The thinkTank backpacks are famous and are designed for carrying big lenses, especially for airport travel. The Glass Taxi being one of the more compact designs and yet this padded lens case disguises large lenses and allows the photographer to carry a 400 f2.8 or 500 f4, and can be carried as either a shoulder bag or a backpack.
This lens bag can also be configured to carry an array of lenses with a DSLR body (check the requirements of your preferred airlines - sizes and weight limits vary from country to country). But this bag will hardly prove to be a problem even on smaller aircraft, or the 8kg weight restriction on some airlines. Even if you were overweight the bag just does not look as if it could hold a lens as large as my Canon 500mm f4.
For me, this bag is the one I go for while trekking and travelling light, a favoured lagoon to my hides is a two-mile hike; the smaller size is also appreciated when moving around crowded places where Bird shooters tend to be in large numbers. Or, in crowded streets the bag serves double purpose of easy movement, and not looking like it contains expensive gear.
The quality of the bag, as usual, is top notch, and thoughtful design shines through. Made by photographers for photographers, is no mere hype. So much so, it is hard to find fault, but I do wonder if adding 2 inches more height would then allow the Canon 600 f4L or 800 f5.6L to be carried. And, if carrying a tripod on the side of the bag, the extra length would be better. If not, a new bag to suit these changes would be most welcome.
The only niggle is the lack of security for items placed in the pockets of the top flap. Velcro is only applied in the middle to fasten the pockets rather than a zip, so things that may be placed inside that are small enough can slip onto the floor if the flap is laid back. I came close to losing 2 compact flash cards. And anything a little bit heavier, such as AA batteries, can slip out even more easily. I have since fixed this with small strips of extra Velcro.
The shoulder straps do look a tad on the small side for all day Trekking, which as yet I have not done with this bag. But, on my 2 mile walks the light weight and compact size did not present a problem, and the bag has shoulder straps and handles to make the bag ideal to use in every other situation. And the obvious reason to make the harness small is to allow them to be tucked away, and this is a great advantage when travelling on aircraft.
The addition of a Pro Speed belt will help I would imagine, and I will report back when I have tried one at some time. I did take the bag out on a day when there was light rain and the gear was well protected. But, it does look shower proof and there is a seam-sealed rain cover provided if you do take the bag into heavy rain. ThinkTank offers what it calls a Life time warranty, and I have heard nothing but praise for the after sales service, and I find it refreshing when a manufacturer is realistic and sensible when they make such claims as to what is lifetime.
Well, all in all this is a superb product, and one I can recommend wholeheartedly.
Holds 400 f2.8 or 500 f4 lens with hood reversed
300 f2.8 lens with hood extended
300 f2.8 with hood reversed attached to DSLR body dividers
waist belt slot (Pro Speed Belt™ can be attached)
seam-sealed rain cover
tuck away shoulder straps
side stretch pocket for monopod attachment
Internal dimensions: 8"w x 8"d x 16.5"h; 20.3 x 20.3 x 42 cm.
External dimensions: 8.5"w x 8.5"d x 17"h; 21.5 x 21.5 x 43 cm.
Price: $149.75 (USD), or £92.00 to £120 Several UK dealers.
For more information, please visit the thinkTank Web Site.
Danny O'Byrne: Member of Renderosity since August 2002 and former Moderator of the Photography Forum and Gallery. I have had a few nominations for AOM in both photography and mixed medium. Born in Cornwall and have a special interest in Wildlife photography. I have travelled widely while serving in the Royal Air Force as a medic, and later working as a mental health professional in the UK health service prior to retiring in 2005. Visit my website: http://www.digitalartzone.co.uk
April 15, 2013
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