REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
DomkeJ-1 Journalist Shoulder Bag
 
4.5

(based on 25 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (15)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

96%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easily accessible equipment (19)
  • Strong construction (18)
  • Comfortable (16)
  • Well padded (15)
  • Lightweight (8)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Transporting gear (15)
  • Daily usage (12)
  • Protecting gear (11)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Pro photographer (10), Semi-pro photographer (7), Professional (5)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (10)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Outstanding Bag with one weakness

I bought a used J-1 bag for $40 three years ago, and it instantly became my go-to bag among all my shoulder bags. However, I find those two front metal latches for...Read complete review

I bought a used J-1 bag for $40 three years ago, and it instantly became my go-to bag among all my shoulder bags. However, I find those two front metal latches for locking the top are the weakest design feature. I ended up cutting those two off completely because they tend to slow down my speed of lens change, in a hurry if you don't want to put the bag down first. And they tend to scratch your gear when taking the gear out, if you're not careful enough when the top is open.

Here is what I can carry with the bag,

two D700, or D3s/D700;
24-70, 14-24, 70-200VRII;
two SB-900 and two SD-9;
or one SB-800/SD-a, and one SB-800/SD-9;
extra camera batteries and AAs;
77mm CPL and Singh-ray Vari-ND/MorSlo;
Rocket Air Blower;
if one camera with 50 1.8G on my shoulder, I can put in 85 1.4G and 35 1.4G;

Sometimes, I attache the bag that contains Litepanels MicroPro LED On-Camera Light on its side if I need to do video.

I use the bag in addition to ThinkTank Skin Belt components. It can become really heavy though so the shoulder pad is highly useful here.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Great bag, but plastic is its weak link

I've owned this bag for two years, and is one of many Domke bags I had. Yesterday, after finishing an architecture shoot the plastic buckle holding the main strap snapped. Luckily, I...Read complete review

I've owned this bag for two years, and is one of many Domke bags I had. Yesterday, after finishing an architecture shoot the plastic buckle holding the main strap snapped. Luckily, I caught the bag as it fell. Otherwise, it would have tumbled down the steps of a San Francisco Victorian, causing nasty things to happy to the two D3s' and lenses inside.

A bag billed as a journalist's bag, one made to carry lots of gear, shouldn't have plastic in a critical spot.

Reviewed by 25 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

Best bag ever

By Rob

from Cary, NC

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easily Accessible Equipment
  • Lightweight
  • Rugged
  • Strong Construction
  • Water Resistant
  • Well Padded

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Daily Usage
    • Protecting Gear

    Comments about Domke J-1 Journalist Shoulder Bag:

    This story starts in 1997. I had gotten back into photography in a big way. I was upgrading bodies and lenses and had a side-gig shooting for a community newspaper. I needed a bag that would hold up to the stresses a photojournalist puts on their gear. Several people had Domke F2's and swore by them. I had a bit more gear to pack, so I bought a J1 way back when.

    For 19 years that bag has protected my gear. I've cheated on it a few times, but I've never stuck with another bag (save a backpack for travel with a smaller amount of gear). My straps were frayed to a point where there was concern they might not hold up. After not being able to get new straps, I bought a new J1. Transferred everything over. Fits like a glove. May I get another 19 years out of it!

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    The bag I've been looking for.

    By Poff

    from Asheville Nc

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Pros

    • Comfortable
    • Easily Accessible Equipment
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Daily Usage
      • Protecting Gear
      • Transporting Gear

      Comments about Domke J-1 Journalist Shoulder Bag:

      I'm a 20 plus year working pro ENG video journalist and this is the best bag I've ever had. It is my "carry-all" bag and never leaves my side. My ENG camera has it own case, so I carry this bag more as a "tool bag" than a "camera bag"(although I carry a Nikon DSLR in it). I carry my wireless audio equipment, lav and "stick", as well as iPad, headphones, wireless mouse, assorted small cables, memory cards and hard drives, multi-tools, and personal effects. There is room for everything. It'll hold more than you'd want to carry. This bag seems very tough, I'm curious to see how durable it is.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      This holds everything--been using them 30 years

      By John Z

      from Chicago

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Comfortable
      • Easily Accessible Equipment
      • Strong Construction
      • Well Padded

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Daily Usage
        • Protecting Gear

        Comments about Domke J-1 Journalist Shoulder Bag:

        This holds everything in any configuration you want. I have been using Domke bags for decades. This bigger one lets me easily hold a 70-200 with the hood on, or any camera with a lens on it and still close the top flap to keep everything dry. It conforms to your body to make it easy to maneuver through crowds. Only downside is they really should replace those metal clips on the front with plastic ones that won't ding your gear (like the ones on the side flaps).

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Comfortably holds my pro gear.

        By Jim O.

        from Dallas, TX

        About Me Pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Comfortable
        • Easily Accessible Equipment
        • Strong Construction
        • Well Padded

        Cons

        • Bottom Not Rigid Enough

        Best Uses

        • Transporting Gear

        Comments about Domke J-1 Journalist Shoulder Bag:

        I carry two pro bodies and a complement of lenses that includes a 70-200 f/2.8 that is too long to fit into most bags. The J-1 does the trick. I have three other Domke bags and two Tenbas, and use them all for different purposes, but this is my new favorite for getting my cameras and lenses where I need to go unscathed, ready to use.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Great Bag

        By Photo gy

        from Provo, Utah

        About Me Pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Comfortable
        • Easily Accessible Equipment
        • Spacious

        Cons

        • Strap Wears Out Quickly

        Best Uses

        • Daily Usage

        Comments about Domke J-1 Journalist Shoulder Bag:

        Great bag, i've used J1's for several years, the only problem is that the strap wears out way before the bag does and you can't replace it. Other than that I highly recommend this bag.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Great bag!

        By Mr Sherman

        from Seattle, WA

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easily Accessible Equipment
        • Strong Construction
        • Well Padded

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Protecting Gear
          • Transporting Gear

          Comments about Domke J-1 Journalist Shoulder Bag:

          As a wedding photographer I like to bring all of my equipment just in case and this bag has more than enough room to carry it all. The materials seem strong and well padded so I feel confident my equipment is safe. I wouldn't use this bag for a casual day or anything because it is a bit large for that.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Held up in a War Zone..

          By Rendez

          from Harker Heights, Texas

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Comfortable
          • Easily Accessible Equipment
          • Strong Construction
          • Well Padded

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Daily Usage
            • Protecting Gear
            • Transporting Gear

            Comments about Domke J-1 Journalist Shoulder Bag:

            I have gone through a lot of bags but none compare to my Domke J-1. I have bought many after but always go back to this one. I carried this bag for 4 years in Iraq where conditions were pretty nasty and it held strong. It has been abused and well used but still in very good condition. My ONLY grip was the main strap. The length is perfect for me and the grip side holds it on my shoulder but it is sewn in, making replacing it a bit of a pain. The strap itself has never failed me but my Bulldog thought it looked tasty and chewed it up! I intend on purchasing the replacement strap and taking it to a taylor to replace, just a litte inconvenient. This is what I normally carry in it:

            1. Nikon D3
            2. 24-70mm
            3. 70-200mm
            4. 50mm
            5. SB-800
            6. SB-900
            7. SU-800
            8. Remote
            9. Extra batteries for flash
            10. Extra camera battery
            11. Misc. light modifiers
            12. Expo Disk
            13. Notepad with pens

            Run for a few more things but with all the above, it weighs plenty!

            Great bag...I highly recommend!

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Outstanding Bag with one weakness

            By FanBoy

            from Atlanta

            About Me Pro Photographer

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Comfortable
            • Easily Accessible Equipment
            • Lightweight
            • Simple
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

            • Two metal latches

            Best Uses

            • Daily Usage
            • Protecting Gear
            • Transporting Gear

            Comments about Domke J-1 Journalist Shoulder Bag:

            I bought a used J-1 bag for $40 three years ago, and it instantly became my go-to bag among all my shoulder bags. However, I find those two front metal latches for locking the top are the weakest design feature. I ended up cutting those two off completely because they tend to slow down my speed of lens change, in a hurry if you don't want to put the bag down first. And they tend to scratch your gear when taking the gear out, if you're not careful enough when the top is open.

            Here is what I can carry with the bag,

            two D700, or D3s/D700;
            24-70, 14-24, 70-200VRII;
            two SB-900 and two SD-9;
            or one SB-800/SD-a, and one SB-800/SD-9;
            extra camera batteries and AAs;
            77mm CPL and Singh-ray Vari-ND/MorSlo;
            Rocket Air Blower;
            if one camera with 50 1.8G on my shoulder, I can put in 85 1.4G and 35 1.4G;

            Sometimes, I attache the bag that contains Litepanels MicroPro LED On-Camera Light on its side if I need to do video.

            I use the bag in addition to ThinkTank Skin Belt components. It can become really heavy though so the shoulder pad is highly useful here.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this reviewHelp Icon

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            First Rate carry

            By Prosail

            from Southern California

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Comfortable
            • Easily Accessible Equipment
            • Strong Construction
            • Well Padded

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Daily Usage

              Comments about Domke J-1 Journalist Shoulder Bag:

              What is to say, it's a Domke, designed and built in the good ol' USA, very similar to the F2 original bag with a little more volume and depth, this is perfect to accommodate my two Nikon bodies w/ lenses mounted, plus 3 or so more lenses and all, the usual accessories, batts, chargers, filters etc.
              With all my day to day gear onboard everything is easy to find and well protected. This is a good quality product,.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

               
              2.0

              Great bag, but plastic is its weak link

              By Tim Porter

              from Marin County, CA

              About Me Pro Photographer

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Comfortable
              • Easily Accessible Equipment

              Cons

              • Poor Padding

              Best Uses

              • Daily Usage
              • Transporting Gear

              Comments about Domke J-1 Journalist Shoulder Bag:

              I've owned this bag for two years, and is one of many Domke bags I had. Yesterday, after finishing an architecture shoot the plastic buckle holding the main strap snapped. Luckily, I caught the bag as it fell. Otherwise, it would have tumbled down the steps of a San Francisco Victorian, causing nasty things to happy to the two D3s' and lenses inside.

              A bag billed as a journalist's bag, one made to carry lots of gear, shouldn't have plastic in a critical spot.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this reviewHelp Icon

               
              5.0

              Amazing

              By keeling

              from Lexington, KY

              About Me Pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Comments about Domke J-1 Journalist Shoulder Bag:

              I was skeptical about buying a bag from online, not being able to see it in person and judge its size. Even when I first opened the package I thought I got one too small, but this thing is deceptively deep and I've pretty much consolidated what I used to carry in 2 separate bags. Plus even fully loaded down, it doesn't feel as heavy as previous bags I've owned. So far the quality seems great and I expect this to last many years.

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              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Great bag

              By Matt

              from Boston,MA

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Comfortable
              • Easily Accessible Equipment
              • Strong Construction
              • Well Padded

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Daily Usage

                Comments about Domke J-1 Journalist Shoulder Bag:

                I upgraded to the J-1 after owning a backpack-type camera bag for a few years. This bag is great, it has enough space to fit the gear I need when I go on a shoot (two dslrs, 4 lenses, flash and other accessories). I've used it outdoors during a rainstorm and it kept all my gear dry. It does have a tendency to become heavy once all my gear is inside.

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                4.0

                Excellent for camera gear.

                By SideLine Shooter

                from North Carolina

                About Me Pro Photographer

                Pros

                • Comfortable
                • Easily Accessible Equipment
                • Lightweight
                • Strong Construction
                • Well Padded

                Cons

                • Plastic clips on pockets

                Best Uses

                • Daily Usage
                • Protecting Gear
                • Transporting Gear

                Comments about Domke J-1 Journalist Shoulder Bag:

                Meets my needs for traveling with photo equip. Durable,and very functional.

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                (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Great construction, but a bit too small.

                By nl

                from Hartford, CT

                About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easily Accessible Equipment
                • Lightweight
                • Strong Construction

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Daily Usage
                  • Protecting Gear
                  • Transporting Gear

                  Comments about Domke J-1 Journalist Shoulder Bag:

                  I purchased this bag hoping to use it for my general carry bag, but wound up returning it. As with all Domke products (and I'm a fan of Domke) it is well constructed and lightweight, with adequate padding for general carry use.

                  I bought this bag hoping that I could use it for general carrying, which includes two DSLR bodies (Nikon D700 with grip and D3) and 4 lenses (Nikon 70-200VR, 12-24/2.8, 85/1.4 and 28-70/2.8). I was hoping that the taller size compared to the F1X would help with the 70-200 and the different inserts compared to the F1X would fit the very wide 12-24.

                  The problem for me is that there are simply no shoulder bags that really hold these very large sized lenses well, and the J-1 was no expection.

                  As much as I like the construction and layout of the bag, I had to return it as it did not meet my needs for this sized kit. For a smaller kit (lenses and bodies) it would have been great and I would certainly have kept it in that case.

                    • Similar:
                    • Domke F1X and F2

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                    4.0

                    Big Bag, Nicely Made

                    By Matt

                    from Oakland, CA

                    About Me Pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Comfortable
                    • Easily Accessible Equipment
                    • Lightweight
                    • Strong Construction
                    • Well Padded

                    Cons

                    • Cumbersome
                    • Too big

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about Domke J-1 Journalist Shoulder Bag:

                      I've had to return this bag to B&H; it's just too big for me. I bought it as an alternative to the original Domke, which is too small to hold my Nikon D3 and lenses. I believe the J-1 is a good match for someone seeking a voluminous Domke. It's nicely padded, especially on the floor of the main compartment. It comes with padded inserts for the side pockets and, unlike the original Domke, the inside is completely lined with velcro (the soft side) so that inserts can really be moved around. In terms of size, it is especially deep, much deeper than the smaller Domkes.

                      I shoot weddings and have to spend long days with my camera bag, so I want it to be just right... This just won't work as a replacement for my aging Tenba, it's too big. My usual rig, a D3, 80-200mm, 50mm, 17-35mm, and sb-900, plus a bunch of batteries and various accessories, is just lost in here. I might try to go down a size in the Domke line, or perhaps try out some offerings from other companies.

                      No complaints in build quality or design... Hope that helps!

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                      5.0

                      Another excellent Domke product

                      By photopage

                      from Pittsburgh, PA

                      About Me Pro Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Comfortable
                      • Easily Accessible Equipment
                      • Lightweight
                      • Strong Construction
                      • Well Padded

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Daily Usage
                        • Transporting Gear

                        Comments about Domke J-1 Journalist Shoulder Bag:

                        I bought this bag to replace a 20-year-old Domke F-3 which served me well but was showing its age. Coupled with the FA-031 Post Office Shoulder Pad, the J-1 can hold more equipment and carry it easily.

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                        5.0

                        Perfect bag for 4x5 field camera setup.

                        By WM

                        from Amsterdam, Netherlands

                        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                        Pros

                        • Comfortable
                        • Easily Accessible Equipment
                        • Strong Construction
                        • Well Padded

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Protecting Gear
                          • Transporting Gear

                          Comments about Domke J-1 Journalist Shoulder Bag:

                          This bag couldn't be more perfect for my gear hauling needs. I purchased this second hand from B&H. It had already seen some use, but is still going strong. Extremely good quality and rugged. I agree with another reviewer that this is the most comfortable camera bag of this size I have used. It flexes just enough to stay at your side rather than bump around when walking like the other more rigid bags. The large flaps more than sufficiently seal the gear from the elements. I like the metal clasps which keeps it securely closed.

                          Inside the bag. 4x5 folded field camera, 2 lenses, focusing loop, Wide angle hood, weatherproof focusing cloth, film holders for film that have been exposed.
                          Front pockets. Light meter, and other small accessories.
                          Side pocket 1. 5 4x5" film holders (fit easily)
                          Side pocket 2. Filter rings for the lens hood, lens cloth, film box, business cards etc.
                          And there's still room.

                          Best part about the J-1 is that I never get a second look from airline staff when I bring this carry-on with a laptop bag. (flown many times with it).

                          When I need a replacement bag, I will likely purchase the exact same one. Though I don't think that will be any time soon.

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                          (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          I would buy this product again and again

                          By Alessandro

                          from Modena, Italy

                          About Me Professional

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Comfortable

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                              Comments about Domke J-1 Journalist Shoulder Bag:

                              I use this product every day. It's a very good bag

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                              (7 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              Awesome Bag, Loads of Room

                              By Adrian

                              from Toronto, Canada

                              About Me Professional

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Easily Accessible Equipment
                              • Strong Construction
                              • Well Padded

                              Cons

                              • Heavy

                              Best Uses

                              • Protecting Gear
                              • Transporting Gear

                              Comments about Domke J-1 Journalist Shoulder Bag:

                              This bag has a lot of room but is a bit on the heavy side. You definitely need a WELL PADDED strap if you are going to carrying this around loaded.

                              I had very sore shoulders after trekking around NY for 3 days straight. The FA-100 Backpack Strap or FA-031 U.S. Post Office Shoulder Pad is a must for long trips.

                              It is built like a tank and would not give it a second thought if I drop it on the ground.

                              Another note, the bag will hold a 70-200 VR mounted on a D3 standing upright.

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                              (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              4.0

                              Good bag that needs plastic hardware.

                              By GMB

                              from The Voorhees

                              About Me Professional

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Comfortable
                              • Easily Accessible Equipment
                              • Lightweight
                              • Strong Construction

                              Cons

                              • Metal hardware lens bump

                              Best Uses

                              • Transporting Gear

                              Comments about Domke J-1 Journalist Shoulder Bag:

                              this is a nice bag that form-fits to your hip in a way no other bag I have tried does. It is well made and has a lot of room. The bag closes with metal hardware that has a tendency to fly around - NOT good! Have to be very careful. I have replaced the metal hooks with plastic ones and now have a nearly perfect bag!

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