Shimoda Redesigned Their Core Units for Super-Telephoto Lenses

Core Units allow Shimoda users of the Explore v2 or Action X v2 backpacks to customize the size of their camera load. Alongside the Action X v2 pack launch, Shimoda has tweaked the sizing of a few of their Core Units to fit certain super-telephoto lenses better and added a new XXL DV Core Unit size for use with the older Action X70 and new Action X70 HD. In this post, we’ll quickly examine the new Units. A broader post comparing all Shimoda’s Core Units can be found here.

New L, XL and XXL Dv Core Units

2023 Core Unit Changes

Sony 200-600mm lens next to a Large DV Core Unit v2, which is the same height as the new Large DSLR Core Unit v3.

Shimoda already had a comprehensive lineup of Core Unit sizes, but there was room for improvement regarding compatibility with popular super-telephoto lenses. As a result, Shimoda made small changes to the size of three existing Core Unit models and added one entirely new model specifically for users of the biggest lenses on the market.

  • *UPDATED* Large DSLR v3 – Extended length to better accommodate a mounted Sony 200-600mm lens. Now also fits an unmounted 500mm f/4 lens.
  • *UPDATED* Large DV v2 – Extended length to better accommodate a mounted Sony 200-600mm lens. Now also fits an unmounted 500mm f/4 lens and better fits 400mm f/2.8 lenses like the larger Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8. Expanded width to increase overall volume. Now fits unmounted Nikon Z 800mm f/6.3.
  • *UPDATED* X-Large DV v2 – Extended length to better accommodate 600mm f/4 lenses, including the larger Nikon Z 600mm f/4. Now also fits an unmounted 600mm f/4 lens. Expanded width to increase overall volume. Fits mounted Nikon Z 800mm f/6.3.
  • *NEW* XX-Large DV – Accommodates mounted Canon 600mm f/4 and adds top access feature.
The new XXL DV Core Unit with a camera attached to a 600mm f/4 and more.

The changes to the length of DSLR Large and DV large units were catalyzed by the popularity of the Sony 200-600mm lens. In the v1 versions of these Core Units, a Sony camera mounted to the 200-600mm lens was a tight squeeze. Tight enough it would sometimes pop the eyepiece from the camera when extracting it from the bag. The dimensional changes aren’t huge, but Sony shooters with that lens will be pleased.

The XL DV Core Unit v2 is a better fit for 600mm f/4 users. Seen here in my Action X70 HD.
The new Large DSLR v3 and DV Core v2 Units will now fit the Nikon Z 800mm (left), while the new XL DV Core Unit v2 (right) will fit the Z 800mm with a camera attached.

Nikon users will also be pleased with the length updates to the Large and XL DV Core Units as the Nikon Z 800mm lens will now fit unmounted in the Large DV Unit and mounted in the XL DV Core Unit. The Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 and Z 600mm f/4 lenses, with their built-in teleconverters, are the longest lenses compared to Sony and Canon. The new lengths of the Large and XL DV Core Units accommodate these lenses. Of course, these lenses also fit into the new XXL DV Core Unit, which everyone should be pleased about.

New Top Access Core Unit

The new XX-Large DV Core Unit results from direct feedback within the wildlife photography community. Wildlife photographers with large 400mm, 500mm, 600mm, and 800mm super-telephoto lenses wanted a way to leave their lens attached to their camera body and even leave the lens hood in place. Having everything ready to go at a moment’s notice gives you more chances to catch unexpected and fleeting moments in nature.

Pulling a 600mm f/4 from the top of the XXL DV Core Unit in the Action X70 HD.

Previously, if you shot with one of these large super-telephoto lenses, you had to reverse the lens hood and remove the camera body from the lens to fit it all into the XL DV Core Unit. With the addition of the new XX-Large DV Core Unit to the lineup, Action X70 or Action X70 HD users can opt for top access extraction of a mounted super-telephoto lens.

While testing the X70 HD and the new XXL DV Core Unit, I came across a willow ptarmigan, in a willow tree, on the side of a Yukon road. I quickly pulled my Sony 600mm f/4 from the top of the bag next to me and shot this from my car window in the few seconds before it flew away. This is a perfect example of a shot I might not have gotten if I did not have a camera ready to go and easily accessible.

New Core Unit Compatibility

The new Action X70 HD is designed for super-telephoto lenses.

Complete compatibility listings for all Core Units are within my Shimoda Core Unit guide. The newly updated Core Units are compatible with the following bags.

  • Large DSLR v3 – Compatible with the Action X40 V2, Action X50 (V1 and V2), Action X70 HD, Explore 35, Carry-On Roller, and DV Roller.
  • Large DV v2 – Compatible with the Action X70, Action X70 HD, and DV Roller.
  • X-Large DV v2 – Compatible with the Action X70, Action X70 HD, and DV Roller.
  • XX-Large DV – Compatible with the Action X70, Action X70 HD, and DV Roller.

Where to Buy (+ Save 10%)

Shimoda Designs has offered Shutter Muse readers a 10% discount on anything purchased through their online stores. US, Canadian, UK, French, or German residents should use the discount code ShutterMuse10 after clicking here to access the store. Australian readers should use the same code on the local Shimoda distributor’s site, Maxxum, instead.

Of course, buying directly from Shimoda is recommended to take advantage of our special discount. Whenever you decide to buy, it’s always appreciated when you use our links before purchasing.

Photo of author
Professional photographer based in Yukon, Canada, and founder of Shutter Muse. His editorial work has been featured in publications all over the world, and his commercial clients include brands such as Nike, Apple, Adobe and Red Bull.

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2 thoughts on “Shimoda Redesigned Their Core Units for Super-Telephoto Lenses”

  1. Dan,
    Congratulations on the birth of your baby!!! We look forward to hearing how to carry camera gear and a baby on your adventures….
    If you have time to answer – if not fully understand. The new Nikon 189-600 will be very popular with wildlife and nature photographers. I am eyeing it. Any thoughts on what core would work best in the Shimoda explore V2 30? Thanks

    • Thanks, Andrew!

      I have ordered the 180-600mm. Looks like an interesting lens. For the best ICU, see what I said about the Sony 200-600mm lens. The Nikon lens is almost identical in length (actually a little shorter). So this would make the Large DSLR V3 the best option.


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