In-Depth Review: Think Tank Retrospective Lens Changer 3

Retrospective Lens Changer 3

The Retrospective Lens Changer 3 is a bag that I have needed for ever!  It's a dedicated lens carrier with three cylindrical storage areas to hold lenses.  I absolutely love that I can store my 70-200, 100-400 and my 16-35 in this bag, have it with me for an event, but not necessarily carry it around every minute, while shooting.  The 100-400 may be a bit of an unusual lens to want to carry around all the time, but I have it, and it does me absolutely no good sitting on a shelf at home.  This bag facilitates an extremely easy way to carry that big beefy lens along with me, when out shooting.

Specifications from Think Tank

KEY FEATURES

  • Lenses carried in separated compartments for rapid access
  • Minimalist outer appearance conceals expensive photo equipment
  • Carries three lenses plus small accessories
  • Accommodates up to a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens (hood reversed)

WHAT FITS 

  • 70-200mm f/2.8  (I will add that I carry my 100-400 in this bag, hood reversed, no problem.)
  • 20-70mm
  • 17-40 f/4

SPECIFICATIONS 

Internal Dimensions:
(each lens section): 4.75” Diameter x 10″ H (12 x 25.5 cm)
Exterior Dimensions:
15” W x 11.75″ H x 5” D (38 x 30 x 12.5 cm)
Weight:
2.2 lbs (1.0) kg

Main storage areas

This bag is ideally suited for carrying several lenses, but the one thing that I noticed immediately upon unpacking the bag is that there isn't a huge amount of padding on the front side of the storage tubes. The back side seems better padded because there are additional storage areas on the back, but the front is simply a nice thick canvas bag with a liner.  If I were sitting down to invent a “version 2″ of this bag, I would put about 3/8” of really good padding around all of the tubes.  This is certainly not a deal breaker, because I have never had a bag that is so perfectly suited for carrying extra lenses.  But, it is my one and only complaint about this otherwise phenomenal bag.

Sound Silencer

One of the most well thought-out design features of this bag are the sound silencers on the main flap.  The flap secures to the front of the storage tubes via large patches of velcro.  If you are photographing a formal event where you need to avoid that pesky “ripping” sound of velcro dislodging, you can fold down the sound silencers, which simply cover up the velcro on the lid.  You can then drape the flap over the lenses, but when you go to lift it up, there is no velcro ripping, and it's perfectly quiet.

Storage Areas

The back side of this bag comes with a full-width storage area, which is protected by a zip cover.  Inside that storage area are numerous individual pockets and compartments, ideal for pens, business cards, Zeiss lens wipes, memory cards, etc.  There is also a very robust storage pocket.  I have made that storage pocket my ND Filter storage area.  I have four ND filters along with a drop-in filter in there, and they fit wonderfully.  A great bit of extra storage.

There is also a very small storage area on the front center tube.  It's large enough for a small cell phone, but not large enough for a large smart phone.  Again, this would work fine for some lens wipes, business cards, or perhaps a set of keys.

Low Profile

This bag is simple looking canvas.  While the Signature 13 looks opulent and rich because of the materials used, this bag doesn't scream “valuable items here!”  I think that's a fantastic thing.  Obviously the most ‘anonymous' looking bag will not ensure your gear to be safe from thieves, but the less attention you draw to it, the better.

A Product that Does it's Job… Perfectly

This is a bag that does it's intended job to perfection.  The ability to carry another three lenses around on your shoulder, or to just have them stowed somewhere so conveniently is an absolutely amazing help.

Overall Opinion

I would rate this a solid 4.5 stars out of five.  The padding observation I made above is the only hesitation in giving it a full “five stars.”  It comes with a rain cover, has incredibly durable hardware and very robust and comfortable padding on the shoulder pad.  I'll use this bag every single day, and be extremely thankful to have it.  It's a superb and useful bag.

2 thoughts on “In-Depth Review: Think Tank Retrospective Lens Changer 3”

  1. Question. How well do the tubes stay open when they are empty? For example if I am carrying a 14-24, 24-70, and 70-200 could I easily drop the lens I had on the body into the empty tube before I pull out the next lens I wanted to use?

    1. I use it exactly that way, and it works great for dropping lenses in. If you have your mounting ring on the 70-200, you have to get it at the right angle, so it passes down into the tube. I wouldn’t call it a “tight fit,” but you do need to make sure it’s lined up correctly. The tubes stay open just fine, especially after you have a lens or two in the bag already.

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top