Kata is kind of like Nespresso, MontBlanc and Rolex - all very over priced and all meant to show prestige with a name rather than ability to do the job any better than equivalent competitors.
Originally Posted by Peter Veitch
Somewhat off topic but relevant. Sometime ago I tried to source locally a Lowepro lens trekker. No stock in SA at the time so I ended up buying one in London at 60% of SA published price. Good bag, yes! Now for the nub of the story. A recent visit to the ODP shop would have left me with two choices, a Kata at R6k or my Lowepro at half of that.
Both do the same job but which is better? The Kata has a yellow lining.
Kata bags have a nice orange coloured inner that might sound unnecessary but if you've ever dropped a lens cap or memory card inside the depths of a traditional grey interior you'll appreciate the thought that went into the design. The zips and seams are also incredibly robust.
"Please accept my resignation. I donít care to belong to any club that will have me as a member" Groucho Marx
I have a Kata holster type bag which takes a body with a large standard zoom attached. I use it for a K20D with a 16-45 f4, but it would take a larger combo. It's probably the best built of my bags, but they are expensive.
For the rest, there is probably no perfect bag. I'm looking for one which will take an SLR, 2 or 3 shortish lenses, and some bits and pieces, a small laptop and have space for enough other stuff to walk around all day. The closest thing I have to this works quite well, although the top compartment is a little small for all the stuff I carry around when I travel.
I had a Kata backpack type camera bag and then saw the Tamrac Expedition on the Photo Expo. I bought one because it is superior in every way to the Kata - much more robust, much better padding for equipment, far more thought put into the layout, altogether a better bag in every single way. The Kata yellow internal surface is undoubtedly easier for finding 'lost' small items, but the grey fabric of the Tamrac is much harder wearing and provides superior padding.
The Kata Bags are very nice, but expensive. Many Pro's swear by them (Like Joe McNally) I have had Numerous brands, Switched to Lowepro a few years ago, and was extremely well served on all my travels for years! About a year or so ago, the Lowepro started really showing it's age (being always overloaded and all) and I went over to ThinkTank... Right now, my bags are a mix of LowePro, ThinkTank and Crumpler.
+1 on the ThinkTank range.
Their Retrospective bags are especially well made, and pretty inconspicuous too.
I had a lowepro but for me i didn't enjoy it and found it a bit outdated.. THen i saw the Vanguard range. Very nice bag, Skyborne backpack is super comfortable, then i got the new Xcenior and it is amazing and holds way more than what i need.. Then obviously got a little bag for the wifes gear and that seems pretty decent too..
All are well made and very fresh looking and not drab like the standard black that you are used to.
My bag is made by Cobra, has taken a ton of abuse, but handles it with aplomb. But It can't carry everything I need so I'm looking to start packing a case. Problem is, I need high density foam but have no idea where to go. Any suggestions?