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Thread started 29 Feb 2012 (Wednesday) 00:56
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Review - KATA 3N1 - 25PL

 
EOS ­ mE
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Feb 29, 2012 00:56 |  #1

First of all before getting into the review and the bag porn, I'd like to say.. "THANK YOU" to all the POTN members that helped me with my bag search and suggestion to various different backpack w/ sling + side access type bag. Although, I used the SEARCH button several times trying to find reviews for the Kenti, but in the end, personal suggestions from members still RULES!!

Secondly, this might be TLDR.. so be warned. :)

Let's start... I've used a sling before (Tamrac Velocity 7 - Sold) and messenger (Crumpler 7M) and both are very good and loved it, BUT my shoulder's didn't love me. When using my Tamrac, I could fit my 5D2+grip, 70-200L f2.8 IS, 50 f1.4 and my 580EX2 in there. The lens were not mounted. Crumpler 7M home fit ALL my gears in my sig including my 30D gripped. But both ended up too much pressure for my shoulders (switching it off didn't help much).

So after looking at the Kata 3n1-22 and the 33, i felt the 22 was too small and the 33 was too bulky and fat (too boxy). Then I saw the 25PL (prolight) and was worried that the shoulder strap would feel spongy when fully loaded. But, still took a chance and got it. I'm sure glad I did.

I was able to fit all these into the bag and still have the side access bags (4 of them empty and even the side pouch inside the top compartment empty too.

In the main compartment I was able to fit the following:
- 70-200L f2.8 IS w/ hood reversed
- 5D2 gripped + 24-70L mounted w/ hood reversed
- 30D gripped
- battery charger + wired shutter remote (in the small space above the 24-70)

IMAGE: http://img585.imageshack.us/img585/4879/imag0658.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://imageshack.us …-images/585/imag0658.jp​g/  (external link)

With the full compartment fully loaded, i was still able to access my 5D2 from a sling position for quick draw.

In the top compartment, I was able to fit the following:
- 430EX w/ pouch case
- 580EX2 w/ pouch case
- Large Rocket Blower
- 50mm f1.4 w/ hood reversed
- 1 set of lens cap & camera body cap (whatever that's called)

IMAGE: http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/2578/p1010027p.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://imageshack.us …images/100/p101​0027p.jpg/  (external link)

I purposely place the flash in the pouch case because I wanted to see just how much i can cram in there. Since I usually just run with 1 flash, at least this would still give me plenty of space to put something else.

Inside the top compartment, there's 1 zipper bag, 1 cell phone pouch (which I could fit my HTC sensation, but couldn't use the strap to hold it down, and another small pouch for filters or 77mm lens caps (that's about the size of the pouch for you to imagine).

In the zipper pouch inside the top compartment, I place the following:
- CF cards w/ case x 8pcs
- USB extension cable
- lens cloth + my DIY bounce card

In the back, there's a laptop compartment, where i was able to fit my 12" Thinkpad X200 in. It's snug on the side, but up top there's still about 3.75" of space, maybe 4 if you jam the laptop all the way down. Then you can fit some other stuff there if you like. I'd put the tripod pouch in there with my laptop if needed.

IMAGE: http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/7701/p1010029xik.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://imageshack.us …mages/24/p10100​29xik.jpg/  (external link)

For the raincover, I place it on 1 of the side zipper bag on the outter part of the bag next to the top compartment.

IMAGE: http://img820.imageshack.us/img820/7817/p1010031se.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://imageshack.us …mages/820/p1010​031se.jpg/  (external link)

Also, there's a zipper that can open up access from top compartment into the main compartment, which I think if you decided to use it as a full backpack.

I love the zipper hooks and the small details like the rubber cover on the outside of the clips for the side access. :)

So, all in all, it fits all my gear and I can carry it very comfortably (not that I would need to carry that much gear, but you get the point.)

Here's a link to the bag porn I promised. Click Here! (external link)

Enjoy~ :D

P.S. KATA is distributed by Manfrotto and it's confirmed that they are out of stock on the 25PL until end of March. They will be shipping this bags to stores on 30th and 31st. But you can place order first.

There's a $40 rebate, which would make this deal sweeter. The rebate (external link) expires in April 30th. Cheers~ :D

5DMKII Gripped | 30D Gripped | 50mm f1.4 | 24-70mm f2.8L | 70-200mm f2.8L IS | 430EX | 580EXIIhttps://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=416554
My Reviews:
KATA 3N1 - 25PL Bag, Dolica CF Tripod ZX600B103

  
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Feb 29, 2012 02:17 |  #2

Gratz on being able to pull the trigger on a bag before me! ;)

Thanks for showing us pics of the bag loaded. Would a 13" Macbook/Pro fit in the laptop slot? Can you put the 5DII gripped with the 70-200/2.8 attached to it into the side access position?


5D3 | 24-105L

  
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EOS ­ mE
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Feb 29, 2012 02:28 |  #3

5D2 + 70-200 would not fit. just putting the 70-200 in there leaves only 3cm of gap left.

You can try it on the 30 or 33 version first. if it fits snug at your local cam shop, then the 35 should fit.

As for the Macbook, I don't have one, but as long as ur dimension is like this then it should fit.

Dimensions (with small 4-cell battery in):
Width: 11.6 inches
Depth: 8.3 inches
Thickness: 0.8 - 1.4"

in this case, i think u just need to worry about the depth no to exceed the 8.3". the width would fit, since there's still plenty of room up top.


5DMKII Gripped | 30D Gripped | 50mm f1.4 | 24-70mm f2.8L | 70-200mm f2.8L IS | 430EX | 580EXIIhttps://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=416554
My Reviews:
KATA 3N1 - 25PL Bag, Dolica CF Tripod ZX600B103

  
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rumple
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Feb 29, 2012 10:41 |  #4

Nice review!

Can you put your 5D2 + 70-200 into your new bag in the same way I put my 20D + 100-400 in my Kata 3n1-20 as shown below?

IMAGE: http://rumplestiltskin.zenfolio.com/img/s6/v5/p619392129-3.jpg

The dimensions for the setup is H E R E (external link).

Ronnie Ang @ My Zenfolio (external link), My Macros (external link)
Bags: TTP Rotation360 (external link), Kata 3n1-20 (external link), Kata T-214 (external link), Domke F3X
Accessories: Walkstool (external link)

  
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Feb 29, 2012 15:10 |  #5

ronnie, yes I can put it that way, but when i did it like that, i noticed i would not be able to maximize all the space in the bag. without a battery grip then i was able to fit it in that way. and i could fit my 24-70 in the place where you put your 100mm, but its really snug.


5DMKII Gripped | 30D Gripped | 50mm f1.4 | 24-70mm f2.8L | 70-200mm f2.8L IS | 430EX | 580EXIIhttps://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=416554
My Reviews:
KATA 3N1 - 25PL Bag, Dolica CF Tripod ZX600B103

  
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Andrew_WOT
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Feb 29, 2012 15:18 |  #6

Wonderful review. Thanks a bunch.
Quick question on quick draw access. Kata site says that this feature should be used only when using bag in sling or X (chock me) position. How about when using as regular back pack, can it be used same way same for accessing side opening as as Lowepro Fastpack and if it can why would Kata disapprove this option?




  
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wunhang
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Feb 29, 2012 15:49 |  #7

Here's a question that may not be obvious unless you have the bag on hand... Can you use both side access points at the same time? (Grab camera w/o lens on one side and grab lenses from the other side).


Canon 5D IV | Canon 5D II | XSI (Infrared modified) | SL1 | 16-35mm L f/4.0 IS | 24-70mm L f/2.8 II | 40mm f/2.8 | 85mm f/1.8 | 70-200mm L f/4.0 IS | Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 | C/Y 28mm f/2.8 | Tamron 35mm f/1.8 VC | C/Y 50mm f/1.7 | Zeiss 100mm MP
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Feb 29, 2012 15:57 |  #8

andrew, i don't like the X position either, so for me i'd use it like a regular backpack. in that case, i can still sling it around to access it. but i do notice that it's more optimized for sling position as once you slide it around when you access it from the side, the bag feels more secure on your shoulder. if from backpack position, you'd have to hold the bag with your left hand just in case if it slides off your left shoulder.

wunhang wrote in post #13992253 (external link)
Here's a question that may not be obvious unless you have the bag on hand... Can you use both side access points at the same time? (Grab camera w/o lens on one side and grab lenses from the other side).

Yes. there's opening from both side depending on how you configure the inside compartment. so if you like to store body only on 1 side and lens on the other, you can do that too. plus depending on if you are lefty or right, this bag can fit different side access preference.


5DMKII Gripped | 30D Gripped | 50mm f1.4 | 24-70mm f2.8L | 70-200mm f2.8L IS | 430EX | 580EXIIhttps://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=416554
My Reviews:
KATA 3N1 - 25PL Bag, Dolica CF Tripod ZX600B103

  
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Andrew_WOT
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Feb 29, 2012 16:09 |  #9

EOS mE wrote in post #13992304 (external link)
andrew, i don't like the X position either, so for me i'd use it like a regular backpack. in that case, i can still sling it around to access it. but i do notice that it's more optimized for sling position as once you slide it around when you access it from the side, the bag feels more secure on your shoulder. if from backpack position, you'd have to hold the bag with your left hand just in case if it slides off your left shoulder.

Yes. there's opening from both side depending on how you configure the inside compartment. so if you like to store body only on 1 side and lens on the other, you can do that too. plus depending on if you are lefty or right, this bag can fit different side access preference.

Thanks, still makes me wonder why that type of drawing works just fine with Lowepro Fastpack, what could be the difference. :confused:
Two side access is a nice feature, with proper configuration can let you access all your lenses w/o taking bag off.




  
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Feb 29, 2012 16:15 |  #10

the difference between the fastpack and the 25PL strap. the fastpack strap is regular backpack style, whereas the 25PL las a slight curve in the strap giving you more support when used in a regular backpack style. for me even on the fastpack when i tried it at the shop with stuff in it, i'd still have to hold the bag with my left hand. maybe it's just me being paranoid. :)


5DMKII Gripped | 30D Gripped | 50mm f1.4 | 24-70mm f2.8L | 70-200mm f2.8L IS | 430EX | 580EXIIhttps://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=416554
My Reviews:
KATA 3N1 - 25PL Bag, Dolica CF Tripod ZX600B103

  
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Andrew_WOT
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Feb 29, 2012 16:25 |  #11

And do you find straps "spongy"?




  
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Feb 29, 2012 16:37 |  #12

NOPE! that's the part I love!! before getting this one, i went to a local cam shop and fully loaded my gear into the 22 and the 30 & 33 version and it was spongy for me. but the 25PL, looks like they modified it and now it's not spongy anymore, which i love!!


5DMKII Gripped | 30D Gripped | 50mm f1.4 | 24-70mm f2.8L | 70-200mm f2.8L IS | 430EX | 580EXIIhttps://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=416554
My Reviews:
KATA 3N1 - 25PL Bag, Dolica CF Tripod ZX600B103

  
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rumple
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Mar 01, 2012 01:17 |  #13

When I got the 1st iteration of this bag a few years ago, one of the major complaints is the gap below the side release buckle in the side access. Without this gap, you can't pull apart both zippers of the side access flap at one go.

Many were worried about dust and water gaining access to the precious gears within via this gap. Subsequently, Kata addressed this fear by using a thin strap to come in-between the zippers instead. To me, with the initial design, I don't have dust entering my bag as the gap is covered by the side release buckle when in use anyway. I was caught in a few tropical storms while using this bag and the raincover serves its purpose well and there's no water seeping in via the gap.

What's the design in this latest iteration? I can't see them in your other photos in ImageShack :)


Ronnie Ang @ My Zenfolio (external link), My Macros (external link)
Bags: TTP Rotation360 (external link), Kata 3n1-20 (external link), Kata T-214 (external link), Domke F3X
Accessories: Walkstool (external link)

  
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Mar 01, 2012 01:23 |  #14

ronnie.. which gap are you referring to? got a pic? this is my first KATA ever owned, so not 100% sure which part you are referring to. :)


5DMKII Gripped | 30D Gripped | 50mm f1.4 | 24-70mm f2.8L | 70-200mm f2.8L IS | 430EX | 580EXIIhttps://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=416554
My Reviews:
KATA 3N1 - 25PL Bag, Dolica CF Tripod ZX600B103

  
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rumple
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Mar 01, 2012 01:38 |  #15

Hmm, I don't have a pic of it on hand.

I'm talking about the design of the side access flap for quick draw without putting down the bag. When you want to access your gear on the move, you swing the bag to one side, open the side release buckle and pull the whole flap apart. Is there a thin strap in-between the zippers underneath?


Ronnie Ang @ My Zenfolio (external link), My Macros (external link)
Bags: TTP Rotation360 (external link), Kata 3n1-20 (external link), Kata T-214 (external link), Domke F3X
Accessories: Walkstool (external link)

  
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Review - KATA 3N1 - 25PL
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