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If you’re a photographer who frequently carries lots of gear, and needs it easily accessible to you during a shoot, it’s time to start thinking like Batman! That doesn’t mean donning a cape and mask, but rather making use of a utility belt that allows you to attach various accessories to it, for easy access. Luckily, you need not look any further than the Think Tank Modular Component Set, a customizable waist belt that holds you gear close to you, while taking the weight off your neck and shoulders.
In this review, I’ll take a closer look at the Modular Component System V2.0, and why it’s essential for on-location photographers.
One of the best parts of this product, is that it includes the following modular components that can be used separately, or in conjunction with each other:
Everything arrives neatly packaged in a zippered travel pouch.
As you can probably tell by the product photo above, two of these modular components are pouches with drawstrings, while the other two are zippered mini bags. Let’s look first at the pouches.
Pretty much any wide-angle or standard zoom lens will fit in the Lens Changer 50 pouch. The larger Lens Changer 75 pouch can unzip to extend its length, to be able to carry a lens as large as a 70–200mm f/2.8, or Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6, with the lens hood reversed. Both of these pouches have wide, flexible openings, and drawstring cords that can be easily loosened or tightened with one hand. These two qualities make it very easy to quickly access the contents of the pouches. Each pouch also has a low-profile zippered bottom, that holds a rain cover.
In addition to the drawstring pouches, there are two mini bag components, one that can hold a large speedlight flash, and the other is quite a bit larger for holding extra small to mid-size lenses, or even a professional DSLR camera body without a lens attached.
Together, these modular components can hold quite a bit of gear if you use all of them, or you can slim down your pack by being more selective about the components you add to your belt. Speaking of that belt…
If you purchase the Think Tank Modular Component System V2.0, you will also need to purchase one piece of gear that holds them all together: the actual utility belt itself. Think Tank offers three different versions of their Speed Belt. The main differences between them is the thickness of the material, with the thinnest being the Think Tank Thin Skin belt, and the thickest the Steroid Speed Belt. The middle option is the one that was used during this review: the Think Tank Pro Speed Belt, which has just the right amount of padding without too much added bulk.
The Speed Belt can be used in conjunction with the Modular Component System, by attaching the pouches and mini bags to the belt via thick, secure velcro. Alternatively, you can also purchase larger holster bags, that can also be attached to the Speed Belt.
This Modular Component System is very valuable for event or wedding photographers, who need quick and easy access to a wide repertoire of gear, while constantly shooting on the go. Wearing your gear as a utility belt, gives you a slimmer profile to weasel through crowds, while capturing photos of an event without accidentally hitting people with a bulky shoulder bag. Also, shooting with the Modular Component System gives you the polished look of a professional photographer, with the bulk of your gear on display. With that said, there are some cons to using this product.
As mentioned above, wearing your gear on full display makes it more accessible to you during a shoot, but it also exposes the fact that you have lots of valuable camera gear. If you’re a street or documentary photographer, you probably won’t want to use this product, as you don’t want to attract unwanted attention. Additionally, while it can be tempting to load up the components with a ton of gear, this can quickly become overly bulky and heavy, so it’s important to be selective about how much you actually want to carry.
Have you used the Think Tank Modular Component Set, or a similar belt system before? What was your impression of it? Let us know in the comments below!