Just Say “NO” To the Fancy Bag

Little bit of humor here.  Ok.  Maybe not.  I’ve said it before both here, and elsewhere these man bags such as the Billinghams, and the other fancy bags do have a place in the workplace, but not in the field.  Quite frankly I never seen any of these hipsters who carry these fancy uncreased bags around cosmopolitan town even going out into the field in their tight-ass pants, and loafers.  Oh. Sorry, ranting again.  Give me a break guys.  Buying a camera bag, a lousy camera bag for $300 dollars and up, to put it down in dirt and mud, and snow, or wet sand and saltwater?  No.  Not for me.  And I doubt any of these fancy bag toters do either.  Many just want to look cool as they slowly extricate their fancy cameras out of the well-oiled bags to take that selfie, or the foodie shot, then Oh so cool, slide the camera in for another week of storage.  Give me a break.

Now, here in the photo is a true working bag.  This bag cost me $29.95.  It’s canvas.  Cloth.  Period.  Inside is a 3 velcro pocket Jill-E insert for $10.00.  See all that gear?  That’s what I packed yesterday for a short day hike into a bamboo forest. It has SIX (6) pockets just on the OUTSIDE!

I’ve included some images here so you can see what can be accomplished with minimal gear.  Oh, BTW, all of these images, and many more are already for sale on Shutterstock as of 5:00am Sunday morning. Yeah. I’m fast and the X-T1 files, couples with the amazing lenses don’t require a lot of post.

So, if you want to look like a coffee-shop dwelling Brooklyn broke hipster who shoots food, and selfies, go ahead and get yourself a Billingham, or “billingmuch” as I call them, if you want to make yourself useful get yourself a real bag.  Try the think tank series.  Either that, or get the hell out of my way as I make my images.

Thank you.  Rant over.  I’ve now taken cover and am ready for the rebuttals as to how great these expensive bags are other than for image enhancement, like botox…


14 thoughts on “Just Say “NO” To the Fancy Bag

  1. I think its all about what you shoot and where, I do street and landscape and find the Billingham small to be perfect, have put in on the ground in snow wet grass and mud, been in heavy rain too, all with no problems.


  2. Hundreds, if not thousands of dollars worth of gear to post half a dozen nigh identical snaps of bamboo sticks in a feeble attempt to prove some kind of self proclaimed superiority.

    Try shooting something worth looking at. Either that, or get the hell out of my way as I make my images.

    Thank you. Rant over.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The old style Domke canvas bags fit your idea of a basic camera bag without the prettified leather patches and ” look at me, I am so elegant” aesthetic. But today, even some of the Domkes are becoming frou frou and expensive.


  4. I bought my first and only “fancy bag” last year — a Billingham Small for a relatively low $170 (they usually go for ~$230). I use an Olympus OMD and wanted a small weather proof bag that was completely silent. The Billingham is basically perfect for that. No zippers, no Velcro, no weak magnetic clasps etc. It’s a very well made minimalistic design that just works really well. And yes, it’s also nice looking, but I’m almost 50 and live in the middle of nowhere, so I assure you I don’t care about showing off to any fancy pants hipsters.

    My other bags are a larger ThinkTank Suburban Disguise 30, also a great bag, and a very small Tamrac.


  5. Don’t agree at all. Shooting with several semi-pro bodies and prime lenses since more than 30 years, my bags were always the first protection. I tried to use cheap bags, well beloved by pickpockets, and had to come back on shooting position to recover lens cap. When dealing with real street photography or on site shooting, you need to be confident in your bag qualities.

    After several Loewe Pro and ThinkThank bags, using a Billingham since 18 month, I like the fact that I can put my laptop in it, size is allows to be considered as handbag when travelling by plane, look is more “messenger” than “expensive camera ready to be stolen after egressing the owner” and body and lenses protection is just awesome.

    The fact is that if you want to take a picture, you don’t have to care about where is the camera and how to get it in your hands ..

    Don’t see the interest to promote (or not) stock pictures when speaking about bags .. strange isn’t it ?


    • First of all I’m not promoting anything. at all. period. ever. I don’t care if you read the blog or not. Makes no difference to me. at all. period. However, I have yet to see ANYONE in ANY professional capacity that I’ve run across from Alaska to The Dry Tortugas using one of these fancy bags. Sorry, but if it makes you feel good, then go for it. To me, it’s nothing but a status symbol and a waste of money. That’s “my” opinion. Yours is totally different and that’s cool.


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