Bags for your X (part V): Camslinger for mirrorless heroes and more!

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In the comments of the last “bags for your X” episode (here), some X-shooters made their own suggestion about which is, according to them, the best bag for those ready to set sails for an adventure.

Today I’d like to include them into this 5th part of the “bags for your X” miniseries… and I’ll also add another bag. It’s not a backpack, but to me, it is a very good option in those moments of your travel, when you’d like to leave your big backpack in the hotel room (or tent) and need just a small bag where to safely store your mirrorless camera and lenses: the Cosyspeed Camslinger Bags.

Not included: bags already covered in previous episodes of the “bags for you X” series (read here part 1 / part 2 / part 3 / part 4).

BAG 1: THE CAMSLINGER (price at BHphoto)

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The concept behind the camslinger is the following: “Wear your mirrorless camera like a western hero wears his beloved revolver.” And the aim is the same: to “shoot” as quickly as possible. From the product description:

“Your cam (and depending on what model lenses as well) is secured against bumps, dust ans splash water. You’ll get fast, one handed access to your cam, can wear your cam and lensen comfortably the whole day long and you’ll have a new, cool feeling when “shooting” photos.”

This bag is designed just for mirrorless cameras, so the size is optimized to put a camera with an attached lens into it (CAMSLINGER 105) or a camera + 2 lenses (CAMSLINGER 160).

You can find the bags (and accessories) here at BHphoto.

You can see plenty of videos and photos at Cosyspeed’s website here.

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Bag 2: Thule

Product description: “Thule has backpacks, daypacks, slings, and toploaders to get you and your photo gear up the mountain or down the slope in style. With smart features for safe camera storage and fast access, plus customizable spaces for your essentials and accessories.”

Thule home page / Price at BHphoto

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Bag 3: Lowepro

In this image you can see the Photo Sport 200 AW. Product description: “Trail running and photography. Mountain biking and photography. Snowboarding and photography. Adventure sport athletes who like to go fast and light — but equally like to capture the moment — will enjoy the freedom and comfort of this pack.”

Lowepro home page / Price at AmazonUS

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Bag 4: The Loka UL

The Loka UL is the first ulta-lightweight pack of F-Stop Gear. Read more about it at fstopgear.com.

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BAG 5: Millican series

FR-reader Neil linked to the vintage Millican series (home page) in the comments: From the product description: “Fujifilm was looking for a specialist partner to create a select range of versatile, camera-ready shoulder bags to accompany their award-winning X-Series digital cameras.”

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  • MJr

    Love the look of those Millicans, but it doesn’t look very practical. The ‘camera protector’ needs to be removed to access those two hidden lens compartments ..? And it doesn’t even have a handle to do so. :-(

    • I like practical, so I bought a TT Retrospective 7 for my X system. Despite being tiny (for a pro bag), it fits an entire system, plus couple of flashes and MBA.

      • MJr

        Indeed. I’ve got the even smaller Retro 5 myself, still fits a bunch.

        • Lelle Kidd

          The only thing I do not like with the TT R5 is that you can not remove the shoulder strap if you want to carry it like a handbag.

          • MJr

            But then you’d have to decide to take it or leave it, and then of course you need it when you left it at home. I guess i like it firmly and confidently attached. No removable inner bag either, just one bag to do what it was designed to, always ready to go. I do have a removable strap on my camera though .. that’s plenty of choice. ;-)

      • Siggi

        I bought a Retrospective 7 for my FF DSLR system. Best bag I own. well made, fits a lot of camera gear, and can carry other assorted items like reading material, tablets, etc. A great bag for the traveling photographer.

  • mcastein

    I dont know what it is with camera bag manufacturers, why does everything have to be so bloody ugly. Cant we have something stylish for a change. I dont feel motivated to buy a bag thats going to make me look like a complete nerd.

    • cvh

      The Looka UL is fantastic – isn`t it?

      • deng

        Yes it is, you cannot simply compare it to LowePro AW 200 which I had too.

        Loka UL is ultralightweight, fits my back perfectly and you forget about carrying five lenses, two bodies and additional stuff even after a whole day of mountain hiking.

        The company will nickel and dime you though… you need to buy a backpack, one or two ICU’s a weather cover and you may want to buy few additional straps. It easily makes it a €400 backpack.
        If it doesn’t scare you then it’s a truly great one.

    • Florence Griffith

      you want good looking …go for an ONA bag

      • mcastein

        yes they make nice bags, this stuff above is practical but like watching paint dry they are so boring.

    • Arnold Newman

      How about the Billingham Hadley Small? http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/179303-REG/Billingham_503301_Hadley_Shoulder_Bag_Small.html The only problem is that they’ve been out of stock in the U.S. for months and months. Contacted Billingham to see if I could buy direct and have it shipped from the U.K. No dice. They said their distribution agreements don’t allow it.

  • bob lebart

    Oh yah, the “Camslinger”. That may work fine in Europe. You use that in the USA and risk getting shot to death by a paranoid cop. Things are tough enough on street photographers as it is…use this “holster” for nature shots only. LMAO!!

    • They work fine in the States too. Just don’t do that “handgunny” motion when you unholster your camera, and you’ll be safe.

      • bob lebart

        So, your saying as long as I don’t yell out, “Go ahead, make my day!!”, every time I see a good photo, my chances of living increase? Ok, fair enough ;-)

  • Siggi

    The Camslinger is the photography equivalent of the fanny pack. How does one wear one while keeping a straight face or maintaining any self respect?

    I’ve been admiring the F-Stop bags for quite a while. Their Kenti backpack, while not as expedition-friendly, would be a great day pack/city pack.

    • Arnold Newman

      You’re right—particularly with a X-system camera. I tried the Kenti a couple years ago and sent it back because 1) it doesn’t have nearly the suspension system of the similarly priced Guru; and 2) the 5D Mark III and full frame lenses didn’t fit it very well. But I was looking for a hiking pack. It would make an excellent choice with the right sized gear for biking or urban exploration.

      The Guru, on the other hand, was perfect. I resisted it because its design reminded me of the pack I used to lug textbooks around campus back in the day. In fact, I only ordered it because the Loku was backordered through the summer. Once I tried the Guru my attitude completely changed. Super lightweight but with a great suspension system. Has a really nice organizer that is missing from the Loku. I have yet to see anything else of this size with a similar suspension. (Usually manufacturers skimp on the waist belt on a small pack like the Guru.)

      I did end up with a Loku too, mainly because I wanted the more room for non-camera gear. Great pack for when you need extra room to carry fleece, rain gear, large hydration bladder, etc. Though it is heavier and lacks the organizer pocket of the Guru, the Loku design offers a top compartment with a clear view of the sky (for GPS loggers). Its flat top also provides a place to strap down a tripod horizontally, the only comfortable way I’ve ever found to carry a tripod on a pack.

  • mrgecko

    Still no love for the Kata Bags??? I use both a DOMKE F-3X and a Kata http://www.kata-bags.us/lightri-312-dl-for-small-dslr-w-kit-lens-2-lenses depending on what I’m doing

    • Arnold Newman

      I was under the impression that Manfrotto is retiring the Kata brand. I know they transitioned a number of the Kata designs to the Manfrotto label and “re-introduced” them at CP+. (I think that’s where it happened.)

  • Franckie

    I bought the cosyspeed last month Iand I’m really happy with it. It feels solid. The attachment is smart and easy. It can fit my x100s perfectly. I even put a gh3 with a 14-45 x in it and it was just fine. These bags just rock

    • Denis

      Which model did you buy?

  • Caerolle

    A fanny pack for cameras!

  • Been using a Domke F5XB for at least 6 years now. Home at one point to Epson RD1s (2 lenses), Lumix GF1 (2 lenses), Fuji x100 currently. An iPad mini fits in the inside-front pocket as long as you don’t have a bulky case (a KAVJA leather case fits).

    Found it on sale for like $20 at a Samys Camera, a black one with that “White House Photographer” badge. I’ll use this one forever.

  • arhmatic

    Camslinger – that’s about the right size, but how can they justify prices in excess of $100?
    Almost any pouch, attached to your belt is just a fraction of that. Not talking about a whole bag, just a single compartment pouch.

  • Arnold Newman

    Belt systems are a great alternative to packs. They’re much more convenient to use and they don’t make your back sweat. Problem is they don’t offer space for food, a hydration bladder, jacket, etc., so it is definitely a “right tool for the job” deal. That said, I would invest in an actual belt *system* before I bought the camslinger.

  • mcastein

    Do you know where I put my X100s? In my coat pocket.

  • Rolf Aalders

    I actually use my old ThinkTank Skin 75 pop down SLR Lens pouch to carry my complete X-M1 kit (body mounted with prime and 2 additional primes, separated by extra divider foam). Maybe a bit lame, but works great.

    • BLFarnsworth

      Not lame at all! :-) I also use my ThinkTank Skin 75 with my ThinkTank Digital Holster 20 v2.0 (X-T1 and battery grip fit just fine in it!). Most of the time I just use the Holster 20 on a Speed Belt, but even when I use both bags — that’s a world better than when I used to lug around a full backpack filled with full-frame bodies & lenses!

  • Dominique_R

    I’ve tried Lowepro, I’ve tried Gura Gear large and small; I’ve tried Billingham… and my favorite to go low-profile adventuring with my XP1, some lenses and the usual extras is and remains… my leather, non-photo bag Eastpak!

    If you’re interested in knowing why and can read French, it’s right here: http://drobert-photo.blogspot.fr/2014/06/le-graal-du-sac-photo-ideal.html

  • Carl

    I just recently bought the Timbuk2 Racing stripe bag in small. It’s become my day bag/go to bag for everything. Light weight and water proof. Room for a laptop and iPad. I usually just pop my camera in there. When I want to bring more camera stuff I bought their small camera insert that fits nicely.

    http://www.timbuk2.com/d-lux-laptop-messenger-bag-sleeve-racing-stripe/165.html#dwvar_165-2-2144_size%3D5%26dwvar_165-2-2144_color%3D6058

  • Alexander Barus

    For casual out, i use LowePro Passport Sling III where I can fit in my Fujifilm X-T1 with XF 10-24 f/4 lens attached and XF 35 f/1.4 lens. Moreover, I still can throw in my beanie, Beats Mixr headphone (foldable), LaCie Fuel 1 TB (wireless storage for movies,music,etc), and of course iPad Mini. Outside pocket I usually keep my iPhone 5S for easy access and drink bottle as well. There is a hidden extra 30% space inside where I can unzip for keeping 4 Blu Ray rent discs on the way home.

  • valentin

    Try Ona Bowery…all the rest fade away

  • GH

    Well, I guess camera nerds who are already ignored by the opposite sex may as well go all the way and buy a belt holster for their camera, in order to boost their self esteem by feeling like Han Solo.

  • karinatwork

    I’ll stick with my Ciesta insert in my purse, thank you very much.

  • A camera bag should be your assistant, not your store cupboard. You should only keep in it the absolute minimum of things you need, but don’t need right now. It’s the least well-named thing in photography, as the only time the camera should be in the bag is when you are categorically not going to be using it at that time. Which, as any good photographer will tell you, is ‘never’.

    It took me years – and more luggage than I’d ever care to imagine – to realise this. Gunslinger-like holsters are especially pointless IMO, unless you spend a lot of Travis Bickle time, training yourself for the quick-draw in the mirror. Otherwise, it’s too slow for rapid-response photography and too awkward for more considered photography – the perfect lose-lose.

    Of this group, I bought the Millican because it’s a good canvas field bag that comes with a camera protector insert, and the whole bag never screams ‘photographer’. It looks like the kind of thing men with bobble hats who talk of ‘gumption’ use for their sandwiches, their Wainwright’s Guide, and their flask of tea. Not for their camera. I’m not that bothered by the ‘protector’; quick access is not the point of this. It’s more like, well, a protector, or a rain cover.

  • DanS

    You still haven’t mentioned one of the best: Tenba’s Messenger line of camera bags. They work perfect.

  • LeFred

    If you like it small, the Manfrotto Amica 10 is probably the smallest bag that can fit an X-E2 with 18-55mm or smaller attached.

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