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Domke Next Generation Metro Messenger Photographer’s Bag (Review)

May 26, 2015 Comments off

Domke Metro Messenger BagDomke Next Generation Metro Messenger Bag
Tiffen
$349.95

The bag I chose for review is the Domke Next Generation Metro Messenger Bag from Tiffen. This particular bag (pictured right) that I reviewed is a photographer “gig” bag for me. Sure you can haul just about anything in it, including a laptop and accessories. But I’m an avid photographer who carries a camera, multiple lenses, and multiple camera bodies, and sometimes multiple cameras with me. I also throw in my battery charger, a flash unit or two, small lights, various cables, and even film (Yes, film. Don’t judge me). This bag can hold more than you can carry–trust me on that point. I’ve filled it so full and with so many different things that I’m sure the people behind me at the airport were rolling their eyes and taking some heavy sighs at the spectacle. Watching me pull out so much stuff from that bag–I’m sure I looked like a guy pulling clowns out of a Volkswagen at a rodeo. But I don’t care. The bag is capable of holding my stuff, so I’m going to take advantage of its capacity.

The Metro Messenger bag is one tough cookie too. It’s made of Cordura, which is a military-grade nylon blend fabric that’s used to make backpacks, duffle bags, and other stuff for the military. It’s also the material that’s used to make a lot of the new lightweight, super durable luggage that you see in department stores.

I chose the Metro Messenger because not only does it not look like a standard issue photographer’s bag, it can double, as I wrote earlier, as a laptop or other type of tote. The Messenger style bag has a good look for me that’s somewhere between briefcase/satchel and small suitcase. I don’t want to feel like I’m carrying a purse/murse nor do I want to look like I’m toting a really fancy diaper bag. That’s why I chose the evergreen style of the Metro Messenger. It’s classic, smart, and professional without being stuffy or pretentious.

Metro Messenger - Inside LookYou can also tell that this is a substantial bag. In other words, it isn’t some cheap knockoff of a bag that you really want. It IS the bag that you really want without paying the big price for it.

Now you might say that $349.95 isn’t inexpensive, but I’d tell you that you’ll probably never have to buy another one unless it’s a gift for someone. In other words, you’ll likely never have to replace it, so $349.95 is a steal, even if you keep it for just ten years, but you’ll keep it longer because it won’t wear out.

Color – Black
Fabric – Cordura
Laptop Friendly – Yes
Carry Options – Shoulder
Exterior Size – 21 in Long
Weight – 4.50 lbs
Exterior Dimensions – 21″L x 5″W x12″H
Interior Main Dimensions – 16″L x 4.5″W x11.25″H
Internal Laptop Area – 14.25 x 9.5″
Dividers – (2) D6
Webbing Color – Black
Warranty – 2 Years

 

DOMKE NEXT GENERATION METRO MESSENGER – CORDURA BLACK
Satchels, Courier and Messenger Bags

NEXT GENERATION brings evolutionary and revolutionary features to the trusted name of Domke. The Metro Messenger (the grandchild of the F-832) is part of the Metro Series of Satchels, Courier and Messenger Bags. The Metro Messenger , with functionality as the core design inspiration, integrates our patent pending systems for personalizing, protecting and accessing your valuable gear. Also available in RuggedWear Black and RuggedWear Military.

Features:

  • Black color with Sand color webbing
  • Top access with double zipper
  • Rear slide pocket
  • Expandable zippered side pocket
  • Stacked front slide pockets
  • Key-ring strap
  • Secure luggage strap
  • Numbered identity plate
  • Side rain hoods
  • Padded zippered tablet sleeve fits up to 14.25 x 9.5
  • Foam-lined laptop cargo pocket with double zipper
  • “Quiet” system hook and loop silencer
  • Expandable front pockets
  • Custom antique steel hardware
  • Detachable Gripper shoulder and grab strap
  • Domke flap tucks in for anonymity
  • All zippers YKK®
  • Comes with 2 dividers – Additional divider inserts (D6) available in GearProtex Accessories

Accessories:

  • Domke GearProtex Insert System – a revolutionary, customizable insert system that allows you to compartmentalize and organize your contents to create any size or shape using bendable, self-adhering separators.
  • Domke PocketFlex Pocket and Pouch System – an ingenious system of movable, pockets, patches and pouches.  These innovative storage components adhere to all interior surfaces, personalizing your storage.

Why it’s Frugal: The Domke Metro Messenger bag by Tiffen is frugal because it will quite possibly outlast you. I’m pretty sure that if you amortize the price over 20 years, you’ll see that for less than $1.50 per month is a great deal. The bag is tough, attractive, and functional. And it could become an heirloom. What else do you need?

The only negative about this bag is that it only has a shoulder strap and no handle on the top. I don’t always want to shoulder a bag, but it’s required with this one. Yes, it’s a messenger bag, but a top handle would be a very welcome design addition to this near perfect product.

A Lomographers Dream Come True: Tiffen Photo fx App (review)

March 8, 2013 Comments off

Tiffen Photo fx

Tiffen Software
Tiffen Photo fx
$2.99 Apple App Store

I don’t review many apps and there’s a good reason for it: not that many are really worth a good review. I don’t like to pan products unless I feel ripped off by them, so generally, if I review a product or piece of software, the review is going to be more positive than negative. The Tiffen Photo fx app is really good. Hopefully, that assessment is enough to pique your interest enough to read why I think it’s so good.

Tiffen’s Photo fx app is a Lomographer’s dream. I don’t know if that’s what Tiffen had in mind when they created this little gem but it certainly was the outcome, for me, at least.

I am a Lomographer. I own multiple cameras and much to my wife’s chagrin, I often lug two or more at a time with us on walks, trips and events. Yes, I also own a nice Canon EOS T3 digital SLR and an iPhone 4 with camera apps but I like the look and feel of film too.

However, <deep breath> I sometimes forego packing up like a beast of photographic burden and just carry my iPhone. Luckily for me I have Tiffen’s Photo fx app to make up for the unbearable lightness of being sans plastic cameras.

But enough about me and my hangups, you want to know about my review of the Photo fx app. Well, I like it. I like it a lot. In fact, I can just about reproduce every “Lomo” effect with it that I can get with one of my many Lo-Fi cameras. It pains me to say that because I really love my cheap, crappy cameras that most people would toss away like yesterday’s newspaper. Sorry about the newspaper reference there–I guess I’m not only dating myself but am going retro again.

The Photo fx app’s main screen allows you to either take a new photo or dig one out of your Camera’s photo gallery. The “effect” is the same so don’t sweat it if you didn’t take the picture with Photo fx. Once you either take a new photo or select one from your gallery of masterpieces, the fun begins.

There are dozens, if not hundreds (I don’t have the patience to count) of effects that await your creative eye. And these aren’t “canned” effects–each one is adjustable on one to three different parameters. The parameters could be brightness, blurriness, sharpness, skew, color intensity and many more. Each effect has its own range of things (parameters) that you can change for that effect.

tpx_photographic
One of the many effects is Photographic, which mimics different film types, filter types, exposures and so on. If you’re a photographer with any chops, you know what I mean. There are five pages of these photographic effects that vary from these yellows to blues, greens, reds and some other “one off” colors such as amber.

This single effect almost makes fun of photographic anachronists like myself because of the range of predictable creativity you get with it. You don’t get this kind of predictability with film or even digital cameras. You have to import the photos into another expensive program that will remain nameless here and then you have to manipulate it with masks, layers and so on until you get the right visual effect. Sure, your results might be a little better but I’ll have mine on Twitter or in an article way before you will.

The next two screen shots give you a look at two other effect matrices available to you: Special FX and Tint.

tpx_special

I took this picture of the iconic landmark Las Vegas sign on my recent trip. I’d never seen the sign before and had to do it this time. My wife and I walked from Mandalay Bay to the sign and back. We stayed at Caesar’s Palace and walked to Mandalay Bay first, then on to the sign. Not a short trek.

I used the sign because it has a good range of colors and it’s something that’s familiar to everyone.

The Tiffen Photo fx app is a very good buy at $2.99. It sounds a little pricey for an app but you’ll find no other app or three apps that can do all that it does. And in photographic equipment dollars, this app definitely saves some big bucks with its many effects–some of which would only be available through some darkroom trickery or expensive software manipulation.

tpx_tintI give the Tiffen Photo fx app a solid 9 out of 10. Though it’s totally worth it, the price still leaves me a little flat. I think they’d get more traction at $1.99 but it’s not my call. It’s still a bargain at $2.99, especially if you’re an avid iPhoneographer like me. I say, “Get it.”

Review: 9/10

Recommendation: Get it.

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