Review: Tenba Black Label Camera Bag Collection
A line that complements your best professional attire and even fits a petite body size
By Cheryl Pearson
Tenba has a new Black Label line of premium camera bags that consists of two handcrafted shoulder bags and three photo satchels, all representing Tenba’s innovative design and constructed with the highest quality materials.
I tested the Medium Photo Satchel, the mid-size bag in the collection, intended to fit a medium-size DSLR body and 2-3 lenses with a flash. With an interior that’s 13.5W x 9.5H x 6D inches, the medium satchel was able to perfectly fit my Canon EOS 5D camera body, 24-70mm and 70-200mm lenses, as well as flash. Although it was a tighter fit, there was even room for a third small lens. To adequately fit three lenses in the bag comfortably, however, they would need to be small to medium focal length.
The movable padded dividers make custom configuration easier, allowing you to arrange the camera and lenses the way you would prefer. To test if a larger DSLR would fit in the bag, I attached the battery grip to my Canon 5D. After rearranging the equipment I found I could comfortably fit the camera body with grip, flash and either two smaller lenses or one larger focal length lens if needed. While the items fit in the satchel, it is probably best to pack what Tenba recommends for the bag’s design, as it seemed to provide the most optimal fit.
In addition to the main storage component, the front zippered pocket offers multiple compartments for storing various photography accessories including mobile hard drives and other electronic devices. One of my favorite features was the color-coded media card holders. There are two red pockets to store full cards and two green pockets for fresh, empty cards. I found this feature to be quite practical, but I felt there was enough space in the bag’s design for two more sets of holders on each side. I tend to bring along extra media cards to an event and could easily use more than two. A hook in the top right hand side of this pocket adds convenience as a handy attachment for keys or an additional media card holder.
Tenba’s Small and Large Photo Satchels complete the set: the small satchel is intended to fit a compact DSLR or Rangefinder with 2-3 lenses and flash while the large satchel is designed for a large pro DSLR body (with grip) with 2-3 lenses and flash.
This collection is crafted with quality materials and attention to detail, making the bags extremely sturdy and robust. Plus, the slim profile design of the satchel is a welcome bonus. Since I have a petite frame, it’s important for the bag not to feel bulky yet still provide adequate protection for the camera. This bag is lightweight in comparison to other bags I have used of the same size, making it ideal for photographers who need to move around, and especially useful for those with a smaller a body frame.
The satchel’s flap-over cover with Duraflex clips close and open easy but secure tightly. The medium and large satchels also come with a rear trolley holder panel that lets it fit securely to a rolling luggage handle. I’ve had bags that fall off to one side when positioned on the luggage handle, but I found the bag did not shift even when the suitcase was tipped from side to side.
The medium satchel proved especially suited for easy travel. Even when packed to capacity it remained relatively lightweight to carry around the airport, easily attached to my luggage, and fit sufficiently under the airplane seat with ample leg room. The only drawback to the bag’s sturdy design was the padded section of the shoulder strap. While the adjustable shoulder strap allowed you to decide where you would like the bag to fall at your waist the padded part of the strap was too stiff and fit uncomfortably on my shoulder. Even granting that my shoulders are small and the makers have to design the padding to larger people as well, it seemed this one was designed for a bag with more weight.
Overall I found the Black Label Medium Photo Satchel ideal for traveling and carrying one camera body and accessories from place to place, as well as for shooting an event, but not one I would use for all situations. This isn’t the sort of bag for travel with lots of outdoor activity like hiking and biking, but it wasn’t designed to be. It’s the bag that fits the formal events, like weddings and banquets, and will complement your best professional attire rather than detract from it. The design of this bag is simple, durable, functional—and the Black Label line comes in basic black only. The Photo Satchels range from $131.95 to $179.95, while the traditional Shoulder Bags range from $179.95 to 206.95. For more information visit: www.tenba.com.
PPA members receive a 25% discount on already specially priced purchases made through the www.Tenba.com website. Visit the benefits page to find the discount code. This offer can be combined with other current Tenba specials.