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My Think Tank Retrospective 5

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by xdayv, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    My Think Tank Retrospective 5 (*updated with a review)

    My Retrospective 5 has finally arrived, and I think this is the bag I was looking for a (long) while now. Just would like to share some thoughts about this bag...

    I got some other bags (just when we thought only women have more bags than they will ever need? :biggrin:)... I have a Lowepro Toploader, Computrekker AW, Crumpler $4M and Tamrac Pro 12 - but those were fit or designed for the DSLR system (except for the Crumpler that serves well for the Micro 4/3s too).

    I initially got a Retrospective 7 (by accident of some sort), but it was a bit too roomy for my use, I didn't want to be tempted to stuff more stuffs than the usual :biggrin:. This would be a perfect bag for those who would like to bring an iPad.


    The Retrospective 5 fits in the following:

    1. G3 + 12-35 2.8 mounted
    2. Leica M Monochrom + 50mm 1.4 mounted
    3. Panasonic 7-14mm (or 45mm + 20mm)**
    4. Giottos blower, lenspen, trash bag, memory cards, extra batts, filters, and other misc accessories

    **Alternatively, I can still snugly fit a third body (GX1) with a 20mm pancake.


    Overall, it feels very comfortable with the padded strap for the shoulder. Very well-thought of bag for the photographer, lots of small pockets and partitions, and the velcro silencers is an added feature for stealthier shooting. For me, a fully-loaded Retro 5 is just about the limit that I'm willing to bring it all-day, anything bigger would mean I'll probably end-up carrying more than what I need, anything smaller would mean I won't have enough room for my mostly needed stuffs.

    I've been searching for my next bag, but I think the Retro 5 is just about the (near) perfect messenger-type bag.

    *update: here are my thoughts gathered in here >> Think Tank Retrospective 5 Bag Review
    • Like Like x 4
  2. jon595

    jon595 Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2011
    I'm a somewhat new owner of the Retro 5 and its my favorite camera-gear-only bag I've tried. It holds lots if gear well and the build quality is excellent.

    it won't be my last or only bag of course...

    Just a hobbyist.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    I've got one too & I can stuff my E-PL5, VF-2 with 5 lenses & filters in it too :biggrin:
    • Like Like x 1
  4. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Can you share a pic of your full bag? I have had a 5 for awhile but just ordered a 7 because I can't fit more than my omd and 1-2 more lenses.

  5. Dc5e

    Dc5e Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 15, 2012
    I love my Retrospective 5 though I do a few gripes about it.

    The back zipper pocket could be just a tad wider. While it can fit folded paper/pamphlets that are 8.5 inches tall, it's almost impossible to get them in and out without folding/damaging the paper.

    I also don't like the metal keyring clip in the inner pocket. It accidentally came out of the pocket once and scratched the housing on one of my lenses. A better spot to put it would've been in the outer pocket.

    The pockets below the accessory loops are also not very useful.

    Other than that, it's a great bag. It's just large enough to fit everything I need (on last trip, I packed a G3, GF2, 7.5mm, 14mm, 20mm, 45mm, remote shutter, and an Ultrapod II attached to an accessory loop).
  6. sokar

    sokar Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 30, 2011
    I have the blue color. Fits EP1 + EPM1, 17mm, 45mm, 14-42mm kit, 40-150mm + FL600R + 3 batteries.

    Good size, and discrete.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. shizlefonizle

    shizlefonizle Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 21, 2012
    Same reason I went with the Retro 7. With a full gripped OM-D and a couple of telephotos (35-100mm and 100-300mm) theres actually not much room. But after using it for a while, Im wanting a smaller bag. I really want something between a Retro 5 and 7. Thinktank needs to make a Retro 6 :rolleyes: 
  8. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    Zach, I will eventually take some photos and share it here. OMD ungripped I think wil fit in nicely.
  9. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    Agree. The back zipper pocket serves for inserting smaller stuffs like biz card, envelope, cleaning cloth and some spare bills. Folder-sized documents won't fit. Same goes for the pockets below the accessory loops - I guess for spare battery or lenspen will do for quick access.

    The metal keyring inside, I plan to tape it with either gaffer or duct tape before anything adverse happens.

    If I may add, a rotating ring for the shoulder strap would be a welcome. And probably a zipper at the top for quick access...

    Bottomline, the features and overall build quality still outweighs these minor quirks.
  10. jon595

    jon595 Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2011
    Here are some pictures of how I have mine currently configured. I like a double level system personally.

    So here is the bottom 'level' of the bag. Left to right: Olympus 14-150mm | Olympus 9-18mm + Olympus 45mm | Panasonic 45-200mm. The divider between the 45-200 and the 9-18/45mm is a full height divider. The other divider is a half height (included with bag).

    Now, here is the 2nd level. Olympus E-M5 + PL 25mm with hood | Oly FL-600R. The divider that the E-M5 sits on is the other full height divider that came with the bag, with one side of velcro attached to the bag and the other side blocked off. This lets me swing it open easily to get to contents below.

    Here is a picture of everything in the bag.

    - Olympus OMD E-M5 + PL 25mm with hood
    - Olympus 14-150mm
    - Olympus 45mm
    - Olympus 9-18mm
    - Panasonic 45-200mm
    - Olympus FL-600R
    - small notebook
    - regular ink pen and LensPen
    - WhiBal card
    - extra E-M5 battery
    - Peak Design Leash strap
    - Peak Design Cuff strap
    - extra AA's
    - E-M5 clip-on flash
    - Lenscloth (Spudz)
    - business card case holding a pair of gels for flash
    - Lumiquest velcro strap for attaching stuff to flash

    I normally don't carry all this gear, but I wanted to show what the bag could hold. Normally, I'd leave the 9-18mm and 45-200mm at home unless I had a need for them. I hope this helps or gives others an idea of possible configuration.
    • Like Like x 7
  11. Richella

    Richella The Wandering Scotsman

    Aug 21, 2011
    Kuala Lumpur
    I pondered this bag for a while but finally decided this week on the Billingham Hadley Small. I'll post some photos once it arrives.
  12. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    Thanks for sharing this. Yes Think Tank provided us with half-sized dividers, it's a good option to have this.

    And one more nice thing about the Retro 5 overall size -- I can place it inside the lower compartment of my dry box cabinet, and still has rooms for my all other lenses and bodies.
  13. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    You've got yours configured in a different manner than I do - but I like! :smile: (I still owe pics of mine) :redface:

  14. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    Been carrying this day in day out and from a recent travel, overall thoughts - it's really good messenger-type bag without weighing you down. Bigger versions will tempt you to put more...

    I'll be posting some photos soon. I can fit in 3 cameras mounted with lenses! That's really something for this type of messenger bag.
  15. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
  16. Rig Vader

    Rig Vader Mu-43 Regular

    May 24, 2012
    I had the 5, but opted for the 7 instead - reasons:

    I keep the hoods on all my lenses ( non reversed ) , they fitbetter into the 7 in a bact to front orientation

    5 & 7 is almost the same weight

    Bigger size lets me use it with small amount of gear, large amount if gear, day bag or daybag + small amount of gear.

    It got an i pad sized back pocket.

    I then got the domke fxb for traveling light.
  17. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    The Domke FXB is also a very good option IMHO. And if you bring an iPad, the 7 is the way to go.
  18. stevenmh

    stevenmh Mu-43 Rookie

    Jul 30, 2012
    I bought the 5 and the 7 at the same time to try them out, and went with the 5 because the 7 was bigger than I wanted to carry.

    I keep everything below in it comfortably:

    G5 with 2 spare batteries
    SD900 camcorder
    5 lenses with hoods (14-140, 100-300, 7-14, 14-45, 25)
    FL500 flash with 4 spare AA batteries
    tripod QR plate
    wireless shutter kit
    cleaning pens

    I don't carry it around like that, I just keep everything in there to keep it all together, and take out what I don't need for the current outing. For traveling the whole bag fits in the bottom of the front portion of my laptop backpack.

    I also have a filter pouch that attaches to one of the side loops nicely.

    The only gripe I've had is that they went a little pocket crazy, adding pockets that not only aren't usable, but actually a hindrance. Kept getting the 14-140 and 100-300 hoods caught up on those interior side pockets with velcro flaps and the little overhang flaps that I guess are supposed to help keep dust out. I took care of it this past weekend... cut out the interior pockets and the overhang flaps... much much better now.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. jon595

    jon595 Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2011
    Those side flaps on the Retrospective 5 really annoy me as well. I have no idea what they are supposed to do besides catching my lens hoods and slowing down getting stuff out.

    When you cut those out, did the cut pats fray too much or damage the bag in any other way? Did you sew a new seam or anything over top of the cut portions to keep everything together?

  20. quatchi

    quatchi Mu-43 Veteran

    May 17, 2012
    Munich, Germany
    I do not know about the Retro5 but I use the ones of the Retro7 to put lenses in when traveling. In that way my Oly60 (one side) and Pana 14-45 + 20 (other side) are securely stored and do not start to wander around in the back. When I am out shooting, however, I do not put anything in those.
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