Yet another photo bag suggestion...
While I know that on numerous occasions many of us here in the Forums have asked Tom for a camera bag. And on several occasions I have offered to show Tom several of my Domke bags as an inspiration for a new design. I am now thinking of a more practical appeal to Tom could be implemented quite easily.
I have been using Tom's eM2 bag to carry my Nikon D40. This case will fit the body with a mid-range zoom (18-70 or 16-85) and have a bit of room left over for a wrapped 50mm lens if desired. Its perfect for light weight travel as it provides some padding, good weatherproof zippers, and it certainly does not look like a camera bag.
Even better, it fits nicely into my Imago or ID bags with room for a flash or long lens in a padded case or wrap. While this is not a perfect solution, it is not bad if you are not contstantly changing lenses. What would make this even better are the following:
An elongated version of this case that has a clip loop on its back so one or two of these cases could be secured into Tom's bags like the brain cell. The added length would allow a camera with a longer lens to ride in the case. And, since not all DSLR's are small like the D40, a slighly deeper (front to back) version that might allow a camera the size of a D300 to take advantage of this arrangement would also be a nice addition.
This arrangement would allow people to mix and match these padded cases with their bags. Granted, a square is an unusual shape for equipment, but my D40 and lens seem to do just fine. And the best part of this is that it builds on Tom's existing clip system for brain cells. A bigger padded case should not be that hard to create from the existing eM2 design, and I would bet that people could come up with lots of things they would like to have padded or isolated when they are using a Tom Bihn bag.
What say Tom? I am open to testing a modified eM2 bag if you have interest.
rugged, understated, modular photobag suggestion
There are lots and lots of photo camera bags out there, so I know Tom Bihn has to find an appropriate niche and not invent the wheel again.
Seems to me that the way to go would be to put the clip system in the ID/Super Ego/Empire Builder into a bag the size of the Imago. And then offer a set of clip-in inserts constructed like the Brain Cells that included closed-foam velcro-configurable dividers. That way each of us could configure the thing for whatever camera/gear we have--and that it would be of use to lots of folks beyond just camera folks.
I think the reason so many of us keep begging Tom Bihn for such a product is that you folks seem to understand our desire for an _understated_ bag that doesn't scream cameras/steal me. So many photo bag makers are too focused on broadcasting their brand, which unfortunately makes them targets for thieves. I've looked and looked for something I can carry around everyday in the same way I use my brain cell to tote my MacBook every day. When I need more than the MacBook, I put the brain cell in my ID bag. Would love the same no-fuss flexibility for my Nikon D-80.
The gist of my suggestion: true protection in an understated modular system that makes it easy to have a camera on you all the time (the key to good shots). Here's hoping this gets Tom thinking about how he could _extend_ some existing products without getting slaughtered by the brand-name photo bag makers.