When it comes to street (casual) photography one thing is often over looked ― what bag do you have and use? There are a multitude of bags which I suppose are small and fit just about any cameras but I’m not here to talk about the normal bags, I’m here to talk about the “best street photography bag” in my humble opinion.

I’ve tried quite a few bags, too many to name, but let me tell that the Thinktank Photo Retrospective 5 has stolen my heart and the hearts of my two primary photographic tools ― the Ricoh GR and the Pentax K5 IIs. Its like this: you know how you fall in love with a certain comforter and that’s what you like to sleep in all time. Well, its like that for the GR/K5IIs and the Retrospective 5. I can’t think of any other bag that has all the features that one needs to have while on the field photographing.

I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t want to trust my photography gear to just any manufacturer with the promise that things will be ok, know what I mean ie. crappy cushioning and cheap matierals. Luckily, my K5IIs is weatherproof and can withstand just about any inclement kind of weather condition but my Ricoh GR is not weatherproof (perhaps for the next iteration Ricoh and while you’re at it put an integrated OVF) so when its not out doing its job, I need to feel that its well protected from the elements. South Florida is hot as hell and when I out and about, I sweat like a champ, the humidity is just horrid as well, in short, its kind of a nightmare photographing down here. Don’t let me scare you in coming, its a jam packed city with lots to see and do. Back to the Restrospective.

Let’s fast forward to the Retrospective 5 and my favorite features.

  1. The silencer flap design – so nice to have this.
  2. The ruggedness – I wouldn’t have it any other way.
  3. The fact that it doesn’t look like a camera bag alert people – again so key, I just hate looking like a paparrazi.
  4. Perfect compartments and easily re-organized – just the right amount of space folks.
  5. Great cushioning all around – this part is huge, feel comfortable putting your expensive gear in the bag, no doubt, seal of approval.

And as an added bonus, it looks damn cool on my shoulder as I walk around and do my photography. Overall, the Thinktank Retrospective series is a awesome. I don’t have a bigger bag but I know they come in different sizes with the “5” being the smallest one but there is a 7, 10, 20, 30, 40, and whopping 50 in their lineup. If time permits I hope to check out the 30 or the 40, one bag to fit all my gear when I travel, that would be kind of cool. Leave the Retrospective 5 in the suitcase (empty) and when I arrive at my hotel just carry what I need.

All photographs by Jorge Ledesma