Need advice on a certain type of bag?

Started 4 months ago | Questions thread
PHXAZCRAIG
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Re: Need advice on a certain type of bag?
In reply to dog house riley, 4 months ago

I used a Tamrac 706 for over 10 years. A very decent bag that can hold a lot more than people think. It's nominally a shoulder bag, but the reason I kept using it was that my (older) version had a hideaway waist strap. Putting a shoulder bag with a fair amount of stuff in it just makes my shoulder hurt after a bit. And after twice that bit, both of my shoulders hurt. What I would do is use the bag as a shoulder bag when shooting, but otherwise make it back into a waist bag for hiking to and from where ever I was shooting.

Ultimately it was just to uncomfortable for long periods (which I think would happen with every shoulder bag ever made). A backpack with two straps spreading the weight is a lot better, but too inconvenient.

My goal became to find a waist bag, and it had to fit a camera with a grip too. I resolved to force myself to limit camera gear on walks to only that which would fit in the bag.

The answer for me was the Think Tank Speed Racer, which is the biggest of the three Think Tank waist bags. (The only one deep enough to hold a gripped DSLR). I have pics of it with the gear I carried at the time here: http://www.cjcphoto.net/misc2/speedracer.html

The size of the Speed Racer is deceptive.  It can hold more than you think, particularly when you add some modular add-on to the waist belt as I did.   While the weight is still comfortably carried on the waist, the weight of the bag pulls it down and off your back if you do not use the shoulder strap at the same time.   So I use the strap, which I wear crosswise (left shoulder to right waist).   I put my head through the shoulder strap, then buckle the waist strap in front of me.   When I want to work out of the bag, I simply rotate the entire thing around one side so that the bag is in front of me and the buckle is in back.   The bag is designed to be used that way, and as such the top flap opens away from the body.   This gives me two options not available with a backpack - I can work out of the bag standing up, and I don't have to take the bag off to sit down.  (Very handy in small planes and helicopters when shooting, or any type of public transportation.)

It has a couple of issues.   Like most (all?) Think Tank products, it come with a rain cover rather than being made of waterproof material.   Beside having to put a cover on, all the openings are covered up, so you can't really get into it with the cover on.   Also, the buckle isn't one of those that is quickly adjustable for size (like ones where you pull up on a tap and tighten or loosen the waist strap.) This means that once you have it adjusted for your waist size, putting on or removing a jacket makes it too tight or too loose.

It's a quality product, having now been used around the world with D200, D300, D700 and D800e, plus other stuff, for several years now.  Holding up like new.

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Craig
www.cjcphoto.net

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