f-stop Florentin Camera Bag: Drive By
The camera bag purveyors at f-stop have recently launched their latest collection, the Urban Series, which is made for daily use and street photography. It’s a bit of a departure from the rugged outdoor, travel, and long-haul adventure camera packs that the company made a name for themselves from. I had the chance to test out the new Florentin shoulder bag over a couple of weeks and here is what I came to find.
Who It Suits
Photographers looking for minimalistic design in a single discreet shoulder bag. Those who prefer shoulder bags to backpacks or rollers or are simply looking for a convenient 3 lens and camera body carry solution.
Who It Doesn’t
Those who require more organization and options for their camera carry.
Those looking to fit a large-ish laptop along with their camera gear. This has a space behind the camera compartment in the main pocket that’s listed to hold a 12″ laptop, but, to be honest, it will be a tight squeeze for anything larger than an iPad.
I found the Florentin to be convenient. It’s the right size to hold my DSLR body with an attached lens along with two additional lenses. When packed to the gills it does fit a few additional items in the main compartment such as memory cards, extra batteries, lens filters, etc.
The removable padded compartment provided sufficient protection for daily use. The Velcro dividers are easy to use to adjust on the go. I was able to fit specifically a Canon 5D MKIII with 50mm lens, 135mm lens, and 24-70 with no issues (as pictured). You can easily trade any of those lenses for a flash or other smaller accessories. A larger lens such as a 70-200 will fit, but you’ll be hard-pressed to fit any additional lenses unless you don’t mind stacking them, which I typically wouldn’t recommend.
“It’s the right size to hold my DSLR body with an attached lens along with two additional lenses.”
The exterior provides semi-protection from the elements with DWR, 420D ripstop nylon with TPU laminate and a YKK AquaGuard zipper. I’m not 100% confident it would protect in a heavy rainstorm, but it will hold up for most scenarios. This material is quite light, making for an overall lightweight bag weighing in at just about 1 pound, which makes a big difference after stuffing it with heavy camera gear.
I found the strap worked sufficiently either just over the shoulder or across the body. It also adjusted easily on the fly and I really like the ease of use and look of the Trimmers aluminum clip hook. In the event you want to remove the shoulder strap, two canvas grab handles are in place. One specific detail I was keen on was the luggage strap found on the back side of the bag, making it convenient to carry with a roller bag either while traveling or on a shoot that requires more gear.
The shoulder bag overall has a nice clean look and I really dig the aloe green colorway that was on the model tested. The bag is also available in orange and navy; unfortunately for those looking for standard black that option isn’t available at the moment. The bag is moderately priced at $119.00.
“One specific detail I was keen on was the luggage strap found on the back side of the bag.”
The Not So Good
The bag is straightforward so finding flaws is nitpicking, so take the following with a grain of salt. Aside from the padded dividers there is a zippered pocket with two internal pockets. It’s a bit of a tight fit, but will hold things like spare batteries, memory cards, and up to a 13” tablet. It doesn’t offer much in protection – so if the contents are valuable or fragile in the slightest I suggest storing them inside the internal compartment.
The grab handles aren’t my favorite, but they get the job done and I can see how the reinforced handles help, however the finish isn’t perfectly smooth. The padding on the strap is also a bit stiff with very little give for additional comfort of say a gel pad or other foam pads.
The shape works very well to fit ample gear for a day’s shoot and allows for it to sit flat on the ground, but ergonomically the bag (in this size) was a bit wide. I personally would prefer more of a contour or ergonomic design for walking around.
“Ergonomically the bag was a bit wide.”
Overall, this is a great above average option for active street shooters who prefer a shoulder bag for easy and quick access to their gear. The storage capacity is surprisingly ample and the protection is solid for the most part in keeping your gear safe. The bag has a street style that doesn’t scream outdoor adventure pack or draw too much attention. This shoulder bag will get the job done.