think TANK Photo City Walker 10 – a review

As photographers, we’re always on the look out for that next great camera bag. I have owned at least 10 camera bags over the past 15 years and many of them had their ups, but there has normally been something that wasn’t just right.

When planning a trip to Las Vegas for WPPI this year, I knew the bags I had wouldn’t really do the trick, as they’re heavy on their own. Then once you add gear, forget about it… especially with all the walking you do at a big conference like WPPI.

So my hunt began again. I wanted something lighweight, a shoulder bag for easy access and that would hold: a Fuji X-Pro1 w/ 2 lenses, a 13″ MacBook Air, cables, a wallet and of course, a little make up bag. For all intents and purposes this was going to replace my “purse” for the trip.

I ventured to my local camera store, Glazer’s Camera, three or so times. Checking out the variety of bags from Lowepro, Crumpler, Domke and think TANK Photo.

The best advice I can give when you’re seeking a new camera bag is the following:
Take the gear you want to carry in the bag to the camera store when you go shopping, this will ensure that what you want to carry, you can carry in the bag.

This might be more challenging if you have a larger kit, but this is where the geniuses at think TANK Photo help guide you… In their roller bags they have these photographic layouts of what gear will fit into a bag. Granted these picture either a solid Canon or Nikon kit, so that doesn’t cover everyone, but it covers most of us. And the setups include lenses, bodies, flashes cables and more…

I’d read some reviews and seen posts about the new Think Tank CityWalker 10 Messenger Bag bag and once I saw it, thought it could be the right bag for me. Especially when I picked it up, with no gear in it and realised it weighed almost nothing. The City Walker 10 specs do not indicate it will hold a laptop, but if you pry the insert away from the back of the bag, the velcro comes apart and you can put a small laptop in there, no larger than a Macbook Air 13″.

This little beauty, held everything I needed it to, including an iPad mini, cables and more. The bag ended up being a great solution for my trip to Las Vegas. And it continues to work for my day to day usage. For work my kit includes a Nikon D700 + a few prime lenses and for fun I’m now carrying an Fuji X100s + a Zero Image Pinhole. This bag works for either setup. Since the strap is adjustable you can carry it as a cross body or just on your shoulder.

think TANK Photo City Walker 10
think TANK Photo City Walker 10
think TANK Photo City Walker 10
think TANK Photo City Walker 10

While we’re here I’ll also mention I really dig the Pixel Pocket Rocket for memory card storage, it holds a lot of cards, so don’t lose it! And if you need some help with your Cable Management, these guys offer a variety of bags to help keep you organised! This Cable Management 20 has certainly come in handy for me too!

a day out with the Fuji X100s

Some might say I am really into my gear and toys, but I show a fair amount of restraint when it comes to purchasing cameras. I shot with the wonderful Nikon D200 for more than 6 years, it was a work horse and never failed me on the job, but last year I decided to upgrade to a D700… what does this have to do with a Fuji X100s? Not a heck of a lot, but I wanted to share, that I’m someone who firmly believes in upgrading when you have reached the limits of what your current gear can do.

I have to admit with the first Fuji X100 came out, I totally wanted one. With it’s vintage style and compact form factor, who wouldn’t? I had a couple of friends who’d purchased one and read many a review. They all said the same thing. It was a great step in technology, but it had some issues. I held off, for these reasons and I simply didn’t need the camera.

Just a few months ago the upgraded/updated Fujifilm X100S was announced. I read thorough reviews from Zack Arias and David Hobby, notes on DP Review and went to my local camera store, Glazer’s Camera, weekly to visit their demo model. I was impressed with the updates to the camera, the software and results I was seeing. And I decided to make the leap. With my continued use of prime lenses, and a desire to document the world around me, this is a fabulous addition to my arsenal.

I just received the camera today and decided to take it for a spin along South Lake Union in the Fremont neighbourhood of Seattle. I’ve done some minor edits in Lightroom, but for the most part these images are straight out of camera. I have to say I’m really looking forward to what I will be able to do with this little guy!

Fuji X100s - lake union
Fuji X100s – lake union
Fuji X100s - dock
Fuji X100s – dock
Fuji X100s - stairs
Fuji X100s – stairs
Fuji X100s - dock2
Fuji X100s – dock2
Fuji X100s - Canal
Fuji X100s – Canal
Fuji X100s - Lake Union Sunset
Fuji X100s – Lake Union Sunset

 

rockin’ laptop case

Recently a thinkTANK Artificial Intelligence 13 V3 made it’s way into my arsenal. Now as a girl, I’m wired to have loads of bags. Kind of like Goldilocks always looking for one that’s just right! This is my 4th case/sleeve/bag I’ve acquired since getting the Macbook Air last year and this one really nails it for most occasions.

What’s amazing about this bag? Well a few things… how about jamming all of this into it:

a 13″ MacBook Air
a composition book/moleskin
keys
laptop charger
iPhone
olloclip
small wallet
lipstick/lip blam
pens/sharpies
I can even sneak an Olympus Pen E-P2 in there too! (with the 17mm pancake lens)

The bag is only 1.2″ deep, this means if you’re travelling you could store this bag in a larger bag. It’s well padded, and my MacBook air fits in there snugly. The back pocket on the bag is where I carry a real notebook, even though I heart my technology I still love putting pen to paper. But if you really love technology, you could easily fit an iPad (smart tablet) into that same pocket.

The front pocket has slots for cards, like business cards, a few pens, and a fob to attach your keys to, if you so wish. The strap is also designed in a way to either just be worn on the shoulder or as a cross body. Multi-functional, yep I dig it.

Thank you thinkTANK for adding this size to the Artificial Intelligence line! And for being rock stars!

All photos of the bag and contents were taken with my trusty iPhone4s.