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| p.1 #1 · F-Stop Stowe and Guru w/ small and medium shallow ICU's |
Hey Guys, I have another thread asking questions about these two bags but I just received them a little while ago and thought I'd post some pics and a short review of my initial thoughts since I haven't seen any reviews of the Stowe and don't seem to find too many reviews of the shallow ICU cases with semi-pro sized gear. Anyway, I haven't actually used them out in the field yet, just played around with the ICU's to see how things would fit.
So here it goes for the pics, short review and thoughts later...
Stowe, Guru, Small ICU (top), Medium ICU (bottom)
Stowe Front (see ruler at bottom... sorry if it's blurry)
Stowe Side (see ruler at bottom... sorry if it's blurry)
Stowe Next to small ICU side
Stowe with Medium Shallow ICU
Stowe with Small ICU
Medium ICU Packed with most of my gear
Top to bottom, left to right
Top: 50mm 1.2, 35mm 1.4, 16-35 2.8
Middle: Underneath is 430ex ii, on top is 40mm pancake and 270ex
Bottom: 5d mkiii, Sigma 85 1.4
First Impressions - Stowe
Bag is great for what it is… collapsible bag that I can take along on trips for smaller outings
Great style and size
Lots of extra room with small or medium shallow ICUs
ICU connection points only seem to be for Large sized ICU's… small ICU connection point is OK not great and medium does not have any connection point… this could be a problem depending on what ICU you choose
Not too many outside pockets
Little flimsy but I expected this based off of info from f-stop customer support
First Impressions - Small and Medium Shallow ICU's
Gives a bit more room in the Guru and Stowe behind the ICU (I think... don't have a Pro ICU yet to compare)
Fit's 5d mkiii standing up normally with many lenses/etc as you can see
Medium shows fit above... Small will fit 5d mkiii with two lenses + Fuji X100
Lots of configurations available with the included providers
Doesn't fit 5d mkiii standing on it's side
Not great for having body w/ lens attached
Flap doesn't tuck back nicely without removing foam insert (especially if you want to put a laptop in front of the ICU)
Would be nice if they extended the zipper around the ICU more so that it could fold back a bit cleaner (expected this from other reviews
Ok so after playing around with the bags and ICU's a bit I've decided to give the Pro sized ICU's a try and the guys at f-stop were great at accommodating this for me. I hope to get them in next week.
My problems with the shallow ICU's are that they don't fit the 5d mkiii on its side. I kind of figured this would happen but thought it'd be ok, but after playing around with the configurations I found it hard to have a lens attached to the camera and still fit everything else. I'm hoping the Pro ICU size will be able to fit the 5d mkiii on its side as well as my 16-35 standing up. This will free up a lot more space... my only concern with the Pro sized ICU is how much space in front of the bag will available for a macbook air/etc. Either way, with a shallow or pro I suppose I'll have some trade-offs so we'll see how it goes!
The other thing that I'm not sure of are the connection points in the Stowe. They only seem to be made for the large size ICU. It would have been nice if they included more connection points for either the small or medium sized ICU or if they had movable connection points somehow. I can get the small ICU to connect at the bottom of the bag but the medium ICU doesn't have anywhere to connect to. I suppose I could use the bag without the connection point but that would kind of defeat the purpose of having the connection points in the first place. In any case, I have some pro sized small and medium ICUs coming in the mail so I'll see how those fit. If all else fails maybe I'll see if I can get a large sized ICU and just not load it up all the way or use the extra compartments to hold other stuff in the stowe to see how that works.
Overall, I'm very happy with the bags as I think they are the most well thought out bags I have ever owned. I have an incase ari marcopoulos sling bag as well as a thinktank ud35. I can say with certainty that the stowe, guru, and ICU's are just as well thought out as my other two bags if not better!
If you guys have any suggestions or questions, feel free to let me know.