Sometimes you just can’t find the right tool for the job. That’s why these photographers made it themselves—then sold it to the rest of us.
Photographers Kurt Rogers and Deanne Fitzmaurice, cofounders with designers Doug Murdoch and Mike Sturm of camera-bag upstart Think Tank Photo, with their new Sling-O-Matic shoulder bag.
Think Tank Photo Camera Bags: Kurt Rogers, Deanne Fitzmaurice, Doug Murdoch and Mike Sturm. Santa Tosa, CA
thinktankphoto.com $279 (rotation360° backpack)
Designer Doug Murdoch was made well aware of the flaws of existing camera-carrying gear by his photographer friends, who included San Francisco Chronicle staffers Kurt Rogers and Deanne Fitzmaurice. Murdoch observed that the functionality of existing camera cases was compromised by designs that tried to be all things to all photographers. Fitzmaurice and Rogers agreed, so with a fourth cofounder, Mike Sturm, they started Think Tank Photo to address the issue.
One of Think Tank’s first projects was to create roomier, better-shaped cases for large lenses. Their case for the bread-and-butter 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom allowed it to be stowed with its petal-shaped hood mounted forward, ready for use, rather than in its usual reverse-mounted storage position. Another creation was a fast-access modular belt system for holding lenses and other accessories on the sidelines of sports events. There are now more than 130 products in the Think Tank Photo line, and the company has a well-deserved reputation for innovation and quality. “One of our problems is what to do next,” Rogers says. “We could double the product line if we wanted to.”