The Search For The Perfect Bag

I’ve actually lost count of how many camera bags I own now. It’s well over 10 and could be more.

I’ve got a Crumpler 7-million dollar bag as my main walk around bag carrying a D-300 with a 17-55mm f/2.8 attached along with a 12-24mm super wide and at least one more lens (35, 50 or 85mm all f/1.8) plus two SB-900 flashes. It’s a big bag without being huge and really well padded with lots of pockets. It sits well on the shoulder and I’m very happy with it.

My big travel bag is an expensive but very excellent Think Tank Shape Shifter which can carry more than I can support on my back.

It’s got neoprene pockets and holds so much that I need a map to remember where I put everything. Did I mention this bag can hold a ton and it feels like that if you’re walking in a huge airport terminal.

But if you absolutely have to carry everything you own, the Shape Shifter (which has an expansion zipper so it can hold even more) is ideal. It also pass the airline restrictions on carry-on and has a zippered back pocket for your laptop. It’s what I used on my trip to Brazil.

My big bag is a Lowepro Magnum AV. This bag is BIG and can carry all my wedding photography gear in one bag. I can even get half of my video stuff in there as well as two cameras and essentially all my lenses. I use this bag when I’m teaching as again I can bring everything. But it is getting old 🙂

My special event photograph bag is a Think Tank Speed Freak.

This sucker carries at least three big lenses and two flashes either over my shoulder or around my waist. If I wear it with the bag forward there’s access through a top zipper.

This is a cool tough bag that is made for action and perfect for those events when I’m running and gunning with two cameras and need quick access to lenses and flashes.

There’s a whole bunch of lesser bags sitting in an upstairs closet.

And all this brings me to my latest purchase at Henry’s camera here in Oakville. (Good place. Good people. Great prices.)

I got an Urban Disguise 40 V2.0 exclusive to hold my two Olympus Pen cameras (EPL-1 & EPL-2) and assorted lenses (12mm, 40mm, 17mm, 14-42 zoom, 9-18 super wide, and 40-150mm ling telephoto) plus an old Nikon SB-28 flash which works just fine on manual.

The Urban Disguise won out over a whole long list of bags I was looking at including the Domke f-803 and Think Tanks own Retrospective series of messenger-stype bags for the major reason is the Disguise an zip up all the equipment. This is really important if you put the bag in the overhead bin in an airliner. You don’t want your lenses rolling out in the storage compartment.

BTW, if you buy the Disguise watch the video above as there’s a hidden back compartment that can hold two camera bodies that I didn’t know it had! Glad I watched the video review. Who knew?

The Disguise 40 is just a little deep for Pen-size camera but I added extra padding (Think Tank supplies a ton of dividers plus a detachable memory card wallet. Very cool.)) around the lenses and put a double divider between the two camera bodies which I can store with lenses attached. The equipment is thus secure and protected and the bag doesn’t scream out camera bag.

Look let’s not mince words. The Think Tank bags aren’t cheap. You can buy similar looking bags of half the price but at half the price you don’t get anywhere near half the bag. The Think Tank Bags are universally comfortable to wear for hours on end. The straps don’t bite into your shoulders. They come with rain protection. They actually have padding to protect your expensive equipment. They are so well built that they should outlast me. To say I highly recommend Think Tank is an understatement. When it comes to my professional-level shooting I don’t compromise on my equipment. The pain of the expense fades over time but well-thoughtout and functioning equipment is a continuing blessing.

So is that it for bags?

Well I do have my eye on the Airport Roller Series and if Think Tank wanted to send me an Airport TakeOff for an evaluation  I wouldn’t refuse delivery at the door 🙂

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