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Archive 2013 · ThinkTank Retrospective Bags
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · ThinkTank Retrospective Bags

Does anyone have any experience with these bags? I just found out about them today and REALLY like that they're a not-so-obvious camera bag (with their pine colouring). From what I can tell is that the TT bags are well-made and thought out but the one concern I have is that the dividers seem awfully thin and not sure what type of padding protection they provide. Considering the 10 or 20. This will be my day-bag/camera bag while overlanding in Africa. Gear will be a D800, AFS 80-400, 16-35 f/4, 1.4xTC, extra battery & charger, mem cards, cleaning stuff, circ. polarizer, DMC-TS3 w/ charger.

I've searched and found a few threads on them, seems regarding the 10 the 70-200 attached to an FX does fit (barely) but I'm not so sure the 80-400 on the D800 will. I do like the idea of having more space and a lot more discreet bag than the Lowepro Fastpack 250 backpack I was going to bring. Also I noticed that I will be using either the 80mm side for people or the 400+TC end on safari depending on the situation and likely not much in between so I'm not sure what will work best here, as with my current backpack the D800+TC+80-400 does fit but I have nowhere to put the TC other than mounted which I can already see is going to get annoying.

Sorry for the rambling!

Apr 29, 2013 at 06:02 AM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · ThinkTank Retrospective Bags

TT bags are among the best out there. As to the dividers being thin, I put them as one of the few companies that think about how a bag should be made. Just enough to protect your gear reasonable while in use but not enough to make the bag into an igloo cooler. Always get a model that is larger then you need. This allows for ease of use and you know you can always add if needed.

Apr 29, 2013 at 11:21 AM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · ThinkTank Retrospective Bags

I have the 5, which I use for m4/3 gear, and it's really nice. Relatively small, extremely well built and tons of room inside. Plus it looks quite good. I've been a Domke guy in the past, but if I were still shooting an SLR, I'd be tempted to replace my Domke F-2 with a TT Retrospective 10 or 20.

Apr 29, 2013 at 11:24 AM
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · ThinkTank Retrospective Bags

TT has the best bags I've found in quite a while, great construction, design and functionality. I've a Retrospective 10 for my G12 kit and a Digital Holster 50 v2 for telephoto storage/use. Another bigger Retro will be in my future I'm guessing, as one day my 35yr old Domke F2 will need to be retired, for the moment it's my best bag.

The newer Domke's are not as well made, TT bags are a clear winner IMHO and there seems to be a great bag design for whatever your need.


Apr 30, 2013 at 02:47 AM

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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · ThinkTank Retrospective Bags

A follow up:

The retrospective bags are very nice and for a daily bag I may even pick one up. The 10 is a little tight for long lenses but the 20 is fantastic (with long glass in mind) but does feel quite a bit bigger while wearing it. The retrospective series has a lot of nice features inside the bag itself, and I feel the padding is actually quite good despite its thin appearance. The 10 and 20 are both a bit heavy and the straps are very rugged but comfortable. In the 20, I had: D800, 80-400, 16-35, 1.4x tc, extra battery + charger, filter, cleaning stuff and rocket blower, small P&S w/ charger. Vertically, I had a lot of room and likely could have put two flashes on either side with the D800 + 80-400 attached in the middle.

The materials are quite nice and feel of high quality, which makes me believe these bags are actually quite durable and could last a lifetime.

So why didn't I buy? Camera gear in the 20 fit perfectly and loaded up, it was decently comfortable. However for me, it still was quite big on the hip and I had no where to put things like a water bottle, snacks etc without the bag expanding to the max and kind of defeating the purpose of a discreet camera bag. Personally a shoulder bag loaded up as I had it is not something I can see myself wearing over a whole day, despite its initial comfort level. Shooting from the hip is something I'll likely miss. I guess I can't have it all...

Apr 30, 2013 at 04:45 AM
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · ThinkTank Retrospective Bags

I own several and also love the rustic army surplus vibe. The only negative thing I can say is they're on the heavy side but otherwise the bee's knees 'o bags. I wrote a review on the Retrospective 7:


Apr 30, 2013 at 05:05 AM
C Parish
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · ThinkTank Retrospective Bags

I love my Retro, but after a few hours when loaded down I get a sore shoulder.

For all day use on a trek I would go with some kind of pack I spread the load.


May 01, 2013 at 01:38 AM
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · ThinkTank Retrospective Bags

I have the Retro 5 and Retro 10...very well made bags, on par with my ballistic Domke F2.

My problem with them, however, is half the storage pockets (inside and out) are for marketing...and practically useless. Its almost like the designer had the R30 loaded in his graphics program, grabbed the corner-select and scaled the bag smaller. Everything scaled equally, and many of the great features became useless. Others may chime in that they don't see this as a problem.

For example, each end of the bag has pocket...On R20/30, I suspect this pocket can hold a good size flash. On the R5 and R10 these are too small to hold anything bigger than a small phone (my iPhone barely fits in the 10, and won't fit on the five. Looking at the inside, I see tons of "cool" pockets and storage, but find most of them either too small or too tight to be of any real use.

To be fair, I am coming from the Domke F2, which has tons of room. The R5 and R10 are smaller than the Domke, so perhaps a better comparison would be the R30 and Domke F2.

Padding on both seems more than sufficient.

As a day bag, I can live with the R10, carrying a D300s, 80-200 2.8, 11-16 2.8, 17-55 2.8, a SB-600 flash, two 77mm filters, and some batteries for the flash. Heavy though. The Domke F2 is a larger bag, and lighter than both of them, and I find it much easier to carry all day.

May 01, 2013 at 02:09 AM

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