I was able to fit my Nikon D500 with attached Tamron 100-400mm zoom, a Nikon flash, and a few extras besides inside the medium DSLR Core Unit, which occupied the bulk of the pack’s interior. I also had room for extras that I tossed into the various pockets, including my large Nalgene water bottle in the outside water-bottle pocket (which tucks away when not needed). Since I couldn’t fit the small Core Unit in together with the medium insert, it remained at home, and was relegated to storing lenses for quick and easy access.
Enter the 150-600 Zoom
But there was one problem. I also own the Tamron 150-600mm G2 – which is a monster of a lens compared with the almost diminutive (by comparison) 100-400. On its own, the larger lens had no problem fitting in the medium insert – even with lens hood attached (in reversed position), with the camera body snuggled into its own module alongside it. (A “module” is simply a subdivision within the Core Unit, formed by the dividers and/or walls of the insert.)
However, I prefer keeping the lens attached to the body for ready access. Besides, you never know what dust and grit and even sand are kicked up when a wind gust kicks in – so I always feel it’s best to start my day on the right foot, as it were, with the lens fitted to the camera body from the outset. Granted, I do change lenses in the field, but I try to minimize these occurrences to when and where the situation allows or when absolutely necessary. But with my gear stowed in the medium insert, carrying and using the longer zoom would unquestionably require me to be a quick-change artist in the field. What to do?
After some hesitation, I again reached out to Shimoda, this time asking for the large DSLR Core Unit. After comparing measurements for the large Core Unit and long zoom, I felt assured this would be a good fit for my D500/150-600 combo.
Shimoda agreed to send the insert. With the large Core Unit in hand, it was now time to test my hypothesis… (See my earlier review – click here.)