Backpack

MindShift R180° Professional 38L Deluxe – Discovering nature with Craig Sinclair

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Rotation 180° Professional 38L Deluxe – Discovering nature with Craig Sinclair

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Craig Sinclair is a British photographer from the South West of the UK. Currently studying a degree in photography with the Open College of the Arts. He got his first Nikon DSLR in 2010 as a Christmas present and has always had an interest in photography.

“I am passionate about wildlife, nature and landscapes and our impact as human beings on the environment and the planet (Just like MindShift Gear’s philosophy). Photography is an adventure to me, I love learning about different cultures and I am seeking to develop a greater appreciation for the history of photography and contemporary art photography as well as building on my technical skills as a photographer. I am an avid believer in sharing knowledge and experience within the Photography community”

Craig is a customer of Snapperstuff and kindly allowed us to share his photography work and thoughts of his purchase. Before we get to his review check out the pics he sent us to share…

Craig Sinclair Deer in Autumn

Craig Sinclair Starling in a sun shower 1500x1000 resized

Craig Sinclair Mandarin Duck 1500x1000 resized

Craig Sinclair Otters at Slimbridge WWT 1500x1000 resized

So first of all what does Craig fit into his

MindShift Gear 

R180º Professional Deluxe?

Just one of the many options for packing out the MindShift Gear Rotation180° Professional 38L Deluxe:

  • Nikon D7200 DSLR x 2
  • Nikon MB-D15
  • Nikon 35mm
  • Nikon 50mm
  • Nikon 18-105mm
  • Nikon 200-500mm with LensCoat Real tree
  • Nikon Trigger release cable
  • Op/tech USA camera strap
  • Hoya Polariser filter
  • Petzl Tikka head torch
  • Multi tool pocket knife
  • Apple
  • There were also 2 cheese and pickle rolls but I ate them
  • Nature Valley Bar
  • Spare Batteries
  • Embrava Water Bottle
  • Maps
  • Notebook and pen
  • Think Tank SD Pixel Pocket Rocket
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Sun screen
  • Buff multifunctional headwear
  • Cleaning cloths and Dust Blower
  • North Face Sun Hat
  • Jack Wolfskin Waterproof Jacket
  • MP3 Player
  • i-Phone (used to take this photo!)
  • A good study book – ‘Regarding the pain of others’ by Susan Sontag
  • I also used a Manfrotto 190 tripod

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Craig’s thoughts on the 

MindShift Gear R180

Professional Deluxe Backpack

 

The rucksack has a very solid, robust design. Compared to other rucksacks I own, this bag has phenomenal padding, using memory foam throughout the pack and on the arms of the bag. Why is this important to me? I injured my spine some years back, so comfort is essential for me and this bag delivers 120% in that field.  I am used to carrying fairly heavy camera gear on long treks and up mountains, you very quickly realise if a bag is suitable or not as it can get very uncomfortable and you will be miserable, unable to focus on taking great shots. This bag is designed to carry heavy loads for a sustained period of time in comfort.

“You could easily do a couple of days trek or longer with this setup”

One piece of advice I would give with any loading up for a trek, don’t be tempted to overload your rucksack simply because you have the capacity. Just because you can take everything doesn’t mean you need to. Try to think practically about your load up. This rucksack does deliver on capacity. I am able to go with a variety of different configurations depending on the shoot and how long I intend to be out for a trip or shoot. You could easily do a couple of days trek or longer with this setup, there is also the option for attaching some additional gear to the bag. There are ample pockets and compartments throughout the entire bag. The 3L capacity hydration compartment on the side is a great addition. I found the front pleated pocket, which runs the length of the bag from top to bottom, the best place to store my raincoat; easily accessible and keeps a wet coat separate from my camera gear.

The deluxe version of the bag which I have, comes with some great accessories, notably for me these were the photo insert and the top pocket. The photo insert enabled me to put my Nikon 200-500 lens securely in the main compartment of the bag along with a second Nikon D7200, there was also room for more gear if I needed it. The top pocket gives you that little bit of extra storage for things like your SD card holder, keys, snacks and i-Phone.

One of the little quirks I discovered was the way the arms of the rucksack move freely and independently with your walking movements as opposed to being really rigid like other rucksacks, this is a really key design feature. 

Observations and things to note:

Rotating belt pack

“always remember to clip the waist belt”

Whilst testing the bag out on a trip to a local nature reserve, I had mistakenly forgotten to clip the belt pack’s waist belt around my waist. Whilst walking through the woods listening to my friend talk about the array of wild orchids on show, I saw this fascinating little red cardinal beetle, I had to get a shot! I went to whip around the belt pack and nearly dropped the whole belt pack on the floor, much to my friend’s amusement. Thankfully no beetles were harmed in the making of this review! It’s just an observation but always remember to clip the waist belt. Thankfully MindShift Gear have thought of everything and the belt pack is actually attached to the bag using a small clip in latch clipped to the inside of the bag (which can be unclipped to use the pack independently), so the waist pack didn’t fall to the ground.

I found it takes some getting used to releasing the latch to pull the waist pack around to your front and I found sometimes I couldn’t get the latch to release so I left the side flap up. I think this was mainly down to me using the wrong motion to release the latch.

TIP: Here’s a an overview of the MindShift Gear r180 Professional Deluxe backpack, you’ll see a nice demo of releasing the magnetic clip within the first 30 seconds.

The rain cover

On another trip to a different nature reserve we were out in the middle of nowhere in the middle of a thunderstorm, a great chance to try out the rain cover! I found it was a little tricky initially to work out how to get the rain cover on, to be fair it was bucketing it down with rain with thunder and lightning overhead. So my advice is to try out the rain cover before you need to use it, so you know how to put it on properly. It’s a really good design now I have tested it out and keeps the bag dry, which is the point! The rain cover allows you access to continue using the waist pack. The waist pack also comes with its own independent rain cover.

“I absolutely love this rucksack, it’s extremely versatile. I can now focus on taking great shots and not worry about my gear”

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TIP: Here’s a demonstration on how to attach your rain cover, it’s definitely worth testing before heading out!

Click here for more information on the MindShift Gear Rotation 180 Professional Deluxe 

You can follow Craig Sinclair on…

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MindShift Gear BackLight 26L takes a trip to the Arctic Circle with Steve Gosling

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BackLight 26L Backpack

takes a trip to the Arctic Circle

with Steve Gosling

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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.

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Kissed by the Fading Light
Taken at Sakrisoy late one evening as the setting sun kissed the tops of the mountains across the water. A 1 minute exposure smoothed the water and captured some movement in the clouds.
Taken with Phase One A-series, IQ350 back and 35mm Rodenstock lens
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Minus 10 Celsius
Taken at Uttakleiv I set the camera up to capture the sweep of the bay with the rocks in the foreground. It was then a case of waiting an hour or so for the clouds to co-operate and give me some interest in the sky. As I was stood in the shade I was grateful for the several layers of clothing I’d put on that morning!
Taken with Phase One A-series, IQ350 back and 35mm Rodenstock lens
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Resisting the Elements
One of my favourite images from my trip to Lofoten. We found this little abandoned cottage just off the road and I loved its character and the mood it conveyed. We were also blessed with an interesting sky (not typical of this visit unfortunately).
Taken with Phase One A-series, IQ350 back and 35mm Rodenstock lens
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Birdsong
I’m a great advocate of having a clear purpose about what I’m trying to communicate via an image before firing the shutter. However there are times when I’m drawn to a scene but I’m not sure what I’m trying to say no matter how long I ponder what’s before me. In these situations I’ve learnt to trust my instinct. This scene at Unstad was such a situation. I’ve since grown to understand the photograph and the meaning behind it (the clue is in the title).
Taken with Phase One A-series, IQ350 back and 70mm Rodenstock lens

 What did Steve fit into the

BackLight 26L Backpack

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My Backlight 26L is usually loaded with my Phase One medium format system:

  • 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

Steve’s thoughts on the

MindShift Gear Backlight 26L…

Carrying a heavy medium format system camera plus lenses across a variety of terrains in all weathers has led me to search long and hard for the ideal backpack. I never found a solution that really worked for me until I came across the MindShift Gear Rotation 180° Professional. My previous review of that bag can be found here – https://snapperstuff.wordpress.com/2017/05/19/mindshift-gear-rotation-180-professional-deluxe-around-the-world-with-steve-gosling/

My MindShift Gear Rotation 180° Professional has been around the world with me from Europe to the USA to Antarctica and it’s still my favourite backpack. However there are rare occasions when it’s just too large to take on some aeroplanes – it doesn’t fit into the overhead compartments of the smaller planes used by some regional airlines. For example, earlier this year I went to the Lofoten Islands off the coast of Northern Norway and this required 3 flights from the UK to my destination and the last leg was in a plane not much bigger than a local bus (OK a bit of an exaggeration, but it was small!). Knowing how well made the MindShift Gear bags are constructed I looked for an alternative in the range and came across the Backlight 26L. Like the Rotation 180° Pro the outer is of a robust material and the compartments are well padded to protect my kit. It also comes with a rain cover for those times when the elements take a turn for the worse (something I was anticipating in Northern Norway in February). One advantage it has for me and the gear I travel with – it has a dedicated pouch into which I can place my laptop and/or iPad. There’s also an additional compartment in the front to put my gloves, scarf, hat etc.

“In short it’s an ideal backpack

for the outdoor photographer”

 

Although the MindShift Gear BackLight 26L does not have the rotating belt pack of its larger sibling, it does still enable me to access all of my gear without removing the bag and placing it on the floor. This can be done by swinging the whole bag to the front and accessing the main compartment from the rear (see photo). This is great when I’m working in locations where I don’t want to put the pack down and the rear access means that the back of the bag doesn’t get covered in mud or sand on those occasions when I do put it on the ground.

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I have encountered two minor problems with the backpack in use. The first is that any large gear located right at the bottom of the compartment is difficult to access when the backpack is swung to the front. Not a big deal – now I’m aware of this I pack the bag to avoid the issue by locating smaller items at the bottom. The second issue requires some attention from MindShift Gear – the grab handle at the top of the backpack is not as substantial as the one on the Rotation 180° Pro although the bags are capable of carrying similar load weights. I have heard of some cases where the grab handle has failed – thankfully not a problem I’ve experienced but then I don’t just rely on the grab handle when picking up my kit.

With those two provisos I can highly recommend the MindShift Gear Backlight 26L. It’s not replaced my Rotation 180° Pro as my go to backpack but when I need something smaller it fits the bill ideally.

The hairstyle and the philosophy

of a Buddhist monk…

Travelling to a location within the Arctic Circle in February I expected extreme weather conditions – wind, rain, snow & ice. In the days immediately prior to my trip photographer friends of mine were there and experiencing regular snowstorms – fantastic for moody images. I was full of anticipation. Of course I took suitable precautions for me and my gear. In terms of clothing several layers were the order of the day – Merino wool base layers for top & bottom halves, thick socks, liner gloves, waterproof & windproof outer gloves, down filled jackets and a thick waterproof outer layer. Fully dressed I resembled the Michelin man – not a pretty sight but functional.

Sods Law of course determined that we arrived to sunshine and blue skies (still very cold though!) – weather conditions that dominated most of our week there. Holiday weather I call it and not my favourite for atmospheric landscape photography. In years gone by I would have driven myself into a spiral of negativity – wandering around, chuntering to myself about my misfortune, letting the frustration build up to a point where my creativity diminished to zero. But as I’ve got older I’ve acquired both the hairstyle and the philosophy of a Buddhist monk. I’ve learnt to accept that what will be, will be and I can’t change the weather. My approach these days is to adapt, to be flexible and respond to what I find, forgetting any predetermined notions of how I’d like things to be and instead going with the flow. This is better for my creativity, my blood pressure and my sanity!

Click here for more information on the MindShift Gear BackLight 26L

Why not join him on a workshop…

Steve’s next landscape workshop is in  in the lovely village of Grasmere centrally located to visit the surrounding lakes and fells. It’s a 5 Day Workshop – 30th October to 3rd November 2017. He is running this alongside Mark Banks. You can see their full programme here: https://www.stevegoslingphotography.co.uk/index.php/workshops/20-5-day-lake-district-workshop

Further information on Steve and his upcoming workshops can be found on his website: www.stevegoslingphotography.co.uk

Follow Steve Gosling on…

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MindShift Gear UltraLight Dual 36L – On an adventure with Sam Mossop

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UltraLight Dual 36L

– On an adventure with Sam Mossop –

MSG306 UltraLight Dual 36L - Black Magma 14 S

MSG306 UltraLight Dual 36L - Black Magma 89 S

 

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 –

7 - Photo 2 - Ullswater (1)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.

7 - Photo 3 -Derwent Water (1)  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.

7 - Photo 1 - Rydal Water (1)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…

2 - Gear next to bag (1)

1 - Gear in bag (1)

  • 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
  • Food
  • Winter Gloves
  • Polar Buff
  • Thermal Hat
  • Waterproof Coat
  • Spare batteries/cards/cleaning cloth
  • First Aid Box
  • Bags Waterproof Cover
  • Waterproof Trousers
  • Map

 

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.

Wilkinson Cameras logo

If you want to see more of Sam’s work find him on…

(Click on the logo’s to be directed to his page)

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London Camera Exchange – LCE – Reading branch

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London Camera Exchange – LCE – has branches all over the UK and an easy to use store locator on their website here:

LCE STORE LOCATOR

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LCE Reading

The LCE Reading branch has been hidden for some time under scaffolding, enduring some major works happening to the flats above them…

LCE Reading  LCE Reading

LCE Reading

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Despite this, it is BUSINESS AS USUAL for the team who are all passionate photographers too!

 

STORE MANAGER – ANDY

The store manager Andy is currently gearing up for The Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford from 17 to 19 July 2015 and then some time photographing the wildlife… if the weather holds ;0)

His current gear comprises of:

  • EOS 5D mkIII
  • EOS 7D
  • 8-15mm Fisheye
  • 17mm TSE
  • 24mm TSE
  • 100mm f2.8 IS macro
  • 16-35mm f2.8
  • 24-70mm f2.8
  • 70-200mm f2.8
  • 300mm f2.8 IS
  • 1.4x converter
  • 2x converter
  • Fuji Xpro 1 + 18-55, 10-24 + 23mm + 35mm

Of course Andy needs some bags to house all this gear…

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Pictured from top to bottom:

Think Tank Photo – Glass Taxi – houses his Canon 300 f2.8 with the Think Tank Photo SpeedChanger (now the SpeedChanger v2) on the front of the Glass Taxi to hold one of his Canon bodies.

Think Tank Photo – Retrospective 7 – fits all his Fuji gear

… and a plethora of Cable Management 10, 20 and 30 sizes along with DSLR Battery Holder 2 & DSLR Battery Holder 4 & AA Battery holders (with green trim) – All these are used for keeping remotes, LED torches, batteries, flashguns etc. (Andy’s fairly certain I’m pretty sure I have at least doubled the amount of Cable Management cases now

Andy also has the Mindshift Gear Filter Hive for his LEE filters (pictured below).

MindShift Gear Filter Hive

Andy says:

I love wildlife photography, birds and mammals, and I’m often found talking to animals when no one is looking! I also love Aviation photography, Cityscapes, Landscapes and a little bit of Motorcross… Basically anything that isn’t a human being!

You can see Andy’s images on his website here: www.hardpointphotography.com

AND… if you venture past the scaffolding into LCE Reading you will see some of his super shots adorning the walls of the store!

 

SALES ASSISTANT – MARK O’NEILL

Mark says:

I like photographing buildings, landscapes and weird stuff underground, usually at night…

His gear comprises of:

  • D800
  • D700
  • 14-24mm f2.8
  • 24-70mm f2.8
  • 80-200mm f2.8
  • 50mm f1.4
  • 105mm f2 DC

Mark has loads of Cable Management bags and DSLR Battery Holder 2 & DSLR Battery Holder 4 for all his accessories.

Mark won the 1st International Light Painting Awards in 2013 with this image:

ILPA-Winner

To find out more about how Mark created this image have a look here:  at his interview by www.lightpaintingphotography.com

If you’re interested… it’s not too late to enter the 2015 International Light Painting Award – closing date is 1 August 2015.

Mark recently participated in the OPEN FOR ART 2015 event in Reading – from 3-5 July 2015. “It’s a three-day Town Centre arts festival to showcase Reading’s hidden talent and creative industries.” 29 venues in Reading town centre volunteered to host a trail of pieces from local artists – on the streets, in shop windows and disused buildings. Along with the art trail there were heritage walks, workshops and events for everyone to participate in throughout the weekend event. Perhaps this is one for your 2016 diary!

You can see more of Mark’s work on his website here: www.digitalnoisephotography.co.uk

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If you’d like to meet Andy, Mark and find out more about their photography passion, you can visit them at the LCE Reading store, and of course you can also get a great range of Think Tank Photo and MindShift Gear from the store too!

Remember to check out the LCE Summer Specials and get the photo gear you need ahead of The Royal International Air Tattoo while you’re there…

DJI Phantom 1 meets Airport Commuter

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We met up with Pete from LCE – London Camera Exchange – Winchester branch to find out which backpack from the Think Tank Photo range is the smallest fit for the DJI Phantom quadcopter and accessories.

We found that the DJI Phantom Series 1 fits very snugly in the Think Tank Photo Airport Commuter backpack, with room for the controller, monitor, action camera, some spare batteries and the blades.

Take a look at how this gear fits in the Airport Commuter:

The Airport Commuter backpack weighs in at 1.5 to 1.9kg, depending on the number of dividers used. The external dimensions are 31.6 x 21.6 x 45.7 cm (12.5″W x 8.5″D x 18″H) and the shape is rectangular, so this is an ideal bag for airline travel. Of course you’ll need to check out your preferred carrier for their carry-on allowance!

For those of you that prefer more space around the DJI Phantom quadcopter, then the larger Airport Accelerator backpack is ideal. With external dimensions of 35.6 x 22.9 x 52.1 cm (14″W x 9″D x 20.5″H) and weight of 1.9 to 2.5kg (depending on dividers used) it provides even more space for accessories too. There is also a separate pocket for your laptop and tablet.

These photos give you a guide to the bag size when fitting Canon and Nikon gear inside:

T489 Airport Accelerator 01AS

Accelerator loaded with an assortment of Nikon Gear

Airport Accelerator with Canon Gear

The dividers that come with the Airport Accelerator are for standard DSLR gear, however Think Tank Photo have now produced a special divider set for this backpack – the Airport Accelerator DJI Phantom 2 Divider Kit – to maximise best use of space when fitting the DJI Phantom and accessories:

T487 Airport Accelerator Phantom 2 Divider Kit 02S

T487 Airport Accelerator Phantom 2 Divider Kit 01S

As you can see, compared to the Airport Commuter there is more space around the quadcopter, and greater capacity for accessories. The special dividers allow for storage in between the quadcopter arms, and also the divider kit comes with x4 protective rotor mount thread caps.

The organiser pouches pictured between the arms are the Cable Management 20 V2 – other sizes and types are also available, and you can see the full range HERE.

Find out more about the DJI Phantom quadcopters and Think Tank Photo Airport Commuter and Accelerator backpacks from Pete at London Camera Exchange in Winchester.

You can check out Pete’s work on his website here: www.pete-rawlinson.co.uk

FYI: We filmed the video of the DJI Phantom 1 fitting in the Airport Commuter using Canon, Sony and GoPro cameras.

Think Tank Photo 10th Anniversary – Roadtesting the Urban Approach

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We’re heading out to Santa Rosa, just north of San Francisco to join the Think Tank Photo (TTP) team in their 10th anniversary celebrations and looking forward to catching up with all their team on their home turf.

Deciding upon public transport to get to the airport, the big question: what bag or bags to take?!

Airport Security & Urban Approach 15

For me I decantered my lighting equipment and stripped the dividers out of my Airport Security roller, then filled this with clothes and personal gear for the hold. Thankfully the built in TSA zipper lock for the main compartment saved me scrabbling around in search of a padlock at home.

Now for hand luggage I’d normally take my Canon DSLR gear, laptop, tablet, chargers, and other gadgets and utilise the Airport International roller for all this. I like to give my body a rest from carrying gear whenever I can, and one bag also means I’m less likely to loose stuff enroute…

Flying with British Airways this roller fits perfectly in their carry-on bins, and even when heavily laden with big glass I’ve yet to exceed their 23kg carry-on limit with it. Also having the ability to put the laptop inside the roller (utilising the low dividers) gives peace of mind and ease of access for security checks.

  • Airport Security & Urban Approach 15

However, as this trip is a short one I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to road test the new Urban Approach 15 (UA15) backpack and Urban Approach 10 shoulder bag… oh and take less stuff!

It’s not until I try out each bag that I really appreciate the little nuances that really make the TTP bags stand out from the crowd.

Gear wise I opted for my Fuji mirrorless system, Lee filters, iPad, Bose music system, chargers of course, and last minute thankfully remembered my plug adapters for the USA!

The UA15 backpack, with its tapered front, is incredibly deceptive in size and I was really surprised at just how much gear can be comfortably configured in this slim, smart, neat little bag.

Urban Approach 15

The big bonus with this is the ability to slide it over the extendable handle of a roller, thanks to the addition of a fabric strip across the back of the bag, which doesn’t affect the comfort when wearing it. This made my walk to the train station and the change to the bus pretty smooth running.

Breaking with habit I also packed the Urban Approach 10 (UA10) for the small bits I was likely to want quick access to on the flight, and also for fitting the Fuji gear and iPad in when wandering around the town. Like the back back this is incredibly light and surprisingly capacious.

Urban Approach 10

The UA10 combines the features of several shoulder bags in the Think Tank Photo range:

=> the lightness and strength of the CityWalkers with the ‘X’ clasp to secure the front flap and padded shoulder strap
=> the Retrospective Velcro fastening also on the front flap along with the silent feature for added security and quick access to the main compartment, grab handle allowing you to slide this over the roller handle, and expandable front pocket
=> the Urban Disguise Classic clutter free smart exterior with leather accent along the front flap, with rear pocket for small papers or accessories
=> the Mirrorless Mover expandable side pockets for a small water bottle and perfectly sized interior to fit 10″ tablet and mirrorless or micro 4/3rds gear

Urban Approach 10

Now my fellow traveller and  business partner, aka my Pa, opted for one bag as carry on and a small Stuff It pouch on the belt for necessities.

His choice bag was the Airport Accelerator – a rectangular backpack equivalent size to the Airport International roller and fits the BA luggage bin perfectly, yet fits so much more as there’s no extendable handle to cater for. Weighing in at 2.3 kg (check this) prior to packing and having dedicated pockets for both 15″ laptop and 10″ tablet, this provided the perfect solution for him to maximise his carry-on.

Airport Accelerator

Pa finds this bag extremely comfortable to wear, and the easily adjustable straps make for best fit and easy to get on and remove without having to contort your arm. Oh and it’s cool and he likes it!

As well as these bags, the Travel Pouches both small and large make for great toiletry and clothes carriers, and the new CF/SD & Battery wallet keeps the small camera bits together.

Small Travel Pouch

CF/SD + Battery Wallet

So, prior to catching up with the TTP guys we’re heading to the the Schultz Museum and a pit stop at Willy Bird’s!

Stuff It! Pouch

Capture Clip in the jungle

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Wildlife photographer Roger Hooper is passionate about both wildlife and the environment and through his photography communicates the extraordinary aspects of our planet and the frailty of the world around us.

His work has also been published in these books: Art in the Wild and Dotted Plains – Spotted Game.

Roger works closely with the WWF – World Wildlife Fund – and has regular exhibitions entitled ‘Art in the Wild‘ at the gallery@Oxo, Oxo Tower Wharf, Southbank, London, SE1 9PH, in support of the WWF.

His next exhibition at the gallery@Oxo will be from Friday 9 August to 1 September 2013 – having been to see a couple of his exhibitions I highly recommend making a visit to see his fabulous images.

20130630 Art in the Wild HA01

Photo of Art in the Wild exhibition at gallery@oxo, June 2013, Copyright: Helen Atkinson 2013

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Roger takes his trusty Think Tank Photo Airport TakeOff to ferry his gear around on his travels.

Having both wheels and a backpack is essential for Roger to work across the varied terrain, from the smooth airport terminal floors to the plains of Africa and beyond.

However, when trekking into the jungles and across other tough terrain, the Shapeshifter provides him with a great lightweight solution for carrying his gear.

In addition to this the Peak Design Capture Clip & Plate has become an essential addition to Roger’s equipment.

Roger Hooper - Capture Camera System-1a

Clipped firmly onto his Shapshifter Peak Design Capture Clip & Plate leaves both hands free for trekking and has proved to be invaluable when climbing up to the tree tops, holding his 500mm lens on the Canon 1DX body securely in position and leaving both hands free to climb!

Roger Hooper Capture Camera System-3a

Photos of Roger Hooper at Cristalino Jungle Lodge, Brazil, are Copyright Roger Hooper 2013

If you’d like to can see more of Roger’s work, have a look at his website here:

ROGER HOOPER’S WEBSITE

Roger’s next exhibition:

Art in the Wild