I've been a big Kata fan for years during which time I've acquired 6 Kata bags for all types of shooting situations and purposes. However, Kata's newer model of bags have been disappointing to me, and when I recently upgraded my camera body from 40D to 5DIII, I decided to look elsewhere for my main go-to bag for quick grab-and-go situations. The new bag had to meet the following criteria that were absolutely essential to me: 1) be able to hold my 5DIII with the 70-200 f/2.8 lens attached in vertical position with the hood reversed; 2) next to this in the main compartment, it also has to accommodate the 24-70 f/2.8 lens and enough room left over for either my 2x 580II Speedlite flashes or one or two small lenses.
After an extensive research, I finally decided on Think Tank Speed Racer V.2. In my decision-making, I was helped along the way by reading an excellent review of this bag in this forum by another POTN member, "nutsandbolts." However, his review (2007) was for the bag's original version, not V.2, and the photos in his review were unfortunately all missing. His descriptive review is still excellent so instead of being redundant here, I thought I'd provide a pictorial review of the bag to complement his which can be found here: https://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=387547
Think Tank Speed Racer V.2: The Speed Racer V.2 is the largest of Think Tank's "Speed Convertible" series of bags -- in the order of largest to smallest: Speed Racer V.2, Speed Freak V.2 and Speed Demon V.2. Of the three, the Racer is the only bag that can hold a pro size DSLR camera body with the 70-200 or the 100-400 lenses attached in vertical position with the hood reversed.
Exterior: 13.0 x 11.5 x 9.5" (33.0 x 29.2 x 24.1 cm)
Interior: 11.8 x 10.0 x 7.0 (30.0 x 25.4 x 17.8 cm)
Weight: 2.3 - 3.1 lb (1.0-1.4 kg)
Material: Ballistic nylon YKK RC Fuse zippers
Type of Closure: YKK RC Fuse zippers
Price Tag: $179.99
What Comes With the Bag: Shoulder Strap; Rain Cover; Extra Dividers; Lifetime Warranty Against Manufacturer's Defects
(N.B.: According to nutsandbolts's review of the original version of the bag, a Pixel Pocket Rocket came with the bag. Apparently, this is not so with the newer, V.2, version, so don't expect to find it. For the price of the bag, I was disappointed with this, but not a big deal.)
As expected from having read numerous rave reviews, the quality of this bag is simply outstanding. I really like the feel of it. Some people think this bag is "large." Well, if you don't need to place your camera body with a large zoom lens attached to it AND in vertical position for quick draw and shoot situations, yes, this bag is probably large for you. For me, however, I don't find it all that large in "looks," i.e., the way it hangs on my body frame -- and I'm 5' 8" and 155lbs.
Towards the top of the bag is its carrying handle for quick grab and go. The frontal view shows a bellow pocket for things like smartphone, while the front organizer right behind it features dedicated pen pockets and a built-in lanyard for securing keys or a memory card wallet, as well as a detachable rain cover, as seen here:
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …young-family/11674738956/
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …young-family/11673954875/
Stretchable side pockets with reinforced bases are for storing things like radios, rocket blower, light meter, flashes, gloves, canteen, etc. The hook you see right above the side pocket is for the shoulder strap. (Some people have complained that when the shoulder strap is placed on these hooks, they find it harder to open the bag lid as the strap gets in the way of operating the lid zipper. The way around this is to use the hooks that are on both side of the waist strap, instead.)
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …young-family/11674323514/
Breathable mesh lining on the back is designed to keep you ventilated and cool, while a wide pocket can keep a notepad and pen in easy reach to jot down notes during a shoot.
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …young-family/11674323494/
A well thought out, rain resisting zipper across the top of the bag is designed to allow access to small lenses or accessories without opening the main zipper. It is NOT designed to allow access to the camera body with lens attached. Some folks misunderstand the purpose for this. I find it very helpful when I need to pull out a small lens or a Speedlite.
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …young-family/11674202583/
Shown here is just one waist strap pulled out of the left side pocket in order to show you what it looks like when tucked inside (the right side pocket). The original version had the waist straps tucked inside the back, making the bag bulge out. By tucking the straps on the side of the bag, it's now more ergonomic and pleasing to carry on the waist.
Modular Rails on Waist Strap:
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …young-family/11673954675/
Modular rails on each side of belt are designed to allow attachment of Think Tank's Modular Rotation System components for increased gear capacity. Think Tank has many different components for you choose from. For example, here's a Lens Changer 35 V.2 attached to a modular rail on the side of belt:
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …young-family/11673954565/