A few years ago, I was gifted a Billingham Hadley Pro shoulder bag. It’s a very well-made waterproof bag that is ideal for use as a walkabout bag for smaller kits. It’s dimensions are fairly small: 15 3/8″W x 6 3/8″ D x 9 3/8″ H. This makes the Hadley Pro an easy bag to put under an airplane seat as a personal item when traveling. I’ve taken this bag to places like Croatia and Scotland, where it was perfect for a small travel kit, like a Nikon Z7 ii and two zoom lenses.
However, I never thought I’d use this bag for transporting a super telephoto zoom. That is, until I tested it with my OM Systems OM-1 camera and Olympus 100-400mm f/5.0-6.3 lens, which has an equivalent angle of view to a 200-800mm lens on a 35mm format camera. By removing the lens collar (something I don’t need for hand-held shooting anyway), I was able to easily fit this telephoto zoom into the Hadley Pro bag. The OM-1 with 12-45mm f/4 lens attached fit as well, and I still had yet another empty compartment available to me.
My colleague, Rick Walker, pointed out something else while we were out shooting together. One could theoretically pair the 100-400mm with the outstanding Olympus 12-100mm f/4 zoom and have a two lens kit that covers the entire range from 24-800mm equivalent, in a bag that fits under the seat of an airplane. Mind blown!
I’ve just gotten word that Think Tank Photo has just announced updated versions of their camera roller bags. The Airport Security V3 and Airport International V3 are large-capacity bags designed to fit into most standard aircraft overhead bins.
The new designs feature improved handles, greater durability, and dedicated laptop and tablet compartments. The Airport International V3.0, sized for international carry on requirements, holds two gripped DSLRs with lenses attached, plus two to four additional lenses, a 15” laptop, and a 10” tablet. The roller fits up to a 500mm f/4 detached or 400mm f/2.8 attached (hood reversed). The Airport Security V3.0, sized for US domestic carry on requirements, holds two gripped DSLRs with lenses attached plus four to six additional lenses, a 17” laptop, and a 10” tablet. The bag fits up to a 600mm f/4 detached or 500mm f/4 attached (hood reversed). With my partnership with Think Tank, you’ll receive free gear and free shipping with every order you place for their gear, as long as you start your shopping experience here.
I have the earlier versions of both of these bags. I find them incredibly useful when I’m traveling with heavier telephotos on cross-country flights. While both bags will fit into the overhead bins of regular-sized jets, choose the International version if you do not normally travel domestic airlines within the USA. If you frequently find yourself on regional jets, consider the smaller Airport Essentials backpack.
Since I bought my Fujifilm X-T1 system, all of my camera bags were suddenly too big! I purchased a Think Tank Photo Mirrorless Mover 30i to carry it in. It’s perfect for walking around with the camera and a couple of lenses plus accessories. I still may get a slightly larger bag for times when I want to pack the entire kit, but right now, the Mirrorless Mover 30i is a good fit for me. It’s small, well-built, and can carry the X-T1 plus four lenses and accessories, including my iPad. For vacation travel, that’s a perfect combination!
Check out my review of the Think Thank Photo Mirrorless Mover 30i bag on YouTube:
Packing for a photo trip is never as easy as it seems. You either A) over-pack and make yourself miserable schlepping a 45-lb bag through airports, or B) forget some seemingly innocuous piece of kit that you wish you had. Of course, there is also option C) you bring too much stuff and still forgot something important. Here are some packing tips that I still need to remind myself about from time to time, so I figured blogging it would help get me straight.