Grandfather Photographer's Case

(3 reviews) Write a Review
Was: $759.00
Now: $607.20

Product Overview

*Sheepskin Camera Case Inserts are not included, but available to order here.

Mexicans say, “If it’s ugly, put flowers on it." I say, “If it’s ugly, put leather on it." And that goes for photography too. I grew up in Oregon and it’s so filled with gorgeous and awe inspiring subjects and settings that even if a monkey took enough pictures, he’d accidentally get a few great shots by the end of the day. But if the person or place you’re photographing is lacking in natural beauty, ask them to hold this Photographer's Case or set it on a stump and you may just win a prize. Sometimes distraction is the best strategy. This camera case will change any photograph into a cool and interesting shot in a flash. 

Though not everybody will use this leather case as a camera case, it is arguably the most photogenic case ever designed. And since photographers are artists and they do what they do because they love to capture beauty, it is the first camera case photographers will want to take pictures of. It is functional art. 

Why This Leather Case is Excellent?
Protective - The bottom of this sturdy case is lined with thick and protective Neoprene. Cheap foam breaks down over time and loses its protective qualities, but Neoprene doesn’t. It’s expensive because it is made with tiny air bubbles which don’t pop and flatten out like the big air bubbles that make up cheap foam. 

Insulative - They warn you on the packaging not to expose your electronics to extreme heat or cold, but they don’t tell you why. So allow me. Heat and cold destroy battery life because of the chemical reactions that happen when the chemicals get hot or cold. And your camera gear and other electronics are made out of different metals, glass, plastics and other materials that expand and contract at different rates with heat and cold. The places where the different materials join together become compromised over time from all of the micro expansion and contraction and things just don’t work like they used to.

On the insulation scale, leather is more insulative than wood and less insulative than styrofoam. We use thick leather and then line it with Neoprene to keep your gear and batteries at room temperature a lot longer than your typical run of the mill generic Walmart looking nylon camera bag.

Add the moisture wicking sheepskin camera case inserts and you’ll get even more insulation. It’s another layer of sheep leather and sheep hair a.k.a. wool. It keeps sheep nice and warm and it will keep your electronics warmer for longer too. 

Versatile - I’ve been working on a camera case since 2009 and was just not fully satisfied with anything I designed until now. I realized I needed inserts to take in and out instead of designing them permanently into a camera case or bag. Simpler is better. Protective “Pick and Pull” foam inserts that you customize yourself or using our protective sheepskin inserts (sold separately) make this leather case highly functional.

And since it has such a classic grandfatherly look, it can be used for storing precious heirlooms, carrying picnic supplies, used as a gun case for the range or for carrying files into the courtroom. And when you’re not using it, store it out in the open to start conversations and beautify any room.

Hand Downable - Would any grandchild ever brag about owning your current camera case? Would it even last? Are you proud of your current camera bag? Life’s short and hard and then you die. And then they squander or give away all that you worked for. And after that, everybody forgets your name. Unless, of course, you leave them this leather case. 

Fits More Stuff- Most camera bags and cases are way too full of unnecessary side padding between the lenses and other gear. You’d think they designed it to carry viles of old unstable nitroglycerin. If there’s going to be damage, it will be from dropping the camera bag and therefore, the lionshare of padding needs to be on the bottom. The sides need to be padded so lenses don’t clack against each other, but most camera cases go overboard so not much else fits.

2 Basic Handy Photography Tips and 1 Suggestion:

  1. The Rule of Thirds - This is Picture Taking 101 - Make ⅔ of your photo be the most interesting part and ⅓ be the boring part. If you’re looking out at the ocean and the water is wild and exciting but the sky is cloudless and blue, put the horizon line ⅔ of the way up in the photo so the water is the main part. If the clouds are gnarly and colorful, but the water is flat and boring, then make the top ⅔ of the picture be the sky. If you’re taking pictures of your new leather camera case, put it centered or on the right third or left third of the frame with the same sky and mountain or water or whatever behind it. 
  2. Zoom in on the Subject - Scoot back and then zoom in to take the picture of people or of your cool leather camera bag. It makes it look like what your eye naturally sees. I was up on Mackinaw Island taking pictures of my leather camera case a.k.a. leather briefcase, and I put it on a pier so the cool lighthouse in the background would be in the pic. I laid flat on my belly and took the shot, but when I looked at the shot, the lighthouse was dinky and barely noticeable in the background. So, I got way back and zoomed way in on the bag. It magnified my leather camera bag and also magnified the lighthouse and made it look like it was right behind the bag.
  3. Carry a thin blanket inside for just in case… literally. It’s great padding for what you’re carrying, especially if you’re using it as a camera case and great for taking the edge off at chilly restaurants and outdoor events.

Product Details

  • 100-Year Warranty
  • 14.25”W  x 12.5”H x 8.75”D (OUTSIDE)
  • 13”W  x  11.5”H  x   7.5”D (INSIDE) 
  • Pockets: 6”W x 8.5”H
  • Weight: 8.6lbs.


(3 reviews) Write a Review

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  • 5
    Unique and Versatile

    Wow. The Photographer’s Case is my first major SBL acquisition in a while, and it’s just stunning. The interior is beautifully lined and is more spacious than I had expected, it easily swallows my gear. Here’s my key kit, which all fits: 2 full frame mirrorless bodies, 70-200 f4, 24-70 f/2.8, 14-24 f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4, and filters, batteries, and other accessories. For film kit: 3 or 4 medium format TLR film cameras and a pile of accessories, film, etc.

    The pocket closing mechanism is simple and works easily. Fully loaded, it can get a bit heavy (but I can say that about most camera bags). You’re almost certainly going to want a way to separate your gear. I have the sheepskin inserts on order. In the meantime I found a camera insert from one of my camera backpacks fits it almost exactly. And of course you could do the pick and pluck foam. I usually have a wool hat and gloves with me so I keep shooting when the temp drops, and that also works as padding.

    It is, obviously, mostly a (fantastic leather) box. As such, you can use it for all kinds of other things throughout the years. It’s not the kind of camera case you’d pull lenses from on the fly without taking it off your shoulder; like my big camera backpack, I will set the case down and open it to remove items. I’ve long wanted a case worthy of the care I put into my craft. When I’m with a client and I pull this case out, the value I put into my photography is well represented. Saddleback is truly unique, particularly in their leather hard cases; there is simply no other option, at least not without going to Europe and spending 5x as much. What other camera case comes with a 100-year warranty? There’s no camera bag or case perfect for every occasion, but for what it is intended to be, I can’t think of anything I would add or change. Well Done!

    P.S. OMG it smells great

  • 5
    A Perfect Match For Vintage Gear!

    This case goes great with my large format film cameras, and the lid pockets work great for my film holders! Can't wait until the sheep skin insets are released!

  • 4
    It's a box! But a nice box...

    Good size for a variety of functions. Do wish there was an interal strap to insure things wouldn't fall out accidently while opening it.