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Traveling with a long lens, something like a 500mm f4, 600mm f4, or 400mm f2.8, can be a chore. One of my biggest fears flying with long lenses is being required to check a large photo pack. Now, this never has happened, but with overhead and under seat space shrinking in today’s airplanes, it is a worry. Even more so flying overseas.

One of my favorite backpacks for long lenses in the past, was the click elite pro backpack.  It was a great bag, and carried my nikon d850 with 500 f4 and other gear no problem, and it fit in almost all overheads unless you were on a very small plane. But, they quit making it several years ago, and now I think they are out of business.   Over time, these bags all lose shape, and padding, and they just don’t protect that well.  So, after that happened, I searched for a long lens bag, and finally settled on this Tenba Axis 32L. 

I do also use the Gura Gear Kiboko, which is a great bag!  It was gura gear, then Tamrac, now it’s gura gear again, I guess. It’s a great bag, but you just can’t get all the stuff that you can get in this Tenba.  I’ll talk more about gura gear in a later video, because its great if you’re shooting locally, and don’t need to take everything with you, like on a trip flying across the country or around the world.  

I have the Sony A9 with battery grip, and the 400mm 2.8 and the 1.4 teleconverter on body, in the bag.  You could probably get away with carrying the hood on this, but I like to keep it as low profile as I can so it fits in the overhead bins without having to fight it in.  I have my 2x teleconverter in it’s case and the case for the 1.4x teleconverter, the Sony 24-70 2.8 lens, the Mavic 2 Pro drone with remote and 2 spare batteries, a cable management bag, another internal bag carrying the Osmo Pocket camera and the insta360 camera, and some other small accessories. I also have the Iwatapro 144 light. All this fits in the Tenba Axis 32, and it provides great support and padding for them.

On the back flap there’s a laptop compartment, which is the one thing that the Gura Gear doesn’t have.  I do use this, but when carrying a long lens like this, Ill usually carry the laptop in a messenger, which I’ll go over next. The front compartment has a large zipper space good for a tablet, small flashlight, lens cleaner, and other stuff.  

So, as you can see, this bag carries a lot of stuff!  I mentioned a messenger bag, the bag I carry, it’s another Tenba, the DNA 15 messenger. And no, Im not sponsored by Tenba, but after getting the Axis 32 and carrying it, I think it was the best long lens option, I looked at their other bags.  I also had a small tear in the first bag, and after contacting their customer support, they sent out another one, so I can’t say enough about that for their customer service. This is a simple messenger, but I can fit my MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, Sony A7rIV with the 70-200 lens, which if I could only take one camera and lens, this would be it.  It also carries a Batis 18 2.8 wide lens, a headlamp, and the Sony 135mm f1.8 lens. The DNA messenger also has a back strap to attach it to roller bags which makes it easy to carry, and the closure locks are easy to snap, kind of like a magnet, and slide off easily rather than having to pinch, or unsnap.

These two bags combined can get me and all my gear anywhere and fit in almost any airplane overhead or under seat.