Tenba Skyline 12
Andy Westlake admires a simple, well-made shoulder bag
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.