Gear

Tenba Skyline 12 Shoulder Messenger Bag by Ian Clark

Ohhhh! A camera bag.

Ohhhh! A camera bag.

Ok, probably not the kit blog post you might have been expecting (eagle-eyed social media folks will know I’ve recently purchased a Nikon D7200 - more to come!), but not long ago I treated myself to a new camera bag (my third already) and thought I’d share a few thoughts about it. Because, well, camera bags are a perennial pain in the ar…

I spotted the Tenba bags a little while ago (think I first spotted them in Digital Camera magazine a few months back), and they looked like the kind of thing I was after. I’ve had a little (Nikon branded) messenger bag back from when I bought my Nikon D3200 (the bag was a “I need a bag for this right now!!!!” moment), and I’ve been thinking I probably should invest in a new one for when I’m out and about in the streets or not intending to take my tripod with me. This looked to me like it might fit the bill.

A couple of weeks ago I was poking around in our local camera shop (hi Canterbury Camera Centre!) and spotted the range on display so thought it would be a good opportunity to have a good poke around and see if they might be suitable. Originally I had the 13 in mind, but it soon became clear on having a good look at it that it was actually slightly too big for my needs (one DSLR and three lenses). The 13 had space for a further two lenses and when I thought about it I realised actually there would be a lot of fumbling around if I bought the bigger version (it only opens from the top and the lenses would effectively be stacked on top of each other, separated by a divider). On reflection, I plumped for the 12. It was big enough to carry what I have without being too unwieldy (I think three lenses is sufficient for a trip out and about). I have to say, I’ve been really happy with it.

Inside…with my old camera.

Inside…with my old camera.

Despite coming in at a fairly reasonable £55 (-ish), it looks really professional and feels like it’s made from good quality materials. The zips are strong and the material is waterproof (it’s made of “water-repellant 600D fabric” apparently), which is..well…good. On the inside there are a couple of mesh pockets to put little bits and bobs you might need (big enough for a couple of circular filters) and that’s about it other than the obvious storage space for the camera and lenses with two velcro dividers so you can shift them around. The zippable section at the front also includes a small pocket.

As I said above, I’ve been really happy with this bag, it’s just the right size for carrying around the city or for times when I don’t need so much stuff. However, it does have one flaw: it opens the “wrong way”. I say “wrong way” it quite possibly opens that way for a reason, but I find it slightly fiddly that it opens away from the body rather than towards. I guess this is good in some respects (the zips aren’t then on the outside of the bag), but I just find it a little annoying when I need to grab a lens quickly and have to faff around trying to unzip the bag and open it. But that’s a fairly minor grumble to be honest.

So…yeah…that’s a camera bag review. A part of me feels it won’t be the last…

Tenba front pocket

A New Stuff Post by Ian Clark

I'm not habit of spending lots of money all the time on photography stuff (we have two children so disposable income is often nothing more than a pipe dream). But from time to time I manage to have a little splurge. This week was one of those (rare) weeks. And today was one of those even rarer days where two things arrive on the same day, one obviously photohgraphy related, one less so (yet something I've come to realise I really needed - you know, as much as you need 'stuff').

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Just before we went away to Spain (and I thought I'd blogged about this but it seems not!), I bought some Cokin gradual nd filters and a filter system. I had some money burning in my pocket from my birthday and, after chatting to the folks in my local camera shop, decided that that money was best invested in a filter system. Money burnt, I excitedly packed them for our trip to Spain, looking forward to trialling them out. One thing I recognised early on is that the packaging wasn't great for protecting the filters. Each filter was in a plastic sleeve, but the box it came in wasn't the most secure. So I decided to stump up for a proper carry case for them, which fortunately Cokin also make. At least now the filters should be kept in good shape and hopefully won't get damaged when out and about.

cokin case.JPG

The other thing I stumped up for was something I never thought I'd be getting with photography in mind: hiking boots. I've been spending most of my time concentrating on landscape photography this past year and it became clear last winter that I didn't really have the footwear for traipsing around the country in the snow and mud. So it seemed that, as summer makes its way out the door (can't believe I am writing that in August), it maybe might be a good idea to invest in some proper boots.

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I'm particularly pleased with the ones I got as they also seem to be perfect for the snow. Although down in the south east we don't tend to get too much snow, my little corner is pretty high up and can get hit fairly bad when the snow does hit (we've had several occasions where driving was out of the question). So these boots should be perfect. And better than trying to stomp through the snow with a trainers on.

hiking boots2.JPG

That's probably my lot for a while (although I have my eye on a big stopper for my Cokin system), right now I'm mainly looking forward to autumn colours and great sunsets. Not long to go now... (must stop wishing the summer away!)