Bag buying advice


Link Posted 30/06/2009 - 13:49
I'm looking for some suggestions from you folks in the know...

Until recently I've been managing quite happily with one of the smaller Lowepro shoulder bags for transporting my gear around. A number of recent purchases mean I can no longer get all the gear I want with me in the bag so I'm looking to get hold of something with a bit more space.

Basic requirements are:
Needs to fit a K10D with grip and DA16-45 fitted plus an extra lens, flash, spare battery, memory cards.
Ideally a shoulder bag rather than a back-pack
As compact as is possible while still fitting everything in.
I'm not too fussy about manufacturer but it's easier to justify if it's not too expensive.

Any ideas, suggestions of things to look at?
K30, A-50(1.7), DAL 35, DA 16-45, DA 55-300, Sigma 70 EX Macro, Metz 48-AF1.
Last Edited by scwaudby on 30/06/2009 - 14:06


Link Posted 30/06/2009 - 13:56
TKMax - ten quid messenger bag. Hard to beat!

Some people naming no names (RR) have to be swanky and buy the leather one costing at least twice as much!

Seriously. I have a proper camera bag which is OK but brands you a photographer and is rigid, a back pack which is well cushioned and has neat compartments. Then I have the light but voluminous messenger bag made of nylon. No compartments but my lenses all have their own pouch or bag.

It's almost always the messenger bag I go out with.


You can see some of my shots at my Flickr account.


Link Posted 30/06/2009 - 13:59
Billingham bags for durability and quick access to equipment. To keep the bag compact the Hadley/Packington designs are not too deep.

I keep getting very tempted by the look of the national geographic bags, but need to see one "in the flesh" as I suspect they might be very slow to undo and do up again.
Best regards, John


Link Posted 30/06/2009 - 14:03
A Kata H-14 would be my suggestion.

Expensive but you do get what you pay for

My H-14 takes the K20 + grip + DA* 50 - 135 + spare lens + batteries etc. etc.

Bodies: K20D (2), K10D, Super A, ME Super, Auto 110 SLR, X70, Optio P70
Pentax Glass: DA* 300, DA* 60-250, DA* 50-135, DA* 16-50, DA 70 Ltd, FA 31 Ltd, DA 35 Ltd, DA 18-55 (2), DA 12-24, DA 10-17, M 200, A 35-70, M 40, M 28, Converter-A 2X-S, 1.4X-S, AF 1.7, Pentax-110 50, Pentax-110 24
Other Glass: Sigma 105 macro, Sigma-A APO 75-300
Flash: Metz 58 AF-1 P, Pentax AF160FC ringflash, Pentax AF280T


Link Posted 30/06/2009 - 14:05
I know you say you dont want a back pack, but I have not looked back since I got mine. Plenty of room for a lot of kit, plus it can double as a "general" bag too.

But the best thing is I dont get shoulder ache anymore like I did with a shoulder bag.

My Flickr page


Link Posted 30/06/2009 - 14:11
I do have a small-ish Tamrac backpack already and getting stuff out of it annoys me most of the time, shoulder bags always seem to have everything much more "to hand"

John, I did find myself looking at the National Geographic bags at lunchtime and I have the same concern, the fastenings all seem a bit too fiddly. I may look again though, try opening and closing them a few times.
K30, A-50(1.7), DAL 35, DA 16-45, DA 55-300, Sigma 70 EX Macro, Metz 48-AF1.


Link Posted 30/06/2009 - 14:16
I have ordered a backpack from 7 day shop - it's got a single strap that goes around your shoulder/chest, so you can swing it to the front of you quite easily - rather than being annoyingly inaccessible behind you. It's a bit cheap 'n' cheerful but I'll let you know how I get on!
Last Edited by Pentaxophile on 30/06/2009 - 14:19


Link Posted 30/06/2009 - 14:28
johnriley wrote:

I keep getting very tempted by the look of the national geographic bags, but need to see one "in the flesh" as I suspect they might be very slow to undo and do up again.

I Have one of the backpacks (the small, though there is little discernable difference between this and the medium)
No worries with the undoing/doing up on that at least, and seems perfect so far for my needs, gx-10 and 2 extra lenses, cokin filter holder and a rocket blower in the main comparment, and lots of extra pockets for auxiliaries.

Luckily I live in Norwich so went into W.E. and actually handled them to check. The shoulder versions i looked at were also ok, but a bit limited when it came to internal partitioning/arrangement (same issues as the Domke bags I originally looked at)

Can post some pics of it with kit in later if anyone wants to see
Bodies: GX20 | MZ-3 | MZ-M | Auto 110 complete kit
Primes: DA*300 F4 | DA40 F2.8 Ltd. | SMC-A 50/1.7 | Sigma 30mm F1.4 | Sirius 28/2.8
Macro : SMC-A Dental 100 macro
Zooms: 12-24 SA | 18-55 SA | 50-200 SA | 28-80 FA | 35-80 F | Vivitar 28-200
Other: Bellows | Tube sets | Vivitar 2x PK/A Tele | SEF-36PZF Flash | SBG-D1V Grip | Billingham 335

My Flickr


Link Posted 30/06/2009 - 15:17
I'm not going to suggest any bags but I will say this: check the weight of the bag, empty, before buying one. If it is heavy empty it will be unbearable once full, certainly if it is only over one shoulder.

It is imho always best to actually handle a bag before buying it - check the weight, the comfort and whether you really can fit all your gear in it, with room for some new toys at a later date too maybe.


Link Posted 30/06/2009 - 15:23
Sounds to me like you'd get on well with a LowePro Slingshot 200AW bag. It's a single crossover strap bag so you wear it as a backpack then swing it in front of you to access its contents.
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream


Link Posted 30/06/2009 - 15:46
The new Hama defender series are awesome and guranteed for a massive 30 years.I have the defender 210 shoulder bag big enough for 2 bodies about 4 or 5 lenses a 17" laptop.I'ts a lot more comfortable than you might think for a bag it's size.

There are smaller in the range'i took my gear with me to try out in the shop

If it's a backpack your after the Lowepro vertex 300AW is excellent.
Last Edited by sanderscapes on 30/06/2009 - 15:48


Link Posted 30/06/2009 - 16:05
With a growing lens collection, in size if not in quality , I am bound to get a backpack. However, for now and for the future I think a sling bag is great.
I currently have 2 sling bags, a crumpler pretty boy L (cool looking bag but small) and a larger sling bag where I can fit the body plus 5 lenses and some bits. I've been using this one more lately because I've been carrying larger/more lenses.
I'll admit its easy to reach things, but its a pain to carry.

I'm now in the market for a Kata 3n1-20 sling bag, its a sling bag that doubles as a backpack, its better for your back and it also provides easy access to gear. Its damn expensive though


Link Posted 30/06/2009 - 18:17
Thanks for all the suggestions, it's all useful stuff.

At the moment I'm tempted by the National Geographic Earth Explorer (Medium), it looks like it's a useful size and it's not so obviously a camera bag as som of them.

Maybe another trip to Digital Depot is required tomorrow lunchtime to have another closer look...
K30, A-50(1.7), DAL 35, DA 16-45, DA 55-300, Sigma 70 EX Macro, Metz 48-AF1.


Link Posted 30/06/2009 - 22:06
Tamrac shoulder bag from SRS which I tend to carry around inside a nondescript, lightweight daysack. Best of both worlds, imho, as it doesn't advertise that I'm carrying a mugger's golden horde and it's doubly proof against wet weather.


Link Posted 30/06/2009 - 23:26
I'm gonna second Mikew here, get down to TK Maxx & get an everyday messenger bag (And the leather ones aint twice as much !) not the laptop looking type either as you may be mugged for that ! The flash, extra lens & all the other gear can be kept in their own cases inside the bag to stop stuff knocking together.

I've got a backpack that houses (just) all my gear for when I'm on a mission to take photos at a specific location, but if you're just out for a wander you'll more than likely leave it all at home, whereas you'll be more likely to throw the messenger bag over your shoulder & off to go !
My Flickr
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