2012 marks the year when Domke celebrates 35 years since the first production of the famous Domke camera bags.
But what is it that makes a Domke bag so special? Jim Domke explained what had inspired him to create the original bag in the first place – a simple but profound concept that’s embodied in every single Domke bag ever made.
“Back in 1975, when I was working for the Philadelphia Inquirer as a full-time photojournalist and editor of the Sunday Page, the rules of the game suddenly changed. Instead of each photographer having his own private company car, we now had to sign out cars from the press pool. As a result we could no longer use the car’s trunk as a de facto camera case for storing and organising our gear — we needed a sturdy, no-nonsense camera bag that could hold enough stuff and also function as a portable base of operation.”
“At the time, there weren’t any bags that would fill the bill. The common way to carry gear in those days was based on the concept of a hard case, like those metal cases. You had to stop and set it down to get at your equipment—not exactly the hot ticket for shooting active subjects on the fly. And with the typical foam-lined cases, you had to cut out shapes to fit particular lenses, flash units, etc. These box-like bags were also made of stiff materials, so they were heavy and the equipment tended to bounce around.”
“I was confident I could come up with a better bag for our staffers, and I was lucky enough to be given the chance to do it—the newspaper said they’d pay for 20 shooters’ bags if I designed them myself and had them made at reasonable cost! My inspiration was the fishing bag I was then using to tote a basic outfit. It was made of heavy canvas and it had some of the features I was looking for, but it was far too small and had tiny compartments. I knew we needed a bigger bag that had pockets on all sides, and compartments large enough to get my hands into to get a good grip on the lens. I also realized the compartments had to be flexible to accommodate a variety of equipment since each photographer carried a different set of lenses, strobes, filters, etc. It was beginning to dawn on me that that in my own modest way I was creating the ideal bag for the working pro—a bag you could work out of, not just stuff equipment into.”
The F2 Original was the bag that started it all and the F-2 is still one of the most popular Domke Bags today. Designed so that the photographer could get at equipment instantly, without having to take the bag from their shoulder, it includes an adjustable non-slip Gripper™ Strap with durable cotton webbing, removable bottom stiffener, removable hand carrying strap, YKK zippers, and steel snap hooks.
No line of camera bags in the world is held in higher esteem by a wider variety of photographers and video shooters than Domke. These practical, supremely durable bags offer more than just a great way to protect and organize your shooting equipment. Their extraordinary accessibility transforms them from being mere cases into active photo accessories that actually help you take better pictures more conveniently. That’s why Domke bags are the top choice of so many serious enthusiasts and pros who press them into service for everything from nature, sports, reportage, street, and outdoor adventure photography, to creating memories of the family vacation or covering their kids’ soccer games.
So 35 years on, Domke is still going from strength to strength!
For more information go to: www.domkebags.co.uk35 years, Domke bags, domkebags.co.uk, F2 sand, Jim Domke