Aug 252009
 

Lowepro, the camera bag maker may be best known for its extensive line of gear for outdoor and nature photographers. With the release of the Classified series of bags, they have shown creativity and innovation in the realm of “urban” or “street photographer” bags. The days of boxy shoulder bags that looked as if they could hold nothing but a valuable camera have passed. No one wants to attract snatch-and-grab thieves while on vacation or a photo assignment. The Classified 140, one of 5 shoulder bags in the series, is ideal for the photographer who needs to carry one compact DSLR with lens attached, plus a shoe-mount flash or modest sized lens. From the outside, the black or sepia colored bag (your choice) looks like a Euro stylish, nondescript shoulder bag that could be carrying someone’s sun glasses, paperback book, and a sports drink. On closer examination you would have to conclude that this camera bag is chock full of useful features for a street-savvy shooter.

The main compartment is accessed through a fold-down, expanding, rain resistant zipper pull. Padded, hook and loop dividers are fully adjustable, and support a camera placed lens down, with the LCD screen at the top. lowepro140-2Soft, leather-padded supports,  protect your camera from abrasion. A built-in micro-fiber cloth can be flipped over the LCD to protect it from scratches, or used to swab off a dusty lens. I popped a Nikon D200 in the bag for this review and it was a tight fit. Owners of  larger DSLRs like this one, should consider the bigger bags in the series like the 160 or 200. The design of the folded zipper pull does not exactly support one-handed removal of your camera, a compromise undoubtedly made by the designers in favor of the weatherproofedness of the bag.

lowepro140-3The back side of the bag has a flat pouch that is ideal for a notepad or small map. The front side is protected by a drop-down cover that hides an array of pockets. You’ll have plenty of room for pens, business cards, a passport, and a couple of filters. A removable, clip-on, fold-out memory card wallet has space for at least a half a dozen cards. There’s also a key-ring clip, a very comfortable, padded, non-slip shoulder strap, a light weight removable waist belt, and a key ring clip. The zipper that opens a expanding gusset is probably an unnecessary feature on a bag this small. You are likely to leave it open all the time.

Finally, with Lowepro’s “AW” designation, the Classified 140 includes a built-in, pull-over, weather resistant cover. I own a number of Lowepro bags and packs, and this feature alone has saved my gear from rain and melting snow many times. As with all Lowepro bags and packs, the stitching and fabric will stand up to back-country standards and abuse, not to mention jostling in subways, escalators, and car trunks. My only complaint is the awkwardness of the top zipper. However, I suspect this is not an issue with the larger bags in the series. I’ll give this one a rating of 4 stars out of 5.


Specifications
Capacity:
1 digital SLR camera with zoom lens attached plus 1 additional lens or flash unit, cables, batteries, memory cards and user manual
Size(Interior):
8.9W X 4.3D X 6.3H in./
22.5 X 11 X 16 cm Size(Exterior):
10.2W X 6.3D X 8.3H in./
26 X 16 X 21 cm
Weight:
0.79lbs/0.36kg

Street price: about $99.

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