I pose the question to you: Does new equipment mean more pictures?
(Notice I say more pictures, not necessarily better)
Recently I realised that I wasn't carrying around my camera as much as I would like when just "out and about", so I decided it was time to invest in a walkabout camera bag.
Why? I hear you ask...
well, most of my equipment is housed in a Lowerpro All-Weather backpack, which is great for those times that you are on a hillside and know that you have just about everything with you, but getting to that hillside?? That is a lot of weight to be carrying around, and is definitely not comfortable if you are walking around cities.
What was I looking for?
I was looking for a messenger-style bag, something compact enough to sling over your shoulder and have camera body and one or two lenses in... the bare minimum, the basics. Having a Sony A99, it is not the most compact body you can get, so I needed something that was roomy enough to accommodate this. As for the lenses I was looking at carrying, I wanted a variety, so I could cover street and architectural photography. A few of my lenses stood out, but I was look at the 16-35mm Zeiss f2.8, Minolta 50mm f1.4, or "mini-beercan" Minolta 35-70mm f4.0 (ok, I said one lens plus another... surely I could squeeze in two others!).
A rearrangeable interior, preferably velcro compartments... I don't know about you, but I am forever fiddling with the inside of my camera bag. Trying different configurations of where the lenses sit, how they are going to be protected, how easy are they to get to... never happy. With this in mind, I wanted something that was going to be customisable.
It would also need to be weather-proof, or at least have a weather-proof cover, what with the British weather, you can leave the house in perfect photography weather, only for it to be raining when you get there... once the fog has cleared you may still be up for shooting (you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes!). So protection for the contents was high on the consideration list.
Did I find the perfect bag?
maybe not perfect, but certainly not bad, with everything that is above in mind, I went on my hunt for this bag, hoping that my requirements weren't too outlandish (notice I left out what colour I was looking for... I'm not THAT picky).
While I was in Manchester I popped into the London Camera Exchange where I found their bag section and started looking... of course I didn't have my camera with me (see initial reason for wanting a new bag), so I then did that awkward thing when in a camera shop... guessing. Photography is such a precise thing, and there was me trying to guess how big my camera/lens is because, as anyone that owns a Sony A99 will tell you, no one ever has them in stock to test anything with. So after some looking around the bag and some opening/closing/checking straps/checking inside (with some help of course), I found the Tenba DNA11
This bag features just about everything I was after, plus some additional cool stuff:
- Silent velcro - opening the velcro by pulling down opens silently (apparently all the hooks face downwards to get this effect). It wasn't something I was looking for, but I could see that it would be a nice to have!
- Magnetic capture locks - in case someone is looking to quickly open the bag, the capture locks are a nice feature. To open them you have to slide them sideways, but to attach them you clip them straight on. Handy to stop the velcro flap from being ripped open accidentally
- Top zip - something I never really thought about, but since having the bag I think is a great feature, making the camera more accessible in those "happening now" moments
- Secure strap - to hold the bag in place on your back when you are on a bike or walking long distances and don't want the bag bouncing around
So far, this bag has proved to be all that I have been looking for, and more!
To answer the question that started this... does new equipment make you take more images? Well I feel that in this instance the answer for me was yes, as the day after I was out and about with this bag and my camera and snapped the image below
I have walked past this spot many times, and never before stopped to think about taking a photo, because I didn't have my camera with me. This morning, with my new equipment, I was in the right place at the right time, and hopefully there will be more of these opportunities that I would have missed. Now I shall be taking my Tenba DNA11 with me wherever I go, there is no point in having a camera if it is at home, keeping warm, you never know what you might miss!
Feel free to leave any comments, always happy to hear from readers with suggestions or comments, look forward to hearing from you.