Mindshift Lens Switch Case ReviewFrom the folks that brought you the incredible Rotation 180 photography backpack comes the Lens Switch Case.  Designed to compliment all of their outdoor and adventure photography gear, the Lens Switch Case is a soft-sided accessory bag that can be used for much more than just lenses.  A lot of lens cases come with heavy, bulky padding.  I never use cases like that though because I want to travel with as little weight and as little weight as possible.  The guys at Mindshift Gear know this as well which is why they’ve made this little case with just the right amount of protection for your lens or other gear.  You can flat-pack this in any suitcase, squash it into a backpack’s side pocket or keep a lens in it and put it inside your bag.  With less bulk comes added versatility and I like to be unencumbered by my gear when I travel and when I’m in the field.  It’s made from ripstop nylon with YKK zippers and the build quality it excellent.  If you have seen, or own any Think Tank Photo gear then you’ll know that I mean as Mindshift is their sister company!

Mindshift Lens Switch Case ReviewThis photo above gives you a decent idea of the internal volume.  This particular lens in the bag is a Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 L IS which is a pretty thick lens, yet there is still plenty of space left on the side for something like a speedlight or a second lens.  If you wanted to fit a pair of speedlights in the bag that would not be a problem, or you could fit one, along with a pair of radio triggers like the Pocketwizards.

_JC_4372.CR2This right here is the bags special sauce though!  The bottom of it un-zips to reveal an extension area that adds about another 30% to the internal volume and makes it tall enough to accommodate a 70-200 f/2.8!  Versatility is the key to the Lens Switch Case as the guys at Mindshift Gear wanted to produce a bag that was as multipurpose as possible.  When you travel half way around the world to find your perfect subject, you often don’t have room to take the kitchen sink with you so a small packable bag that can accomplish many things it what the Switch Case is designed to be.

Mindshift Lens Switch Case ReviewThe front of the bag features a zippered pocket which is sized to fit your smaller accessories like lens caps, glove liners, granola bars and memory card wallet.  It’s deceptively large since the pleated material on the front allows for a certain amount of expansion.

Mindshift Lens Switch Case ReviewThe back of the bag features a belt system secured by hook and loop fasteners.  You can feed a regular belt through the hole, or you can un-hook both sides to slip it onto rails on the side of your backpack.  The Mindshift photography backpacks feature rails on the side of the waist belts designed specifically for attaching these accessory cases.  I use mine on a Rotation 180 backpack and it provides an excellent, easy-access pocket for a GPS system or other trinkets that I need all the time.

Mindshift Rotation 180Here’s an example of one of the rails on the belt pack of the Mindshift Rotation 180.  By opening the hook and loop fasteners on the back of the Lens Switch Case, you can secure the bag to the hip belt.

Lens Switch Case on Rotation 180 Backpack

Lens Switch Case on Rotation 180 Backpack

Mindshift Lens Switch Case ReviewThe Lens Switch Case comes with an integrated waterproof cover that stows away neatly in a secret zippered pocket on the bag’s base.

Conclusion

Many of you will be familiar with Mindshift Gear’s sister company Think Tank Photo.  Those guys are famous for their modular system which features a huge range of different modular bag options for sports photographers.  The Mindshift Lens Switch Case takes some cues from the Think Tank design but trumps many of the Think Tank versions by making a much more universally useful accessory bag.  I have several of the Think Tank bags but the Mindshift Lens Switch Case is a jack of all trades.  I can fit everything from a 70-200 f/2.8 to a dual speedlight setup in it.  You can use it for filters, you can use it for food or you can even use it to store your paclite rain gear.  On my recent trip to Vancouver Island to shoot Black Bears, that’s exactly what I did.  I strapped it to the side of my Rotation 180 and stored a paid of waterproof pants in it for emergencies.  The zippered front pocket is nice, but my only real complaint is a lack of a nylon loop in this pocket for securing my memory card wallet.

This little thing has quickly become a staple part of my packing when I’m readying my gear because there are so many uses for it and it’s compresses so small for packing.  It straps nicely to the side of my photography backpacks but it also works well with my Think Tank Skin Belt if I’m just carrying my monopod and telephoto lens over my shoulder and don’t want to carry a bag at all.

Further Reading – Other MindShift Gear Reviews

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