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  1. #16
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    marblejbc, that's an amazing fit. You're pictures are impressive.

  2. #17
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    Feb 2006
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    235
    LOL.
    You did what I did with a SportSac till I got the Large Cafe Bag. I like your ultralight solution too, but try a Café Bag instead. You'll appreciate the extra space.



    Quote Originally Posted by marblejbc View Post
    I thought I would share my recent camera bag experience for those that may want or need something similar.

    For summer, I needed an inconspicuous camera bag to carry my Canon T2i/550d w/15-85 + backup Canon G10 around SE Asia while doing my thesis research. I had several requirements for a camera bag.

    • It should to be lightweight.
    • I didn’t want something that looks like an obvious camera bag.
    • Has to be tight against my body for when on the run - back of motorcycle taxis, hopping in and out of buses/taxis. Also safer in tight spaces.
    • No noisy velcro and clanky metal buckles/hinges.
    • No flaps, easy access.
    • A soft liner, no abrasive nylon.
    • And most importantly... the bag’s gotta be looking good enough to pass through the hip metros of Bangkok, while not marking me as a vulnerable rich westerner in the disgruntled southern provinces. (^_^)


    I searched far and wide, finally coming to the conclusion that I just needed to be a little creative... or not be so stinking picky ; ) A while back, I purchased the very nice and lightweight Tom Bihn Packing Cube Shoulder Bag in Dynamo Steel, but really hadn’t found much of a use for it since I use the Medium Cafe Bag most of the time. So I decided this would make the perfect shell, now I just needed to find the ideal insert. After searching here and there for several weeks, I found a padded insert that was spot-on perfect for dimensions, and met every-other requirement above. The only problem was that it’s pretty expensive (made in England). Ah, but I got lucky and found a used one off Craigslist, and off I go ✈✈✈✈

    The insert is called the Billingham Small Hadley Insert, I’m pretty sure B&H Photo as well as others carry it. The quality is excellent and fit’s into the Tom Bihn PCS Bag like they were made for each other. Overall, I think the combination is a complete success!

    Here’s a few photos -

    [IMG][/IMG]







  3. #18
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    Can a Cafe Bag be worn strictly as a hip-pack, attached to the body by the waist strap like a Side Effect can?

  4. #19
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    Post

    Not really. The shoulder straps are not removable.
    However, in the case of the large cafe bag, the shoulder strap is removable.
    The strap is attached like the EGO bag.

    The waist strap is near the bottom of the bag, which wouldn't work too well.

    Cafe bags are designed to be worn on the shoulder.
    Been there. Done that. Can't remember.

  5. #20
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    Mar 2008
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    425
    Hi, MtnMan.

    "Can a Cafe Bag be worn strictly as a hip-pack, attached to the body by the waist strap like a Side Effect can?"

    I don't have a Side Effect, but I just tested the Large Cafe Bag, and the answer is "Yes."

    I put the bag on, swung it around to the back, and buckled the waist strap. It felt a little unstable. Then I lowered the (Absolute) strap in front to waist level and shortened the straps to snug it in. Finally, I rebuckled the waist strap over the Absolute pad (for comfort). Worked out pretty well.

    Or you could just swing the bag behind, fasten the waist strap, and shorten the shoulder strap (worn cross-body) to stabilize the bag.

  6. #21
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    Hmmm...

    I wonder if gmanedit's technique would work on the medium and small cafe bags...

    Thanks for the tip!

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    Hmmm...

    I wonder if gmanedit's technique would work on the medium and small cafe bags...

    Thanks for the tip!
    gmanedit's suggestion is plausible with the large cafe bag. With the small and medium cafe bags I'm not sure how much "play" you would have with the straps.
    His suggestion:
    Or you could just swing the bag behind, fasten the waist strap, and shorten the shoulder strap (worn cross-body) to stabilize the bag.
    is the better technique.
    Been there. Done that. Can't remember.

  8. #23
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    Feb 2009
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    Moscow, Idaho
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    Thanks for the idea Zephyrnoid!

    I do own a medium Cafe Bag which I really like. I thought about using this as my dslr tote, I just didn't like the depth, as the top half of the bag would go unused on the medium size. I think the large would be too much for my minimalist approach, but I can definitely see this working for someone who doesn't mind layering things up a bit (bring the camera up higher for access) and likes to tote around more stuff.

    I would love to see photos of Cafe Bag dslr setups though for inspiration!

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by marblejbc View Post
    as the top half of the bag would go unused on the medium size.
    remember that cafe bag comes in three sizes. As a shooter I have a lot of photo luggage and indeed the depth of the Large Cafe bag would be a problem, were it not for the fact that the bottom 3" of my cafe bag contains a perfectly fitting compact umbrella. My insert rides right on that, boosting it up to easy reach once the flap is open.
    I've overdue to do an Xray illustration but I'm strapped for time.
    My ONLY problem with the Café Bag is that I sometime freak out and think that I may have forgotten to pick it up or that someone might have lifted it from me as its TOO light, even when loaded. The Absolute strap should have a warning label on it "Caution: Contents May Seem Unnoticeably Light" LOL!
    I lugged the Café Bag and three totes loaded with groceries for a mile today and had to keep checking to be sure the Café Bag was still there.
    Ultralight can be spooky ;)

  10. #25
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    Jun 2009
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    St Petersburg Florida
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    Question Inserts for Large Cafe bag

    Zephyrnoid,

    I just got a Canon XS DSLR w/28-135 IS lens. I'll be using my large cafe bag to carry it.
    What insert do you use?
    Or I may wait to see what TB comes up with.

    Thanks.
    Been there. Done that. Can't remember.

  11. #26
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