WARNING! Peak Design Everyday Camera Bags and Backpacks Are Susceptible to Mould Infection

I was recently prepping for a shoot in the city the next day so one of the first things was to decide which camera bag or backpack to carry my gear in.

I opened the big closet in my storage room where Peak Design, F-Stop Gear, Think Tank Photo and MindShift Gear camera bags and backpacks are kept, took a Peak Design Everyday Backpack out into the sunlight and, lo and behold, found it was infected with mould.

I then took out two Peak Design Everyday Messenger bags out into the light to find that they, too, are infected with mould.

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I recently discovered that two Peak Design Everyday Messenger bags and one Everyday Backpack were infected with camera and lens destroying mould while camera bags and backpacks by other manufacturers that were stored in the same large equipment storage closet remain untouched by mould.

None of the Think Tank Photo, MindShift Gear, Cosyspeed, and F-Stop Gear bags and backpacks appear to have been infected with mould.

For safety’s sake I had no choice but to immediately throw out all three Peak Design camera bags and backpack and luckily there was a trash collection tomorrow morning in order to get them out of the building.

I was saddened by having to do so as I applaud the creativity and innovation inherent in Peak Design’s products and have enjoyed using all three in the way for which they are designed, for daily carrying of the more mundane items of life and work along with camera, a lens or two and other smaller photographic items.

I have a large collection of Peak Design camera straps but almost all of them are stored attached to cameras in reasonably well-sealed plastic boxes with silica gel packs inside, and so far I have not found evidence of mould on any of them.

None of the Peak Design bags and straps had leather trim on them; they were all in the Charcoal colourway that is trimmed with synthetic materials whereas the Ash colourway is trimmed with leather.

As soon as I threw out the Peak Design bags I checked the straps on my cameras as well as two other boxes containing several spare straps and accessories.

Ever since the climate here in Sydney started becoming progressively more subtropical several years ago I have been conscious of the possibility of mould infection in leather products after discovering mould on a leather jacket, leather boots and leather-trimmed shoes.

I tried out several brands of anti-mould sprays on them but the mould eventually returned so the jacket and footwear had to be thrown out.

Then I discovered that certain types of plastics can also become infected with mould, most notably several Hedgren shoulder bags made from synthetics.

I have been progressively  swapping over to shoes and other products made from synthetics rather than leather but it is clear that certain synthetic materials can also be a threat.

Mould infection on two Peak Design Everyday Messenger Bags and one Everyday Backpack

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Will’s Vegan Shoes Releases Possibly Perfect On-Location Boots and Shoes for Photographers and Moviemakers

London-based online boot and shoe maker and retailer Will’s Vegan Shoes and Accessories Co. has released candidates for what may be the perfect on-location boots and shoes for photographers and moviemakers, Waterproof Hiking Boots and Waterproof Hiking Shoes, in men’s and women’s version and in a range of sizes. 

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Will’s Vegan Shoes & Accessories Co. has released what may be the perfect work boots and shoes for photographers and moviemakers, in a range of sizes for men and women.

Shoe designer Will Green “started Will’s Vegan Shoes with a passion to provide animal and human friendly shoes with high-street styles and prices. My dream is to bridge the gap between everyday people and ethically produced vegan shoes.”

I have had to pay particular attention to leather products in our home and home studio and offices in recent years, since radical climate change set in and many leather products here began attracting mould for the very first time.

Mould is fatal to cameras, lenses and electronics.

Leather goods, leather trim on camera bags and camera straps, leather boots and shoes and even some synthetic fabrics can become mould breeders almost overnight, and once established mould can spread from item to item and throughout the house.

Black mould has proven to be a particular problem for some Sydney residents of our acquaintance, requiring them to evacuate their flats and the flats themselves to be boarded up, declared uninhabitable.

I have tried removing mould from affected items with anti-mould products of various sorts but mould spores always seem to remain deeply embedded even when the surface appears clean.

As a result we have now embarked on a total leather elimination policy.

A major facet of that is the replacement of leather and leather-trimmed shoes and boots with products made from vegan leather.

We have just placed an order with Will’s Vegan Shoes in order to try out one of Mr Green’s products and test them for size, one of the biggest concerns when buying boots, clothes or shoes online from an unfamiliar supplier.

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Think Tank Photo: Spectral™ Series Shoulder Bags – with COMMENTARY

https://www.thinktankphoto.com/collections/spectral-series-shoulder-bags

“Remain inconspicuous while shooting with Think Tank’s new Spectral Shoulder Bag. A magnetic Fidlock clasp enables quiet, one-handed access your gear — then locks automatically when closing the flap. An additional zippered closure gives you piece of mind while traveling and can be tucked away when you’re actively shooting. Constructed with durable yet stylish materials, the Spectral Shoulder Bag offers Think Tank quality and ingenuity at a reasonable price.”

Commentary:

Think Tank Photo’s new 3-strong leather-free Spectral line of shoulder bags is a refreshing change from the leather-trimmed product revisions it has released in recent years.

Think Tank Spectral 8

The Spectral 8 model in Think Tank Photo’s Spectral shoulder bag line-up appears to be aimed at mirrorless camera users and can apparently hold one Fujifilm X-T2 or X-Pro2 camera, two fast prime lenses such as the popular Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R and Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R with one attached to the camera, as well as the Fujinon XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Red Badge professional zoom lens.

It is unknown how many “Fujicron” f/2.0 R WR lenses and similar smaller primes the Spectral 8 accommodates, such as the Fujinon XF 23mm f/2.0 R WR, Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8, Fujinon XF 35mm f/2.0 R WR, Fujinon XF 50mm f/2.0 R WR and the coming Fujinon 18mm f/2.0 R WR.

Based on Think Tank Photo’s information about the Spectral 8, it may prove to be a useful one-camera, several-lenses option for slow and steady documentary photography or cinematography with, say, a Røde VideoMic Pro+ in place of the 50-140mm zoom lens.

An Evolving Focus

The company’s marketing email and website product shots are increasingly featuring mirrorless cameras and lenses in addition to its tradition emphasis on DSLRs, with focus on Fujifilm APS-C and Sony digital 35mm mirrorless camera though Panasonic’s increasingly popular Lumix M43/Super 16 hybrid stills/video cameras have yet to make an appearance so far as I can tell.

Both moves are welcome and I would love to see Think Tank Photo add Panasonic’s GH5 and professional lenses for video and stills, for example, to its product shot scheduling.

I note that 3 Legged Thing’s also increasingly popular tripods are also starting to feature in TTP marketing material.

Seeing gear that one actually uses being featured in emails and web pages helps make better-informed purchasing decisions given many of us often do not live near a good bricks-and-mortar stockist where one can try-before-buy and so must rely on sight-unseen purchases at online retailers in other countries.

Not all mirrorless cameras and lenses have the same dimensions nor do they fit in the same bags, I have often discovered, so photographic evidence of good fit is incredibly useful and helps avoid purchases one soon comes to regret.

The Ever-growing Scourge of Mould

Leather, and certain plastics, are susceptible to the growing epidemics of mould infection popping up in places like Sydney with the onset of major climate change.

Although it has proven possible to chemically remove mould from the surface of leather and some synthetic materials, mould spores remain beneath the surface ready to spring into action should the weather change yet again.

As a result, we have had to throw out many leather and leather-trimmed products including camera bags to avoid the risk of mould and mould spores spreading to our photographic equipment.

We have been shocked to discover expensive bags made of synthetic fabrics infected with mould and mould spores too, though not all woven plastics are susceptible.

There are two other considerations in the use of leather in constructing and decoratively trimming camera bags, cruelty and environmental responsibility.

My Plea for Leather-Free

Industrial agriculture’s animal husbandry practices are inherently cruel, and contribute huge amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, apparently to a greater extent than emission from motor cars.

I wish to see camera bag and accessories makers take up the challenge to go 100% leather-free and pro-vegan from now onwards.

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