Updated on May 3, 2011
Think Tank Photo camera bag review, shooting with the Retrospective® 20 (Black)
As staff photographer for the travel web site Gonomad.com. I carry a lot of camera equipment around the planet. I just got back after shooting for two weeks in Spain with my new Think Tank Retrospective 20, ($159.00). Think tank has done their home work in the field and developed a fantastic shooting bag for real world photography. When I am on the street I like to shoot as low profile as I can, but I also move though many different situations and need to carry enough gear to handle them all. For my basic day kit I shoot with two canon bodies, a 5d and a 5dmk11. A 70 – 200mm 2.8 L, 24-105 f4L, and a 100EF 2.8 macro. Sometimes a 20mm 2.8L and always with a 580 ex11 flash with three- four sets of batteries. With the back up batteries for the camera, flash cards a sweat cloth, a bullet air blower notebooks, maps, cell phone, etc, it starts to add up and gets heavy after a full day of walking. The shoulder strap is really comfortable and shock absorbing.
I shoot with the short zoom on my shoulder out and my long lens attached face down in the bag in the center pocket. Covered by the wide flap, the camera is concealed yet I can get it to my eye as fast as if I had it out on my shoulder. I cannot emphasize enough how well this worked for me and completely enhanced my shooting style. The inside padding can be rearranged for your gear and there are plenty of well placed pockets to keep things organized and easy to access. The bag is soft and molds well around your waist. The over sized pocket under the main flap was super convenient, big enough to hold everything you need to get to quickly or as a fast drop for lens or a body when running. I have the black one and kudos to them for making it a matte surface, it helps the bag be nondescript and fade into the shadows. Safety can be an issue for me. The thick Velcro locks down the main flap very securely and is really loud when it opens. I liked that in a big crowd at 2:00 am and was also delighted while shooting in a church that you can fold the Velcro over on one side and silence it. All of these little things make a huge difference on assignment. Every moment spent fumbling around for a piece of equipment that breaks your concentration is a potential shot missed. If I was going to design a bag for myself, this would be it. Here is a link to all the Think Tank Photo products and a way to to receive a free gift with your orders.