Top positive review
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A Pleasant Surprise
on August 26, 2009
I own a number of cases and here's what I can tell you. Stay away from the backpack style unless you have a specific need for them. It's easier to carry cases with a single shoulder strap and a handle (for when you want to carry it suitcase-style). With backpacks, getting things in an out will require you to place it on a flat surface or balance it precariously on your hand or knee. You more or less have to open the whole thing and if you are doing the balancing act, your stuff can take a spill.
The ones that are shaped like typical gadget bags (kind of boxy) are better. It's easier to get to your stuff than with a backpack, yet they can hold quite a bit depending on the size you get. I personally like Ape Case bags when I want to carry "all my stuff". The one drawback is that sometimes you want to travel as lean as you can, yet still carry the essentials. For me, that means my camera body and three lenses - an 18-55, a 55-200, and a 50 mm prime. I had an 18-200 lens, but I gave it to my wife so I have to carry these three lenses with me. Of course, I would not feel complete without my flash. To be specific, I have a Nikon SB-800. The body with either non-prime lens attached, fits well in the center compartment. On either side of the center compartment, there are somewhat tubular-shaped side compartments. The two extra lenses fit perfectly together in one of the compartments. Their rear caps touch, but they are not in any peril. The SB-800 fits perfectly in the other side compartment. The extra lenses and the flash fit perfectly, but that means "in the raw" - not inside a lens pouch or the flash case. That's just fine, because I don't want to remove the flash from the compartment and then have to remove it from another container, which I would then have to worry about losing. Same with the lenses. I like to be quick on the draw.
That leaves me with a front and rear pocket to put lens cleaning stuff (essential), extra memory, etc..
By the way, the center compartment has a sling, or "hammock" as Caselogic calls it. The lens goes through the hole in the center of the sling. The sling is designed to cradle and support the camera body, suspending it and acting like a shock absorber. The truth is that the sling will only work that way if you have a short lens attached. If you have a zoom attached, then the camera's weight will be supported by the lens resting on the bottom of the case. If you have your filters and your lens cap snug, this shouldn't be a problem. The good thing about the sling is the hole. It has ample give so that it doesn't remove your lens cap when you pull the camera out. That is not true of the Caselogic SLRC-201, which I also own. The 201 by the way, is for when you want to carry ONLY your camera with lens, and maybe a few tiny knick knacks.
The outside bottom of this case is like a solid rubber boot. It acts as a good barrier against rough terrain. It will also keep your stuff dry if you set the bag down on wet grass, etc.. It absorbs shock by distributing an impact.
The pleasant surprise is the shape of this case. It is shaped like a binocular case, which makes it less bulky than a rectangular case. It is also easier to carry at your side because it doesn't protrude as much. If you expect to be shooting on the go, say at an amusement park or while hiking, this case is much easier to tote and stow than a backpack or box-style case. You'll be mobile and quick on the draw.
The case material(s) are sturdy in places that need to be rugged, and softer where a gentle touch is required. Two places where the material is soft are under the lid of the main compartment (doesn't scratch your display screen), and on the side that touches your body when you carry it with the strap.