Lately I’ve started to use my ThinkTank turnstyle 10 v2 sling bag again. I’m now suffering from all sorts of pains and I’ve come to the conclusion that this type of bag is probably the best for me unless I’m going utlra-light and just carrying a small camera with just one lens in which case one of my small Manfrotto shoulder bags is fine.
First of all I find that if I carry a shoulder bag on my shoulder then I’m always conscious of it slipping off my shoulder. If I wear it diagonally across my body, messenger style, then the strap digs into my neck and chest and makes my neck and shoulder blade really painful and it makes getting at my gear more tedious. I’ve tried a back pack but for my type of photography which I believe is commonly referred to as “run and gun”, although sadly I’m not doing any running with my leg and hip pains, a backpack is impractical as I don’t want to have to keep removing it or faff around getting to my gear.
So what does that leave me?, well a sling type bag. The Turnstyle bags, of which there are three models (5, 10 and 20), differing in capacity, offer a really practical solution for me. As I’ve gradually honed my gear more and more in an effort to reduce weight and I now only carry a camera and an absolute maximum of two or three lightweight lenses I don’t need or want a big, heavy, cumbersome bag. The Turnstyle 10 model that I have is fine but I’ve worked out that the smaller and slightly lighter Turnstyle 5 model, specifically designed for mirrorless camera systems might be an even better solution so I’ve ordered one. The different models of bag are more or less the same in terms of features.
A few things that I really like about these bags are, the comfortable, ergonomically curved-shaped, shoulder strap, being able to swivel the bag around in front of me and quickly and easily get to the gear, change lenses, batteries etc, the detachable waist belt which helps to spread the load and keep things from moving around on the move and, an absolute must have, the built in rain cover. The bag can also be swiveled round to one’s side or just hung from one shoulder, half-on rucksack style.
There is also a benefit to smaller bags as it forces one to limit the amount and, for me, the important thing, weight of the gear that one is carrying and concentrate of just taking the lenses that, from experience, I’m pretty sure there’s a high probability that I’m going to use as opposed to the “I might use it so I’d better pack it just in case” type lenses and accessories that, on close scrutiny, I rarely use. So if I only use a particular lens or other piece of gear once in every few hundred or so shots that I take then there’s no sense in habitually carrying it around unless I’m pretty darned sure that I’m going to use it. In doing this am I missing a shot or two here and there?, sure but it’s certainly not a deal-breaker as the pros far outweigh the cons and my ageing and aching limbs thank me for it!. 🙂