Designed to be used, optionally, as an extension of MindShift Gear’s backpacks, the new Multi-Mount Holster series comes with all the connection straps needed for multiple mounting configurations. For me, though, using it as my “bag for the day” was the aim, and in that sense the size I picked works just fine.
When choosing bags, sometimes, we tend to go for larger sizes, always wanting to be able to take some extra stuff. With age I’ve become wiser, I guess, so when faced with the multiple choices of Multi-Mount Holsters, which are available in the references 10, 20, 30 and 50 , each number representing a bigger size, I picked the 30, which I deemed would be big enough for my needs and still not the biggest of the new holsters. From experience I know that the bigger the bag, the more you tend to carry. I like the challenge of having to select wisely what I carry with me. Less gear, more fun is something I keep telling myself.
Decision taken, I had to demonstrate to myself I could use the Multi-Mount 30 holster as my carrying system. The 30, according to the information provided by MindSshift, can carry one standard-size DSLR (5DM3 or D810) and one standard zoom lens, or one gripped DSLRs (1Dx or D4s) and one standard zoom lens. When it comes to lenses, it fits either the 24-70mm f/2.8 with hood extended (Canon or Nikon), the 70-200mm f/2.8 with hood reversed (Canon or Nikon), one 300mm f/4 with hood reversed (Canon or Nikon) or a 80-400mm f/4 AF-S/G with hood reversed (Nikon).
After receiving the bag I used it for some days with just a camera with lens attached, an external flash, radio trigger kit, extra batteries and filters. The shoulder strap is enough for regular use, I think, but it was good to have a waist belt that keeps the bag close to the body when you need it. I always carry it with me, inside the main compartment of the holster.
I found that I can carry my EF 100-400mm L from Canon – the old or the new version – in the holster, and still have the external pocket free for other stuff, but that was not what I was aiming for. When I want to carry my EF 100-400mm I usually pack it inside the rotating beltpack from my rotation180° backpack. Sometimes I use the rotating beltpack without the backpack, because it is a handy way to take a camera body, two lenses (usually the EF 100-400 and a EF 17-40), flash, and a few accessories, like flash radio triggers, filters and extra batteries around.
This time, though, I wanted something else, a really “travel light” kit, so I settled for the EOS 80D with the new EF-S 18-135 NANO USM lens. Taking things one step further, I wanted to see if I could fit my “video kit” for the day all inside the Multi-Mount 30. Guess what? I’ve managed to pack a whole lot of things inside the small bag.
Inside the main compartment I was able to fit the following:
- Canon EOS 80D with EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS NANO USM
- MindShift Gear Filter Nest Mini with 77mm VariND, polarizer and 10 Stop ND and an adapter from 67-77 so I can fit the filters to the front element of the lens
- Pouch with 4 extra batteries for the camera and LED panel
- RØDE VideoMicro microphone with furry windshield, hot-shoe support and cable
One of the reasons why I picked the Multi-Mount 30 is the expandable front pocket, which is bigger in this model, as well as in the 50. Mindshift Gear says the front pocket, which includes organizer pocket, two separate loops for memory card holder and keys, and double sliders, can take an external flash. I’ve confirmed it can take my Phottix Mitros + flash and a few things more, but this time I wanted to try something else. This is what I managed to place inside the pocket:
- Phottix VLED Video light, a portable 1600 lumens LED panel
- Adapter to use the batteries from the camera on the LED panel
- Hot-shoe adapter for the LED panel
- Flash support that works as a base for the LED panel
- MindShift Gear Memory Cards Wallet
In the end my Multi-Mount 30 was bursting at the seams, but I found I had no problem to access my camera quickly, which is one of the reasons to use this type of bag. Because the lens used with the camera is short, I’ve taken a divider from another bag, to use inside the main compartment of the bag. That solution gives me a better organization of the accessories. At the bottom of the compartment I keep the waist belt, which I can pick up if needed.
I am quite happy with the versatility of the holster, which is now my bag for the day if I know I am not using my trusty EF 100-400. When it comes to video, the EF-S 18-135 is the obvious choice for now, so the Multi-Mount 30 is on top of the pile of bags and backpacks I’ve collected throughout the years. It’s interesting to look at the pile and discover that I’ve really learned to pack less these recent years. Well, unless I’ve a workshop, when I take the StreetWalker HardDrive from MindShift Gear’s sister company, ThinkTank Photo. The StreetWalker HardDrive packs, then, all the flashes, LED panels, batteries, flash radio triggers, diffusers, reflectors and other accessories. I nicknamed it “The Little School”. But that’s another story altogether.