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Need Help for a New DSLR Camera Bag


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I seem to accumulate camera bag and the total is 15-20 right now. My absolute favorite is the new Think Tank Retrospecive 5. It handles my Fuji X-100 and my Canon S95 and a full set of accessories for both. It's quick to get to its multitude of compartments and is devoid of hard to handle hardware. I use it as my "host bag" when I'm carrying both cameras. When I go ashore with only the X100 and a spare battery, SD card, haze filter plus a lens hood, I put everything in a Lowepro Edit 110 bag. Fully loaded this way it weighs a bit more than 2 pounds and it fits into a corner of my carry-on bag. The Think Tank bag goes into my regular suitcase with everything else except for the S95 which can also fit into the Edit 110 when it needs to go on a plane with me.

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Folks, I really appreciate all the good advice on here about camera bags. It is certainly hard to get just the "right" one, and, of course, as you upgrade equipment, buy lenses, etc., needs change. I have a few questions about the Think Tank and Crumpler bags that I hope people familiar with them can answer.

 

First, re the Think Tank Retrospective bags, which certainly do look very nice on their web site, it appears that the only closure on the main compartment (the big flap) is a set of velcro strips (no zippers). If that's the case, are they very secure? I'm careful with my equipment and I don't toss my bags around, but accidents happen, and I wouldn't want that big flap to fly open. I am assuming that you all wouldn't be using them if this were a problem, but I just wanted to check.

 

Second question is about size -- which "model" of the Retrospective line to choose if what I want to carry around is my Nikon D7000 with attached 18-200 mm lens, and then a second lens, most likely an ultra wide (12-24mm), and of course a few batteries and memory cards, a memo pad, those sorts of things.

 

Same question on size in terms of the Crumpler "million dollar" series.

 

Many thanks, everyone, for any help!

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Done worry about the Velcro closing straps. They are plenty strong, especially if you have the full strap available for gripping, not just half of it which is the other option. It's strong and lets you open the top in an instant. The only possible negative is the ripping sound as you open it; but that's why they provide the half-grip option. I keep it full strength almost all the time, but if I was in a theater or church I would keep it at half-strength for the period of the performance or ceremony.

Also, the Retropective 5 is perfectly sized for your outfit. Frankly, I think the Retropective 10 is too large, and I'd welcome a Retropective 2 which is just large enough for and EVIL such as the Fuji X100 or Sony NEX 7, plus either a pocket camera or a small additional lens. I would happily trade my Lowepro Edit 110 for such a bag; especially if it were to have the 2-way Velcro and the rain hood.

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I bought a Retrospective 10 for my recent Europe cruise, and couldn't have been happier. The top velcro flap was always secure - there is quite a bit of velcro, and the size and weight of the flap makes it easy to get a good mesh. It is not sealed up as tight as a zipper closure would be, but I never had a problem with loose items - the bag is designed to keep stuff in.

 

It is possible to cover all the velcro on the main flap. It allows silent opening and closing, but would also be less secure.

 

You should check at a camera shop, but the 5 should be plenty big enough for you. In my 10 I carried a D90 with a 16-85 and lens hood attached in the centre section. The bag is taller than it needs to be for that setup. I also carried some or all of a 70-300, 11-16, point and shoot, and extra battery, cards and such. I also usually carried sunscreen, a towel, maps, a guide book and two water bottles.

 

One small problem - when the bag wasn't full, it was flexible enough that the various sections didn't retain their shape, and sometimes the camera or a lens wouldn't slip easily back into the bag. I would have to hold a divider back, or pull the bag to its full depth front-to-back. Not a big issue, and hard to avoid given the flexibility of the bag, but that was about the only issue. Otherwise the bag was comfortable, held any or all of my gear securely, and made it easy to get to when needed. And I like how it looks.

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Also, the Retropective 5 is perfectly sized for your outfit.

 

And indeed it is! I bought one yesterday, and it's just the right size for what I have (as noted above). I'll be taking it on a cruise soon, so I'll have a good field test. And with the caveat that I've only walked around my house with it, the strap feels incredibly comfortable.

 

It looks pretty sharp in pinestone, too! (My partner was totally shocked -- and pleased -- that I did not come home with another black camera bag! :))

 

Many thanks to everyone on here for all the great suggestions and information!

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If you don't like the closure style on the Retrospective, look at the Urban Disguise which as a zipper top enclosure.

 

I have the following Think Tank bags:

 

Change-Up

Speed Freak

Urban Disguise 40

Streetwalker Pro

Airport International

 

I actually use them all. It all depends on what I am carrying that particular day. If I am going on a cruise, I usually carry the Airport International as my main bag and the Change-Up as a day bag.

 

Several folks here use the two bag concept on cruises (main bag and day bag). I highly recommend this kind of setup, and you can even "flat-pack" a bag such as the Change-Up in your regular luggage, take a larger bag for all your stuff, then offload whatever you need for the day into the day bag.

 

At any rate, the best method to chose a bag is to visit a camera store and perhaps take your equipment with you. Generally camera stores will allow you to try and stuff your gear into a bag to ensure it is the right fit.

 

For Think Tank bags, you cannot get a discount on-line, so you might as well buy one from a local camera store.

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For Think Tank bags, you cannot get a discount on-line, so you might as well buy one from a local camera store.

 

I'm a huge supporter of brick and mortar stores, particularly for things like cameras (and related products), where I want to see them, handle them, and be able to talk to people who actually know what they are selling. I make it a point to support my local camera stores; I want them to stay in business.

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I buy a lot of stuff both on-line and at local stores.

 

If I go to a store and the salesperson takes the time to help me with a selection, they deserve my business. To then go on-line and buy the item to me is a bit rude.

 

However, I live in a small town and there are just not a lot of specialty stores left, so I often have to buy on-line to get what I want.

 

The closest good camera store is about 60 miles from my home.

 

I do support the camera store when I can, as I agree the only way they will be there in the future is if I support them. But some stuff I just cannot get locally.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am now back from "field testing" my new Think Tank Retrospective 5 bag on a one-week cruise to Bermuda. In the bag I had my Nikon D7000 with attached 18-200mm lens, as well as a Nikon 12-24mm lens, and the usual assortment of batteries, memory cards, a lens brush, a memo pad....

 

All this fit nicely. I agree with the comment above that a tiny bit more length and height to this bag, not much, but a bit, would have made it easier to pull things out, but it was still very workable.

 

I'd been concerned about velcro rather than a zipper, but found the flap very easy to open. And the no-slip strap was quite comfortable.

 

Thanks again for the recommendation! :)

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I am now back from "field testing" my new Think Tank Retrospective 5 bag on a one-week cruise to Bermuda. In the bag I had my Nikon D7000 with attached 18-200mm lens, as well as a Nikon 12-24mm lens, and the usual assortment of batteries, memory cards, a lens brush, a memo pad....

 

All this fit nicely. I agree with the comment above that a tiny bit more length and height to this bag, not much, but a bit, would have made it easier to pull things out, but it was still very workable.

 

I'd been concerned about velcro rather than a zipper, but found the flap very easy to open. And the no-slip strap was quite comfortable.

 

Thanks again for the recommendation! :)

 

And what a a field test you've had :D (saw your great photos of the sailboat rescue on the NCL board)

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And what a a field test you've had :D (saw your great photos of the sailboat rescue on the NCL board)

 

Thanks boeckli, you are too kind.

 

When we embarked, I certainly did not expect to have a day in which I spent several hours running all over the ship, bow to stern and side to side, with my gear. That bag certainly came in handy!

 

(And again, thank goodness for the happy ending.)

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  • 2 weeks later...

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