The Think Tank Retrospective 30 Review

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Choosing a camera bag for me took a long time, as well as several purchases that were made only to be sold soon after. However, it’s been over 3 years using this Think Tank Retrospective 30, and I just can’t fault it.

For me, the Think Tank Retrospective 30 is the perfect camera bag, and I whole heartedly recommend it to anyone who needs to carry a couple of bodies and a few lenses.

I also think it’s the perfect camera bag for wedding photographers who need to carry a backup of every item of gear.

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My (20 week pregnant) girlfriend models the Think Tank Retrospective 30!

There’s not a great deal that can be said about a bag besides its looks, functionality and strength, so I’ve chosen to review the Think Tank Retrospective 30 by showing you what I carry in it everyday to shoots. This should give you a good idea about how much it can hold. There’s also a video at the end of this post.

Inside My Think Tank Retrospective 30

Aside from the fact that this bag is like the tardis, I love how its design means that it slips completely under the radar.

It’s one of the few camera bags on the market that doesn’t scream I’M A CAMERA BAG FULL OF EXPENSIVE TOYS!!, and I’m grateful for the understated styling and lack of prominent logos.

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The only branding on the whole bag. (On the reverse side)

I’ve taken the Think Tank Retrospective 30 with me on hundreds of shoots in all kinds of conditions, and after 3 years it still looks brand new. This is testament to the high quality of Think Tank gear in general.

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The grippy shoulder strap is well padded and built to last.

Details such as well placed heavy-duty loops for clipping extra gear, an outside and inside sleeve for documents or an iPad, an integrated light-weight waterproof cover and silencers for the velcro tabs all add up to a very well thought out bag.

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Velcro tabs can be covered with ‘silencers’, allowing silent opening of the bag, ideal for wedding photographers and those needing to operate unnoticed.

Anyway, take a look at the video to get an idea of both how much the Think Tank Retrospective 30 can hold, and how you can organise your camera gear inside it in a logical way for easy access. I apologise for the poor focus in part of the video – whilst the Fujifilm X100 S is an awesome stills camera, its movie mode is a bit hard to use…

ThinkTank Retrospective 30 - Buy Now

Durability10
Design (form)10
Design (function)10
Customizability10
Value9

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17 Comments

  1. Chrissa Flaks on August 17, 2017 at 12:51 am

    Hi Love your site! This video for the Retrospective was great – I am wondering if it would hold 1 body, and my canon 24-70L, 70-200L, 35L, and 50L, and 85L lenses. I am hoping only having 1 body creates space for this. I am also planning on getting the think tank sling for smaller outings because of your great review :)

    • Mark on August 17, 2017 at 5:52 am

      Hi Chrissa! Glad you found the reviews helpful :-) Yes, I’m pretty sure you could fit all that in there. All the best!

  2. Lily on September 2, 2015 at 4:35 am

    I’m looking into purchasing a camera bag (possibly this one) as a gift. Would you recommend this for the avid traveler and outdoorsman?

    • Mark on September 3, 2015 at 1:55 am

      Definitely Lily. If it’s too big, just go for the 20 or 10 size.

  3. Nina on June 12, 2015 at 3:26 am

    Very helpful written and video review. Much appreciated!

    • Mark on June 12, 2015 at 6:53 pm

      Glad you found it useful Nina! Thanks for the comment.

  4. Thomas on August 19, 2014 at 5:36 am

    Hi Mark,

    great site, awesome review! I already use two smaller ThinkTank Retrospective bags and I was shopping for a larger one when I stumbled upon your site.

    In the video you mentioned that you think a 13″ MacBook Air would fit inside. Can you confirm this, meanwhile? I ask because this information is very important for me. Otherwise I wouldn’t order the bag.

    Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Mark on August 19, 2014 at 7:15 am

      Hi Thomas! I’m glad you found the review useful. It really is a great bag! I just checked, and can confirm that a 13″ Macbook Air does fit in the inside pocket of the bag. It’s a bit of a tight fit though. If it’s convenient for you, please consider buying from either Amazon or B&H Photo to support these reviews. Cheers!

      • Thomas on August 21, 2014 at 5:37 pm

        Thank you so much for (double-)checking, Mark. Appreciate. Based on my location, I’m shopping on Amazon.de. Hope you’ll benefit anyway. I’ll try.

  5. Guillaume on June 7, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    Hello Mark,

    Thank you for your cool review ! It is really useful.

    Greetings from France,
    Guillaume

    • Mark on June 7, 2014 at 7:45 pm

      Hey Guillaume! Thanks for the comment! I’m glad you found the review useful. It’s a great bag ;-)

  6. Michael on May 19, 2014 at 12:17 am

    Awesome review Mark! I just stumbled upon your site and it’s great. It’s going to cost me though, as I just purchased this bag after watching your review. Cheers for sharing!

    • Mark on May 20, 2014 at 7:26 am

      Hi Michael! I’m glad you like the site. You won’t regret buying the bag – it’s very well designed and pretty much bomb proof! Cheers

  7. Giuseppe on May 7, 2014 at 3:35 am

    I’m undecided between this bag and the Lowepro pro messenger 200 aw, any advice?

    • Mark on May 7, 2014 at 7:35 am

      My friend has the Messenger and it’s a great bag – very similar to this one. However, I would still choose the Think Tank due to the larger front pockets, which I find really useful for carrying lenses etc. Hope that helps!

  8. Deirdre on April 29, 2014 at 2:02 am

    Love the size, but carrying my gear in a shoulder bag for weddings are tough for me. I invested in the Think Tank Modular System so that everything sits on my waist/hips. I have a Think Tank Retrospective for going around with just a basic camera(less is more type of day) and that’s about all my shoulders can handle these days.

    • Mark on April 30, 2014 at 1:40 pm

      Yeah, the waist/hips are a better place to carry the load for sure. When I use this bag for weddings, I’m actually rarely ever carrying it – I put it down somewhere and then just carry the two camera bodies using my Holdfast Money Maker dual strap.

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