Think Tank Photo Urban Disguise 40 V2.0 Sling Bag
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- Professional appearance, does not look like a traditional camera bag
- Removable shoulder strap is contoured and padded for maximum comfort
- Expansion Zipper increases depth to fit a gripped DSLR with standard zoom lens attached, in main compartment
- Exterior Dimensions: 14” L x 11” H x 5.5” D (35.5 x 28 x 14 cm) Interior Dimensions: 13.25” W x 10.25” H x 4.25” D (34 x 26 x 10.5 cm)
- Weight: 2.9–3.3 lbs (1.5–1.6 kg)
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|Sold By||Available from these sellers||Entegron||Service Photo, Inc.||Amazon.com|
|Color||Black||Black||Pinestone||Black (Orange interior)|
|Item Dimensions||13.39 x 0.64 x 10.24 in||11.81 x 19.69 x 7.87 in||7.01 x 12.48 x 12.99 in||7 x 13 x 9 in|
The briefcase size Urban Disguise 40 V2.0 fits more gear that it appears. A wide angle lens with hood in position, 24-70mm f/2.8 with hood in position and 70-200mm f/2.8 with hood reversed all fit vertically into this slim shoulder bag. Now it’s the photographer’s choice to attach a gripped or standard DSLR to the short lenses. The Expansion Zipper increases the depth of the Urban Disguise 40 V2.0 to fit a gripped DSLR with a lens attached, inside the main compartment. KEY FEATURES Professional appearance, does not look like a traditional camera bag Removable shoulder strap is contoured and padded for maximum comfort Expansion Zipper increases depth to fit a gripped DSLR with standard zoom lens attached, in main compartment Optional accessories sold separately: Urban Disguise Attachment Straps and Shoulder Harness V2.0 GEAR PROFILE 1 gripped or standard DSLR with 24-70mm f/2.8 attached, plus 2-4 additional lenses 2 standard DSLRs with standard and wide angle zoom lenses attached 2 gripped DSLRs (BODIES ONLY) in padded front pocket, plus 3-6 lenses in main compartment MATERIALS Exterior: For superior water-resistance, all exterior fabric has a durable water-repellent (DWR) coating, plus the underside of the fabric has a polyurethane coating. It's also constructed with 1680D ballistic nylon, YKK® RC Fuse (abrasion resistant) zippers, antique nickel plated metal hardware, Ultra Stretch pockets, nylon webbing, and 3-ply bonded nylon thread. Interior: Removable closed cell foam dividers, 210D silver-toned nylon, polyurethane backed Velex liner, 2x polyurethane coated nylon 210T seam-sealed rain cover, and 3-ply bonded nylon thread.
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I do believe in 'taking it all with you' when your mission is to shoot and not a nonspecific assignment. Even at my advanced age by some people's definition I can't get past this attitude.
Enter Think Tank bags. I now own 3 and yes I know that can seem a bit overkill. Now I do not wish to take everything with me for a day about shooting whatever strikes my fancy. I have a Urban Disguise 60V2 -Papa Bag, Urban Disguise 40V2 - Baby Bag and a Speed Racer - Mama Bag. Now the first and last named bags really pack a gob of gear, no doubt but my latest purchase, the Urban Disguise 40V2 is just right for most of my day trip shooting.
Excuse the analogy to the 3 Bears but for me it works.
The Urban Disguise 40V2 caries my 70-200mm, 8-16mm, 30mm or 60mm macro and my uber strobe and my 7D body with room for lens cleaning brushes, micro cleaning cloths, tidy wipes, batteries and other assorted items plus, with the additional attachment straps my tripod or monopod (think medieval mace) for keeping the bears away, no affiliation with the title bears.
I have read other reviews on Think Tank products and believe that when I happen upon a product that works well for me and my purposes I do tend to support that product(s) until it no longer does so.
While this may be a tongue-in-cheek review crossed with a children's story the facts are I am happy with the Think Tank line of products I have tried.
An Amazon order filled by Norman Camera, or was that the other way around? It cannot be beat for time of delivery, packing and quality assurance.
I ended up going with this bag, and am quite pleased with it after using it while traveling for about a month.
I'm able to fit my 5DIII with 24-105L attached, 50L, 70-200L IS II, 2x Extender III, and 16-35L all inside the main compartment. The bag also has a zipper to expand/contract the main compartment, which is very useful in allowing me to reduce bulk when I'm only carrying 1 camera + 1 or 2 lenses. I do find that the bag barely closes when I have the 5DIII with 70-200/2.8 attached though.
The outside zippered flap is well organized, and I use it to store business cards, pens, extra batteries, and other accessories. I also like the detachable memory card holder -- that's a nice bonus.
I haven't used the rain cover yet and have simply removed it out of the bag for now, since it adds a bit of bulk (but is very lightweight).
The main compartment zippers are extremely durable, and also can be locked together for extra security. The dividers inside the main compartment attach to the walls by very strong hook+loop fasteners, and are very well padded. They're also bendable so that you can make them a bit lower, to compensate for body+lens arrangement. The extra panel for attaching to a luggage is also quite handy.
Overall, the bag is very well built; I expected nothing less from ThinkTank, and am completely satisfied with what I received.
The only downside is that the bag itself is rather heavy (because it is so well padded and durable), and even with minimal gear, can get a bit tiring to carry all day (fully loaded it can reach excess of 20 lbs).
Along with the Think Tank Urban Disguise 40 I am reviewing here, I have a Tenba Medium Camera Messenger, a Tamrac Evolution 8, and many Tamrac and Think Tank Modular pouches. I have also owned a Tamrac Expedition 3, Expedition 5, and Adventure 75 - all of which eventually ended up on eBay. My bag "collection" has been a quest of sorts to find the perfect bag, and as I said, I have come to the conclusion it doesn't exist.
There are two basic types of bags; shoulder and backpack. They both have their advantages and disadvantages.
Shoulder bags tend to be favored by pros as they can rapidly change out equipment without having to remove the bag. Amateur photographers I think, tend to favor backpacks as they are sometimes easier to carry with less strain on the body, and they can carry a lot more. This is not a hard rule, but it just seems that is where the favorites lie.
I am an amateur, but I am learning one hard lesson. Anyone that has been a photographer for awhile - whether it be a pro or amateur, seems to collect a lot of stuff; cameras, lenses, and gadgets. In fact, camera bags used to be called gadget bags.
The lesson I have learned is that any bag large enough to carry everything is too heavy to use.
Which brings me to the Think Tank Urban Disguise 40 (UD40). I bought it specifically because I wanted a smaller bag to restrict what I can carry with me. I had purchased a few Think Tank products over the years; Pixel Pocket Rocket (which this bag also comes with), and Cable Management bags. I was impressed with the quality of the products, and always wanted a Think Tank bag.
I consider the UD40 as a day bag, and am forced to only put the gear in the bag for the day, as it won't fit everything. But it still fits a lot - perhaps still too much. On my last outing, I was able to fit:
Nikon D90 DSLR with 18-105mm kit lens attached - with battery grip.
Nikon 80-200mm f2.8 pro telephoto with lens shade attached (this is a big, heavy lens).
Nikon 10.5mm DX Fisheye.
Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 pro size super-wide angle.
Accessories; spare batteries, cleaning cloths, and other toys.
With this bag, I have learned to leave other items home, such as chargers, cables, and so on. I carry a spare battery in the bag for the camera so there is no need for a charger. All that extra stuff tends to collectively add a lot of bulk. If I am on vacation, I can always pack battery chargers and cables in another suitcase.
Even so, the bag weighs about 14lbs when full. This is with the max load with the heavy 80-200mm lens. If I don't need that lens, I can leave it home and the bag will be a lot lighter.
If I have the need, I can also fit a Nikon SB-600 flash in the bag, along with a small Nikon 50mm f1.8 lens.
And if that isn't enough, the camera bag can support two modular pouches, "cheek" mounted on the sides of the bag on it's end panels. You have to buy the optional "Urban Disguise Attachment Straps", but in reality you can make your own if you are handy. The straps only work with the newer Urban Disguise bags that are V2.0; The original bags do not have the required loops on the sides to attach the straps.
The V2.0 bag also has loops at the bottom for attaching a tripod or monopod. The straps are not included for the loops, but are included in the attachment strap kit.
But the caveat here is now you are overfilling the bag again, and soon it will be too heavy. If you need the extra room, it would perhaps be less expensive to just buy a larger bag to begin with. And the contents would perhaps be more protected than hanging pouches on the sides.
The straps are compatible with Think Tank's Modular and Skin components (modular pouches for lenses, flashes, and other items). The Skin components have no padding in them, while the Modular components do. However, some of the longer components, such as the large telephoto lens pouches (Lens changer 75 for example), may not work well with this bag as they extend lower than the bag itself.
However, one pouch I do see as useful is an optional Think Tank modular product called "Whip It Out" (I just love those names they use). This pouch is intended as a temporary holder for a lens while you are changing them - up to the large 70-200 pro telephoto monsters. As long as you do not use the pouch to permanently carry anything, you are not adding to the weight of the bag - and having the pouch attached to the bag is useful when you do have to make a lens change, and you need somewhere to put one of the lenses while you are changing them.
The Whip it Out is short enough that it will not extend below the UD40 itself.
And the strap system will allow mounting of Tamrac or Lowepro pouches and lens cases, some of which actually fit this bag better than Think Tank's pouches. Ironic.
Even with this smaller bag, 15 lbs can get to be a bit much when carrying it on the shoulder for several hours. Another accessory is a nifty Shoulder Harness V2.0 that you can use to convert the bag into a backpack. Again, you need UD40 V2.0 for the attachment D-rings the harness needs. However, there is one major problem with the harness - it is not padded. Therefore, I see it as a short-term solution at best.
I don't know why Think Tank didn't pad the harness; perhaps it's so it will pack into the bag without taking up much room. But we have a commercial sewing machine at home that we use for canvas work, so I am thinking of making some shoulder pads that can temporary Velcro around the harness if I need them for longer term use.
If Think Tank offered an option of a padded shoulder harness, this bag would be perfect, as you could use it as a shoulder bag or backpack. That way, you could backpack the bag to your destination, convert it to a shoulder bag for shooting, then into a backpack again for the return trip.
As I mentioned, I do have a Tamrac Evolution 8, which is a sling-style backpack designed for a similar type of use. But again, its a larger bag, and it becomes too heavy for "slinging" with the single strap if you load it with everything.
Again, my purpose of having this smaller bag is for a lighter weight day bag. I keep the items I don't use on any particular day in storage at home in my Tenba bag.
I sometimes use a battery grip with the D90. If I am using my heavy 80-200 telephoto lens, the battery grip gives me better balance on the setup as it shifts a bit of weight to the rear. Think Tank thoughtfully added a zipper to the front side of the UD40, not unlike an expansion zipper on a suitcase, that expands the top width of the bag to accommodate a grip. How cool is that?
The expansion zipper only goes from the sides and across the top, but not around the bottom. So when you expand the compartment, it creates a wedge of sorts that provides enough expansion for a camera with a battery grip to fit into the bag. This does have the effect of making the bag a bit tippy, but it's pretty manageable.
You also get tons of dividers to rearrange the bag, but I have not needed anything but the two main dividers that come pre-installed in the bag.
Pockets? this bag has plenty. There are 9 full width pockets to my count - 4 of which zipper closed. The outside pocket on the backside of the bag also has a zipper on the bottom so it works like a trolley strap to allow placing the bag on the handle of your wheeled luggage.
On the front side, inside the zippered pocket is an office-style management system, with 7 different pockets on the panel (which itself is also a pocket) with one zippered and one velcroed pocket for pens, passports, boarding passes, and business cards. And there is a lanyard for your keys.
On each side, there is also a neoprene pocket that you can hold more stuff. Think Tank suggests you can even hold a flash unit, but that is "stretching" it quite a bit. Certainly, an iPhone or camera strap will easily fit into the pockets.
But Think Tank provides a lifetime warranty, so I suppose if the pockets get stretched out too much, you can get that taken care of. A lifetime warranty is amazing.
I also like other quality items in the bag; leather carry handles, a nice padded shoulder strap, and YKK zippers. The top zipper for the main compartment appears to be a marine-grade heavy duty zipper (since we do marine canvas work, I know what those zippers look like). At any rate, YKK zippers are perhaps the best in the world.
The only thing I dislike about the UD40 - and it is minor - is the front buckle that secures the front flap. Rather than a traditional "Side Release" style of buckle, it has an odd push-the-top buckle to open it. The problem isn't so much in figuring out how to open it, but rather it's hard to insert the buckle's "tongue" into the buckle's base to close it. A traditional side release buckle would be much easier to use.
Lastly, the "Urban Disguise" series is intended to conceal the fact that you have a camera bag, and it doesn't have the photo bag look to it. However, it still has the look that there is something pretty expensive inside the bag, whether it be cameras or computers, so I am not sure how much of a deterrent there is for someone to mug you and take your stuff.
Think Tank makes another series of bags called Retrospective, and even a cool material they call Pinestone - which looks like it's made from greenish/brown denim material. But to me, they look too much like a man purse, and I am still too "reserved" at this point to carry anything that looks like one of those.
And like all Think Tank products, it comes with it's own raincoat.
Seems Think Tank has thought of just about everything. I highly recommend this bag.
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