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Bag, bags, and more bags

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by Armanius, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    I recently bought a Wotancraft Ranger camera bag, and I'm thrilled about it. It's a bigger bag than I am typically used to, and I can easily carry three XPro1's in it (not that I have three XPro1's to carry). In all likelihood, I'll carry two bodies plus two to three lenses. Even after that, there's still room for a 11" or 13" Macbook Air and a tripod!

    It's pricey, but in my opinion, worth every penny. The construction is simply awesome. The attention to detail is unsurpassed even by the likes of Billingham (I use the Hadley Pro). There's literally protection's galore for the gear. 99% waterproof too. The bag is stylish, and yet, utilitarian.

    Strangely, I used to think women were crazy for spending so much money in purses. But ever since picking up photograph as a hobby, the GAS I suffer from encompasses not only cameras and lenses, but camera bags as well! I probably have more bags now than my fiance has purses.

    Here's a link to a very detailed good review of the Ranger:

    Scription: Wotancraft's Traveler's Notebook and City Explorer Camera Bag Review - Part 1

    Scription: Wotancraft's Traveler's Notebook and City Explorer Camera Bag Review - Part 2

    And the link to the online shop:

    Ranger | Wotancraft Atelier

    [​IMG]

    So let's see some bags folks!!! Share them!!

    I love those "what's in your bag" photos. So I'll plan to post some of those in the feature!
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    Looks gorgeous... but it seems HUGE.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    It is pretty big, specially when using the waterproof insert that comes with it. The insert is made out of hovercraft material! I'm planning to use it with a Billingham insert for the most part, which is smaller and lighter. But if I need the extra space and protection, I'll use the hovercraft one!
     
  4. Landshark

    Landshark PhotoDog

    Jul 15, 2010
    SoCal
    Bob
    Very cool bag, thanks for the link I might order a watch strap. But for bags I am liking the Think Tank Retrospective bags at the moment, I have the 5 which hold 2 Xpro1s each with a lens mounted, but I am looking forward to their 7 model which is a little longer and wider, should be perfect my 2 bodies plus 3 or 4 lenses and has a space for Ipad or MacBook 11' air . They also make larger ones.
    While not as nice as yours, it works well for me, I now want the smallest bag I can put my stuff into
    Retrospective 7 (Black)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Phoenix

    Phoenix SC Top Veteran

    508
    Dec 28, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Phoenix Gonzales
    I was actually contemplating about Wotancraft's Messenger bag but found it a wee bit too big for my gear. Like Bob I'm currently using the Think Tank Retrospective 5, it holds my NEX-7 with a 35mm, a NEX-5 with the 16mm, 1 extra lens, and all my accessories (cleaning gear, charger, batteries, filters, etc..)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    I haven't tried out the Retrospective bags, but I've always wanted to. The bag that i've used the most is the Billingham Hadley Pro, which is much smaller and lighter than the Wotancraft Ranger. The Ranger will be my travel bag while the Hadley Pro will stay on as my carry around every day bag. For now anyway!
     
  7. Landshark

    Landshark PhotoDog

    Jul 15, 2010
    SoCal
    Bob
    I almost feel guilty saying this but I bought a small Billingham bag years ago for my G2s ended up not liking the snap and buckle closures so it became my freshwater stream tackle bag:rolleyes:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    One expensive tackle bag! At least it's waterproof!! :)
     
  9. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    That's a seriously pretty bag and looks very functional but, you're right, the price scares me off. To my surprise, the two bags that have really served me during my stay in NYC have been a small Domke that I already had (an f10) and a much larger Tamrac messenger style bag that I found at B&H (in those ill-fated trips that kept landing me with new cameras!).

    The Domke is perfect for either the X-Pro with its one extra lens (I think it could stack both if I had them) or the EPL3 or then OMD with a couple of extra lenses stacked. But I didn't have a bag that was comfortable carrying both the X-Pro with the extra lens AND the m43 with 2-4 lenses - the full kit. I've never been a particular fan of Tamrac bags - they do, after all, LOOK like the standard camera bags they are - but this one carries a lot and is really comfortable even with a fair bit of weight over a long day. I have larger Domke's at home and they hold a lot and both take and give back gear very easily (a big requirement for me after wrestling with bags that protect it a little TOO well and don't want to seem to let you actually GET your gear), but I haven't found their bigger bags a particularly comfortable carry over a long day (and I've given them more than a chance). I've tried a couple of Think Tank Retrospective bags (the 5 and 10) and they'll be for sale soon - they look nice and are well made, but I find them excessively bulky for what they carry and they're the prime culprits in making me really dig for my stuff - tough to get it in and out - very well protected though!

    But the Tamrac holds the gear, gives it up easily, protects it well, and is remarkably comfortable to carry all day. I tried a smaller Rally 4, but ended up with the Rally 5 after completing my camera purchases and needing a bit more room. I'd used the smaller one hard for two hard weeks, didn't keep the receipt or packing material and didn't ask B&H to take it back - I asked if they'd give me a few dollars for it and take it for their used department. But they basically insisted on taking it back and giving me the full refund to apply toward the larger bag. WAAAAAY above and beyond the call of duty, IMHO - I'd used the bag pretty heavily and even basically argued with them that they shouldn't. A good place to do business, I'd say.

    Its not an expensive bag at all - the small one was $50, the large one $70. The large one also has a padded pocket for an ipad or small notebook. There are a couple of mesh side pockets too that look like they'd take a water bottle or small umbrella comfortably, but I haven't tried them yet. The strap slides through the shoulder pad so its really easy to slide around to the front without binding. And the fabric is just slippery enough to move where it needs to around your back and side without catching or binding (which the Domkes, love 'em as I do, have a bad habit of doing - and the Domke straps grip a little too well also). Its a pretty large bag (although I don't think as large as that Wotancraft, which looks pretty enormous!), but it doesn't carry like a large bag at all. I really never considered such a standard looking bag before and I was prepared to spend more (but not into Hadley or Wotancraft territory). But these bags, to my surprise, just really work perfectly for me. I could have saved a lot of bag money if I'd tried one of these sooner - maybe Tamrac has made a lot of money in the camera bag business because they know what they're doing? Shocking concept! I'll be having a fire sale on bags (as well as cameras) once I get home.

    Or, I guess I could send BACK the X-Pro and then I would feel OK to splurge on something as beautiful as this Wotencraft!! :tongue:

    -Ray
     
  10. Duane Pandorf

    Duane Pandorf SC Top Veteran

    868
    Apr 25, 2011
    Western NC
    I'm using a Bare Bones Bag for my GXR gear. Room for my iPad in the rear zipper pouch. I could easily carry 3-4 lens with my one body and the bag does not scream expensive camera gear.
     
  11. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    I'm boring as batsh*t. I have a Lowepro Passport Sling for everyday use (I can carry a VAST amount of stuff in it when I am of a mind to do so) and it fits my K5 with a couple of lenses, plus one or six compacts, my wallet, specs, keys, phone blah blah blah. Its not particularly attractive but I liked that its a zip closure instead of velcro, or buckles and flaps. Its simple, lightweight, and the padded shoulder strap is great. I wear it across my chest and the padding stops any rubbing on my neck. Its the best designed pad thing I have ever had.

    I also have a Crumpler 6 Million Dollar Home, and I hated it from day one. I tried really hard to like it but I just couldn't. The velcro is so strong (and noisy!!), that you can carry it by the handle, without using the buckles, and it wont let go. That's strong, and because of it, you have to use two hands to open the damn bag... That said, it makes a wonderful place to store lenses not currently in use... so not a total loss.

    For now, at least, the Sling will do. But the Domke F10 does attract me, too.
     
  12. kathyh

    kathyh SC Top Veteran

    734
    Jul 13, 2010
    Ottawa, Canada
    Kathy
    I just bought the Retrospective 5 for my new EM-5 and lenses but I haven't had a chance to really try it out because the weather has been so crummy. It stores all the stuff really well though.
     
  13. Grant

    Grant SC Veteran

    249
    Nov 12, 2010
    Lunenburg Nova Scotia
    I have four bags. It is not that I wanted four but it evolved that way. When I was young and slim and had limited resources I had an inexpensive Lowe-Pro fanny back(remember them?) Later I put on weight and bought a slightly bigger Lowe-Pro shoulder pack. As time when on I gained more equipment and lost my new found weight I acquired a Lowe-Pro Reporter. It was a honking big bag that screamed out "PHOTOGRAPHER". I like Lowe-Pro and I originally bought into them because I was familiar with them as I did lots of wideness canoeing and hiking and they made exceptional packs for that. The other benefit was they had a life time replacement policy, I had payed once for the Reporter and have had it replaced because of a plastic latch failing.

    As time moved forward I found I was spending more time carrying equipment and less time shooting. So now I use the Reporter for storage and moving equipment from place to place. So now I have a much smaller bag that was never designed for photography, it is a hand made "Messenger Bag" made by " Sea Dog Bag Company" a local artisan. It is made from recycled sails and is Dacron so hence water resistant. It can carries three prime lenses a 24, 50, and 85 mm, a light meter and a camera with a 35 mm on it, although the camera is seldom in the bag. If I feel I need extra protection for my equipment I use a small soft face cloth as a nest for my equipment.

    For what it is worth my new bag doesn't look at all like a photographic bag so it is very stealthy. While it is easy to access, I seldom change lenses as I use my 35 mm about 80% of the time. Still nice to have the extra glass for those occasions when I need them. Now I do less carrying and more shooting.
     
  14. marlof

    marlof Trying to focus

    Dec 25, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Marlof
    I gave away many of my bags when I got rid of my larger camera equipment. Then i started anew... Now I have a Hadley Pro, a Bare Bones Bag, a Domke j803, a Tenba Messenger bag and a Kata 467i backpack.
     
  15. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    it's really only a matter of time though, isn't it ?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Duane Pandorf

    Duane Pandorf SC Top Veteran

    868
    Apr 25, 2011
    Western NC
    I have known about the Wotancraft bags for a while and like the looks. I would probably consider their messenger bag down the road or consider the Billingham Hadley Small. So far the BBB is working.
     
  17. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee SC All-Pro

    Jul 8, 2010
    The BBB is the best. Tried a few others, and trust me. For serious compacts nothing compares.
     
  18. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Armando, NOW you've done it. You've gone and cost me money yet again! Actually, it might be the first time - I can't really recall when you've actually cost me money before, but you do as good a job as ANYone of feeding the local GAS station and I've filled up a time or two, so I certainly hold you partially responsible, if indirectly. But this time it was DIRECTLY - its ALL YOUR FAULT!

    Before you started this thread, I'd managed to get through 53 years of life without ever having heard of Wotencraft. And I was FULLY prepared to live however many years remain in that same uninformed state of bliss. But despite being horrified at the cost, the photos of that bag led me to their web-site and their other offerings and I knew it was gonna be a matter of time. And not much time at that...

    I didn't want anything like the Ranger - that's a BIG bag and I already have a couple of very nice big bags that more than meet my needs and I really don't use them very much, outside of an unusual circumstance like my time in New York last month where I often did take the whole kitchen sink out with me. And, plus, the Ranger is not just way too expensive, its way way way way way too expensive! For a bag...

    But I'd been looking for the killer smallish bag for my more typical day kit which consists of either the X-Pro along with its extra lens and the OMD with one or maybe two extra lenses OR sometimes just the OMD and maybe 3-4 lenses. I'd been using the Domke F8, which is quite nice for one camera and a couple of lenses, but was really tight with both cameras (even with no extra lenses), let alone my more common kit of both bodies and some extra glass. And the Wotencraft messenger bag kept calling out to me. And its only WAY WAY too expensive, only a bit more than a Hadley Pro or Large which had been my previous definition of a "high end" bag. I'd just sold a BUNCH of bags within the past month, so I felt a new one was in order. So, anyway, the messenger bag arrived a couple of days ago. With the insert Wotencraft provides, it doesn't hold enough - about the same as the Domke F8, but with less pocket space. Its just a really bulky protective insert in case of nuclear disaster or something. But I had the liner from a Hadley Small that I'd bought a while back as an insert to use with a few other non-camera bags and it turns out the Hadley insert fits in the Wotencraft PERFECTLY. Not pretty well, not close enough, but dead-solid PERFECT. And it holds my daily kit just right. Both cameras with a lens attached and then anywhere from 2-4 additional lenses, depending on which ones (I guess if I had a Pany 100-300 it might only take one extra, but I don't). And its an incredibly comfortable bag to carry and to access while shooting. And its so damned nice looking even my wife noticed it and she's never said a WORD about any of the other bags (or cameras for that matter) that have found their way into our house before this. I think I'd better keep it well stocked with photo gear or she might try to make off with it! I'll keep the Wotencraft insert in case I ever decide to take the bag out in really terrible weather - I can still carry one camera and an extra lens or two. But I suspect this Hadley insert has finally found a permanent home. And I suspect this bag will get the vast majority of use of any of my bags - I'll probably just keep this and one really large bag. If this bag doesn't end my search for the perfect bag (at least in this size), I don't think anything will. This is the first camera bag I've ever owned (or SEEN) that makes me want to pick it up. Its highly functional but its more than just functional...

    So Armando, I hope you're proud of yourself... :biggrin:

    And if anyone wants to spend way way too much money on a camera bag, I can recommend this one.

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Country Parson

    Country Parson SC Top Veteran

    682
    Apr 5, 2011
    North Carolina
    Dan
    I'm with you Sue. The Lowepro Passport Sling is a fine bag and not too expensive. I carry both the Xpro and the NEX7 with two-three extra lenses in mine.
     
  20. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    I haven't found the right bag to date and I have a few of them that end up being storage at best. I think I'm at that pivotal point of still wanting to do macro and closeup photography but otherwise not wanting to carry a lot of heavy gear. I will change out a couple lenses but all the other stuff, eh.