Connor found his dream bag…
Urban Disguise 40 Classic
Connor has worked at Imagex (one of our specialist retailers) for just over 3 and a half years. Yet he has been a photographer for the past 6/7 years, specialising in sports and weddings. For fun he enjoys street photography.
Connor has seen and tested a lot of bags over the years and now he has found one that is just right for him and his gear; check out his thoughts below…
Why does Connor love the Think Tank Photo Urban Disguise 40 Classic so much?
For me, working within photographic retail has meant I’ve never been able to find the perfect day-to-day bag, until now that is! I need to take my camera gear (a medium size mirrorless set-up) along with a laptop and an array of diaries and notebooks. Sure I have bags that can carry my camera set-up like a dream, but carrying all the daily stuff needed for work seems to put these bags out of use. Similarly, no laptop bag I’ve ever owned has been able to carry my camera at the same time, until now. The ThinkTank Photo Urban Disguise 40 Classic is the perfect bag for me to use 5 days a week.
“not flashy, but it’s clean and classy”
The Urban Disguise Classic is an elegant, understated bag, which I find the perfect look for work. It’s not flashy, but it’s clean and classy. The sleek design looks tidy and the leather front adds a professional feel, whilst the nice wide strap makes it easy to carry around a heavy bag for long periods of time.
What can Connor fit in his bag…
An average day would mean me stuffing the following into the Urban Disguise 40:
- Fuji X-Pro2
- Fuji XF 16mm f1.4
- Fuji XF 50-140mm f2.8
- Fuji 35mm f2
- Dell XPS 15
- Power Cables (organised within a ThinkTank Photo Cable Management 10)
- Computer Mouse and Cleaning Kit (organised in a ThinkTank Photo Powerhouse Air)
- Memory Cards (organised in a ThinkTank Photo SD Pixel Pocket Rocket)
- Ipad Mini
- 2 A4 Hardback Notebooks
- A mass of paperwork…
All of this fits effortlessly into the Urban Disguise 40 Classic and it means I rarely have to switch round and change my bag set-up daily. The main section of the bag (designed for camera equipment) is nice and deep, well padded and easy to organise. Obviously the bag has to be deep to accommodate a laptop, however it would have been nice to have the ability to stack lenses within the main section. Anyone who knows Fuji will know that the 35mm is a tiny lens, and so having this at the bottom means a lot of space is wasted. Opening the main section is easily done with just one Gladstone opening style zip, which stretches at one side to avoid any nasty scratches to your camera.
The laptop compartment on the Urban Disguise 40 is well padded and a perfect fit for my XPS 15 with no room for it to wiggle around whilst I’m walking. This section has two zips, with the ability to secure them with the use of a standard padlock. All the zips on this bag are ThinkTank Photo’ standard YKK reinforced zippers, meaning that vigorous daily use will not result in any zips falling off or getting stuck. The front compartment features the ‘Sound Silencers’ we are used to seeing on ThinkTank Photo bags, especially useful if you need to grab a pen out of your bag during an important meeting. Alongside the Velcro, ThinkTank Photo have added a buckle to the front compartment for added security. The flexibility of the front compartment means the bag can remain elegant and sleek when you need to transport a minimal amount of kit, but can expand considerably to house an extensive amount of gear. Small touches like the two elasticated pouches on either side – perfect for water bottles – make the ThinkTank Photo Urban Disguise Classic bags stand out from the rest.
“impeccably constructed and well thought out”
It’s rare that I can say I’ve found a bag to suit a specific need, but I would never go back to using any other bag for daily work. Previously I’d have taken my laptop and paperwork in a conventional laptop bag and lugged around a separate camera bag at the same time, but with the ThinkTank Photo Urban Disguise I don’t need to. It houses everything I need on a daily basis, looks stylish and professional, is extremely comfortable to wear for walks between meetings, as well as being impeccably constructed and well thought out.
Click here to learn more or to purchase a ThinkTank Photo Urban Disguise Classic 40 (also available in other sizes).
Fake Guinness anyone?
Behind the Scenes: How to create a St Patrick’s day promotion!
Step One: Pouring the perfect pint? It’s easy! Take 1 pint glass, 1 bottle of Coca-Cola, 1 can of whipped cream. One imitation Guinness coming up!
Step Two: Find a good setting – ah the top of this lovely red Biffa bin lid looks perfect!
Step Three: Find someone to take the photo and laugh at you when the whipped cream remains on your upper lip.
Step Four: Review your hard work over a crisp refreshing pint of Guinness.
If you really want to know, to shoot the real version we used a Fuji X-Pro2 and XF 35mm f2 in Acros film simulation mode with a slightly enhanced green filter to add contrast. 1/2000″ / ISO 200 / f2
Looks great and they clearly had fun, think I’d be tempted to find the nearest pub for a pint though!
You can find Connor at Imagex, but sadly not for long as he is going onto pastures new! (Good Luck Connor)
Small but MIGHTY
The Urban Approach 15
Ross Grieve, New Zealand born photographer has been mastering his art for over 20 years. Ross now resides in the beautiful rolling countryside of Pembrokeshire in Wales. He is an accomplished photographer who has won many awards including UK Pet Photographer and Welsh Master Fashion & Portrait Photographer, and recently Welsh Master Press & PR Photographer of the Year. He is also a passionate Street Photographer. Ross has travelled to far-flung parts around the world on assignment including Thailand, The Maldives, Ras Al Khaimah, Japan, Sweden and Australia.
Since becoming an Ambassador for Panasonic, he has won yet more awards and is leading the way in 4K & 6K Photography. Ross’ fun filled, action packed photograph of a water fight included his three children who have since become the face of the GH4 campaign in Europe. Ross was one of two photographers involved in the Lumix GH5 global campaign. Check out the film here https://youtu.be/ddQmJUYcXho
He has used many of Think Tank Photo’s products over the years and for over a year now he has been using the Think Tank Photo Urban Approach 15. Have a read of what he thinks of the bag and see how much he manages to fit in this bag. First though, check out a few of Ross’ great pics!
Here is what Ross thinks of the Urban Approach 15…
I have been using Think Tank products for many years, I used to use the Thinktank Airport International V2 for all of my DSLR kit. When I made the transition to Mirrorless cameras and the Panasonic Lumix system I needed something smaller, stronger, and just as robust to give me the protection to my equipment that I have had with the Think Tank Photo Airport International. Furthermore I wanted something that was discrete and durable.
I saw the Think Tank Photo Urban Approach 15 and I thought I’d give it a try. At first glance it looks small; but surprisingly it had the capacity to carry my 15 inch MacBook Pro, plus all of my other equipment comfortably.
It looks like an ordinary backpack, which is something I like straight away. I don’t want to draw attention to myself when I have this on my back especially when I am in a city.
TIP: In busy cities use a cable tie to lock your bag, it’s more discreet than a padlock
When you open the Urban Approach 15 you will be surprised by the variety of space options that you can have in such a streamlined bag. The simple velcro system allows you to configure the compartments to suit your needs. In my opinion the best features are: the loop on the back, allowing me to slip the Urban Approach over the handle of my main luggage bag, which is very useful at any airport or train station; the chest clip for added comfort; the easy access zip pocket at the front, which is great for business cards and passports; and obviously, the flexibility of the customisable sections, which protect my equipment.
Is it durable? Yes very. Since I have been using it for about 18 months, it still feels snug to wear. It has been used in variety of environments and in all weather, and there is no damage. A rain proof cover is supplied with the bag.
Therefore, the Urban Approach is the ideal bag to transport your camera equipment safely, and it caters for all eventualities- a coastal walk, over seas travel, sport events, street photography, the list goes on.
So, what can you fit into this little gem?
This is the contents of my photography bag. I think you will agree I can get quite a lot in a small amount of space, without compromising any protection of my equipment.
The list for this shot is:
- Two Passports
- Joby Gorilla Pod
- Business Cards
- Lens Wipes
- Charging Cable
- HPRC SD Card Case
- Battery Chargers
- Leica 100-400mm Lens
- Lumix 12-35mm Lens
- Leica Nocticron 42.5mm Lens
- Leica 12mm Lens
- Think Tank Powerhouse Pro (Sold Separately)
- Lumix GH5 with a Leica 12-60mm Lens and a Eddy Cam Strap
- Spare Batteries
- Lumix GX8 with a Leica 15mm Lens
- Notebook and pens
- MacBook Pro 13 inch
For further information or to purchase the
Think Tank Photo Urban Approach 15 click here.
The saying “don’t work with children and animals” springs to mind…
If you would like to know more about Ross, you can find him on:
Colin Morris v. ice-cream & Storm Doris
Colin Morris is part of a great team working at one of our specialist retailers imagex in Bicester, Oxfordshire. Colin has many years of photographic retail knowledge and experience. Not forgetting he’s a talented photographer too.
Colin has seen and tested many bags over the years and so we asked him what he thought of the MindShift Gear SidePath.
Before that though, have a sneak peak of some of his work..
So what did Colin think of the MindShift Gear SidePath bag…
“When using a camera bag, I tend to stuff a bit more into it than I probably should. For me I like to pack my camera, 3 or so lenses, some lunch, a jumper and some waterproofs.
The MindShift Gear SidePath bag allows me to fit all of my camera gear inside and I have the added security of knowing that no-one can open the rear-zipper section for my camera when the bag is on my back. The bag feels comfortable on my back and is no problem at all to carry on a day out.
I have used the bag in awful weather and it’s never let me down. I also managed to buy a tub of ice cream and forgot to take it out of the bag, meaning it melted inside my bag, with all of my gear inside. Luckily my gear is weather sealed, but even the bag came out looking brand new after a quick spin in the washing machine.
As a summer day pack the bag is superb, but when I want to pack a little extra warmth in the winter the bag could’ve perhaps been a little bigger”
Colin uses Olympus and he packed:
- Olympus E-M1 II
- Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 PRO Lens
- Olympus 40-150mm f4.5-5.6
- Olympus 9mm Fisheye
- Olympus M.Zuiko 50mm f1.8
MindShift Gear SidePath versus Storm Doris…
I was recently asked to take some photos for a local garden centre. So the night before I charged up all my gear, checked it over and bundled it all nicely into my SidePath bag.
I arrived at the garden centre, had a cup of tea and got to work. As luck would have it, the infamous storm Doris decided to show up just after I started. Stormy skies do make for some great photos, but not when I can’t stand up. The trees at the garden centre were blowing over and the plants were coming out of their pots. Everything had gone to pot (if you’ll pardon the pun). One thing that worked without fail was my MindShift bag! Not a single drop of rain got inside the bag. A job well done.
SidePath bag = 1 : Storm Doris = 0
For more information about the MindShift Gear SidePath backpack, click here.
If you’d like to meet Colin you’ll find him at imagex. Where you can also find stock of MindShift Gear bags and accessories.
imagex sponsors The Bicester Camera Club
For more information visit their website http://www.bicestercamera.club/
You can also find Colin on…
(Click on the logo to be directed to his page)
UltraLight Dual 36L
– On an adventure with Sam Mossop –
Sam Mossop – a great photographer who works at one of our specialist photographic retailers – Wilkinson Cameras in Kendal, gave us his thoughts on the MindShift Gear UltraLight Dual 36L.
Before we do check out these beautiful shots taken by Sam –
Broken jetty at Pooley Bridge, Ullswater, sunshine and warmth during the pre sunset, temperature dropped drastically when sun set but I had all warm clothing in my bag with all the gear.
Isthmus Bay, Keswick at sunset, balancing on rocks in the water was helped by slinging back on to shoulder to set up tripod and filters for long exposure of sunset.
Rydal Water at night, Milky Way visible, short hike to the water itself, plus climb up to Rydal Caves and Loughrigg Fell.
What does Sam think of the MindShift Gear UltraLight Dual 36L?
I have been using the MindShift UltraLight Dual 36L for some time now and have found it to be an incredibly versatile bag for general photography trips and longer walking in the hills. The first thing that strikes me about this bag is just how light it is for a 36L bag, this is even with the additional inserted case for camera equipment, it really lives up to the UltraLight name. The camera bag is split into two main sections, an upper section for personal equipment or photographic gear and a lower section with a removable padded case intended for photographic equipment. This insert can be removed to function as an external camera bag in its own right slung over your shoulder with the supplied strap, I found removing the insert and using it as a base to swap lenses quickly was very useful especially in wildlife and scenic areas where you never know what is round the next corner and are changing lenses frequently.
“it really lives up to the UltraLight name”
I have been using the bag for walking in the Lake District and for photography trips around the local area. Being able to pack in all the photographic equipment I need including my camera + 1-3 extra lenses along with my filter system and a tripod and then be able to also carry a 3L water bladder and waterproof coat and trousers, food, first aid and survival equipment is absolutely invaluable. The weather on higher ground is incredibly variable and so packing everything you need is essential especially for winter walking. The tripod holder is on the outside centre of the bag which is key for longer walks as the weight of the tripod is not pulling down on one particular side.
The Mindshift UltraLight bag is made of a lightweight but tough, water resistant material on the outside and a high quality durable inner material. The advantage of the bag being made of rugged water resistant material is that even if you do need to put the bag down you know it will be fine on any wet ground and will not soak through in the minute or two you need to access the bag. With the adjustable chest and waist strap you can really tailor the fit of the bag to make it comfortable for long periods of time. The bag comes supplied with waterproof covers for the bag itself and the removable case so you can be safe from rain in all scenarios, the waterproof cover will also fit over a tripod mounted on to the bag.
“In short, the bag is light weight, practical, versatile and comfortable even when loaded with equipment”
How much gear does Sam pack?
Well, this much…
- Sony A7ii body + attached Sony FE 16-35 F4 ZA OSS
- Canon EF 70-200 F4L USM + attached Sigma MC11 adapter
- Cokin 100MM filter system bag
- Giottos Tripod
- Sony Remote Release
- CamelBak 3L hydration reservoir
- LED Torch
- LED Headtorch
- Survival Bag
- Winter Gloves
- Polar Buff
- Thermal Hat
- Waterproof Coat
- Spare batteries/cards/cleaning cloth
- First Aid Box
- Bags Waterproof Cover
- Waterproof Trousers
In the next video Sam packed his astrophotography camera equipment:
- Sony A7ii + attached Sony FE 16-35 F4 ZA OSS
- Sony FE 28MM F2
- Samyang 14MM F2.8 + attached Nikon adapter
- Canon EF 70-200MM F4L USM + attached Sigma MC11
Click here for more info on the MindShift Gear UltraLight Dual 36L
It’s like winter clothing for your gear… .
I used the bag for a night time walk to Rydal up to Rydal caves and then on to Loughrigg in just below 0 degree temperatures. The bag kept my equipment relatively warm even though the outside of the bag was actually being coated in condensation when I stopped, due to the temperature. For several shots and extended periods of time the bag was on the floor and no moisture got inside the bag, I could just rely on the bag and carry on taking photographs.
Whilst walking up Helm Crag and around the Easedale Horseshoe as thick cloud and snow closed in on me being able to carry all my photography equipment comfortably and safely, being protected from the elements and still able to navigate with map and compass and keep warm in the winter clothing I was able to pack meant that a potentially miserable situation was actually fairly enjoyable. Even if there was very little photographic opportunity with 5 metres visibility.
If you’d like to meet Sam you’ll find him at Wilkinson Cameras Kendal. Where you can also find stock of MindShift Gear bags and accessories.
If you want to see more of Sam’s work find him on…
(Click on the logo’s to be directed to his page)
Around the world with Steve Gosling
Steve Gosling a professional photographer who specialises in producing creative & contemporary landscape images (his ‘signature’ style is moody, atmospheric and minimalist black & white photographs).
Steve’s images have been published internationally as posters & greetings cards and have appeared in advertisements, books, magazines, newspapers & calendars across the world. Prints of his work have been exhibited in venues throughout the UK and have appeared on sets for both theatre and film productions. His work has also won awards in both national and international competitions.
Rain Passing Over
Taken with Phase One A-series, IQ250 back and 35mm Rodenstock lens
“Bands of rain swept over me as I was taking this shot of a small lake in Colorado – it was more like UK weather” Storm Approaching Sangre de Cristo Mountains
Taken with Phase One A-series, IQ250 back and 35mm Rodenstock lens
“Sat in our hotel one evening at Westcliffe, Colorado I saw these storm clouds moving in over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, I grabbed my Rotation 180° Professional backpack and my tripod & headed to the nearest spot with a view across to the dark sky. I managed 3 or 4 shots before the rain reached where I was standing, soaking me as I tried to shelter the gear under the rear hatch of the 4×4”
Steve tested the MindShift Gear Rotation 180° Professional Deluxe
backpack and this is what he thought of it...
Over the years I’ve tried many backpacks and struggled to find one that has felt right for me and the way I like to work. That is until I came across the MindShift Gear Rotation 180° Professional Deluxe. It’s an incredibly well designed bag that allows me to carry a lot of photographic equipment and outdoor gear (waterproof, down jacket, hats & gloves etc) all day without any discomfort.
My Rotation 180° Professional Deluxe has been around the world with me from Europe to the USA to Antarctica and still looks like new. It’s very well made – the outer is of a robust material and the compartments padded to protect my kit. And when the elements take a turn for the worse the bag keeps the kit inside safe and dry (it also comes with additional rain covers).
Most importantly for me it allows me to access all of my gear without removing the bag off my back. It has a belt pack that separates from the bottom of the backpack and rotates around for easy front access. In here, I keep a camera with my most used lens and my Lee Filters. The main compartment of the backpack can be accessed from the rear by swinging the whole bag to the front. It may sound complicated but in practice it works quickly & extremely well. It’s great when I’m working in locations where I don’t want to put the pack down – either for security reasons or because of the environmental nature of the location e.g. working on a beach as the tide is coming in. Furthermore, when I can put the backpack down, the rear access means that the back of the bag doesn’t get covered in mud or sand.
Finally, as a photographer who travels overseas a lot, I need a backpack that I can take onto a plane as carry on. I’m pleased to say that I have never had any hassles taking my Rotation 180° Professional on board – it meets most airlines (that I’ve used anyway) carry on restrictions.
“In short, it’s the best backpack I’ve ever used!”
So how much gear did Steve fit into the
MindShift Gear Rotation 180° Professional Deluxe?
Steve has two of these backpacks – one is loaded with an Olympus M4/3s system and the other with a Phase One medium format system:
- 3 Olympus OMD bodies
- 3 Pro zooms – 7-14mm, 12-40mm and 40-150mm
- Remote releases for the cameras
- A set of Lee graduated and ND filters
- Accessories – batteries, memory cards, head torch, waterproof covers
- Phase One A-series camera with IQ350 digital back
- Rodenstock lenses – 23mm, 35mm and 70mm
- A set of Lee graduated and ND filters
- Accessories – batteries, memory cards, head torch, waterproof covers
“If I haven’t got wet then I probably haven’t got a good photograph”
This is particularly true of many of the locations I like to photograph – Scotland, Iceland, The Faroe Islands. I like to work in changeable weather conditions where I can get some drama as rain or storm clouds are moving in or away from a location. However I wasn’t expecting to experience this during a summer trip to Colorado, USA – they’d had several years of drought prior to my visit. But I was greeted on several trips out into the landscape to get images by heavy rain and even dense fog one early morning. The locals initially expressed great pleasure that I’d brought some UK weather over with me but after 10 days of it they were begging me to go home again and to take the rain with me!
Click here for more information on the MindShift Gear Rotation 180° Professional Deluxe.
Why not join him on a workshop…
Steve’s next landscape workshop is in the Isle of Skye from 7 to 14 October. He’s running this alongside Irish Landscape Photographer Peter Cox and you can see their full programme here: ISLE OF SKYE WORKSHOP.
Further information on Steve his upcoming workshops can be found on his website
You can find Steve Gosling on…
Rolling Around with Richard Washbrooke
Richard Washbrooke is a self taught freelance photographer since 2010. Richard has been a Think Tank Photo fan for years and is a great brand ambassador; so we thought who better to tell you about the bag, than someone who uses the bag day in, day out!
“Photography is my passion – life captured in a split second. Every image is a unique expression of a moment in time. I’m constantly looking for that special moment to capture, share and immortalise”
Richard has an array of experience within sports, weddings, portraits, PR, theatre, architecture and construction, commercial, travel and events.
Jarvis – Gleneagle Manor
MNP – 55VS, London
Louis de Soissons – HR Owen, Ferrari, Knightsbridge
So, what does Richard think of the Airport International roller bag?
“One of the main areas that I photograph is the architecture and building industry. A lot of my clients are based in London and to get around I find using the train and underground the best method. The rolling Airport International V2 bag I use comes into its own here, and fits all my camera equipment that I need for the job. The bag is the size of a small suitcase, very mobile with the wheels which makes it ideal for getting through rush hour with my gear. So a perfect combination. I have been using the Airport International for a few years now and has taken many bumps and been wheeled on very uneven surfaces and it still does not show any signs of wear. All of the zips still work. The two areas that could go wrong are the handle and wheels, but they’re user changeable. My new wheels have improved the performance of the bag and the handle still performs well considering the weight it can be rolling “.
How much gear does Richard pack?
Well, this much…
- EOS 1Dx
- EOS 7D mk11
- EF 16-35 F2.8
- EF 70-200 F2.8
- EF 85 F1.8
- EF x1.4
- Sigma 12-24
- Flash 580EX
- Pocket Wizards
- Hahnel Capture
- Memory Cards
- Power Port
- Remote Cable
- The Pod
Check out how Richard packs his bag on the YouTube video:
The new Airport International V3
The new Airport International V3 roller now has an integrated laptop and tablet compartment and continues to incorporate the user changeable wheels and handles.
Want to know more about the Airport International V3? Click here
Watch out if Richard’s about, you might lose a toe…
“I find rush hour can be fun when I have my bag. A lot of people do not look where they are going. They push in, always rush rush, so I keep the bag tight to me when rolling. Occasionally people will get too close and try to cut across you behind and not see the bag and it will run over a foot… the pain on their face. Perhaps we should have bright colour bags?!”
If you want to see more of Richard’s work, take a look at the following…
Or find him on…