System Bags

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Abraxsis, Mar 14, 2010.

  1. Abraxsis macrumors 6502


    Sep 23, 2003
    Usually people are asking about backpacks/messenger bags to carry their stuff but what about system bag suggestions? For when I don't need to tread lightly and instead just shooting out of the back of my SUV. My current outdoor kit is the following ...

    Nikon D80 (soon to be D300 once I get it in)
    Nikon 80-200 f/2.8
    Tokina 12-24 f/4
    Nikon 50mm f/1.8D
    Nikon 18-135 f/3.5-5.6
    Nikon N75 (Film SLR, only sometimes)
    3 Speedlights (Vivitar)
    12x AA Batteries
    Set of Cybersyncs
    Spare DSLR battery

    I am considering this Tenba bag ...

    Or I hear Kata bags are decent. I really don't want to spend over 150.00 on it since it is basically going to be a holder/organizational bag, and not a bag to drag through the airport or jungle.

    I also have a lighting kit and would love to hear some alternative means to tote it all...

    2 8' stands
    1 10' stand
    2 shoot through brollies
    2 silver bounce brollies
    1 Photek Softlighter II (46")
    1 Westcott 28" softbox

    Someone suggested getting an on-clearance baseball bat bag, but I thought I could seek some more opinions.

    Thanks all!
  2. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    well, if you just need a big container, you could just get a big plastic trunk or something and fill it with foam inserts...
  3. deep diver macrumors 65816

    deep diver

    Jan 17, 2008
    Solon, OH
    I agree with toxic. Also, the bag you are considering does not look like it will hold all of that equipment.

    Having said that......... I have a Tenba bag that is more than 20 years old. I'm not using it now because I just don't carry that much stuff with me anymore. It's still the best bag I've owned.
  4. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    Here ya go. It's just slightly more expensive than what you're currently looking at. :D

    Actually I'm posting that mostly in jest cuz I know you don't want to spend that kind of money... but I'm a big fan of Crumpler bags.
  5. Flash SWT macrumors 6502

    Flash SWT

    Mar 14, 2009
    Houston, TX
  6. Patriks7 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2008
    Hmm, your best/cheapest option would be with the container as one person stated above. Most bags that would be big/safe enough for so much equipment would just cost too much. So maybe you can have a container in your car, and if you decide you want to get a bit further away from your car, you can have a smaller bag and just put in the stuff you need. This way you can save like 300$ and buy a new lens or something :D
  7. someoldguy macrumors 68000

    Aug 2, 2009
    If it's just going to travel between your car and your house, I would just get the plastic box like Toxic suggested and make sleeves for each piece of gear using foam and duct tape .
  8. John.B macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2008
    Holocene Epoch
    I have an HPRC hardshell roller case that I originally bought for hauling my scuba photo gear. Pretty much indestructible, exactly fits carry-on sizing (at least in the US). Pelican and SKB make similar products (N.B. I have SKB cases for all my Strats, very nice).

    If you have to leave your gear somewhere -- even locked to something immovable -- fabric sided bags can be cut open. If gear security is critical because of potential for theft, or even abuse by baggage gorillas, I always take the hard sided case.

  9. Abraxsis thread starter macrumors 6502


    Sep 23, 2003
    Thanks for the advie everyone. I think, after some thought, the best option is to split the difference between the advice. Get a large well-made container and fill it with foam. AND still get the Tenba bag for when I need to carry a half-kit (plus that Tenba bag is on clearance @ 79.00, great deal, it had been over 150.00 since it carries 2 bodies and 4 lenses plus flash supposedly). I just cannot justify the pricing on the Think Tank, even as good a bag as it is. It is significantly overpriced by at least 2x, if I flew a lot I might be able to justify the pricing.

    I read last night about a hard sided fishing contain used to hold high dollar reels. The Same company makes an identical case geared for photogs under a different brand and charges 49.99 (no foam) for it. The fishing version can be found at certain fishing site for less than 19.00 (with foam). Just a great example of how many companies gouge photographers.

    Now how about the lighting gear? Any advice about that?
  10. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    Love the Million Dollar Home's that Crumpler offers. For my m4/3's kit it offers a size and look that does not scream "camera bag".

    I agree with the two of you... Think Tank may be more money than others out there... but they are well designed and built to last...
  11. Abraxsis thread starter macrumors 6502


    Sep 23, 2003
    After some looking I decided on a Fat Max 28" Toolbox for my storage container. I paid 31.78 w/ tax included at my local Lowes Hardware. Has a built in water seal making it water resistant to large splashes, heavy duty metal latches that are lockable. Ill add a few D rings to the outside to allow it to be lashed into place in the back of my SUV, waterseal those drill points and I should be good to go.

    By my off-the-cuff calculations, leaving a 1" buffer between everything, I should get 2 bodies, 4 pro-sized lenses (up to 9.5" long), 4 speedlights, and my cybersyncs inside the case.

    Now I need to find a big enough chuck of foam to cut down to size. The next door neighbor owns an Upholstery company, so I might be able to get something really good from him at cost. (not to mention he has the proper tools to sculpt it down to the right shape to fit) If he can't get what I need I should be able to find it online for fairly cheap.

    Combined with my Lowepro Fastpack 200 and the Tenba Response Large System bag I bought this week, I should be covered in all but the most extreme cases.
  12. seedster2 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2007
  13. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    you should be able to get good foam from a camping shop, I just forget what it's called...
  14. Abraxsis thread starter macrumors 6502


    Sep 23, 2003
    I did my layout tonight, and I can get 4x large speedlights, D300, N75, 50mm, 18-135, tokina 12-24mm f/4, nikon 80-200 f/2.8, and 4x Cybersync receivers.

    For less than 50 bucks total, water resistant, and thick as a pelican case. Not a bad deal. Ill post some pics when Im finished.
  15. Abraxsis thread starter macrumors 6502


    Sep 23, 2003

    So, I got the Tenba bag in ... and I must say I am highly impressed. I got everything except one speedlight into the bag, and it is no where near crammed. As an unexpected positive, I can easily swap out the Nikon N75's slot to accommodate my 1956 Minolta Autocord TLR MF camera. If I decided to give up the easy camera access I could easily get the following into the bag (if not, just nix the Autocord from the list) ...

    D80 w/ grip (or D300 when it gets here)
    Nikon N75 body
    Spare camera batteries
    Minolta Autocord
    2 speedlights (the velcro I use to attach my cybersyncs attaches to the inside of the bag, thus holding them in place better, excellent)
    77mm UV filter, 55mm IR filter
    Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 AF-D (with attached hood)
    Nikon 50 mm w.Hood
    Nikon 18-135 f/3.5-5.6 w/hood
    Tokina 12-24 f/4 w/ hood
    Lowepro card holder
    Cybersyncs Rx and Tx
    Lens pen
    Sharpie (i use this to mark used dis. batteries on the Neg. end, so I know which is which because I dont throw them out, I recycle them)
    Light stick (like a crack and shake, its a great Aux. light if you find yourself in dire need. No batteries and it'll last for hours)
    12 batteries (either rechargeable or disposable)
    various accessories for speedlight setup
    Umbrella bracket/hinge
    and a knife and lighter

    Monopod and umbrella straps on outside the bag.

    For 79 bucks it was a GREAT investment.

    You might think a few of the items in the bag are strange, but I sometimes shoot in VERY remote places. A good light, light source, a knife, and a lighter can be three very important survival items.
  16. jmdfd415 macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2008
    ive also been looking for a bag for all my lighting gear. I have 2 10' light stands, 28" westcott apollo, 60" umbrella, & a 40" umbrella and actually the other day I was messing around my house and realized it all fits very well in my soft guitar case. Its one I bought a few years ago and cost me maybe $20. Its the perfect size and its padded.

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