Make your own NEX bag!

JJJPhoto

TalkEmount Regular
Joined
Aug 8, 2011
Messages
116
I've got an office closet packed with camera bags of all shapes and sizes. That said, I've never been 100 percent happy with any of my small camera bags. I don't always want to carry a huge bag but I need to carry more than just a camera and one or two lenses (I like carrying extra batteries, a charger, flash, and light modifiers/reflectors to help shape light in my images).

This year I decided to try and make my own bag since I can't find one I like. This TOTALLY depends on your camera bag preferences, your budget, and what you have on hand already in terms of supplies, but if you're anything like me you might want to give this a try.

I wanted a compact messenger bag that was big enough for a NEX, a m4/3 camera or a DSLR and a couple of lenses and/or flashes and accessories.

I ended up buying a compact "UTG Multi-Functional Tactical Messenger Bag" (designed for concealed carry of handguns) for $25 on Amazon.

Since the interior of the main compartment in the tactical messenger bag didn't have enough padding for sensitive cameras and lenses I used a Domke camera bag insert from an old Domke bag that I had in my closet (if I didn't have one already it would have cost $25). The Domke insert fits perfectly in the UTG bag and protects the camera/lens in the main compartment.

The UTG bag has lots of "Molle" loops for connecting accessory pouches and these work great with some of the various compact camera bags and lens cases I've bought over the years. If I need more storage I can connect the smaller bags/pouches to the loops on the UTG bag (or I can leave them off if don't need/want them).

Without the extra pouches attached to the UTG bag it's big enough for one DSLR/NEX/Pen body with lens attached, 1-3 lenses (depending on size, and NOT including massive f/2.8 telephoto zooms), one large flash (such as the Olympus FL-50R), one small flash (such as the Olympus FL36R or Sony HVL-F20S), two compact flash stands, two collapsible soft boxes, two collapsible snoots, a bunch of flash gels, a couple of flash reflectors/flags, off-camera TTL flash cord, battery charger with spare battery, flashlight and pocket knife.

I can squeeze even more into the bag (or attach those extra pouches I was talking about for more storage) but that's a lot of gear to put inside a SMALL messenger bag that looks like this:

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Again, this type of project isn't for everybody. But my point is you might want to consider making your own camera bag if you can't find a bag that is perfect for your personal needs.
 

Alowisney

TalkEmount Regular
Joined
Sep 1, 2011
Messages
49
Location
Macon, GA USA
I have one of those and it's pretty good! I need to get an insert for it sometime soon. It's even got a pouch on the front for a water bottle, which I use a lot when I'm out and about. I cut all the zipper pulls off of it and used paracord to replace them so it would be quieter.
 

JJJPhoto

TalkEmount Regular
Joined
Aug 8, 2011
Messages
116
Yep, I sometimes put a water bottle in the water bottle pocket but that's usually where I store a large flash. When I get my NEX-7 that will be where my HVL-F43AM goes.

I also found the zipper pulls to be annoying (they jingle too much when you're walking around). However, since I often open up my bag without looking (keeping my eyes on my subject) I decided to just add aftermarket paracord zipper pulls to the existing metal zipper pulls. If you run the paracord through/around the entire metal pull then the paracord acts as a "silencer" and gives you a larger pull when you're trying to find a zipper without looking:

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davect01

Super Moderator
Joined
Aug 20, 2011
Messages
8,201
Location
Fountain Hills, AZ
Real Name
Dave
not alone

You are not alone.
I have a main bag that holds everything, but made up a system for portability out of a running water bottle pack. I can take the camera, and a couple of small accessories.

Stand alone running pack:
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Attachment to my day pack:
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(cell phone shots, sorry a bit blurry)
 

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