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Archive 2011 · Waist bags for mini systems like four thirds?
  
 
wjmeyer
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Waist bags for mini systems like four thirds?


I am really starting to get into this whole mini camera craze (sorry, I don't know the terminology for the likes of the Olympus Pen's, Sony NEX's, Leica M9's, Panasonic's and now Nikon systems; sorry for any I missed but I think you get the picture) especially now that the sensors are getting so much better. I like the idea of family/street/vacation shooting with a small lightweight system that is fully capable of taking superb images, but now I need to figure out how best to carry all this stuff.

There are many options in the shoulder bag style, but I have used shoulder bags and they really bug me, they get in the way and bump into door frames and counter tops, etc. and they tend to slip off my shoulder so I find that I am constantly readjusting them.

I have a LowePro backpack, I have a Boda Bag, I have a Think Tank modular belt system and I used to have a Tamrac waist bag (until it was stolen ) For working jobs (weddings mostly) nothing could beat the TT belt system, that is just awesome for the quickest access to gear. For smaller jobs the Boda Bag was handy for carrying a few pieces of equipment but I would usually use the waist strap because of the aforementioned issues I have with shoulder bags. And even though the Tamrac was somewhat "big" I absolutely love it because I could strap it around my waist and when I wanted to shoot and would slip it around to the front and I had immediate top access to a host of gear.

All that being said, the above gear is meant for my SLR stuff = big bodies and big lenses. But with these new mini cameras I don't need such big hefty bags, so I'm looking for something that is small (but big enough to carry a 4/3 type body with several lenses), functional (provide easy access to the camera and lenses), is waist compatible and top loading for the main gear and finally I would like something that looks good to compliment the cool looking mini systems.

So I'm calling on my fellow FMers to find out if any of you have found anything that might meet the above criteria? I've seen the Think Tank Retro series and, for me, the boring gray color doesn't do much for me, I'm more of an earthtones kind of guy so tans, browns, khaki, etc. Here is what I've found so far:

The Olympus Retro leather PEN Camera Bag
Okay, this is really cool, BUT it appears to only be a shoulder bag and it doesn't appear to be available in the US. What gives

Kata KT DW-493 Digital Waist-Pack
I like Kata waist bags, but the boring black just doesn't do much for me.

Tamrac 3535 Express 5 Camera Bag (Khaki)
Cool, I like the colors but I'd prefer wider instead of taller, and once again, it's a shoulder bag, ugh, maybe that is the craze right now.

Canvas and Leather SLR Camera Waist Pouch Bag (If the URL doesn't work, simply do a search on eBay for "Canvas Camera Waist Bag" and you'll get a bunch, try replacing Waist with Retro and you'll get some other cool bags.)
This is probably one of my favorites, I love the retro look, I love the top load (but am concerned about one zipper across the middle scratching my equipment as I pull it out), the leather (probably fake) accents and guess what, it IS a waist pack. The downsides: have to order from China (if it falls apart after a few months you're basically out of luck) and I'm not sure if it's big enough?

Well that's what I've found so far, if any of you have other thoughts or ideas on any other bags out there please let us know, thanks.

Bill




Olympus Retro leather PEN Camera Bag






Kata KT DW-493 Digital Waist-Pack






Tamrac 3535 Express 5 Camera Bag (Khaki)






eBay Canvas and Leather SLR Camera Waist Bag




Dec 02, 2011 at 06:27 PM
Jman13
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Waist bags for mini systems like four thirds?


I've always loved the canvas style bags. They don't scream camera bag, they wear like iron, and they are generally less overly padded, so they're slimmer while still protecting gear well.

I know you aren't a shoulder bag guy (while I prefer shoulder bags to ANY other style), but I just got the Think Tank Retrospective 5, which I absolutely love...it's designed with CSCs in mind (Compact System Camera). It's slim enough to not feel burdensome but holds a lot. Mine is the "Pinestone" color, which would satisfy your earthtone requirement...it's kind of a worn earthy green shade (it's not gray..closer to a faded olive drab). I can fit my GH2 with four lenses in the center compartment, plus my two non-reversable hoods, my GH2 charger and my Metz 50 AF-1 flashgun in the outer front pocket. Love it.

I've yet to see a waist pack that isn't designed for huge gear, which I find odd, but there it is.

Tenba also makes a waistpack, though it's not earthy, nor does it look all that small, but it might be good for a full compact kit:
http://www.tenba.com/products/Shootout--Waistpack.aspx



Dec 02, 2011 at 07:07 PM
loosh
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Waist bags for mini systems like four thirds?


I've been looking for the perfect compact bag, and I'm convinced it doesn't exist. The problem being that normal bags are too deep, so you need to stack lenses or waste a lot of space. If you make a shallow bag, you'd need to carry it vertically, which makes it impossible to shoot out of.

Order whatever you like the look of, just make sure you can adjust the dividers inside.




Dec 02, 2011 at 07:42 PM
wjmeyer
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Waist bags for mini systems like four thirds?


Thank you Jman, I will have to add the Tenba to my list, but I think you're right, it looks pretty big and that padded waist strap looks as big as the one on my NorthFace backpack, haha. While looking at that bag this Tamrac also popped up that seemed pretty nice but again, the styling just isn't all that nice on these, rather boring IMO.

Yes, the Pinestone is more "my" color, but still, something bugs me about this bag, maybe because it is a shoulder bag, and also the price, my Boda Bag was about $200 and this bag is about $140 and I'm trying really hard to see $140 worth of bag in there. The TT bag is about as big as this similary styled one on ebay called Retro Canvas DSLR Camera




Dec 02, 2011 at 07:56 PM
wjmeyer
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Waist bags for mini systems like four thirds?


That's what I'm finding too loosh, this system has been around for several years now, you'd think the bag makers would get a clue. I think Jman's Think Tank Retro 5 is about the closest that might work but it even looks like it may be too deep. Jman, if you get a chance (no obligation of course ) can you take a picture of your TT bag with all your 4/3 gear in it and send it our way, I'd be curious to see how it fits all the stuff, thanks.

Bill



Dec 02, 2011 at 07:58 PM
Jman13
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Waist bags for mini systems like four thirds?


Here are some pics of my bag. I don't have my flash in there now, but if I lay the charger in the front pocket flat, I can fit the flash on top. (it expands a LOT). I like that it's not too deep, is configurable, and is very easy to get in and out of. Plus, there are velcro silencers if you are working indoors in a quiet environment.

The bag is extremely sturdy. It's got a lifetime warranty, but I don't think I'll ever need to use it. It feels even sturdier than my Domke F-2 that I used with my DSLRs, and that saw 7 years of heavy use and still looks brand new. I was a little put off by the price too at first, but after a few weeks of use, I'm very glad I got it, and I don't feel it's overpriced.

Bag with everything in it, flap closed:






Main Compartment, camera removed to see better. From left to right, you are seeing: PanaLeica 25/1.4, PanaLeica 45/2.8 Macro, open space for camera with lens, Panasonic 7-14mm.






Front flap. Hoods for the PanaLeica lenses (which don't reverse) and the GH2 charger. There's room to mount the hoods on the lenses and put the lenses in the main compartment, but it's harder to get them in and out.






Fully loaded. GH2 with Olympus 45/1.8 on there now, but I've found that pretty much any combination of lenses will work just fine.






One other nice thing is the thick loops on either side. I can strap two additional belt bags onto the sides if I need to carry more....I've got a tall bag that I can fit a 200-300mm lens into, and a smaller one I usually carry my E-P1 in, that I can attach if needed, though I usually don't since I like to carry light.



Dec 02, 2011 at 08:18 PM
httivals
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Waist bags for mini systems like four thirds?


I have used Domkes for many years. They're great. They have rubber woven into the canvas straps which makes the straps a lot more comfortable. I also have Domke camera straps for all my cameras.

I thought JMAN's photos were of a Domke bag. I'd go to a camera store - it's the one thing that I think you really need to see in person. I'd also expect, if I were you, to buy at least two more bags, ones for different purposes. I've bought and sold lots of cameras and lenses over the last 10 years, but I just keep adding to my collection of bags, and I also keep using them all, at different times and for different purposes.



Dec 02, 2011 at 08:39 PM
Jman13
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Waist bags for mini systems like four thirds?


Yeah, Domke makes a great bag. I was really pleased to find this ThinkTank bag is made in the same vein, with extremely sturdy canvas, excellent stitching and really great attention to detail. I actually like the strap on this bag better than the Domke strap. You can see a bit of this in the first picture, but the strap is extremely thick and tough multi-braided cotton that looks like it could support a car and last for a hundred years. Attached is a padded cushion with rubber inlay for grip. It's very comfortable and grips pretty well.

Of course all of this may be moot if the OP doesn't like shoulder bags. I will say that one this small is not very cumbersome, so I'd try and find a shop that carries them and try one out to see if you like it.



Dec 02, 2011 at 08:44 PM
wjmeyer
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Waist bags for mini systems like four thirds?


Thanks for sharing Jman and so quickly, I believe TT is offering a $20 rebate right now as well if you go through the Nikon Rumors website link; however, like you said, I have always been bugged by shoulder bags and would really prefer a waist type bag. That is one cool feature with the Boda Bag is it is convertable from waist to shoulder. I hope we see more to come from TT with this heavy canvas... thanks again.


Dec 02, 2011 at 09:13 PM
h00ligan
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Waist bags for mini systems like four thirds?


What about the small speed changer bags from tt?


Dec 02, 2011 at 09:25 PM
 

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douglasf13
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Waist bags for mini systems like four thirds?


I love my Artisan & Artist "Sabastio's Reporter Satchel" GCAM-7000. It is mostly canvas with a leather flap, and it is very thin and small, yet holds a NEX-5N with EVF and ZM 50/1.5 attached, plus a ZM 35/2.8, CV 15/4.5 and Contax G 90.

link to website






Dec 02, 2011 at 09:30 PM
wjmeyer
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Waist bags for mini systems like four thirds?


h00ligan, yes, I've thought of that and have in fact owned a couple of them over the years, but they suffer from the "not so cool" factor, I know, I'm probably a bit vain, but I'm hoping for form, function and looks.

Douglas, thanks for sharing, it is a little plain but I like the simple elegance, that is a possibility but once again it is a shoulder bag

Are there no cool waist bags out there (maybe not, becasue how do you market a waste bag )



Dec 02, 2011 at 09:37 PM
h00ligan
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Waist bags for mini systems like four thirds?


I don't think you market a waste bag they sell themselves.


Dec 02, 2011 at 11:11 PM
wjmeyer
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Waist bags for mini systems like four thirds?


Nice


Dec 02, 2011 at 11:11 PM
douglasf13
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Waist bags for mini systems like four thirds?


wjmeyer wrote:
Are there no cool waist bags out there (maybe not, becasue how do you market a waste bag )


I'm not sure that "cool" and "waist bag" are exactly compatible.



Dec 02, 2011 at 11:18 PM
wjmeyer
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Waist bags for mini systems like four thirds?


Don't temp me to stuff my gear inside a nice white kitchen waste bag and then take a picture of it


Dec 02, 2011 at 11:20 PM
douglasf13
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Waist bags for mini systems like four thirds?


wjmeyer wrote:
Don't temp me to stuff my gear inside a nice white kitchen waste bag and then take a picture of it






Dec 02, 2011 at 11:29 PM
michaelwatkins
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Waist bags for mini systems like four thirds?


douglasf13 wrote:
I love my Artisan & Artist "Sabastio's Reporter Satchel" GCAM-7000.


I'm with you, I don't particularly like fanny packs which is funny because I used to own part of a factory that produced camera bags and fanny packs, er, waist-bags were the big sellers. Go figure.

I like my ACAM-7100, "Oskar's One Day Bag", it's just a little smaller in every dimension and doesn't have a leather flap. Neither of these bags are great for lots of bad weather but for most occasions they do the job nicely. The Oskar bag sits neatly behind my back, I carry it messenger bag style. Velcro is a little noisy and stiff when pulling the flap open but overall I like the easy accessibility to contents inside without stuff for nice cameras and lenses to catch on.

They do look plain but that was my objective. Whether it looks like a man purse or not depends on the viewer but I was hoping to avoid such a look.

Popflash photo is known to have competitive prices on A&A bags.



Dec 02, 2011 at 11:36 PM
douglasf13
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Waist bags for mini systems like four thirds?


I keep a couple of large ziplock bags folded up under the lining of my A&A bag. So, just in case the weather gets bad, I can put the entire partitioned section into the zip locks for protection.


Dec 02, 2011 at 11:48 PM
wjmeyer
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Waist bags for mini systems like four thirds?


Or you could use a nice "waste bag" to wrap it up in case of inclement weather Sorry, a bit looney tonight, maybe my cold meds...


Dec 02, 2011 at 11:51 PM
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