Yes, I missed a few posts last week but in my defense, its been a buzy crazy January so far! So to make up for it, here’s a Gear Friday (the late edition) post on camera bags.
At some point in your photographic career (or hobby) you’ll have more gear than you can easily carry in a traditional “over the shoulder” bag like the Domke F-2 (my personal favorite for over 30 years). And if you’re like most of us, this will leave you in a serious quandary over what size, style, material and brand bag to buy next.
There are literally hundreds of camera bags on the market today to choose from and thousands of online reviews to sort through before you can make an intelligent decision. The choices available are simply staggering and finding the “perfect” bag can become an obsession.
On a Roll
After laying out all my gear (including camera bodies, lenses, small strobes, battery packs, batteries, Pocket Wizards, filters, gels, memory cards, snoots, gobos, umbrellas, tripods, and various cleaning stuff) in my office, it became clear that my aching back was never going to be able to lift and carry even half of this stuff without sending me back to the hospital.
So I turned to one of the best camera bag design teams in the world, the folks from Think Tank Photo. Even though I don’t fly much these days, their Airport Security V 2.0 Roller looked like just the thing to hold my gear and help me transport it without breaking my back.
It’s pretty amazing just how much gear this bag will hold and how well balanced it feels when rolling. I’ve been able to pack all my on-location product photography gear (strobes, battery packs, batteries, Pocket Wizards, cords, umbrellas, snoots, etc.) or my usual Texas Landscape Safari kit (two bodies, four lenses, 1.4x extender, 8 different Singh-Ray filters, geo-tagging GPS, 2-way radios, first-aid kit, etc.), all in one very mobile roller.
Best of all, the Think Tank Airport Security V 2.0 Roller fits perfectly in the rear of my other new roller, the 2010 Subaru Forester.
The Forester is my first AWD (all-wheel drive) vehicle and the handling is unlike any other car or truck I’ve ever driven. It corners like a sports car with very stiff suspension but rides as smooth as can be. In fact, it rides better than my previous car, a 2003 Honda Accord.
But what makes the Forester really special is the rear cargo area and fold down rear seats. Unlike most SUV’s the Forester’s rear seat fold down completely flat, extending the space in the cargo area another 2-1/2 feet. For a “Strobist” this means you can store large light stands or even C-stands, booms, reflectors, soft boxes, flash heads and seamless backgrounds (53″) along with all your other photo gear, in a vehicle that gets 25 miles per gallon.
For a landscape photographer this means you can carry all your photo gear as well as a tent, sleeping bag, backpacks and supplies in an all-wheel drive vehicle with excellent ground clearance for those all-out adventures in far west Texas!