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First Impressions: Domke’s Bag Refresh at Photo Plus 2012

by Thursten Kent on 10/28/2012

For most of us who know about Domke bags. Little has changed in 30 years for its designs. They were created because a man had  a problem to solve and in solving that very problem he get’s into the camera bag business. That’s how Jim Domke came to be. His bags served a purpose as a standard for photo journalists. But, with time these bags needed a certain something to be in today’s market. That something was a little style. Thanks to the sharp eye of Tiffen’s Creative Director, Patty Nast Canton–this is the result.

We were able to see the prototypes of the Journalist, Adventurer, Visionary and the Metropolitan bags.

Ergonomics

Each bag has a wonderfully nice release to close the bag. You can choose to have the bag in a few different types fabrics, classic canvas, cordura or ballistic nylon (seen here). These bags have pockets galore.

When you head inside the bag you will notice something. The dividers are no longer fixed! When you owned a Domke bag you were sort of stuck with pre-sized dividers that sat inside the bag. But, as photographers, your gear is usually going to change before your bag. That was a small downfall of the old style of these bags. The new designs have these really interesting dividers called GearProtex. They feel very flexible but as the same time sturdy. The texture is soft but kind of luxurious in a way. What is cool is you can add all sorts of add on pockets and removable velcro pouches to change with your configuration.

The rather interesting thing about these bags is the strap runs all  along the bag. I’ve seen this is other Domke bags before. It adds some stability to the bag as well as some extra reinforcement.

The Side pockets were using something called PocketFlex Pockets. A small zipper on the side was there to help extend the size of the side pockets if you may be carrying slightly bigger items. The velcro accessories like pouches can fit inside of these pockets as well.

There are a few different models to choose from, you have the Journalist model which I have shown here in the pictures above. These bags are more of a press/field/shoulder type bags. The next is the Metropolitan series. This covers satchels, courier and messenger bags. A smaller, lighter series called the Adventurer series which are for smaller DSLR, kind of prosumer type of bags.

Also, for the ladies is the Visionary series. These bags have a cooler color palette as well as a black bucket line on the bottom so it would not look as bad if it were to be dirty. One of the things this bag also aims is to be light for the user as well. I did not see any of the ladies bags on the floor but I was able to see a small sketch of what they look like. These are still very similar to the other bags just designed in a to work with it’s target audience.

First Impressions

Being one of the most highly regarded photography bag companies out there, Domke is back yet again to satisfy every photographer’s needs and to solve everybody’s problems. Their Next Generation Domke’s include a variety of series such as the Journalist, the Adventurer, the Metropolitan, and the Visionary Series where they all have their own style and personality that will fit just about anyone. They all feature what Domke is calling their new GearProtex dividers and PocketFlex pockets that allow you to customize the bag to fit your equipment.

I think these are really nice bags. The design is very attractive but does not deter from the original essence of what made a Domke bag a Domke. If you are looking for a premium bag that will last you  way longer than the very gear you are using now, these will be something to consider. Pricing was not announced and all seen here is not final.

I’m looking forward to give one a spin.

Additional Reporting was added by Bobby Zhang

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