I know…that you know…that I am fairly brilliant. However, every once in awhile a demonstration of my brilliance is required.  I understand.

I needed a new camera bag for the M9. I did what everybody else does…check their favorite forums, blogs and internet stores. They all pointed towards Billingham, Domke and Think Tank. Nice bags but all extremely pricey or just simply didn’t do it for me and truthfully a bit too “common”. I prefer the lesser travelled roads.

Then in one of my daily readings, I found the best and most creative solution from Ryan of Gear Journal – see here. As you guys know, I am a huge fan of vintage military gear or did you forget – see here.

It’s a custom made camera bag made from a spare military duffle bag. Wow – nice! But how much? A quick email to Ryan and hmmm…not bad and worth it all day long but may ass is broke after the M9 purchase. I required an inexpensive alternative.

I tend to think of my camera as a transient. It doesn’t need to return to a big lavish home in the hills or a soft multi-compartment bag on the shelf. Just a place to sleep when not begging for change on the corner or begging for a decent photo at a venue. It’s never made sense for me to carry the over-night items like the charger and computers to the the track, paddock and parking lot. Those items get stuffed in the overnight bag along with my change of underwear and socks.

In regards to the me being brilliant part…hold your “Goodbye Horses”. Speaking of which check out the song that played in the background while Buffalo Bill was doing his “disappearing” act in Silence of the Lambs. It’s a damn funny video.

Back to being brilliant.

With that in mind, I then turned to my existing inventory of military gear and simply did not have a solution. What about other vintage military gear? The eBay search began and here is where everyone will recognize how brilliant I am. Check it out.

Tell me you didn’t miss it. That detail…that makes it brilliant. See the close up.

It’s a military gas mask bag and the model is M9A1…M9. Yes…brilliant. Thank you. But wait it doesn’t stop there. This gets even “more brillianter”. Guess what I paid?

One dollar.


Don’t hate. It’s not a good color on you.

The bag will require some customizing. I’ll need to convert the backpack style straps into messenger style. No big deal. I can do that for the cost of thread and an hour of time. Also, some padding would be nice. Solved. An iPad soft case from one of those cheap Asian junk stores…$2.50. This soft case is great for when I want to remove it from the gas mask bag and carry the camera with some padding in my daily messenger bag. Win-win.

Billingham, Domke and Think Tank…you did not get my Benjamins.

The road less travelled is always my favorite. A vintage military M9A1 Gas Mask bag carrying my M9 for a grand total of $3.50. Please tell me that isn’t brilliant.

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  1. Randy Wells says:

    You are brilliant. Now get a Leica lens for your camera. 😉

  2. ibmiked says:

    A man after mine own heart.

  3. Click says:

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