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Custom Canvas Bags
  #1  
Old 01-31-2009, 07:23 PM
MichaelBrochstein
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Default Custom Canvas Bags

I am a very long time user of Domke canvas bags and absolutely love my black F-3X which I use the most. I usually put a D300 with a RRS "L" plate, 17-55/2.8 and a SB-800 inside the bag and various assesories in the outer pockets. Now with the new larger SB-900, D700 and 24-70/2.8 things are quite tight which leads to my idea;

[B]Custom Canvas Bags![/B]

Offer custom sized canvas bags for an extra $100 each. This would allow Domke would be able to have a "halo" product that is quite unique. The absolute profit may not be large but the positive publicity it would get would more than make up for that.

Since the materials for the canvas bags are such that they can be assembled manually then I think this is a realistic idea. Considering the costs of digital equipment these days, the few who would pay the extra fee would be extremely happy customers. I would suggest offering only variations of the F-2, F-3X, F-4AF, F-6, F-7 style of bags. Customers, on a website like the one Dell might use to let a user custom configure a computer would enter dimensions, number and location of various outer pockets, number of closure straps, whether to put velcro closures on various flaps etc etc. The raw materials for all of the possible variations are finite as all of these bags use common materials.

I for one would order a F-3X with just a little more floor space.

Just my two cents!
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  #2  
Old 02-02-2009, 08:25 AM
Andrea
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Hi Michael,
Thanks for the feedback. Actually, we have made the F-3 an inch wider, but it probably won't be in stores for another few months.

As for your idea, it's very interesting, I just wonder how much interest there would be in something like that, and I'm also not sure how cost effective it is making one bag at a time.

Andrea
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F-3 not like the F-3X
  #3  
Old 02-02-2009, 09:34 AM
MichaelBrochstein
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Default F-3 not like the F-3X

Thanks but the F-3 backpack is not at all like my beloved F-3X bag.

As for cost effectiveness of custom bags. My guess (and it is only that) is that if the $100 extra per custom bag only nets a breakeven or small payback then the free publicity of simply having this unique "halo" program could make this worthwhile. Since the volume would not be high, the cannibalization of your regular products would probably not be an issue.

My guess is that if you have a bag repair department then an expansion of its services would be a logical place to start in that this department already has the materials, equipment and know-how to modify/repair bags. Someone ordering a custom bag would probably be willing to wait a month for its delivery given the custom nature of it. The key here is a good online configurator where a customer could design the key aspects of the bag within certain constraints and have it priced and ordered. This system should generate a work order with details on materials and design that a custom bag builder would need to do their work efficiently. Given the online nature of things these days, the bag could be built anywhere,...

Lastly, you could do some sort of survey / limited trial with appropriate users (i.e. the White House News Photographers Association - a "halo" trend setting user group?).

Just my two cents,...
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Little more floor space
  #4  
Old 02-02-2009, 01:46 PM
Jim Domke Jim Domke is offline
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Default Little more floor space

Some bags come in small medium and large sizes, where they are actually making copies of the same bag, but one is blown up and the other is shrunk. I always assume the camera stays the same size, so the design has to be totally reworked.

The challenge is that new cameras are coming out that are smaller and more compact, then others are larger. They both take the same lenses. The new zoom lenses are changing the shape of the future Domke bags. Will tare they get smaller, or will manufactures keep coming out with huge ones?

I'm playing around with a new design to hold a pro dslr camera with a "normal" zoom, along with another telephoto zoom, flash and a 'puter (?). Sort of a box shape version of a F804 Satchel bag and using a insert to take wide diameter zoom lenses. -jgd
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simple event shoot
  #5  
Old 02-02-2009, 02:53 PM
MichaelBrochstein
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Default simple event shoot

The scenario I have in mind that comes up for me regularly is a very simple event situation that keeps me on-location for a few hours or a day (no overnight). I carry the following;

- one DSLR body (Nikon D300 or D700 with a RRS "L" plate)
- one lens: a f/2.8 pro-level normal zoom (Nikon 17-55 or 24-70)
- one flash (Nikon SB-800 or 900)
- one flash bracket (RRS Wedding Pro flash backet)
- one flash cord (Nikon SC-29)
- extra batteries, CF cards, microfiber cloth, cell phone, etc etc

A black F-3X is unobstrusive (I black out the Domke logos with a thick black marker - no offense but I live in NYC), comfortable, adequately large, and fast to access (the lens is already mounted on the body!). Importantly, it also has only one closing strap with velcro - the larger models have two and those bags put them into a much larger, more awkward to use when shooting category.

FWIW, I tried the the F4-AF bag but found it too bulky and went back to using the F-3X.

Regarding the boxy F804 you wrote about; For a simple event, the ability to hold a computer is not at all needed and would add extra bulk and weight. I can certainly see a different scenario where a small computer and a small telephoto zoom (70-300/4.5) would round out the needs in many circumstances. FWIW, a small telephoto zoom may fit in a F-3X pocket (either internally or externally according to the specifics).

Obviously my needs are based upon my own circumstances which is why I suggested the custom bag option.

Thanks for listening and for inventing the "Domke" bag!
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  #6  
Old 02-03-2009, 01:39 AM
dafiryde
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[QUOTE=Andrea;273]Hi Michael,
Thanks for the feedback. Actually, we have made the F-3 an inch wider, but it probably won't be in stores for another few months.

As for your idea, it's very interesting, I just wonder how much interest there would be in something like that, and I'm also not sure how cost effective it is making one bag at a time.

Andrea[/QUOTE]

i own an f3x and i would not look at it as a custon feature but an actual correction
for example the side pockets, the sides are open to everything
and the main flap , once egain the sides are always open . you have to constantly keep pulling at it to make sure it covers the area properly. in your advertising pic you show a lovely bag closed up on the sides, when in fact after you purchase this bag, and load it up with some gear , put it on your shoulder, walk a few blocks, and look at it , you see the sides of the end pockets and the side of the main flap ( i mean where the shoulder strap is ) open to all the wonderful elements such as rain , dust, leaves, twigs, and i am serious.
and no it is not overloaded, in the main compartment i have a pentax K20d normally with the 16-50 lens mounted and the 50-135. in one side pocket a 360 flash and in the other side pocket a blower brush.
actually all it would have taken is approx. 1/2" more material in these areas to correct this or did i get a defective bag from you
even the strap on the main flap that holds the snap lock, at its shortest adjustment i could safely say has about 6 " too much material, and that is at the shortest adjustment. did i get a defective bag from amazon

Dave

Last edited by dafiryde; 02-03-2009 at 01:49 AM..
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  #7  
Old 02-18-2009, 01:00 PM
dafiryde
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[QUOTE=dafiryde;277]i own an f3x and i would not look at it as a custon feature but an actual correction
for example the side pockets, the sides are open to everything
and the main flap , once egain the sides are always open . you have to constantly keep pulling at it to make sure it covers the area properly. in your advertising pic you show a lovely bag closed up on the sides, when in fact after you purchase this bag, and load it up with some gear , put it on your shoulder, walk a few blocks, and look at it , you see the sides of the end pockets and the side of the main flap ( i mean where the shoulder strap is ) open to all the wonderful elements such as rain , dust, leaves, twigs, and i am serious.
and no it is not overloaded, in the main compartment i have a pentax K20d normally with the 16-50 lens mounted and the 50-135. in one side pocket a 360 flash and in the other side pocket a blower brush.
actually all it would have taken is approx. 1/2" more material in these areas to correct this or did i get a defective bag from you
even the strap on the main flap that holds the snap lock, at its shortest adjustment i could safely say has about 6 " too much material, and that is at the shortest adjustment. did i get a defective bag from amazon

Dave[/QUOTE]

Can i get a responce

Dave
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Error or intent
  #8  
Old 02-18-2009, 02:48 PM
Jim Domke Jim Domke is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Dallas Texas
Posts: 72
Default Error or intent

There is a reason it looks the way it does. The end pockets is where most photogs hold the flash and/or power pack. The flap is flat, so it won't hang up on the flash and accidentally pull it out of your hand when you reach for it quickly. The flap also will fold inside the pocket, and it enables the battery cord to stay on the flash when it is stored inside the main compartment.

A zipper might work, but it isn't waterproof and sometimes takes 2 hands to open or close. Velcro seemed to be the fastest and easiest for the working photographer. The flap also made it easy to access a roll of film stored in an end pocket, now that film is dead the zipper might be better. Hummmmm.
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  #9  
Old 02-18-2009, 05:50 PM
dafiryde
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[QUOTE=Jim Domke;345]There is a reason it looks the way it does. The end pockets is where most photogs hold the flash and/or power pack. The flap is flat, so it won't hang up on the flash and accidentally pull it out of your hand when you reach for it quickly. The flap also will fold inside the pocket, and it enables the battery cord to stay on the flash when it is stored inside the main compartment.

A zipper might work, but it isn't waterproof and sometimes takes 2 hands to open or close. Velcro seemed to be the fastest and easiest for the working photographer. The flap also made it easy to access a roll of film stored in an end pocket, now that film is dead the zipper might be better. Hummmmm.[/QUOTE]

thanks for the responce
but actually i was refering to the main flap of the bag, the area where it meets the shoulder strap, i have to often pull on this area so as to close it, for it leaves at least a 1/2" gap, sometimes more
also the strap that locks the main flap, it is at least 6" longer than it suppose to be, i know this for a fact now as recently i was in Miami and had the privilidge of seeing another F3X at a camera store , i was then convinced that i got a defective one
unfortunately i live in the caribbean and the shipping cost for me to send it back to amazon is the same price i paid for it



Dave
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  #10  
Old 02-19-2009, 08:05 AM
Andrea
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Hi Dave,
Can you e-mail me a picture of you bag to [email]arauch@tiffen.com[/email]?

Thanks,
Andrea
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