10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Excellent, versatile commuter/photog bag at a good price,
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This review is from: Domke 701-82S F-802 Reporter's Satchel -Sand (Camera)
This is a versatile, affordable case for photogs and commuters.
* two interior bag-width pockets (1 deeper for laptop)
* two front pockets, each 1/2 bag-width (strap divides them)
* one back magazine pocket
* two flap zippered pockets (strap divides them)
It's a canvas briefcase divided into two main compartments (with various extra pockets), the rear being for a laptop, thus wider (and I think a bit padded), and the front shallower but still being the width of the bag. Each expands generously along with the rest of the canvas bag. If I don't have my laptop, I put an SLR in the back (in a wrap) and an extra lens if I want it, and my notebooks, books, accessories in the front wide pocket. If I have my laptop, I can stuff the SLR in the front pocket, but I have a bulkier bag. No big deal, but not an everyday comfortable way to go.
Two boxy front pockets each have a flap over the top with a Velcro closure; the flaps are covered by the big flap when the bag isn't overstuffed. If your bag is overstuffed, the flaps are exposed but easily closed by the Velcro, so your stuff won't be exposed or fall out. I keep a rangefinder camera in one and rolls of film and my keys in the other. You could easily slip a flash/speedlite and pocketwizard in each of the front pouches.
The back pocket easily fits a notebook, a couple of magazines, and a couple of odd items (pens, cell phone) or a newspaper. It will really take all, but you'll sacrifice room inside.
The zippered front pockets are ideal for iPod, cell phone, memory cards, pens, small notepads or notecards, business card case.
The main strap's clasp is a pain. It's an older-style metal clasp. I've dug deep grooves into my fingernails trying to open it with one hand. It gets easier over time. It does make me feel that the bag is more secure than with, say, a plastic pinch clasp, so I don't mind.
The shoulder strap is wonderful, with rubber woven into the canvas to make for an excellent grip that isn't too grippy. Just enough to stay put but not enough to wrap a nylon jacket over your shoulder and around your neck when you try to take the bag off.
The canvas wears well over time. In rain, it is slightly water-repellent but what it does take in it absorbs in a way that keeps the wet away from the gear to a large extent. This is not your rain bag, but it will do in a drizzly day.
The bag hangs well on the side or hip and does not feel like it's in the way. The canvas isn't rigid, but it holds its loose shape for packing, etc.
The top handle is so welcome. I hate shoulder-strap briefcases that leave this off. It's invaluable for grabbing the bag quickly or keeping it close to the body or lifting it easily (over a turnstile for example).
I have a second just for a small lighting kit (stand, umbrella, two speedlites, pocketwizards, cables, accessories...)