The (almost) Perfect Bag: (for times when you just want to "bring a camera" along on a casual outing)
On my search for the perfect, one-body, two-lens bag, I stopped over at Samy's Camera today between shoots and found the (almost) perfect soft bag: a Lowepro Exchange Messenger. I got it in grey (also available in black), so it'll be a bit easier to see in a pile of black camera bags. It's thin and light, and is actually a very good-looking bag! I just got home and threw my D7000 with a 105 DC mounted on it, and two short lenses. Perfect!
[photo by manufacturer]
Now, the "almost" part. I wanted a bag with a "flip-top" design, and a large Velcro closure for super-fast, in-and-out. So, I was specifically looking for a bag WITHOUT a zipper-top closure. For me, zipper-top closures are just far too slow, and can be difficult to zip/un-zip with only one hand. Thankfully, there's no zipper-top closure on the Exchange Messenger. Unfortunately, this bag has two plastic buckles (not seen here) as its sole closure device, under its main flap. These fasteners are very difficult to unbuckle/re-buckle quickly (plus, it requires two hands to re-fasten), so I'm going to take it to a seamstress to sew in two large Velcro patches for the closure. The bag also includes two moveable, padded Velcro dividers.
The best part? It was only $39 bucks! [I just found it online selling for as little as $24.90!] The Domke, in a similar form factor, was way too stuff (albeit, offering more protection, but that's not what I'm looking for in this bag), and was a whopping $179.
Lowepro Exchange Messenger Specifications:
Interior: 11.8W X 4.7D X 8.1H in./30.0 X 12.0 X 20.5 cm
Exterior: 13.0W X 5.7D X 9.4H in./33.0 X 14.5 X 24.0 cm
Outer fabric: 600D Polyester 420D Nylon
Interior fabric: 200D Polyester
Also, I just couldn't resist, and bought another ThinkTank Skin 50 lens pouch (I just LOVE those things). I can use this in tandem with my Exchange Messenger bag to hold a second DX body (D90) with a short lens. Now, all I need is a couple of Black Rapid straps (they were out of them), and I'll be set!