Review: Timbuk2 Espionage Camera Backpack

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Timbuk2 is a brand better known for making messenger bags, particularly ones that are tailored around cyclists. In recent years, however, they have begun to apply their bag-making-knowledge into new designs and starting to explore options for carrying camera equipment. One of their newest options is the Espionage Backpack, and they have been so kind as to supply me with one to check out and share my thoughts with you all. The following is my review of the Timbuk2 Espionage Camera Backpack.

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Review: Tenba Large Messenger Bag (Black)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Tenba Camera Bag review product images (1 of 10)ISO 2001-100 sec at f - 8.0

Two months ago a quest was started to find a camera bag to hold my monolight–and the Tenba Large Messenger bag seemed like an ideal solution for solving this problem at the time. I have a lot of camera bags for different needs and situations. Typically, one would go for a roller type of camera bag or a backpack. My problem though is that I hate backpacks and find them not very useful on the NYC subway system when travelling. Roller bags–though very useful and quite nice, still slow me down more than I’d like to.

Tenba has years of experience in the camera bag world, but do they have what it takes to tackle a specific need with an item targeted at a general market? And can it really hold all that gear in the photo above?

 

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Review: Vanguard Quovio 44 Backpack

Vanguard Quovio 44
Vanguard Quovio 44

Vanguard Quovio 44

I’ve always been fascinated by turtles, carrying their entire home on their back in such a small package. With the Quovio 44 you’ll feel like certain unnamed superhero turtles, only your weapon of choice is a camera.

The Quovio 44 backpack from Vanguard is a large versatile backpack. They claim it’s like having 3 bags in one, but I found at least 5 different ways to configure this bag for different situations. The bag itself doesn’t look or feel big, but they seem to have thought of everything when designing it, so you can likely fit everything you need into it. Where I usually feel like a bag or case is particularly suited for a certain type of photographer, the Quovio 44 seems to have a configuration to suit just about anyone.

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Review: Think Tank Sub Urban Disguise 10

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Think Tank just recently launched a new line of bags called the Sub Urban Disguise which is designed to be a very small option for carrying either mirrorless / compact systems or a regular sized DSLR with 1-2 lenses. I’ve had the bag for a few weeks now, and I feel that I understand it well enough to share my thoughts. Head on past the break for my review of  the Think Tank Sub Urban Disguise 10.

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Review: Vanguard Vojo 25 Shoulder Bag

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Instead of lugging around your entire camera collection, the Vojo 25 from Vanguard restricts you to a single DLSR body and just a couple of lenses. Personally, I prefer carrying light and being confined within one or two focal lengths my lenses provide me because it allows me to get creative with them and produce some interesting photos. The convenient top zipper gives quick and silent access to your gear instead of having to be that awkward guy constantly ripping Velcro in a quiet environment.

After over a week of real-world testing and putting the Vojo 25 through its paces, we’re ready to give you the full review after the cut.

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First Impressions: Think Tank Urban Disguise 60 V2.0 Shoulder Bag

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It is a shoulder bag that does not scream ‘camera bag’. I have been considering a proper shoulder camera bag for some time now. My fellow team members suggested I should look at Think Tank. They were tired of my backpacks getting in the way at events. I haven’t been particularly impressed with any shoulder bags to date. The Think Tank Urban Disguise 60 V2.0, however, caught my eye. I needed something that could carry a decent amount of gear and supplies. I also needed something to take to work while disguised as my alter ego, a not too mild-mannered computer geek. The Think Tank Urban Disguise 60 V2.0  looked as if it could fit the bill. To break the bag in, I took it out on a task for our site in New York City as well as to my day job in Jersey.

 

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First Impressions: Think Tank Sub Urban Disguise 10

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Think Tank just recently launched a new line of bags called the Sub Urban Disguise which is designed to be a very small option for carrying either mirrorless / compact systems or a regular sized DSLR with 1-2 lenses. I’ve had the bag in hand for a couple of days now with the intent to use it for carrying an extra lens or two when I want to go out shooting with the lightest possible kit. I will be going over the details of the bag in this impressions post as well as share some opinions, but the rest will come with the full review in the near future when I’ve had some more time to break the bag in. For now, let’s take a first look at the Think Tank Sub Urban Disguise 10.

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Review: Think Tank Retrospective 40 Shoulder Bag

The Think Tank Retrospective 40 Shoulder Bag

The Think Tank Retrospective 40 Shoulder Bag

Yes, another Think Tank bag review. You know why we do so many of these? Think Tank likes people to try out their bags and receive feedback on the good and the bad about their products. They have been so willing to do this with the staff of ThePhoblographer.com that we almost continually have another Think Tank bag review in the works. Which makes sense, because they are one of the most prolific bag makers on the market today. The Think Tank Retrospective 40 bag is another shoulder bag in their long line of professional products, paired in release with its larger cousin the Think Tank Retrospective 50 which was reviewed by Bobby Zhang recently.

The difference between the two bags is a bit more room and a jump from the 13” laptop pocket in my Retro 40 to the 15” laptop pocket in Bobby Zhang’s. It’s a little funny that I got the 13” laptop model because my 17” Toshiba is nowhere near fitting in this bag, but I have found that using it as a straight camera bag has been plenty use enough to test it out. If you want to know about the laptop protection qualities or are more interested in a 15” model, check out Bobby Zhang’s review of the Think Tank Retrospective 50 bag for a more in-depth look at those aspects of this bag’s construction. Enough prattling about other bags, let’s dive into this one after the jump.
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Review: Think Tank CityWalker 20

Think Tank CityWalker 20

Think Tank Photo’s latest line of shoulder bags is called the CityWalker, and it is designed with mobile photographer in mind (think: street photographers). The entire line is made of the same lightweight material with an internal iPad / Tablet sleeve, and  a quickly removable internal camera storage bucket which converts the bag into a lightweight shoulder bag. I’ve had the opportunity to live with the CityWalker 20 every day over the last several weeks, and I’m here to talk about my experiences.

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First Impression: Think Tank Airport Navigator Camera Bag

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What’s my first impression of the Think Tank Airport Navigator? Holy crap! Why the hell haven’t I been using a roller bag for camera gear schlepping in airports more often?

That impression is more about roller bags in general, but the Airport Navigator is so easy to use and move, it has made my transition to a roller bag easy. If you travel often, you should take a look at this bag. Here’s why…

 

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Review: Think Tank Retrospective 50 Camera Bag

Think Tank has become the brand to go to for your photography bag needs. Their excellent build quality and meticulous attention to detail is second to none. We’ve reviewed our fair share of Think Tank here on The Phoblographer and have yet to be disappointed. This is no exception. The Retrospective 50 is comfortable, durable, and stylish packed into a equipment-swallowing shoulder bag that I have grown very fond of over the past week or so since its arrival.

Head on past the break for the full review!

 

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First Impressions: Think Tank CityWalker 20

Think Tank Photo has developed quite the repertoire of versatile, durable and understated professional camera bags. They have no shortage of options when it comes to different types of bags, and their recently announced “CityWalker” line is designed to be fast and flexible on the street. I have the CityWalker 20 on hand presently and I’m looking forward to seeing how it holds up in comparison to Think Tank’s other bags.

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Review: Gura Gear Bataflae Camera Packs

Gura Gear has rapidly developed a name and a following amongst serious photographers. So when a new flagship Gura Gear camera pack design was released at PhotoPlus Expo I took this opportunity to test the new Bataflae pack against my own needs. I will be focusing on the smaller of the two models: the Bataflae 26L pack, for use with DSLR equipment, while my associate David Saffir will follow up with a look at the larger Bataflae 32L for use with medium format gear.

Editor’s Note: This post was syndicated from David Tobie of DataColor off of his personal blog.

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Review: Think Tank Sling-O-Matic 30

If slings are your preferred bag type than this is most definitely the one for you. Maybe not the 30 which is the largest size but maybe the previously reviewed 10 or 20 sizes. The first words out of my mouth when handling this bag were, “oh wow, this is big”, “thats a lot of padding”, and “why are there so many extra straps and pads?”. I may have said these things when I first handled the bag but I am still saying them today. To give you a sense of direction for the review this bag now comes with me on every photo shoot. Continue reading…

Quick Look: Vanguard Quovio 44

At Photo Plus Expo 2012, I was introduced to a new photography backpack  the Quovio 44 from Vanguard. Why it’s named that, I don’t know. I do know that this this backpack can handle a decent amount of gear, amongst other things. If you are a ultra active photographer, or always on the go, be it on a nature hikes or long photo walks in the city, the Quovio 44 may interest you.

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First Impressions: Domke’s Bag Refresh at Photo Plus 2012

For most of us who know about Domke bags. Little has changed in 30 years for its designs. They were created because a man had  a problem to solve and in solving that very problem he get’s into the camera bag business. That’s how Jim Domke came to be. His bags served a purpose as a standard for photo journalists. But, with time these bags needed a certain something to be in today’s market. That something was a little style. Thanks to the sharp eye of Tiffen’s Creative Director, Patty Nast Canton–this is the result.

We were able to see the prototypes of the Journalist, Adventurer, Visionary and the Metropolitan bags.

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Review: F-Stop Gear Loka Adventure Camera Pack

Camera backpacks come in many flavors for many purposes, pretty much every manufacturer has some sort of backpack as it is a popular choice for many photographers. I’ve often steered away from most as they have lacked in three specific areas for me: comfort, storage and durability. F-Stop Gear has their Mountain Series of camera backpacks, and I’ve spent the last year and a half with one. Have my needs finally been met?

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Review: ONA Camps Bay

 

This bag is by far the nicest looking bag I have ever seen or owned. A bag that looks this good is bound to have its trade offs and I assure you it does. The Camps Bay backpack is the beautiful book smart person who just lacks most street smarts. I know that analogy is a complete failure but what I mean is that this bag is the epic battle of form over function.

Editor’s Note: You can purchase the ONA Camps Bay bag in Smoke or Tan at Amazon. Or you can click the according links to the smoke or tan bags at B&H Photo.

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Review: Think Tank Photo Sling-O-Matic 10

Sling bags have become increasingly popular and most of the major camera bag manufacturers are making some variation of a sling bag. The problem is, most of these bags are pretty much the same; one strap goes across your chest and most provide quick/easy access to your gear. There may be one or two small features or styling queues that set them apart, but the core features of the bags are very similar. Thankfully, Think Tank Photo decided to try something different when they released their first set of sling bags, the Sling-O-Matic series.

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Review: UNDFIND One Bag Photography Set

UNDFIND (pronounced “undefined”) is a fresh new company looking to change the way we think about our camera bags. Instead of purchasing purpose built bags for each task, UNDFIND has created a hybrid pack that can be transformed and customized to fit whatever scenario you throw at it. It’s called the “One Bag”, and I had the opportunity to play around with it for a few weeks to see if it’s really capable of becoming my one bag.

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