The Perfect All-round Camera Bag For Travel [That Also Looks Good!]

 

Want to travel the world or just around town? This is a great camera bag for both and for me, the Think Tank Retrospective 6 is the best camera bag I've ever owned. Here's why...

 My Think Tank Retrospective 6 in Pinestone. Just love that worn look!

My Think Tank Retrospective 6 in Pinestone. Just love that worn look!

Let's go back in time a few months. It was only a week to go before we set off on our journey around the world and it hit me that I was missing one really important piece of photography gear: a camera bag! Until then, I had been using a small and cheap shoulder bag that would only fit my camera with a lens mounted because I don't like to carry around stuff that I don't need. But circumstances were going to be different because the plan was to travel for at least one year. I couldn't just take a camera and one lens. I needed a camera bag that could fit two extra lenses, some batteries, external hard drives and if possible also a bottle of water and some snacks.

The Think Tank Retrospective 6 shoulder bag

I had to act fast so I started browsing the world wide web and tried to find the perfect camera bag. I prefer a shoulder bag and one that's functional and easy to use but also one that looks nice.

Nice not only meaning good looking but also inconspicuous. I didn't want a camera bag that screams: “Big expensive camera in here!”, especially when traveling certain parts of the world. Most leather or slick black bags do just that so I was really looking for something different and then I discovered the Think Tank Retrospective 6.

I loved the look right away but would it be functional and easy to use? The best camera bag is one that has it all...

The perfect all-round camera bag 

Think Tank has several sizes and models and they're made from a sturdy cotton canvas material that doesn't make them look like a camera shoulder bag but just an ordinary messenger bag.

They're equipped with a rain cover even though the canvas can take some light rain and a ton of separation pieces to create spaces for every piece of photography gear you want to take on a short trip or when you're about to travel to another country. There are extra pockets and lots of storage space for a phone, passport, money, batteries, memory cards, … and it opens and closes fast with velcro strips.

These strips even have silencers in case you're shooting at an event. It just does what a good camera bag needs to do: It's easy to use and it looks nice!

What fits in the Think Tank retrospective 6?

 My Pentax 645z and three lenses. Plenty of room left for external hard drives, batteries, viewfinder, flash...

My Pentax 645z and three lenses. Plenty of room left for external hard drives, batteries, viewfinder, flash...

When traveling, I use my camera bag in two different situations. First, when we go from place to place. In that case, I put a lot more in there then when I'd go out to shoot photos. This is what fits when filled to the top: my Pentax 645z + 55mm, a 35mm, a 75mm, two batteries, a few SD-cards, a battery charger, pouch with passport and money, an external hard drive and viewfinder for shooting video. By the way, you can learn more about my gear here.

Then, when I go out shooting, most of the stuff stays in the hotel room and instead I can take a bottle of water or some snacks. In 99% of the cases I just need my Pentax 645z + 55mm and one of the two extra lenses...

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Sizes and colors

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Think Tank Retrospective 5
PinestoneSandstoneBlackSandstone/LeatherPinestone/Leather
Fits for example a Canon 5DMIV with 50mm f/1.8 mounted, 24-70mm f/2.8, iPad Mini
OR
a Sony a7MII with 24–70mm f/4 mounted, 16-35mm f/4, 55mm f/1.8, iPad Mini

Think Tank Retrospective 6
PinestoneSandstoneBlack
Fits for example a Fujifilm X-Pro1 with 23mm f/1.4 mounted, X-T1 with 56mm f/1.2 attached, 18mm f/2, 14mm f/2.8, and an iPad Mini in the front pocket
OR
a Canon 5D MIII with 50mm f/1.2 mounted, 16-35mm f/4, 85mm f/1.2, and an iPad Mini in the front pocket

Think Tank Retrospective 7
PinestoneSandstoneBlackSandstone/LeatherPinestone/Leather
Fits for example a Nikon D810 w/ 24-70 f/2.8 mounted, 70-200 f/2.8 detached + SB-900 Speedlight
OR
a DJI Mavic Pro drone, controller, batteries and accessories

Want to fit even more?

Then make sure to check out the Retrospective 10, 20, 30 or 40 to fit two camera bodies...

Transparency alert! I didn't get paid by Think Tank for this article; I just love my bag. There are affiliate links in this article, though. This means that if you buy anything, we’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support is highly appreciated and keeps the site going!

 
 
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Joris Hermans is a portrait, documentary and travel photographer based in Belgium. For the last ten years he has been combining personal and freelance work and won several awards among which the Nikon Press Photo Award in 2017. In 2018 he set off on a journey around the world with his girlfriend documenting everything on The World Ahead Of Us...

https://www.jorishermans.com
• Instagram:
@hermans.joris