( CLASSICAL STYLE )
I have a love/hate
relationship with camera bags,
but it seems as if these bags from
Bleu de Chauffe might tip the scales
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.
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 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.
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.