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Thread: The Business of Custom Bags

  1. #21
    Senior Member Nikonzen's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Business of Custom Bags

    I notice in pictures of your election crowds and street shots in general Singapore folks love to carry bags everywhere all the time. Am I just making this up in my head or is this indeed true??? Sure seems that way.
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  2. #22
    Senior Member sammy888's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Business of Custom Bags

    Quote Originally Posted by Nikonzen View Post
    I notice in pictures of your election crowds and street shots in general Singapore folks love to carry bags everywhere all the time. Am I just making this up in my head or is this indeed true??? Sure seems that way.

    I am never without a bag when I am out of the house. I have 3 camera brand bags of various sizes depending on what kind of shooting I am doing. And another 5 other kinds of bags for work/camera conceal shooting without looking like a photographer.
    A good photo's 45% you, 45% practice & 10% equipment. A bad photo share the same ratio.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Nikonzen's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Business of Custom Bags

    Bought this one today as a sacrificial lamb for my project. I like the incognito look of it - doesn't look like a camera bag. Appears to be old US Army bag maybe Medic.

    Those two lenses on the left there I bought today for $10 bucks. A 55/2 Super Takumar and a 55/2 Takumar. The others are a Sears 135/2.8, a JC Penny 28/2.8, and a Mamiya-Sekor 35/2.8.

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  4. #24
    Senior Member Nikonzen's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Business of Custom Bags

    Far left Super-Takumar is 405xxxx serial number. Thorium glass. That was a catch. Ancient price tag..I paid $5

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  5. #25
    Senior Member Nikonzen's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Business of Custom Bags

    I can't believe I haven't thought of it before but I finally figured out what material I will use in the construction of my bag. (I will do a few leather versions as well.) Convertible top material. ABS plastic floor plate sandwiched between layers of Sonnenland. Possible side plates and top plate making it fully armored!

    You will be able to walk in a rainstorm and your stuff will still be dry with this bag. It will be extremely durable.

    I obtained enough black today to make the first bag. Which will be a hybrid of the bag above and my old bag.

    http://www.haartz.com/exteriors/sonnenland
    Last edited by Nikonzen; 22nd October 2015 at 01:18 PM.
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  6. #26
    Senior Member Nikonzen's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Business of Custom Bags

    The first bag will be made soon bros. I'm waiting on some water resistant #7 zippers and tubular web belt.

    I left the sewing machine at the car lot I used to work at but I went and got it tonight...I am pumped.

    Soon you'll see a bag made of the finest German canvas I think it will be cool.

    Meet my machine...

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  7. #27
    Senior Member Nikonzen's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Business of Custom Bags

    The materials are starting to gel together for this first bag. It will have to be able to survive an Oklahoma rainstorm which is probably much like a Singapore rainstorm in the grand scheme of things. Special WP zipper tape and special pulls will be used. Special water repellent thread. Special seam tape likely. The German canvas impregnated with butyl rubber of course. All of this some of the most expensive materials there are available unfortunately. However the bag will be bad @ss I promise.

    For the first ones you can have any color you want as long as it is black. LOL
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  8. #28
    Senior Member Nikonzen's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Business of Custom Bags

    Hey Sammy...what do you do when you get caught out in the rain with all of your gear? Is your bag water resistant? What about some of you other bros?
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  9. #29
    Senior Member sammy888's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Business of Custom Bags

    Quote Originally Posted by Nikonzen View Post
    Hey Sammy...what do you do when you get caught out in the rain with all of your gear? Is your bag water resistant? What about some of you other bros?

    Formerly in a company dealing in travel products and bag brands so bags is something I am not short of. Though I wish those bags I bought were from the company instead of paying full price. LOL.

    All my camera bags ( including my other function bags) tend to be water proof it is important as I tend to have a camera in them even when I am at work for those "just in case' shots on/off the job. Since I never carry an umbrella everyday, a good waterproof bag to shelter camera from the rain is good.

    I have a small LowePro waist bag for camera large enough for my D4 with two side pouchs that can fit easily two long zoom lens ( good for mountainbiking with a backpack for other gear while the LowePro waist pack for camera gear.) KATA slingbag for small setup which I just retired and looking for a replacement for it.

    For larger equipment setup, I got the Crumpler ASO Outpost backpack. Great bag that does not look like a camera bag and it has the feature to swing the backpack to my front body with the lower strap around my waist, unzip the backpack open from the backside of the backpack to change lens..etc without placing the on the ground .eg, then zipped up and swung back around to my back, put my arms thru the shoulder straps and move on. Great for places you are afraid to be far from your bag in case it gets jacked by someone. This bag is big enough to put all my gear (and some light clothing) inside without need to carry the DLSR outside on a strap.

    For medium setup I have the KATA mini bee which fit my trinity lens & 1 flash with tripod strapped outside and with DLSR sling by my Blackrapid R sport strap. I also just retired last year after 10 years a LowePro slingbag that lets you sling the bag to your back but you can swing it forward to your front to open and change lens and swing back. The zip finally broken so it was time to let it go. Might replace that with another LowePro I saw which is a backpack but really light and great for outdoor mountain biking and light trekking, Flipside Sport 10L AW. Still trying to figure out how to bring my 055 Manfrotto CF tripod on my bike or on my back safely. the last time I carried the tripod which was strapped to my KATA mini bee, I flip on my bike and it broke permanently 2 of the 3 ligament that hold my shoulder blade in place last year. With a weaken shoulder now I still carry my full gear and we have people coming in here whining about weight of their gear for street shooting or whatever .. hahahah... the younger generation tsk tsk tsk. Ok stop ranting about those 'men'.

    For camera bag NOT looking like a camera bag but not as big as my Crumpler ASO Outpost, I have a large Crumpler Complete Seed messenger bag which I also bought an optional camera gear pouch Crumpler Haven L if I need to protect and organize my camera lens/gear in padded compartments. This pouch can fit into other luggage large enough to hold it including my travel luggage ( yes I do sometime risk checking in my photo gears heheh .. so far so good heh) or when I am feeling lazy to carry the heavy backpack, I wheel it with my Mandarina Duck Rebel Trolley bag. All that is helped further by a number of other smaller padded pouches I have along with what Nikon gives as bags for lens, flashes..etc

    Bag Crazy I know hahahaha.....

    If you value your equipment investment then having the right bag or investing in a good bag is just as important. I never understand people who pays hundred or thousands on bodies and lens but will be stingy on tripods, bag and accessories.. and when something breaks, will whine. heh

    Well you wanted to know.. now you know. Regrettably i think hahah...

    And as for my gear in the rain? I have carried and shot in a very heavy windy downpour and I never flinch. I paid for weather resistance gear and I expect them to perform like one. No whining allowed.

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    Last edited by sammy888; 2nd November 2015 at 02:13 AM.
    A good photo's 45% you, 45% practice & 10% equipment. A bad photo share the same ratio.

  10. #30
    Senior Member Nikonzen's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Business of Custom Bags

    Thanks for the reply Sammy! I will keep it mind for when and if I decide to expand the line of products.

    Maybe you should wait a minute before replacing the light carry bag you mentioned. Never know your name might be drawn for the test bags being sent out...which you would be able to keep. Free.

    BTW...I fixed a zipper in a tent last week...maybe you could take bags to upholstery shop and have zippers replaced cheaper than buying new bag?
    Last edited by Nikonzen; 2nd November 2015 at 08:05 AM.
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  11. #31
    Senior Member sammy888's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Business of Custom Bags

    Quote Originally Posted by Nikonzen View Post
    Thanks for the reply Sammy! I will keep it mind for when and if I decide to expand the line of products.

    Maybe you should wait a minute before replacing the light carry bag you mentioned. Never know your name might be drawn for the test bags being sent out...which you would be able to keep. Free.

    BTW...I fixed a zipper in a tent last week...maybe you could take bags to upholstery shop and have zippers replaced cheaper than buying new bag?
    It's more then just the zipper that is already worn out.. many parts of it are too. It has served me long and hard for more then what most people would use it for. Anyway if I wanted to change it, my former company has a service centre for mending bags and luggage since there are the distributors of a number of bag brands. I don't keep things for the sake of keeping them when it's time has long past relevant repairing.That much I do know about bags since I also source for bags as part of my job when i am oversea sourcing at trade fairs.
    A good photo's 45% you, 45% practice & 10% equipment. A bad photo share the same ratio.

  12. #32
    Senior Member Nikonzen's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Business of Custom Bags

    This discussion is very good for me. Now I am considering longevity of my bag more carefully. First weakness that I see besides zipper is the strap. May have to reconsider the strap part of the design and use something else besides tubular web belt perhaps a strap formed from the German canvas.

    The zipper I think I will try and incorporate into design such that it is easily replaced at least for a couple of times.

    I want this to be an extremely rugged/extremely durable bag. Military grade even.

    Pretty interesting some of the things I am coming across as I research the topic. Thread for instance. I have made my living from thread for about 15 years now and I never realized there were so many specialized threads...anti wick threads, fire resistant threads, etc. Talk about expensive too. Bonded poly thread we use at work usually is about $20 bucks for a 1 pound spool. Some of the AW threads I was looking at last night run about $100 per 1 pound spool!

    Zippers another one...I did not realize that waterproof zipper and pulls are upside down/backwards compared to the typical zipper. Interesting stuff.
    Last edited by Nikonzen; 2nd November 2015 at 11:53 AM.
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  13. #33
    Senior Member sammy888's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Business of Custom Bags

    Nah there are already are zippers that are waterproof with the pull pin on the upper side and when closed they create a close seal with some being even air tight. Have seen them on bags for a few years now and with my former company's house brand bags and pouch we can easily use that if the need calls for it. Bags are made for various use and sometime making a bag with the ultimate longevity is not the best solution and with some specialty like a water proof zipper system it can change the kind of swing/threading method or it can also cause other issues.. you can end up trading one good use and end up with a bad disadvantage.

    There are thing syou want to ensure you have something that last a long time and people too would want to use it for a long time. But some items has a life span depending on design, functionality and other human nature reason and in some case for some product that does not allow for much line extension over time or innovation, making something that last too long will mean bad business. If my market is 10,000 people who would buy my product, and if say I am a one trick pony with an item that last 15 years? Once I managed to sell 10,000 of those items, I jolly well better have something else to sell and not something similar too. Because if i have something that last so long, built with so many things make the item last to perceive as obsolete, dated..etc.. you are not going to see business till you find something else to design, product and sell.

    When we design or pick an item to sell there are many things to consider and if it is something you design to make and sell, there will only be so much feature we will put into it before we say, enough is enough, we have to stop keep searching for more things to add to it and just go with it.

    A bag is a very simple item. For a bag to gather enough reputation for it's functionality, durabilty..etc is not like a car for example. If compared to a bag like say a custom made bag by Hermes which you can do a bespoke and it cost @250,000 and take a few months to make and it might even go up in value over time. But the same can not be apply to a work bag or a camera bag unliess there is something really special about tht bag. If an item has no x factor to it... it is hard to sustain a business behind it. And that is just the tip of the ice berg from a product brand manager viewpoint heh.
    A good photo's 45% you, 45% practice & 10% equipment. A bad photo share the same ratio.

  14. #34
    Senior Member Nikonzen's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Business of Custom Bags

    Sample zippers came today...this will be the part that fails first on my bag.

    I looked at Hermes...damn I should start making knocks offs of those...

    Last edited by Nikonzen; 3rd November 2015 at 12:21 PM.
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  15. #35
    Senior Member Nikonzen's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Business of Custom Bags

    Bag made in Singapore. Craftsmanship.

    http://www.kwanpen.com/kwanpen/handmade/
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  16. #36
    Senior Member Nikonzen's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Business of Custom Bags

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  17. #37
    Senior Member Nikonzen's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Business of Custom Bags

    I now have all the materials required to make the first prototype bag except for the seam tape but I think I will go ahead and build it anyway. So as soon as the mood strikes me and I have a few free hours to sit down and do it I will soon have a model to show you all.

    In the meantime let me show you something very cool that I ran across today.

    I was on my way back from town this morning when I stopped in a fairly new mom and pop resale shop on the edge of town. I walked in the place greeted mom and pop and asked do you have any cameras. I was told yes a few but only one digital. I asked to see them Pops led the way to a glass cabinet opened it and said this one is probably the one you will want and handed me a small digital camcorder. I looked it over and said no pops. There were two more small camera cases one of which immediately caught my eye. Here is what I was staring at...

    Last edited by Nikonzen; 16th November 2015 at 09:14 AM.
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  18. #38
    Senior Member Nikonzen's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Business of Custom Bags

    Now I know what my second model of camera bag will be...a case!

    Anyways to continue the story I asked pops to see it he got it out and handed to me and said its an old film camera and he assured me I could still get film for it...hahaha I opened it up and peeked inside closed it back up and said I'll take it. I still didn't know what it was really and wouldn't until I got home and took it all out but I had seen enough to know it was something...

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  19. #39
    Senior Member Nikonzen's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Business of Custom Bags

    I got the whole system except for a couple of lenses and a few other pieces I think. All of it is in excellent shape. I've had a cursory look around the net on the unit and it is interesting. If any of you bros know anything about them I would like to hear what you have to say. There is a 24 exposure roll of film in it sitting at 17 on the counter I am going to finish it out and shoot the other roll if I can still get the stuff processed.

    I paid the 20 bucks for the whole shooting match!

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  20. #40
    Senior Member Nikonzen's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Business of Custom Bags

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