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Thread: Report: Think Tank Urban Disguise Bag

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    Report: Think Tank Urban Disguise Bag

    When I first saw the Urban Disguise bag I wondered how the heck such a narrow bag would work in the real world ... but I ordered a 40 anyway to see first hand.

    (Mainly as a supplement that can slide over a roller bag handle without hanging out as far as a conventional shoulder bag.)


    Well, it's amazing ... the UD40 shown below is holding a Nikon D-3, D700, SB900, SB800, 14-24/2.8, 24-70/2.8, AFS50/14, 85/1.4, 2 different flash diffusers, and a wallet full of CF cards.

    It's like a VW Bug with 1000 clowns pouring out of it.

    My only complaint is the strap inside the cover is very, very difficult to open ... which makes you wonder if anyone actually tried it before selling it.

    I used a Nikon 100 macro + 1.4X next to the bag for scale.

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    Re: Report: Think Tank Urban Disguise Bag

    I really like the Think Tank bags a lot. Would love to see some internal shots too Marc!
    Jack
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    Re: Report: Think Tank Urban Disguise Bag

    I just got there Streetwalker Pro and really like it. Fits my MF system really nice
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Smile Re: Report: Think Tank Urban Disguise Bag

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I just got there Streetwalker Pro and really like it. Fits my MF system really nice
    Streetwalker Pro, what an apt name for us gear sluts, I want one too!

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    Re: Report: Think Tank Urban Disguise Bag

    I've been using the UD60 as my carry on bag for a year now while commuting 2500 miles a week to work. Utterly excellent travel bag. The strap broke recently, they overnighted a new one under lifetime warranty via fedex to Jerusalem from the US. Can't sing their praises high enough.
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    Re: Report: Think Tank Urban Disguise Bag

    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    Streetwalker Pro, what an apt name for us gear sluts, I want one too!
    David you need to go find a place a NY and look at it very sweet. They have a Streetwalker also just a little smaller and a inch less depth. I needed the depth for my 150 and 28 to stay upright
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Report: Think Tank Urban Disguise Bag

    I like this Urban Disguise for a 35mm system. I like messenger bag style for the smaller kits.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Report: Think Tank Urban Disguise Bag

    That UD40 looks perfect! Do they make them right there in Santa Rosa? That's an easy stop for us when we visit our daughter and her husband at The Sea Ranch, CA
    Roger
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    Re: Report: Think Tank Urban Disguise Bag

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    David you need to go find a place a NY and look at it very sweet. They have a Streetwalker also just a little smaller and a inch less depth. I needed the depth for my 150 and 28 to stay upright
    Why is it that one never has enough bags, I need something with lower profile for around town use than my LowePro packs. I like them a lot for traveling but they're overkill for walking around. I have their less built bags too but the straps and harnesses of those leave a lot to be desired when carrying heavy stuff. I'll go to B&H and take a look at ThinkTank bags, they might be what I'm looking for.

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    Re: Report: Think Tank Urban Disguise Bag

    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Report: Think Tank Urban Disguise Bag

    I now have all three sizes of their rollers. My 203FE system is in one, and the 503CW is in the other. I've left the smaller one empty to configure for specific jobs.

    My gear vault is starting to look like the lost-and-found holding tank at the airport

    I think I need to do a Grab Bag sell off in the F/S section

    Jack, here's the interior shots: the camera bodies are in the front pockets under the flap, the lenses and flash are in the tall section.

    I use this kind of bag to hold a Nikon location kit for wedding stuff so I can jump out of the SUV and go with the clients into a park or go into their house for getting ready shots, etc..

    I stack the 85/1.4 on top of the 24-70 2.8 because I use them the most, so when arriving I put a camera together with the lens I need and fill flash ... in reality, I could shoot an entire wedding with just this small bag of gear + when needed, the 200/1.8VR & 1.4X that I carry separately with a grip handle.

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    Re: Report: Think Tank Urban Disguise Bag

    BTW, isn't it nice to talk about really well made useful gear we can actually afford

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    Re: Report: Think Tank Urban Disguise Bag

    Exactly , how can this be . Great quality at affordable prices, a ad that actually is true. Go figure. I get a Sony Marc i am getting that Urban
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Report: Think Tank Urban Disguise Bag

    You should be doing the product photography for Think Tank, Marc.
    Roger
    Leica M6, M8.2 & assorted Leica glass

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    Re: Report: Think Tank Urban Disguise Bag

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Exactly , how can this be . Great quality at affordable prices, a ad that actually is true. Go figure. I get a Sony Marc i am getting that Urban
    Let me put it through a few weddings Guy, then we'll know how well it really works

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    Re: Report: Think Tank Urban Disguise Bag

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Well, it's amazing ... the UD40 shown below is holding a Nikon D-3, D700, SB900, SB800, 14-24/2.8, 24-70/2.8, AFS50/14, 85/1.4, 2 different flash diffusers, and a wallet full of CF cards.

    It's like a VW Bug with 1000 clowns pouring out of it.
    I got the UD50 because I wanted to be able to carry a laptop plus camera gear without needing two bags. I think this is similar to the UD40 except for the additional laptop compartment in the back.

    I'm very impressed with the bag's construction quality, but I'm still struggling to find a good configuration of the inner dividers for it. Normally I'm carrying a D300, D80 backup body, 35/2, 50/1.4, 85/1.8, and 70-200/2.8, plus a WT-4 transmitter in one front pocket and some CF cards and spare batteries in the other front pocket. It all fits, barely, but the lenses are so jostled together that it's hard to get them in and out when I want to change them, and I don't feel like they're held very securely.

    I'd be very interested in seeing a photo of the divider configuration that lets you carry all that stuff in the UD40 bag. Thanks...

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    Re: Report: Think Tank Urban Disguise Bag

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger 9 View Post
    I got the UD50 because I wanted to be able to carry a laptop plus camera gear without needing two bags. I think this is similar to the UD40 except for the additional laptop compartment in the back.

    I'm very impressed with the bag's construction quality, but I'm still struggling to find a good configuration of the inner dividers for it. Normally I'm carrying a D300, D80 backup body, 35/2, 50/1.4, 85/1.8, and 70-200/2.8, plus a WT-4 transmitter in one front pocket and some CF cards and spare batteries in the other front pocket. It all fits, barely, but the lenses are so jostled together that it's hard to get them in and out when I want to change them, and I don't feel like they're held very securely.

    I'd be very interested in seeing a photo of the divider configuration that lets you carry all that stuff in the UD40 bag. Thanks...
    The photos I posted shows the divider configuration. Just two of the tall dividers in the main compartment.

    The camera bodies with body caps go in the front pockets which is shown in the photo with the flap open. I do not use shoulder straps on my cameras, but instead wrist straps ... I use a Hasselblad H wrist strap on the D3, and a Canon one on the D700. BTW, the best wrist strap I've encountered to date is the one made by Sony for the Alpha cameras. This also eliminates the strap jumble in a bag. IMO, more accidents happen because of shoulder straps than any other cause.

    In the other photo of the main lens compartment, left to right ...

    Left side area: SB900 with diffuser mounted.

    Tall divider.

    Middle area: 24-70/2.8 with hood reversed in bag face down; small divider pad to separate lenses; 85/1.4 with hood installed laid sideways on top.

    Tall divider.

    Right area: 14-24/2.8 with hood reversed in bag face down; small divider pad to separate lenses; AFS50/1.4 with hood reversed on top.

    The second flash is a SB800 which is small enough to put in the side pocket.

    IMO, this configuration is for transport ... especially when flying (which is what Think Tank specializes in). The rear of the bag has a pass through slot that can be slid over the handle of a rolling bag. Being narrow it tends to not tip the roller as easily as other deeper bags.

    When shooting, one camera, one lens and a flash is out of the bag, making it easier to access the other lenses.

    The way I would configure your bag would be just using two tall dividers also.

    Two cameras in the front pockets. There is enough room left over to put other small stuff.

    inside; Left to right:

    Left: 35 & 50 stacked using a divider (if you don't like the divider idea because of having to fumble around getting to the lens on the bottom, Epoxy two spare Nikon end caps together ... that way, the two shorter lenses act as one taller one and can be retrieved more easily. This is what I am going to do with my 14-24 and 50 mm.

    Tall divider.

    Middle: 70-200/2.8, hood reversed, face down.

    Tall divider.

    Right: WT-4 Transmitter on bottom; small divider; 85/1.8 hood reversed, face down on top.

    Add a SB800 to a side pocket and you've got a complete system for transport.

    Hope this helps a little. It's predicated on the assumption that your bag has the same interior measurements as my UD40.

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    Re: Report: Think Tank Urban Disguise Bag

    Great review, discussion and shots from Marc. Nice to see these in use. I have been a ThinkTank user from their very beginning, and probably have too many things to keep track of. The stuff works and is well made for sure. But I do echo Marc's comments about some of this stuff being made more for transport/storage, or for more modest configurations. Hard to have both (shoot ready and stuffed to the gills). The only stuff they have made that is more shoot ready are their holsters and other pouches that are designed to be attached to their belts and stuff. Not most attractive looking when schlepping around with a ton of kit on your belt, but it does make everything very easy to get to. I lets me shoot polo with three cameras, and able to move almost anywhere, yet still having shooting access to things in seconds, without breakdowns or swapping lenses and stuff.

    These Urban Disguise bags look more designed for being able to compactly cart a bunch of things, which is great. If one is only shooting with a single body and lens and flash, then it would be more shoot ready, but if hauling in the load Marc shows, you need to build things and swap them as you work. Still a great bag for use. That is always the dilemma...carry in the behemoth bag with more stuff ready to go, or carry in less or a smaller bag and build up the body/lens/flash, etc., when you need to use it. I have tried both, and both work, but you really need to prepare yourself for what you need to do and use....practicing in the field at an event can create problems ;-)

    This sort of bag also underscores how nice the smaller bodies (without battery grips) are. Would probably need a shoehorn for things like the Canon 1-series or Nikon D3 stuff, or any bodies with the extra grip. Again, worth thinking about and planning for. If you have the opportunity, it is nice to see these bags in person, load in your gear and see how they work. The ThinkTank line is getting rather extensive, which is good and bad.....good in that they are building quality stuff to address user needs, and bad because some of us wind up with closetfuls of their gear that we have a hard time parting with because it is so well made and can be configured in so many ways that we just will not part with it ;-) (Of that last part, I am quite guilty.)

    LJ

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    Re: Report: Think Tank Urban Disguise Bag

    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    Why is it that one never has enough bags, I need something with lower profile for around town use than my LowePro packs. I like them a lot for traveling but they're overkill for walking around. I have their less built bags too but the straps and harnesses of those leave a lot to be desired when carrying heavy stuff. I'll go to B&H and take a look at ThinkTank bags, they might be what I'm looking for.
    Good Lord, I have so many camera bags..........but the really bad news is that I have enough suitcases and garment bags to assign one to each camera bag as well. Time for a garage sale! LOL

    Woody

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    Re: Report: Think Tank Urban Disguise Bag

    Wow, great timing! This looks like a great bag for me, too. 1Ds Mk2 and/or Nikon F4s with 28 f/2, 50 f/1.2 105 f/2.5 180 f/2.8 and a rolleiflex plus batteries and film.

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    Re: Report: Think Tank Urban Disguise Bag

    Wow, I'm thinking the UD 60 would also make for a great large format bag/traveling bag with a laptop.

    You guys don't make this easy.

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    Re: Report: Think Tank Urban Disguise Bag

    Quote Originally Posted by beamon View Post
    That UD40 looks perfect! Do they make them right there in Santa Rosa? That's an easy stop for us when we visit our daughter and her husband at The Sea Ranch, CA
    An email to them answered my own questions above.

    The bags are made in Viet Nam and there is no stock or sales done in Santa Rosa so no use in stopping by.
    Roger
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    Re: Report: Think Tank Urban Disguise Bag

    Nice! I need a good carry-on travel bag that can hold my Mamiya 645AFDII, digital back, 210, 55, 35 lenses, and an M8 with a few lenses (CV 12, CV15, Cron 35, Cron 75, 135/4), plus maybe a snack and a book - for international air travel. It's okay if it doesn't fit under the seat in front, as long as I don't have to check it. On location I'd like it to be a reasonably sized day pack... Looks like that backpack Guy linked to might be a candidate.

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    Re: Report: Think Tank Urban Disguise Bag

    I use the UD 50 for my regular day bag (walking around with a folder of papers, book or Kindle, and usually a SLR with a lens or two, batteries, etc) plus my MBP in the back. I love it.

    Then for travel, I can use this as my carry-on 'laptop' bag as well as a larger ThinkTank bag/case (usually the Airport International) for carrying the bigger camera gear. I've never been told I have too much stuff. Then, the UD50 has a sleeve to slide over the extendable handle on the Airport International, so I can wheel the who kit around. It's really an incredibly well thought out system.

    The only catch that I'm trying to figure out is when I want to use a backpack-based system. Thinktank has a bunch of bags/cases that can be backpacks too, but I just picked up a used Kiboko bag (Andy Gibbs design) and really like how innovative, light, and study it seems. It appears to be able to swallow a ton of gear.

    -Josh

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    Re: Report: Think Tank Urban Disguise Bag

    I've been out photographing for the last 4 or 5 days from a UD60 with a large format system and a UD40 for the FF digital setup. The UD60 is a perfect size and also plays double-duty as a laptop/digital bag when needed. The UD40 is bigger than I need for my setup most of the time so I may look at getting one of the smaller bags. Once I get back home I'll do a little write-up of working with the Think Tank bags and how I've packed them. Short and sweet: these are great bags made to a very high degree of quality by people who actually make photographs and it shows.

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    Re: Report: Think Tank Urban Disguise Bag

    I recently saw some Urban Disguise bags in a local shop and they look to be pretty close to what I was looking for. Glad I didn't pick something up yet. It's good reading all the great comments here. They didn't have the 35, but that looks exactly right. Perfect for a netbook and I'll still have space for a E-620 or E-30 with grip in the future. I know the long size isn't the best shape for accessing everything, but I don't think I'd normally be in a rush and it doesn't look bad as a backpack compared to the others.

    Now to order one!
    Charles - flickr

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    Re: Report: Think Tank Urban Disguise Bag

    Just picked up my UD35 this afternoon. If you are in Tokyo and looking or Urban Design bags check out Studio Shop in Tsukishima (http://www.studioshop.jp/access/) I didn't look at everything, but they carry basically the entire Thinktank line in the store and it's within walking distance of my office.

    Compared to the UD40 it's taller and more narrow. It's also a bit thicker because of the laptop space in the back, similar to the UD50. It's height probably makes it a little less convenient if you have a lot of lenses to stack, but I like the vertical orientation. It's probably better then the others if you want to leave a lens attached, especially a telephoto. It's probably also the only UD bag that can do so with a gripped camera. Since I walk a lot in Tokyo I also picked up the shoulder harness of wearing it like a backback which looks better then their other models IMO. The bad part about the harness is that you'd basically need to unhook the top to get in the bag. You might just able to hook to the far handle. I'll have to try that.

    Honestly I don't have enough lenses to fill it up yet, but gives me a bit of space to grow. The laptop slot is only large enough for a 13" laptop, or 10" if you put a camera with grip in the top. I like the flexibility and since I plan to get a netbook the size will be perfect. I like the narrower profile of the UD40, but since I'd be putting things in the front pockets I'm not sure it would change much overall.

    I think I'll be quite happy with it for the near future.
    Charles - flickr

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    Re: Report: Think Tank Urban Disguise Bag

    Well it took almost 2 years from when I said I would do it and it ended up just being a video spurred by a discussion about lightweight 4x5 setups on the large format photography forum.

    10 minute video show & tell of the urban disguise 40 version 1.0 and 2.0 as a possible 4x5 field camera bag: http://www.jeremydmoore.com/2011/04/...d-camera-bags/

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    Re: Report: Think Tank Urban Disguise Bag

    Nice!

    I've been using my UD60 as my main travel bag for over 3 years now. I added a set of Kata wheels to it and the airport is suddenly a more friendly place especially now as it's weighing in fully loaded at some 28 pounds!

    I'm carrying in it:

    3 camera bodies
    3 lenses
    4 flashguns
    flash battery pack
    2 spare camera batteries
    5 Radiopopper transmitter/recievers
    laptop
    spare battery for laptop
    external drive
    cables, etc.

    Not bad eh?

    The UD60 mkII is apparently even better, you can strech out the main comparment so it's easier to fit stuff in.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: Report: Think Tank Urban Disguise Bag

    Another Think Tank*Photo user here.

    I had the UD50 for several years, it handled my 15" laptop and a bulky lot of gear on a bunch of trips all over the place with no problems at all and nary a mark on it.

    Downsizing to a smaller laptop (MacBook Pro 13") and a smaller camera kit this year, I wanted something trimmer in keeping with the downsizing theme yet just as useful. I bought the Urban Disguise 35 V2 and have been delighted with it.

    The UD50 was sold to another GetDPI participant, who I hope is enjoying it as much as I did. :-)

    I like other bags for shooting out of, but when I have to move the lot of gear from one place to the next AND shoot out of the bag, these are about the best I've found.

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