This summer I was looking for a more discrete camera bag for travel, exploring cities, and photo-walking. I ended up picking up the Think Tank Retrospective 10 and 30. They have served me well for a year now.
Here are my findings after using them.
- They are pretty discrete.
- Both easily fit ‘under the seat in front of you’, so you can carry them on the plane.
- Actually, either one passes as your personal item according to carry on rules. I’ve never had a problem carrying on my Retrospective along with a roller bag.
- I feel like they might be something Indiana Jones would use if he was into photography.
- The 10 fits my iPad in the front pocket and the 30 fits it in the back, making them both viable travel companions.
- The shoulder strap is super comfortable.
- The ‘stuff’ organizer is really well thought out.
- I think it is cool that my bag has Velcro silencers.
- The front pocket(s) can easily hold my GoLite Gortex jacket and some snacks.
- Yes, you can put a bunch of stuff in these bags. That being said, be honest with yourself, just because you can fit it in doesn’t mean you are going to enjoy carrying it for a full day. No matter how comfortable the strap, more gear means more weight. More weight means less fun.
- Also, be aware they are soft sided bag. They do a good job protecting gear from most stuff, but if you drop if off a building, there are no guarantees.
- Because they are soft sided bags, they kind of collapses on themselves a bit, so you might end up digging around for stuff if you have them packed to the brim. But we don’t want to do that because more stuff equals more weight, and more weight equals less fun!
My Think Tank Retrospective 10
Here is a look at my ‘street kit’. This is the kit I carry around when I’m out about exploring cities, photo walking, etc. I carry the second body for portraits.
If I’m only carrying a single body, but I want the best image quality/versatility I can manage, this is what I carry. All of it fits nicely inside and is pretty easy to work out of.
My Think Tank Retrospective 30
Here is a quick size comparison of the Think Tank Retrospective 10 and 30
Here is a look at what I like to call my storytelling kit. It is also my primary travel companion. It actually powered the entire series I did about ‘The Strand – A Southern California Icon’. I took it along with me for a 30 mile cruiser bike ride from Hermosa Beach to Venice Beach. You can find all the images here.
Because the 30 has two smaller front pockets, and I like to keep my iPad in a super cool case, I store it safely in the back pocket. If you are looking for a totally cool case for your iPad, you can find one here at www.saddlebackleather.com Even if you’re not, just visit the site and explore around for a good laugh.
Need to be quiet? Just put them both in stealth mode!
Here Are A Few Photos Of It In The Wild
If I could only choose one bag, it would be the 30. It isn’t much bigger in size, but it does make packing/accessing your gear a bit easier if you are rocking a two body kit. However, if you only have one body and a spare lens or two, the 10 is fine. I’m 5’9″ and both bags fit me pretty good.
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