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Thread started 28 Dec 2009 (Monday) 06:31
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Smaller bag – which one to get?

 
Ville ­ Järveläinen
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Dec 28, 2009 06:31 |  #1

I recently sold my old gear and bought some new for replacement. I used to have two bodies and multiple lenses, but now I have only my EOS 40D and my two primes, EF 28mm f/1.8 USM and EF 85mm f/1.8 USM. And a Speedlite of course. Using my Lowepro Flipside 400 AW seems a bit like overshooting since I don't carry that much of gear anymore. It is a great backpack...for a backpack. I definitely want to get myself a shoulder bag, because I find it awkward when I'm not able to grab my gear without struggling.

I have considered few different bags from different manufacturers, but as you might already know, finding the perfect bag is next to impossible. These I've found interesting:

Lowepro Stealth Reporter D200 / D300 AW
Lowepro Classified 160 AW
Think Tank Urban Disguise 35

Stealth Reporter might be a good alternative, but I think it's one of the bags that scream "Hey, I'm a camera bag" when you're on the go. I think the Classified and Urban Disguise series are great because they don't look like cambags so much. Stealth Reporters are quite hefty and bulky too and I'm not sure how convenient it would be to carry them around.

Now you must be thinking why I haven't already bought a Classified or Urban Disguise. Since I don't own any physically longer lenses like the 70-200, I'm wondering how these bags perform when used with smaller lenses like my two primes. Actually at the moment with only one small lens attached to the body and the other in the bag.

I'm planning to get one, maybe two lenses in the future but not anytime soon. Would it be smart to get a bag which will fit also these future purchases or a bag that fits my current gear well?

I'd like to hear some of your experiences with these bags. Pros and cons of course. Somebody who has used the Classified series or UD with only smaller lenses could tell me how convenient it after all is.

You can also recommend a bag you find suitable to my needs.


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Sven-EOS
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Dec 28, 2009 06:49 |  #2

I own the Classified 200 and am actualy also looking for a smaller bag like the 160 for shooting concerts. It certainly does not look like a cambag.
I'm hoping to check one out in two weeks time, I believe it is quite a slim, deep bag. Maybe ok for long lenses, not so sure about a 85. I use the 100.2 on a 450D, I think I will end up with a lot of unused space in the bottom of the bag. Maybe the Classified 140 is an option?
Anyway, I'll keep an eye on this thread for the next two weeks :)


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Ville ­ Järveläinen
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Dec 28, 2009 06:56 |  #3

Or then I just have to put something in the bottom of the bag... The 140 is too small for my needs, but I think it would be great for you. Is there really a good-looking choice for us who would love a discrete bag for few primes or small zooms? Every not-so-camera-bag'ish bags seems to be designed for a longer lens attached to the body and this kinda bothers me.

I simply love the design of Classified and Urban Disguise series. Especially the latter.


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Jon
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Dec 28, 2009 07:24 |  #4

Take a look (if they're available there) at the Domke F-802, F5XC or maybe the F6 for your current gear list (I'm assuming an ungripped 40D; a grip will make a difference in your options with many product lines).

As to getting a bag for what you have now vs. what you plan to get later, I'd say to buy for what you have now. Even if you add a couple of long lenses or zooms, you won't always go out with everything you have; it pays to have an assortment of bags so you can choose a bag that's right for what you're taking and where you're shooting rather than to have one bag that you'll feel compelled to fill up every time you head out.


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Ville ­ Järveläinen
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Dec 28, 2009 08:01 |  #5

Good point, Jon. I think I'll buy smaller bag now and bigger in the future if I need one. The small bag is good to have when you want to travel light.

Unfortunately the Domkes aren't available here in Finland. Of course there's eBay and Amazon, but I'd really like to try out the bag first, so I'm pretty sure I go with Lowepro. My local dealer has great selection of Lowepro bags.

I'd really love to buy the Classified, but I'm still bit uncertain how it will work with my current gear.

And sorry, I forgot to mention that my 40D is without the grip and I'm not even planning to get one.


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tvphotog
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Dec 28, 2009 10:43 |  #6

I use the 140 for my 5D2 with a 24-105 attached and a SPeedlite. It will not fit more. The 160 is huge by comparison. In other words, the 140 may be too small, the 160 too big for your stuff. I always thought of the 160 for a large DSLR with a 24-105 attached and 70-200 or a 100-400 next to it, as it's definitely a vertical bag. I've considered and handled the Urban Disguise, and IM0, it's not constructed as well as the Classified Series.

Frankly, I think that any large shoulder messenger type bag looks like a camera bag. The Urban Disguise and the 160 looks like computer bags and as such is as likely a target as a camera bag. If you're worried about theft, use a PacSafe 200 steel cable strap on it.

I like the Stealth Reporter myself and I think the 200 would be good for now, the 300 if you grow into other gear.


Jay
Ireland in Word and Image (external link) Jay Ben Images (external link)5D IV | 5DS/R | Powershot S100 | 24-105L | 100-400 IIL | 16-35 f/2.8 IIL | 24 T/S f /3.5L II | 17 T/S f/4L | 50mm f/1.2L | 35mm f/1.4L | 70-200 f/2.8L II | 580 EX II | 600 EX-RT | Feisol 3441T/Markins Q3T lever QR | Gitzo 3542L Markins Qi20 BV-22 | Gitzo 5561T RRS MH-02

  
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Ville ­ Järveläinen
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Dec 28, 2009 12:50 |  #7

tvphotog wrote in post #9275878 (external link)
Frankly, I think that any large shoulder messenger type bag looks like a camera bag. The Urban Disguise and the 160 looks like computer bags and as such is as likely a target as a camera bag. If you're worried about theft, use a PacSafe 200 steel cable strap on it.

I'm not actually worried about theft, but for aesthetical reasons I prefer the kinda "could be anything" styled bag.

tvphotog wrote in post #9275878 (external link)
I like the Stealth Reporter myself and I think the 200 would be good for now, the 300 if you grow into other gear.

Only problem with the Stealth Reporter is the design, which, in my opinion, is too boxy and bulky. Maybe I should go and check out the D200 and D300 and see how they look and feel in real life.

How much gear can you fit inside the D200? What Lowepro says isn't always the truth. How about the top opening – is too narrow for an un-gripped 40D and small prime to come out without too much struggling? Or is it better to use it only for lenses and other smaller stuff?


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mike_d
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Dec 28, 2009 13:12 |  #8

Ville Järveläinen wrote in post #9276634 (external link)
I'm not actually worried about theft, but for aesthetical reasons I prefer the kinda "could be anything" styled bag.


Only problem with the Stealth Reporter is the design, which, in my opinion, is too boxy and bulky. Maybe I should go and check out the D200 and D300 and see how they look and feel in real life.

How much gear can you fit inside the D200? What Lowepro says isn't always the truth. How about the top opening – is too narrow for an un-gripped 40D and small prime to come out without too much struggling? Or is it better to use it only for lenses and other smaller stuff?

I just got a Stealth Reporter D300. I actually like the boxy design because it makes it more stable. My previous Tamrac bag was taller but it wanted to tumble forward if not leaned against something. The Stealth Reporter is very stable.

As for gear, it currently holds a 100-400, 5D w/L-plate + 24-105, 50/1.4, 580EXII, accessory pouch w/batteries, caps, etc. All lenses have their hoods attached and reversed. I have a couple of filters in the front pockets. As described, it's a perfect fit. Its snug but not overly so. I keep the camera in the middle section of the bag and am able to get it in and out through the top zipper. Once the camera is out, I could remove the other stuff through the top zipper too if needed.

I actually bought the D300 based on looking at the D200 and D400 in person (store didn't have a D300) and the dimensions on the web site. The D200 would be too small for me but you don't have the 100-400 so it would probably be perfect for you. The D400 is a lot bigger and probably holds more gear than I actually want hanging off one shoulder.




  
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pipspeak
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Dec 28, 2009 13:39 |  #9

The Urban Disguise series is really mis-named IMO... I have a UD50 and although it doesn't look like a traditional camera bag it does still scream "I have expensive electronic stuff in me". I use mine mainly as a computer bag and IMO it looks exactly like a fancy computer bag. Not something I'd be compfortable carrying around in certain places.

Stealth bags for me include most canvas Domkes, Billinghams and muted-color Crumplers.




  
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tvphotog
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Dec 28, 2009 15:28 |  #10

pipspeak wrote in post #9276919 (external link)
Stealth bags for me include most canvas Domkes, Billinghams and muted-color Crumplers.

Though those are superb bags, I think the colors shout out more than the black ones.

I have the Stealth Reporter 300AW, for just about the same gear as mike_d uses. I find a non-gripped body and lens can fit through the top opening, and certainly you can use it to change lenses or reach a Speedlite. I found the 300 was literally just tall enough for the 100-400, and the 200AW was 'way too small. It may look boxy stuffed with tissue the way they sell it, but it conforms to your body when loaded.

If you decide on this or another bag, order both from B&H or Adorama or Amazon, check out which is the best and return the other.


Jay
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5D2USER
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Dec 28, 2009 16:21 |  #11
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I use the Lowepro 160 Classified and love it. It's depth fits the 70-200 2.8 on my gripped body with additional room for a flash and another lens. It looks like a narrow messenger bag and has excellent padding.


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Ville ­ Järveläinen
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Dec 28, 2009 17:03 |  #12

I think I'm falling in love with the Classified 160 AW albeit I've checked it out only once at my local dealer. 140 is too small while 160 could easily fit some personal gear also. Maybe it's not designed for a body and two relatively small primes, but otherwise it seems like a perfect bag. Compact, discrete and good-looking.

But... Am I able to put my 40D with attached 28/1.8 in the middle? I mean is the center compartment wide enough to allow the body to be dropped on the bottom of the bag? Or should I just lay my camera against the leather-tipped dividers?


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chadams45
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Dec 28, 2009 21:58 as a reply to  @ Ville Järveläinen's post |  #13

So is the 160 the only smaller bag that will accommodate a gripped dslr that everyone has had some experience with. I'm lugging the Tamrac Cyberpak 6 and that thing fully loaded is really big. So my needs at the moment are something to go to sporting events with with my 50D, 24-105 f/4L, and a 85, f/1.8 prime in and trying to look like I'm not going to the airport (luggage).

I've just checked into the Tamrac 5564, which will fit (or so they say) a gripped DSLR with a 6" lens. This is a picture of it.

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Canon 5D Mark II gripped, 1Ds Classic, 7D, 20 D, Canon, EF 17-40 mm f/4 L EF 24-105 mm f/4L IS, Canon EF 70-200 mm f/4 L series USM F4.0, EF 85 mm f/1.8 USM, 50 mm f.1.4,http://www.chuckadamsp​hotography.com/ (external link)
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Ville ­ Järveläinen
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Dec 29, 2009 15:06 |  #14

Just found out that the Lowepro Classified 160 AW will accomodate my 40D and two primes just fine. So no need to buy a 70-200 to be able to use the bag properly. Phew.:) I think I'll visit the local dealer after the holidays and see if they have the 160.


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CalPiker
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Dec 29, 2009 17:49 |  #15

I have the Classified 200 and carry my XSi (w/grip) with 18-55 kit lens, 70-200 (hood reversed of course), 75-300, 50, and my two flashes and I have just a little bit of room left over. (I also have no problem with space with the 70-200 on the camera) I love the bag. It's really easy to access your camera through the top, even with the 70-200 on it. I'm a backpack person, so it took me a little getting used to this bag. But I prefer it a lot more now that I have used it extensively. I don't even notice the weight. I looked at this one and the Stealth Reporter and eventually went with the Classified.

I think the 160 would be perfect for what you are carrying and even the additional lens(es) you are planning on getting.


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Smaller bag – which one to get?
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