Keeping It Simple – Back to Africa: The Shooting Bag – Domke F-2 Two Body Configuration

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I like camera bags.

This is about the bag I will be shooting out of in Africa this time and not what bag I will use to get the gear there.  I have a camera backpack, but I never, ever shoot out of it anymore.  I had three primary shoulder bags that are used for completely different reasons.  I have added a fourth and that will be my shooting bag for this trip.

The Crumpler 6 Million Dollar Home  – my wife has stolen that bag from me.

The Tenba Camera Messenger  – up until recently this was my main bag.  It has a good amount of room including lots of little pockets and storage areas, is very durable, and I feel my gear is very safe.  I have been able to get my Dell XPS M1330 in there with a limited shooting kit.  I often take this bag when traveling by air as it goes under every seat of every small regional jet there is.  The only downside for me is that it is a little like carrying an Igloo Playmate cooler.

The Think Tank Retrospective 20  - This is another favorite when traveling by air, but often used more as a briefcase for the laptop, small shooting kit and other travel stuff

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The Domke F-2 Ruggedwear Shooter’s Bag  - I decided on this bag for the upcoming trip because it had “Shooter’s Bag” in the name.  Not really.  I picked up a Domke a few years ago and literally said out loud, “Are you kidding me?”  I guess I just didn't get it.  I have changed.  When this arrived, I filled it with gear and placed it on my shoulder and said “Wow!”

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When I took it to Seattle a few weeks ago and used it when shooting a wedding, I came back saying “Wow, O’ Wow!”  This is the bag for me.  However, and I must admit, it wasn’t perfect.  For the Africa trip, I am taking two bodies.  I have a different configuration for a one body shoot-out bag.  Neither that nor the above configuration works for a two body shoot-out bag..

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Enter Flying With Fish and a great suggestion – the Mountainsmith Kit Cube!  I had previously picked one of these up after reading the Flying With Fish blog.  I also use the Northface Surge backpack, as my briefcase, and the Mountainsmith Cube fits inside perfectly as well.  After reading that other Domke inserts would not provide the two body configuration I was looking for, I thought what about the Cube?

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 Canon 7D with 70-200 f/2.8 in front, Canon 40D with 24-105 f/4 in Cube, plus an extra slot.

Remove the Domke insert, replace it with the Cube and not only does it become a two body solution, but I have a nice extra slot for a flash or the ultra wide I am also taking.  I do have to remove the grips, but that makes everything lighter anyway.

For me, this is the perfect solution for 5 weeks of shooting in Tanzania – comfortable, practical and blends into the surroundings better.

Coming soon - How to Get the Gear There.