Monday, July 23

the camera bag dilemma -

Hello all!  I still don’t have enough energy to do much more than hang out on the computer a bit, so I am re-running a post from a couple of years back.  Hopefully it helps someone who missed it. 

This is going to be a little long, so if you have no interest in cameras, or camera bags, come back tomorrow and I’ll try to post something more to your liking. 

If you’ve been hanging around here a bit, you know a thing or two about me.  One, I love taking photos.  I am so far from being the best, but I so love doing it and learning more and improving that I don’t care.  Two, I am a complete and utter bag snob.  I have a collection of bags that would pair very nicely with Imelda Marco’s shoes.  To paraphrase Apple, “There’s a bag for that.”   Three, I haven’t been happy with my camera bag situation for a while.

I love bags.  I change mine all the time.  I have been known to change outfits because I really want to carry a particular bag.  (I did it last night.)   So the camera bags available to women have been a little disappointing to me. 

I have a regular camera bag.  Over it.  And the big Canon backpack.  Which definitely works, but it’s bulky and I sometimes feel I have a sign on on my bag that says – hey, this is the bag you want to steal.   Also, I don’t always want to bring everything with me.   And sometimes, you want to bring your camera, but also need the rest of life’s stuff and don’t want to carry two bags.  You know the stuff: keys, wallet, phone, etc.  I found too, that it can be a nuisance to stop, lay down the backpack, open it up, change lenses, zip it back up … etc.  And sometimes, you’re wearing a cute outfit, and don’t want to wreck it with large, manly looking backpacks.

I looked at several new lines of women’s bags.  And they come in every style from cute to chic.  But to a one, they are all made of synthetic materials.  What is a bag snob to do?  (Also, I completely balk at the idea of spending $150-$250 for synthetic leather.  I do.)   (Frankly, I balk at the idea of buying synthetic leather at all.) (Disclaimer: I may still get one.  Some of them really look good. I never got one after all.)

So I got to thinking.  As a consummate bag snob, my children’s diaper bags were Kate Spade and Coach.  (I know I have issues, work with me here.)   They were pretty much languishing away in the closet.   And then I heard about these lens inserts from Domke.  They come in different configurations, so I was able to work it out.  I haven’t used them in practice yet – I just got them yesterday.  But here is how it looks.  (I realize in the photos the bag is a little wonky looking – I had to hold the strap out of the way with my toe. Everything, including the inserts, lay straight.)   

March 2010 002 March 2010 005 March 2010 004

So far I am pretty happy with the result.  I can reach right in to grab a lens, the top zips shut, and it holds all my every day things too.  The bag is a little cushy, as most diaper bags are, and the lens insert is also cushioned.  Now I just need to go somewhere to try it out.  I may try the Kate Spade one first – it is all fabric (much lighter than a Coach leather bag – they can be a little heavy empty), and the top zips closed all the way across the top.  (This particular bag was too heavy for carrying around all day, though it was fine for just bringing along.  I ended up using the system in a few different, lighter bags.) 

The best part is, I can pull these inserts out and use them in another bag if that works for me.  All for under $40 at Amazon.  (I do love my Amazon.)  If you decide to try this, I would just remind you to check the dimensions of the bag and the inserts before you order them to make sure they will fit. 




  1. Stephanie,
    This is such a great idea! I need to order these...they would probably fit in most larger bags and no more risk in taking my purse with the camera just rolling around in there. I hope you are feeling better...I just last your last post!

  2. Sorry to hear you haven't been well, Stephanie. I have been so wrapped up in the house prep. I haven't had much time for visiting!

    I remember this very helpful post. I need to see if I can find the lens systems.

  3. Well, I am sure that such just fab handbags will be truly helpful for the travelers who want to click photographs at every spot, and store them for recalling their memories later.

  4. What's the specific name of the material used in the lining of camera bags? It's Velcro compatible and extremely soft (not felt) but I can't find it anywhere.
    Paver lights

  5. Unfortunately, I don't know what it's made of. It is definitely synthetic. Maybe you can check for a domke site to see of they mention what it is made of. I know my older camera bag had an insert that felt similar to a chamois. Hope this helps.