Making Camera Bags
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How many times have you looked for the ideal camera bag and had
to settle for a compromise between size and utility. To make things worse,
you paid a price you thought was outrageous for this less than optimal bag.
I have learned over the years that you need to do a lot of things yourself
in order to get exactly what you want. A side effect of this is that you
can often save a lot of money compared to buying commercially made items.
The design of my bags come from experience using a number of purchased ones
and from brochures showing camera bags. Some features were forced by the need
to adapt the bags to my carrying system The basis of this is a freighter frame
(see the Carrying section for more information).
These camera bags are made of a really heavy duty cordura cloth that I have
bought from Klättermusen ( http://www.klattermusen.se
). They do however not sell cloth any longer. The Swedish alternative is
Recon Vildmark http://www.recon.se). A
similar cloth may be found in USA at http://www.wyeastfabrics.com/,
The difference between the cloths seems mainly be that the coating was better
on the Klättermusen version.
The padding is cut from sleeping pads with a thickness of 6-10 mm. This
is a closed cell foam type that does not absorb water. Zippers are 8 mm YKK.
I recommend you to stay away from the coil type of zippers as they do not
stand up against hard use as does regular zippers. Adding a "zipper tab" by
attaching a string loop of about 5 cm long will vastly improve the ease of
using any bag with zippers. The lining is made of heavy duty nylon available
in most regular fabric stores. Bottom, back and some of the dividers are reinforced
with a thin plywood that is glued to the padding with contact cement. Dividers
are attached with hook and loop.
There are two wide straps of loops sewn on sides where dividers
are to be attached. The dividers have hooks on them (and possibly loop straps
on their side if further division are expected).
Note that the back is covered by an extra layer of regular pack cloth
This is done in order to prevent the rough surfaced cordura cloth from destroying
your jacket or trousers when carrying the bag.
Where webbing is attached to the bag and of what type is a matter
of your particular needs. This is where you may customize your carrying system
to fit your equipment and way of carrying. Seams are, as far as possible,
sealed by using LiquiSole, a contact cement that fills and waterproofs the
joints. This, together with the high quality coating on the cloth, makes the
bags protect the equipment from the elements. In the worst conditions, a
backpack cover is needed to protect the bags.
I would never think of publishing any drawings of my camera bags.
Each bag is custom built to fit the equipment they must hold and is optimized
for the manner in which I will carry it. You are not likely to have the same
set of equipment or the same thoughts on how to carry your equipment. This
is more a way of showing that it is possible to achieve a great improvement
compared to most alternatives available on the market.