Landscape photography inevitably takes us to some very beautiful locations. Beauty can take many forms of course but on the Isle of Skye, every view is seemingly worthy of a photograph.
Earlier this year I had my second visit to this amazing location, the largest island in the Inner Hebrides archipelago, which is connected to Scotland’s northwest coast by bridge. For this trip I had my good friend Darryll Jones along for the ride.
During this trip I would have the use of a very special camera indeed, an Alpa A-series, kindly supplied by Phase One. The A-series is a very valuable camera indeed, a real work of art, I needed a bag that would protect this camera and give me the reassurance I needed to head out into the wilds with such valuable kit. Additionally, I needed a bag that would also accommodate a 600mm lens, enter the Manfrotto Bumble Bee 220PL.
I generally prefer to travel light, employing the use of lightweight mirrorless cameras, for this trip however I had a lot of hefty kit to test. The Alpa with three lenses and a Sigma 150-600mm Sport lens. Luckily the Bumblebee is able to accommodate the 150-600mm lens and this is now the biggest bag I own, this amount of kit was much heavier than I am used to carrying around! Additionally, I had my Manfrotto 055 CXPro3 attached to the back of the bag, this was held securely on those long walks to higher ground, held in place by the handy tripod connections.
The construction of the Bumblebee 220-PL is very robust indeed, the bag employs Manfrotto’s ‘Camera Protection System’ (CPS), which gives a very reassuring feel. Whilst in use the padded shoulder straps and hip supports sit comfortably, being fully adjustable, the hip supports reducing some of that weight from your shoulders. The Bumblebee’s internals are fully customisable, consisting of two large zipped compartments, which I removed to accommodate my very rather eclectic mix of equipment, additionally lots of padded dividers allow you to place your kit in the desired position.
The Bumblebee’s other features include a laptop compartment, a rain cover which also doubles up as UV protection and several zipped pockets for accessories. The rain cover saw plenty of use on the Isle of Skye, being one of the wettest islands of the Inner Hebrides!
I’ve needed to carry much more kit around with me of late as I’ve been doing a lot of testing. For the past couple of months I’ve been using the Bumblebee 220-PL for most of my outings. I’ve taken this bag up mountains in quite extreme conditions, I’ve used it for coastal photography which can be a real equipment killer. I’ve not been particularly careful when handling it and it’s not yet showing any signs of wear and tear. Add to this the robust build of the bag, it’s many features such as being completely customisable internally, and the comfort, I can highly recommend this as a bag for Professionals and enthusiasts alike. When you need to carry a large amount of photography gear with complete protection, the Bumblebee 220-PL is a fantastic option.