Roberts Raw!

› archive for ‘Bags’


ThinkTank Photo Gets In On Some Hot Derby Action

Honestly, this post would almost be better written by Nick, as he and his wife are actually big fans of our local derby team, but ThinkTank Photo has announced a new bag paying name-homage to the increasingly popular sport of roller derby.



Introducing the Airport Roller Derby! In case you can't figure it out, it's called that because it has four rolling casters, making it look like the classic rollerskates used by derbies:



Each of the four casters is actually a dual-wheel set, giving you a total of 8 wheels to make carting your gear around a breeze. As with all of the Airport line, this bag is designed for transport ease more than shooting directly out of, and it'll fit inside it a 15" laptop and a tablet, as well as 2 DSLRs and a 6-7 lenses and flashes in its 12.6” W x 18.5” H x 5.5–7.5” D interior space. It is otherwise built to the same quality standards you'd expect from ThinkTank, and is designed for carry-on friendliness (though, as always, this is up to your individual air service provider, so be sure and check before you get to the terminal and it all goes south.)

As it turns out, we have already received the first of these bags. So, whether or not you're a derby fan, you can be a fan of getting through crowded airports more easily today for just $389.75 right here.


ThinkTank Photo Announces New Glass Limo Bag

Pop quiz: which of these can hold more stuff? Exhibit A:

Or Exhibit B:

The correct answer is: neither! They're both just pixels on a screen and as such can't hold anything. (Why yes, I have always been a fan of The Treachery of Images, how did you know?) However, assuming we meant the cars in them I think we can all agree a limo is larger (and not to mention more glamorous) than a taxi. And so too should we now understand that ThinkTank's new Glass Limo is a larger, more impressive lens chariot than their popular Glass Taxi.

While the Glass Taxi was made to hold a full-size DSLR with either a 500mm f4 or a 300 f2.8 attached, the lass Limo pushes that envelope a bit and can now fit a 600mm f4 inside its ripstop carapace. Or, if you don't own any so-called "exotic" lenses, you can just use it as a regular camera backpack, and it'll fit a full-size DSLR or two and like 5-8 lenses with all the usual bits and bobbles, depending on how you set it up. It also now uses the harness originally seen on the Streetwalker series, for greater comfort and adjustability no matter you torso's shape. Throw in ThikTank's usual construction, fabrics, YKK zippers, rain cover, and three modular accessory rails and it all adds up to another solid bag from a company known for making solid bags.

The Glass Limo is listed at just under $200, and will be available sometime in the month known as November. We have a couple more shots of it and the press release after the jump.

read more


ThinkTank Photo Announces New Airport Entry and New Messenger Line

As part of the ongoing blog-fodder dubbed "Photokina," renowned bag maker ThinkTank Photo has announced a few new bags for your viewing pleasure.

First up is a new entry in their incredibly popular "Airport" series. Bags in this series are designed with the traveling photographer in mind, and are generally bulk transportation cases, and not ones you'd actually use in the field. That is, they're ways to get your gear from your home to the hotel without the TSA and airline managing to destroy it, with the assumption you'd then pack it into a practical bag to do your shoots. But, the Airport line is really quite good at the bit it's designed for, and has developed quite a reputation over the years. The new "Airport Pilot" is a more compact flavor, capable of holding up to 2 pro bodies, six lenses, a 15.4" laptop, and an iPad. It's also the first that lets you access that gear from either the top or front, for added convenience and versatility as you're dashing around. As with all the Airport line, it resembles a rolling suitcase, and is built with ThinkTank's usual compliment of quality and attention to detail from the zippers up. It'll be available in November, and the MSRP is sitting at $235.75 right now.


The other announcement is a new line of photo messengers dubbed the "CityWalker," which will come in three sizes: the 10, 20, and 30. These are what someone is probably going to call more "urban-styled" bags, although really, compared to any messenger bag by rival Crumpler, these are mostly "solid black bags with blue corners" more than "urban-styled." But, for a lot of pros, the lack of flash is exactly what makes ThinkTank bags ideal, and it's no secret that ThinkTank routinely offers better ergonomics. The CityWalkers have the usual compliment of messenger features, including velcro silencers for the main flap. They range in capacity from being able to hold a standard body with attached lens plus a couple extra and an iPad to a standard body with attached lens, a 70-200, a couple more lenses, and a 15" laptop. They'll come in straight-up black, as well as the black with blue accent, and hit around November for between $124.75 and $159.75, depending. Hit the jump for press releases with dimensions and links and everything.

read more


Review: Lowepro Classified Sling 180 AW

That handsome looking bag pictured above the is the Lowepro Classified Sling 180 AW. It is, as the name implies, a sling style bag (ie, you wear it like a backpack but then swing it around so the bag is on your belly to work with the gear, then sling it back out of the way.) The Classified series is Lowepro's answer to ThinkTank's Urban Disguise series, and is meant to fill a market for photographers who need high quality, roomy bags that don't look like the stereotypical camera bag or have clearly visible logos (logos being, apparently, what makes crooks think "Man, I should steal that.") To that end, the Classified Sling 180 AW maintains a narrow, nondescript profile, with the logo subtly pressed into some classy leather accents. The AW means "All Weather," and like many of Lowepro's bags this sucker has an integrated seam-sealed rain cover you can pull out to keep your precious gear dry even if caught unawares.

I've been trying one of these out for a couple weeks so I could get you some thoughts on it. I've used only shoulder bags since I got into this field, so I wanted to give this new and increasingly popular form factor a go. I went with the 180 over its larger brother, the 220,  because I like to keep my bag down as tight as possible because I tend to bike around with these, and the smaller the bag the better. I also started with it with a more compact system (Olympus E-3), and am ending with a much chunkier kit (Nikon D700). So, what do I think? Well, let's get to that.

read more


Roberts dealing in Boblbee, we got your back

Fine purveyors of quality active gear

So we like bags, here at Roberts. Yes we do. Bags, see, they let you carry more and diverse things than you might with just your hands or a few buckles and straps. Sometimes all you need is a couple of straps and 1/4-20" screws but other times you're going to get on a motorcycle, or a bicycle, or a pair of skis and you know what? You'll want a Boblbee for it.

Boblbee's Megalopolis Aero line will hold a laptop up to 14"x10"x2". And to comment on why you'd want to put your laptop in a Boblbee, we'll refer to the guy who came up with the concept:

For years, Jonas Blanking has left his car at home in favor of his bike or a pair of roller skates to get to work. Always equipped with a backpack to accommodate working notes, sketches, a laptop and some gym wear it bothered him, that on the way, soggy books and an occasionally fractured laptop casing were the result of forgetting what he carried.

read more


Raw Footage and the ThinkTank Retrospective 30

While I'm busy working on the new look for Roberts Raw, how about some Friday distractions in the form of absolutely silly videos about an absolutely not-silly product: the ThinkTank Photo Retrospective 30 messenger bags.

These bags are big and roomy and, well, why don't you just watch?


And, if our take's not enough, don't forget Jared "The Fro" Polin over at Fro Knows Photo, whose take on theRetrospective 30 we've politely YouTube ninja'ed below for your viewing enjoyment.



New Product: ThinkTank Airport Takeoff

Oooooh, rolling luggage and a back-pack...

Oooooh, rolling luggage and a back-pack...

The appropriately named Airport Takeoff from ThinkTank, another entry from in their newest line-up, serves double duty as your rolling luggage and hanging on your back like the three-thirty coffee itch. It's suited for holding two professional sized DSLRs (You know, D3, 1D/s I-III) with or without lenses attached and a decent slab of glass in the order of a 300mm 2.8.


Size matters? / Daddy's got a brand-new bag.

I should preface by saying that I love our used department. Given that they're also the lighting department. And bags. They handle a lot downstairs and I like to chat with them when I'm making my way back from our warehouse.

They are also some mad-hat haters. I for one am pretty thrilled that my e-410 can, with an adapter, mount a manual focus 50 1.8 from the OM system or Nikon or EOS and have an equivalent 100mm 1.8. Mr. Proctor quipped that he could achieve the same result by cropping his images by 50%. My retort was that my cropped sensor still has all its pixels...and he shot back with the higher pixel density = more noise argument. I weakened, fell back on "control your lighting" and was trampled under the powerful tag-team assault of from Rich's "I like shooting at ISO 3200 and having it look like 1600" and Scott's "why don't you just draw a picture" jab at my fumbling "I'll fix it in post!"

My Shooting-Fu is yet weak in its reliance on fixing things like white balance, exposure recovery, and cropping in post, and I must yet tremble before the masters who complete mathy-like equations involving focal length, aperture, apples, oranges, and jalapenos while panning their manual focus lenses without even thinking about it. I am currently more concerned about composition and the more squishy notion of a photograph's "feel" than being technically perfect right from the camera (because, you know, there's no on-board firmware making decisions about color balance, contrast, etc).

So have fun with the below:

Where my new Crumpler bags were hellishly in need of some white balancing I went back and used the handy one-touch WB function and shot it again. Mostly to keep playing with the new gallery function Mr. Martin has implemented in the blog.

See you Thursday, folks.