If you’re a photographer, you need a camera bag! Ask That Question on any photography forum and you can guarantee it will be a lengthy thread with all the potential required for a flame war. Photographers are very loyal to their choice brand of camera bag and it often seems that the more expensive the bag, the more partisan they can become. The Tenba BYOB 10 challenges the dogma!
Of the many bags available, you’ll see the name Billingham, Fogg, Ona and Domke cropping up on those threads more than most with predictable regularity.
It’s not surprising that these and other premium brands are the most popular. They are all stylish and Billingham make almost perfect camera bags. All you need to do is identify the right size, colour and style of Billingham bag for your needs and then inflict a correspondingly large hole in your bank account. Quality does not come cheap, but it can come at considerably less cost than buying an expensive bag such as a Billingham Hadley Pro.
I have previously reviewed some of the bags I use and the Tenba BYOB 10 (Bring Your Own Bag) subsequently caught my eye as a possible solution to getting close to Billingham quality on a budget. I have a leather Barbour Tarras bag that I really like. It’s a beatifully-made angling style bag that makes a statement. It’s functional and it’s cool but it is not padded and often awkward to use purely as a camera bag. This is due mainly to the floppiness of the leather.
The Barbour Tarras is a soft bag that loses it’s shape with camera gear inside and the temptation to fill it with stuff to retain the shape is unavoidable.
The Tenba BYOB is a simple solution that works extremely well. You could even use it as a stand alone bag for fair weather carrying only (the Tenba BYOB 10 is definitely not weatherproof!) by attaching a Peak Design strap as Tenba have thoughtfully provided anchor points on the exterior for that very purpose.
The real intention of the BYOB is as an insert for an existing bag. It works well with my Barbour Tarras bag. It transforms the Tarras from a soft and floppy compromise bag to one that has shape, functionality and substance as a camera bag.
It comes with two removable seperators and there is a pocket on the underside of the lid. There are two pockets on the front panel, a longer pocket on the rear panel and two mesh pockets on each side. A metal keyring drops neatly into the right hand front pocket and the lid is secured by a zip. There is a carrying handle attached to the lid.
Overall, the Tenba BYOB 10 is a nicely designed insert that will fit into backpacks and shoulder bags
The Tenba BYOB 10 won’t break the bank either. At around £27, it is around half the cost of a similar Billingham Hadley Pro insert. The Hadley Pro insert also fits my Barbour Tarras but does not have the additional pockets, security of a zipped lid or the Peak Design strap (Slide or Leash) stand alone carrying options as the Tenba BYOB 10.
If you’ve read this far all you need is a shoulder bag or backpack and the Tenba BYOB 10 insert to transform it into a functional camera bag as an alternative to the ubiquitous forum-dweller’s favourite bag.
Well done Tenba!