The Three Bag System…..

1 year, 6 months ago 10
Posted in: Uncategorized


Boy, did I get emails!!!!!  Fair enough, let me address them.  Am I a member of the bag of the month club?  You bet, in good standing too!  I thought you used a rolling bag, do you?  Yes, when I travel by air and have to walk through airports, you bet, a rolling bag is the easiest to mange. What are the Donke bags for?  Glad you asked.  I love the Jim Domke inspired canvas bags, they are such a part of my heritage as a shooter.  When I was a photojournalist, long long ago in a galaxy far far away, I used the famous Domke F-2 bag to carry two Nikons and four lenses, almost everybody did.  It was actually the official bag of the White House Press Photographers Association, of which I was once a member!  That bag is still a mainstay for photojournlists using mostly Nikons and Canons, (translation big bulky DSLRs and lenses).


When I went to the Fujifilm X System (mirrorless) I need smaller bags with smaller compartments to match my new lighter and smaller system.  I was thrilled that some of Jim Domke’s smaller bags were a perfect fit!


Why a three bag system.  Let’s clear this up, when I travel in my SUV which is by far, by way far, my favorite way to travel.  I prefer smaller bags that I can actually carry if I need to.  These Domke bags are perfect and I have broken them into three catagories;


Domke F-6   Field Work Bag   (Range 15mm – 200)

Most coverage regardless of  bulk and weight.


X-H1 body

X-T3 or X-T2 body

10-24 f 4

18-135 f 3.5-5.6

16mm f 1.4

60mm f 2.4 Macro & Ext tubes




Domke F-5XB   People/Speed Bag   (Range 35mm – 85)

Avaialble light, people and low light work.


X-Pro 2 Body

23mm f 2

56mm f 1.2





Domke F-803   Travel  Bag   (Range 27mm – 300)

Most coverage at the least bulk and weight. Small and portable.


X-H1 or X-T3

27mm f 2.8

18-55  f 2.8-4

50mm f 2

55-200 f 3.5-4.8


By having these “systems” pre-packed I can grab the one that suites where I’m going and packed with what I know I will need.  Of coure any of this can be altered if the assignment, most of mine now are self assignments,  changes.


I still using rolling cases for air travel, and I still have special bags when the need arises, too many in fact, but this is a system that I think will work for me!


What about the beloved 100-400  It in a very nice padded Think Tank lens case all to itself, and it will always be be in the SUV with me!


Food for thought, please chime in your ideas, thoughts and questions!




the pilgrim

10 Responses

  1. Dennis Mook says:

    Bill, I bet you bought you Domke F2 like I did in the late 1970s from Jim Domke himself before he sold the company. I think it was around $50 or so, which was a lot for a poor patrol officer/wannabe photographer back then. Mine is tan and still in good shape considering I carried my Nikon’s around in it for 30-some years. I even put it in the washing machine a time or two. Tough canvas bag. I still have it, but like you, I no longer use it since I moved to Fujifilm several years ago. I’m still looking for the perfect replacement that will serve me as long as that bag did.

    • Bill Fortney says:

      I doubt we will see a bag made that well again. The current bags are excellent, but back then the goal was make the best bag, not watch the cost!! Anyway fun to have lived through all these changes!!!!

  2. Mitch Jones says:

    I love geeking out over camera bags. When I’m out with other photographers I check out their bags and backpacks more than their cameras and lenses. I really like the looks of a nice tan canvas shoulder bag, but I’m more of a backpack person. I’ve started using the Mindshift Sidepath with the X-T3, 18-55, and 55-200 for every day carry. It’s a very light setup with just enough room for the camera gear and plenty of room for extras. For more serious work, I use the Mindshift TrailScape 18L with room for most of the rest of my lenses including the 100-400.

  3. Martin Z Hull says:

    A certain other force important in my life prevents me from purchasing nice expensive bags so I have to be creative. 🙂 At least I have more than five bags for five cameras. :p

    I have a used given to me bag for my Sony a7ii with Voigtlander 10 and 58. Plus extension tubes.
    I have a $20 bag for my Sony RX10 IV which also holds Rode mic and two LitraPro Lights.
    Two LowePro TLZ (one was free and the other was $15) bags that I use to force myself to walk about with one Fuji camera and lens. The bigger TLZ can carry the 50-140 in it.
    I built a camera bag with this:
    Bought a camera liner and that bag can be used to carry the X-H1 with the 100-400 attached plus both TCs, filters, batteries, camera strap if I want to carry the camera that way. It is a tough bag – the straps are riveted into the bag.
    I use a case that was for a JVC camcorder to carry the X-E2 with the 27 on it.
    Then I got a camera carrying case for $15 to carry my extra lens when needed for an event.
    I do have a tripod carry bag for my Gitzo tripod (that has the Acra Swiss Monoball head on it) and Sirui monopod with the KX20 head.

    I also have two other bags if necessary to use but the straps and/or zippers are breaking on them. Would love to have a backpack but more than likely I will have to use my work day pack with a camera liner in it.

  4. Too many choices. Overwhelmed. What do you recommend for an X-T2 + Fujinon XF16-55mm F2.8 + Fujinon XF50-100mm?

  5. Peter L Packard says:

    i have been using the 803 for a couple of years its great like you i have been using Domke bags since the 70’s still have original brown with sown in insert and 2 later bags i have tried others but there is nothing like a Domke bag.

    • admin says:

      It’s one of those feel good stories about a guy that neded a bag for a single purpose and then went out and had it made, what a cool thing that is !!!! For the most part I still find they build them right, good materials, very good sewing and functional designs and well thought out. Wow, I guess I’m their new PR guy!!!

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