Friday, August 17, 2012

ThinkTank Retrospective 5 Camera Bag Review

The Retrospective 5 camera bag by ThinkTank Photo is designed for the amateur or professional photographer looking for a compact shoulder bag to hold their DSLR camera and a couple of essential lenses. How practical and user-friendly is the Retrospective 5? Read my full review to find out!

 On the outside, the Retrospective is a minimalistic, but attractive camera bag. In the Pinestone or Blue Slate colors, it would take a trained eye to discern that this is, in fact, a camera bag. This bag doesn't scream “Fancy camera equipment here!” as other camera bags with lots of branding do. That's definitely a plus if you are a street photographer aiming to be as inconspicuous as possible or are a professional concerned about  your equipment being stolen. Next, let's cover the details of this bag.

There are two accessory "rails" on the side of the bag. These accommodate ThinkTank's line of additional lens and accessory pouches. (The "rails" are shown in the top picture right below the shoulder strap loop.)

The shoulder strap is adjustable and features a comfortable shoulder pad. Personally, I wish the pad was removable so I could switch it to the other side of the shoulder strap. If you don't feel like using the shoulder strap, there is also a removeable carrying handle.

Even the main cover flap on the Retrospective 5 is home to a very useful feature. Since the Velcro fabric on the front flap makes a conspicuous noise when opened (as Velcro is apt to do), ThinkTank added a "sound silencer." Their website explains the system: "Simply release the sound silencer panels and cover the hook-and-loop strips to prevent the hook-and-loop from contacting." It works as advertised, and is another plus for the street photographer.

The first pocket on the front of the bag houses a waterproof cover. The two large pocket sections (above) on the inside front of the bag are designed to hold memory cards, batteries, and other small personal and camera accessories. Even the over-packing photographer can fit their camera accessories into this bag.

The main compartment can house one DSLR and up to three lenses, depending upon the size of the camera body. The Retrospective comes with five removable Velcro dividers, so it is very simple to configure the bag to your needs. The main compartment is flanked by two large pockets on the side. These are designed to hold a flashes, lenses, or other large accessories. Overall, the dividers are well padded, and the walls of the bag are cushy.

There are two large zippered pockets suited for holding papers, magazines, etc. One is on the outside back of the bag, and one is on the back of the main compartment (See above picture) While we are on the topic of zippers, it is worth noting that all of these are YKK's most durable zippers. So far, they work perfectly, and I expect them to work well for a long time.

All in all, the Retrospective 5 camera bag is a great choice for the DSLR user. It is very durable, compact, and thoughtfully designed.

Product Info

MSRP:$137.50 from ThinkTank
Manufacturer:ThinkTank Photo
    Minimalistic outside design, well-padded interior, durable and compact overall  
  • None!

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