This is my first ever blog post, so please bear with me…

Anyway… where to start. Ahh yes, the eternal search for the perfect camera bag…

I mean, let’s be honest. I got back into photography a few years back and my the number of bags I’ve owned since then would me a bit of a bag slut. Too big, too small, too cumbersome, too ‘fill me up – I can take it making them too heavy bags’ and you get my drift anyway. I pretty convinced all photographers have this issue. Ultimately I reckon bag shopping is like choosing a screwdriver head for a particular screw type. Yes, you have options, but only one will suit a particular job.

Now, I’m not going to review one here, more like go over some of the finer points of bag types and their benefits – or as I see them anyway.

The Shoulder Bag

I currently own my third (I think) bag of this type. The ThinkTank Retrospective 7 Bag (see Think Tank Photo’s Retrospective 7 Blueslate for more info).


  • Holds a 70-200L lens attached to a 5dmk2 body vertically.
  • Room for 2 more lenses and a flash, plus batteries etc.
  • Looks amazing, comfortable, blends in and is downright cool.

Because its so spacious it cripples my back after sitting it over my shoulder for more than a few moments. And I certainly WOULD NOT recommend you use this for a hike up a hill.

In my opinion this bag is awesome and reasonably priced for the size , but beware, you may well need a rucksack too.

The issues surrounding the rucksacks and swing bags are numerous. Swing bags are a bad idea if you have a dodgy back. But great at quick access. I have owned 2 – didn’t keep them long so if you’re a fan of these then we’re probably going to disagree on them.

Rucksacks are better for your back, hold more, but take longer to get to your gear. There also appears to be a depth issue with them. If you want a deep one, you have to go to the largest possible size.

I don’t own one at the moment – hence my ramblings. In fact I’ve probably looked at 30-40 different bags, none of which will do what I need them to do which ideally would be to hold the Cokin X-Pro filter pack.

The best lightweight and medium sized backs, with the best value for money are shortlisted here:

These are all very good, lightweight and flexible but none will hold the Cokin X-pro filter box. If anyone knows of a bag that will please get in touch! In terms of value, I’ve got to say the Mantona wins hands down and is on my to buy before my next trip list.

I think I’ll sign off here for now, before it spirals into a rant anyway. If I think of anything else, I’ll update the blog.