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Posted (edited)

Been meaning to ask this for a while. May seem rudimentary, but I would like to see/hear how people carry their cameras around? In a camera bag? Which one? On a strap around your neck? How do you manage for it to be safe and discreet and yet quickly available for a shot? And not heavy or bulky. I walk everywhere, often in dicey urban areas.

 

Edit to say: Links to specific bags appreciated!!

Edited by The Blinking Eye
please provide links to specific products if you can
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40 minutes ago, The Blinking Eye said:

Been meaning to ask this for a while. May seem rudimentary, but I would like to see/hear how people carry their cameras around? In a camera bag? Which one? On a strap around your neck? How do you manage for it to be safe and discreet and yet quickly available for a shot? And not heavy or bulky. I walk everywhere, often in dicey urban areas.

 

My standard kit is two D750's with 24-70 and 70-300 lenses attached. They sit in a Tamrac shoulder bag lenses down with a divider between them. Either a 11" or 13" MacBook Air lives in the laptop sleeve. I keep one D750 in my hands when shooting, and can quickly drop it into the bag and pull out the other when needed. The downside is if carrying all day you feel the bags weight. Nothing is perfect.

 

If I need more kit I use a Tenba backpack, it takes the two D750's with lenses attached and two other lenses plus a laptop if required. That will be todays kit bag. No quick access with this bag.

 

If I'm traveling light I'll be carry a small black leather shoulder bag that has two zipped sections. Sony RX100VII in one, and various accessories, sanitising gel, gloves, masks and maybe a drink carton and something to eat in the other.

 

For security I leave my camera/s in their bags until they are needed unless I feel pretty secure. Obviously the RX100 is the most inconspicuous, it gets more and more use.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Canon 5D Mk3 + 24-105 lens + strap

 

Carry it from my shoulder. I feel weird if I don't feel it hanging there when I am out wandering about - I get a sudden jolt when it isn't there.

 

Once or twice the sudden jolt has been necessary because I had left the camera back on a bench or wall when I'd stopped for a rest! Visualise an overweight oldie trying to run looking red and frantic. It turns heads I assure you. 

Edited by geogphotos
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Hi Kristin, I have ended up with 3 camera bags when I initially only intended to have one, which just kind of organically happened.

 

I have a camera backpack that has its own waterproof cover that fits neatly under it with velcro and can be pulled out to cover the pack when necessary. The pack has clipped connectors (like buckles I guess) at the waist and chest which takes the weight off your shoulders so that it is less burdensome to carry around. It looks like this:

https://www.leedervillecameras.com.au/products/cases-straps/cases/sol-/sol-case-model-no-8070

 

However, as this bag didn't fit my 150-500mm lens I subsequently bought a Lowepro Flipside 15L pack. This is different in that it opens from the opposite side (the side that is against your back when worn) which makes it feel nice and secure. Like the one above it also has a waterproof cover that can be pulled out to protect against rain. I have hiked in heavy rain with this and my camera gear stayed completely dry. It is lightweight and also has the buckles that fasten at the waist and chest. I can carry my big lens attached to my camera plus 2 or 3 smaller ones in it, and even though I'm a small person, the way this pack is supportive I can manage it quite well. By using the buckles, your ab muscles take the weight rather than the shoulders, which I find much easier. I often carry a drink bottle in the side pocket too, and snacks. I have a feeling Lowepro no longer manufacture this specific one, though I just found it is available on Amazon (I'm sure I paid about half the price of this one though):

https://www.amazon.com.au/Lowepro-Flipside-Sport-Camera-Backpack/dp/B00809MO9S

I'm sure there are many other similar bags to this one too.

 

The third bag is a Lowepro shoulder bag that I got as a bonus deal when I bought my Tamron macro lens. This is good when I just want to carry the camera without additional lenses. I can still fit a few extras in here though, and almost always carry things like filters and lens filter attachments, a spare battery if I know I'll need it etc. It is this one:

https://www.lowepro.com/au-en/passport-sling-iii-grey-and-orange-lp36658-0ww/

 

If I am going to do a lot of walking I prefer the backpacks so I don't get sore shoulders, but if not, and if not carrying extra lenses, the shoulder sling bag is great. All three bags get regular use. The sling bag is the easiest for quickly retrieving the camera without having to take it off my shoulder. All of them have velcro sections that can be reconfigured how you want them to support and hold lenses and other accessories, as well as additional zip pockets which I find helpful.

 

Sometimes, if I am just driving down to the ocean or a park for a walk and I think I'd like to take some shots along the way, I don't even bother with a bag and just carry the camera. However, 8 years ago I lived in a bit of a dodgy street. I naively was carrying my camera outside and to and from the car not in a bag. Before long we were broken into and the camera with a new macro lens attached was stolen. My housemate and I had had a weird feeling we had been watched for a couple of days, and he also had his expensive mountain bike stolen. So I now only carry the camera outside a bag in places that it feels safe to do so.

 

I think a good thing is to go to a camera store or two, have a look at their bags and see if you think they will fit the things you want to carry, if they will be comfortable etc.

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It used to be cameras in a backpack in the days of medium format stock, a backpack which could also carry a tripod so basically a Lowepro. When working with clients it was a very large Billingham (all part of the 'show' for the public). Now I use a medium size Billingham with one old camera (5DII)  and a few lenses plus I carry a tripod (CF). Weighs a fraction of what I used to lug.

 

Most important consideration has always been finding a bag big enough for the equipment plus a lunch box.......

 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, GeoffK said:

It used to be cameras in a backpack in the days of medium format stock, a backpack which could also carry a tripod so basically a Lowepro. When working with clients it was a very large Billingham (all part of the 'show' for the public). Now I use a medium size Billingham with one old camera (5DII)  and a few lenses plus I carry a tripod (CF). Weighs a fraction of what I used to lug.

 

Most important consideration has always been finding a bag big enough for the equipment plus a lunch box.......

 

 

 

 

Hi Geoff. Welcome back. No St Tott's day this year again 😂. You must have put a jinx on your boys when you posted that link back in 2016. 

 

As for camera bags, a small Lowe Pro rucksack for me if wandering about - enough for a camera and 24-70 zoom plus a few bits and pieces. The RX100 fits neatly in a Lowe Pro belt pouch and goes most places with me. On a job where I need more gear,  then it's a big Lowe Pro or Manfrotto rucksack. I find rucksacks preferable to over the shoulder bags for ease of carrying and posture. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Hey,

I've tried normal backpacks, and the slingshot type backpack. I found the slingshot type quite unwieldy. But I also tend to mostly go around urban or 'tamed' rural settings and I don't go hiking so it's got to be a shoulder bag for me as your camera's readily available. I think it needs to be comfortable, waterproof and you definitely have to check it fits all your gear you want to take out! I'm loving my ThinkTank Retrospective 7 at the moment. Doesn't scream camera bag and very practical. It's got big velcro pads that you can make silent or use normally if you're worried about security.

 

I've gone off camera straps for the neck, the camera just ends up bouncing off your chest when you walk along so you have to keep it steady with your hand. I now just use a wrist strap or keep it in my bag for easy access. But I am using a relatively lightweight mirrorless system.

Steve

Edited by Steve F

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Posted (edited)

With the thin strap from my Canon A1, but without the rubber pad that made it stick to some coats- same reason for ditching the Sony straps. Putting black tape over the name wasn't enough.

Otherwise in a cheap camcorder bag that takes body, both lenses, binos, bottle of water  and the usual bits. Occasionally one of those cotton carrier bags, but the straps can be a bit long. Sonys don't like scraping along the ground much.

47 minutes ago, Steve F said:

bouncing off your chest when you walk along

For year's I've put it over the right shoulder and under the left arm so you can push it out of the way. It even sits on top of the bag.

Edited by spacecadet

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54 minutes ago, Steve F said:

I'm loving my ThinkTank Retrospective 7 at the moment. Doesn't scream camera bag and very practical.

 

Someone else I know really recommends the ThinkTank bags for security because they don't really look like camera bags. I actually turn my Lowepro sling bag round so the label is facing inwards, just so it is a bit less obvious it is carrying a camera. But the ThinkTank ones I've seen are definitely less like a camera bag and less conspicuous.

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Posted (edited)

I use a manfrotto advanced travel backpack, I bought it in early 2019 in preparation for a trip to New York and on realisation that at the time my interest in photography had waned because I had no good way of carrying kit around.

 

The main storage inside is just about big enough to take 2 reasonably sized DSLR type cameras (professional size body but not the Canon 1D/battery grip type), and a selection of medium sized lenses. If I needed to carry say a bulky telezoom like a 70-200 f/2.8 or a 100-400 I would only be able to fit one camera body. For reference I currently carry two Sony A-mount cams, an A99 and an A77ii, 85mm f/1.4, 70-300, 50, 18-55 and a 12-24. No room for anything else.

 

It has lots of little pockets and places to tuck away accessories and eats kit well given its size. It has a padded back and a pocket which will just about hold a slim smallish laptop (think 11 or 13 inch MacBook Air) and some paper documents. It's reasonably waterproof, although for torrential downpours you should use the included waterproof cover - I didn't last time I got caught in an absolute monsoon downpour and enough water seeped in to damage my A35 - but given how torrential it was and I hadn't used the waterproof cover I was impressed with how little water ingress there was.

 

The bag also has a tripod pocket on the side which just about fits my unwieldy hunk of crap that definitely isn't a manfrotto and makes it bearable to carry. Otherwise it fits snacks, a bottle of water, and it would take a reasonable sized telezoom if needed, though use caution as this part of the bag isn't well padded.

 

When not bagged I sling the camera over my shoulder using the strap, never round my neck as I find that highly uncomfortable. I can recommend the bag I have because it makes carrying a sizeable amount of kit enjoyable which results in it being taken out more often which results in pics. The padded back is a godsend, I am skinny and regular backpacks kill me because they dig in to my back. I've had it around 1.5 years now and it gets slung about everywhere, the back of my car, the gravelly sides of canals, fields covered in sheep droppings etc, you name it, it gets the job done. The side opening is especially useful as you can sling it round still on your back and get kit quickly.

Edited by Cal
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I have a proper small Kata backpack I used for my wildlife trips but if I am just taking the D500 with 18-300 lens on the subway to the Central Park Zoo I prefer to look like I'm not carrying a camera so I use the bag my Crumpler computer bag came in. Just a canvas shopping bag that has short straps so the opening is right under my shoulder and not easy for someone to reach into. At the zoo I have it around my neck but usually also hold it in my hand to relieve the heaviness. I often think that if I had bigger shoulders life would be easier.

 

Paulette

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For traveling on the subway and buses in large cities I do something similar to you, Paulette. I have a denim bag with both a cross body strap and short shoulder straps, so I can tuck the bag up under my arm, but let it hang free when I’m out of crowds, and it just looks like I might be out doing some light shopping. For other times, I also have a proper camera bag, with a waterproof cover, that can be worn as a backpack or as a sling.

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Been using DOMKE F2 bags since they were introduced.  Currently on my third one, the first

two were stolen, from a studio in San Francisco and the other from my apartment in NYC. 

These days I carry a body and lens over each shoulder with another body and flashes, cards,

paper notebook and batteries in the F2 bag.  These days it is a lot easier with the zooms,

using FF bodies I can cover from 16mm to 300 with only three lenses, all f2.8

 

Bought a "camera backpack" years ago and have never used it. 

 

I also hate the modern camera straps.  I only use old thin OEM NIKON straps.

 

Chuck

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Posted (edited)

I have several camera bags of different sizes. Since I switched to small mirrorless cameras, I've been getting a lot of use out of a small Tamrac bag that I've had for eons. It easily holds my Sony a6000 with two zooms (one attached). I also have a larger Sony bag for when I want to pack an extra prime lens or two, plus a rugged Tamrac bag with a waist strap and waterproof cover that I take hiking, etc. If I'm just going out on an errand and want to take a camera with me, I just toss one in an ordinary cloth tote bag. I usually carry cameras on a neck/shoulder strap, but I pack a wrist strap as well. I find that, in addition to being overpriced, many new camera bags don't have enough pockets for accessories, so I tend to hang onto my old ones.

Edited by John Mitchell

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I´ve been using a Lowepro backpack but it is wearing out so I bought a smaller shoulderbag.
Usually when out to town I carry my Nikon with 18-140 zoom attatched in my hand. My fingers keep cramping after hours of carrying and I cannot hang my camera in my neck, it tends to give a heck of a neckpain. So I sit in the cafés and park benches a lot.
In the nature I need more space for my macro lens and other stuff.

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Posted (edited)

There's a pattern emerging here, I too always junk the OEM straps and replace them, in my case with thin black & grey film era Canon straps, works for me. They're comfortable and lose themselves easily in the bag without taking up any room and they wind easily round my wrist for extra security. I've always used Lowepro bags and these days have a small 200l backpack, shoulder bags irritate me now as they're always slipping off, breaking my collar bone didn't help. However let me put in a word for Tenba BYOB inserts, stands for 'Bring Your Own Bag'. 

 

https://www.tenba.com/en/products/accessories-byob/byob-camera-inserts

 

As you can see they come in a number of different sizes and I've got a couple that fit in Army Surplus shoulder bags, very discreet indeed.

Edited by Harry Harrison
Typo
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9 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

I've always used Lowepro bags and these days have a small 200l backpack, shoulder bags irritate me know as they're always slipping off, breaking my collar bone didn't help.

 

Yes almost entirely Lowe Pro bags for many years now except for a single Manfrotto aberration in a sale at a show. I currently use a 150 Lowe Pro which is really comfortable. Shoulder bags and holster bags tend towards imbalance and get banged around much more easily than a backpack. 

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Ohhhh, I was gonna do my next blog on this very subject.

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Posted (edited)

I use a small nondescript bag (Ape Case AC540BL) to carry two Sony APS-C mirrorless with lenses (they fit just right, lenses up). The bag is nylon with typical padding panels on bottom and sides with a moveable panel for creating two compartments.

 

There's a front compartment that can hold two chargers, extra batteries and cards, and more (small pockets in that compartment for the small items). In the main compartment, there is room on the ends between the padding panels and bag to put a small table tripod, lenspen kit, even a water bottle after I remove a camera.

 

For air travel, the whole thing fits in the bottom half of my carry-on backpack. 

 

When I'm ready to shoot, I put one camera around my neck and the bag crossed over to a shoulder. Or both cameras (and bag) crossed over shoulders.

 

I've been using this arrangement (and original bag) for eight years with no problems. Currently carrying a Sony a6300 with 18-105mm, and a6000 with 10-18mm. 

Edited by Bill Kuta
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Various combinations, but the 'mother load' is a Sigma 150-600 and 70-200, both on full frame Nikons, and on across-the-chest straps/slings. Backpack with a laptop, possibly an additional wide-angle, monopod, folding step, all the little bits and pieces, water and a Ginsters or two. I did weigh it once and although I've forgotten I do remember that it's roughly the same as a check-in suitcase.

 

I like the security of having straps/slings that can't fall off of my shoulders and also that it spreads out the weight, and the same with a bag. With using heavier equipment the weight needs to be central in a backpack, not a bag hanging from one shoulder. The straps are attached to the larger lenses so that all the weight isn't hanging from the camera mounts.

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Good subject😀 strange that no matter how many camera bags I try, I always seem to revert to my ancient Lowepro backpack, amazing what this holds.   Also tried Think Tank  Vision 13 shoulder bag last year, it's fine for one body with lens attached and another medium  lens though not  my 70/200mm.  However, as said I feel better with my backpack.

 

 I have have a Think Tank Glass Taxi and Glass Limo both backpacks  and very comfortable for when I used to lug a larger lens around - anymore and I'll have a fleet !  I don't carry a laptop around but like space for other bits and pieces. Also have a Lowepro holster bag which olds one body with lens attached but not much else.

 

Carol

 

 

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I used what the US people call a fanny pack when I'm out with my a6000 and one lens.   Doesn't look like a camera bag.  I also have a security camera strap that I used in Mexico.  Also have some camera bags.   My favorite ThinkTank bag that I know longer own isn't showing on the TT site now.  Alternative is the Mirrorless Mover.   My other two cameras are a cheap LowePro camera bag I bought when I needed more space than my ThinkTank Mirrorless Mover 20 and a Billingham 220. 

 

I have my cameras on camera straps except for one Sony a7 on a shoulder strap. 

 

Nicaraguans who have big cameras either carry them like footballs in their arms or don't take them out of the house.

 

If you're out with a Sony a6000, put it on a wrist strap unless you're using long lenses.  If that's the case, put a security strap on it so it can't be cut off if that makes you feel more secure.

 

Could have carried the Billingham in Mexico City, but wasn't sure it would be allowed in some of the museums.

If you're in seriously dodgy places, having a dog with you might be useful. 

 

What I do is one lens, one camera, on a wrist band.  Flash if I'm out at night.   Cameras are snatch and grab and sell on fast here except for thieves who specialize in pro gear and go to weddings or steal from studios. 

 

Having non-Nikon, non-Canon gear is somewhat to very less appealing to thieves who are snatching and selling fast. 

 

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Ed Rooney said:

Ohhhh, I was gonna do my next blog on this very subject.

Lots of free info here then;)

I think some of these bags cost half as much as my cameras.😮 Before the camcorder bag I used the same £1.99 sports bag for 30 years.

Edited by spacecadet

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Posted (edited)

I do have a camera bag and I use it in the car for protection against emergency braking. I tend to leave the bag locked out of sight in the car when I go wandering around. Having the camera on my shoulder means no faffing around getting the camera in and out and it is then quick and easy to see a shot and respond. I'd say that this means more pics actually taken which can then be edited away or not. 

 

Safety is not a big issue for me in the places I go to - the only hassle I seem to get in Ipswich is a few odd people who come up to me and tell me that I have a camera. It reminds me of my teaching days when children would tell me that I had had a haircut. I'd say 'Yes I was there'. 

Edited by geogphotos
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Posted (edited)

In film days, I used Tenba shoulder bags and a Halliburton for extras when travelling. With my Nikon DSLRs, I used Domkes. I still have the slightly smaller Domke F3 Ballistic with me but I don't walk around with it. Instead, I have a small Manfrotto that holds a RX100 and an a6000 with the 10-18 zoom. However, most of the time I go out with just a RX100-V or a 100-6 in a pocket. All my jackets have large pockets. I used to have UPstraps on my Nikons. 

 

What bugs me is the silly, inept way so many "photographers" carry and handle their cameras. 

 

Edited by Ed Rooney

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