Jun 062012



 I have a love/hate 

relationship with camera bags, 

but it seems as if these bags from 

Bleu de Chauffe might tip the scales

of love.


Street photography is not a combat sport.

Classical Style

If you have ever been to a camera expo, you know that photographers are not known for being stylish.  This is ironic when we consider that as photographers we operate in the realm of aesthetics.  Which means we should be appropriately dressed for each occasion.  There are times when I have taken pictures wearing a suit, zen robes, temple clothes in Indian, or suited up in a hard hat to photograph on a construction site.  Dressing properly is part of the artists job because we want to blend in with our surroundings.  If we look like a reject from a Black-Ops mission we will stand out like a sore thumb.  We are photographers, not special forces.

Camera bags for those with classic style.

So why is the camera industry so far behind in their bags?  There are a group of people who prefer hi-tech fabrics, black on black on black outfits and safari vests.  Personally I don’t take any issue with the outfits a photographer assembles.  My trouble is that most of the market caters to a look that does not suit me well.  I often turn to luggage outfitters for camera bags.  Recently I came across this French company Musette that appears to make two bags which are perfect for a Leica set up.

The Sac Plombier Louise by Bleu de Chauffe (Front View)

The Sac Plombier Louise by Bleu de Chauffe (Side View)

The first bag is called the Sac Plombier, made by Musette.  Its is an all leather shoulder bag, which looks like it would last three lifetimes.  Its slim dimensions (30cm x 18cm x 7.5) are just wide enough for an Leica M body.  My guess, is that after carrying the body for a few weeks the leather will stretch perfectly around the shape.  If you have never bought something in fine leather, its a treat.  The leather has a “memory” that will retain its shape for years to come.  Best of all, it does not look like a camera bag.

The Musette by Bleu de Chauffe (Front View)

The Musette by Bleu de Chauffe (3/4 View)

The Musette by Bleu de Chauffe (Side View)

The Musette by Bleu de Chauffe (Rear View)


As an alternative (and if the Sac Plombier is too tight for your preferences) Musette makes another bag called the Marisole.  This canvas bag option (available in chamois, indigo, and black).  Its has a little more space to the bag, comes in at a slightly  lower price, and avoids looking TOO fancy for certain city situations.  The other thing I love about the Marisole is the Billingham style release straps on the front.  Billingham bags are very nice, dont get me wrong, but I find them to square looking.  And I associate square looking bags with cameras.  I enjoy bags that do not look like they have a specific application.

Whether you go leather or canvas, I hope you enjoy these.  I may be picking one up in the near future.


—Adam Marelli 

  6 Responses to “Camera Bags for People Who Hate Camera Bags”

  1. I fully agree, photographers are not known to be stylish. Personally, I have the leather messenger-type like in this post. Love it and it is stylish as well as it does not look like a camera bag.
    I see other photographers dragging gigantic bags through airports and you can spot it a mile away. I know we have expensive gear to take with, but I just got to a stage where the DSLR and all the lenses was not nice to carry anymore, – I felt it also dampened my enthusiasm. After switching to a Leica M9 system I love shooting more than ever!


  2. Hey Adam,

    I recently discovered your site and so far I’m loving it!

    I actually have the Sac Plombier Louise and use it occasionally for my Leica M6. As long as you’re not carrying a ton of extras, it’s perfect! I can post some photos of my bag with the Leica inside if you’d like to get a better idea of how an M will fit. Shoot me an email at the above address if you’re interested (or reply here and hopefully I’ll remember to check for it).

    Keep up the great work!

  3. I’m enjoing your website so fa and loving your articles on composition.

    Camera bags. Every photographer I know has at least a handfull of them. They are either too big or too small, too haevy and good for on-location jobs but not for travelling. And so on. Bleu de Chauffe look tremendously good and I was tempted to buy one.

    But finally I had one thought: I am travelling in Vietnam, heaven opens its doors and water starts to poor down like niagara. Of course I have my camera ready, but those leatherstraps are closed and it needs some time fiddling them open to pack the camera back in. And close the straps again. And because its leather, it just don’t match very good with heavy, long lasting moisture. I need to find a warm place to dry this beautiful bag. And while I found a family down the road who are so heartful and let me warm up and dry around their fireplace. I suddenly saw THE picture. Trying to untie the leatherstraps to reach my camera needed just a second too long. And the moment was gone.

    There is no perfect camera bag, no will there ever be one.

    • Hey Thode,

      Welcome to the website! Could not agree with your bag comments more.

      The Bleu de Chauffe bags are very cool and look like they will break in amazingly.


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