Gadgets retrospective-30-leather-gripped

Published on October 22nd, 2015 | by Greg


Think Tank Retrospective Leather 30: A Classier Photo Bag

When you pull out a bag, it’s probably more than a simple way to carry stuff. Unless it’s a plastic sack, like it or not, you’re probably making a statement. And if you are a traveling professional, then a bag is more than just a case- it’s a home for some of your most valuable gear. Computers fit in messenger bags or briefcases, and photographers rely on over-the-shoulder bags, which is what we’ll be focused on in today’s review.

If you’ve ever tried to pack a DSLR, batteries, an a couple of spare lenses into a backpack, you probably realized quickly that it isn’t a good idea. Specialized photo bags offer much better cushioning, as well as dividers, to help you protect your expensive equipment. The Think Tank Retrospective 30 Leather is a brand new take on the popular Retrospective line, which we’ve previously checked out. Available in a few different sizes, from the smaller model 5 to the middle sibling 10, the 30 is the big brother of the group.  It offers space to hold two DSLR cameras with attached grips, up to a 70-200 f/2.8 lens and a few other lenses, and even a 10-inch tablet or an 11-inch MacBook Air laptop.

The exterior main flap of the bag is real leather, nicely grained and dark, treated in a water-repellant coating so it’s safe and sound even in a light rain. There is a rain cover as well for extra help during a storm. Everyone will remark on the details- antique nickel-plated metal hardware and zippers that add character, making it seem like it belongs in an old Western (where people needed high-end camera bags). At 3.8 pounds, it’s not the lightest on the market, but it’s also well-balanced considering the size and materials. Velcro silencers help keep noise down for situations like weddings, and there is a shoulder strap along with a grab handle for easy carrying.

Inside, you’ll find a fantastic assortment of pockets, to hold all of your favorite things- if your favorite things are backup batteries, memory cards, cleaning wipes, and other accessories. The main compartment is huge, with lots of removable divider options so you can adjust to your needs. Like the previous models, much of the bag is durable canvas, but you will need to pay attention to the leather, treat it a bit more gently, and care for it a bit. The only major downside of this bag is that it might push you to overpack- we stuffed in a jacket and some snacks and quickly felt like we were hauling a bit much on our shoulders. Available now online and in stores for around $259, the Think Tank Retrospective 30 Leather is a classier photo bag for the photo pro who wants to carry a whole lot of gear and keep it handy.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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