In Praise of Think Tank Airport Navigator

On Christmas Day, under the tree, there sat a Thing of Beauty. My wife gave me a Think Tank Airport Navigator rolling camera bag. Think Tank tout themselves as the choice of working professionals, and I must say that my speed belt combo has served me well for the past several months. However, while that combo works well during a sports event, it is not as helpful in transporting all my gear to the venue. So, I asked Santa for a new bag. The Airport Navigator is designed to hold two pro-level DSLR bodies with zooms attached, at least one extra lens, and sundry accessories such as flashgun and pocket wizard. They include a full scale photo of Canon and Nikon bodies and lenses with each case to give the owner some idea of how to pack the case.

Now, one of my colleagues has recently bought himself a polycarbonate “container”, which looks something like what the Griswold family strapped to the roof of their station wagon for their infamous National Lampoon vacations. He’s proud that it will float down the Susquehanna River when he throws it in, keeping his gear safe, and even thinks he could ride down to the Chesapeake on it. He manages to get two Nikon DSLR bodies and a few lenses in there, along with his laptop and a flash. BUT, he still has to carry his two largest zooms in separate cases on his shoulder.

Now, here comes the bragging part. Since I have converted to mirrorless gear, I was able to load my new Navigator with both my Lumix GH3 and Olympus OMD EM-1 bodies, and NINE different lenses, one of which is the monster 50-200mm f/2.8 zoom from Olympus. Then I piled in my MacBook Pro, my dedicated flashgun and sundry accessories for both cameras and laptop. The whole kit weighs less than the laptop and two Nikon bodies and zooms did, prior to my conversion. Plus, the bag is so versatile that I can load and empty it from both top and side, giving me easier access than I had in the old days. Essentially, all my micro four-thirds gear is now housed in this bag, allowing me to dispose of two of the best bags I had ever owned – Delsey Pro 3s. From now on, everything I need/own, is on location with me, and the whole kit-and-caboodle will pass through airport security as carry-on luggage.

You may note that my Fuji X Pro-1 and its lenses are not packed in this case/bag. That is true, and it does mean that when I do work that will require both a micro four-thirds and the Fuji, I will do some rearranging and repacking. Small price to pay, I think. From me to Think Tank, many thanks for the brilliant design and the quality construction of this wonderful bag. P1010268 P1010269

Bucknell Womens Basketball (December, 2013)


Most of the pictures in this post are from the game with the Penn women, one at which I felt a bit conflicted, because I am a Penn alumnus. I had a nice visit with the Penn coach, and compared his situation with that of our coach, Aaron Roussell. Bucknell fell way behind in the game, and then came storming back; I was proud to be tangentially associated with both teams. I believe that our girls will benefit in January and February m the brutal schedule they have played thus far. They can be proud of how they have handled its pressures.

There are perhaps more pictures in this gallery than one game would justify, but the reason is that there are a number of sequences/bursts whose intended audience is not players and fans, but other photographers. I’ve included them to give a glimpse of the power of the new EM-1 camera from Olympus. While its predecessor was a nice camera, it had shortcomings for sports work. The new model has addressed most of them successfully. It is every bit as much fun to shoot as any Nikon DSLR, or the GH3 and Fuji X Pro 1 which I also own. So, please take a look, and if you want some EXIF data which won’t download from the Zenfolio site, drop me a note and I’ll forward it to you. is the link to this set of photos.