Need advice on a certain type of bag?

Started Jun 18, 2014 | Questions thread
OP dog house riley Contributing Member • Posts: 902
Re: Need advice on a certain type of bag?


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:

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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Thanks, I liked your photos of how you use this waist belt. I had the Lowe pro Inverse 200 and sorry to say to me it was a joke, not only could I not get my D200 w/grip[before the D700] but it would not stay on my hip!

I do have a Think Tank shoulder bag, I like it but?? it seems its not deep enough to put just the essentials I like. It works fine for my D90 and just a couple lenses. I have a two very nice back packs or day packs, Lowe pro 150's $50.00 at Wal-mart, in one I carry my D90 the 10.5 Sigma 17 70 2.8 4.0 and 70 300VR, plus filters and SB 400 flash and or my right angle finder In the second I place my D700 minus the grip[I really like the grip] with my Nikon 20 35 2.8 50 1.4 85 1.8 G lenses and a old 70 210 D standing up, works fine for its length and width, its just not deep enough for a pro sized body, and it doesn't have a sternum strap, but I found one in my "junk box" and use it.

I think  i'll look into the "Speed racer" I like a waist pack best then back pack and least of all a shoulder bag, weight makes my shoulder and back hurt after just couple hours. Its keeping the waist pack from not "snugging up" to my back and staying there.

As you can see I don't carry the real heavy weight "stuff" all the time, I have had several back packs, a Lowe pro "minnie tracker" and a sling bag can't recall the name and right now I have Lowe pro flip side 200 and in it is my D2X and Nikon 400 3.5 and a old Nikon 35 135 zoom a Kenko 1.4 pro TC and small extension tube, and couple extras, that bag works just fine too.

Well I' glad you posted photos of the Speed Racer, I was aware of it but not familiar with its abilities.

I'm leaving for the Smoky Mtns. Sunday for a military reunion, and monday morning my wife and I plan on going to Cades Cove and maybe I'll get a bear shot? with the 400, with my D700.

I have begun to look into a upgrade in cameras and it might mean letting go of the D700[D610] or maybe a D9300 in its rumor form right now?? Plus one thing on my mind concerning a camera upgrade? is I have several old Nikon Film lenses, they have been great to use and I love the feel of older Nikon lenses, so! finding a suitable lens upgrade that won't break the bank.

Thoughts range to a 24 120 and "cutting loose" most of the older Nikons, thays with a D610, I'd kind of like a D800 series but cost and I don't want to have to upgrade my computer[a Mac] only 3 years old, so "whew" so many decisions, and I'm quitting my part time job this December and moving to full time retirement!!, So I have to go slowly, I've been watching and researching videos of the D800 series and I'm impressed.

Thanks for the good info when I return home in a week, then I'd like to look into the speed racer.

"dog house riley"

 dog house riley's gear list:dog house riley's gear list
Nikon D7100 Nikon D610 Nikon D3300 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF +11 more
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