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Thread started 05 Feb 2010 (Friday) 12:52
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Domke F-3X review (Ruggedwear / Waxwear)

 
sabesh
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Feb 05, 2010 12:52 |  #1

There's already a comprehensive review of the sand-canvas F-3X posted. This review focuses on the Ruggedwear version. I've had this bag for a while now and like it very much. I bought this bag to complement my F-803 whenever I need slightly more gear to carry around. Ruggedwear (wax finish) is great for this bag as it collapses well when empty and expands and takes shape when loaded. It conforms to my body shape better than the regular canvas version as the canvas appears to be thinner (or more flexible).

If you need a bag to carry a DSLR and 2-4 lenses + flash with room to spare for accessories and easy gear-access, this is the bag for you. The included handle has metal connectors, so more gear can be carried if the shoulder starts to ache :) I have provided pictures which show a DSLR, 4 lenses (inc. a big zoom), flash, radio trigger and battery charger. Even with this load, there's room enough for more accessories.

The bag is very light (2 lbs) for the capacity it can carry and quite portable making it relatively inconspicuous. The side pockets are big and can accommodate full-size flashes like the Canon 580EX-II with no problem (head tilted in "L" shape). The slim compartment in the front can hold a Netbook!

The main area is modular in design: It has two sewn-in compartments for lenses on the sides which can be folded away to make more space in the main compartment. The zippered compartment on the underside of the main flap can be used to hold maps or other literature. There's also an accessory flap at the back to round out this multi-compartmental bag.

Pros:
Plenty of compartment for gear and accessories storage.
Carry handle with metal fasteners.
Built-in lens pouches in the main compartment.
Front flap can hold a Netbook.
Collapsible design which molds to body shape.
Non-slip gripper strap.
Lightweight and portable.
Name tag supplied.
Velcro divider allows for customization of the main compartment.
Modular design entails easy access to gear.
Minimal padding makes for a discrete design which is perfect for daily usage.

Cons:
Polycarbonate fasteners for the shoulder strap. I would have preferred metal fasteners.
Lens pouches in the main compartment are sewn-in, so they can't be removed (minor quibble, as they can be easily collapsed).

F-3X empty, but "prepped up":

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F-3X empty and "collapsed":

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Useful compartment at the back for storing items like literature:

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F-3X opened up: Note the two collapsible lens pouches in the main compartment and the zippered flap:

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Canon 5D Mark-II with 24-105L mounted, (L-R) 70-200/2.8 IS, 50L, 16-35L II. Metz 58 AF-1, battery charger & Pocket Wizard FlexTT5 + MiniTT1 in the side pockets.

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Hoods for 70-200/2.8 IS & 16-35L II placed on top of the 50L:

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Sony A7R-II | 16-35FE | 24-70FE | 28FE | 55FE | 70-200FE ~FlickR (external link)

  
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sabesh
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Feb 05, 2010 12:52 |  #2

Metz 58 AF-1 in one side pocket. Head tilted to "L" shape. Similar in size to the Canon 580EX II:

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Canon 70-200/2.8 IS doesn't clear the top of the main compartment that much (flap closes perfectly):

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Front view / bag loaded up:

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Back view / bag loaded up:

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Gear that was loaded in (battery charger missing in this picture):

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The gripper strap runs along the bottom. Great footing and doesn't tilt. The bottom padding on the inside assures rigidity:

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jcothron
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Feb 05, 2010 14:11 |  #3

Nice write-up. I have one although not the waxwear version. I'm amazed how much this bag will hold and carry comfortably.


John
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sabesh
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Feb 05, 2010 17:45 |  #4

jcothron wrote in post #9548571 (external link)
Nice write-up. I have one although not the waxwear version. I'm amazed how much this bag will hold and carry comfortably.

Yep, it's a "transformer" bag, Ha ha .. it just expands and takes a lot of gear! Thx.

Quizzical_Squirrel wrote in post #9548692 (external link)
I really like the waxwear too. You're great at packing - I could use you when I'm doing my holiday suitcases!

I received the F-2 version as a runner-up prize last month and I've really taken to it. I love that beaten-up weathered finish. I already have a canvas Billingham but I was a bit precious about where I set it down and hesitated to take it sometimes, now I can totally relax with this bag.
I may unpick the Domke labels from my bag to make it totally anonymous but I'd be happy using it anyhere regardless.

LOL, I'm quite bad at packing clothes for vacation, but do try to maximize space for photo gear ;)

I'll be getting the F-2 in Wax on Monday. Maybe I'll do a write-up on that too. I love Billinghams, but you are right: They are so expensive that I ended up looking after them in addition to my gear, lol. BTW, I do use the Hadley insert with one of my Domke's (F-803). I love Billingham inserts and the padding on them (soft and not too thick). Cheers.


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sabesh
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Feb 08, 2010 17:24 as a reply to  @ sabesh's post |  #5

Added a pic of the bag-bottom on request. Cheers.


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RandyS
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Feb 09, 2010 06:18 |  #6

Great review - thanks.

Got a question on this bag - is the strap long enough to carry it cross shoulder like a messenger bag? On my f7 it's plenty long enough but on my f2 just barely.




  
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jcothron
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Feb 09, 2010 08:17 |  #7

RandyS wrote in post #9572703 (external link)
Great review - thanks.

Got a question on this bag - is the strap long enough to carry it cross shoulder like a messenger bag? On my f7 it's plenty long enough but on my f2 just barely.

Yes, that's how I wear mine. I'm 6'1" and I actually had to shorten it a little from full length to get it to sit where I wanted it while wearing it like you want.


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mufutau55
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Feb 09, 2010 08:41 as a reply to  @ jcothron's post |  #8

Can this bag accomodate a Canon 50D with a battery grip? Thanks.

Mufutau




  
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sabesh
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Feb 09, 2010 10:02 |  #9

mufutau55 wrote in post #9573294 (external link)
Can this bag accomodate a Canon 50D with a battery grip? Thanks.

Mufutau

I don't have a grip for my 5D to test this out, but I'm pretty sure that there's enough space for a gripped 50D. Cheers.


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Jon
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Feb 09, 2010 10:15 |  #10

mufutau55 wrote in post #9573294 (external link)
Can this bag accomodate a Canon 50D with a battery grip? Thanks.

Mufutau

Easily. I carry my 1D3 in mine. With the 70-200 2.8 mounted.


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ChristopherMadison
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Feb 09, 2010 10:27 as a reply to  @ Jon's post |  #11

I have a question....is there any padding in these bags? Looking at the photos, it doesn't look like there is any. I know alot of people here recommend these bags and I am like many of you, I am constantly looking for new ways to carry my gear. These have definitely caught my attention. Are you worried about the lack of padding? Maybe I'm just paranoid, I dont know? Talk me into it...


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Jon
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Feb 09, 2010 10:43 |  #12

There's a pad on the bottom. Aside from that and a padded divider that velcros to the sides, there isn't any. I've never had any issues with stuff getting damaged in the unpadded Domke bags that are all I use.


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Feb 09, 2010 10:48 |  #13

I was always very wary of Domke bags, even though I always liked the look of them. I finally decided to try this bag as a "trial" of sorts. I can't say enough about how much I like them. There is no padding to speak of, but the canvas itself is so heavy duty that what's inside (or the pockets for that matter) is well protected. It will hold a LOT of gear. I've had a Sigma 150 macro, 100-400L, Tamron 90mm macro, 50mm, extension tubes, and a 21mm wideangle...along with a 550 EX, and a 430EX II flash in the bag. This doesn't included all the accessories I carry.


John
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mufutau55
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Feb 09, 2010 10:51 |  #14

Thanks Jon. I know you will surely know. Picking-up one soon..

Mufutau

Jon wrote in post #9573871 (external link)
Easily. I carry my 1D3 in mine. With the 70-200 2.8 mounted.




  
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RandyS
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Feb 09, 2010 12:11 |  #15

jcothron wrote in post #9573185 (external link)
Yes, that's how I wear mine. I'm 6'1" and I actually had to shorten it a little from full length to get it to sit where I wanted it while wearing it like you want.

Excellent!

Thank you.




  
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Domke F-3X review (Ruggedwear / Waxwear)
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