peak design everyday messenger bag review…

I will start out and say that this bag is by far the best bag I have ever used….bar none! An enormous amount of thought has gone into its design and its materials as well as the quality. Its not the cheapest out there but it is the best.

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The bag is particularly suited to my default travel Olympus Micro 4/3rds kit. I have just about everything I need and there is still room for another lens or two.fullsizerender-6

The back pockets contain a 17″ laptop plus an iPad air2.

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Very clever pockets on either side take mobile phones and keys and the one handed clasp system is secure and a pleasure to use. There are numerous very clever pockets which are very usefully placed such as the red pocket below which I use for passports which is accessible from the quick access zipper on top of the bag. As you can see – the divider system is also very flexible and lightweight allowing for lenses to be stacked.

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As you can see here – all this fits into the bag with ease…5 lenses and a body with grip; iPad air2 and a 17″ MacBook pro with power brick; various batteries; carry strap; iPhone; lots of bits and pieces and a set of keys

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The one thing I forgot to photograph is a very flexible strap system with various configurations that you can see on the Peak Design website

I am so happy with this bag that I felt compelled to tell you all about it. Don’t even think twice about buying one if you are in the market for a new bag.

 

Blood Moon….

I decided to wake up and take a few shots of the Eclipse 2 nights ago. Instead of the obvious system to shoot it with I thought I would give my little Olympus OMD EM1 a go with the superb Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 40-150mm 1:2.8 PRO Lens with MC-1.4 1.4x Tele Converter giving me a 420mm equivalent focal length. Not as close as I would ideally have liked to be but very usable indeed and the colour rendition was spot on.

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Camera Soul….

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I am writing this as I constantly get asked questions about my equipment and I hope to shed some light on my obsession. I admit it – I love cameras…period! I love looking at them; touching them and using them. My obsession is is partly aesthetically driven and partly functionally driven but the cameras that I end up having a “relationship” with are the counterintuitive ones. They are not the cameras that you would think a pro photographer would love. They are not the best performing or the highest megapixel count or the ones that other pro’s use either but they have something else….something indescribable…beyond language…a soul… Now I know that sounds a bit ethereal but bear with me…. Every camera I use has a particular purpose and raison d’etre. It serves some professional function and achieves what I want it to achieve to produce a particular piece of work. It does not necessarily follow that I enjoy using it. A Hasselblad or Leaf is great for slow and methodical work in good light that requires a considered approach and gives one the highest megapixels that certain clients require but these are both big systems that dont perform in low light. The Nikon D800 is capable of matching the lower end of the Medium Format systems and adds speed to the equation as well as a decent low light performance. It is good for fast paced studio and location work. The Nikon D4 is great for low light and action shots and low light work. As you can see there are specific purposes for all these cameras that I use. None of them are cameras that I pick up at home or when travelling or even when I am doing some personal work. None of them feel like comfortable cameras that I love to use. So, what is it that I have reached for over the last few years that satisfies my emotive connection with the equipment? Well….it is and has been for a number of years Olympus’s offerings. Olympus fans will not be surprised by this as they are privvy to a secret that all those photographers wedded to other systems aren’t. Olympus cameras just produce better images straight out of camera! There is something about Olympus files that without getting too retro are a bit more film-like and as a result have that “Soul” I was referring to earlier. Olympus has not been the easiest system to love  as I am not sure that Olympus loves its customers as much as its die hard fans love it but Olympus engineers clearly love what they do. They know how to make a camera. They are the Apple of the camera world. The latest Micro Four Thirds offering from Olympus – the OMD EM-1 is a fantastic camera which, due to its size means that I can carry a whole lens system covering all my required focal lengths in a small canvas shoulder bag that weighs less than the D800 with a 70-200 attached. It has a great selection of lenses from Olympus and Panasonic and can be mated through adapters with just about any 35mm lens out there including Leica as well as the fantastic Olympus/Zuiko legacy lenses. The camera is as good as dust and waterproof with certain lenses and is built like a tank. Image quality is superb and in good light competes with larger professional offerings from other manufacturers. It is pretty good in low light and although this is its Achilles heal it is a non issue for me. I have made exhibition prints with the Olympus E1 (Their first digital pro camera – 6mp and terrible low light performance.) I am not going to carry on with this article as I am beginning to sound like a fanboy but you get the picture – excuse the pun. I love using this camera…..

Disclosure: I have not got any connection to Olympus and these opinions are solely mine.