Letters to the Editor: Questions on Camera Bags and Straps

Letters to the Editor is a recurring series where Chris answers specific emails/letters that could benefit more than one photographer, interesting questions or questions that come in often. Have a question? Send it to chrisgampat[at]thephoblographer[dot]com with subject: Letter to the Editor: (Your name here).

Hey folks,

Today’s questions are all about camera bags and camera straps. Some of you may sit here and moan about them because you don’t care, but in fact a lot of people care. In fact, I needed to create an entire post rounding up a bunch of the most asked about products. At least a couple of emails each day are dedicated to straps or camera bags used in product images.

With that said, here are the letters and our responses. And don’t be shy, ask us anything. Click the link below and you’ll be able to send a letter to the editor.


Send a Letter to the Editor

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujfilm 56mm f1.2 lead image (1 of 1)ISO 32001-500 sec at f - 1.4

I currently use Fujifilm x-e2 , 18-55 f2.8-4 , 35mm f1.4 and I will get 56mm f1.2 or 90mm f2. Inevitably I will upgrade the body at some point to x-pro 2 or, if available in the future, x-e3.

I currently use Lowepro 180AW but there are shortcomings such as rain cover, looks and material.

I considered lot of bags and bring my list down to 3 options:

Think Tank Retrospect 5 or 7
Domke Herald

Big question is: How durable are these bags and how protective are they in rain. I am living in Newfoundland and we get significant rain here. I am just tired of dealing with rain cover all the time. I do know that Retro 5 or 7 is somewhat weather resistant but they still recommend using rain cover. I cannot get information on Domke Herald. Have you ever tested durability of this bag against rain or know someone who have used it?

I also considered billingham hadley small and pro but they are considerably more expensive and too much of a luxury for an enthusiast like myself.

Thank you for your time, I hope my email finds you well and have a nice day!

M Yavuz Yildiz

Photo by Chris Gampat

Hi Yavuz,

You really can’t beat the Think Tank Retrospective series for what you’re looking for. Specifically, you may want to go for the Think Tank Retrospective 5. There is also the Retrospective 10 that can work. I tend to keep my Micro Four Thirds gear in the Retrospective 7 and that works out well enough. I used to be a bigger fan of them, but I’ve graduated onto more high end products.

But let’s get back to you: Think Tank camera bags come with rain covers, which is what you’ll need. And providing that you pull the top flap down far enough onto the velcro, you won’t have much of a problem when in the rain.

Domke’s bags are good, but for what it’s worth I tend to like their stuff from the 80s much more.

Now here’s the bigger thing that I find a bit confusing: none of your equipment is weather sealed. IF you’re that overly concerned about your gear that you need to be shooting out when it rains, then you need weather sealed gear too; not just a weather resistant bag. Swapping the 35mm f1.4 for the 35mm f2 is s start, and you can check out the site’s Fujifilm X series lens guide as well.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Think Tank Retrospective 7 Camera Bag (2 of 11)

If you’re going out in the rain, walking for a bit, and then waiting until the rain lets up to go shoot then I kind of get it. And in that case then the Retrospective 5 may be nice but for the amount of gear it sounds like you’re trying to secure, you may be better off with the 10 and packing it a bit tighter.

Further, use silica gel packets and put them around the gear that you don’t want to get wet or around the corners of the bag. They’ll help keep out moisture.

Hope this helps! And as en extra tip, if you really want extra weather sealing on your bag, pay someone who knows what they’re doing to wax the bag for you. It’ll do wonders.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm Xt10 review final product images (1 of 4)ISO 2001-180 sec at f - 1.4

Hello Mr. Gampat,

I am a aspiring photographer who just purchased a FujiFilm XT-10 to begin learning photography on! I stumbled across your article regarding the XT-10 and really enjoyed it and ultimately helped me make my decision to purchase this mirrorless camera.

After reading your article, I fell in love with the camera strap that you put on your place XT-10. The olive leather strap shown in your photos demonstrate class and youth that I would like to mimic!

I was wondering if you could inform me which brand the olive camera strap is?
And where to purchase it?

Thank you so much for your time and efforts!

From a new fan,
Michael

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm XT10 first impressions (10 of 15)ISO 4001-125 sec at f - 4.0

Hi Mike,

This is a really sad questions for me to answer. Lomography made this strap, but the key word there is MADE. It was part of a special run from a Kickstarter that they did; and unfortunately mine broke. It was pretty and got onto any camera with ease, which made it so nice because I review a lot of cameras and I can take it off and put it on as I please. But it’s no longer made anymore.

If you’re looking for another option, this can help you.