I write a column for my former employers to promote things in and about their camera shop. I’ve started the routine of picking up a week’s worth of shop and industry gossip as well as a box of goods from the current stock to be photographed for the heading and content of the articles. I return it next day so that it can go into stock again.
Yesterday I collected three bags from the f-stop range – they have just started stocking them. I selected three that were suitable for smaller cameras so that I could make two features. It was not until I opened the bags that I found out how good they were and how closely they fit into my own evolving philosophy.
The f-stop bags are made simply – there are few weird pockets or design quirks as compared to the Think Tank, Kata, and Lowepro bags that have been seen before. They are boxy things with light but adequate wall padding and a very simple opening flap. The internal dividers can be velcro’s around to suit your taste. There is a light carry strap and D rings for a shoulder strap if that is important. In the opening flap is a padded compartment for different sizes of smart phones, tablets or small laptops.
The mirror-less user is the target for this design – and depending on how far along they are down the gear acquisition path they can get a size that will sore the stuff. Whether they would be wise to take the biggest of the bags full of all the lenses they own on a holiday is a difficult question. I know people who have done so with full DSLR kits and I did so with a full medium format studio once…but I found out the costs involved.
Today the monetary cost of travel with heavy baggage is terrific – never mind the physical strain of lugging the weight and the nervous strain of worrying about it. People try to keep everything as cabin baggage. How many backs have been sent to the physio lifting suspiciously heavy camera bags overhead? How many weeks on Voltaren?
Well, f-stop in the two smallest bags seem to have headed off that danger. I should be delighted to put any of the Fujifilm, Panasonic, or Olympus mirror-less cameras into either bag and if I thought I needed an extra lens and flash I would get the larger of the two. Either one would pass muster with the airline and I know I can get all the travel and car pictures I need with the gear.
I’ll bring a couple of their backpacks to the studio next week and see what I make of them, though I avoid backpacks as a rule. I prefer to do my hiking on public transport and they seem to be anathema there.