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View Full Version : Can somebody help me a little on the bag selection ?


Dimitris
02-03-2011, 02:23 PM
I’m looking for to buy a classic Domke bag as a walkaround bag, but I cannot conclude which one will fit my requirements.
Also I’m a little confused with the given dimensions since I show see different external and internal dimension indications on various sites, so I’m not sure which ones are valid. :confused:
The problem is that there is no local store where o live (Greece- Europe) to take a closer look , I’m intending to purchase the bag from the states. That means that I do not have the option to return it back to the store.

The gear I want to carry on the Domke is (for full gear I have a Lowepro backpack)
Gear
One Body: Nikon D300s
Three Lenses:
Tokina 12-24 f4, Nikon 35mm 1.8, and Nikon 50mm D 1.4 (or optional Nikon 85mm 1.8 instead of the 50mm 1.4)
One Flash: SB-600
Plus: Flash synch cable, 77mm pol filter in his plastic case, lens hoods, some very small accessories and I would be happy if there is also some space for some small personal items (wallet, keys, cell phone).

Desired Configuration:
Actually I want to have always one lens attached on the D300s so it can be in readiness (essential for the smaller primes, and optional for the Tokina 12-24 )
Even if I like the idea of the light padded bag which adds on functionallity I would like to have the option to add occasionally some extra protection (around 1/2 inch, i can use some inserts from otheer bags i have) on the sides when I thing that soke extra protection is needed.

My Thoughts for the bags i show are:
The F-2 seems to be big enough and with some free space, but very small weight difference compared to the other ones (with the same gear of course) but my concern is the it’s a little too long with the total length of 17 inch.

The F-6 seems to be one of the best options, but I don’t know if everything can fit there correctly .
Alternatively to the F-6 maybe also the F4-AF, from what I understood it’s smaller internally but it has the side pockets (for the flash , lens hoods, pol filter…)

The F-3x seems to be too small for the above requirements and it would be diffucult to add some extra protection i desired

Did I maybe miss something on the above thoughts?
Has anybody any commend or suggestion on the above.

I would really highly appreciate if somebody can help me a little, since it's very difficult to decide for a bag, just looking specs and pictures on the PC. Thatsway i though to ask for suggestion from someones which are using these bags...
Sorry for my long post, but I though it will be good to provide all the details

Many Many Thanks
Dimitris

dafiryde
02-03-2011, 06:02 PM
I have personally changed bags like underwear, on a computer they sound good ( great advertising )
i buy and still find only the F3X gives comfort with convenience and most important - accessability.
It may sound big but with your gear listed, a few pats here and there an it will get small.
At present i have a nikon d300s with grip and 17-55 lens attached in the middle back.in the middle front i have 900 flash and on either side of the main compartment has 70-300 and 8-16 . i dont put much in the outer pocket as i dont like a bag sticking out too much.
that set up will also fit in the F6, the reason i prefer the F3x is that when you take something out, the bag gets smaller whereas the f6 because of the padding stays the same size. it also has a 1 1/2 " strap, i prefer the 2" strap.
that on the f3x . also the f3x has rings on the back that you can attach the backpack strap which is super as you can use the back stap also as a shoulder strap.
another thing on padding, one does not really need it. it just makes bags look big, bulky and ugly.
F2 is a great bag but too big of my needs.
Hope this helps

Dave
T&T

Jon
02-04-2011, 03:17 PM
I agree with dafiryde; the F3x is an excellent choice for what you're looking to carry. The F6 really isn't much different in capacity than the F3; just a different geometry. The F2 will leave your gear rattling around without the proper choice of inserts, and those would leave a lot of extra space. If your camera doesn't have a grip, you might consider the F-803 as an option as well.

Dimitris
02-04-2011, 04:16 PM
Hey thank you guys for your feedback !

Dave with your mentioned gear yes!!! Your feedback was very-very useful for me to get I better idea, since I know exactly the sizing of your gear. Actually my current shoulder bag is Steal reporter 300 aw, god protection, better accessability than other bags of "this kind" …but even if it's not big I do not want anymore to have the feeling that I have a “box” hanging on my shoulder. So I thing the F3x seems to be an excellent choice…..

…up to the point that Jon mentioned the F-803. No Jon, my camera does not have a grip and I have no intention to add one. Do you thing that my gear (with one of the 3 lenses always attached on the camera will fit ? At I first look on some pictures of the inside I thing that some wrapping protection will be required to avoid that the equipment will be hit on each other, but I thing that this can be manageable.
The F-803 seems to be a very different approach...actually i never though about shuch a bag. In terms of accessability, the ease and speed of changing lenses is not so critical for my way of shooting, but I want to have quick access to the camera. Is that possible on the F-803?
Ok the F3X seems to be definitely the winner on this point, but the F-803 seems to have the advance of a even lower profile bag, and its thin , which can be very useful on some occasions.
I thing I still prefer the F3x but maybe this preference arrises from the fact that I’m more familiar with that kind of bag type. So i thing that the best thing to do is to research a little more, thing about the plus and minuses on each of them and then to take a final decision

Thank s again for your help !

Jon
02-06-2011, 01:35 PM
The F-803 comes with an insert that takes one lens IIRC, so the lenses won't be rattling around against each other inside. I use the F802 when I'm traveling light with 2 bodies, 3 lenses and a flash (720-230 insert) but the F-3x when I have a single camera and a couple of lenses (biggish zooms).

Dimitris
02-06-2011, 03:28 PM
Seeing some pictures around the web of how the F-803 is in generall and especailly if wearing it, I do not like so much it's shape as also it's overall length of 13.5”. I know the length of the F-3x is close to the one of the F-803 , but in this length range (12” +) I would definitely prefer the F-3x. As also dafiryde mentioned I thing the length of the F-3x will be not so much noticeable if wearing it with empty side pockets.

Just to have a complete idea of the various alternatives to the F-3x:
What to you thing about the F-5XC as an alternative to the F-803 ? It’s still quid thin but it's minor extra thickness seems to match better the D300s with lens attached (with the back of the camera body laying down) and the flash on the top part, and as far as I show there is still room for 2 of my lenses at the bottom part (if I divide top / bottom) . Any opinions/commends on the F-5xc option?

Thanks you guys for your great help, since ..it's easy to find a camera body that meets your requirements as also to find some lenses which are covering your prevered way of shooting...but it's really very-very hard to find a bag to carry you gear in a way that fits with your way of mooving in a balanced way....

paul parker
02-15-2011, 01:48 PM
I was also having the same problem, at that time I could not figure out any solution…

dafiryde
02-15-2011, 05:41 PM
Seeing some pictures around the web of how the F-803 is in generall and especailly if wearing it, I do not like so much it's shape as also it's overall length of 13.5”. I know the length of the F-3x is close to the one of the F-803 , but in this length range (12” +) I would definitely prefer the F-3x. As also dafiryde mentioned I thing the length of the F-3x will be not so much noticeable if wearing it with empty side pockets.

Just to have a complete idea of the various alternatives to the F-3x:
What to you thing about the F-5XC as an alternative to the F-803 ? It’s still quid thin but it's minor extra thickness seems to match better the D300s with lens attached (with the back of the camera body laying down) and the flash on the top part, and as far as I show there is still room for 2 of my lenses at the bottom part (if I divide top / bottom) . Any opinions/commends on the F-5xc option?

Thanks you guys for your great help, since ..it's easy to find a camera body that meets your requirements as also to find some lenses which are covering your prevered way of shooting...but it's really very-very hard to find a bag to carry you gear in a way that fits with your way of mooving in a balanced way....

I was also having the same problem, at that time I could not figure out any solution…

in a nut shell the F3X is about 15" long and 7" deep if fully packed to the extream.
i hardly ever put some thing in the end pockets, so at least 90% of the times it is empty and with a slight pat the bag becomes 9" long, at least i know when the time arrises, i can put a water bottle in there, but then again i dont always have a bottle of water on me.
as for the depth , yes it is 7" an that is because i always have on my grip, and its only in the bag during transporting, once i am up and about the camera is out, so once again a slight pat an its 4"deep

Dave
T&T

Dimitris
02-18-2011, 07:47 AM
After a lot of research, investigation and of course your helpful feedback here (which I highly appreciate :) ..) I took the final decision for upgrading the maybe most important photo equipment …the camera bag and I will go finally for the Domke F-3X.

Now before proceeding to the purchase there is one final question: since my favorite color/material is the RuggedWear version of the F-3x, however I’m very often in very hot environments (air temperatures in the range of 95- 105 and sometimes also reaching the 110 Fahrenheit, plus the extra heat within a car),
i just have some hesitation to choose the RuggedWear version since I do not know of how the wax treated canvas will be in such hot environments…..wax treated and extreme heat is usual not a good combination…

Has anybody experience with RuggedWear Domke’s in such very hot environments ?

The alternative would be the olive green, but I thing the RuggedWear is a better choice if there is no practical problem with the heat

Thanks
Dimitris

dafiryde
02-18-2011, 07:56 PM
Well i live in the caribbean, where it it is always hot or raining, an have not had any problems with my wax wear .

Dave
T&T

Dimitris
03-01-2011, 01:03 AM
Thanks a lot dafiryde for your feedback.
Previous week I was on a short trip to Germany and I had the opportunity to see actually some Domke bags colors/materials on a German shop (however they had only the F-803, F5-XB & F5-XC), and I liked better the olive.

So finally I purchased from USA the F-3x in olive, I’m very impatient to receiveit it but I guess it will take I till it's delivered here in Europe.
I purchased it from the States since the cost of the most Domke’s here in Europe is approximately 200%-250% higher than in the States (excluding F5 series and some very small bags which are available at more reasonable prices). I guess this is the reason why even if I travel a lot and I’m often in places with photographers, up to now I show only two times in my live a photographer in Europe using a Domke bag,…this is also a plus point if you want that you bag is not recognized as a photo equipment bag.
Anyhow, as soon as I receive my F-3x and try it a little out , I will come back here, just to write my impressions.
Dimitris :)

Dimitris
03-16-2011, 06:34 AM
I received my new Domke F-3x and I had also the change to try it out: It’s really a great bag and I’m very happy with it !!!
I must admit that I had some doubts up to receiving it , since I purchased it from an on-line store (it was not available at any local shop) …
My experience so far:
I had it often all day long with me in various occasions and I really love it: It is very flexible, it has great gear accessibility it is extremely practical to use.
It is so practical to use and to carry around that it became a standard procedure of me that even on occasions when I go out of my home without expecting to take any pictures, I take the bag loaded just with my camera and 1-2 lenses with me, and sometimes I get some opportunities for a nice shoot
So it totally meets my expectations!

As I was totally aware before purchasing ,it lacks on the gear protection part, but this is not really a negative, since you cannot except to have at the same time a light and so flexible and practical bag which over’s simultaneous a full padded gear protection ( I had the Lowepro Stealth reporter 100, with great protection but it is was way too bulky and with a shape like a box)

In order to feel a little more secure I just added on the F-3x a folded protective wrap on the bottom as little extra bottom protection, since the bottom is always the most sensitive part of a photo bag (this is also very practical as a space divider, since I put under it driving license Id card) and I put also one of the small dividers I had from older camera bags on the each of the side pockets as also one on the open front pocket. These additions are increasing actually the gear protection with almost zero extra weight, and with absolute no impact on the great flexibility of the F-3x.

Many Thanks for your very helpful feedbacks here, which helped me a lot to choose the correct for my needs, camera bag :D :):)

PS ….during my 20+ years of shooting, the F-3x is actually my first Domke bag and it’s also the first time that I’m totally satisfied with a camera shoulder bag (these doesn’t mean that the F-3x is perfect, it’s just means that the F-3x is totally covering my priorities on my photo bag requirements)

dafiryde
03-16-2011, 05:34 PM
Glad to hear your enjoying it.
as for the lack of gear protection, seriously the average Joe does not need it.
at times like this , one has to think outside the box.
take out all your gear you would normally carry with you. place all the camera gear on one side of the bed, you would be supprised at how much more extras we carry around, like cleaning cloths, rocket blower, handkercheif, wallet, camera strap, bottle water, etc. all these things would serve as impact barriers, you just need to spread them around the outer sides of the bag :D

i recently tried out my Domke vest which has no protection, and on the bussiest time of the year, Carnival tuesday, a day when you are dealing with thousands and thousands of people, pushing, jumping, wining, and seroiusly my gear was banging against people and thats not hard on your gear. :cool:

Dave
T&T

Jon
03-17-2011, 09:01 AM
I agree completely with Dave. The loose bits and pieces in the outside pockets provide all the protection you really need. Between card wallets, filter wallets, notebooks and the like, there's plenty to absorb or dissipate any impacts.

Arnaud
03-18-2011, 02:47 AM
Absolutely.
As far as the bodies and lenses aren't in contact inside the main compartment, all gears are safe inside with all the pockets - and youy body - around the bag.

aqkevin
09-27-2011, 12:52 AM
gree dafiryde; F3X is an excellent choice to take what you are looking for. F6 really is not much different than the capacity of the F3, just a different geometry. F2, leave your gear rattling around without a more appropriate choice, and leave a lot more space. If the camera does not stand up, you might consider the F-803 so there is an alternative.
Reply with quote

MeggansFK
02-15-2012, 04:21 AM
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i got some free time... i might be able to come up with a kick ass splash page...

Farff
04-19-2012, 04:20 PM
I see you went with the F-3x instead of the F-6. I agree that that was a good choice. I have two F-2 bags and one F-6. The F-6 is GREAT for a rangefinder kit. Mine was filled with two Leica M cameras, a 90mm f/2, 50mm f/2, 15mm f/3.2, 35mm f2, a small flash and various cleaning cloths, filters, sync cables and other accessories. It was a perfect fit. However, I've found that it does not handle larger SLRs as well (Nikon D700). On the other hand, my brother uses an identical F-6 for his Canon Rebel kit and is delighted with it.

All this rambling is to say that I like the configuration of the F-3x better than the F-6 for a smallish bag for larger SLRs. I'm considering a F-3x purchase for that purpose, myself. Glad to hear you're liking it.

jocvtrhythgd
04-25-2012, 07:52 PM
i buy and still find only the F3X gives comfort with convenience and most important - accessability.
It may sound big but with your gear listed, a few pats here and there an it will get small.

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NKjulanoff
05-23-2012, 01:46 AM
that on the f3x . also the f3x has rings on the back that you can attach the backpack strap which is super as you can use the back stap also as a shoulder strap.
another thing on padding, one does not really need it. it just makes bags look big, bulky and ugly.
F2 is a great bag but too big of my needs.

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