Photography News 99 - Web

Buyers’ guide

Peli 1560LOC › › £381.60

Shimoda ExploreV2 30 starter kit › › £369

Designed by landscape and travel photographers for exactly those purposes, the Shimoda Explore range combines innovations, superb protection and stellar build. The Explore V2 30 is the mid-size model, and at 29.5x51.5x17cm it meets EU and Asian carry-on regulations for air travel. Like all Shimoda bags, you buy the outer and spec other components to suit your needs; for instance, adding the core camera unit and straps. The ‘starter kit’ comes with a Medium Mirrorless Core taking a smaller DSLR or mirrorless body, plus several lenses. This leaves the bag’s upper free for other kit – or an additional Core. There’s rear and side access, lockable zips and, in a move other manufacturers could learn from, a choice of straps meant for female image makers at no extra cost.

When you need the ultimate in protection, a hard case is the way to go, and the biggest name in this sector has long been Peli. The Peli 1560LOC combines great capacity and portability on top of its formidable build – and it’s a great storage option, too. Its retractable handle and smooth- rolling, abrasion-resistant polyurethane wheels make it easy to manoeuvre. With internal dimensions of 517x392x228mm, its customisable foam block inner can be honed to grip a tremendous amount of gear. Externally, it measures 560x455x265mm and weighs 9kg with foam. It’s shockproof and has an O-ring and pressure equalisation valve. Plus, it’s weather-resistant with an IP rating of 67.

BlackRapid Sport Breathe › › £82

Billingham Eventer MKII › › £560

It’s not only bags that help you carry a camera. Choosing the right strap can make a big difference to your photography, too, and you can improve on the basic versions that come with most bodies. BlackRapid has always made comfortable and secure straps, and the Breathe range is the latest. Worn across the body, it uses an ‘air mesh’ shoulder pad, allowing improved grip and weight distribution. The pad is generously sized and very comfortable, measuring 40.5cm long and 6.5cm thick, with an ergonomic shape to fit around the neck and shoulder. There’s a removable underarm stabilising strap included. For security, it uses BlackRapid’s trusted CR-3 connector, LockStar cover and FR-5 fastener. The nylon strap can extend to 167cm.

Maker of some of the most iconic and durable camera bags, Billingham is back with an upgraded Eventer model. The series has long been a favourite for those wanting a premium-quality shoulder bag, and the new version adds features to the series’ classic styling and handling. The Mark II offers a ‘TukTop’ design, where the main compartment’s zips can be tucked behind the bag’s padded insert, so they don’t get in the way when you’re removing a camera or lenses. There’s also a slimmer and more ergonomic carry handle and weatherproofed zips. The Eventer MKII comes in five colour combinations, measuring 40x18x35cm externally, 34x12x26cm internally.

Tenba FultonV2 10L › › £85 Even if you already have a backpack, it’s worth adding versions that deal with specific needs. For instance, a smaller model like the Tenba Fulton V2 10L is great for short trips, street or travel photography. Although slimline and inconspicuous, it can hold a decent amount of kit in its dedicated, rear-opening camera section – like a DSLR with two to four lenses, up to a typical 24-70mm in size. There’s also a roll-top upper which can expand to fit larger items or be cinched down, as well as space for up to an 11in laptop. The bag measures 25x38x15cm externally, and has a thick, water-repellent canvas outer and premium YKK zips.

22 Photography News | Issue 99

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