Kitting Out Your Camera Kit

Photography really is the ultimate democratic art form, now more than ever. It’s Instagram. It’s the ubiquity of screens. It’s the fact that everyone with a smart phone has a incredibly functional camera with them at all times. 

Thanks to all of this, photographs are the main currency of communication these days (until video takes over). So it’s not surprising that there are a ton of companies making camera gear. I keep a pretty tight kit: A Canon 6D with 24-105 zoom, a 50mm, a 35mm and some additional pieces like a remote shutter and a tripod for low-light photos. I also geek out pretty hard on film cameras and have a Nikkormat, a Great Wall (120) and a Canon Canonet too. 

Though I never travel with all of these cameras, I do find myself constantly looking for new bags and accessories. For me a camera bag has to be discreet (I travel a lot on subways and don’t want to attract attention), durable, waterproof-ish, well-padded and and easy to access.

I put together this list of gear I’m eyeing below. I haven’t used these bags, so consider this a list of companies that are producing accessories that look promising. If anyone has specific experience, I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Tap & Dye

Horween straps made right here in Brooklyn in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Tap & Dye's Prices are pretty reasonable too. Great instagram to follow: @tapanddye

Cub and Company

Cub and Company makes straps and bags here in Brooklyn. I really like the look of their Shooter Camera Bag. They have great padding inside, reinforced corners (a common fail point) and the small-ish size means it’s perfect for an afternoon of shooting, but maybe not necessarily travel. It also has a place for a tripod as well, which a critical piece of functionality for me as well. Insta: @cubandco.

Angelo Pelle

Mostly geared towards the Leica set, these camera bags are priced accordingly, but they look stunning. Angelo Pelle is based in Florence, and the craftsmanship reflects what you’d expect to see from an Italian-based company. I love how discreet these bags look and the red linings. Insta: @angelo.pelle.

J.B. Camera Designs

I don’t shoot mirrorless, but if I did I can see the potential need for a supplemental support and grip. J.B. Camera Designs makes these from wood, and the reviews online are pretty flattering. Insta: @jbcameradesigns

Artisan Obscura

Makers of soft releases, straps and more. Soft releases come in teak, ebony, bronze and pretty much every other wood or metal imaginable. Insta: @artisanobscura.

Compagnon Bags

Designed and manufactured in Germany’s Black Forest region, Compagnon offers a range of bags that include leather messenger style, roll-top packs, and waxed canvas backpacks with plush leather straps. They’ve got a ton of different configurations and color ways. Photos from their workshop here. Insta: @campagnonbags