Photography News Issue 71

First test

PRICE: £155


This classic-looking, soft canvas shoulder bag has some very up-to-date features Think Tank Retrospective 10 V2.0

IN A WORLD where many camera bags look like you’d find them on a diamanté-encrusted Dubai carousel, Think Tank’s Retrospective V2.0 shoulder bags are pleasingly low-key. The bags come in capacities of five, seven, ten, 20 and 30 litres, and are available in black or grey canvas. We tested the Retrospective 10, which can hold a decent amount of kit. It’s spec’d to swallow a full-frame DSLR with a grip and a 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom attached, and this it did with my Nikon D850 and a 24-70mm f/2.8G, letting me close the zippered inner lid as well as the main flap. I also managed to fit the 70-200mm mounted, but with the inner flap unzipped. The dividers allow a body to sit on top while smaller lenses fit in under it, so along with my 70-200mm f/2.8E detached, I added an 85mm f/1.8, giving a good spread for portrait or event shoots. You could swap out a lens for a speedlight, of course. The internal dividers offer good protection, but I found there was no padding at the front and the sides of the bag where it’s also required. The canvas is thick and there are additional pockets covering those

areas, but it’s still an omission and if I were buying the bag, I’d invest in extra padding. At the rear is a well-padded sleeve for a 12in laptop, and a Velcro flap to secure it, and there’s another closable accessory pocket at the front. The bag is flexible, and doesn’t bounce around on your hip like a harder shape would, but wraps to the shape of your body, which is good. Access to gear is good, and you have the option of zipping the inner cover, tucking it neatly away into the laptop sleeve, or using a Velcro tab to secure it to the main flap. The only issue with tucking it away is that the zip and Velcro will come into contact with whatever you put in the sleeve, which to me is a scratch risk. I found the top zip snagged at the corners as movement there is tight. This gets frustrating and you often need to use both hands. The zip has leather pulls, which are a bit slippery and don’t loop, making them less easy to grab with a finger. And there’s only one, which slows down handling. At the front is a generous organiser pocket, another Velcro flap to secure it and a zipped pocket behind. The only issue here is that with the Velcro

›  Price £155 ›  Material PU-coated canvas outer, closed-cell nylon dividers ›  Laptop/tablet 12in ›  Tripod holder No ›  All weather cover Yes ›  Zips YKK RC Fuse ›  Weight 1.2kg ›  Exterior dimensions (wxhxd) 33x26.7x17.8cm ›  Interior dimensions (wxhxd) 30.5x24x17cm SPECS

tab in use, you can’t easily access the zippered pocket as it covers it. The main flap also attaches using two Velcro tabs, but it’s possible to cover these if you need to work quietly. There’s also a water bottle pocket that expands and contracts using a hook. Foam padding within this can be used against the body, or under whatever you’re putting into the external pocket. It’d be nice if this pocket could be used for a lens, too, but you wouldn’t trust it when moving as it doesn’t close. On the other end, there’s a strap, so you could attach a lens case there. The grab handle stretches right across the other, so it’s easier to grasp than a small, central handle, and it’s attached to the bag, not the flap, which stops accidental opening. The

main strap is adjustable to a good degree, so despite being tall, it sat comfortably on my hip. The shoulder pad is well-sized and its non-slip surface proved very secure. Rather than being attached with hinges, the strap is stitched all the way under the bottom, and this keeps it steady, too. Build quality is excellent, with thick canvas all around. Think Tank bags have a reputation for longevity and there’s no reason to think it’ll be any different here. The canvas has a water-repellent coating, and proved it could take a light showering in our test. Plus, there’s an all-weather, seam-sealed cover if things get more serious, though the lack of a rubberised base means some care should be taken when putting it down near puddles. KS

Verdict Ahigh-quality and versatile bag, with a nice low-key look, especially the grey version – the black canvas shows up dog hair a bit too easily for me! It has lots of storage options, and it’s light and handles well, aside froma couple of things. Personally, I’d invest in the larger Retrospective 20V2.0, as it’ll fit a 70-200mm f/2.8 attached tomy camera, but the 10 suits smaller set-ups perfectly well. PROS Quality of materials, capacity, low-key design CONS Some niggles with handling and protection, premium price

“The build quality is excellent, with thick canvas all around”

IMAGES The Retrospective V2.0 bags have a low-key design and come in different capacities

Issue 71 | Photography News 53

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