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Whenever photographers start comparing notes with designers, it’s only a matter of time before the topic of “sensible” camera bags comes up. In the case of Think Tank Photo, such discussions have resulted in an extensive line of rugged and practical bags, cases and accessories. More specifically, rollers, backpacks and multiple types of shoulder bags are available to you. Enjoy impressive modular component sets, as well as belt packs and pouches for lenses, gear and accessories. There are cases for carrying your laptop, too. To top it all off, you’ve got belts, a harness, and even protective rain covers to keep the elements at bay.
For frequent flyers, Think Tank offers a choice of rolling bags and backpacks designed to make getting to your destination less of an ordeal. Those who prefer rolling their gear through the check-in and security lines should check out Think Tank’s Airport International V 2.0 rolling camera bag, a dual-wheel tote that can safely transport two pro-size DSLRs, up to four lenses (including one in the 300mm f/2.8 range), miscellaneous doodads and a 15.4" (39.1 cm) laptop.
In addition to a retractable handle, Think Tank’s Airport International V 2.0 also features top-, side- and bottom-mounted grab handles, front and rear security cables and locks, a front organizer and stretch pockets, straps for a tripod or monopod and holders for passports and business cards.
The Airport Security V 2.0 Rolling Camera Bag is taller and deeper than the International, enabling it to hold even more. This puppy can accommodate two pro-size DSLRs side by side—or up to three, if they’re Canon or comparably sized bodies—plus a 400mm f/2.8, 500mm f/4 or 600mm f/4 Canon lens with hood reversed, and a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens positioned straight up and down—not to mention a Gitzo monopod, power supply and more. Impressed yet?
In case you still need a little extra persuasion, the Security comes with “emergency” shoulder straps, which come in handy in places where a roller is just not convenient—such as stairs and gravel or other rough terrain. How’s that for versatility? It’s also got top and side grab handles, front and rear security cables and locks, and a front pocket organizer and stretch pocket. As if this weren’t enough, you also get a tripod cup, as well as a business card holder and passport pocket.
Backpack enthusiasts will love the Shape Shifter and Glass Taxi backpacks from Think Tank. The Shape Shifter begins as a 3-inch thick laptop case, but quickly morphs into a much larger pack more than 7" in thickness, equipped to transport a complete pro camera system—2 pro bodies and 3 pro lenses—with accessories. Tripod-mounting straps are also available for carrying your support system. The Shifter has also got room for a 17" (43.2 cm) laptop. Sternum straps and removable waist belt give you plenty of support. Ideal for traveling with your gear in tow, the Shape Shifter compresses easily and quickly when it’s “go” time at the shoot.
The Glass Taxi is the ideal transport system for long glass lenses. It possesses enough space to accommodate a 500mm f/4 lens alone, or a 300mm f/2.8 attached to a DSLR. Yoke and ring dividers securely lock your lens in place for safe passage. Like the Shape Shifter, this bag also has tripod-attachment straps for your convenience. A removable shoulder strap is included, as well, for another carrying option. Need to carry some extra gear? No sweat. The Glass Taxi is compatible with Think Tank’s Modular Rotation System, so you can slap an accessory pouch right on there and you’re good to go.
For when you’re navigating heavily-populated outdoor areas, the Think Tank Streetwalker Pro Backpack is the way to go. Designed to comfortably and safely haul a rig as large as a pro DSLR with a 400mm f/2.8 lens attached (with hood reversed) or a 70-200mm f/2.8 with two or three additional lenses, the Streetwalker Pro has a narrow profile that works better than many competing backpacks in crowds and tight spaces.
Other features include dual side and stretch pockets, a removable waist belt, a shoulder harness and sternum strap. You’ll also find accommodations for a tripod or monopod, an upper organizer and accessory pocket and a breathable back liner.
Also worth considering is the StreetWalker HardDrive backpack, with a greater width and height than its brother, the Pro. Like that pack, this one was engineered especially to allow easy mobility in crowded urban areas. The HardDrive is designed to carry a standard or pro-size DSLR with 70-200mm f/2.8 lens attached and a hood in position. It also accommodates most 15.4-inch (39.1 cm) laptop computers. The HardDrive’s interior “Pro DSLR Body Hinge” is foldable, allowing for flexibility in size of the camera you'll be toting. Enjoy the ability to conveniently transport your monopod or tripod in the bottom front pocket.
The HardDrive bag features a contoured harness with an air channel that’s comfortable for men and women alike. The upper organizer pocket fits pens, memory cards, passports and more, and you’ve also got a pair of side pockets and stretch pockets. What’s not to like?
Once you're on the job, your camera bag needs shift from safe transport to easy access, and that’s when shoulder bags, holsters and belt packs become the order of the day. Think Tank Retrospective shoulder bags deliver. One of Think Tank’s more popular shoulder bags is the Retrospective 10, a messenger-style camera tote designed to carry a pro DSLR and up to four lenses.
A novel feature found on the Retrospective 10 shoulder bag is the presence of sound silencers that muffle the ripping noise typically heard when opening the covers of flap-style camera bags. This comes in handy when shooting in sound-sensitive environments, such as on-set while the camera is rolling. Other features include an inside organizer pocket for miscellaneous accessories, customizable interior dividers, an expandable exterior pocket for a DSLR body, web loops for optional pouches and a rain cover.
The Retrospective shoulder bags are also available in three other sizes for the DSLR totes—5, 20 and 30 and two sizes, 2 and 3—for the Lens Changers. These are made to accommodate 2-3 lenses with hoods in place and are the ideal solution for wedding photographers or anyone else who needs to keep his or her camera out and swap lenses on the fly. For each bag in this Retrospective line, you get a choice of black or pinestone gray color.
Next in the shoulder-bag category is the Urban Disguise V2.0 family, featuring a style that resembles a piece of luggage rather than a professional camera tote. The advantage of this is, of course, that would-be thieves are less likely to target these bags. All the members of this line can fit two pro-size DSLRs in their expandable front pockets. The runt of the group width-wise, the 35, is the tallest. In its main compartment, it fits a standard or pro-size DSLR with up to a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens attached. Depending upon the size of your lenses, you can place 2-4 within the confines of the Urban Disguise 35. The bag’s also got room for a 10-13.3-inch (25.4 - 33.8 cm) laptop.
The widest bag in this family is the Urban Disguise 60, which uses this girth to compensate for being shorter than its sibling, the 35. Its main compartment is capable of housing dual pro DSLRs with lenses straight down, while its expandable front pocket can squeeze 3-6 lenses in, on top of two pro-size DSLRs. The 60’s also got space left over for a nice sized 17-inch (43.2 cm) laptop. Not bad, huh?
For shooters who prefer the choice of wearing their camera bag over the shoulder or belt-style around the waist when out on assignment, Think Tank offers a series of convertible shoulder bags. The Speed Freak V2.0 fits a standard-sized DSLR with a short lens attached and similar-size lens beside it. It can accommodate a 70-200mm f/2.8 detached from the camera, or 1-3 smaller lenses in that larger one’s place. The bag has a top lid that opens away from your body, which makes for easy access when swapping lenses, memory cards or batteries, as well as adding a measure of security against hands of a less noble cause.
Other work-friendly features found on the Think Tank Speed Freak V2.0 include a removable, non-slip shoulder strap, slip-resistant metal buckles, expandable side pockets, a front organizer and compatibility with Think Tank’s Modular Rotation System.
For toting more or larger equipment, try the Speed Racer V2.0, which is capable of accommodating a pro-size DSLR with 24-70mm f/2.8 lens attached and a 70-200mm f/2.8 next to it. As an alternative to this larger detached lens, you could fit 2-4 smaller lenses next to the camera. All three Speed V2.0 models come in a visually pleasing combination of black and gray color.
Sling-O-Matic shoulder bags combine the fast access of a shoulder bag with the comfort afforded by a backpack, for a win-win situation for you. It’s slung from either shoulder easily without reconfiguring your gear and the adjustable waist and shoulder straps offer extra stability. Zippered pockets provide added storage space. Enjoy a tripod-mounting system, additional dividers for organization, a removable rain cover and helpful handles on three sides. The Sling-O-Matic is available in three sizes.
Think Tank also manufactures a line of five Digital Holsters. Made for carrying the lens with its shade reversed or mounted in working position thanks to a bottom mounted pop-down extension, these items feature rapid-access lids that open away from the body, a stretchable front accessory pocket, a removable shoulder strap and top grab handle and an attachment rail for optional add-on components.
The most popular of this line is the Digital Holster 20 V2.0, a form-fitting camera case designed to carry a mid-size DSLR and a long zoom lens in the range of a 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom with hood reversed. A shorter lens like a 24-70mm f/2.8 is capable of fitting with the hood in position when the bag’s pop-down extension is out. The largest of the group, the Digital Holster 50, is made to carry a pro-size DSLR with 70-200mm f/2.8 and hood in position, whether the pop-down extension is out or retracted.
For belt-worn, lens-carrying support, you’ll want to examine the Change Up, a flexible option that also permits over-the-shoulder toting via an included strap. The waist belt shifts your gear’s weight to your hips for extended comfort and reduced fatigue on longer trips. Get added support by using the chest-mount system, the third carrying choice. Designed to serve as a carrier for 2-4 lenses, the Change Up will also house certain standard-size DSLRs with short lenses attached. The belt features a modular rail for the attachment of Skin or Modular Rotation Components.
The Modular Rotation System provides an all-encompassing solution for photographers who need to remain mobile and capable of making fast gear changes. As such, it’s great for those who shoot weddings, sports, nature and much more. Consisting of lens changers and accessory pouches that attach to one of the Think Tank Speed Belts, the system is reconfigurable to match any assignment and situation.
Members of the Modular Rotation System, these Lens Changer pouches are lightly padded and compressible. The Lens Changer 75 Pop Down V2.0 features a pop-down mechanism for expanding depth, in order to accommodate lenses with hoods in position. The LC 75 will fit a 70-200mm f/2.8, a 300mm f/4, or similar size lens with hood and tripod collar attached. Enjoy a wide-mouth opening for rapid access, as well as bungee cord top access, front mesh lens-cap pockets and the ability to attach the pouch to Think Tank Photo Belts.
The umbrella of Think Tank’s Modular Rotation System also includes three compressible skin lens pouches, comprising two Skin V2.0 pouches and the Lens Drop. The Skin 75 Pop Down V2.0 is built for a 70-200mm f/2.8, 300mm f/4 or a similar-size lens with attached hood in position. It will also accommodate a 24-70mm f/2.8 with hood in position. Dual hot-shoe-mounted strobes can be placed in the bag as well, with a divider separating them. A nice feature of these skin lens pouches is the Sound Silencer that eliminates hook and loop noise, a particularly helpful asset when working on set with a camera rolling and capturing audio.
The Lens Drop is designed to hold 1.4x, 1.7x and 2x teleconverters, as well as small prime lenses like a 20mm f/2.8, 35mm f/2.0, 50mm f/1.4 and others of a similar size. The pouch includes a “Rotate or Lock” mechanism in addition to a webbed shoulder-strap attachment.
Gear pouches include the Speed Changer V2.0 for teleconverters, batteries, various small lenses and a standard-size DSLR body, and the Little Stuff It! for point-and-shoot cameras, a single Pocket Wizard, and smartphone. The line also encompasses the Slim Changer in addition to the Little Stuff It!’s larger sibling, the Stuff It!, the R U Hot? and the Strobe Stuff.
There are also skin gear pouches, including the Skin Body Bag for a pro-size DSLR body or two pro-size lenses, and the Skin Strobe V2.0, which holds a Canon Speedlite 580EX, 430EX and similar-sized flash, as well as a Nikon SB-600, SB-800 and similar-sized flash.
For carrying your personal computer, the Artificial Intelligence laptop cases are available. The Artificial Intelligence 15 is for 15.4-inch (39.1 cm) widescreen laptops, while the 17 accommodates 17-inch (43.2 cm) widescreens. Both have removable shoulder straps.
For those who prefer dealing with their gear in an à la carte or piecemeal manner, we have the Think Tank Modular Component Set V2.0, a four-piece package designed for use with any of the optional Think Tank Speed Belts. The Component Set V2.0, which can swallow up a DSLR and up to four lenses, is compatible with a broad array of different components designed to safely and securely carry bodies, lenses, flashes, remotes and other photo-related accessories. It consists of a Lens Changer 50 V2.0, an LC 75 Pop Down V2.0, a Strobe Stuff and a Speed Changer V2.0, plus a Large Travel Pouch.
You can also choose the Modular Skin Set V2.0, a similar package composed of the Skin 50 V2.0, Skin 75 Pop Down V2.0, Skin Strobe V2.0, Skin Body Bag and Large Travel Pouch.
The Think Tank Speed Belts come in two forms: There’s the Pro version and the Steroid version. Both are padded for all-day comfort, adjustable and compatible with all of Think Tank’s Modular Rotation Components. Both also come in four different adjustable sizes. The Steroid belt boasts extra padding and a greater width, allowing it to support more gear than the Pro.
For a slimmer, lighter-weight option, you can go with the Thin Skin Belt. Available in two adjustable sizes, it features webbed construction and, like the Speed Belts, is compatible with all Modular Rotation Components. You’ll be hard pressed to find a piece of equipment that’s easier to pack in your gear bag.
If you prefer to have a harness to supplement your belt, you’re in luck. Think Tank’s got a Pixel Racing Harness V2.0, which is worn over your shoulders and attaches to all Think Tank belts. Enjoy the comfort afforded by even weight distribution between your shoulders and hips. Quick-release buckles make for simple assembly. Fully adjustable, the Pixel Racing Harness is a one-size-fits-most support system.
As one would suspect, Think Tank also produces a number of accessory pouches and cases to go along with their full-size offerings, among them the Pixel Pocket Rocket Memory Card Carrier, a compact folding pouch designed to hold up to 10 CompactFlash (CF) memory cards and a short stack of business cards.
The Pixel Pocket Rocket can be folded like a wallet and carried in a coat or jacket pocket, and it comes with a soft chain that enables attachment to other bags, harnesses or clothing. The Rocket is made of 420D Diamond Rip-Stop and 210D Antron Nylon, features a touch-fastener closure and is trimmed in bright blue to distinguish it from other small pouches you have stowed away in your camera case.
Cable Management pouches include the 10, 20, 30 and 50, in order of size, smallest to largest. The 10 and 20 fit items like battery chargers, card readers, USB/FireWire and microphone cables and other small accessories. The 30 and 50 can accommodate larger items, such as a couple of flash units. Clear windows allow you to see the contents of the pouches, while dividers and slots make for easy organization.
When the weather just isn’t cooperating, you need not worry. Think Tank offers Hydrophobia rain covers to combat rain, snow or blowing sand. Benefit from built-in camera straps and lens-mounting systems, as well as full-view top and rear windows, the latter of which gives LCD and camera control visibility. There are integrated front element covers and storage for eyepieces, which are available separately. A mesh storage bag is also included with each Hydrophobia cover. Enjoy easy access to camera controls, lenses and tripod mounts.
The Hydrophobia 70-200 is sized for a pro DSLR with up to a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens attached. Shorter lenses may fit, depending on their other dimensions. The Hydrophobia 300-600 V2.0 is for a pro DSLR with a super telephoto 300-600mm lens attached. It pre-mounts to the lens hood for easy deployment when necessary.