Tag Archives: think tank photo

Think Tank Photo Retrospective 7

The Perfect Camera Bag?

Think Tank Photo Retrospective 7 shoulder bag. Shown with two Leica M cameras; L-R: Leica M9 with 50mm Noctilux ASPH and M9-P with 35mm Summilux ASPH. May 31, 2012. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

As photographers we spent our years searching for that perfect image. Any photographer who has been in the industry for any length of time has most probably spent a sizeable amount of time also searching for the perfect camera bag!

Think Tank Photo Retrospective 7 shoulder bag. Front view, showing a lightmeter in the side pocket. May 31, 2012. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Firstly, I would say that no such thing exists as “the perfect camera bag”. It’s taken me a couple of decades to come up with this conclusion. I would say though that the perfect camera bag system does exist. One type of bag simply will not work for all situations, types of equipment or types of assignment, therefore having a system of bags is the answer. I’ve been a user of Think Tank Photo bags for many years now and was so impressed with them that I even joined the design board a couple of years ago, for a year. (I hasten to add that I’ve had no input into this bag, so it is a straight forward review). I now use a system of roller bags and backpacks which allow for transportation of gear to an assignment, and then a selection of belt pouches, chest bag (the Change Up) and shoulder bags, to work from (I choose what suits the assignment best).  I choose what will suit a particular assignment as carefully as I choose my camera or video gear. This way I can work both comfortably and quickly, with the equipment not getting in the way of the job at hand.

Think Tank Photo Retrospective 7 shoulder bag. Rear view, showing a lightmeter in the side pocket. May 31, 2012. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

I’ve been actively using the Retrospective 7 on assignment for several weeks now and must say I am very, very impressed. It now houses my Leica M outfit, comprising of an M9, M9-P, 21mm Elmarit, 28mm Summicron ASPH, 35mm Summilux ASPH, 50mm Noctilux ASPH, 90mm Summarit, SF 58 flash and various accessories. The main thing with this bag though was that it was designed to take an Apple 11″ MacBook Air or iPad too, so depending on what I’m doing, I will slip the appropriate computer in the rear zipped and padded compartment.

Think Tank Photo Retrospective 7 shoulder bag. Rear view, showing an Apple 11″ MacBook Air in the rear pocket. May 31, 2012. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Like the other Retrospective Bags, it’s lightweight, unconstructed and soft, with a moving base (made up of several padded sections that move with the movement of the bag). This makes the range, and this bag too, an extremely comfortable shoulder bag to work with and work from. It also has the genius silent velcro system which comes in very handy in quite press conferences (and will suit every wedding photographer when it comes to working in a church environment).

Think Tank Photo Retrospective 7 shoulder bag. Rear view, showing an Apple iPad 3. May 31, 2012. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Although I house my rangefinder outfit in the Retrospective 7, it will also be perfect for any Micro 4/3 system by Panasonic or Olympus and the Fuji X-Pro 1 kit. It will also take smaller DSLRs (without grips), including the 5D MkIII or D800, with lenses up to the 24-70 f2.8s and smaller prime lenses. It’s an extremely versatile size and can be configured to house a wide variety of gear, including a means to edit and send pictures.

Think Tank Photo Retrospective 7 shoulder bag. Interior shot, with dividers set up specifically for a Leica M outfit. May 31, 2012. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Is it the perfect bag? Well, I’d say it’s the perfect shoulder bag and it’s now my favourite shoulder bag of all time. Highly recommended.

The Retrospective 7, along with most of that range is available in Black, Pinestone and the new Blue Slate colours. If you’re in the UK, check out SnapperStuff where you can order directly or find your local dealer. Otherwise, check out the Think Tank Photo.

Addendum: Macjim has kindly sent me this picture showing his Retrospective 7 with the Apple 13″ MacBook Air in the front pocket. I wouldn’t say it’s ideal, but appears a workable solution if needs must.


Focus On Imaging 2012

NEC, Birmingham

Photographer Edmond Terakopian with his Leica M9 and M9-P and Think Tank Photo Retrospective 5 camera bag. December 04, 2011 Bespoke workshop, Venice, Italy. Photo: Jim Grover

I’ll be with the SnapperStuff crew at Focus On Imaging from March 4th to March 7th, Hall 10, Stand L3, NEC, Birmingham. SnapperStuff will have the entire Think Tank Photo range of bags and pouches; by far my favourite and most used bags. As a user of the marque since they came to market in 2005, and also as a former Design Board member, I’ll be on hand to help out with any questions you may have on the range.

There’s also going to be a cool new range of camera and computer cleaning gear, from Green Clean; well worth checking out!

James Madelin from Enlight Photo, the makers of the genius Orbis ringlight and the amazing little Frio will be there with the brand new and rather amazing IO Shutter; a cable that allows your iPhone to control your DSLR in she very cool ways!

Setting up day, Focus on Imaging 2011, NEC, Birmingham. Helen from SnapperStuff with a huge pile of Think Tank Photo boxes. March 05, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Retrospective 5 Camera Bag

Think Tank Photo’s Smaller Shoulder Bag

Photographer Edmond Terakopian on assignment with a Retrospective 5 for his Leica gear and a Shape Shifter for his Mac; 10th commemoration of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States. American Embassy, Grosvenor Square, London, UK. September 11, 2011. Photo: LP

The one thing I have heard for a couple of years at trade shows when on the Snapperstuff stand, from Leica photographers or people with smaller DSLR outfits is “why don’t Think Tank do a smaller shoulder bag?”. Well, they do now and I got mine today!

Think Tank Photo Retrospective 5 in Pinestone. Shown with a Leica M9 and 50mm f0.95 Noctilux ASPH lens. May 06, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

It’s called the Retrospective 5 and comes in a natural canvas Pinestone and black. I have already been using the Retrospective 10, 30 and Lens Changer 2 from this range and must say that I absolutely love the range. They are extremely comfortable to wear, hugging your hip with their movable bases and extremely easy to work out of. They also blend in really well, most definitely not looking like camera bags.

Think Tank Photo Retrospective 5 in Pinestone. For size comparison shown with (L-R) Fuji X100, Olympus E-P2, Leica M9 and Leica X1. May 06, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The Retrospective 5 has now become my Leica outfit bag. Considering how small it is, you might be a little stunned to find that I have the following inside:

Leica M9 with Leica 21mm Elmarit, 35mm Summicron, 50mm Noctilux and 90mm Summarit lenses. Also the Leica SF 24D flash, TTL extension cord, x2 ND filters, 21 mm Viewfinder, x1.25 Viewfinder Magnifier, Lightmeter, Spare Batteries, Think Tank Photo Cable Management 20, Pixel Pocket Rocket memory card holder and some other bits!

Think Tank Photo Retrospective 5 in Pinestone. Fully loaded with my Leica kit. May 06, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The bag is also the perfect size for a small DSLR outfit (with a couple of lenses – eg Canon 5D MkII, 16-35mm f2.8L and a 50mm f1.2L) or a Micro 4/3 outfit like the Olympus E-P2 with several lenses and accessories.

I simply cannot recommend this bag highly enough for anyone who shoots with a Leica M or a Micro 4/3 outfit.

For the UK, check out Snapperstuff. For more info, have a look at Think Tank Photo.