It’s my bag baby!

I know I keep going on and on about bags….sorry, i think it’s a man-bag fetish that I’ve developed. Anyhow, way back last February at Focus on Imaging in Birmingham, SnapperStuff(the UK distributor of ThinkTank Photo bags) had an excellent display of their latest wares. Most of which I was already familiar with, owning an Urban Disguise 40 and 60, while Leanne enjoys her UD 35 and 50. The are the ultimate in “walk around” bags and are utterly unobtrusive. At this event, Think Tank had some prototype bags on display. A fantastic series of lens changer bags (the Retrospective Lens Changer 2&3) which are great if you are an f2.8 zoom kind of photographer. Not quite my bag. But the new Retrospective 10/20/30 bags were right up my street. Very cool and retro looking in the pinestone material (I’m sure Domke and a little miffed) and after a quick play, it was a toss up between the 20 and 30. Both are great and take a massive amount of kit. Unfortunately, UK supply was slow and I have literally just received mine from the UK’s first batch.

I won’t bore you with the details of it’s sweet Velcro silencing features or other great features….that you can find out from their web site or any review site. What i will talk about is the amount of gear I can get in there and just how convenient it is to use and how comfortable it is to wear fully loaded. I can get my two 5DII’s in there with a fast prime on each, including their hoods reversed. I like to use hoods, they help to protect the lens body and if a wayward guest bumps into me at a wedding, it saves the lens from damage. Inside, I have two massive front pockets to store my iphone 4 and other bits and bobs. The wide strap is so comfortable, it’s a real eye opener and it’s a dodle ot wear too. For shooting, I fold back the lid and leave the lenses exposed for easy reach, using the front pockets to store the lens caps. During a wedding I usually don’t bother with the caps, i put them straight into the bag unprotected. I’ve yet to scratch a lens element in over 22 years of shooting. 

So what can i get in this bag? My 24mm f1.4 IIL, 35mm f1.4 L (on a 5DII), 50mm f1.2 L, 85mm f1.2IIL (on a 5DII), 100mm usm Macro and my 135mm f2.0 L. Plus I can a 1.4x TC in one of the end pockets too. I can also get a 580 ex flash in there too….what? I can her you cry….I thought you was an available light guy? Yes I am, but it’s there for backup. It’s important when shooting weddings to have options and nailing the shot is the most important aspect. So far this year, I’ve managed to get away without using the flash at all. So that’s pretty much the gear I can get in there, i still take a second bag with me with back up stuff. but this is now my main shooting bag. Love the bag, love the colour, love the look, love the gear I can stuff in it and love the comfort. I may have found my perfect bag! I’m really looking forwards to trying it out at this Saturday’s wedding!


I’ve had a few comments in recent weeks asking why I carry a flash gun when I am an available light photographer. I have it for emergency use. So far this year I have not needed to use it at all, but please remember that I am paid a lot of money to deliver a level of excellence at a wedding. I  have to deliver key photographs and if I have to resort to a flash gun to get that shot then I have to, even though I would prefer to use available light.