2017 DIYP Gift Guide – Bags

Nov 23, 2017

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

2017 DIYP Gift Guide – Bags

Nov 23, 2017

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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So, you’ve got your camera, your lenses, and your lights. It’s all well and good having the kit, but where do you store it? How do you transport it to a location? Well, nut surprisingly, that’s where bags come into play.

This list contains a number of bags that we use to store and transport out kit. While there’s no single bag out there that suits every purpose, each offers its own unique advantages.

Think Tank Photo Credential Holder V2.0 – $20

This isn’t a camera bag, but it is a very handy little “bag”, of sorts, for photographers. This is the Think Tank Photo Credential Holder. I got one of these for DIYP’s trip to Photokina last year. I originally got it simply to hold my credentials while at the show. Since then, it’s become useful on just about every shoot.

It’s sized perfectly for a passport. As such, it’s great for keeping my ColorChecker Passport and ColorChecker Passport Video safe and handy during shoots. It keeps them free from dust when not in use, and during a shoot I can keep it with me, or hang it from a tripod for easy access. It’s also great on location shoots for storing maps, notes, business cards and other small items.

Cosyspeed Camslinger 160 – $39.95

This is an interesting type of bag, and not one I was immediately drawn to. Since getting the YI M1 mirrorless camera, though, this has become my favourite for when I’m packing super light. It’ll hold the YI M1 with the 12-40mm lens attached, with enough room for the 42.5mm prime, lens cloth, polariser, and a couple of other bits.

Since the new firmware, the YI M1 has become my go-to behind the scenes camera. I can strap on this bag, carry on shooting as normal, and easily access my M1 for a quick wide shot of the scene or lighting setup. Cosyspeed have a range of bags for all sizes of mirrorless, including the Hasselblad X1D, but if you shoot Olympus, Panasonic, Sony, Leica or other small mirrorless, this one’s well worth a look.

Lowepro DroneGuard CS 400 – $99.28

With drones becoming more and more popular, demand for practical ways to store and transport them has risen. If you bought a DJI Mavic Fly More combo, then you’re already sorted. It comes with one. But if you own a Phantom or other similarly sized drone, one of the more popular options has become the Lowepro DroneGuard CS400.

It’ll hold the drone, transmitter, batteries and charger, cables, action cameras and a whole bunch of other bits. And it has great internal organisation to keep everything neat, tidy and easy to access. You can wear it either as a backpack, or you can throw on a shoulder strap. A versatile bag to keep your drone safe. At least, until you send it up in the air.

Pelican 1510 with Foam – $152

A movie and photography industry standard for years, Pelican cases really need no introduction. They’re just amazing. If you want near indestructibility, there’s pretty much nothing that beats them. The Pelican 1510 is carry on approved, and can hold a lot of gear safely and securely.

This is one of the bags that goes out with me on almost every location shoot. Inside mine is a pair of DSLRs, a couple of Godox AD360II strobes including battery packs, as well as 105mm f/2.8, 85mm f/1.8, 50mm f/1.4 and 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses. And it has no problem keeping its contents safe while taking a bit of a beating.

Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW – $239

I don’t usually get along with backpacks. It’s more personal preference than anything. I just don’t feel that many of them are really that well designed. They’re great for holding a lot of gear and keeping it organised. But they’re not usually very good on your back compared to, say, a dedicated hiking or camping rucksack.

There are a few exceptions, though, and one of those is the Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW. As one of Lowepro’s “AW” range, that means it’s designed for “All Weather”. It has a built-in rain cover, easy access side pouches, and an ActivZone System harness system for maximum comfort. It’ll hold up to 2 DSLRs, 8 lenses, laptop and a whole bunch more. A great option if you need to carry a lot of gear on location.

Think Tank Photo Airport Security V3.0 – $429

Think Tank Photo bags are certainly not inexpensive, but they’re worth every penny. The Airport Security V3.0 is designed to fit within the carry on restrictions of most of the world’s airlines. But, it’s also built to take the beating that baggage handlers often dish out in the event that you are forced to check it.

At DIYP, we use various Think Tank Photo bags when we travel to events or trade shows and need to fly. They’re just the best option out there for carrying our gear long distance and keeping it safe while looking just like any other piece of luggage.

Overview

As I mentioned at the top, there really is no one bag that fits all circumstances. And if there’s one thing photographers can never have enough of, it’s bags. Personally, I have about 15 bags that I’ve collected over the years. There are a few that get used on almost every shoot, and then a bunch that are for specific uses or pieces of kit. But, they’re all useful and they all serve a purpose.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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