Piccolo and Quaver
The Elegant Pouches
The Piccolo on the right, and Quaver on the left.
I like my Fogg Diva holdall, B Minor and B Major satchels very much. Now it's time for some small size pouches. It is kind of difficult to figure out which is the correct size for me, as all of them seems more or less the same size based on internet specifications. I then decided to try the Piccolo and the Quaver, in Moss/Havana colour combination.
Piccolo is the smallest Fogg pouche with the shoulder strap, which can be removed and the Piccolo can then attached to a belt or any Fogg bags, or the shoulder strap of any other bags.
The back of the pouches made by Fogg has a unique design to allow the pouches to be fixed to a belt or attached to a vertical strap.
Back of Piccolo at the left, Piccolo with back flaps opened and the Quaver at the right.
Back of the Quaver with the Piccolo at the right.
The Quaver attached to a waist belt, next to the Piccolo.
The Piccolo attached to a Fogg B Major (left), the Quaver attached to a Fogg B Major (right).
What possibly a Piccolo pouch can hold:
A Rollei 35RF (Bessa R2) with trigger winder.
A ZM 85/2 Sonnar or a 8x25 Bino.
What possibly a Quaver can hold:
The Quaver can hold a ZM 21/2.8 Biogon with hood detached in the front pocket, or a wallet and a handphone, or a small portable headphone amp (like the Headroom AirHead) with a MP3 player, or a small digital camera. Note that both Piccolo and Quaver have a small front pocket.
Or if you attached the Quaver to the Piccolo, you can carry a rangefinder camera and one or two range finder lenses.
Fogg B Major
Bought a Fogg B major in charcoal/oak. The same nice feeling as the Fogg Diva and B minor that I have. The bad news is that my bag is probably the last using the charcoal fabric. But Fogg will replace the charcoal fabric with another colour but I have not got a chance to view the sample. There are tell-tale signs on my bag that mine could be using the last inch of charcoal fabric and I guess I am lucky that I had ordered the bag 'on time' hahaha.
The B major comes with two front small pockets. Immediately after the front pockets is a side pocket with zip, followed by another side pocket. There is also a back pocket locked by button. This year happens to be also the 25th Anniversary of Fogg bags (1986-2011).
The B Major can be configured to be a camera bag or with the organiser panel becomes a travel or office bag. The photos below show a office bag configuration (a bread container, a recycle shopping bag, a CD, portable CD player with headphone amplifier and headphone, a magazine, spectacles etc) on the left and a photo bag configuration (Contax Aria SLR below, a 28f2, a 50/1.4 and a 135/2.8, Metz 40MZ3i flash, and on top a Rollei 35RF rangefinder with trigger winder) on the right. Both are with the organiser panel. Without the organiser panel the bag will have bigger place for arranging the photo gear.
Below is a comparison between a B Minor and a B major. The B major is a slightly bigger bag than the B minor, which is slighly higher and longer. The width is about the same. The actual bags the B Major looks much bigger than the B minor. The B major is able to accommodate A4 size documents (about 8 in x 12 in). The B minor is not able to accommodate A4 documents. The B major is not big enough for a laptop computer. However, it should be able to house a netbook, MacBook Air or iPad.
The bag model, serial number and my initial are branded in the bag.
Very fine stitching of the Fogg bag.
25 years of Fogg bag, 1986 to 2011.
Hand made in France.
The Compact Fogg B Minor
6 March 2009 I received my Fogg B Minor from our Singapore Fogg rep Chii Fei. I ordered the same colour Mocha/Oak as my Fogg Diva. With no surprises I am getting the same hand made quality by Bee and Nigel from France. The B Minor is compact, elegant and made of natural material and natural processes by the dedicated couple.
I was thinking for quite a while between the B Major and the B Minor, and finally selected the B Minor because of its compactness, and was hoping to squeeze in an A4 size document or a 8R photo. But well the B Minor was not designed for A4 or something of the size around 8x12 inch. Yes it can still be done but the cover will not be able to close fully.
I bought this B Minor actually not for photo gear but as a daily bag to work. It can nicely accommodate a news paper, my Sound Devices HX-3 headphone amplifier, a vintage portable CD player, a Sennheiser HD 25-1 closed headphone, 2 recycle shopping bags, a small umbrella, and other small things like office pass, wallet, Swiss Army knife etc.
I did try to test the capacity of the bag with some photo gears and realised that it could happily accommodate a Contax Aria SLR, with 28/2.8, 50/1.7 and 135/2.8 3 lenses, together with a National Geographic Magazine.
Much had been said on Fogg's quality in my article on Fogg Diva and I shall not repeat. But this B Minor will certainly be serving me well daily to and back office for many years to come.
Elegant Fogg Diva
Fogg Diva with the hand luggage strapes kept at the sides.
I have been a long time Lowepro user and find Lowepro bags good value for money. They are good for practical and heavy use but nothing really exciting about them. Then there are these Billingham bags readily available in Singapore. I believe these are the bags Leica users go for but I am not quite attracted to their designs, and they are expensive.
I am not aware of Fogg camera bags until one day in a popular Singapore photography forum clubsnap.com discussion thread someone mentioned about it.
When I took a look at Fogg website I straight away fell in love with their hold-all bags. These Fogg Hold-alls somehow appeal to me. They are also making satchels but personally they look feminine to me, and so are Billingham bags, but taste can be very personal and people will have different views.
Front view of the Diva and the all leather base.
Back of Diva, with rear zip pocket and rear grap strap.
Next thing I do is of course to find out the price. And not really a surprise to me, such exclusive and unique looking hand-made bags are expensive. So the price did make me hesitate for quite a while, and at the same time still going to Fogg website to examine the various hold-all models. Meanwhile I realised one of my personal friend in photography equipment business bought a Fogg bag many years ago in London, and probably is the Cello hold-all. And that give me a lot of confident as this friend of mine has good (and expensive) taste. You know it is really difficult to figure out which is the correct bag as dimensions on the website cannot really help one figures out the physical size of the bag. And at that price I cannot justify to get different bag for different occasion. So after many thoughts I settle for the Diva model, for I think its size is appropriate for me, very close to the Lowepro Stealth Reporter D400AW that I am using, and also for its look.
Diva side by side with a Stealth Reporter D400AW.
As there is no Fogg local agent in Singapore at that point of time, I then approach Bee and Nigel directly. It is a wonderful experience dealing with this couple who are the owners of Fogg. Bee and Nigel, and that’s the way they address themselves in their friendly emails. Both of them are photographers. They started the business in UK and later moved to France. The bags they shipped today are still hand made by two of them, not common in today’s made in China mass production mainstream world economy.
It took quite a while for my bag to arrive. I placed the order in 2007 Christmas period and received the bag in Feb 2008. They only started to make my bag after receiving my order. The long time probably is due to Christmas/New Year holiday seasons, the cold weather up there in France, and a small incident that they need to stop work for a while to deal with.
Diva with the dividers, and with the hand luggage strapes on the top rain-flap.
A broad shoulder-pad is supplied, attached to the shoulder strap by Velco and bottons.
The design is very comfortable to use in practice.
So it was an evening on 26 Feb 2008 that I opened the parcel, which is supposed to be my Christmas/New Year/Birthday present (whatever reasons I can think of). What a nice bag it is! I chose the mocha/oak colour combination. While the bag looks masculine on the website it feels feminine when I touch it. The bag is made of rubberised cloth and leather trimming, so I was expecting a rather hard bag but turns out the bag has a soft, comfortable feel. Nice stitches and fine workmanship. As I am not really a careful user so a dark colour combination will not look so dirty in the long run. My initial is branded on the top flap of the bag. A large shoulder pad is supplied to be secured by Velcro and buttons on the strap. This shoulder pad design in practice is surprisingly comfortable. Several dividers are given but I will probably use only the 2 cradle dividers to separate equipment and provide additional stiffness.
The two front pouches.
My initial was branded on the inside of the top rain-flap.
The rain-flap comes with pouch on the outside and pleated pockets inside.
The volume is good enough for my range finder with 4 ZM lenses (15, 21, 28 and 35), my small SLR with 3 lenses and 2 tele-convertors (50/1.4, 100 macro, 180, Mutar II and III), a Metz flash, accesories for range finder (external view finders, spirit level etc), cable releases, blower, lens cleaning cloth, Gossen light meter etc etc. All the lenses are kept in their respective pouches.
The Diva with full equipment.
All lenses are kept in their respective pouches.
I would not say Fogg bags are everybody bags, as they are not priced to be so. But for people who appreciate hand crafted master piece, or for Leica and Billingham users, Fogg bags could be a good choice or alternative. From what Bee and Nigel have told me, their best sellers are the hold-all Cello, the E-flat satchel and the B-laica satchel.
For the Singapore potential users, the good news is that there is now a local representative for Fogg in Singapore, none other than Chii Fei, who is quite well known for being friendly and providing good services as a Voigtlander representative in Singapore. As for myself, I would say I am fortunate also to have been dealing directly with Bee and Nigel, a very personal and nice experience communicating with them over emails. You know, it is fun reading their emails, many a time witty and in many occasions amusing!
Best regards Nigel and Bee
Diva in action:
..........many months down the road, the Diva had accompanied me all over the places over the weekends in Singapore, with my kids sitting on it, an overseas trip to Ireland, many sun shine and some rain, and I am convinced that the Fogg bag material, though soft and comfortable and hugging, is tough enough for my everyday use. I do not trash the bag all the time, but neither do I pamper the bag. And the material is also proven good for those raining and wet occasions. And also there seems to be something magical about the shoulder strap ......... it feels just comfortable and I cannot figure out why ............. 10 Nov 2008