Much like women seem to be addicted to buying shoes and handbags they don’t need, I seem to be addicted to buying camera bags I have no use or room for. My biggest is a Dakine Mission rucksack that can take several full frame SLR bodies, all my lenses including my Canon 70-200 f2.8L IS and more. I have small and medium size Lowepro bags to suit every camera type I own but these are all thin over the should types.
I’ve never found a good compromise between size, comfort and useability, until I came across the Case Logic SLR Sling bag (aka the SLRC-205) which is perfect for any full frame SLR (excluding ones with additional battery grips fitted and the pro-series ones with large battery grips). Here’s a quick snap of the SLRC-205 alongside my Canon 5D Mark II with Canon 24 -70 F2.8L lens.
The SLRC-205 is designed to be worn using a single strap, diagonally across your shoulder to the hip/waist on the opposite side to the shoulder it is slung over. The strap is nice and large, well padded and even when fully loaded the bag is extremely comfortable. There is an additional waist strap should you wist to have a 3-point restraint system, this can come in handy if you are planning to run or carry out any exercise or extreme sports whilst wearing the bag.
The bag has a novel suspension hammock inside that you pass your lens through which is meant to suspend the camera and lens inside the bag to minimise knocks and bangs to the SLR. This system works surprisingly well even with large Canon L-series lenses.
Main main lens, the Canon 24-70 F2.8L fits snuggly through the suspension opening without the lens hood on but with the lens hood stored in reverse on the lens it won’t fit. However, the suspension hammock is optional and simply retained on one side by velcro so for big lenses or lens hoods you can simply remove the velcro and make use of the full opening of the case.
The suspension system, whilst nice, is not my favourite part of the SLRC-205 though, by far the best bit is the ease at which you can access your SLR without having to remove the bag from your back. You can simply rotate/swing the main compratment around so it sits in front of your chest and access all the compartments with ease.
On a recent trip to the beach with my dog I stuffed my Canon 5D Mark II with Canon 24-70 F2.8L into the main compartment, my Canon 8-15mm F4L fisheye, 580EX II flash and Canon remote trigger TC90-N3 into the side pocket. Add to that my Manfrotto 190MF3 magfiber tripod under the tripod strap on the back and that’s pretty much all you need for a day and evening out and about in Wales. It all felt very safe and secure and you barely notice you’re carrying so much kit with you.
If you opt to not use the additional waist strap, it doesn’t simply dangle and get in your way, Case Logic have fitted some nifty little velcro flaps to the base of the straps so you simply roll or fold the excess strap up and secure it with the velcro to keep it out of your way. Small touches like this make this bag a dream to use on a daily basis.
As well as the main SLR compartment there is a generously sized side pocket which amazingly can swallow my Canon 24-70 F2.8L with lens hood fitted (ie not reversed) and there is still room along side it for other goodies, batteries, remote triggers, etc.
There is also a discreet pocket on the other end of the strap that you could fit several memory cards or spare batteries in and a zip flap on hte outside underneath the tripod flaps that you could put cleaning cloths, lens caps, money, small maps, pens, pads, etc
I think my continual search for the “holly grail” of daily use dslr camera bags has finally come to an end and the Case Logic SLR Sling SLRC-205 is now my one and only camera bag for most of my outings/projects and I’ll revert back to the Dakine Mission if I need to take all my kit with me just in case.
You can get a better feel for the size and versatility of the case from the following YouTube video:
and as always I’ve put a small gallery of photos showing the different compartments of the bag, the bag with my Canon 5D Mark II and 24-70 F2.8L lens in the main body, the same lens with lens hood fitted in the side pocket, and more.