While design does admirably meet fashion with the Hipshot Bag, its limited function could leave you feeling like you've been bagged.
During a recent photo safari into the wilds of central Florida (i.e., Disney World), I wanted to bring along a fairly large arsenal of Lomo cameras. From Fisheye One to Konstruktor, I was going to be photographically armed and dangerous. The trouble was that the weather forecast for my upcoming trip predicted rain, rain, and more rain. What I needed was a camera bag that I could heft to the theme parks stuffed with cameras, film, and lenses. Plus this bag had to be lightweight and weather proof. What I purchased was the Lomography Hipshot Bag White.
What looked good on paper turned out to be a raft of compromises which embargoed the bulk of my gear in the hotel room rather than having my cameras at bay while stalking elusive mouse ears.
First of all, the Hipshot Bag is a unique “hybrid” type bag that is equally at home being worn as a belt pack, as well as over the shoulder like a hipster cross-body bag. In each of these fashion extremes, the Hipshot Bag is spot on with its ability to quickly and easily transform into your preferred utilitarian design statement.
Festooned with a bandoleer-styled strap for holding 35mm film cassettes, numerous snap fasteners, velcro closers, full-length dual zipper, and interior pockets, the Hipshot Bag means business. Photography business, that is. While the strap is a cotton web belt, the remainder of the bag is covered with a stiff synthetic material. This material is water resistant and, therefore, the bag is wholly weather resistant. So bring on the rain, this bag can handle it.
Along with any attempt at design, there needs to be the balance of function that serves as the foundation for the product’s design. In the case of the Hipshot Bag, Lomography Society International sponsors this product as being able to, “comfortably pack a Lomography camera, Colorsplash flash, and 3 rolls of film.” Well, some of that is true! Yes, the Hipshot Bag will accommodate 3 rolls of 35mm film, but 120 and 110 film can be a challenge to fit inside the bag.
Likewise, the Hipshot Bag will hold the Colorsplash flash. Or, you could opt to fit one of Vivitar’s old flashes (e.g., 125) in this bag instead of the Colorsplash. It’s one or the other, though, not both flashes at the same time. Unless you don’t need a camera.
Finally, the biggest disappointment with the Hipshot Bag, and the same functional limitation that left the bulk of my camera gear safe and “dry” and unused inside my hotel room, is that it can’t hold any of my Lomography cameras.
I tried Fisheye One, Konstruktor, Belair X 6-12, Holga 120N, and Fuji Mini 8. None of these “Lomography cameras” would come even close to fitting inside the Hipshot Bag. AARGH! Finally, I found one Lomography camera that would fit inside the Hipshot Bag. One! One, itty bitty camera would fit and that camera was the Diana Baby 110. In fact, the Diana Baby 110 fits like a champ. There was even room left over for adding a 12mm lens and one roll of Color Negative Tiger 110 film. And that’s it! Granted, I cannot vouch for the Hipshot Bag’s ability for holding other Lomography cameras, but I was very disappointed by not having my Belair X 6-12 with me for saving a spectacular rainbow over Disney’s Epcot.
Looks like I need a bigger bag.