Which Shooting Bag To Buy?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by helenhall, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. helenhall

    helenhall New Member

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    Hey Everyone! I started my photo business this year and have started to shoot weddings. I'm a total newbie and just started charging so I don't have a lot of mula to spend yet on things like my bag (Fast lenses are sooo expensive!) but I really need a nice bag carry my lenses to weddings. So far I've done a lot of research and have narrowed it down to the Shootsac, The One Bag, and Kelly Moore's classic bag. Have any of you used these bags yet? If so could help me make my decision? It's hard to decided because I haven't had a chance to see any of these bags in person. Thanks so much! ;)
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    I will say that it's a bad idea to choose a camera bag without seeing it in person. Go into a well stocked camera store and compare them first hand.

    I have a few Lowepre bags and like them. If I had money to spend, I'd be looking at something from Thinktank.
     
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  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Bags are highly personal. There are storage bags; transport bags; assignment bags; day-hike bags. And some others. Bag requirements change with the assignment,its duration, and the equipment needed or potentially needed, as well as the MANNER in which the photographer likes to work. In the early 1980's, a well-stocked shooter (like me back then) would carry two motor-driven bodies, and SIX or seven prime lenses, plus a flash and batteries--for a total of 18.25 pounds on a certified scale....DAILY carry!!! 24,28,35,50,85,135,200, and a 300 for sports assignments, but fewer of the shorter lenses many times.

    Are you going to be carrying and literally "wearing" the bag all of the time? Or will it be placed on the floor or held by an assistant or a payed bag-watcher??? You probably need two bags, at minimum. The purse-like one you linked to looks like it might tip over if set down on the floor...but it looks nice and "dressy" and fit for formal occasions in a way that say an old Domke F2 bag would not!!! I like a shoulder bag that also has a waist-strap to help distribute the load.
     
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  4. MTVision

    MTVision Well-Known Member

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    I have a purple tenba bag that is a messenger bag. It fits my camera body and lens + I have 3 other lenses in it, 2 flashes, a laptop and other things. It has a zipper on the top of the bag so you can shoot out of it!
     
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  5. mwcfarms

    mwcfarms New Member

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    I have two bags, one for carrying all my gear to weddings that fits the flashes, extra body and extra batteries and cards etc. I also use a shoot sac to keep the main lenses I will be using for the ceremony or what not with me and extra cards and batteries for my camera and flash. I found the main bag too bulky but the shootsac is amazing to be on the go. I keep the big bag either in the car or under my table at the reception, or behind the bar. dj booth etc. The big bag I have is a Nova 200 Lowepro bag.
     
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  6. helenhall

    helenhall New Member

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    Thanks for the response and advice Mike. What Lowepro bags do you have and which Thinktank bags are on your wishlist?
     
  7. helenhall

    helenhall New Member

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    Derrel, that's a lot of equipment that you own that I wish I had! I'm going to wearing this bag all the time and don't plan on setting it down. I can't afford to pay any assistant or bag-watchers...yet! As far as a bag with a waist-strap, are you talking about something like this? I like the idea since it's hard for a little girl like me to bear so much weight on my shoulders. I also saw this one which looks nice for portrait sessions but not sure if it holds enough for an entire wedding. I'm thinking of getting a Pelican for my larger carrying case.
     
  8. helenhall

    helenhall New Member

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    @MTVision, can you send me a link to the bag your talking about? It sounds like it fits everything! One question is does it get pretty heavy?

    @MWCFarms, thanks for the help. I have a friend that has a shootsac. I'll have see if I can borrow it for one of my weddings to try it out. Just took a look at the Nova 200 Lowepro bag as well and it looks pretty roomy. I think I might want something with wheels for my larger bag
     
  9. mwcfarms

    mwcfarms New Member

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    Yup I dont blame you. I actually will be switching the large bag out to a thinktank but thats because I have a tonne of gear to carry etc and I really like the organization of the think tank for travel.
     
  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    What I meant was using a shoulder bag with an extra strap, worn around the waist. The shoulder strap can be worn cross-body OR on the shouklder nearest the bag, where it will tend to slip of the shoulder...which is fine if you want to go to an assignment, then slip the bag off as you shoot, then slip it back on as you take up another camera position. Basically, the waist strap is designed to spread out the load on both a shoulder AND two hips, which becomes essential when carrying an 18-pound bag full of stuff for any distance. The one you linked to, the Think Tank one with the concealable, wide, padded waist straps has the added advantage of being able to be slid "around back". The one shown in the video looked to me like an overgrown fanny pack.

    Bags are so,so personal...I like Tamrac and Tenba bags, but also have some smaller, relatively inexpensive ones plus my newest "bag" is actually a 2-water bottle, large fanny pack designed as a fisherman's fanny pack: it has two side pockets for 500ml water bottles with elastic retaining strings for the bottles--PERFECT for my 24-105 L or for a 70-300, or my 135/2-L lens, OR TWO smaller lenses with the lens caps epoxied together back-to-back, like for the 50mm and 85mm. The main compartment is quite large, designed to carry a tackle box and other fishing stuff. It's stylish gray and blue, from WalMart. I bought it for fishing, but when I saw the water bottles I thought... "hmmmm...lenses are about that size!"

    If you can manage to get the "shooting gear" down to two bodies, each with a zoom, then a bag becomes smaller and less-needed. Then, a 3-lens bag is all that is needed, since two lenses are in use on bodies all the time. I have a thin, low-profile messenger-style bag I got at Target...it's so skinny!!!! It's great for a flash and two or three smallish lenses. But I prefer the old-style "1980's" Tamrac or Tenba styled bags with 6 lens compartments, and one body, with a flat bottom and a flip-top lid that has buckles, 4 of them, or 3 of them...and some end-pockets, plus outer document pockets. But that's just me. There are just sooooooo many choices. Wish I could help more, but I really cannot.
     
  11. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

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    My main camera bag is a Lowepro Computrekker AW. It's a backpack style bag with a laptop sleeve. I don't usually carry a laptop, but this bag was cheaper than the one without the sleeve...and it's a good place to carry flat items or magazines etc.

    I have travelled around the world with this bag. Being a backpack, it's easy to transport. It has nice padded straps, a chest clip to keep the straps nicely on the shoulders and it does have a waist strap to help spread the load when needed. It has a nice sized storage area in the front/lid, which I've used for clothes, food and other miscellaneous stuff. The 'AW' stands for All-Weather, so the fabric is water repellant and it has a built-in rain cover. That came in handy while in Costa Rica during the rainy season.
    Many of the wedding photographers I know, also have a similar size/style bag. Probably because it has good value for the price.

    It's certainly not ideal for all situations. For example, I don't like how it opens. The 'back' of the bag zips open on three sides and you open it like a book. But to do this, the bag pretty much has to be laying flat (straps down). So if you don't have a nice clean spot to put the bag, you end up putting the straps on the ground, which may be wet & muddy etc. If you then pick it up and put it back on, your clothes may then be dirty. Also, it's not fast to access. You have to take it off, and most likely lay it open, just to get something in/out of the bag. Also, it's rather compact and 'hump-like' when on my back. I'm not a small guy, so it feels like a small lump sitting atop my back. For long hikes, I would prefer a bag that spreads the area over a wider area. The Lowepro Naturetrekker bags, for example.

    I almost never shoot while wearing a bag, I set it down somewhere. For weddings, I often prefer to have shoulder style bag. For one, I like that I can access it while wearing it and the bottom is always the bottom. I could set it down in a mud puddle and only the bottom will be dirty. I like that I can very easily get something out or put it in, because I only need to open the top flap/lid. The bad part is that carrying a shoulder bag for a long time, isn't comfortable.

    I have many shoulder style camera bags of various sizes & styles. If I had lots of money, I'd have a very large one, as I usually end up taking 2-3 camera bags to a wedding.

    Another option is a sling style bag (Lowepro Slingshot series, for example). They can be carried almost like a backpack but can swing down to your side for quick access. Maybe not ideal for wedding shooting, but if you want to always have the bag on you while shooting, it may be a good option.

    I really like the Thinktank bags (although I don't own one). The Airporter is one that I've seen and it looks really good.

    I completely agree with Derrel. The choice of bag should be based on the needs of the day. That's why I have 10+ camera bags. Although, I only bought one of them brand new. I always check garage sales and used shops for good deals.
     
  12. 2WheelPhoto

    2WheelPhoto New Member

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    I have that Tenba bag too, came in last night and its everything she says. If you are a student sign up for BHPhoto's student discount program for deep discounts on this and many other items sold there.
     

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