Monday, December 12, 2011

REVIEW: Think Tank Photo Modular Component Set v2.0 and Keep It Up Shoulder Strap

Think Tank Photo Modular Component Set v2.0
Think Tank Photo Modular Component Set v2.0

In the new v2.0 set, Think Tank Photo has reduced the number of included bags down from 6 to 4. Fortunately, the four included are the ones I use 99% of the time so for most this will be a good thing.

The Pro Speed Belt v2.0 belt sold separately so you can pick the size that is right for your waist size.

Here’s what’s included:

  • 4 piece set mesh carrying case
  • Lens Changer 50 V2.0 - Sized for both wide angle and standard professional zoom lenses
  • Lens Changer 75 Pop Down V2.0 - Carries a 70 - 200 f/2.8 or 100 - 400 f/4 with the lens hood reversed or in position
  • Strobe Stuff - Large enough to accommodate a 580EXII or SB900 with an external battery pack and diffuser attached
  • Speed Changer V2.0 - Multiple use pouch that can fit a pro-sized camera body (lens not attached) with room for accessories. Can also be configured with the included dividers to carry small telephoto lenses, teleconverters, RF Transceivers, or pro-size batteries.

Additional lens pouches, and skins are available to complete to your collection.

Keep It Up Shoulder Strap

Keep It Up Shoulder Strap
Keep It Up Shoulder Strap

One of the challenges with the modular belt is that the weight of your gear and the lack of wide hips can result in a little downwards creep of your belt. I’ve never had a belt fall off, but I’ve needed to stop and re-tighten my belt on occasion to make sure I was comfortable with it staying put. Think Tank Photo has addressed this issue with the new Keep It Up Shoulder Strap which gives you additional support for your belt as well as a place to store your phone.

This strap is a wider version of what you’d find on the wonderful Artificial Intelligence laptop bag. Unfortunately it lacks any substantial padding, so I’m not crazy about that part. However, it doesn’t get much weight pressure when used with the belt so some might find the thin strap useful for storage when not in use. The inclusion of a cell phone pocket that can hold an iPhone is so cool that I’ll probably use it as a replacement strap for my Artificial Intelligence 17 V2.0

Should v1.0 Users Upgrade?


Watch this video to learn more

While I really like the improvements of the new bags, I’d say that v1.0 users are safe keeping their current bags. As you add bags I’d go for the new v2.0 bags, but I don’t think the convenience of the rain bag storage and new elastic pockets warrant replacing your existing bags.

Conclusion

I love my v1 modular components that I reviewed a year ago. Over this past year I have used them anytime that I only need one body AND when I know my camera will be in my hands more than in the bag. It has been great for event, sports and photojournalism shoots.

I use my Streetwalker Pro or Urban Disguise 40 v2.0 most often when I need larger capacity, and when I’m loaded down I use my Airport Security v2,0. Despite owning all of these bags and more, the modular set has remained an important part of my collection. Because I own both, I’ll be ditching my v1.0 duplicates, but for everyone else I’d say that either v1.0 or v2.0 will serve you equally well.

SPECIAL OFFER - Ordering Information

To order the bags featured in this article, please use these links (includes the FREE BAG offer):

Click here for the latest FREE BAG special offer and other Think Tank Photo bag reviews.

HOLIDAY SPECIALS

Buy any Think Tank Photo Retrospective shoulder bag and get money back!

Between now and the end of December, whenever you order any of Think Tank Photo’s Retrospective shoulder bags, you will receive up to $20 back. The Retrospective bags are inconspicuous, soft-sided shoulder bags with a simple exterior that blends into the environment. They range in size from the Retrospective 5--which carries one standard size DSLR with one to three lenses or a complete Micro Four Thirds or rangefinder camera system—to the Retrospective 30, which holds two pro size DSLRs plus three to six lenses. Click on the “Support” tab on each Retrospective product page to download your rebate form. And don’t forget, in addition to receiving the rebate check from Think Tank, you also get to select gear to receive for free with your order when you order using my special code!

Enter to win “A Gob of Free Gear”!

With the help of several photo equipment vendors, as part of its In A Bag random drawing, every day from today through December 20th 2011 Think Tank Photo will be dropping one or more free items into one of its huge Airport Security rollers. Over 40 photo equipment items and other fun stuff will overflow the roller. On December 21st, one lucky person will win everything. You can enter once a day to win.

BUY (or better yet) RECEIVE THINK TANK PHOTO GIFT CERTIFICATES

Wondering what to give this holiday to your photographer friends? Or (hint-hint), wondering what to tell others to give you this holiday? Think Tank Gift Certificates are now available.

Disclosure

I was provided with a v2.0 modular set, pro speed belt v2.0 and keep it up shoulder strap for this review. I may also get a commission if you make a purchase using the links in this article.

If you enjoyed this article, please support future articles like this by donating a dollar or saving several dollars by using my discount coupon codes. Either way, your support is greatly appreciated!

Click here to learn more about how this blog is funded.

8 comments:

Dave said...

I just got a new Lens Changer 15 V2 and really dislike the new drawstring design. They attached the locking mechanism to the bag instead of allowing it to slide freely on the drawstring. I now have to use two hands to open the top of a pouch where on my old bags I could simply squeeze and pull the lock with one hand to open the pouch. I fail to see what the improvement is in this design. The description of the new design says one hand closing but I don't see that happening either.

Ron Martinsen said...

Dave - I totally agree with you man. I actually cut the little gray loop on mine to get the v1 style. I waited to respond to see if TTP had anything to say, but with the holidays I haven't heard back. Fortunately there is an easy workaround as these bags are pretty good otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Thanks guys for posting your comments on the draw string dissatisfaction.I was about to purchase the V2 set but now I think I will buy the original versions.

Ron Martinsen said...

Anonymous - you totally missed the point here. It's still worth getting the new bags. The new design simply sews a loop to keep the drawstring pull close to the bag. In 1 second you can cut that piece and have the v1.0 design, yet have all the improvements of the 2.0. I do not recommend 1.0 unless you already own it - new purchases should get the 2.0.

I should also add that on the 24th I shot a football game where I used the bags featured in this article with one bag where the pull was attached and another where it was cut off. I found both to be equally usable in practice when the bags are on my waist. When holding them in the hand without gear though, the old 1.0 design was faster (which again is possible on 2.0 when you simply cut the loop).

Dave said...

Ron,
I haven't cut mine yet but plan to do so. I also sent a note to Think Tank about the new design and haven't heard anything yet.
I wouldn't avoid the new design simply because of this issue, adding the storage area on the bottom of the bag for the rain cover was a great idea and overall the workmanship is excellent.

Ron Martinsen said...

Dave, I'm slowly getting used to the new design. I can do it one handed now, but the old design felt more comfortable. I probably won't cut all of mine.

Dave said...

Ron,
Does the Keep-it-up Shoulder strap include the D-ring attachments for the the belt? The TT site isn't clear about this. Thanks

Ron Martinsen said...

Yes it does - I love the keep it up as its handy for holding the iPhone and memory cards when u are shooting lots of shots and fast action.

Mine had 3 or 4 d-rings included