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  1. #1
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    Jan 2013
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    Zephyr as camera bag?

    Hey all,

    Over the past few weeks I've been mulling over whether or not to get a Co-Pilot, to use as a camera/personal carry-on bag. The only thing holding me back is that I still use medium format film cameras (I know, I know, I might as well be encased in resin for future viewing at a museum) and I worry that it's going to be too small.

    I should mention that the cameras I'm carrying have a *minimum* dimension of 5 inches across and it would be preferable to not have to take the lenses off, so we're talking about fairly unwieldy things here. Not to mention that I'd like to be able to cram an iPad and a few accessories into whatever bag I end up getting.

    After browsing around looking at various options, I ended up at the Zephyr and thought that it might actually be a pretty good solution, for the following reasons:
    1. The inside of the main compartment is padded front, back, left and right. Possibly means I might not have to DIY my own padding solution?
    2. The main compartment seems large (without the file dividers of course). Hopefully large enough for the cameras mentioned above
    3. It still has some nice organizational pockets on the front that might (?) hold a flash or other accessories

    So...my question is, has anyone tried it? Am I out to lunch? Oh, and one last thing - I don't check any luggage when I fly, just put my Tri-Star in the overhead compartment - is this thing likely to pass as a laptop/personal bag? If it's large enough to encourage airline employees to make me check the Tri-Star then I'm going to have to think of other options.

    Thanks in advance for any advice!

  2. #2
    Registered User cucciasv's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
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    Garnet Valley, PA
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    Hey, Bihnaround...

    I've been using a Zephyr for several years (it's the first of my panoply of TB bags). It is certainly a well-padded bag, and the sides, are padded and stiff as well.

    I can't be completely sure, since I no longer have my Hasselblad 500C and my Mamiya 645 cameras, but I'm thinking it would be a pretty tight fit. The Hassy might have just barely fit, but I can't see the Mamiya going in well, particularly with a lens attached. And, you don't specify what else you would need to carry in the way of photographic accouterments.

    I'm afraid I can't think of a TB recommendation. The larger shoulder bags (I own a Super Ego) are not sufficiently protective and rigid for "bare" camera equipment, in my opinion. I would still go with a traditional, compartmentalized photographic bag. By the way, the TB Camera Insert would not hold the equipment mentioned above.

    Hopefully someone else will chime in... but, as you might expect, most people will say, "What's a medium format camera... a special camera to photograph spirits?" (I teach an intermediate photography course, and 3/4 of the class has never used film!)

    Wish I had more definitive guidance for you.




    Someone please help me!
    I have BAS (Bihn Acquisition Syndrome)!!


  3. #3
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    Thanks cucciasv,

    Every little bit helps. I'd be carrying one or both of Mamiya 7/Fuji 6x7, so I'm thinking they might fit if they were put on their side (with the lenses facing in towards the center of the bag).

    if you, or some other kind soul on the forum, could give me the exact depth of the main compartment, that would go a long way towards answering whether this gear would fit.

    Thanks again!

  4. #4
    Registered User Fat Crip's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
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    I live a little South of Edinburgh in Scotland's border hills
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    587
    Pre disability, I used a Mamiya RB67 and loved it. You don't take snaps with that sort of kit. Before you touch the shutter release you make sure everything is just right! Plus the negatives are much nicer to work with in the dark room. Now a days I couldn't even pick the thing up, let alone the huge Tripod 100mm filters, hood, spare backs, lenses etc. that went with it! My digital Canon G10 is my limit now, but mostly I use my iPhone

    I used a huge Billingham bag then... a thing of beauty, but it weighed a ton!

  5. #5
    Registered User
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    Feb 2011
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    Boulder, Colorado
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    182
    Billingham, made in Brierly Hill if I remember. I used to pass close by on my way to Dudley Zoo when I was a wee bairn. I still have a Hadley that I will never, ever part with. And yes, it weighs a ton for what it is. But my photo fetish - Leica - was unsustainable when they went to digital and the prices shot up into the stratosphere. All I have left from that era is an M4, a 35mm Summicron (4th generation pre-ASPH), and a Durst enlarger that has gathered dust for the best part of a decade. If only I still had the time...
    Enlightened traveller since 2009

  6. #6
    Registered User cucciasv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BihnAround View Post

    ... if you, or some other kind soul on the forum, could give me the exact depth of the main compartment, that would go a long way towards answering whether this gear would fit.

    First of all ... welcome to my 100th post on these fora!
    I think this calls for a celebration... I know... I think I will purchase something!

    Sorry it took me a few days to get this done for you.

    Here's a collage of photos I took of my beloved Zephyr (Cardinal) which is now almost 8 years old. I used it exclusively until I became afflicted with Bihn Acquisition Syndrome (B.A.S.) about a year ago. It has held up extraordinarily well, don't you think?

    These iPhone photos reveal that the Zephyr is quite nicely padded on all sides to protect any gear. My Nikon D7000 SLR camera with its Nikkor 10-24mm f/3.5-4 DX lens just barely fits inside.

    This may or may not work for you. I hope the images help you make a determination.




    Someone please help me!
    I have BAS (Bihn Acquisition Syndrome)!!



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