Wotancraft Ryker Review

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My name is Markus Andersen, I am a documentary and art photographer based in Sydney Australia. I’ve just released a fine art photographic book from T&G Publishing: Rage Against The Light.

I am going to give a brief review on a great bag I have been using for the last couple of weeks from a company named Wotancraft.

I took the bag out with me when shooting a documentary project in western Sydney and street photography in urban and CBD locations. I used 3 small of what I consider to be the best compact camera systems on the shoots: Fuji x100s, Ricoh GR digital and a Contax T2 film camera.

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In addition I had my mobile phone, wallet, media pass, camera hoods and caps and a few SD cards and a bunch of film in the bag.

I could have also comfortably placed two Leica M film camera bodies in the bag with attached 35mm and 28mm lenses.

Here are my observations when using the Wotancraft Ryker camera messenger bag. For a review of a more recent Wotancraft bag, check out this review of the Wotancraft Trooper.

Size

When I’m shooting documentary or urban observational capture it is essential to keep my kit lightweight and small. The Wotancraft Ryker meets that requirement perfectly.

It is small, compact and discreet in appearance – this leather camera bag does not look like a “camera bag”, which is exactly what I am after when shooting documentary or street photography.

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Outer Lining and appearance

The outer materials of the bag are vegetable tanned grain cowhide. The leather is soft and molds nicely around the inner padding of the bag.

The leather has a pleasing dark brown appearance and a nice texture. It feels comfortable when walking and shooting, as it was malleable and not rigid.

The stitching of the bag is great and appears strong enough for street, urban and documentary work.

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The large leather flap of the bag (used for protection of gear) folds over and seals via two round magnets that I find effective. Additionally the flap can be tucked under a thin leather strap on the front of the bag that secures it in place.

There is also a leather inner cover that zips up and protects your cameras.

Outer Pockets

The bag has three outer pockets, two zipped (front and rear) and a non-zip pocket at lower front. These are all easy to access and great for placing my lens caps, hoods, phone, wallet, notes, pens etc.

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Ease of use and speed are essential for me when shooting and the Wotancraft allows me to access my gear quickly.

Zippers

I really like the brass zippers on this bag, which are smooth when opening and closing. The leather tabs attached to the zip are large enough and easy to grip when the bag has to be opened quickly. There are 3 zippers on the bag.

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Shoulder Strap

The leather shoulder strap is very comfortable on my shoulder when walking for hours and does not slip off thanks to a pressure alleviation pad. The bag balances well with the strap when shooting.

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The heavy-duty steel hardware that attaches the strap to the bag is very strong and allows the bag to be flipped round my body easily when taking an image or quickly moving position.

Inner padding

The bag has some well-made soft inner padding throughout that is purple in colour (I like the colour as it is somewhat unique).

The main inner compartment of the bag (that holds your cameras) comes with 3 dividers that allows for various positions that cameras can be placed. The dividers are attached with Velcro and hold their position securely.

Here’s a photo of the inside of the bag before inserting the dividers so you can get an idea of the size.

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When using this bag for the review I placed 3 small cameras in the bag, Contax T2 film camera, Ricoh GR Digital mirrorless (with hood) and a Fuji x100s mirrorless. All three cameras fit snugly in the bag and are easy to access at all times.

The padding is thick and offers good protection for your gear.

Inner pocket

There is a small inner pocket in the bag where I placed all my film and SD cards. Really easy to access and is secured well with Velcro.

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Overall

I find the Wotancraft Ryker to be perfect for a street or documentary photographer who likes to travel light and use smaller cameras.

The bag is compact, light and attractive. It does not advertise the fact you’re a “photographer”, allowing the shooter to remain unnoticed and merge in with the background.

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The bag is well made and is strong. It is comfortable on the shoulder, balances well when shooting and is easy to open and close. The bag is logical in its construction for a street or documentary photographer.

I will continue to use the bag and can recommend it for all photographers that like to shoot with cameras such as rangefinders, compacts or mirror less etc.

Guest Review by Sydney Documentary and Art Photographer Markus Andersen | www.markusandersen.com

Editor’s Update:

The Wotancraft Ryker is also available in tan with a red lining as shown below. To find out more about the story behind Wotancraft and its products, follow this link.

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1 Comment

  1. Neeko Aquino on January 20, 2016 at 11:39 pm

    Hey Mark! Great review but I have a quick question. Would this hold a Sony A7ii with 28 or 55mm attached, x100T, a spare lens and still have a divider space or is it limited to 3 compartments? I currently have the Ona Bowery but am looking to get a bigger bag such as this or the Ona Prince. Just wanted to get your thoughts since I can’t check them out at any store here in Stuttgart, Germany. Appreciate ya!

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Mark

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