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.

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).


My Queue is Finally Empty

After eleven months my new photos queue in Lightroom is empty.  I’ve filed away into their appropriate folders, edited whatever was needed, prepared those images going to stock sales, and submitted at least 70% of the ones I had selected to go out.

But the best part is:  The Queue is EMPTY!  Since September 2015 I’ve had images in that folder awaiting review, editing, keywording among other things.  Now it’s all done.

However, tomorrow I leave for a few days of photography; this time it’s for myself more than work related stock and travel.  I plan on experimenting with Panoramics, HDR, and long exposure among other things.  We shall see what I return with.  If I can post from the road, I will.

Tonight I’ll be selecting the gear I plan to take.  Since this is a car trip, with the exception of when we go off into the woods for a hike, the gear should pretty much stay put in the back seat in my backpack so I think I’ll probably pack everything PLUS the kitchen sink.  As always, I’ll have a couple of smaller messenger bags that are always with me for those times when i’m off on a walking adventure.


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…

I’m outta Hea-ah…. The Gear reviewed

One more week.  One more week.  One more week.

Some images of the gear I’ll be taking and how it’s all packed.  I think I’ve swapped bags two-three times now but I believe this will be the final configuration. Keep in mind this is a 10-day ROAD trip except for three days when I’ll be on a boat and an island.  So, for those three days, since there is no electric all the chargers and other stuff in the red pouch and probably the laptop stays in the car or on the mainland hotel room.  The camera gear, and one of the drives, probably the primary, will come with me in addition to all my gear and food I’ll need for three days.

Next year, I’ll be spending several weeks in Alaska.  That will require a flight I’m guessing that I’ll probably ship via UPS most of my gear including the tripods and clothing, and only take on board the aircraft the camera gear.  I did this the last time I was shooting out in the Southwest and it worked out perfectly!

On a quick note I do plan to post images here daily except for the three days when i won’t have any cell, or wi-fi service.  In addition I’m thinking about showing which lens was used on that day.  Of course these will be gross numbers at first, not based on keepers just total shutter presses.


The Bag that I’ve decided to take as the primary carry-all camera gear bag: the Gootium 21218 Canvas & Leather Cross Body Messenger from Amazon. $29.99US. ONE OF THE BEST BAGS I’VE EVER CARRIED CAMERA GEAR IN PERIOD! So many pockets and nooks and crannies I love this thing! It has SIX, count ’em SIX outside pockets! Each one has a purpose which I’ll demonstrate as we go through the gear.
Outside Pocket ONE. Not closable. Giotto Blower, Flashlight (Torch for our overseas friends) Rotroring Pen. Deep Inside: Tripod Plate. Moleskin Notebook. Fuji RR90 Remote. Right next to this pocket, Pocket TWO I keep my Tiffen Filter Pouch which I’ll break down in another image further down.
Pockets THREE AND FOUR: These close with a tab. Here, I keep those items that I won’t be accessing on a regular basis. In my case: Thinktank SD/CF Card holder with 394Gigs of 32 and 16G cards in pocket #3. In Pocket #4, four extra batteries in a Thinktank battery pouch. Again since I don’t have to access these items as much as the others the pockets will be clasped shut.
Inside the bag, in order to give it some structure, is another Amazon Item – the Jill-E Design #340993 Camera bag Insert in Black with three dividers (it comes with more) And yes it’s filthy with sand, and dirt. It needs a vacuuming out. Inside is a zippered pocket that will hold wallet, keys, phone whatever you can throw in there.
Clockwise: Rotring Pen & Moleskin Notebook. Zeiss 12mm F2.8 no lens shade. Fuji 35mm F1.4 w custom lens hood. Giotto Blower. Pen camel Hair Brush. Tiffen Filter Pouch (open) with two Polarizers in top pockets. Bottom two pockets contain step-up rings to bring ALL lenses up to my 77mm filter size. 77mm Singh-Ray Warming Polarizer. Tiffen 3-stop ND filter, B+W 10 Stop ND filter. Think tank SD/CF card holder with 394G of SD Cards. Four spare batteries. Fuji X-T1 with the 18-55 lens and custom lens shade. Fuji 55-200 with custom shade. 23mm F1.4 with custom shade. 16mm 1.4 no lens shade. Sirius Tripod Plate for full-size tripod. Also packed a smaller plate for my folding travel sirius tripod. Fuji RR90 Remote
Camera and Lenses left to right: Zeiss Touit 12mm 2.8. Fuji 16mm 1.4. 23mm F1.4. 35mm 1.4. 55-200. X-T1 with the 18-55 lens. Yes, that is a Nikon lens cap on the 18-55. I go through lenscaps all the time so I buy them by the pound. I don’t care what it says on the front. Whatever is cheap. All the lens shades/hoods are custom. They are all screw-on, and the lenscaps all fit.
The loaded messenger bag zippered and buttoned down for travel. Again: this bag is amazing. I’ve owned it for two/three years now and it goes with me wherever I travel. At each end of the bag are two more pockets. Number FIVE and SIX. Pocket Five – which clasps shut securely contains my Zeiss 12mm F2.8, and Pocket Six contains the 16mm F1.4. Inside are the rest of the lenses and the X-T1 with my go-to lens, the 18-55
This Lowepro Exchange Messenger Bag has three dividers. It’s very deceiving as it also has very slim pockets on the outside – and one of them has a zipper for car keys, documents, etc. I am folding this bag up and taking it in my luggage as a bag I’ll use when I want to walk around and travel light with the camera and a couple of lenses. This bag is from Amazon, though currently unavailable I think it was like $30.00
Ditto. Same as above. It has the two squeeze clasps for the top lid that covers everything including the outside pockets. Very inconspicuous.
In a separate medium size LL Bean pouch – which is water resistant outside, and soft thick protective sheepskin inside I carry the following Two USB3.0 Cables. AData 1TB Travel Backup Drive. AData 1TB Travel Primary Drive. iPad SD card Apple connector (may stay behind if I don’t take the iPad) Cigarette lighter adapter for the Wasabi Battery chargers. Wall plug with two USB ports for phones and other use. Phone charger cable – this in addition to the one I keep in my car to charge on the road. SD/CF LExar USB3.0 card reader. Two Wasabi Battery chargers. 11.6″ Macbook Air, 256SSD, 16G, with identical software that I have on my desktop and other laptop. I also have presets that upon importing images from the SD cards they go to the primary external HD. At the same time, a duplicate copy is placed on the backup drive. One drive will always be with me at all times, the backup will remain in the vehicle, or the hotel safe. The MacAir has an identical pouch but larger for it to fit in.