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Domke 701-83A F-803 Camera Satchel Bag -Brown
|Price:||$108.00 & FREE Shipping. Details|
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- Special canvas gives weathered look
- Metal hardware for durability
- Durable canvas protects equipment
- Weatherproof canvas is still breathable
- Comes with ointment to restore original appearance
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|Item Dimensions||10 x 4 x 13 inches|
|Item Weight||2.34 pounds|
|Shipping Weight||2.34 pounds|
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|Color||Brown||Brown||Black (Orange interior)||Olive||Brown||Brown|
Like your favorite pair of jeans, Domke bags get better with age. And with the new Domke Waxwear collection, you don't have to wait. The new limited edition F-803 uses an exclusive canvas material coated with waxes and oils, the fabric produces an unique distressed and weathered look right from the start. The treated fabric proofs it against inclement weather, but retains the breathability of cotton. and if you want to restore your Domke bag to it's original appearance, all Domke Waxwear bags come with an ointment that you can re apply. This Satchel is the smallest of Domke satchels and has gained a large following among photographers who don't want to call attention to their expensive equipment. Many describe the F-803 as a bag that doesn't shout "cameras!". This bag is Ideal For: 2 or 3 cameras, 1 or 2 extra lenses, and accessories. Also great for business and travel necessities. With seven compartments and pockets and a one compartment padded insert this is an extremely useful bag. Full-length Velcro strips inside the main compartment accept additional Padded Inserts which can be purchased separately. The padded side walls and bottom are designed to protect your equipment for extra safety. and adjustable Gripper Shoulder Strap runs completely around the Satchel and gives a secure carrying solution. Main compartment 12.5"L x 3"W x 9"D. Approximate weight 1 lb. 15 oz.
Top customer reviews
The F 803 is not a bag for people who want many differently sized compartments, or who desire a great deal of protection for their gear. The bottom is generously padded, and that is enough for my needs. I can fit three camera bodies in this bag with two camera backs touching, and another on top. Not ideal, but it works in a pinch. Normally I carry a Canon 60D with kit lens, a couple of prime lenses and/or Speedlite in addition to the usual purse things. Other times, I carry two or three film bodies.
The canvas is sturdy but supple, and improves with use. By 'use' I mean several months; I did not think I liked the bag initially, because it was stiff and more boxy than I had imagined. However, after making a small incision into a layer of canvas running beneath the carry handle, and removing the 3/4 inch thick panel of pvc sheeting that is used as a stiffener, I like this back much better. It conforms nicely to my side and is comfortable for long walkabouts. Canvas itself is incredibly durable; My bags are scuffed and a little dirty (they wash fine in the machine), but no rips or tears to date. I would not say it is waterproof, but having gotten caught in multiple downpours in New Orleans last summer, my bag did really well with a third party rain cover hastily stretched over the top. I would not set the bag down on wet surfaces, but for an occasional shower, it is fine.
A word about Domke inserts for those who might dismiss them as poorly designed (as I have seen mentioned in other reviews): the Domke inserts are intentionally left unstitched at bottom so that the user can customize the level of padding. I have not yet had a piece of foam slide out of a compartment on accident, and the foam is very durable. The beauty of this design is that it allows the user to make the insert as floppy or rigid as necessary to fit a particular bag. For example, I use the insert intended for the F 803 in many handbags and totes, and often removed a piece of foam to make it fit better. This works great for me.
This bag can be great as a camera bag and as an everyday bag, but not at the same time. While I have traveled with this as my only carry-on, and managed to fit camera items (in the Domke insert made for this model) as well as full size iPad and other items, I would not use the bag that way every day.
At 5'3 and 125 pounds, it is difficult to find camera bags that are comfortable and practical. The Domke F 803 happens to be one of those bags, and is my favorite of the many, many bags I own.
How I pack my Domke bag (to show space use):
I keep my Nikon D-7000 capped and lensless on one side of the removable padded partition (yes, there is one, which makes three slots when it's in use) and then stack two prime lenses and an 18-135 mm kit zoom lens in the partition itself. On the other side of the partition I keep various accessories including one dynamic and one condenser microphone, some foam windscreens and various XLR cords. In the front pocket with the "Domke" logo I keep my digital field recorder (which, by the way, is the HUGE TASCAM DR-100mkII 2-Channel Portable Digital Recorder, which fits just fine and has plenty of room) and my primary dynamic microphone. In the other pocket I keep chargers and lens cleaning solution and microfiber cloths. In the (extremely tiny and tight) pockets in the flap I keep connector cords and extra microSD cards for both my camera and my field recorder as well as a lens adapter to allow the use of some old Canon lenses on my Nikon camera. In the back flap I keep various legal papers and folders for whatever story I'm working on and also my tablet, which all fit nicely.
So, if you're going to be lugging around multiple camera bodies and several massive lenses as well as other gear, I would look at another bag. If, like me, you're a reporter who also happens to have some photographic training and have to take photos for your own stories then this is THE BAG for you. Also, if you're a photographer who primarily uses mirrorless and/or rangefinder cameras then this could serve you well.
I've noticed quite a few reviews on here that say the waxy finish on the bag (if you opt for that version) is slick and comes off. I haven't experienced any problems with the wax finish and I think it gives it a world weary traveler look to it. I used to live in Florida and southern California so maybe if I was still in the sun all day like that then there MAY be problems, but I can't imagine that since the bag hasn't even begun to give me any problems or even the shadow of a worry for any future problems.
The bag is simply rugged. In fact, I kind of want to throw a few hammers and screwdrivers in it and go tumbling down a hill with it to rough it up and let its true personality shine.
I'm not a "bag" type of guy. I like lots of pockets in my jacket and carrying as few things as possible. I usually have my camera slung over my shoulder while working, too, so the bag really is just a transport rig so all my stuff is at the ready. Also, if you're carrying lots of heavy stuff, buy the Domke mail carrier's shoulder strap cushion. It's comfortable and fits the look.