Tenba Sky­line 12

Andy West­lake ad­mires a sim­ple, well-made shoul­der bag

Amateur Photographer - - Testbench - £55 www.tenba.com/uk

TENBA may not be the first name that trips off pho­tog­ra­phers’ tongues when it comes to cam­era bags, but the firm pro­duces an ar­ray of high­qual­ity shoul­der bags and back­packs. Over the past few years we’ve been hugely im­pressed by its Cooper and DNA Mes­sen­ger ranges, along with its use­ful Tenba Tools cases for or­gan­is­ing ac­ces­sories. Un­til re­cently, though, it’s been short of of­fer­ings for pho­tog­ra­phers on a tighter bud­get, but its new Sky­line range has now filled this gap.

The idea be­hind this line is to pro­vide a stylish, yet af­ford­able, op­tion for new­com­ers to pho­tog­ra­phy, who would be re­luc­tant to spend a three-fig­ure sum on a cam­era bag. There are five sizes in the range, priced from £35 to £60; the Sky­line 12 is the sec­ond-largest. All adopt broadly the same sim­ple, no-frills de­sign.

What you get, there­fore, is a straight­for­ward bag that doesn’t go to town on pock­ets or em­bel­lish­ments. The de­cently padded, boxy main com­part­ment in­cludes two mov­able di­viders with fold- over tops, and is suf­fi­ciently spa­cious to hold an en­thu­si­ast DSLR or mir­ror­less cam­era with stan­dard, widean­gle and tele­photo zooms. For ex­am­ple, I was able to fit in my Olym­pus OM- D E- M5 Mark II and 7-14mm, 12- 40mm and 40150mm f/2.8 zooms. The zipped lid folds away from your body, which pro­vides eas­ier ac­cess to your kit, and in­cludes in­ter­nal mesh pock­ets for bat­ter­ies and mem­ory cards.

Ex­ter­nally, you’ll find ex­pand­ing pock­ets at ei­ther end, although even on this rel­a­tively large bag they’re not big enough to hold a wa­ter bot­tle com­fort­ably. Like­wise, the slim zipped front pocket is fine for hold­ing es­sen­tial ac­ces­sories such as fil­ters or a ca­ble re­lease, but pro­vides very lit­tle space for other per­sonal items.

What you can’t com­plain about, though, is the qual­ity of ma­te­ri­als and con­struc­tion. The 600D wa­ter-re­pel­lent fab­ric prom­ises a de­gree of weather re­sis­tance, while pro­vid­ing a more at­trac­tive fin­ish than the black ny­lon com­monly found on cam­era bags at this price. Mean­while the bright blue in­te­rior makes it easy to lo­cate lens caps and the like in the depths of the bag. It all feels re­ally well fin­ished, so it shouldn’t fall apart af­ter a year or two’s use.

Grab handle A sim­ple, lightly padded handle on the lid pro­vides an al­ter­na­tive to the shoul­der strap.

Tenba badge About the only cos­metic flour­ish is a metal name-badge, which is sil­ver-coloured on black bags, and blue on grey ones. End pock­ets Ex­pand­able, elas­ti­cated mesh pock­ets on each end will hold small ac­ces­sories or per­sonal items such as sun­glasses. Front pocket The full-width, slim­line front pocket is ideal for hold­ing ac­ces­sories such as fil­ters.

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