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How-to's Accessories Reviews

FAQs - What Bag?

J. Ramon Palacios (jrp)

Keywords: bag, faq, non_nikon

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Saving time, energy and money buying a camera bag

The quest for the perfect bag is much more complicated than it may seem at first, simply because there is no perfect bag for all occasions. Nikonian ladies will understand this very well, as they need to carry all sort of necessities every day, but for different occasions.

Nikon leather case

 Nikon leather camera case with extra lenses plate and velvet interiors

The variables involved selecting a camera bag

It is not a matter of being color-coordinated, and/or fabric coordinated with your outfit, not at all; well ok, not just that. For photography, whether on film or digital, there are more considerations, concerns; so a rational decision should depend on: 

  • What you want to carry

  • How much

  • For how long

  • How frequently

  • How safe will the contents need to be

  • How comfortable it needs to be to carry

  • How fast access you need to its contents

  • Where will you take it

  • How strong and durable

  • How much will your needs for bag space grow

  • How soon are those needs going to grow

  • How easy it is to keep it clean 

  • How strong and fit you are.



Regardless of what relative weight you may assign to each of these variables, the fact is that these also change over time, or all the time. Now you know why most of us -that have long been at it- have several bags if not too many. There is just not a bag than can serve us well every time, for every occasion. I have more than 10 and find myself frequently wanting to look for a new one. Above at right you can see fellow Nikonian Lucd jesting with just six bags from his own vast collection.




The subject deserves attention since seldom it is just a few dollars what we usually spend on photographic equipment. It better be well taken care of while carried, transported or even when just stored. 

The intention here is to save you from unnecessary spending of money, time and energy and to reduce the number of disappointments, at least a few, whether from your very first time -if it has not arrived yet- or at subsequent buying.

If you are an impulsive/compulsive buyer (like me), at least this section will make you feel better as it will improve your rationalization skills for future purchases, with more and maybe better arguments.

We expect to keep this section updated regularly, adding when necessary as new significant models or brands come to market. But please remember this is just an expectation.

(10 Votes )
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Originally written on May 3, 2010

Last updated on December 19, 2017

J. Ramon Palacios J. Ramon Palacios (jrp)

JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources

San Pedro Garza García, Mexico
Admin, 46140 posts


R.H. Ruskin (swbobcat) on June 18, 2016

My "Camera Bag" is a multi-purpose bag in reality. Not only must it safely store my camera gear, it has to also double as a travel bag that I can carry on a plane and fit in an overhead bin. So not only does it have to hold a Nikon F, a F2 -- one with a 55mm f/3.5 Micro-Nikkor - P Non-Ai, and the other a 50mm f/1.4 Ai -- 4 other lens, a Point'n'Shoot digital camera, two flashes (SB-22, SB-26), Flash Bracket, SC-17 cable, a "roll" of about 15 52mm glass filters, several rolls of film, light meter, cleaning supplies, etc., etc., etc., It also has to hold 2-3 bottles of medications, a Nook Color e-Book reader, sweater, cell phone, various chargers, etc., etc., etc. Last November or December I bought a used Lowepro Magnum 400 AW. Remarkably ALL that stuff fits in the bag. Yeah it *is* a bit heavy when fully loaded, even with out the meds, e-book reader, etc., etc, and is filled only with the camera gear, but once I get to where-ever I'm going I unzip my "camera bag" /"travel bag" and set up shop, and draw from the bag only that gear I plan to use -- usually one camera and lens combination, and the Nikon CoolPix L18 Point'n'Shoot Digital camera if I expect to be away from the house. OTOH if I'm home then my camera bag is -- well -- my camera bag that safely stores my gear. A couple of bags of silica gel spread through out the bag keeps the contents dry (though in Desert Southwest, humidity is NOT a problem) and the threat of fungus from setting up shop. If I have a personal self assignment, I simply go to my bag, open it up and pull out the gear I'll need. It is a LARGE roomy bag that will serve the needs of most amateurs who might have up to 5-6 lens, a flash or two, and one or two cameras. It is probably too big and heavy to haul around on a day-to-day, basis, but for the casual shooter who needs a place to stow the gear and keep it protected, but which can be snatched up if need be, this is an EXCELLENT bag!! The Lowepro Magnum 400 AW is a BEAST, but it holds ALL my gear. I am currently considering only one or two more lens purchases: either a Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 Ai/AiS *or* the Nikkor 135mm f/2.8 Ai/AiS -- either will fit into the bag. The other lens I might add is the Nikkor 80-200mm f/4 or f/4.5 zoom. That might be a lens too far for the bag.

Min Chai Liu (mcliu19) on January 20, 2016

Bags and Tripods are dicey.. one is not good enough for all occasion . For each occasion one needs a different set of bag.. like for street photography, I prefer "Think tank urban disguise" or Bestek made with Ruck sack material ... For Nature and wild life , I prefer Lowpro back pack.. A very good article indeed ,and learned few things... Thanks for sharing the knowledge

Animesh Kumar Singh (animeshsingh) on August 14, 2013

It will be a nice touch to associate some bags with each category, with ranks 1 to 5 and I am sure it will be one hell of a review to hang on to :)

User on April 30, 2013

It's really handy to actually go to a real bricks and mortar shop taking a camera and lenses you're likely to carry because some bags look ok online but in reality can be woefully small.

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