hook you can get the camera in and out fast!

    If you go light with only 1 or 2 lenses, the extra padding/compartment of the typical bag can be a bit of a hassle when you need to act fast.

    This guy has a couple pics of it:
    http://web.telia.com/~u32008343/domke.htm
     
  10. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Senior member

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    I have an F100 I use a neoprene neck strap to carry. I swing it out over my right shoulder when not taking pictures. It's hard not to look like a Japanese tourist when taking pics but probably the best solution is to wear a compact work of art like a Leica. I use a Lowepro Street & Field bag in olive and it looks pretty nice.
     
  11. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red Senior member

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    I really question whether it is possible to be stylish with a DSLR, given the average size, generic look, and the inevitable "chimping" DSLR users do after taking a shot or two. None of these factors are conducive to stylish photographing, in my opinion.
     
  12. GQgeek

    GQgeek Senior member

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    I really question whether it is possible to be stylish with a DSLR, given the average size, generic look, and the inevitable "chimping" DSLR users do after taking a shot or two. None of these factors are conducive to stylish photographing, in my opinion.

    chimping?
     
  13. Tokyo Slim

    Tokyo Slim Senior member

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimping I, much like whoever authored the majority of that entry - think its a bit dumb to limit yourself to 1960's techniques and technology to take photographs. I mean, in my opinion, thats like criticizing someone for painting the wrong way. I'm not saying that Mister Pussycat has been brainwashed by the photographic elitist set, but hey, I like looking down to see (generally) what I just shot looks like. [​IMG]
     
  14. GQgeek

    GQgeek Senior member

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimping

    I, much like whoever authored the majority of that entry - think its a bit dumb to limit yourself to 1960's techniques and technology to take photographs. I mean, in my opinion, thats like criticizing someone for painting the wrong way.

    I'm not saying that Mister Pussycat has been brainwashed by the photographic elitist set, but hey, I like looking down to see (generally) what I just shot looks like. [​IMG]


    +1

    What really saddens me is a technique I wasn't aware of when I Was at machu picchu. There was wonderfully atmospheric mist and rain, but even though i stayed overnight and got up early, there were still tons of people in my shots. I only just learned of Photoaccute, which would have allowed me to remove the people from a series of shots. So I could have taken a series of shots in succession, and then the software could ahve removed the moving people, and I would have been left with some great shots minus the tourists.
     
  15. Brian SD

    Brian SD Senior member

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    Ugh. Just letting you know - that's not photography and shouldn't count as such.

    I chimp the first few photographs I take in a given series because I need to look at the histograms and see how I feel about the level balance before I continue shooting. I don't like changing in RAW what I can do with my camera.
     
  16. GQgeek

    GQgeek Senior member

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    Ugh. Just letting you know - that's not photography and shouldn't count as such.

    I chimp the first few photographs I take in a given series because I need to look at the histograms and see how I feel about the level balance before I continue shooting. I don't like changing in RAW what I can do with my camera.


    If you've got a better way to get a picture sans-tourists at a place that has a thousand people streaming through it per day, please share. I got good pics of certain things without people in them, but it is completely impossible to get a picture of the whole site without at least 20-30 people in the frame.
     
  17. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red Senior member

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    I'm not saying that Mister Pussycat has been brainwashed by the photographic elitist set, but hey, I like looking down to see (generally) what I just shot looks like. [​IMG]

    No, in fact, I have not. I started in film photography over 30 years ago and it's simply the way I prefer to work. Trying the digital workflow is what made me want to get back into film photography. As for elitism, I don't deny the charge, but in truth I got into Leica because of the optics and feel very lucky to be able to afford the equipment.

    An interesting anecdote, for what it's worth. One afternoon several months back, a friend and I traded cameras. He took my M6 out and I used his Nikon D40 (?). He had much more trouble adapting than I did (then again, the rangefinder requires a steeper learning curve than an SLR) and ended up with only about 2 or 3 acceptable shots (once the film was developed nearly a week later).
    I found the DSLR rather unsatisfying to work with. It felt to me rather insubstantial and seemed to cheapen the process (I did no chimping and instead acted like I was shooting film, saving the culling of duds till I was finished shooting). The worst thing was the autofocus, which completely failed to work at all on an alarming number of occasions. I ended up with about a dozen good pics, though I can't say they interested me much. He said he would put them on CD for me but never did and I soon forgot about it, but I did notice that he put one of my shots up on his Flickr account without credit. [​IMG]

    He later admitted to me that he had no idea what depth-of-field was, which rather disappointed me because I think he has an excellent eye for composition and color. Many of his photos are excellent, but after our little experiment I realized that he'd been cheating himself out of gaining essential skills by letting his camera do everything for him. He tells me that since our little experiment, he's been shooting mostly in manual mode.

    The moral of this little epic is that the equipment we use colors our expectations about what the photographic experience should be. Ultimately, it's great to have so many choices. You prefer what you prefer and nobody is right or wrong.
     
  18. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red Senior member

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    Ugh. Just letting you know - that's not photography and shouldn't count as such.

    I chimp the first few photographs I take in a given series because I need to look at the histograms and see how I feel about the level balance before I continue shooting. I don't like changing in RAW what I can do with my camera.


    Perfectly legitimate reason to chimp.

    From my observations, a lot of people lose more time chimping than I do changing film.
     
  19. GQgeek

    GQgeek Senior member

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    No, in fact, I have not. I started in film photography over 30 years ago and it's simply the way I prefer to work. Trying the digital workflow is what made me want to get back into film photography. As for elitism, I don't deny the charge, but in truth I got into Leica because of the optics and feel very lucky to be able to afford the equipment.

    An interesting anecdote, for what it's worth. One afternoon several months back, a friend and I traded cameras. He took my M6 out and I used his Nikon D40 (?). He had much more trouble adapting than I did (then again, the rangefinder requires a steeper learning curve than an SLR) and ended up with only about 2 or 3 acceptable shots (once the film was developed nearly a week later).
    I found the DSLR rather unsatisfying to work with. It felt to me rather insubstantial and seemed to cheapen the process (I did no chimping and instead acted like I was shooting film, saving the culling of duds till I was finished shooting). The worst thing was the autofocus, which completely failed to work at all on an alarming number of occasions. I ended up with about a dozen good pics, though I can't say they interested me much. He said he would put them on CD for me but never did and I soon forgot about it, but I did notice that he put one of my shots up on his Flickr account without credit. [​IMG]

    He later admitted to me that he had no idea what depth-of-field was, which rather disappointed me because I think he has an excellent eye for composition and color. Many of his photos are excellent, but after our little experiment I realized that he'd been cheating himself out of gaining essential skills by letting his camera do everything for him. He tells me that since our little experiment, he's been shooting mostly in manual mode.

    The moral of this little epic is that the equipment we use colors our expectations about what the photographic experience should be. Ultimately, it's great to have so many choices. You prefer what you prefer and nobody is right or wrong.


    I think the same person could have had a film slr and not known what depth of field was. However, back when you learned, I'm guessing zooms weren't so prevalent?
     
  20. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red Senior member

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    I think the same person could have had a film slr and not known what depth of field was. However, back when you learned, I'm guessing zooms weren't so prevalent?

    Not so prevalent and not as optically sophisticated as they are today. However, some of them were masterpieces.

    But DOF and zooms are not inherently related. DOF comes into play with every lens. In fact, one of my biggest complaints about autofocus lenses is their lack of hyperfocal scale. Previewing DOF is one thing, but shooting hyperfocal is an essential part of the way I work.
     

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