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Thread: Suggestion - The Goldilocks Bag

  1. #16
    Ken
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    I took one for the team and ordered a Domke FA-226 insert from B&H. I had to order two other items, and decided to go for it. I can always return it or use it in other bags if need be. It arrives on Thursday, so I'll post more after I have it in hand.

    --Ken

  2. #17
    Ken
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    The FA-226 arrived today. While it is supposed to be .5" shorter and .5" narrower, I can only see the difference in height. My initial assessment is that you could use either insert, and that you might want to purchase the one that fits into your current Domke bag(s) if you own any. Otherwise, it is a toss up. Both have the newer removable divider that uses Velcro to attach to the inside of the insert.

    --Ken

  3. #18
    Ken
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    The joys of insomnia! I was trying out the inserts in a variety of bags tonight to try and determine which one I was going to return. As I said above, the only difference that I can detect is height. I was inclined to keep the shorter one as Domke supposedly designed it to fit into my F-6 bag. I am not sure if they have a QC problem, or if they changes the design of the F-6, but the Velcro does not line up properly, and the insert is taller than the one that originally came with that bag. So much for an easy decision.

    But, good news for TB Imago owners. You can actually fit both inserts side-by-side in the Imago. This makes for a very flexible arrangement as each insert has a divider, and the foam pads on each side of the insert all all removable. This allows you to determine how much padding, and how many compartments (2-4) you would like, and all of it can be adjusted on the fly. I really like having both inserts without their dividers as I can easily fit two M4/3rd's camera bodies with bigger lenses and have easy, immediate access to them. I also find the two inserts more plyable than my Mountainsmith insert that also fits into my Imago. This give the bag a slightly slimmer profile and less boxy when not completely filled with gear. Thankfully, the inserts are not that expensive, as I am probably going to keep both. I admit it, I am a bagaholic!

    --Ken

  4. #19
    Ken
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    I finally got a chance this weekend to try out the SCB with an insert as a camera bag. I went out on Saturday to photograph at a local farmers' market with a an Olympus 60mm macro mounted on a Panasonic G3, as well as a 25mm PanaLeica in a Domke wrap. I placed the insert in the bag, put the wrapped 25mm on the bottom, and then placed the G3 w/lens on top of the wrapped 25mm. My phone was in the inside pocket of the SCB, and my wallet was in the front zippered pocket. A simple arrangement, but one that I wanted to test as this is how I frequently head out when photographing while traveling.

    The insert definitely provides a nice layer of soft padding for my gear, not too thin and not too thick, but the SCB does have a bit more structure with the insert then without it. It is definitely a trade-off, but that structure provides a bit of ease when working out of the bag, although it does not quite mimic an over-sized holster as much as I had imagined. Yes, the camera goes in and out of the insert without much hassle, but it does sometimes require a second hand to help prevent the top of the insert from pinching. I am not sure if I would find just using wraps on my equipment a better arrangement, but that is probably something I will try on another shoot. Overall, I like having the choice, and I am holding any final opinions until I have used this arrangement a bit more, as well as some of the alternate arrangements, like just relying on wraps for padding. I realize that there are a number of bags that provide this same type of arrangement, and possibly in a more efficient layout, but I like that the SCB is small, unobtrusive, and does not seem to call attention to itself. For around town travel with a limited amount of compact camera equipment, the SCB offers a lot to consider.

    --Ken

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