I received my Think tank Retrospective 30 recently, after having waited over a month for it.
Well delivery was very fast, but I had to wait for a good pricing before buying it.
The first things you notice is how big that bag is and how sturdy the canvas is. It made me thing of an old military satchel bag I used to wear a few years ago, same canvas, same colour, same wear. Perfect, I loved that bag, so I will surely like this one too.
The Retrospective comes with a vintage look, and the canvas is already worn out a bit to give it that ol’ bag look. I love it, that will perfectly fit the clothes I use to wear everyday. But enough on fashion, that’s not what we’re interested in, isn’t it ?
So how big is that bag ?
No I mean really big, it’s huge !
You can fit two DSLR bodies in the front pocket, a flash and a couple of lenses, including a 70-200 f/2.8
But you don’t want to do that anyway, because it would make the bag really heavy, and that’s not the purpose of a messenger bag. Keep in mind that the bag weights 1.5kg empty ! add a 1.5 kg for a gripped body and a 70-200mm lens and you already got some weight on your shoulder.
I could have bought one of the smaller models, but I wanted the extra modularity and space of having a big messenger bag that could function as a day-to-day bag as well as my main photo bag. I now always go out with it, with my DSLR packed inside, with a 85mm lens, and sometimes the 12-24mm, a flash, spare accus and batteries, spare CF cards and more useful stuff like gels for the flash and a grey card. Also with it, a Rubik’s cube and a deck of card to keep me entertained and various small things that i may or may not need.
The bag is loaded with cool features: Velcro silencers, a rain cover, a great number of use full pockets.
The bag isn’t all perfect though. Firstly, it’s really heavy, if you plan on loading it with tons of gear and walk around town the whole day, a backpack is surely better suited for this job. Don’t forget that it’s just a shoulder bag. Also, it looks kind of bulky when it’s loaded, especially with my gripped 40D. Last point I noticed is that the strap does not stay nicely in place on the rectangular rings sewn to the bag but slide all over to on side of it when you wear the loaded bag.
Globally this bag is awesome, it feels great, it looks great, it works great. Good job there Think Tank !
PS: I shot these pictures yesterday evening with a flash aimed at the ceiling. I know, the white balance is a disaster and I also messed up the editing, the images are noisy, the white highlights have magenta in them (I’m not sure why though). Feel free to complain, to mock me, to ridicule me. If I hadn’t done this, this article would have been postponed further.
Maybe I’ll redo them later with a proper lighting. But you know, that’s the same maybe as in “Maybe I’ll clean my desk”.