As I mentioned in my previous blog about the Rainforest Medium Backpack, bags are exceptionally important and choosing the right one takes time and research. One of the aspects that you have to look at is your lifestyle and what “type” of photographer you are as well as the photography you will be doing on that specific day / shoot.
Today, I’ll be reviewing the Rainforest Medium Messenger Bag, probably the most versatile camera bag I have reviewed so far. Like all the National Geographic Rain Forest Collections bags, the materials are of the highest quality and the external colours are inspired by the beautiful lush greens and browns of the Rain Forest while the internal finishing’s are inspired by the by forests local inhabitants.
One of the reasons why I choose the Messenger bag to review was the fact that it didn’t look like a camera bag. It has a sense of sophistication to it and something that I would take with me when I went to meetings, to meet a friend for a quick cuppa or delicious lunch.
As you can see here, the Manfrotto Protection System can unclip if you need the bag for something other than carrying your camera around.
There is laptop compartment but it is only for 13 inch laptops, unfortunately for me I have a 15 inch. But I did use the laptop compartment for my tablet and my diary aka “my life”. The bag has a removable camera insert with Manfrotto Protection System. There is no dedicated tripod connection, but I used the outer sleeve to pop in my Manfrotto Monopod.
Putting the bag to the test:
I was fortunate enough to be asked to photograph the inaugural Plett On The Rocks Jazz Festival, a two-day music festival, perfect opportunity to test out the Messenger Bag. I had never photographed a concert before, so deciding what to pack was always going to be a challenge. I decided on two lenses my Nikon 50mm 1.8 and the Nikon 24 -85mm 2.4, packed in extra batteries and my Nikon D750. I was super nervous leaving my 14 – 24mm and Nikon Speedlight Flash, but I believe that what I packed would be sufficient enough for what I was asked to photograph. It was an epic experience photographing this concert, there was no need for my flash, the stage had perfect lightening,
During this two day festival (it was a busy time!), I also photographed a 60th Wedding Anniversary at the Plett Park Hotel, I managed to pack in my Speedlight Flash too, even though I didn’t need it.
I was also the second photographer to a Wedding at the Beacon Island Hotel on the Sunday morning, packed exactly the same equipment that I had for the Plett On The Jazz Festival.
I have been lucky to photograph many brides, but Kim probably has one of most beautiful and natural smiles. It was an honour to be the 2nd at this wedding.
This bag also accompanied me to a sunrise mission in my “backyard”, Keurboomstrand! Although it is not always advisable to take your bag to the beach, the sand gets in everywhere and is such a pain to get rid of. I was uhmm-ing and ahhh-ing about wanting to go down, which made me late! But my decision was made and I slung the bag over my neck and shoulder and ran along the beach to the “blow hole”.
What’s in my bag:
|Lenses||2 – Nikon 24 – 85mm and Nikon 50mm|
|Flash||Nikon Speedlight SB-910|
|Tripod / Monopod||Manfrotto Monopod|
|Camera Accessories||2 x Kenko ND Filters, Tirgger, Batteries, Memory Cards|
|Personal Accessories||Diary, Sun Lotion and Cap|
Let’s talk bag specifications:
|Camera||Medium DSLR / Mirrorless|
|Rain Protection Cover||No|
|Zips or Velcro||Zips|
|Material||Canvas and Cotton|
Bag Summary: The bag oozes “natural sophistication” and the materials used are of fine quality. Versatile, perfect for quick shoots (family, maternity, events, sunrise etc). The bag doesn’t look like a camera bag and can be taken to meetings. The bag is very easy to carry, either over your shoulder using the sling or using the carry handle.