In a previous blog entry I mentioned that when I travel light (photographically) there’s a particular bag that I keep packed and ready to go. That bag is my Manfrotto (Stile Collection) Unica VII Messenger Bag.
Camera bags are incredibly personal and I’ve owned plenty over the years. When it comes time to choose a bag you need to balance capacity with weight. In other words, if I had a bag that could hold everything I wouldn’t be able to carry it very far.
So I’ve taken the approach of having multiple bags. This approach lets me pack a particular bag (or sets of bags) based on the job I’m going on. My Manfrotto Stile is the bag I’d consider to be one of my medium sized bags. I’m a big fan of the fact that it holds a camera, a flash, a tripod and my Macbook Pro but still has room for lots of additional accessories. Here’s a quick look inside the main compartment.
The main compartment has a larger main area along with secondary area that splits in half. In this main area I keep a camera body (usually with a battery grip and my 24-70mm f2.8 lens installed), a flash (with a Sto-fen diffuser), a Joby Gorilla Pod mini-tripod, four extra AA batteries, a complete Cyber Sync radio trigger system and a small utility clamp. In the back of the main compartment is an area for a laptop where my 15” MacBook Pro fits perfectly.
Below the main compartment is an area designed to fit a compact tripod and my Manfrotto MKC3-P01 fits with room to spare. I use the additional space for various odds and ends like my medium Giottos Rocket Air blower, some ball bungie cords, a cable release, a three outlet electrical plug extender and a battery charger. Here’s a look into the tripod compartment.
There’s another compartment on the front of the bag that I use for holding a multi-tool, pen, sharpie marker, a Think Tank memory card wallet, business cards, a USB cable for tethered shooting, a memory card reader, the power supply for my MacBook Pro and my Apple Magic Mouse. Sometimes I’ll also stuff a snack bar and other small items in there as well. Here’s a look inside my front compartment.
And finally. there’s a zippered compartment on the back side of the bag where I keep a silver/gold reflector, a white translucent reflector (I usually use it as a shoot through light diffuser), some small grids and my CD case of flash gels.
I’ll be honest, it’s not light and after lugging it around for a while it really weighs on my shoulder, but I like having the ability to quickly create a bracketed set of images or a timed exposure (since I have a tripod handy), create different lighting solutions and even be able to shoot tethered or do some editing all with what I have in this bag.
And that’s what’s (usually) loaded in my Manfrotto bag and ready to go.