Thinktank CityWalker 30 Review Part II

In my prior post here I gave a preliminary overview of the TT CW 30 after only a week of use as an office messenger bag, and a light-duty camera bag. I’ve now had the pleasure, and I mean pleasure of using it on two separate outings besides as a daily carry.  The first was four day stock/travel image trip up north, and the second was to photograph an event.  I’m going to present images here, with descriptions, as I unpack my bag after the event;  in all honesty it’s a mess as I swapped lenses – between by 16mm, 23, 35, 60mm and the 55-200.  I did not use the 18-55 nor the 12mm Zeiss even though they were in the bag as well.  In other words ALL the lenses I own were in the bag.  For this event I used the very well padded insert that came standard with the CW30, and I threw in the rain cover as we were under the threat of rain most of the day.

In the following images I try to show the contents of the bag and how much you can carry.  I will say I could still have put MORE into the bag as I had one inside end pocket, and both outside mesh pockets available!  This is an insane amount of stuff! During the event I had the bag slung across my should messenger style, I had the main cover open and flat against my hip thereby allowing me access to all my gear inside.  What I truly enjoyed was being able to swap lenses on the fly and using the outside mesh pockets to hold a lens (very easily) and the lens caps and other miscellaneous stuff.

So here goes:  And, if anyone has any questions, please let me know.

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Just for those that are interested this is an image of the bag from last weeks photo trip in which it rained for two of the four days, I took this in a downpour (you can see the rain pounding the water).  I did not break out the rain cover and the bag still remained dry.  Rain water just beaded up and rolled off.
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The Thinktank Citywalker 30 this morning when I came downstairs.  It’s fully loaded exactly where I dropped it after walking in the door after yesterday’s event.  All I did last night was pop the SD card out and upload and backup my images.
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Opening the bag you can see the gear I used.  The camera with the long lens was laid across the top of the other lenses, and I was still able to close the bag. Keep in mind this is all mirrorless gear so… smaller than dSLR, and so much lighter.  I carried this bag as is, fully loaded, all day and it was no bother.  Plus, accessibility to the gear was so easy I didn’t break step once.
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In this image I’ve removed the X-T2 with the 55-200 that was laying across the top and you can see some of the lenses.
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Here I’ve “prettied” up the lenses and stood them up.  As you’ll note, there is PLENTY of room for even more lenses, or accessories.  The Fuji gear being so compact, except the danger of the lenses banging into one another you can fit more than one as you can see on the right.  That’s my 35 1.4,and the 60mm 2.4 Macro.  Down further, I’ll show everything that went into, and came back out of the bag.
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Here I have pulled the insert out of the bag.  The insert is very large and spacious.  Much, much larger than the simple Jill-E insert I showed in the my last post which is the one I use on a daily basis to carry a camera and other office files to/from the office.  The black strap is my camera strap.
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In this image I’ve removed the top layer of camera and lenses.  The Citywalker 30 comes with two extra dividers which I’ve used here.  I also pulled a third divider, seen on the right side from my daily carry Jill-E bag as I needed it.
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In this (lousy) image as I used my iPhone, I have emptied the slot on the left and the right side.  I’ve pulled back the divider in the center – which you can see towards the bottom of the image here to expose the extra body, my X-T1 that I took with me as a spare body.
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After pulling out the insert this is all the “other” stuff that fit around the insert.  That’s the beauty of this amazing bag!  And, I still had the two very deep pockets on the inside left and right.  They are so deep and large that on my way to the event one of them held my Fuji 55-200 with the lens hood attached and it was not reversed either!  Amazing capacity!!  In here you can see my Singh-Ray filter, camera strap, the blue pouch (rain hood for the bag), ThinkThank memory card holder, external 4TB hard drive in black case, and an extra pair of glasses just in case.
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The pocket on the flap held my Giotto Blower, access card, keys, and a iPhone 10′ charging cable and adapter.  It can hold so much.  If you were traveling on public conveyance it will easily hold all necessary maps, boarding passes, iPad, whatever you want.  the pocket runs the length of the flap/bag so it’s huge.
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The Thinktank Citywalker 30 also has a velcro pouch which rests up against your hip to accommodate a 15″ laptop.  It’s not shown here as I did not take it with me, but my bag holds the 15″ MBP and a large moleskin notebook as well.  As you can see, I packed EVERY lens I own; the only one’s that didn’t get any use was the Zeiss and my Fuji 18-55.  I even threw in an extra tripod plate for the X-T1 that never saw any use, a battery charger just in case, an extra phone, flashlight, and the Thinktank four battery holder as well as the Thinktank SD card holder.  All the lenses except the 35 and the 60 were pre-packed before leaving with the appropriate step-up rings to bring them all to 77mm to take advantage of my dSLR 77mm filters, and matching 77mm lenscaps. As you can see, the lens caps, once they came off, never went back on.

I hope you guys found this review helpful.  If you take away ONE thing from reading this it’s that the TTCW30 is truly a beautifully crafted bag with room for just about all your gear if you are a mirrorless shooter.  dSLR shooters will also be very happy with the capacity, and especially the depth of this bag.  There are other pockets I didn’t even mention here – but I do believe I mentioned them in part one of the review.

Let me know what you all think.  I did discover recently this bag has been discontinued so if you want one you better hurry.  I got mine from B&H for 79.00 with free shipping which is an amazing deal!  Much less expensive than Amazon (at the time i purchased mine a couple of weeks ago).

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2016 In my Rear View Mirror

2016 was a rockin’ year!  I received the blessing of a 3rd Grandson which is the grandest of all gifts.  Stock sales, though down in the market overall, I made up for in volume!  What that means is a ot of more work, for basically a small increase in income.  Volume rules at this point; gone are the days of licensing an image for 40 – 50 bucks when anyone can go online and pick up an image for a quarter.  Oh well, such is life.

On another but related note I am now dSLR free.  It’s a double-edge sword and my feelings are torn.  I sold the last of my Nikon gear – being the D800e and a 50mm 1.8 lens.  I am now all in on Fuji with the X series cameras and lenses.  Will I miss those glorious 36 megapixel files?  At times I’m sure I would but in order to have those files, I had to shoot them, and in all honesty, as you can see by the stats I rarely used the camera!

So, here is a re-cap of my 2016 stats, cameras first, then lenses.

  • Nikon D800e:  1,371 keepers
  • Fuji X-T1:  4,117 keepers
  • Fuji X-T2: 4,503 keepers (purchased in September 2016!!)
  • 16mm F1.4: 1,514 keepers
  • 18-55 2.8-4.0 Zoom (my don’t leave home without it lens) 1,489
  • 23mm F1.4: 1,094 keepers
  • 35mm F1.4: 2,256
  • Fuji 55-200 Zoom:  2057 keepers
  • Zeiss 12mm F2.8: 135 keepers.  Most unused lens, but when you need it you need it!

That’s pretty much it for my year. Hears hoping to a profitable, successful and FUN 2017.

Happy New Year

 

 

Just Say “NO” To the Fancy Bag

Little bit of humor here.  Ok.  Maybe not.  I’ve said it before both here, and elsewhere these man bags such as the Billinghams, and the other fancy bags do have a place in the workplace, but not in the field.  Quite frankly I never seen any of these hipsters who carry these fancy uncreased bags around cosmopolitan town even going out into the field in their tight-ass pants, and loafers.  Oh. Sorry, ranting again.  Give me a break guys.  Buying a camera bag, a lousy camera bag for $300 dollars and up, to put it down in dirt and mud, and snow, or wet sand and saltwater?  No.  Not for me.  And I doubt any of these fancy bag toters do either.  Many just want to look cool as they slowly extricate their fancy cameras out of the well-oiled bags to take that selfie, or the foodie shot, then Oh so cool, slide the camera in for another week of storage.  Give me a break.

Now, here in the photo is a true working bag.  This bag cost me $29.95.  It’s canvas.  Cloth.  Period.  Inside is a 3 velcro pocket Jill-E insert for $10.00.  See all that gear?  That’s what I packed yesterday for a short day hike into a bamboo forest. It has SIX (6) pockets just on the OUTSIDE!

I’ve included some images here so you can see what can be accomplished with minimal gear.  Oh, BTW, all of these images, and many more are already for sale on Shutterstock as of 5:00am Sunday morning. Yeah. I’m fast and the X-T1 files, couples with the amazing lenses don’t require a lot of post.

So, if you want to look like a coffee-shop dwelling Brooklyn broke hipster who shoots food, and selfies, go ahead and get yourself a Billingham, or “billingmuch” as I call them, if you want to make yourself useful get yourself a real bag.  Try the think tank series.  Either that, or get the hell out of my way as I make my images.

Thank you.  Rant over.  I’ve now taken cover and am ready for the rebuttals as to how great these expensive bags are other than for image enhancement, like botox…

Quick Day Trip to Washington DC

A few days ago my grandson wanted to travel to DC and see the White House since he had been studying about it in school.

The night before we left for DC I packed my gear into my very lightweight Lowerpro bag with my X-T1, 18-55, 16mm 1.4 and the 12mm 2.8 lens, plus three batteries.
Wednesday morning, as I swung my legs out of bed I questioned my choices.  I’m taking my grandson to DC; this was not going to be a photo trip, this was bonding and family time.
Before my first cup of coffee, I unpacked the bag I had packed the night before.  I decided  to only take my 16mm 1.4 and the 35 1.4 plus three batteries.  That’s it.  I put the black rapid strip on the X-T1 with the 16 1.4, and put the 35 in my pocket with the extra batteries. As always, jpeg fine larger + Raw were the selected modes.  I don’t leave home without my raw setting even though for all the family images I kept the jpeg’s and dumped the raw files.  For those images I thought would make good stock, I keep the raw.
Washington DC was nothing less than I expected;  a huge, crowded, traffic filled, congested mess of cars, black SUV’s, police and security everywhere.  However, traveling with my oldest daughter and both grandsons was just pure joy.  We had a great time, saw a bunch of sites, and my grandson was super excited to finally see what he was studying in kindergarten.
Here are a few images that are already for sale on the stock site, plus a couple of family pics.  Traveling light was a joy.  Not having to worry about the gear, and bag was great.  Having two lenses made my imaging process so much easier and faster, and I remained more focused on having fun and at the same time making some wonderful personal images, as well as some great sellable grab shot images.

Sadly I’ve updated my Gear Page Now

To reflect the fact that all the Nikon gear except the flashes are now gone to new homes.  Kind of scary actually — knowing I can’t grab that 36mp monster – the D800 –  anymore, or my absolute tack-sharp, clear, beautiful and heavy 70-200 2.8 VR1 lens.

I just picked up the Fuji 23mm 1.4 yesterday as I wanted something a little wider than my 35 1.4, but less wide than the Zeiss 12mm.  It was a difficult choice between the 23 and the new 16 but I felt the 16 was a bit too heavy and too wide for my taste.

 

 

 

Gear Used to Make the Kitchen Creek Images last week

I promised I would come back and show what gear I carried with me out on our hike last weekend. However, not all of it was used.  So I’m showing what was in my gear bag and next to the description I show whether it was used or not.

Kitchen Creek Gear

Fuji X-T1  USED Exclusively

Fuji 55-200  USED for 173 of the 190 Images

Fuji 18-55  USED for 17 images

Remote   NOT USED at all (I used the 2 second self-timer)  Unless I’m doing timelapse, it stays home next time.

Zeiss 12mm F2.8   NOT USED at all

Both Singh-Ray Filters   NOT USED at all

Hoya Polarizer  USED on every image

ND8  USED I would say on about 90% of the images — all water shots, none for forest scenes

Step-up Rings  USED two of them – – one for the 55-200 and the other for the 18-55 to bring them to 77mm

Lens Adapter in 10 and 16mm (orange box)  NOT USED at all

Batteries – I carried one in camera and four spares.  I used one battery except for maybe 10 images on the second one.

Bug Spray  USED. ALL. THE. TIME.  Don’t leave home without it.

Zeikos pouch holding one extra memory card  NOT USED AT ALL.  The 32G card in the camera was all I needed.

That’s pretty much it.  As you can see I took much more than needed and I felt it at the end of the day.  I plan on revisiting this location as I never actually made it to the waterfalls this area is famous for so another trip is warranted.  Next time though I guarantee I will be packing much, much less – including a lighter weight tripod than the one I was carrying over my shoulder.

You can always see more of my work here: Drama King Images and at flickr

Wilmington Wipeout 5K Run for Charity

23 photos here.  All photos except for maybe 5 or 6 with the Fuji X-T1, 55-200, ISO 400 handheld.  Focus on Continuous mode, Astia, JPEG ONLY. Other than cropping on some photos, these are all JPEG SOOC. Zero sharpening

Wipeout_5k_X-T1_2527 Wipeout_5k_X-T1_2538 Wipeout_5k_X-T1_2551 Wipeout_5k_X-T1_2563 Wipeout_5k_X-T1_2566 Wipeout_5k_X-T1_2571 Wipeout_5k_X-T1_2581 Wipeout_5k_X-T1_2585 Wipeout_5k_X-T1_2636 Wipeout_5k_X-T1_2663 Wipeout_5k_X-T1_2701 Wipeout_5k_X-T1_2718 Wipeout_5k_X-T1_2767 Wipeout_5k_X-T1_2881 Wipeout_5k_X-T1_2915 Wipeout_5k_X-T1_2918 Wipeout_5k_X-T1_2928 Wipeout_5k_X-T1_2939

THIS IS ONE OF MAYBE FIVE IMAGES NOT TAKEN WITH THE 55-200, BUT WITH THE 18-55
THIS IS ONE OF MAYBE FIVE IMAGES NOT TAKEN WITH THE 55-200, BUT WITH THE 18-55

Wipeout_5k_X-T1_2943 Wipeout_5k_X-T1_2948 Wipeout_5k_X-T1_2985 Wipeout_5k_X-T1_3136

 

You can always see more of my work here: Drama King Images and at flickr