By Stephen Schleicher
Over the last 30 years, I’ve used all sorts of bags and cases to store and transport my cameras. I’ve used hard case, and soft bags. I’ve used cases that claim to be soft but sturdy, but ultimate fall apart, thus putting my gear in jeopardy. For the last month I’ve been using the Tenba Ceneluxe Shoulder Bag 24, and it has moved to the top of my list of bags that make it easy to store my cameras and take them on the road.
The Cineluxe line of bags are designed for professional camcorders and ENG rigs, but if you are someone that has multiple DSLRs (I have three that I routinely use), the Cineluxe Shoulder Bag 24 will work for those as well. For the ENG camera, the Cineluxe Should Bag 24 is bigger than I thought it would be – not only in length (it is big enough to store your camera with lens and battery), but it is also big enough so you can leave the baseplate, matte box, and monitor attached.
This bag is super easy to get into thanks to the doctor bag design that keeps the bag closed with a single zipper, but opens fully so you can access everything inside with ease. I’ve used bags that have a flat top with a double zipper and velcro to secure the bag, and within the year, at least one zipper is broken and the velcro is coated with junk picked up from production travels. The Tenba bag has held up well during my testing which has included miles and miles of travel along dirty country roads, as well as being in the back of my Jeep that is often less than spotless. The double handle (which connects together via velcro wrap) is comfortable enough in my hand even when the bag is fully loaded. There is also a high quality strap that attaches to the bag on solid d-hooks that I don’t think will ever come loose or rip.
Inside, there is a strap that will secure the camera to keep it from flopping around, as well as a padded “pillow” for the lens to rest on while in transit. I like this extra touch a lot, as it means I don’t have to put a towel under the lens when traveling. As far as other lenses go, there are three padded enclosures that can be used for extra lenses, cables, batteries, and miscellaneous gear. If you use filters with your matte box, there are two padded wraps and a padded zippered pouch to keep that glass free from damage.
Three exterior pouches can be used for microphones, cables, clapboard, production notes, and so. This is one of the biggest single camera bags I’ve used, and I’m still finding places to put stuff that used to be scattered among many smaller bags when I was on a shoot.
While the Cineluxe Shoulder Bag 24 has a heavy duty strap so you can sling this over your shoulder, at times the bag is a bit too big to wield easily. If you are moving from the equipment truck or your personal vehicle to the shoot location, this bag works great, but if you are in a crowded environment, you’re going to find moving around easily a bit difficult. This bag is also too big for airplane carry on – Tenba makes smaller bags that would work for that kind of travel.
This bag is also not completely waterproof. The bottom panel is waterproof, so if your bag needs to sit on a wet sidewalk while you shoot, your gear will be okay, but this not a case you can leave out in the pouring rain, even with water-repellant nylon covering the bag.
At $259.95 the Tenba Cineluxe Should Bag 24 is less expensive than other quality bags of the same dimensions. While it may be a bit of a sticker shock at first, when it comes to quickly accessing your camera in a run and gun or documentary situation, this bag really impressed me. I’m giving the Tenba Cineluxe Shoulder Bag 24 a Strong Buy Recommendation.
TENBA SHOULDER BAG 24 SPECS
24W X 14.25H X 14D in. (61 X 36 X 36 cm)
20-21W X 12H X 13D in. (51-53 X 30 X 33 cm)