Comprehensive review: Think Tank Photo – Airport Takeoff V2 Photo Bag

 

If you are like me you spend a lot of time hauling camera gear from flight to flight. Most (though not all) roller bag camera bags work fine rolling along the airport mall (is that the right term?) The issue comes when you need to beat that crowd to the immigration queue and the only way to do this is to take the stairs verses the escalator. But you have a roller bag! Well, for years Think Tank Photo has had your back, quite literally. How? With the Airport Takeoff. This bag has long address this problem by being both a roller bag and a backpack. But things just got better with their release of version 2! Now this bag is 15% lighter, and this means you can now pack another lens or two, or perhaps even another X-T2 or X-Pro2. It also now sports a new handle, stronger and with less shake than the previous one. New pockets and more. Basically they took a great bag and made it better.

Above is my comprehensive video review of this bag. I also took time to do a detailed comparison with my all time favorite bag in the same class, the Airport Roller Derby. How does it compare? Well you ‘ll have to watch and see. 😉

On paper here are the features and specs:

KEY FEATURES

  • Pocket for tripod mount or water bottle on side (Additional straps included for larger tripods)
  • Cable and combination lock included for securing the lockable zippers
  • YKK RC Fuse zippers, ballistic nylon, high-density velex and closed-cell PU
    foam are the highest quality materials in the industry
  • Top compartment cradles large camera bodies for a perfect fit
  • Interior zippered pockets for batteries, CF cards, filters and accessories
  • Custom-designed, high-performance, 80mm wheels with sealed ABEC grade 5 bearings for quiet rolling
  • User-replaceable retractable handle, wheels and feet
  • Extra tall wheel housings protect bag from scrapes and scratches
  • Seam-sealed rain cover included
  • Grab handles on three sides for lifting bag into the overhead bin
  • Reinforced dividers support heavy gear and maintain strength over time
  • Business card holder on top for identification

PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS

  • Internal Dimensions: 13” W x 18.5” H x 5.3– 6.8” D (33 x 47 x 13–17 cm)
  • Exterior Dimensions: 14” W x 21” H x 8” D (35.5 x 53 x 22 cm)
  • Laptop Pocket: 11.4” W x 16.3” H x 1.4” D (29 x 41.5 x 3.6 cm) (Fits a 17″ laptop)
  • Tablet Pocket: 9.8” W x 9.4” H x 0.8” D (25 x 24 x 2 cm) (Fits a 10″ tablet)
  • Weight: 7.0–8.7 lbs. (3.2–3.9 kg) depending on accessories used

In the video jump to the review at 4:00
Jump to the comparative review between the Airport Roller Derby & the Airport Takeoff 7:57

Links to product (yes, it’s an affiliate link):
Think Tank Photo AIRPORT TAKEOFF™ v2: http://dtrekker.com/TTP-Takeoff
Think Tank Photo AIRPORT ROLLER DERBY™: http://dtrekker.com/TTP_rollerderby
Think Tank Photo AIRPORT INTERNATIONAL™ V3.0: http://dtrekker.com/TTP_intlv3

In this review, I look in detail at the Airport Takeoff v2. It’s new features and just what fits in it and what doesn’t. I also compare the Take off to two other roller bags; the Airport International, Roller Derby.
Music: Severe Tire Damage Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b…

A few thoughts of the Fujifilm XF10-24mm f/4 R OIS

Fujifilm XF10-24mm f/4 R OIS

Fujifilm XF10-24mm f/4 R OIS

 

Last week my friends at Fujifilm Malaysia loaned me two of their latest and greatest lenses to play with and asked me if I would share my thoughts. I have been waiting for these two new lenses probably more than any of the other lenses in their entire lineup. The two lenses are the XF10-24mm f/4 R OIS and the XF56mm f/1.2 R. On a cropped sensor, such as the two cameras I am shooting with – the Fujifilm X-E2 and the X-T1 – they represent a full frame focal length equivalent of 15-36 mm and 85 mm respectively. I recently bought the X-T1, but I do not plan to review the X-T1 as it may be one of the most reviewed cameras on the planet, to date. It definitely is the most reviewed Fujifilm camera till now. Continue reading

iBattz Mobile Power and Fujifilm Mobile Print Solution

product-pair

I am really excited to try out two new toys on this trip to Rajasthan. Actually to call them “toys” does each of them a big disservice. They are truly tools. (Really fun tools!) First up will be a new battery case for my iPhone 5, and the second, a new mobile printing solution to replace my Zink Printer that failed me so badly, a few years back. Continue reading

Fujifilm X – Switch or not To Switch

Shooting the X-Pro1 on Safari in Kenya. Anything is possible. Photo by Jon McCormack

Shooting the X-Pro1 on Safari in Kenya. Anything is possible. Photo by Jon McCormack

I‘ve had many emails and Facebook messages lately asking me if I have switched completely over to the Fujifilm X-series cameras. The Fujifilm X-series for those of you who have been living under a rock or are just not into camera gear, is the mirrorless, small somewhat compact camera system that has a retro rangefinder feel and look about it. They are an amazing group of cameras and are chock full of innovative technology to enhance both the user experience and the final image. The flagship camera for this new system is the X-Pro1 followed closely by the X-E1. Both cameras sport an APS–C size sensor thus giving an image quality of a DSLR. Continue reading

Welcome Fujifilm

f/7.1, 1/280 sec, at 14mm, 200 ISO, on a X-Pro1

Amer Fort, Jaipur, Rajasthan – f/7.1, 1/280 sec, at 14mm, 200 ISO, on a X-Pro1

First, let me say welcome to Fujifilm. Fujifilm is now a partnering with us for the 2014 Rajasthan Photographic Trek. We are so thrilled to have them join us on this adventure of a lifetime. This is such a natural fit. On last year’s Rajasthan Trek, Piet and I shot predominately with our Fujifilm X-series cameras. But this year we are committed to shoot exclusively with them. Trust me when I say, this is not a hardship. Realistically, I have thousands of dollars worth of Canon gear sitting in a dry box in my office that I never touch anymore.

Continue reading

Back in the saddle again.

Happy 85th Mom! f/1.4, 1/1100 sec, at 35mm, 200 ISO, on a X-Pro1

Happy 85th Mom!
f/1.4, 1/1100 sec, at 35mm, 200 ISO, on a X-Pro1

Yes, it has been a while. My family and I went to the US for two and a half months to visit family, friends, check out universities and start a new non-profit. So while not a vacation, it did keep me away from posting almost anything here on the blog as well as on Twitter and Facebook. But, I am back and have a lot to share with you. With that said, I am not in a position to go into much detail about the new non-profit as of yet.

Continue reading

News: Think Tank Photo announces the new Mirrorless Mover Bags

Mirrorless Mover

The New Mirrorless Movers from Think Tank Photo

(When you click on any of the links in this post you will receive free gear with all orders of $50 or more and free shipping on all orders if you order by May 31, 2013.)

My good friends at Think Tank Photo have set themselves up for yet another home run. They have just announced a new series of bags designed for the mirrorless camera crowd — that I am now fully a member of. Frankly, I love the City Walker 20 and have been using it for my  Fujifilm X-Pro1 and X100. That is up until now. Because this new series of bags aptly called Mirrorless Movers™ is even more suited for your little mirrorless powerhouse.  Mirrorless Movers come in four sizes that range in size from the Mirrorless Mover 5, which fits one small size mirrorless body with a small telephoto or pancake lens attached, up to the Mirrorless Mover 30i, which fits one medium to large size mirrorless body plus two to four lenses and an iPad.

Continue reading

Fun Gear from Fun People

As I write this post many of my friends are in Germany at the world’s largest photographic trade show called Photokina. The geeky, techie side of me is extremely jealous that I am sitting here in Malaysia while they’re over in Germany with their hands on all of the latest shiny photographic toys. In response to this (my jealousy–I mean the new gear) I thought I would throw out a few new products that have made their way to my computer’s inbox. My own “Photokina” of sorts.   I thought you might be interested in seeing some of  what’s on the horizon for the last quarter of the year. First off is Phottix.

The new TTL Flash from Phottix, the Mitros™.

Phottix has announced a new flash. They are calling this “the new standard for TTL flashes”: The Phottix Mitros. After more than two years in development Phottix’s series of TTL hot shoe flashes for Canon, Nikon and Sony will be released soon. This represents another way out from under the thumb of the camera manufacture (their words not mine). The Mitros will do everything you expect a Canon or Nikon top-of-the-line TTL flash to do. Functions include built-in IR triggering with Master and Slave modes, AF assist light, auto/manual zooming flash head, all with fast recharge times. The Phottix Mitros TTL Flash includes a USB port for firmware upgrades and a 3.5mm Sync port.

The Phottix Mitros is powerful, with a guide number of 58, and which features high quality components–custom designed by Phottix or imported from America, Japan or Taiwan. The flash features full TTL functionality as well as manual and multi modes. It is the perfect complement to the Phottix Odin TTL Flash Trigger system.

Use it on camera for shooting events or weddings, or off-camera with a Phottix flash trigger, light stand and umbrella or softbox for portraits or product photography. This is a professional-level flash – at home on-location or in the studio.

Canon, Nikon and Sony versions of the Phottix Mitros TTL Flash will be released during Q4 2012 and Q1 2013.

 

Phottix Strato™ TTL Flash Trigger – Accurate and affordable TTL Triggering

That’s not all Phottix has in store for the next quarter. The Phottix Strato TTL Flash Trigger is the the newest addition to its ever-popular Strato series of flash triggers and wireless remotes.

The Strato TTL Flash Trigger provides an easy-to-use and affordable TTL flash triggering solution to photographers. High-speed and second curtain sync are supported in this 4-channel, 2.4 GHz transmitter and receiver set. Shoot at maximum shutter speeds of 1/8000 s. The LCD display and quick-change buttons makes adjustments fast and easy. Strato TTL versions for Canon, Nikon and Sony will be released during Q4 of 2012, adding another stellar option in Phottix’s flash trigger line-up.

Triggering hot shoe flashes is only the start of the Phottix Strato TTL’s abilities. The Strato TTL will also trigger studio lights as well as function as a wired and wireless shutter release. It’s easy to connect to light stands or other grip with a cold shoe and ¼ inch threaded lug.

The Strato TTL flash trigger is part of the ever-growing Phottix ecosystem and is compatible with the Phottix Strato I and Strato II Multi series of triggers as well as the Phottix Atlas II. The Strato TTL features a USB port for firmware upgrades. Don’t get left behind as camera and flash technology changes.

Strato TTL versions for Canon, Nikon and Sony will be released during Q4 2012 and Q1 2013, adding another stellar option in Phottix’s flash trigger line-up.

Phottix announces Phottix Ares™ Flash Trigger

Phottix  also just announced the Ares–a simple way to use off-camera flash. The 8-channel transmitter and receiver units have a range of 200m and feature a “fire-all” channel function. No advanced bells or whistles–simple, reliable and affordable radio flash triggering engineered with Phottix durability and quality.

What makes the Phottix Ares unique is the rotating transmitter (patents pending). The Ares accommodates how photographers want to work– with the transmitter upright for fast channels changes, or locked in the low-profile down position.

With a hot shoe and 3.5mm sync port the Phottix Ares can be used to trigger hot shoe flashes and studio lights.* Cables and adapters are included. Packed in a stylish carrying bag, the Ares uses readily available AA batteries. Both transmitter and receiver have a 5V DC power port and can be plugged into power points when used in a studio.

The Phottix Ares 2.4GHz signals have a range of 200m, offer freedom from line-of-sight restrictions and a fast maximum sync speed of 1/250s. The eight digital channels are fast and easy to set with the push of a button.

The Fire-All function allows photographers to fire all flashes or strobes on Phottix Ares receivers set to different channels–ever useful when using multiple lights during an event or wedding.

The Phottix Ares will be released in October and replace some old Phottix flash triggers including the Tetra, Aster and Strato I.
Contact Phottix for more informtion.

 

The new CityWalker™ Messenger bag.

On the less geeky side of things and more in line with my bag fetish, we have two new very cool bags from my good friends at Think Tank Photo. I am excited about both of these. The first bag we will look at is part of the CityWalker™ series and is a slick new messenger bag. Designed with the urban photographer in mind, the new bags will come in three models– CityWalker 10, CityWalker 20, and CityWalker 30 each of these comes in two colors:  Black and Blue Slate. The Blue Slate is something new for Think Tank and I like it!

The CityWalkers’ design emphasizes fit and comfort, premium quality, and functional flexibility.  Extremely lightweight, the bags feature a high quality silver-toned nylon liner, RC Fuse External/YKK zippers, and antique nickel-plated metal hardware.  They have a sound silencer on the main flap, extra flaps for smaller lenses with a fully lined velex insert for maximum customization, internal pockets that fit a pro-size flash, and a removable padded insert.

The CityWalker 10 fits one standard size body with a 24-70 attached, plus one to two small extra lenses, a flash, and a tablet.  The CityWalker 20 holds one standard size body with a 24-70 attached or a 70-200 detached, plus extra lenses, a flash, and a tablet.  The CityWalker 30 holds one standard size body with a 24-70 attached or a 70-200 detached, plus two to four extra lenses, a flash, and a 15” laptop.

“The CityWalkers are a classic ‘walk around’ bag,” said Doug Murdoch, Think Tank Photo CEO and Lead Designer.   “Built around the same design aesthetic as our popular StreetWalker® backpacks, their style is targeted toward casual urban environments while still focused on an active lifestyle.”

Additional features include:

  • 15” Laptop compartment (CityWalker 30)
  • iPad pocket [front internal] (CityWalker 10 and CityWalker 20)
  • Double security on front flap closure with silence-able Hook/Loop and Dual Cross™ Buckle
  • Removable padded insert
  • Seam-sealed rain cover included
  • Customizable divider layout
  • Two internal side pockets to accommodate flash
  • Deluxe organizer on front panel
  • Water bottle pockets on each side
  • Large zippered pocket on front flap for accessories
  • Rear document pocket
  • Business card holder inside main flap
  • Top carry handle

 

All CityWalker fabric exterior is treated with a DWR coating while fabric underside is coated with PU for superior water resistance.  They utilize YKK® RC Fuse (abrasion resistant) zippers, 420D velocity nylon, 420D high-density nylon, 600D brushed polyester, 250D shadow rip-stop polyester, Derrington™ mesh pockets, antique nickel plated metal hardware, Dual Cross™ Buckle, 3D air mesh, mono mesh, and 3-ply bonded nylon thread.

Specifications

CityWalker 10
External Dimensions: 12.4” W x 9” H x 6.7” D (31.5 × 23 × 17cm)
Internal Dimensions: 10” W x 7.5” H x 5.3” D (25.5 × 19 × 13.5cm)
Tablet: 10.3” W x 8” H x 0.8” D (26.2 × 20.3 × 2cm)

Weight: 1.9-2.2 lbs (0.8-1.0 kg)

CityWalker 20
External Dimensions: 13.8” W x 9.8” H x 6.7” D (35 × 25 × 17cm)
Internal Dimensions: 13” W x 8.7” H x 5.3” D (33 × 22 × 13.5cm)
Tablet: 10.3” W x 8” H x 0.8” D (26.2 × 20.3 × 2cm)

Weight: 2.0-2.5 lbs (0.9-1.1 kg)

CityWalker 30
External Dimensions: 16.3” W x 11.4” H x 8.3” D (41.5 × 29 × 21cm)
Internal Dimensions: 13.4” W x 9.6” H x 6.7” D(34 × 24.5 × 17cm)
Laptop: 15″ W x 11″ H x 1.4″ D (38 x 28 x 3.6cm)

Weight: 2.8-3.1 lbs (1.3-1.4 kg)

 

Airport Navigator™

 

The last item in this lineup presents a new concept in the rollerbag. It is designed in the style of the pilot’s navigator bag.  Called the Airport Navigator™  it holds two pro-size bodies, plus three to six extra lenses and most 15.4” laptops, iPads and documents.  The two external side pockets can also accommodate pro-size flashes or water bottles.

The new roller’s lightweight design emphasizes fit and comfort, premium quality, and flexibility and function.  The custom handle extends to total of 40” for easy rolling.  The pilot’s case utilizes the highest quality YKK RC Fuse zippers, custom designed and replaceable in-line skate wheels, and antique nickel plated metal hardware.   It features a shoulder strap with piggy-back function which allows for easy attachment to other rollers.

“This project dates back many years as our designers strived to create a dual access roller,” said Doug Murdoch, Think Tank Photo CEO and Lead Designer.   “Through different revisions, we found that the most reasonable style for this case was a Pilot’s type bag. This effort culminated in the creation of a rolling case that has top and front access for wedding, event and travel photographers. This is yet another unique first for the camera industry.”

Additional features include:

      • 15” Laptop compartment
      • iPad/document pocket
      • Top and front access panels to photo gear
      • Lockable zippers on both main zippered compartments
      • Retractable handle slides through top lid handle to hold lid open for quick access to gear while shooting
      • Removable shoulder strap includes piggy-back function for attaching Airport Navigator to other TTP rollers
      • Two external side pockets to accommodate flashes or water bottles
      • Releasable front panel straps hold the laptop compartment open for quick access to electronics when attached or full access to photo gear when released. Straps also tuck-away when not in use.
      • Custom designed and replaceable handle and wheels
      • Seam-sealed rain cover included

 

The Airport Navigator’s all-fabric exterior is treated with a DWR coating while fabric underside is coated with PU for superior water resistance.  It utilizes YKK® RC Fuse (abrasion resistant) zippers, 420D velocity nylon, 420D high-density nylon, 600D brushed polyester, custom designed replaceable in-line skate wheels, Ultra Stretch pockets, antique nickel plated metal hardware, aluminum reinforcement, rubberized laminate, 3D air mesh, and 3-ply bonded nylon thread.

 

Specifications

Airport Navigator
External Dimensions: 16” W x 15.5” H x 10” D (40.6 × 39.4 × 25.4cm)
Internal Dimensions: 15” W x 13” H x 6.8” D (38.1 × 33 × 17.3cm)
Laptop: 14.8” W x 11” H x 1.5” D (37.6 × 28 × 3.8cm)

Weight: 8.1-9.2 lbs (3.7-4.2 kg)

So how was that? Pretty cool stuff–aye? That should keep your gear fetish fed for awhile. I will be getting my hands on both of these Think Tank Photo bags to give them a good workout. Once I am done with them I’ll let you know my thoughts. Till then, here is the latest feed from Photokina by DPReivew. 😉