the perfect photojournalist bag?? : LUSENET : Dirck Halstead : One Thread

I need a new bag and there are so many choices out there. Any suggestions? I noticed a waist belt that had over-the-shoulder straps for both arms that another photog was using while shooting a few weeks ago...looked comfortable...worn in front of body.

Thanks in advance.


-- Matthew Arnold (, August 09, 2004


hi there,

i recently had the same problem and have several theories on it (yup, i think too much.)

i prefer to have a bag that is easy to get stuff in and out of, so went for a lowepro stealth 650.. it's big enough for all my kit and has a laptop sleeve too. while i often don't carry my laptop in it as it makes it enormously heavy, it is handy to have as either extra padding or space for documents, reflectors, etc. plus i know that it will stand up to years and years of heavy use. it seemed that the only real competitor was something from the domke range, but they are costly and hard to get here in new zealand. lowepro also do the same bag without a laptop sleeve which i also use.. both are excellent. you can fit them with a harness to wear as a low riding backpack but it becomes a ibt hard to take off and put on. perhaps a big belt could be a compromise but i've not tried it.

however.. a shoulder bag is no good for covering demonstrations and in fact any job where you are running around, or in crowds, as it is quite cumbersome. the best thing for that (which i don't have yet) is the lowepro journalist's rucksack with some belt pouches. i have used a rucksack in the past and hate having to put it on and take it off all the time, but with pouches you solve both problems and they are very handy as you are streamlined and don't have a sore shoulder!

you can of course go with a full belt pouch set-up but i find the drawbacks are.. what do you do when you take it off ? it becomes a pile of stuff.. and secondly they make you look very military which is bad in most cases and could be fatal in some parts.

i'm not in any way affiliated with lowepro.. just that i have used their kit for years and find it's bomb-proof and very very well designed. also all the other working photogs i know use, with the odd domke bag here and there among the old hands.

if you don't like the ballistic black colour that the lowe stuff comes in and want a shoulder bag, check the british 'billingham' brand.

lastly, another idea is to build your own bag from a courier bag and lots of foam. advantages are that it's custom made to your exact requirements and that it is not obviously full of expensive camera gear.

happy shooting.

-- james madelin (, November 15, 2004.

check out for the chestvest line.

Many photojournalists are using it. It distributes the weight wonderfully (with the back, unclasped, in my opinion), much better than any over the houled bags and fanny packs. It also is good for running and jumping in and out of vehicles and whatnot.

I prefer the larger digital version, as I found the pockets a bit tight in the original, especially for long lenses.

Hope that helps.


-- Gerald (, January 16, 2005.

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