Different Camera Bag approach

Joined
Jan 18, 2011
Messages
1,049
Location
Pittsburgh
The majority of the vacationing I do is exploring cities and if I fly I like to have a bag that fits under the eat and a carryon for clothes above. Also I like to have room to carry a light jacket, water bottle, and have room if I buy something small. I have a think tank airport commuter and retrospective 30 but especially the airport is as big as my carryon so I only take it when I want most of my gear and full size tripod. My normal kit I carry is a D810, 14-24, 24-70 and 35 1.4, Joby tripod, some filters and my MacBook.


I have tried and returned a lot of backpack trying to find something that I liked but nothing really fit the bill. I am a big fan of Tumi, as I have a messenger bag for work and international carryon suitcase. I had some gift cards and my birthday was coming up so I went into the store and found that the Nathan Expandable backpack fit. It was small, the side pockets hold a water bottle and joby tripod. It also has a section for my computer in the back along with plenty of pockets. A bonus is I can put it around the handle of my suitcase and roll them both around and the steps can tuck in the back so it's nice and neat when I put it under a plane seat.


The only problem was there is no way to keep my camera stuff organized. So I went to a craft store and bought some duck fabric, velcro, foam and taught myself how to sew. The whole piece comes apart and goes flat. I used some think tank dividers so it was one less thing to make. It didn't turn out perfect but I'm very happy with it for teaching my self self and it being the first thing I ever sewn.
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)



It's not conventional but it's exactly what I was looking forward to and I can't wait to try it out when the Covid-19 pandemic is over. Has anyone else came up with their own bag solution when they couldn't find what they wanted?

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2009
Messages
5,391
Location
Alaska
Nice job. Yeah it's amazing with so much stuff on the market how hard it is to find something that works just right.

As a wildlife photographer my issue is being able to carry on my big prime lens in a small enough package that I'm not at risk of the airline forcing me to check it at the gate. So I carry my bodies, smaller lenses, etc. in an off the shelf camera bag. For the big prime I simply use a 15L dry bag lined with closed cell polyurethane foam. The foam is just a sleeping pad for camping ($10 at Walmart). I cut two disks that fit in the bottom of the bag. Then I cut another piece the length of the lens and rolled into a tube that fits perfectly inside the bag. I just taped the seam of the foam tube with duct tape to hold the shape. It's light weight, well padded, and waterproof. It fits easily under airline seats. When not in use I still keep the lens in the bag and throw in a couple of large packs of silica gel.
 
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
201
Location
Albuquerque, NM USA
Real Name
Don Roy
I went to a craft store and bought some duck fabric, velcro, foam and taught myself how to sew.
It's not conventional but it's exactly what I was looking forward to and I can't wait to try it out.
Very nice sewing job, would never have thought it your first! I tend to buy tools to make something I want rather than be limited by what's in the store. I have two sewing machines, one makes simple things like pillow shams, the other is for trough work like the Jeep soft top I made from scratch. My welder lets me make Jeep bumpers and such rather than hitting the catalogs for whatever might do. I encourage everyone to think outside the catalog!
 
Joined
Jan 18, 2011
Messages
1,049
Location
Pittsburgh
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4
Nice job. Yeah it's amazing with so much stuff on the market how hard it is to find something that works just right.

As a wildlife photographer my issue is being able to carry on my big prime lens in a small enough package that I'm not at risk of the airline forcing me to check it at the gate. So I carry my bodies, smaller lenses, etc. in an off the shelf camera bag. For the big prime I simply use a 15L dry bag lined with closed cell polyurethane foam. The foam is just a sleeping pad for camping ($10 at Walmart). I cut two disks that fit in the bottom of the bag. Then I cut another piece the length of the lens and rolled into a tube that fits perfectly inside the bag. I just taped the seam of the foam tube with duct tape to hold the shape. It's light weight, well padded, and waterproof. It fits easily under airline seats. When not in use I still keep the lens in the bag and throw in a couple of large packs of silica gel.

It is amazing. Everything I could find was the wrong size or what seemed like $100 plus. I made that for $25 in materials on top of learning a new skill.

I wouldn't have thought of your idea but that's great.
 
Joined
Jan 18, 2011
Messages
1,049
Location
Pittsburgh
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5
Very nice sewing job, would never have thought it your first! I tend to buy tools to make something I want rather than be limited by what's in the store. I have two sewing machines, one makes simple things like pillow shams, the other is for trough work like the Jeep soft top I made from scratch. My welder lets me make Jeep bumpers and such rather than hitting the catalogs for whatever might do. I encourage everyone to think outside the catalog!
Thanks, I just took my time and tried to keep the lines straight as possible. I tend to fix a lot of stuff around the house so I also thought a lot about how I would have to go and make it and have it all fit together as I started to sew it which ended up changing how I did it but made it possible.
 

Butlerkid

Cafe Ambassador
Moderator
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
21,374
Location
Rutledge, Tennessee
Real Name
Karen
Nice job. Yeah it's amazing with so much stuff on the market how hard it is to find something that works just right.

As a wildlife photographer my issue is being able to carry on my big prime lens in a small enough package that I'm not at risk of the airline forcing me to check it at the gate. So I carry my bodies, smaller lenses, etc. in an off the shelf camera bag. For the big prime I simply use a 15L dry bag lined with closed cell polyurethane foam. The foam is just a sleeping pad for camping ($10 at Walmart). I cut two disks that fit in the bottom of the bag. Then I cut another piece the length of the lens and rolled into a tube that fits perfectly inside the bag. I just taped the seam of the foam tube with duct tape to hold the shape. It's light weight, well padded, and waterproof. It fits easily under airline seats. When not in use I still keep the lens in the bag and throw in a couple of large packs of silica gel.
FWIW....I've flown 3 times to Africa, Costa Rica twice, to Texas and other locations always with a 500mm/f4 or 600/f4, 2 camera bodies and several others lenses. All carried on board in two carry ons. One is a large ThinkTank back pack...the other is a large computer bag which contains chargers, batteries, card reader, external HD's, 13" computer, etc. . The computer bag goes under the seat. The backpack easily fits in the overhead, even on smaller jets such as the Embraerer RJ 145. I try to keep the TT backpack to about 22 lbs and the computer bag to about 16 lbs. I'm only 5'3" so the back pack looks even larger on my smaller body frame. Still, I have never been given a second glace during boarding on either domestic or international flights or on small aircraft in Africa since my bags are within regulation size. I do try to board early when possible.

However, bags with wheels often get tagged for gate checking, even though they are smaller than my backpack.
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2009
Messages
5,391
Location
Alaska
FWIW....I've flown 3 times to Africa, Costa Rica twice, to Texas and other locations always with a 500mm/f4 or 600/f4, 2 camera bodies and several others lenses...I have never been given a second glace during boarding on either domestic or international flights or on small aircraft in Africa since my bags are within regulation size. I do try to board early when possible...
Many of the planes on routes to smaller communities in Alaska have really small overhead storage bins. My camera bag doesn't fit. Also many flights up here routinely run full and as you pointed out unless you board fairly early there may not be room in the overheads by the time you get aboard. In which case they will take your bag from you and gate check it. A long as I can carry the big stuff on board I can live with my camera bag going in the hold.
 

Latest posts

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2005-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom