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A Bag junkie's Nirvana!

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by Ray Sachs, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I'm a bag junkie. Women who buy lots of shoes and purses have nothing on me. I may be the Imelda Marcos of camera bags. I think I've tried nearly everything. I've had about 173.4 different Domke's at one time or another - there's something about their aesthetic I really like. I've had Tamrons and Lowes and Case Logics and other lower end bags I don't even remember. I've had higher end bags like Billingham and Ona - I even had a Watencraft for a while. I've had camera bags made by messenger bag makers like Chrome and Timbuk2. I've had Think Tanks too and specifically didn't like them very much. I've had Black Rapid Snap-R sling bags. I've had shoulder bags and slings and convertible backpacks and bags that could work as fanny packs.

    I always found large bags too heavy to carry comfortably and too hard to get gear into and out of quickly. I always found small bags too small to carry what I sometimes want to take for a day of shooting. I could never quite find that happy balance.

    Nothing really worked for me except for small bags carrying small loads, but how tough a challenge is that?

    Until now.

    Not long ago I saw a write up of the Think Tank TurnStyle bags and, being a bag junkie, I had to try one. They make three sizes, a really tiny one, a pretty big one, and a medium size. I tried the medium (TurnStyle 10). I loved it and it's the perfect size for a lot of days I'd go out shooting. Then I also tried one of the large ones (TurnStyle 20). And to my absolute shock, I can carry a larger load than I usually have any desire to take out for a day and I can carry it comfortably. All day. Over several miles of walking.

    These bags are nothing special to look at. They're made of some sort of nondescript nylon. They're sling style bags that are shaped sort of like an asymmetrical bullet. But they have a particularly wide part of the strap that rides on the left shoulder. Once cinched up tight, it's a remarkably comfortable way to carry a pretty large load. And possibly the best part is how easy it is to slide the bag around to your front, get at the contents, use it as a platform to change lenses or batteries or something, close it back up, and slide it back around to the back. All sling/messenger type bags are supposed to do this, but I've never found one that worked nearly this well in practice, in the field. Or was nearly as comfortable to carry around all day.

    The medium size will hold plenty for a typical day of shooting. I can easily get my RX1 and an m43 body with a few m43 lenses. And the Nikon A (which will fit in a pocket of pretty much any camera bag I've ever seen). Or it'll fit a full m43 kit with two bodies and a few lenses or one body and all of the lenses in the world. And the Nikon A. Or it'll fit the Nikon Df with a couple of lenses and one m43 body with one large lens or a couple of smaller lenses. And the Nikon A. Or it'll fit the Nikon Df with all of the small primes you could ever want to take on a shoot. And the Nikon A. The large one will hold everything I currently own if broken down for travel - an EM1, GX7, RX1, and Nikon A, and all of my m43 lenses. And could carry a large portion of that (possibly not quite all of the lenses) in the ready for a shoot.

    Also the medium one will hold an iPad mini or other small tablet in a back pocket while the large one is said to be able to hold a full size iPad back there. I can vouch for the iPad mini in the medium, but don't have a full size tablet to check the larger one. And like most Think Tank gear, it has a rain cover tucked away in case you need it. These bags can theoretically also be configured to wear as a fanny pack. The large and medium would be pretty large for a fanny pack - I'm not tempted to try it, but the small one would probably work well that way. I haven't seen one of those but it sounds pretty small - probably enough to carry an m43 body and a couple of lenses.

    Anyway, all of the usual disclaimers apply - no connection to Think Tank, etc. Jeez, I've been pretty harshly critical of other TT bags I've tried in the past, including the Retrospective 5 and 10 and an earlier iteration of a huge sling contraption. But for my purposes, they got these TurnStyle bags just exactly right. I don't know how durable they'll prove to be but just the very thought of having a bag long enough to see it die of old age is rather exciting. So maybe I'll actually find out how long these bags will last...

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 12
  2. Gubrz

    Gubrz O.* Gonzo's & Bentley's Dad

    979
    Jun 5, 2012
    Austin, TX
    Eliot
    not a bag fan, but always a ray write up fan!

    luckily for me, half of my cameras fit in a cargo pocket, and so does my ipad mini! done! :D

    *scratches head, confused, at BAG people... * you guys need some cargo shorts!
    ;D hehehe

    camera bags are like wallets and watches for me... i LOVE looking at them and wanting fancy worn out nostalgic leather versions of them, but ultimately would never use em

    but, as akways, a great read!
     
    • Like Like x 3
  3. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Mark
    Seems someone at ThinkTank was impressed with the InCase Ari Marcopoulos. I used to tote one, it was a great concept.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    That's a cool looking bag. I'd have to actually try it to know if it was as comfortable and functional as the TT. There are similarities for sure. But in truth, nothing prepared me for how much I actually liked the Turnstyle bags when I started using them. They look like they should be good (although sort of ugly, in truth) but I can't tell you how many bags I've seen that I thought would be wonderful only to be let down once I actually used them. That InCase bag is BIG, seemingly notably larger than the largest of these TurnStyle bags, but hard to say for sure. It looks very well laid out, but it rides much more horizontally on the shooters back. The TurnStyles ride at a slight angle, but much closer to vertical. I'm not sure whether that has anything to do with how comfortable I found them or not. Or maybe it's just the extra wide strap at the top end of the bag? Regardless, you have to try them to know for sure - at least I do. Some I can load up and sling over a shoulder and know instantly it's NOT gonna work for me. Some I actually have to use a bit before I know whether I'm gonna like it or not. But I've never felt as good after a day of carrying a fair amount of gear as I did the other day after carrying the large TT bag around all day.

    Just my experience. So worth a try, but no way to know whether it'll work as well for anyone else?

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    So the Nikon Df and now this bag.. are you silently considering? Really.. how easy would it be to carry those lenses ;)
     
  6. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    No I already have the bags - the camera is still somewhat up in the air, but if I can convince myself I can sell the RX1, I'm leaning that way. But the Df with as many little "D" primes as I'd ever want (four or five of them) would easily fit in the smaller of the two bags and the same setup with an m43 body and both the 7-14 and 35-100 (which I think would be a great, handle anything, travel setup) would fit easily in the larger of the two bags. Actually, the Df with just 2-3 lenses and the m43 body with either the 7-14 or the 35-100 would fit well in the small bag. A Df with a couple of primes and an m43 body with the 7-14 would get me through a LOT of days of shooting. Actually, just the Df and a couple of primes would too - usually just one. I took all sorts of gear into Philly the other day and I never picked up anything other than the Df with the 24mm on it. Never changed a lens or picked a different camera...

    At 35mm, I'd rather have the RX1 for it's size and silence and incredible lens, but I'm likely to conclude that I'd rather have the option of a couple other focal lengths too, in which case the Df will win out...

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    One click - and I'm out... ballistic nylon really doesn't float my boat. In this part of the world, at least, I'd look like a motorcycle courier - doesn't go well with the suit... :wink:
     
    • Like Like x 2
  8. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Tried to warn you Bill - it's not a looker at all. If they release one in a nice tweed (like the Retrospective series), I'll let you know...

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Mark
    :rofl:
    Then this would limit Bill's tie and kerchief selection. Imagine wearing sky-blue accoutrements with a brown and yellow tweed. What would the peer think?...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    Quite. And a chap NEVER does double tweed :biggrin:
     
    • Like Like x 3
  11. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Well, maybe they'll do the bag in paisley!

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 2
  12. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    That would be even worse... Good grief you'll be suggesting tartan next! I leave such tastelessness to perusers of Orvis catalogues :p

    Sent from another Galaxy
     
    • Like Like x 4
  13. Dewi Sant

    Dewi Sant SC Veteran

    364
    Dec 20, 2013
    Lancashire, England
    Guess?
    I have a battered old rucksack i bought about 5 years ago from Go Outdoors for £25 which replaced my previous battered black rucksack which I'd had for around 10 years. So, this one has a projected 5 more years left in it.

    I don't do cool :smile:
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    • Like Like x 1
  15. romi.gilles

    romi.gilles SC Veteran

    338
    Jun 8, 2013
    idk anymore. all over the country.
    romi gilles
    if it's as functional and easy to maneuver as the dslr pro from incase (which i have), then it's probably a great bag. i'm kind of a bag whore, myself. i was at b&h last week checking out bags. i had to fight my GAS especially since i already had too many bags to travel back to CA with.

    (Sent from another Galaxy via Tapatalk.)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    What I find a bit of a worry is that I do actually have a dark blue Crombie (technically, it is actually a "Covert Coat") with a red lining... had it for years. It's a bit thick when the Doctor starts dressing like me :wink:
     
    • Like Like x 2
  17. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    They have to emulate someone, right? It's your turn. Oh hey were you the inspiration for Tom Bakers scarf? (we all want that scarf!)
     
  18. mattia

    mattia SC Regular

    98
    Dec 20, 2013
    I recently bought (another) shoulder bag that I'm really quite liking. Need to actually take it out and use it, but as a simple, modern-yet-sort-of-vintage option it looks great, it's reasonably small (narrow), but with enough space to hold a MacBook Air - F-Stop's Bandon:

    https://shop.fstopgear.com/us/products/millar/bandon.html

    I have the silver sage version. The insert is removable (velcro), and while it's not a weather proof bag by any stretch of the imagination (not sealed), it's lightweight but provides a good amount of protection. Works great for my MFT/A7r mixed gear setup. They have a sling bag in a similar style - the Brooklyn - that also looks like it's well made. I got it along with their Loka backpack + small ICU as I'm planning on trying to ultralight my way through Tanzania this summer - I figure the 37 liter (minus about 10 for the camera insert) should provide enough room to add the clothing I need and don't wear. First impressions of that bag are also very positive.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. romi.gilles

    romi.gilles SC Veteran

    338
    Jun 8, 2013
    idk anymore. all over the country.
    romi gilles
    11" or 13" mba? hmm.. that brooklyn sling looks interesting.

    (Sent from another Galaxy via Tapatalk.)
     
  20. biglouis

    biglouis SC Veteran

    401
    Aug 4, 2013
    Ray

    I am so glad to read your revue of the Think Tank Turnstyle 20. I have been thinking (no pun intended) of getting one for some time. Unfortunately, the wife has a stricture that I had to sell one of my bags (now done) before buying another.

    After next pay-day I'm ordering one!

    LouisB