Every time we go to a photo trade show, it truly is a lot of fun checking out all of the new and in- progress products coming to you soon.
It does feel a bit like American Idol sometimes though, as you see all of the crazy inventions, that are fun to look at, but have no place in your camera bag in reality.
One of the best things to come out of PhotoPlus Expo last fall was the ShootSac. Looked great and demo’d like it should. Saw the need for it immediately.
However, until you put it to real work, it just looks good on paper.Or at the trade show booth.
Finally an assignment came up that made sense. Shoot an event with presenters on a stage, plus noted guests in the front rows. Lots of moving around a huge space, and fast.
For the most part it called for a 80-200mm,2.8, plus a 12-24mm, 2.8 lens for coverage of the whole room. And when possible, some flash coverage,between speakers.
Now the reason I knew this was a possible solution, was because on a previous gig I had the same gear set up, moving around a large ballroom. Without dragging all of my stuff around EVERYWHERE, I used a jacket with multi pockets .when I switched lenses, all I could do was put the telephoto on the ground or hold it between my legs. Not a good look. Plus the multi-pocket jacket, for the rest of the stuff, was hot and lumpy.
When I arrived, I put the whole kit/case with all of the goods (extra body,batts,lenses, Epson P5000,etc.) safely with the lighting techs. Plus a graphite monopod. Be prepared and backed up.
Then loaded the ShootSac
Here is what I carried (left to right): The SB800 Nikon Flash,iPhone, CF Card case, small black notebook for the names I won’t remember spelled correctly, business card case, 12-24mm lens. (not shown-2 batts for Nikon and 5 for flash). Hooked onto the shoulder strap ring is a tiny flashlight and a small bottle of Purell, for everyones comfort. The DSLR with the 80-200mm, doesn’t travel in the bag, but the lens goes in when another comes out. True, sometimes I add a 18-70 mm for full coverage, but that usually stays with the main gear bag.
Surprisingly comfortable, even over a sportcoat. The thick, neoprene material and the well measured separated pockets ,curved to fit my body and evenly distribute the weight. You can tell this was designed from the ground up by a working pro. Form and function.
With the ShootSac, I also could have a place for the 80-200 lens when switching lenses (yes, it did stick out a bit with the lens shade) safely with me, allowing movement and coverage with all goods at hand. And honestly? It looked better with the sport coat than the lumpy jacket ,which means something when you’re at a more formal event.
The lenses slipped in and out fast, easy and were always secure. I was able to feel the vibration of the cell phone through the bag.The only thing I may consider adding is a padded shoulder strap for long days.
I do use my standard case to bring full gear to a gig. The ThinkTank Airport International. Wheels, room, compact AND has recessed dividers to hold the ShootSac in transport.
Last word: high recommendation in the right situation. It could be the perfect choice for a main bag for you IF you don’t need too much gear with you. Possibly your personal shooting and perhaps vacation travel. Plus you can get a variety of patterns for the bag cover. Great for blending in, and we hear the covers choices will be expanding. For now, we’re very cool with black.
Lots more products to check out at the Photographic Marketing Association this week in Vegas. Another 5 days in a 2 day town. Ah well.
Have you seen or used a piece of gear you’d like to share?
Let us know and we’ll get you some space on the site to let it all out. Hey, how about right here?
Email us @ email@example.com with your ideas.