August 10, 2009
ThinkTank's Humongous Bazooka Tripod Case
www.thinktankphoto.com - $75.00
Review by Steve Douglas
I was at a meeting the other night when the subject of camera and tripod bags came up. Brand names were being thrown about and there surely are several companies producing excellent quality bags, however, the conversation made me aware that of all the bags I own, it is Think Tank's International Security bag that is the one I use the most. It is where my most essential gear is stored when traveling either locally or to another country. So, when I recently grew frustrated attempting to put my light stands back in their case with all the lights (things never go back in as smoothly as they appear when first you purchase them), and when I, just as recently, got my new tripod, it was Think Tank I thought of when I came to the conclusion that high quality tripod and light stand bags were in order.
My newest Manfrotto tripod is a bit long when packed up and, being bizarrely obsessive about taking care of my equipment, it was Think Tanks' Humongous Bazooka Tripod case that I thought would do the trick.
Humongous is the right word for it as the tripod bag telescopes itself anywhere from a length of 22.5 inches to a full 41". Its interior diameter is 6.75", which provides all the room I need, and then some. That diameter can also accommodate some good size tripod heads when necessary. The Bazooka cases are made of premium grade ballistics nylon fabric and utilize both metal and plastic buckles. As with almost all bags and cases, it is always the zipper that breaks down first. I have experienced this many times as I am often out to sea for weeks at a time and the salt air and wet dive gear simply destroys the zippers in short order. So far, the zippers on my Think Tank Airport Security camera bag, which I have used now for over a year, are still in 'As New' condition. Not sure what the difference is between the zippers that Think Tank uses as opposed to other's, but whatever it is, be grateful as these zippers do not get stuck, oxidize or degrade. To add a bit more power to the punch, Think Tank really stands by their products with a lifetime warranty against any defects in materials or workmanship.
While I will be using the Humongous Bazooka for my tripod, it may also be used to hold your umbrellas, light stands, soft boxes, and pretty much anything else you might want to hide and protect while transporting.
Once I adjusted the straps and extended the Think Tank Humongous Bazooka, my tripod, with head attached, was fully protected with a smooth and thick padding all around. Additionally, any of the 3 models of Bazooka cases attach relatively easily to any of Think Tank's Airport series of camera bags.
The case is quite light weighing only 1lb, 14oz empty and when using the sling over my shoulder, carrying it was quite comfortable. The Humongous Bazooka retails for only $75.00, while the smallest Bazooka, which can adjust from 15" to 30" with a max diameter of 5", sells for only $59.00. Both of these, as well as a mid size Bazooka they call 'Big Bazooka', which extends from 16" to 30.5" with a max diameter of 6" and retails for $64.00, are all made of the same high grade materials and are backed by Think Tank's service and warranty. Just holding any of these cases will impress you with the quality of materials being used. You just get the inside feeling that all is well.
Is there any thing I would want to see in the Humongous Bazooka Tripod case that is not already incorporated? Since I will be using it strictly for my tripod, the answer is no. However, if I were using it for a few different light stands, then I might ask for perhaps a way to separate the stands from each other within the case itself, perhaps with a slightly padded sleeve of some sort. I told you I was obsessive about my gear and, yes, I know I am being as picky as can be. The number one reason to attain a case of Think Tank's quality is to protect your tripod and stands from theft and damage. If the gear is stowed in their cases, they are out of sight and less likely to be taken. Of course, hopefully, they won't try to steal the bag as well. The Think Tank Bazooka bags are inexpensive and well worth the investment. As far as soft cases go, you really couldn't do better with any of the 3 Bazooka cases from Think Tank. That's my bottom line.
Steve Douglas is a certified Apple Pro for Final Cut Pro 6 and underwater videographer. A winner of the 1999 Pacific Coast Underwater Film Competition, 2003 IVIE competition, 2004 Los Angeles Underwater Photographic competition, and the prestigious 2005 International Beneath the Sea Film Competition, where he also won the Stan Waterman Award for Excellence in Underwater Videography and 'Diver of the Year', Steve was a safety diver on the feature film "The Deep Blue Sea", contributed footage to the Seaworld Park's Atlantis production, and productions for National Geographic and the History channels. Steve is also feature writer for Asian Diver Magazine and is one of the founding organizers of the San Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition. He is available for both private and group seminars for Final Cut Pro and leads underwater filming expeditions and African safaris with upcoming excursions to the Red Sea and Egypt for Nov.2009, Feel free to contact him if you are interested in joining Steve on any of these exciting trips. www.worldfilmsandtravel.com
copyright © Steve Douglas 2009
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