CCS camera cases for backpacking – Get them while you still can

Back in 1990 (ZOMG, it’s almost 20 years ago…) I bought a really lovely padded blue case for a second-hand camera I took to Belize on a diving expedition. A few years later I bought a second one for something else. They’re the nicest camera cases I’ve ever seen–extremely well padded, and either waterproof or close to it–and perfect for backpacking, but when I tried to get hold of one for my little point-and-shoots over the last couple of years I found they didn’t seem to be in the shops any more. The Lowepro bags, which were the best I could find, really don’t hold a candle to them.

CCS Warthog - front

CCS Warthog - front

Now that I’ve got a more sophisticated camera I’ve made more of an effort to track them down, and I’m v. sorry to find that the owners have retired and CCS cases are no more. However, their friends and co-retailers at RK Photographic have bought out the remaining stock, and they still have some.

I found them on the net last night, and I’ve just rung and ordered a Warthog for my EOS and a Kite for my little P&S (Canon Powershot A570IS). If my second and slightly larger P&S (Canon Powershot A95) doesn’t fit into the Kite I’m going to get a slightly larger one for that too, because once this stock has been sold CCS cases will be gone forever.

CCS Warthog - back

CCS Warthog - back

If you’d like what’s probably the best backpacking case in the world, ring RK Photographic now and buy one 🙂

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34 Responses to CCS camera cases for backpacking – Get them while you still can

  1. Bob Martin says:

    I discovered CCS camera cases as an aside to getting ripped-off on eBay.
    The camera I bought was rubbish but it came unexpectedly with a CCS case which was as good as new. Since the deal cost less than the retail price of the case I was reasonably pleased with the outcome. The case is great.

    Today I finished reading your GR20 trail journal. Excellent reading and the number of photographs is amazing ! I have read all your trail journals but this one surpasses them all. Many thanks for writing/photographing it.

  2. peewiglet says:

    Many thanks, Bob. I’m delighted that you enjoyed my GR20 thingy, and thanks v. much for letting me know 🙂

    Aren’t the CCS cases wonderful? I’m quite excited about getting my new ones!

  3. John Hesp says:

    Peewiglet, I wondered what you were going to do for a camera case when you said you’d got a DSLR (on the G20 story I think), and once again you’ve come up trumps. This looks like just the thing I’ve been looking for, my LowePro bags aren’t quite right.
    Have you got yours yet? Do you think I could get my camera into one of these – it’s 170mm from back of body to front of lens.
    Thanks,
    John

  4. peewiglet says:

    Hi John 🙂

    Aaagh… I’m not sure that it would fit. There seems to be plenty of room for mine, and my initial response was that it would probably be okay, but I’ve just looked on the RK Photographic site and there’s a little diagram with dimensions, which seems to suggest that the depth is no more than 120mm.

    If I were you I’d give RK a ring. When I rang the woman I spoke to sounded knowledgeable, and if she knows your camera then it might be that she could tell you immediately whether it would fit. Alternatively, she might be willing to let you have one on the basis that you’d send it back if it wasn’t right.

    If you do decide to pursue it then I reckon it’s worth asking them about the one that comes with the waterproof cover i.e. the Snowflake. I have got my Warthog now, and it’s just as well padded as ever, but I can imagine that rain could get in if conditions were really foul, and what I’ve read about DSLRs has suggested to me that rain is anathema to them. I’m going to see if I can get one of the last Snowflakes myself.

    If you have no joy with the woman at RK then I’ll happily chuck my Warthog in the post (hmmm…. sounds cruel!) and you can try it with your camera. No prob’s at all: just let me know.

  5. peewiglet says:

    p.s. I forgot to say that the Canon site tells me that mine is 126.5mm deep, so it’s a fair bit shorter than yours.

  6. John Hesp says:

    Thanks PW. I’ll contact them.

    By the way, whilst I was looking round their site I noticed this wide angle adaptor:

    http://www.thedarkroom.co.uk/content.php?section=4&page=74

    I’d certainly like to get something like this for my Nikon but can’t find anything; I’d suggest that you might find it a useful addition to your EOS.

    John

  7. peewiglet says:

    Thanks for that link to the adapter: I’ll certainly ask them about that.

    Secondly, now that I’ve re-read what I wrote above it’s clear that that 120mm thing can’t be right, since mine’s 126.5mm and it seems to fit well. Doh…

  8. John Hesp says:

    Just got a reply saying it looks like it’d fit. Ordered a Snowflake and then decided to add a few of other items……..

    I see I can get that adaptor to fit the lens my Nikon came with at other shops. If I get one I’ll let you know how it works out.

  9. peewiglet says:

    Sounds good, then! Fingers crossed.

    Will you drop me a line here when you get your Snowflake, to tell me about it? I’ve not ordered one yet but I’m still keen to do so if it looks better protected against rain than the standard Warthog.

    Ta also re: the adaptor. I took a look and it looks very interesting indeed. I’m thinking I may go for one once pay-day comes round 🙂

  10. John Hesp says:

    Well that was quick. It arrived out here in the sticks at 9.30 this morning. My camera fits like a glove! I wouldn’t want to put a longer camera in as the draw cord might not do up, but it’s perfect for my 170mm long camera (Nikon D40 + VR 18-200mm lens).

    It’s just what I’ve been looking for for about a year now. Something I can strap onto the straps of the backpack, so the camera is instantly accessible. I don’t know how practical this idea will be (will I be able to see where I’m putting my feet?), but I’m willing to give it a try. The bag comes with 4 attachment points which look good for this, and also a strap, which I’m not sure I’ll use. (I have a LowePro Slingshot 100aw which is quite good for short walks, but is heavy and doesn’t really have room for drinks and snacks).

    It’s not clear in the photo on the shop’s website how the bag works, so in case anybody else is reading this (just joking PW, I’m sure thousands are), it’s just a camera shaped bag, lens downwards, with a drawstring top. An elasticated waterproof cover pulls over the top and tightens round the “waist” where the bag narrows for the lens. Simple, effective and light. LowePro bags are effective but they also tend to be complicated and heavy. We don’t like heavy do we?

    Thanks very much PW, you’ve put me on to something which I was unable to find. I hope there’s one left for you if you want one. Maybe they’d exchange the Warthog? The people sound like they’re obliging.

  11. peewiglet says:

    Oh, very cool! 🙂 I’m delighted it works well for you. I was thrilled to find a place that had some left.

    Thanks for letting me know how it works. I’ve just rung and ordered a Snowflake–apparently there’s only one more now. I thought about asking them to swap the Warthog but I think I’ll hang onto to. I suppose that if I find I have no use for it then I can always put it on Ye Old Ebay.

    Right! Off to watch the post… *g*

  12. peewiglet says:

    p.s. John–I stumbled across what looked like a very informative thread somewhere on OM a couple of weeks ago. It was all about people carrying DSLRs on the hill. At the time I couldn’t stop to read it, but I’m going to seek it out again. Once I find it (crubeens crossed) I’ll post a link here for you.

  13. John Hesp says:

    Yes please. If you’re anything like me you’ll have mixed feelings about the thing at first, but after a while my only reservation was that it’s so bulky and heavy. It’s always going to be heavy, but I’m determined not to shove it in the backpack where it won’t get used.

  14. peewiglet says:

    Me too! I learned years ago that if the camera is in my pack I simply won’t use it. The great joy of the new one is that it allows me to take clear pictures of flowers Every Time! *g*

    I’ll go and search.

  15. John Hesp says:

    Yes!!

    Just got in from an afternoon walk over the hills with the Snowflake attached to the rucsack straps. Works brilliantly. Yes I can see where I’m putting my feet because when looking down a persons head tilts forwards, moving their eyes forwards (in front of the bag).

    Although DSLRs are quite lumpy things it feels as light as a feather on the rucksack straps. I think having some weight on the front might also help posture.

    And of course it’s instantly available in case a photo is required.

    I clipped it on with the clips on the ends of the strap, just to see how well it worked, but I’ll look out for some proper clips now.

    It also works perfectly well as a shoulder bag (using the suplied strap), even when wearing a rucksack.

    Brilliant.

    Thanks again,

    John

  16. John Hesp says:

    “By the way, whilst I was looking round their site I noticed this wide angle adaptor:
    http://www.thedarkroom.co.uk/content.php?section=4&page=74
    I’d certainly like to get something like this for my Nikon but can’t find anything”…….John

    Well I did find something like this in the end – a wide angle adaptor with 72mm fit. My first impressions were mixed. The wide angle can certainly bring certain scenes to life, but the quality of the images left something to be desired – a black ring around the edge of the photo, blurring towards the edges, massive distortion (which could be corrected to some extent in PSP). The feeling that you get what you pay for – £75 for an adaptor v’s £400, £500 or £600 for a proper wide angle lens – soon gave way to a feeling that I didn’t want to produce rubbish images even at a low price, so sent it back.

    Interestingly the adaptor also unscrewed into two halves, one of which was a macro adaptor. It was fun to get right up close to things and photo them – a dew drop on a foxglove petal (in Nov!!) acting as a lens. I’m sure you’d love one of these. I don’t know if the proper macro lenses suffer from this, but this cheap adaptor had a very short focal depth – just a few mm I’d say – which limited what it would do somewhat. Even so, great fun.

    I was so impressed by the dynamic images given by wide angle that I think I’ll get a proper one. Macro was an even bigger eye opener, but one can’t just keep chucking money at ones camera (can one?). In a year or two maybe.

    Happy New Year!!

    John

  17. peewiglet says:

    Happy New Year to you too 🙂

    Interesting experience with the adaptor, and it’s disappointing that it didn’t do a good job. I may take another look at lenses early in the New Year, but atm I’m thinking of spending my Christmas pennies on a puppy 🙂

  18. John Hesp says:

    “I’m thinking of spending my Christmas pennies on a puppy”

    Yes, they do say puppies are for Christmas – or something like that. Just kidding, you mentioned a puppy in Sept, so you really must be keen. If you can move to the country it’s even better – most people seem to have a dog round here.

    Mind you, it’s a bit of a tie if you want to go backpacking, although Hamish Brown took his dog on his “Groats – End” walk:

    http://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/SearchResults?an=hamish+brown&bt.x=79&bt.y=12&kn=groats+end&sortby=3&sts=t

    And I seem to remember a book about somebody walking the Southwest Coast Path with a dog:

    http://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/SearchResults?an=mark+wallington&bt.x=71&bt.y=15&sortby=3&sts=t&tn=500+mile+walkies

    And those who aren’t lucky enough to get on the Challenge could have the consolation prize of looking after Peedoglet 🙂

    Have you thought of a name yet?

  19. I have just secured a small number of new CCS cases.

    They have yet to be priced and sorted but it appears I have at least some of the following:

    CCS A142 Rhino (Blue)
    CCS A454 JUNO (Blue)
    CCS FS08 Lens Pouch No.1 (black)
    also Number 2 and Numbe3
    CCS B124 – Case (black)
    CCS B127 – Case (green)
    CCS A100 Kobrahead Small (blue)

    CCS made exceptionally good quality cases – it is such a shame they stopped.

    Check the website over the next few days – I will also be throwning a few out to eBaY.

  20. John Hesp says:

    Richard, will any of those lens pouches take a 75mm dia x 110mm long lens?

    Don’t see them on your website or your Ebay shop yet.

    John

  21. John Hesp says:

    Confused Richard. Clicking on your name above takes me to a site called toclear.com and from there to an Ebay website neither of which, as mentioned above, have any CCS cases.

    Are you anything to do with RK Photographic, the shop we were originally talking about in this thread? They do seem to have new stock on Ebay.

  22. Richard says:

    Bags have now been sorted and photographed and should appear later today on ToClear.com

    We do have CCS FS10 Lens Case Number 2 that states for lenses up to (L)110x(W)80mm

    If you wanted a bag for an SLR + lens 110mm lens we have some CCS A142 RHINO (blue) that can take camera with lens fitted up to 140mm long.

    I do not know if the pictures will show up here? – if not cut ‘n’ paste text between the ” into your browser address bar.

  23. Richard says:

    “http:www.toclear.com/ebay/auction/CCS9.jpg”
    “http:www.toclear.com/ebay/auction/CCS3.jpg”

    OK so none of it shows up! Use the above.

  24. John Hesp says:

    You don’t make it easy Richard – still no sign of them. I’m not sure my enthusiasm for lens pouchs will last till tomorrow 🙂

  25. Richard says:

    They were published at 2.30pm (GMT) yesterday. I hide them in the Clearance section:

    http://www.marketworks.com/storefrontprofiles/deluxeSFshop.aspx?sfid=33071&c=846518

  26. John Hesp says:

    Well I bit the bullet and splashed out on a “proper” wide angle lens. I had expected to be able to go out and get brilliant results straight away, but like all these things it looks like it’ll take a bit of experiment and practice to get decent results out of it. What I’ve found is that it isn’t about using the wider angle to get more in; it’s about getting the same stuff in, but getting up close to it, this gives a more interesting sense of depth.

    Have you submitted your route yet? I submitted mine and was warned it was a difficult start. How exciting!! I’m really looking forward to it now and thank you for giving me the confidence to apply.

    Any news on the dog front?

  27. barry nelmes says:

    i did the gr 20 in 1990 ,the weather(november)was crap but the walk was brilliant i stayed in the gites during the 10 days walk i would not hesitate to recommend this walk to anyone and if i could it at 43 anyone can i hope to get back there soon and do it again great read
    regards barry

    • peewiglet says:

      Hi Barry,

      November! That was very brave! I didn’t realise there would be accommodation open at that time of the year.

      Thanks for reading: I’m glad you enjoyed 🙂

  28. Verene says:

    Just a quick precision: ‘To Clear’ website and Richard have nothing to do with us at RK…
    But we too have got hold of more CCS bags since Summer 2008 (but that is really the end of the line).

    • peewiglet says:

      Thanks, Verene: that’s good to know. I may be about to buy a new camera and was just wondering whether CCS used to do anything that might fit. Can you possibly tell me which models you have? Ta!

  29. Verene says:

    Quite a few from the classic range, to fit from smallish SLR sideway or ‘nose down'(unicorn, kobraheads) to SLR with bigger lenses attached (to fit nose down, such as the elephant trunk) or any ways (bison). The heritage range is all gone bar one medium black bags with plastic attachments (sigh). There is a few compact cases left too, some black, some blue. A couple of snowflakes (not sure why everyone was so keen on those, much prefer my warthog and heritage ones, which I string smaller bags onto the strap for the added bits and pieces).

  30. Ashley Karyl says:

    I have a pair of CCS camera bags. The first is one of the big 498 photojournalist bags they did with the ultra comfortable strap that will carry a significant amount of gear and can also be used safely on the move with the high opening Gladstone system. Mine still looks like new and the only real negative I can offer is that when filled it becomes extremely wide, making it somewhat difficult to carry in crowded areas. No doubt though about its build quality and it is completely waterproof even under he heaviest downpour of rain.

    The other CCS I have is one of those pouches from the classic range. I am not entirely sure which one but I suspect it is the biggest one they made called a kangaroo, since it can just squeeze in a 1Ds II together with a 24-105L, which is quite convenient for a day out.

  31. Andrew says:

    CCS bags can still purchased from
    RK PHOTOGRAPHIC

  32. Christopher says:

    Hi! I just discovered your web page: CCS camera cases for backpacking when I was searching reddit.
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