Don’t get me wrong: I still prefer to travel light, unencumbered by anything that might weigh me down. But there are occasions when you need that extra something to make your life easier on the trails or even while negotiating the streets, byways and alleyways of a distant shore and, notably, to facilitate lens changes wherever you happen to be, even close to home. The problem becomes even more pronounced when you’re carrying gear in a backpack and the ground is muddy or wet and you can’t find a dry spot anywhere to conveniently set the pack down so you can get at that gear. Or when you’re in a tenuous situation where it might not be prudent to turn your back for the few minutes it takes to access gear from a backpack that’s sitting on the ground (watch out for that buck behind you!). The Think Tank products that neatly fit the bill here are the Lens Case Duo and Lens Changer series.
And, speaking of wet, we don’t all use cameras and lenses that have been waterproofed. Even if we do, some added protection against rain and snow and blowing debris couldn’t hurt. That’s when a water-repellent rain hood comes into the picture. And Think Tank offers two solutions to tackle these nasty situations: the Hydrophobia Rain Cover V3.0 and Emergency Rain Cover series.
Finally, you may need some means to carry all these accessories conveniently. Attaching lens pouches to a backpack that you’ll first have to remove is counterproductive. And you can’t depend on the backpack’s waist belt since, sooner or later, you’ll be unfastening it, if you even buckle it in the first place, which I rarely do. And shoulder/sling bags don’t all provide attachment points. Besides, the added weight may add to the strain of carrying the bag at your side. And, whereas you could use the belt that holds up your pants, not everyone wears pants – or a belt. And even if you do, carrying accessories on your belt can be a real drag. So a special belt might be in order. And here too Think Tank comes to the rescue - with the Thin Skin Belt V3.0. The lens pouches we’ll be reviewing are designed to be carried on this belt, as well as the more heavily padded Pro Speed Belt V3.0 (not reviewed here).