The first in many instalments of camera bag reviews, the Domke F-810 Photo Satchel was the first bag to be put through its paces.
Before I start, I like to take equipment for every eventuality. I know it’s not always sensible, but I know if I turn up somewhere without something, I’ll need it. This is where the F-810 steps into its own measuring just 13.5″ by 11.5″. It’s compact, yet fits nearly everything I class as my “vital” on location kit.
If you’ve had the chance to get up close and personal with a Domke product then you’ll know what I mean when I say the quality and feel of the bags speak for themselves. Rugged and hardwearing are two words that spring to mind, with this bag being used in all sorts of conditions. Rain, mud, sand and gravel the bag has seen it all and yet I’ve never cleaned it. Here it is looking good as new:
The bag I’m using is the Black Canvas version and features Domke’s adjustable “Non-Slip Gripper Strap” meaning it’ll stay in place on your shoulder. Shooting weddings and location portraiture it’s crucial to be able to chop’n'change with lenses without any hassle, and this bag certainly enables you to do that. The only criticism I do have is that the 70-200 doesn’t fit with a lens hood extended and you’d need to remove/invert it to store safely.
With the bag always being in place thanks to the rubber gripped strap, it’s very easy to change equipment. Combine it with Domke’s ergonomically designed U.S Post Office Style shoulder pad and you have the perfect combination. Fully laden with my ‘location kit’ the F-810 weighed in at an eye-watering 13kgs. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m of a slim build, and yet carrying that weight around all day on long shoots such as that of covering the British Touring Car Championship should be a pain, yet it’s not. Domke really have hit the nail on the head with their U.S.P.O Shoulder Pad, a must-have for any photographer’s shoulder bag regardless of make.
The Canon 70-200 F2.8 IS L is a lens I’ll never leave behind, a common trait with most photographers. Despite myself being a Canon user other camera brands have a similar lens and they all measure in at around 20cm, meaning that an important question for anyone looking to buy a new camera bag is “will it hold a 70-200 lens?”. Well I’m pleased to report in this case, the answer is yes. I use a gripped Canon 5D Mark II which is about as big as most camera bodies will get, and the 70-200 F2.8 IS L will fit in the F-810 Satchel whilst attached. Result!
Supplied with Domke inserts the camera bag is divided up into 5 sections, allowing you to keep your kit organised and accessible. The front features 5 pockets where I store a whole host of filters, gels, adaptor rings and spare batteries etc. April 2010 saw the Apple iPad revolutionise the way photographers can operate. Carrying mine to most meetings, it’s almost as if Domke saw the invention coming given that the back pocket on the F-810 is a perfect fit. The series of pictures below show exactly what I’m able to carry in the F-810:
If there was a way to calculate the distance covered whilst using this bag, it would be phenomenal. Carrying it around most of the UK covering rounds of BTCC, on weddings throughout the south, around Southern Spain and most recently to Mallorca it’s fair to say that this bag has been through its paces and experienced nearly every eventuality. In short, the only way to round off this review would be to say that this is the first bag I have reviewed, and I really don’t want to give it back! A brilliant all round bag for everyday use.domke review, f-810 travel bag, laptop insert, perfect for travel, richard pardon