Me and my camera bags – A review of my latest Camera Bag

Tamrac Express 7

Tamrac Express 7

One day I had an argument with my wife who loves to collect handbags. It happened after she fell in love with another handbag. I asked her how many handbags would be enough.

She looked at me and said that I have more camera bags than her handbag. Oh! Really? So we started a counting exercise. So out came the handbags and camera bags. I took out 5 camera bags and she took out a dozen.

She bluntly told me that I was cheating. There were more camera bags than that. She went into the store room and out came another 6. Ooops! Those were bought years ago and have long been forgotten. She looked into the paper bag at the corner of the room and spotted another one.

The final score 12 vs 12….Damn! We are even….zipped

Tamrac Express 7

Tamrac Express 7

I believe most Photographers just love camera bags. For the slightest reason whatsoever, they would reward themselves with a camera bag.

My latest acquisition is a model 3537 Tamrac Express 7 Camera Bag.. It comes in 2 colors, khaki and black.

The dimensions are:-

Internal Dimensions:    11 W x 4¼ D x 9 H
28 x 11 x 23 cm
External Dimensions:   13¼ W x 6 D x 9¾ H
25 x 15 x 23 cm
Weight: 1 lb. 9.8 oz. (738 g)

This bag is suitable for keeping 1 camera body, 2 lenses, a flash and a host of other accessories including a compartment on the cover to keep a raincoat. For more details please refer to the Tamrac website….

My camera bag philosophy

My philosophy is simple
1. Get a smallish camera bag that will be tough enough to withstand the punishing pace of photography that suits my needs.
2. Whatever I can’t fit into the camera bag will be left at home. Earlier in my life, I used to buy a bag big enough to fit all my equipment. As time goes by, the collection of equipment has expanded; the knees and back grew weaker, another strategy has to be found.
I remembered once lugging a Lowrepro Backpack that can fit 1 medium format system with 3 lenses and 1 SLR system with 3 lenses around. It was no fun.

My first impression of the Tamrac Express 7 Camera bag.

I had been involved in researching camera bags for my daughter who wanted to design and produce camera bags. There were some so call insights that I have acquired during the research exercise.

Overall the Tamrac is a neat package. Well designed as a lifestyle product. It has included suede leather (a luxury material found only in higher priced camera bags like Billingham) as part of its design. The workmanship I would say was very good. The quality control and material used were superior. For more details of the material used go to Tamrac’s website.

The insulating foam dividers were made of a higher density type as such it did not feel bulky.The dividers were moveable too. It gave the flexibility to configure the spaces to suit the needs. For a smallish camera bag, it has a lot of hidden pockets that can be used to organize and keep the camera accessories apart. There is even a compartment where I can keep a raincoat.

Tamrac Express 7
Tamrac Express 7

What did I keep in the bag?

I took this bag to the Crossing Bridges 6 outing. I knew there would be a lot of walking, foul weather and what I did not expect was the earthquake. I was standing in the rain at one stage and the external of the bag was soaking wet, but the contents inside the bag were dry. I have owned a good number of camera bags but finding a camera bag that was designed to maximize the utilization of space was hard to find.

This was the list of items I kept in the bag:-
1. Pentax K-7
2. 15mm lens
3. 50-200mm lens
4. Leica M-3
5. 35mm summaron
6. 50mm summicron
7. Fujifilm PnS
8. 8 rolls of 35mm film
9. metal lens hood
10. microfiber cleaning cloth
11. lenspen
12. torchlight
13. note pad and pens
14. SD cards
15. raincoat
16. hand phone

Overall I find that this camera bag was very well specified and workmanship quality was very high. It combined both design and functionality and was targeted as a lifestyle product as opposed to a “camera bag.”

If you have read my earlier story, there is no “most ideal” camera bag. However, for my present needs, this Tamrac bag is very close to ideal.

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