By Stein Beck
In the words of someone much wealthier than I ...
More than three decades ago a photojournalist in the trenches designed a revolutionary new kind of camera bag to help pros work more efficiently. His brilliant inventions and commitment to quality created a living legend.
For many, myself included, the search for the ultimate bag is like the search for the Crackerjack* prize as a kid. Exciting but disappointing, leaving you craving yet another box of caramel coated popcorn in hope of the ultimate trinket .... this was to be my first experience of consumer disappointment and the power of great advertising all in one. The search for the perfect camera bag has been no different
So when I lay my eyes on Jeremy's 10+ years rugged olive green 'Domke F-5XB' Shoulder Bag'(below) I was very hopeful. Years ago I had purchased a Domke clone via eBay, the Chinese 'Saffratto' had been an adequate home for my Nikon F4S and a couple of lenses and suffice to say I was very interested to see the expected improvements of the genuine Domke article.
the Domke F-5XB looked to be a dam good replacement home for my Leica Q and Fujifilm GA645, the smaller size and aesthetic of the Domke really appealed to me. For the past couple of years I had been using the Mild Enthusiast(m) which had replaced my earlier purchase of a Dry Red #2 combined with a Large Haven (all by Crumpler). Both excellent bags in their own right, however I now wanted something compact and a better designed for photography. I must state here that The Original Mild Enthusiast in medium** is a cracker of a bag. I have dragged it around for many trips away and its handy iPad pouch on the back and internal pockets for Passports, notepads maps .. whatever, is brilliant. I just now wished for a smaller street shooter contender for my trip to Japan.
This is where the Domke comes into its own, I LOVE this bag for sooo many reasons.
This bag just screams quality, from the water resistant fabric to brilliantly simplistic design. Everything just seems in the right place for the right reason. It holds my
- 'Leica Q/ Leica M6' combo with charger 3 batteries, Kindle, Notepad and headphones brilliantly.
- Fujifilm GA645, Olympus mju ii, Japan Camera Hunter Bikkuri 120 Film Case, Field Notes, Kindle odds and ends.
- Hasselblatt, 120 film, light metre, Ricoh GR, pens, notebook and stuff.a to the same awesome effect. Versatile reliable and understated and sexy. Finally
Versatile, reliable, understated and sexy. What more can a Photofile ask for!. I will leave this article right here as I LOVE this bag and think anyone sporting similar kits as I mentioned above cannot go wrong. Do yourself a favor and grab one.
Here are the TECH SPECS for those of you who need a little more then a rant and a few pics.
Facts and Figures:
- Five compartments and pockets.
- Padded main compartment lined with hook and loop material has two removable padded divider walls.
- Belt loop
- Removable Gripper Strap for shoulder use.
- X-Large YKK® Zippers
Ideal For: 1 SLR or rangefinder camera, 1 or 2 lenses, filters, film and accessories.
- Exterior Dimensions: 10″W x 4.5″D x 7.25″H
- Interior Dimensions: 9.5″W x 4″D x 6″H
*Cracker Jack is an American brand of snack, consisting of molasses-flavored, caramel-coated popcorn and peanuts, well known for being packaged with a prize of trivial value inside. The Cracker Jack name was registered in 1896. The slogan, "The More You Eat The More You Want", was also registered that year. Some food historians consider it the first junk food.
**The Mild Enthusiast has been updated and now only comes in 'Medium' no longer s/m/l, Significant increasing the price by 35% ($129 - $169). Drooped double straps on front & no longer takes an original iPad (2mm to short).